Friday, August 9, 2019

Review: Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation

Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This isn’t really a book. It’s a podcast.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing because I like podcasts. In fact, I’ve listened to several hours of them about the Golden State Killer already. The difference is that those I downloaded for free while I used one of my monthly credits for this Audible Original so I’m feeling a little cheated. Plus, I already had read or heard about 99% of the information in here already so calling it 'the untold story' isn't exactly true either.

In fairness, it’s pretty well done as far as giving an account of GSK, and the story of how cold case detective Paul Holes helped identify him by using genealogical DNA information which ultimately led to the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo is fascinating. I could have lived without the spooky musical cues which reminded me of a trashy tabloid TV show, but with multiple interviews of victims, cops, and others involved in the case it does make for a good summary of the whole complicated story. If you don’t know much about it, and you have a spare Audible credit then you could do a lot worse.

However, if you’ve really want to do deeper dive into this terrifying story then I’d highly recommend starting with the late Michelle McNamara’s brilliant book I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK. (One of the parts I very much liked was Paul Holes emotionally talking about McNamara as he tells the story of how she came to feel like his investigative partner before her untimely death.) The true crime podcast Casefile also did an in-depth multi-part account of the history of GSK before he was caught that is very informative about his crimes. The HLN podcast Unmasking A Killer came out shortly before GSK was arrested, and then it added several episodes about the arrest and what we learned about DeAngelo after that. A lot of the info I heard there first is repeated here.

So again, this isn’t bad, but if you’ve already spent time following this whole case you won’t find out anything you haven’t read or heard before.


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