The Golden State Killer was a serial rapist and serial killer who operated in California from 1974 through 1986. He is responsible for more than 50 rapes and at least 12 murders. He is believed to be responsible for three different crime sprees in three different areas of California. In Visalia, California, he earned the name the Visalia Ransacker by committing more than 100 burglaries between 1974 and 1975. He became the East Area Rapist in the Sacramento area. And he was the Original Night Stalker in Southern California. To heighten an awareness of this killer, crime writer Michelle McNamara gave him the name “The Golden State Killer.”
Michelle McNamara had researched the Golden State Killer for years, and unfortunately she passed away in 2016, at a time when there was renewed interest in finding this uncaught killer. In 2018, an arrest was made, and I’m sure that we’ll hear more of this case as it goes to trial in the future. Michelle’s book gives readers an excellent starting point to catch up on the case. The book, I’ll be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, is one that was finished by Michelle’s husband and other researchers. It’s a good book, but I can’t help but think it would have been a fabulous book if Michelle had been alive to finish it. It’s clear she had a passion for the subject, and she had a writing style that made the details come alive for the reader.