There are certainly a lot of armchair detectives in the world. But few put their livelihood and their lives on the line in order to help solve cold cases and bring justice to the thousands of families who have given up hope. True-crime journalist Billy Jensen, along with Karen Kilgariff, tell the story of how Jensen decided to go for broke, using radical techniques, social media and dogged determination to solve murders.
His story begins with his childhood, being reared in a loving family but on a diet of tales and truths his father shared with him about his own life. Jensen’s dad turned bedtime stories into opportunities to learn about what real life was like beyond the protected walls of his home. This sparked a desire within him to turn his passion for writing, research and unsolved crimes into a career as a journalist. And after years of “difficult, thankless” work he was able to fully turn his attention and skillset into seeking justice for victim’s families.
It should be obvious why I categorized this read under Books Uplift. This is a book that is literally saving lives, as it inspires readers to sit up and take notice of the thousands of murders that go unsolved each year.
This book takes you down some dark tunnels and into the reality of cold cases that continue to haunt victim’s families and along with the exhausted professionals who inherited the cases. The overwhelming onslaught of crimes and homicides that overtax detectives have more often than naught forced them to turn their attention away from the cases they so desperately want to close. Thankfully, Jensen, along with his network of fiercely determined colleagues, have pushed for answers and have had impact, with Jensen himself solving ten homicides. This notable calling also extends to his friend, Michelle McNamara who sadly passed away before finishing her life’s work. Jensen helped to finish her #1 New York Times bestselling book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark about the hunt for the Golden State Killer.
Chase Darkness with Me is one of those books that is incredibly eye-opening.
I can hardly imagine what it must be like to make it your life’s mission to hunt down killers. But this book has enlightened me to the grisly truth about unsolved crimes and how much work is still needed to be done. And when someone is driven at all costs to find resolution for victims, well that is a truly uplifting pursuit you can’t help but admire.
Learn more about Billy Jensen and support his work.
Image Courtesy of Sourcebooks