Before her untimely death, writer Michelle McNamara obsessed over the search for the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California during the 1970s and ‘80s by murdering 12 people and raping 50 others. She channeled her energy and commitment to solving the mystery into a relentless and consuming investigation before she died tragically in her sleep after an accidental overdose.
Her 10-year journey to identify the killer was documented in the book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, which was finished with the help of her husband, Patton Oswalt, crime writer Paul Haynes and investigative journalist Billy Jensen. Not long after it was published posthumously in 2018, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, using DNA evidence to identify him as the Golden State Killer.
Now, a new HBO docuseries, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, will chronicle that investigation from start to finish and take a closer look at McNamara’s own life through archival footage, police files, new interviews with detectives, survivors and family members as well as recordings of McNamara’s own words and excerpts of her book read by Oscar nominee Amy Ryan.
One of those detectives interviewed is Paul Holes, a former Cold Case Investigator and Chief of Forensics who emerged as the face of the case when DeAngelo was arrested. “They ended up filming with me,” he told ET last year about participating in a sit-down interview for the series, adding that even if the HBO series is the definitive retelling of the investigation, it will always be with him for the rest of his life.
The haunting first trailer, which Oswalt shared on Twitter, gives a look at how harrowing this story is -- from the moment the killer committed his first crime to the deep, dark obsession that took over McNamara’s life.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, from Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus, premieres June 28 on HBO.