I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is a fantastic six-part documentary detailing the history, obsession, and eventual capture of The Golden State Killer. The film also highlights the heroic acts of Michelle Mcnamara as she spent what would be the last years of her life correlating, analyzing, and sharing data she collected which would ultimately help the authorities track down this horrible man. For 30 years, these acts went unpunished and justice was denied. Mcnamara meticulously pieced together this awful puzzle powered by a sense of doing what’s right and nothing more. In a world where it seems everyone is looking out for themselves, she was concerned for others. Her impact on this case was remarkable. Her relentless nature was immeasurable. It’s reasonable to assume that if it wasn’t for her continuing to dig for clues, the killer might still be at large.
Director Liz Garbus deserves tons of credit for finding a way to give Michelle a voice even though she’s no longer with us. Throughout I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, the use of her journals, home videos, and actual audio recording gave the impression that she was still with us. Her former husband, Patton Oswalt deserves tons of praise for being part of this project as it had to hurt going back through all of these memories including the tragic circumstances of her passing. Her best selling book and now this documentary will stand the test of time and cement her legacy.
What’s most engrossing about I’ll Be Gone In The Dark as just seeing how Michelle was able to piece together these random clues to develop the killer’s profile which leads to justice. Seeing how she literally read every case file and picked up on how he travels in a certain manner while managing to preplan his acts. It seemed with every interview Mcnamara did, it pushed to go further and look beyond what was obvious to the detectives. What started out as a true crime obsession morphed into something so much more. It’s sad she didn’t live long enough to see the fruits of her labor.