‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’: Your new true crime obsession
Are you a true crime buff? Do you love the sensation of goosebumps riddling your arms as you learn a new grotesque fact about a real-life case? Do you get a small adrenaline high when you hear the words, “he was captured and arrested”? Well, if you said yes to any of these questions you need to be watching I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – HBO’s six-part documentary series.
The series is based upon the book of the same name written by Michelle McNamara. McNamara is best known for being the citizen detective who eventually helped authorities figure out who the Golden State Killer is, leading to his capture.
The most refreshing thing about I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is that its focus remains on McNamara and her search to catch the serial killer / serial rapist. So many true crime documentaries focus on the criminal, which, no matter how many condemning things you say about them, helps to perpetuate their fame & their notoriety.
About the case
The Golden State Killer is believed to have committed at least 13 murders, over 50 rapes, and at least 100 burglaries during the 1970s and 1980s. The Golden State Killer was given various nicknames throughout his crime-ridden life, until it was apparent these separate crime sprees were related & done by the same person.
The Golden State Killer was also believed to have taunted victims and police with threatening phone calls & written communications. Sometimes with a message as simple as, “I’m going to kill you”.
Relatedly, the show’s title I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is what The Golden State Killer reportedly told one of his victims who survived.
About I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
So far three episodes have aired in the six part series. You can catch up with the show on HBO Max, and after you’ve caught up you can watch it live on HBO’s channel where it airs on Sundays.
The documentary follows Michelle McNamara and her hunt for the man who would eventually be called The Golden State Killer. Her husband, actor & comedian Patton Oswalt, also makes appearances in interviews, as well as other people who aided in the search for answers.
Reception so far
Most reviews praise the docuseries for being well made, some even saying it’s, “a masterclass in documentary making” and that it’s filled with nuance. Others praise the idea the documentary encourages amateur sleuthing, since McNamara is proof it can lead to results.
Any negative reviews seems to be coming from people who didn’t realize the series was based on McNamara’s book, and therefore focused on her & her search. The negative reviewers seem to have been hoping for yet another true-crime documentary fetishizing the life and horrors of a serial killer.