An exploration of the case of the Golden State Killer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s, committing 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders, and true crime author Michelle McNamara's obsessive quest to find justice on behalf of his victims.
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Writer Michelle McNamara, author of True Crime Diary, her blog about unsolved crimes, finds a new obsession in the "East Area Rapist" (EAR), who terrorized California in the 1970s and '80s and was, ultimately, responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 12 murders. Today, her husband, friends, and colleagues reflect on Michelle's talent for bringing true crime stories to life.
The episode was rated 7.35 from 203 votes.
Michelle reflects on the 1984 murder of her childhood neighbor Kathy Lombardo, which she credits with planting the seed for her lifelong fascination with unsolved crimes. Local detectives who worked the EAR case in the '70s - and citizen detectives who picked up where they left off - discuss a proliferation of serial rape cases in Northern California at the time.
The episode was rated 7.46 from 167 votes.
Michelle and her editors agree to push her book deadline after being granted access to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's East Area Rapist / Original Night Stalker (EAR/ONS) room. Overwhelmed by the amount of material and the graphic nature of the crimes, Michelle struggles to balance the demands of her self-described addiction to her work with her family life.
The episode was rated 7.61 from 138 votes.
In 1979, law enforcement is thrilled when the EAR attacks abruptly stop in Northern California, but in reality, the still unknown assailant has moved south to commit a number of gruesome murders in the Santa Barbara area, known as the "Original Night Stalker" series. Michelle's article chronicling her investigation of the case causes a splash when it's published in 2013.
The episode was rated 7.62 from 157 votes.
As Michelle's loved ones cope with her sudden death, her work to unmask the Golden State Killer lives on. Paul Holes, Chief of Forensics in Contra Costa County, reconstructs the killer's family tree with the help of genetic genealogist Barbara-Rae Venter. Meanwhile, Paul Haynes and writer Billy Jensen work alongside Michelle's husband, Patton Oswalt, to finish her book.
The episode was rated 7.77 from 137 votes.
As 72-year-old former police officer Joe DeAngelo's arrest unfolds in real time, chilling facts materialize that illuminate Michelle's prescience in her book's epilogue, "Letter to an Old Man." Later, when Patton Oswalt, Billy Jensen, and Paul Haynes connect with survivors and McNamara's fellow citizen detective Melanie Barbeau, Michelle's absence is deeply felt.
The episode was rated 7.85 from 133 votes.
Last updated: jan 26, 2023
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