True crime books and podcasts have always given audiences a glimpse into the most depraved aspects of human society, but perhaps no other true crime writer has gone as deeply into her subject matter as Michelle McNamara. The author of 2018 thriller I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer — now an HBO documentary of the same name — McNamara was obsessive in her quest to find the so-called Golden State Killer, a man who terrorized Northern California for the better part of two decades.
A new documentary series coming to HBO June 28 details the case surrounding the Golden State Killer, so you may expect it to be a typical true crime tale. The genre has enraptured millions of women, with stories of victims’ final moments and the monsters that took their lives. But just five minutes into the first episode of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, it’s clear something is different about this one. The difference according to the series’ director, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?), has everything to do with the film’s actual subject, crime writer Michelle McNamara, whose citizen sleuthing famously helped bring down the Golden State Killer and gave him his name.