I'll Be Gone in the Dark: Season 1

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: Season 1

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: Season 1

HBO's six-part docuseries follows true crime writer Michelle McNamara's hunt for the Golden State Killer, the man responsible for 50 home-invasion rape cases and 12 murders in California.

Based on her book of the same name, McNamara used her laptop as the ultimate investigation tool to bring the murderer's identity to light. However, she was unable to complete it before her death in 2016. Subsequently completed posthumously, it would go on to be a New York Times bestseller in 2018. McNamara was survived by her daughter and husband, actor/comedian Patton Oswalt (who appears throughout this series).

2020USAHBO
Documentary

Streaming (1 Provider)

EPISODE 1.1
9 August 2020

Murder Habit

Delving into the world of online chat rooms and crime blogs, writer Michelle McNamara becomes immersed in the graphic details of the Golden State Killer case, connecting with like-minded sleuths, trading facts, photos and leads.... MORE After pitching a story to Los Angeles Magazine, she hits the ground running, interviewing several EAR survivors and retired detectives who worked the case.

EPISODE 1.2
9 August 2020

Reign of Terror

Michelle McNamara 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.

EPISODE 1.3
9 August 2020

Rat in a Maze

In 1979, law enforcement is thrilled when the East Area Rapist (EAR) attacks abruptly stop in Northern California, but in reality, EAR has moved south to commit a number of gruesome murders in the Santa... MORE Barbara area, known as the “Original Night Stalker” series.

EPISODE 1.4
9 August 2020

The Motherlode

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. Poring over 37 boxes of files... MORE now occupying her daughter’s playroom, Michelle and her researcher Paul Haynes explore the case of the “Visalia Ransacker,” the perpetrator of a string of burglaries in the early ‘70s bearing striking similarities to EAR.

EPISODE 1.5
9 August 2020

Monsters Recede but Never Vanish

As Michelle’s loved ones cope with her sudden death, her work to unmask the Golden State Killer lives on. Inspired by McNamara’s interest in genealogy and online DNA testing services, Paul Holes, Chief of Forensics... MORE in Contra Costa County, reconstructs the killer’s family tree with the help of genetic genealogist Barbara-Rae Venter.

EPISODE 1.6
9 August 2020

Walk into the Light

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.”

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: Season 1 / Reviews

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

I'll Be Gone in the Dark includes plenty of video footage of McNamara from the last years of her life, revealing a woman who's evidently thought long and hard about her passion for cold cases — as well as one grappling with professional insecurities until her death.

Full review
Variety

Variety

If the aspects of the story pertaining to the Golden State Killer feel, here, the stuff of formula — one imagines the ideal delivery system to be McNamara’s book — the story of McNamara herself is told with crisp elegance.

Full review
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

While the individual components of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark can work to remarkable, devastating effect, the sprawl of this approach can find the two stories working against one another as often as they’re complementary.

Full review
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

Using the classy kind of re-enactments that utilize evocative shots of important objects rather than non-union actors, Garbus shoots much of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark essentially in the first-person, putting viewers into McNamara’s sleepless, paranoid mindset. And yet, she remains an elusive character.

Full review
RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

How Garbus balances these intersecting narratives—the victims, the author, the world of true crime—is what elevates “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” a series that keeps its human core in a way that true crime offerings often don’t.

Full review
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Intricate and absorbing. ... [Garbus] doesn’t waste a single minute of “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’s” six hours. The series works as a near-perfect example of how to manage several concurrent themes, tangents and narratives at the same time, while never once failing to captivate the viewer.

Full review