Michelle McNamara penned the book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark to chronicle her investigation into the world of “The Golden State Killer,” a serial killer, rapist, and burglar responsible for at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 and 1986. The six-part documentary is presented by HBO, which describes it as “a meditation on obsession and loss, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark chronicles the unrelenting path of a mysterious killer and the fierce determination of one woman to bring the case to light.”
The documentary is directed by Liz Garbus, an Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning director responsible for such shows as Who Killed Garret Phillips and Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper. Actor Amy Ryan provides the voice of the story, reading from McNamara’s own words. Exclusive original recordings supplement the tale, and archival footage and police files are used extensively. Interviews with detectives, survivors, and the killer’s own family members help to weave the story together.
A prolific true crime blogger, McNamara wrote for her site, “True Crime Diaries.” Wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, McNamara died of an accidental overdose before she finished I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Oswalt and McNamara’s colleagues Paul Haynes and Billy Jensen. The book received critical acclaim and became a New York Times Bestseller. Part of the allure of the book was its timing. The Golden State Killer had largely gone unnoticed because of the more gruesome and “flashier” stories of other criminals of the same time. The release of the book actually coincided with the identification and arrest of the Golden State Killer, though police were quick to state that the book did not contribute any direct information to his whereabouts.
The documentary will premiere on Sunday, June 28 at 10:00pm ET on HBO, HBO Now, and HBO Go. Each subsequent episode will air on the following Sundays.