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Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

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Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect? Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there. But after the sudden death of a Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect? Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there. But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself. You'll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You'll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara's pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself. Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you've read before.


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Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect? Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there. But after the sudden death of a Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect? Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common―they didn't have an ending. The killer was still out there. But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself. You'll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You'll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara's pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools―and the rules―to help solve murders yourself. Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you've read before.

30 review for Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

  1. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    True crime is having a moment. Growing up, I used to sneak read True Detective magazine under the covers. But now, those of us who are true crime fans can admit to our fascination without sounding too weird. What drives an interest in true crime? Contrary to what some may believe, fans do not derive voyeuristic pleasure out of the misery of others. Investigative journalist Billy Jensen’s driving force is empathy for the victims and their families and the desire to make the monsters pay for thei True crime is having a moment. Growing up, I used to sneak read True Detective magazine under the covers. But now, those of us who are true crime fans can admit to our fascination without sounding too weird. What drives an interest in true crime? Contrary to what some may believe, fans do not derive voyeuristic pleasure out of the misery of others. Investigative journalist Billy Jensen’s driving force is empathy for the victims and their families and the desire to make the monsters pay for their crimes. The focus of his work, and this book, is justice, not gratuitous details. Jensen details his early work as a journalist and what drove him to crime investigations. He is unflinchingly honest about his frustrations and failures, as well as his successes. He writes about his friendship with Michele McNamara, who was investigating and writing a book about the Golden State Killer at the time of her untimely death. The author, along with Michelle’s husband and her research assistant, finished the book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (a book I highly recommend). Michelle’s death was the catalyst for the author to take his work to the next level. Along with DNA databases, crowdsourcing on social media is a game changer, and allows for average citizens to assist in identifying victims and catching the criminals. I found this section of the book to be most interesting. If you’ve ever wanted to become a citizen detective, the author has a section at the end of the book with instructions, complete with a list of rules, tips and cautions. This was a compelling buddy read with Marialyce. The author’s persistence, passion and dedication shines through. This is a must-listen for fans of true crime. An Audible Original, the hardback will be published in August, 2019. For this and other duo reviews please visit the blog https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen is a 2019 Sourcebooks publication. Gripping and personal journey into true crime reporting and crime solving- The sheer number of cases that remain unsolved are mind numbing. We often focus on the crimes that make the big headlines, but for every one of those, there are numerous others that never make a blip on the public’s consciousness. Some cases go viral, such as the one where an innocent man is knocked unconscious, then hit by a car, then robbed while h Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen is a 2019 Sourcebooks publication. Gripping and personal journey into true crime reporting and crime solving- The sheer number of cases that remain unsolved are mind numbing. We often focus on the crimes that make the big headlines, but for every one of those, there are numerous others that never make a blip on the public’s consciousness. Some cases go viral, such as the one where an innocent man is knocked unconscious, then hit by a car, then robbed while he lay in the street. Although the crime was recorded, finding the man who assaulted the victim took a long time, with many dead-end leads, and required much tenacity, patience, and a very sharp eye. For Billy Jensen helping to solve the lesser known cold cases has become his life’s work. He is still a writer and journalist, but what he writes about is unsolved crimes. He became friends with fellow cold case/true crime advocate, Michelle McNamara, and he helped to complete her book after her untimely death. In this book, Jensen explains how he became a crime reporter, his personal background, and even exposes his single-minded fixation on solving crimes, helping law enforcement, and bringing some closure to the victim's families, who at this point, just want to know the truth. His heady exhilaration at having helped law enforcement close the books on a case is what keeps him from losing faith when so many cases hit a brick wall. One thing that we can all agree on is that despite all the perils of social media, without it, and the advances in DNA and forensics, murderers and rapists like the Golden State Killer, might never have been caught. Jensen outlines the way he uses social media and the internet, in general, to help solve crimes. It’s a fascinating story, and you have to hand it to the guy. He’s like a dog with a bone when he gets started on a story or case and he doesn’t turn loose of it, even when it looks as if he’s just chasing his own tale. This dedication might also be described as an obsession, though. One issue I had with the book, and it is the same issue I had with McNamara’, is the layout and organization of the book. The flow is uneven, as Jensen seems unsure of when to insert something poignant or personal, which came off as feeling a little too forced and awkward. The timing is a bit off in that area, but I did enjoy some of the nostalgia from the seventies he spoke of. Adding personal antidotes was something that worked for McNamara, but not so much here, I think. The other issue I have with the book is with the last portion, which is a DIY tutorial on amateur sleuthing and crime solving. Because it goes without saying that law enforcement agencies nationwide are overwhelmed, it may have gotten to the point where it now takes a village to help solve crimes. It never hurts to be informed, prepared, aware, and alert. I do not have a problem with people logging onto to social media to study crime, cold cases, or missing persons profiles. Sometimes a citizen’s hyper-awareness could help save a life. In many ways, I greatly admire Jensen and what he does. Without him, some crimes, and murders would mostly likely have remained unsolved. That said- While I read a great deal of true crime, and do follow certain specific cases, I keep my concerns and interest in the proper perspective. Too many people interfering in official police investigations could backfire spectacularly. While Jensen found the internet and social media to be a huge asset, we all know by now that it is also packed with erroneous and harmful information, which could hinder, instead of help, solve a crime. It could also be very dangerous, opening oneself up to scams or cons or even physical harm. It could lead to false accusations as well, and we know that even a hint of such a thing can ruin a life in an instant. So, I’m thinking this is a bit of a slippery slope and I’m not entirely comfortable with Jensen encouraging the general public to follow his chosen path. Putting oneself out there, interviewing victim’s families and the heart wrenching, day to day, drudge of following a lead that turned out to be nothing, is an emotional drain that can be mentally draining, and quite damaging… just take a look at the toll it took on Michelle McNamara. I’m not saying Jensen glorified his work or sugarcoated anything, as the cases he examines are truly horrifying and one gets a glimpse at the cost the author pays, and the sacrifices his family must endure for him to be successful at what he does. In my humble opinion, climbing into that dark, murky world, and becoming- shall we say- devoted- to the exclusion of all else in life can’t be all that healthy. Still, I did find this book to be very interesting, and absorbing, overall, sans the DYI bits. Although I don’t necessarily recommend we all jump into the boat along with him, I’m glad Jensen has had success as a reporter, author, and amateur sleuth and hope that as he continues his work, he will at long last solve some of the cases that continue to haunt him. 3.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sumit RK

    “Whenever people ask me why I only write about unsolved murders, I always say the same thing: because I hate the guy who got away with it.” When you think about a True Crime book, it’s usually about some unsolvable crime or an elusive criminal. We rarely see the amount of work and determination that goes into solving mysteries. Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen is a fascinating real-life journey of Bill Jensen; from being a crime reporter to helping authorities in solving real-life cold “Whenever people ask me why I only write about unsolved murders, I always say the same thing: because I hate the guy who got away with it.” When you think about a True Crime book, it’s usually about some unsolvable crime or an elusive criminal. We rarely see the amount of work and determination that goes into solving mysteries. Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen is a fascinating real-life journey of Bill Jensen; from being a crime reporter to helping authorities in solving real-life cold cases. In this engrossing memoir, Jensen takes the reader on his quest to hunt down killers using social media and crowdsourcing. The book begins from Bill’s childhood with his father reading him crime headlines from the paper (which fueled his interest in true crime) to becoming a crime journalist. Jensen details his early work as a journalist and what drove him to crime investigations. He recalls his early successes, failures and his frustration with the system, which eventually made him take to solving crimes himself. The book recounts several cases including the Halloween Mask Murder case, the case of fugitive hiding out in Mexico, and the Bear Brook murders among others cases, where he helped find killers for police around the country using social media. Also covered in the book is Jensen’s experience of working with fellow journalist Michelle McNamara, who was investigating the Golden State Killer case. The author has included a section at the end of the book for those who wish to work as an online citizen detective, to track killers and fugitives, with a complete list of rules, tips, and cautions. If you’ve ever wanted to become a citizen detective, you may find this very useful (though personally I find the idea a bit risky) Chase Darkness with Me allows readers to understand the tough world of crime-solving. Jensen uses groundbreaking techniques to identify the criminals behind seemingly unsolvable murders. Using DNA databases, crowdsourcing on social media is a game-changer but the results are still hard and slow to come by. Jensen is honest about his successes and failures and the many dead ends in the path. This book is also a reality check for a lot of armchair detectives (crime-solving is tough, frustrating and in the end don’t expect to be the hero). In a way, this story is about a man’s journey through darkness to find the light at the end of the tunnel. The success of the book lies in the fact that Jensen makes you feel part of the journey. You feel disappointed after every setback, you feel thrilled after every breakthrough and you feel happy after solved case. I also enjoyed his childhood stories including his interactions with his father (which I found quite emotional). My only complaint about the book is that the author has covered many cases in the book and it’s hard to keep up with all of them. The book starts with a case, meets a dead-end and is finally solved a few chapters later. The chapters could have been organized a bit better. This book would definitely interest true crime fans a lot. It has multiple causes and offers a unique perspective on the world of crime-solving. Many thanks to the publisher Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Part true crime memoir, part DIY cold case solving instruction manual, Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders is a unique read that stands out in a sea of true crime novels. Billy Jensen has truly seen it all, and it was refreshing to read about horrific murders from a tender, caring, and emotional standpoint. Highly recommended! Part true crime memoir, part DIY cold case solving instruction manual, Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders is a unique read that stands out in a sea of true crime novels. Billy Jensen has truly seen it all, and it was refreshing to read about horrific murders from a tender, caring, and emotional standpoint. Highly recommended!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I dole out 2.5 stars as I wander into the wrong town. It’s a case of me wandering into the wrong town; now THAT’S the true crime. But really, what is this fiction broad doing in true crime? The author helps solve tough cases by using social media. Interesting idea—but a whole book about how he came to do this? And then a how-to for others? I don’t think so. I went from bored to furious. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!! I should have stayed in my own lane, continued reading exciting, made-up stori I dole out 2.5 stars as I wander into the wrong town. It’s a case of me wandering into the wrong town; now THAT’S the true crime. But really, what is this fiction broad doing in true crime? The author helps solve tough cases by using social media. Interesting idea—but a whole book about how he came to do this? And then a how-to for others? I don’t think so. I went from bored to furious. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!! I should have stayed in my own lane, continued reading exciting, made-up stories. I guess I was expecting something different. I had read a couple of positive reviews from friends, and I thought, hm, the psychology of the criminal fascinates me, so I’ll check it out. Like the rest of the world, I shiver when I think of The Boston Strangler, Son of Sam, Charlie Manson, and I read a lot about them—ha, especially when my mom clipped every Boston Strangler article ever written and sent them to me when I moved to Boston at age 18! (Please explain to me why she would do that—by reading them, I would ward off murder?) The book is a memoir (or a report) by a man who has made it his life work to solve murders and, to a lesser extent, find missing people. What’s unique about him is that he has figured out how to get tips through social media. He was involved in other new ideas about how the Internet can help solve crimes, like using familial DNA to track criminals. He has solved a couple of murders, no small feat. Joy Jar -Jensen is a good guy who is passionate about catching the bad guys. Persistence is his middle name. That he cares so much and works so hard at it earns him many gold stars. -He kept gore out of it. This was much appreciated. He didn’t get off on shocking us with all the gross details of crimes. There were a few mentions of the bizarre things a sicko had done, like burying a body in cat litter, but he didn’t dwell on them. -The teensy blob of story about the author’s father’s edgy past, and the father-son relationship, was the best part of the book. -The few statistics were interesting. For example, I can’t fathom that there are 5,000 unsolved crimes a year in America!! -It was interesting to hear about how you can target areas, genders, age groups, etc., when you’re trying to reach strangers on Facebook. Complaint Board That’s not what I THOUGHT I was going to hear…. When am I going to figure out how to ditch those expectations? I thought I would hear the author’s take on the twisted minds of the sickos who commit heinous murders. I wanted psychology! And I guess I expected the author to zero in on one or two crimes. Nope, that wasn’t what the book was about. Don’t tell me about crimes that still aren’t solved. The author gave many (too many) details about what he did to try to solve particular crimes, only to conclude by saying he never solved most of them. That got obnoxious, frustrating, and disappointing real fast-like. I realized early on that I’m only interested in hearing a detailed report of all the steps you went through to solve a crime, IF, in fact, you DID solve the crime. Why do I want to know about what didn’t work?? I think it’s natural to want closure—that’s true in fiction, of course, but also when you’re talking about true crime. “Yeah, we did this and this and we even did this, but no, we didn’t solve the crime. Sorry to say the bandito is still out there. We’re back at square 1.” It’s like telling me you lost your keys, then described in excruciating detail all the nooks and crannies where you searched for them, only to end with “I never did find the damn keys.” I wanted you, needed you, to find the keys; the story of the search isn’t interesting unless there is success at the end. I know cold cases fascinate people, and they sort of fascinated me, too—until I read this book! Oh, I was so bored. I mean really bored—for the first 90 percent of the book, in fact. I dreaded picking the book up. The author presented a jumbled report about a few crimes that he tried to solve, going on and on, spewing out details of his methods and perseverance. It was pretty show-offy. I’m sorry, yawn city. I didn’t need to know about what day he met with other crimefighters, and details of the conversations they had. I wanted lively, I got droning. Many journalists are good storytellers; this author is not. He jumped around, going back and forth between crimes, and his language was dull and repetitive. Because of the sort of staccato, scattered monotone, I didn’t end up truly feeling enough for the victims. The purpose of the book, I realize, wasn’t to talk much about the victims, but instead, to outline how the author went about trying to solve crimes. He name-dropped crimes (and solvers) that I was unfamiliar with, and this was annoying. I’m sure people who follow true crimes and crime-fighters loved it. The last 10 percent made me see red. So I was bored for 90 percent, but the last 10 percent made me furious. It was a how-to for jo-schmos who want to solve crimes themselves. Before you attack, let me just say that I KNOW that there’s a whole group of people who want to be amateur sleuths (they’re all part of a club, and they are avid listeners to the author’s podcasts and his crime-solving efforts). I think it’s cool that the public can occasionally help solve a crime. I know some people found the last section fascinating and useful. I, on the other hand, felt like I been plopped down into at a UFO convention and I didn’t fit in--and I wasn’t going to report any sightings because I wasn’t “onboard.” Here’s the deal: The author uses social media to track down the bad guys. He is a smart, passionate, responsible man who wants everyone to share his hobby of catching the bad guys. But not everyone is like him. The last 10 percent of the book is a detailed DIY instruction manual. Okay, deep breath. I don’t think untrained citizens should try to be detectives, period. First, it’s dangerous! There are trained, experienced, paid detectives who do this job. One of the things you’re supposed to do is buy space on Facebook or other social media, targeting certain demographics, so you can circulate pictures of the criminal you’re trying to catch. Then you wait for tips to come in. The author gives you a couple of no-no’s so you’ll be safe from crazy criminals trying to find you, but I think it’s irresponsible of the author to lead people down this road. Some people aren’t going to remember or want to adhere to the “what not to do’s,” and they may end up being stalked or even dead. The author tells one story about an amateur sleuth with a day job as a doctor who got herself killed by a gang in Mexico she was investigating. And sometimes these zealous hobbyists ruin the lives of innocent people: once they post a photo of a suspect, the suspect’s reputation is toast even if they didn’t do the crime. In these Internet days, when stories and pictures are eternal, it’s hugely bad to point a finger at an innocent person. Second, you better be a rich person with no job if you want to be an amateur sleuth. So it’s not true that “even you can find bad guys” because you may be too poor to do so. The author explains that you have to buy space on Facebook (or other social media) so you can send out pictures of potential criminals. The more money you throw into it, the more people you can reach. Yeah, I have hundreds of dollars to throw around so I can maybe help solve a crime. And about the time required—he says it’s a 24/7 job. Really? This comment assumes that no one has a day job! Wouldn’t it be nice if we had the time and luxury to have a selfless, virtuous, and applaudable volunteer job as a crime fighter? One final nit about that last, maddening 10 percent: The author, in his earnest thoroughness, even tells you the location of icons you need to click on the Facebook interface. We all know what it’s like when web builders decide to redo the site, moving buttons randomly left to right and taking away features and whole menus. (I go on a cussing jag and fantasize sending letters telling “them” a thing or two.) It happens all the time. I used to edit and write online Help, and believe me, I was horrified when the interface was radically redesigned after I carefully described which button to click and where. No fun. So back to this book—the instructions the author outlined won’t apply (and will surely frustrate people) whenever a new designer decides to impress their boss and change the look of the site. The author should not have gone into that much detail; the information will become obsolete. Okay, I’ll stop my rant. As I said, I know the author’s heart is in the right place, and solving crimes is laudable. People who love true crime will love this book. It just wasn’t for me. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I reviewed a digital version of this book. The author was a friend and colleague of Michelle McNamera’s until she passed away while working on her true crime book, ‘I’ll Be Gone In The Dark.’ He is one of several who helped her husband to finish the book and get it published. This is his story, telling how he went from just reporting on stories to getting so frustrated that he jumped in and started solving them. He and Michelle had plans to work together at it as soon as she sent off her book ma I reviewed a digital version of this book. The author was a friend and colleague of Michelle McNamera’s until she passed away while working on her true crime book, ‘I’ll Be Gone In The Dark.’ He is one of several who helped her husband to finish the book and get it published. This is his story, telling how he went from just reporting on stories to getting so frustrated that he jumped in and started solving them. He and Michelle had plans to work together at it as soon as she sent off her book manuscript to the publishers, which sadly never happened as she passed away. It tells how Jensen began in murder solving. How he fumbled and got advice, and learned and kept on. Like most anything, the more you do it and learn about it, the better you get at it. Then, at long last, he solved his first case and that made a huge difference in his confidence. After his regular job, he’d been working on Michelle’s book at night. Jensen eventually developed his own system for getting tips online by targeting certain areas and then focusing on them with information and requests. He solved his 2nd case which came with police recognition and hugs from the victim’s mother and sister, which really really meant the most. After that, he was really on his way. This would be of interest to true crime fans as you can follow along and see how a writer becomes a crime solver. It has multiple cases that are interesting all through the book, some solved and some being worked on yet. Fascinating stuff as law enforcement and others tweak their skills to come up with new ways to solve crime in this new age. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Billy Jensen, and the publisher. My BookZone blog: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/po...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    Billy Jensen, who finished Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark following her untimely death, talks about his love for true crime and how he became involved in investigating unsolved murders. Jensen provides a really fascinating insight into how he carries out his own investigative journalist and lays down the tools - and rules - to help you get involved yourself. I’m not 100% convinced that it’s a good idea to encourage people to get involved in trying to solve crimes on their own. There Billy Jensen, who finished Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark following her untimely death, talks about his love for true crime and how he became involved in investigating unsolved murders. Jensen provides a really fascinating insight into how he carries out his own investigative journalist and lays down the tools - and rules - to help you get involved yourself. I’m not 100% convinced that it’s a good idea to encourage people to get involved in trying to solve crimes on their own. There’s a difference between helping out where you can and then leading your own investigation... It's perhaps just a good idea to get involved where it's appropriate. Jensen's passion for catching the bad guys who think they got away with it really shines through. Most of the crimes covered were ones I already knew about, which was unfortunate, but I liked hearing about more of the backstory into how they were solved. 3.5 stars! Definitely recommend to all true crime fans, especially if you’re already a fan of Billy Jensen.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    4.5 stars Sometimes a tragedy can spur one onto doing something, of taking a stand, of getting involved. With the death of his friend, Michele McNamara, the author of I'll Be Gone In the Dark, a book I read and so enjoyed, Billy Jensen becomes involved in the concept and tracking of killers who got away. With the advent of DNA tracking, many, who were previously living among us, though that was denied the ones they killed, were fated to be found. While Ms McNamara died before the Golden State kil 4.5 stars Sometimes a tragedy can spur one onto doing something, of taking a stand, of getting involved. With the death of his friend, Michele McNamara, the author of I'll Be Gone In the Dark, a book I read and so enjoyed, Billy Jensen becomes involved in the concept and tracking of killers who got away. With the advent of DNA tracking, many, who were previously living among us, though that was denied the ones they killed, were fated to be found. While Ms McNamara died before the Golden State killer was identified, her relentless and exhaustive research on him was the catalyst to spur Mr Jensen on to taking up the gauntlet pursuing other killers. Jensen was also one of those who assisted in completing Michelle's book after her untimely death. Through the use of the internet, social media platforms and research, Jensen has helped to solve a number of cases, bringing to justice those who had escaped the consequences of their crime. He presents us with how he was spurred on by his love of true crime stories started early on by the stories his father shared with him and later as a journalist, tuned off by the intrusion into the lives of the bereaved. He turned to the concept of crowd sourcing to catch, to ferret out, and find the perpetrator, bringing to some families a closure of their circle of grief. The book is fascinating, even providing a how to guide to become your very own investigative detective and help the police to ferret out a possible murderer. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy true crime stories and the audible version I listened to narrated by the author was done so very well. Perhaps now with the internet, social media platforms and of course the use of DNA, many more will be brought to justice and the families of those who lost their loved ones will be able to know that while their loved ones have lost their lives, those who killed them might no longer walk among us free to live their life, a life they denied others to have. According to some statistics, one third of the murders in the United States go unresolved. For many, especially the families of those who were murdered there is no ending, no resolution, no justice until the killer or killers is found, tried and brought to justice. For Jan and I, listening to this book was an eye opening experience as Billy Jensen took us on his journey to bring some resolution to the families, and perhaps in a small way allow justice to be served on those who chose to kill. For both our reviews and a look at the author you can go here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Char

    CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME was sad, informative and interesting. Sad because of the author's relationship with Michelle McNamara; together they worked on the Golden State Killer case. Informative because of the tips the author shares with readers on how to investigate crimes themselves and interesting because there are a lot of new ways where non professionals can help the real professionals solve a case. As a true crime buff from way back, I enjoyed this audio and I'm thinking about following the a CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME was sad, informative and interesting. Sad because of the author's relationship with Michelle McNamara; together they worked on the Golden State Killer case. Informative because of the tips the author shares with readers on how to investigate crimes themselves and interesting because there are a lot of new ways where non professionals can help the real professionals solve a case. As a true crime buff from way back, I enjoyed this audio and I'm thinking about following the author's podcast. Thanks to Audible for the free Original with my membership.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Niezgoda

    Body In Cat Litter - Say What?! Billy Jensen has seen it all!! 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ By now, you all know I live for true crime and so when Billy Jensen (friends with Karen and Georgia from MFM and he helped finish Michelle McNamara’s book) came out with his own book, I was all over it! Jensen is an incredible storyteller and his road to becoming an investigative journalist is pretty cool. Chase Darkness with Me is an autobiographical view into Jensen’s start. He shares personal stories from his upbrin Body In Cat Litter - Say What?! Billy Jensen has seen it all!! 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ By now, you all know I live for true crime and so when Billy Jensen (friends with Karen and Georgia from MFM and he helped finish Michelle McNamara’s book) came out with his own book, I was all over it! Jensen is an incredible storyteller and his road to becoming an investigative journalist is pretty cool. Chase Darkness with Me is an autobiographical view into Jensen’s start. He shares personal stories from his upbringing, his college years, and how he became an advocate for cold case victims. 🧡Some of the cases he’s been a part of are surreal! Like the one about a body being covered in a mountain of cat 🐈 litter (I’m not joking 💩). It’s nuts. And this tell-all isn’t holding back!! It’s only available on audio 🎧 right now. And I would definitely recommend this to any My Favorite Murder listener! 🔪 NOTE: if you have listened to Jensen’s and Paul Holes’ podcast The Murder Squad, some of this book will sound repetitive. At first, I was like “wahhhh 😫” because I’m a brat. But then I had to applaud Jensen because these are the cases that truly cultivated his drive and the fact that he’s getting answers for so many families is FREAKING RAD! 👏🏽

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk)

    4.5 stars If you like true crime, especially in the form of investigative journalism, this audiobook is for you! I was initially drawn to this story because of Billy’s association with Michelle McNamarra in the amazing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark book from 2018. Billy worked closely with Michelle on her Golden State Killer case and after her death he was instrumental in helping to finish and get her book published. In his new audiobook, Billy tells of how he developed a love of true crime and justic 4.5 stars If you like true crime, especially in the form of investigative journalism, this audiobook is for you! I was initially drawn to this story because of Billy’s association with Michelle McNamarra in the amazing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark book from 2018. Billy worked closely with Michelle on her Golden State Killer case and after her death he was instrumental in helping to finish and get her book published. In his new audiobook, Billy tells of how he developed a love of true crime and justice from an early age. he describes some pretty crazy bedtime stories of crimes and criminals that his dad used to share with him. Rather than scaring him, Billy pinpoints those early stories as instilling a fascination and hunger within himself to explore crime and those who commit it Believe me when I say this is one of the most engaging, insightful audiobooks I’ve ever listened to! Billy goes in depth in how he uses crowdsourcing…think Facebook and Twitter…to catch criminals and it’s absolutely fascinating. The murder of Marcus Gaines that Billy worked on was not only sad and frustrating to hear but incredible in terms of how it turned out. This crowdsourcing feels to me very timely and tremendously important in terms of the possibilites it offers for solving more murders and finding more missing people. In fact, Billy’s discussion of the“digital posse” seemed so accurate for the future of crime and criminal justice. Told with empathy, compassion and energy, Billy’s dedication and passion for truth and justice came through loud and clear. I highly recommend this audiobook!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda NEVER MANDY

    My true crime book reading binge is coming to an end because for every three I have read, only one has been enjoyable. The duds are usually guilty of having one or both of the following going on: 1) The author finds some obscure piece of information about the case and tries to sell it as a new and exciting revelation that makes their research stand out from the rest. 2) The author uses their own personal information as filler, which can change the tone of the book. What was once about the crime be My true crime book reading binge is coming to an end because for every three I have read, only one has been enjoyable. The duds are usually guilty of having one or both of the following going on: 1) The author finds some obscure piece of information about the case and tries to sell it as a new and exciting revelation that makes their research stand out from the rest. 2) The author uses their own personal information as filler, which can change the tone of the book. What was once about the crime becomes all about the author. All I want out of these types of books are the details. I don’t need to know what the victim’s third grade best friend thought of them twenty years ago. I don’t need to know that the author was at a bar having a margarita when the victim was murdered. This book landed in the second category. It was full of information pertaining to the author’s life, his involvement with his friend’s true crime book and contained a bit at the end that could be considered a how-to-guide for any newbies interested in solving crimes. I had hoped it would focus more on the handful of cases the author worked on, so I was quite disappointed in the content. If you are fan of knowing what kind of life the author is living while researching a crime or are interested in getting started on trying to solve small cases on your own, this is the book for you. Two stars to a book that would have been better left unread by yours truly.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    What starts as bingeable read about the author's evolution from crime fan, to writer, to amateur detective quickly becomes a repetitive recap of his attempts at social media crowd sleuthing (most of which fail to catch the criminal). What I enjoyed most was the relationship Jensen has with his father. Where so many crime writers driving motivations are rooted in their own terrible, dark upbringings it's refreshing to read about someone whose obsessive interest is rooted in a childhood spent bondi What starts as bingeable read about the author's evolution from crime fan, to writer, to amateur detective quickly becomes a repetitive recap of his attempts at social media crowd sleuthing (most of which fail to catch the criminal). What I enjoyed most was the relationship Jensen has with his father. Where so many crime writers driving motivations are rooted in their own terrible, dark upbringings it's refreshing to read about someone whose obsessive interest is rooted in a childhood spent bonding with his dad during the evening news.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    I don't read much true crime, but the author had a really thoughtful, kind approach to telling these stories. he put the focus on the victims and this was quite moving. Some cases stuck with me more than others, but all in all, it's definitely a worthwhile read, especially if you were as gripped as I was by I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Billy Jensen's late friend Michelle McNamara. Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com I don't read much true crime, but the author had a really thoughtful, kind approach to telling these stories. he put the focus on the victims and this was quite moving. Some cases stuck with me more than others, but all in all, it's definitely a worthwhile read, especially if you were as gripped as I was by I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Billy Jensen's late friend Michelle McNamara. Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars This is exactly the kind of true crime book that I love reading. Within each chapter, the author outlines a variety of interesting cases and shares how he uses social media tools to attempt to find justice for the victims. Some of the cases in this book have answers, while others still remain unsolved. It was fascinating to learn how he uses simple methods like posting information to Twitter and Facebook in order to try to solve major crimes. This book also partially reads like a memoir 4.0 Stars This is exactly the kind of true crime book that I love reading. Within each chapter, the author outlines a variety of interesting cases and shares how he uses social media tools to attempt to find justice for the victims. Some of the cases in this book have answers, while others still remain unsolved. It was fascinating to learn how he uses simple methods like posting information to Twitter and Facebook in order to try to solve major crimes. This book also partially reads like a memoir as we learn how the author came into his passion for true crime. I found Jensen to be a very likeable person with strong moral values, which made his personal story compelling to read. Jensen is also one of the authors who helped to finish Michelle McNamara’s popular true crime book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, so a lot of this book deals with his relationship with her and the Golden State Killer investigation. I would personally recommend reading I’ll be Gone in the Dark first in order to get the most out of this book. Finally, the book ends with a call to action where the author outlines the steps to become an amtuer true crime investigator and ally with law enforcement agencies. Honestly, I found that section to be incredibly motivating and I am now considering ways that I utilize my own passion for true crime in a tangible way within my local community. This was such an addicting read with just the right amount of information to keep me engaged, without bogging me down with too many details. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves true crime non fiction books like I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and True Crime Addict. Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    RTC as per the publisher's request - but let's let the foreword (by Karen Kilgariff of My Favorite Murder) speak for me in the meantime: It's a movie plot come to life. After years of difficult, thankless work, a reporter obsessed with justice gets the rare satisfaction of seeing justice finally served. Who doesn't want to read that immediately? RTC as per the publisher's request - but let's let the foreword (by Karen Kilgariff of My Favorite Murder) speak for me in the meantime: It's a movie plot come to life. After years of difficult, thankless work, a reporter obsessed with justice gets the rare satisfaction of seeing justice finally served. Who doesn't want to read that immediately?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Every year, 5000 more unsolved murders... Billy Jensen was a journalist who got fed up investigating murders that were never solved. This book is a fascinating examination of what Jensen did to find murderers and bring closure on unsolved cases. He used social media-mainly Facebook-to elicit help from people and get tips that would lead the police to find criminals. His first success was a case that I remember well from the news, a case in which a man punched another man on a street in Chicago Every year, 5000 more unsolved murders... Billy Jensen was a journalist who got fed up investigating murders that were never solved. This book is a fascinating examination of what Jensen did to find murderers and bring closure on unsolved cases. He used social media-mainly Facebook-to elicit help from people and get tips that would lead the police to find criminals. His first success was a case that I remember well from the news, a case in which a man punched another man on a street in Chicago and knocked that man out. While unconscious and lying in the street, he was robbed and then run over and killed by a car. Jensen was outraged by the actions of the man he called "The Man in the Green Hoodie" and put up a picture of the perp ( from a surveillance camera) on Facebook. A response led to identifying the man and having him arrested. Jensen went on from there after more killers, always improving on his techniques. I think the highlight of the book was Jensen's follow up on the work of his friend Michelle McNamara. She was in pursuit of "the Golden State Killer" when she suddenly died. Jensen was able to finish the book she was writing and help in the hunt for a terrifying serial killer--who was finally brought to justice. Jensen goes into detail on a number of cases, so the book gets somewhat complex. And, of course, the book is disturbing. But most disturbing of all is the fact that the police have been unable to find so many killers, who remain hidden among us, able to kill again and again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mindi

    I've read a fair share of true crime, and I definitely have cases that I'm fairly obsessed with. Both Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer cases will continue to haunt me until the killers are found. Sadly, I don't think the Ripper cases will ever be solved, but I like to think they could be. In the Addendum to CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME, Billy Jensen talks about his "white whale" or "my favorite murder" meaning a case that "grabbed you by the throat one day and still hasn't let go". The two cases I I've read a fair share of true crime, and I definitely have cases that I'm fairly obsessed with. Both Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer cases will continue to haunt me until the killers are found. Sadly, I don't think the Ripper cases will ever be solved, but I like to think they could be. In the Addendum to CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME, Billy Jensen talks about his "white whale" or "my favorite murder" meaning a case that "grabbed you by the throat one day and still hasn't let go". The two cases I mentioned above are definitely my white whale(s). Then he talks about his "origin story" or an event that got him interested in true crime. That one is harder for me to answer. My Dad was always telling my brother and me about every topic under the sun when we were kids, and I'm sure I found out about the Ripper and Zodiac from my Dad. I just don't remember the moment. Regardless, this is how well Jensen pulls you into his book. This is his story, but he knows that if you bought his book and took the time to read it, then you too are interested in unsolved crimes and those crimes finally finding justice. These criminals aren't just going to walk into a police station and turn themselves in. That's why the "citizen sleuth" exists. People like Jensen simply cannot live and do nothing while murderers and other criminals who got away walk the streets. And he knows there are other people out there who feel the same way. I really enjoyed reading about the cases that Jensen tackled, and I felt excited and truly happy for him when he solved his first case. All of the work that goes into finding a killer, all of the time and effort it takes certainly makes it a fantastic moment when a criminal is caught. I feel terrible for the people he met who are still waiting for their loved ones to find justice. I cannot imagine someone harming or killing someone I love without justice. How do you live knowing that a murderer is free while your loved one is gone forever? Jensen understands that families are living in torment, and he simply cannot stop trying to find justice for all of them. There are armchair detectives, and then there is Billy Jensen. Jensen is on the street and spending most of his time to find these killers. I'm glad that law enforcement is finally starting to understand that Jensen and others like him are incredibly useful. I really enjoyed this one, and since I'm reading it with a very large true crime reading group on Instagram I know I don't have to convince my friends to read it. Everyone else? If you are interested in true crime, this is a must-read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Bookish

    My thanks to Audible for allowing me free access to this audio book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. This audio book is currently an Audible Exclusive.  True crime can be a touchy subject. What are the ethics of consuming someone else's tragedy as entertainment? Jensen's work and the way he works to essentially crowd-source murder investigations means that this book necessarily tangles with some of the thornier ethical questions su My thanks to Audible for allowing me free access to this audio book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. This audio book is currently an Audible Exclusive.  True crime can be a touchy subject. What are the ethics of consuming someone else's tragedy as entertainment? Jensen's work and the way he works to essentially crowd-source murder investigations means that this book necessarily tangles with some of the thornier ethical questions surrounding true crime. The overall impression is of a man with deep respect for the wishes of families searching for answers about their loved ones; there is no hint of voyeurism or sensationalism.  Chase Darkness with Me explores Jensen's early work as a journalist, working at the beck and call of news organizations and being told what to cover. After experiencing the shame and discomfort of being pressed to pester a grieving family for an interview, he decided to do things his own way, which would not involve sitting idly on the sidelines. Jensen began digging into unsolved crimes, using social media ads to blast targeted areas with surveillance footage, sketches of suspects, or whatever else he had to work with.  The method is simple but effective. Jensen walks the listener through the twists and turns of the cases he was able to help solve with the aid of the public and social media.  Michelle McNamara, author of I'll be Gone in the Dark and friend of Billy Jensen, also plays a role in this book. Jensen was one of the writers who helped to complete I'll be Gone in the Dark from Michelle's notes after her sudden death in 2016. Chase Darkness with Me touches on Jensen's friendship with Michelle and his efforts to ensure that her tireless research into the then unsolved case of the Golden State Killer was not wasted. Michelle McNamara unfortunately passed away before police ever made an arrest in the case, but Jensen was able to see his friend's work come to fruition in 2018 with the arrest of James DeAngelo. (The official stance of police is that Michelle's book did not have an impact on the case, but Jensen and many of Michelle's fans have their doubts.)  The book is as much a call to action as it is storytelling, with an addendum outlining the do's and don'ts for readers who may want to do investigative work of their own. Jensen's rules place the wishes of the victims' families at the forefront and also emphasize the importance of backing off when police have a suspect in their sights; the last thing anyone investigating a crime wants to do is give the culprit a heads-up that they're being watched closely and cause them to run. While extra-judicial investigative work is necessarily controversial, Jensen clearly adheres to a strict set of guidelines which maximize his chance of being an asset rather than a liability.  Chase Darkness with Me is true crime at its best, told with utmost care and compassion for the victims of each case. It's not true crime writing in the typical sense, as the author has inserted himself into these stories in a much more direct manner than most writers, but I think the writing is stronger for it. Each case is intensely personal to Jensen and this absolutely shines through in the final product. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, Jenna Bookish! Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

  20. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 So you want to solve murders huh? Well Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders by Billy Jensen will tell you how to do that! As a semi-recent Murderio I was very excited to see this book had a forward by Karen Kilgariff and I was even more excited to learn Jensen talks about a lot of the cases I have heard on My Favorite Murder. I had no idea he was involved in so many murder and missing persons cases, and he really has seen it all. He also discusse ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 So you want to solve murders huh? Well Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders by Billy Jensen will tell you how to do that! As a semi-recent Murderio I was very excited to see this book had a forward by Karen Kilgariff and I was even more excited to learn Jensen talks about a lot of the cases I have heard on My Favorite Murder. I had no idea he was involved in so many murder and missing persons cases, and he really has seen it all. He also discusses Michelle McNamara and the release of her book (which he helped with after her death) I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. I haven't read a whole lot of true crime yet, but after reading (listening to) Chase Darkness with Me, I am even more interested in it. I don't think I will be trying to solve murders like Jensen, but I definitely try to pay more attention to my surroundings, especially after I started listening to My Favorite Murder a few months back. It was fascinating to learn Jensen's progression from journalist to solver of murders, and I loved the humor he also infused into the book. A heavy topic like crime needs a little humor or how would we survive in this world... Song/s the book brought to mind: Tangled by Maroon 5 Final Thought: I think that true crime fans will really enjoy Chase Darkness with Me and I highly recommend listening to the audio which is an Audible Original. I really enjoyed listening to Jensen talk and he made for an excellent narrator. He is extremely honest in his viewpoints and even though I didn't necessarily agree with all of them, I can appreciate everything he said. This is a gripping book that will have you glued to the pages (or audio?!) and I wish I could give it more than 5 stars!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    self-aggrandizing mediocre drivel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tooter

    3.5 stars rounded to 4.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I dithered about the rating. This wasn't a bad book, but it definitely starts to drag around the 60 percent mark. I think if Jensen had followed the conclusion to the cases he introduces readers to through and moved on to another case it would have worked better. Instead the book starts off trying to do that, and then it goes into how he meets Michelle McNamara and her quest to find the Golden State Killer. And from there the book focuses on her death and it jumps around a lot to Jensen talking I dithered about the rating. This wasn't a bad book, but it definitely starts to drag around the 60 percent mark. I think if Jensen had followed the conclusion to the cases he introduces readers to through and moved on to another case it would have worked better. Instead the book starts off trying to do that, and then it goes into how he meets Michelle McNamara and her quest to find the Golden State Killer. And from there the book focuses on her death and it jumps around a lot to Jensen talking about a case and then Michelle or a case and the Golden State Killer. Then the last portion is focused on Citizen Detectives and I hard cringed about it. I don't know. Jensen seems adamant that he does not expect to be praised by law enforcement and he does the things he is doing to help the families of murder victims, but then at other times in the book you can "see" his frustration with law enforcement not looping him in on things or not giving credit to Michelle McNamara. I think I would compare this book more to a journal where he is getting all of his feelings out about a whole host of subjects. "Chase Darkness With Me" is a memoir written by Billy Jensen that shows how he became invested in true crime cases and why he started to report and then help investigate them. I think some True Crime readers and podcast followers recognize his name. I only became aware of him when I read Michelle McNamara's book and I knew he was one of the people who helped finish her book after her death. I have tried to get into podcasts here and there on True Crime, but honestly the only one that I like these days is "Murder Minute." I don't like to listen to Stay Sexy Don't Get Murdered because it definitely got too big for me to stay into it anymore. Most of the show seems to be the hosts trying out their comedy routine with each other and the victims in the story don't feel important. I love Murder Minute since they walk you through current murders in the U.S. and then into their topic of the day. I tried to listen to Mr. Jensen and Mr. Paul Holes's podcast but I could not get into it. So first off Jensen seems like a nice guy, but his writing I found to be all over the place. I think the first part of the book with him showing us how his father got him into true crime was really good. And then we get to see his first case he got involved with that I even know about (Howard B. Elkins murdered a woman he was having an affair with, Reyna Angélica Marroquín who was pregnant at the time). From there Jensen just jumps around in his narrative and tries to provide us information about cases that have stayed with him. I honestly think the book could have cut out how he used social media to track down suspected murderers. He explained it once to readers and we didn't need to read it every time. And then at times he seems to want praise for spending his own money on this and then frustrated when he doesn't hear back from the police right away. I don't know, this memoir was weird for me. I get his frustrations. When he explains the number of unsolved murders in the United States and how many more get added on every year i shook my head. I mean I knew just on talking to my friends in law enforcement how many murders are not solved without a confession or a killer whose DNA is already in the system. I don't know if Citizen Detectives are the answer though. I joke about "Black Twitter" tracking down people, but I caution people doing that on a day to day basis. Especially after Twitter people wrongly identified a man as the one who assaulted two children this past weekend. The wrongly identified man ended up getting death threats over it. Social media is very powerful as we have seen over the past few weeks, but I think everyone has to be careful how they use it. And when Jensen tries to go into the Golden State Killer case I just got totally lost. I already read McNamara's book so it didn't really need to be included here as well, except I guess to show how it affected him and others involved in the True Crime business. The book ends on tips to be a citizen detective and I had a flashback to when at the end of G.I. Joe cartoons they always did a PSA to the kids watching and ended on Go Joe. It just didn't add much to the book for me and I really don't know about a bunch of untrained people running around trying to solve crimes. Jensen tries to show positive and negative outcomes to these detectives, but I was left baffled in the end.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    3 to 3.5 stars?? I’m very conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I read it cover to cover as quickly as I could. On the other hand, there were a bunch of things that bothered me about it. The author was one of the people responsible for getting Michelle McNamara’s book I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer finished and ready for publication. And I appreciate that, because I loved that book. Jensen admits that he’s not the writer that McNamara was 3 to 3.5 stars?? I’m very conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I read it cover to cover as quickly as I could. On the other hand, there were a bunch of things that bothered me about it. The author was one of the people responsible for getting Michelle McNamara’s book I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer finished and ready for publication. And I appreciate that, because I loved that book. Jensen admits that he’s not the writer that McNamara was and I’d agree with him on that assessment. Here’s one of my issues--he tries to keep so many balls in the air, juggling a variety of crimes, like some ADD true crime addict. I can’t help but speculate that he would do more conspicuous good if he’d limit himself a bit and concentrate on one or two cases at a time. Another thing that bugs me: what his wife and family have to put up with, i.e. what seems like a lot of absence and neglect. They must be very forgiving people, because I don’t think I’d put up with it. I don’t think that this is someone to be taking life advice from, not if you value your relationships anyway. There’s absolutely no doubt that there are a plethora of true crime podcasts, radio shows, and books in the market right now and that more and more people are attempting to make their mark by solving cold cases. What I truly did appreciate was the chapter on how to conduct yourself should you choose to follow in their footsteps. Advice to be professional, not using people’s names in public forums like Facebook and Twitter when they are leads or suspects, not doxxing your competitors, and in general being polite and staying as neutral as possible. If you are going to do this, do it the right way and don’t be an internet troll. Think carefully about it, as this isn’t just a hobby, it has the potential to ruin people’s lives if you come to the wrong conclusions. Although I can’t say that I’m not intrigued by this phenomenon, I do recognize that I don’t have the obsessive nature required to do a good job of these tasks. I think I will stick to family genealogy research and leave crime to those better suited to that pursuit. In the meanwhile, I’m enjoying the modern take on the true crime book. If you enjoyed this book, I would highly recommend I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer and True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself in the Mysterious Disappearance of Maura Murray.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    “The answer to give when someone asks you why you like hearing about real-life murders. It’s the comfort of watching everything be put in its place after an episode of outright, sickening bedlam. True crime satisfies the same urge as watching blackhead-popping videos: there is a foreign element in an otherwise perfect environment, and it must be removed. Then everything resets to normal.” Oh how I love a good true crime book!! These quotes SPOKE TO ME. I’ll be honest....I have never heard of B “The answer to give when someone asks you why you like hearing about real-life murders. It’s the comfort of watching everything be put in its place after an episode of outright, sickening bedlam. True crime satisfies the same urge as watching blackhead-popping videos: there is a foreign element in an otherwise perfect environment, and it must be removed. Then everything resets to normal.” Oh how I love a good true crime book!! These quotes SPOKE TO ME. I’ll be honest....I have never heard of Billy Jensen. BUT I have now and am so impressed by his diligence in solving the unsolvable!! I went into this book BLIND. I had no idea Billy Jensen and Michelle McNamara penchants for crime sleuthing brought them together! (Solely in work). They were each others yin to the others yang. They collaborated and were in touch almost daily up until Michelle’s untimely death. The inner guts of this book dealt quite a bit with familial DNA and the pros and cons. The genealogy sites were adamant about NOT helping law enforcement at the time. But, there were loopholes that would keep the companies none the wiser....and this loophole was how Joseph DeAngelo was caught. The question kept getting presented “are we invading privacy? Are we breaking laws?” I was intrigued (to say the least!). The future holds much more opposition to this practice (it’s only natural when everyone wants to protect our rights). But, to catch the worst of the worst criminals.. the way this decades old case was solved—just by submitting a sample to a company— is something that needs to be recognized and determined how we move forward from here. The conclusion of this book is an excellent “how-to”— if you are one of those that feel like amateur sleuthing is in your cards! For me, I am definitely more “stand on the sidelines” and enjoy reading about all the incredible victims advocates out there helping families find closure. It is always rewarding to see an obscure case solved. I LOVED this book. Billy Jensen I am definitely a FAN. A little tip from me- READ Michelle McNamara’s book FIRST: I’ll Be Gone in The Dark Everything will come together perfectly then. Happy reading! 5-stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  26. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    I'm not chasing people. I'm chasing shadows, phantoms that flit in and out of a surveillance video. That's on a good night. On the other nights, I'm chasing darkness. I'm not a True Crime aficionado, but as the genre seems to be “having a moment” right now, I've been receiving quite a few True Crime ARCS; and as I do like keeping up with what's on trend, I keep reading them. All to say: I'm not the perfect audience for Billy Jensen's Chase Darkness With Me (I didn't even recognise the author' I'm not chasing people. I'm chasing shadows, phantoms that flit in and out of a surveillance video. That's on a good night. On the other nights, I'm chasing darkness. I'm not a True Crime aficionado, but as the genre seems to be “having a moment” right now, I've been receiving quite a few True Crime ARCS; and as I do like keeping up with what's on trend, I keep reading them. All to say: I'm not the perfect audience for Billy Jensen's Chase Darkness With Me (I didn't even recognise the author's name, although I've been told he's famous enough that I should have), but I do appreciate what makes this book different: Jensen has gone from working as a journalist covering crime stories to becoming an internet sleuth – successfully having assisted the police in tracking down cold case criminals and missing persons – and the closure that he provides satisfies both the demands of storytelling and of justice. However, while I admire the work Jensen does, I don't admire his writing style. This was not for me. (Note: I read an ARC and passages quoted may not be in their final forms.) “This is my job,” I said to myself, sitting up in bed. I'm the guy who finds the people who don't read the newspaper or watch the news anymore. I travel to where you now live. Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. As you're scrolling through Family Guy memes and pictures of your nephew's new baby, I'm the one interrupting your bliss with FRESNO GANG MEMBER'S HOT MUGSHOT GOES VIRAL, 32 MOST MEMORABLE JUGGALOS WE SAW AT THE GATHERING, or MOM CAUGHT ON CAMERA POISONING YOUNG SON TO DEATH IN HOSPITAL. I try to make it so irresistible that there is no way that you are not going to click on the link, come to the websites I work for, and see the story alongside the accompanying ads. The evisceration of newspapers forced me to create this particular set of skills for myself. This book starts off as a quite engrossing memoir (everything about Jensen's dad was fascinating), interestingly explains how Jensen developed his techniques for crowdsourced sleuthing, but right around the point where Jensen begins to describe working to finish I'll Be Gone in the Dark after the death of his friend Michelle McNamara – all while trying to solve cold cases and attempting to develop his ideas into a television show – the story becomes repetitive, overwrought, and dull. As inherently interesting as the material might be, Jensen doesn't seem to have the writing skills to pull this off. Are you ready to follow the trail of one of the most sadistic serial killers the world never knew it produced? The man who would sidle up to a mother and children, molest the children, kill the mother, use the children to lure another set of mother and children into his web, then kill the first children and start the whole wicked cycle all over again until he “marries” a woman in a Star Trek-wedding ceremony, kills her, and buries her body under a 250-pound pile of kitty litter? Again, I admire the fact that Jensen's unpaid and often unacknowledged amateur investigations have led to the capture of bad guys and the identification of long-unnamed remains of victims, but I do question the appropriateness of the last section of this book, in which Jensen lays out his rules and techniques for readers to begin their own cold case investigations. It's undeniably disheartening to read of the number of unsolved homicides there are in the U.S., the tens of thousands of untested rape kits, all that DNA waiting to be uploaded and cross-matched, all those grainy CCTV videos waiting to be put in front of the one person who might identify the perp. And while a lack of funds and manpower is the understandable defense of overworked police departments, I truly wonder at the implications of an army of amateurs flooding them with questionable tips and leads. As the title proclaims, Jensen wants the reader to chase darkness with him, and I'm a little horrified at the thought. But then again, I'm not the perfect audience for this read; if only it had been better written. Three stars is a rounding up.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janelle Janson

    I became a Murderino the minute I heard my first episode of My Favorite Murder. In their podcast, Hardstark and Kilgariff talked extensively about the Golden State Killer and Michelle McNamara’s I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK. And this is how I heard about Billy Jensen. I went to see Patton Oswalt, Billy Jensen, and Paul Haynes at my local Barnes and Noble during the book tour and it was awesome. So of course, as soon as I saw Jensen’s CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME was coming, I HAD TO HAVE IT. Even better, I became a Murderino the minute I heard my first episode of My Favorite Murder. In their podcast, Hardstark and Kilgariff talked extensively about the Golden State Killer and Michelle McNamara’s I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK. And this is how I heard about Billy Jensen. I went to see Patton Oswalt, Billy Jensen, and Paul Haynes at my local Barnes and Noble during the book tour and it was awesome. So of course, as soon as I saw Jensen’s CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME was coming, I HAD TO HAVE IT. Even better, I was able to listen to the audiobook where Jensen narrates it himself. I was mesmerized by Jensen’s story and the premise. It’s not your typical true crime book, but more of an autobiographical story of a crime investigative journalist, a person who empathizes with the victim’s families, not focusing on the salacious details. Jensen describes how from an early age he was fascinated by crime and the injustice that can often happen. His father would tell him stories from the news or his past that fueled his passion and curiosity, which has continued throughout his life. As I listened, I fully realized how much Jensen loves, admires, and attributes to his dad - it put a smile on my face. As we move forward, we learn about crimes that have stuck with him over the years with first hand details of what happened. He discusses cases that escape media attention as well as unsolved cases such as Marques Gaines, the Golden State Killer, and the Allenstown Four. It is his passion for solving the unsolvable that led him to Michelle McNamara. After McNamara’s tragic passing, he worked tirelessly with Paul Haynes and Patton Oswalt to finish her book for publication. I, for one, firmly believe that McNamara’s I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK helped solve the case. Jensen became a citizen detective to assist the police in solving cold cases. Law enforcement are understaffed and often outsource for information and Jensen talks at length about his innovative use of social media for crowdsourcing. He also delves into DNA testing companies’ role in solving crimes we otherwise may not be able to solve. At the very end, he goes through the “how-to” of safely becoming a citizen detective which I found helpful. Jensen’s drive, passion, insight, authenticity, and honesty shines through every page of CHASE DARKNESS WITH ME.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    CW: descriptions of murders Billy Jensen is definitely a hero to me. When I read this book, I kept talking about what he was doing to my half-interested parents. (They're not that into true crime, sadly.) How he helps solve crimes by geotargeting ads so people in that location near the crime, who may have seen something they didn't know was important, would be able to give tips. I first heard about Billy from My Favorite Murder. I remember hearing him talk about what he does. Then I read I’ll Be Go CW: descriptions of murders Billy Jensen is definitely a hero to me. When I read this book, I kept talking about what he was doing to my half-interested parents. (They're not that into true crime, sadly.) How he helps solve crimes by geotargeting ads so people in that location near the crime, who may have seen something they didn't know was important, would be able to give tips. I first heard about Billy from My Favorite Murder. I remember hearing him talk about what he does. Then I read I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which I thought was a pretty average true crime book, but has grown on me as I think about the legacy it's created. Michelle helped catch the Golden State Killer. She created her legacy by inspiring so many people to help with cold cases that they took an interest in. And it's heartbreaking that she wasn't around to do it. Now all of these people who worked with her are coming to talk about what they do, Billy included. I loved reading about the cases he worked and just how passionate he is. Didn't matter what time or day it was. He was constantly working to help families get closure about what happened. I think that's so admirable. And he's so right in his addendum about this. It will become time-consuming because you won't want to rest because the family can't rest. Your relationships will suffer because of that, so you have to find really awesome people who accept this. In my own life, I equate that to social work. There are definite boundaries in social work but you still get involved. I still think about past patients they had and hope that they're doing okay. Social work can be life-consuming because there's such a great need for it and not enough services for those people who need it. And if you're not careful, it will be a 24/7 job and you still won't be able to help everyone you want to. The cases he covered were more unknown than known for me. I don't watch Crime Watch Daily, so I don't really see all the little cases that they cover that, perhaps, aren't as well-covered as others. I liked being able to see the cases and read about all the ones that slip through our fingers because they just weren't interesting enough to last longer than a news cycle or two. I think that the only con for this was that it didn't draw me in as much as I wanted. I loved that he started with his childhood and how his father inspired him, but it took me a while to really get into the story. I think that whenever I reread it -- because I'm sure that I will -- I'll pick up on the things that I missed during this first read. Overall, a really good true crime story that covers cases most of us aren't familiar with and talks about how we can all use technology to help solve cold cases.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    This book was just ok. It could’ve been a lot shorter and lacked a clear structure that flowed. I think Billy seems cool, but I didn’t feel connected to him at all. I love true crime and I wanted more of it. The writing is fine but didn’t impress me. If the book had been tighter I would’ve liked it more and it wouldn’t have felt redundant. There were some interesting parts but not enough to get me into this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    "I'm not chasing people. I'm chasing shadows, phantoms that flit in and out of surveillance video. That's on a good night. On the other nights, I'm chasing darkness." I was introduced to Billy Jensen while catching up on the podcast, My Favorite Murder, which in turn introduced me to his podcast The Murder Squad. I found this book while scanning the shelves at my favorite bookstore and had to scoop it up. All those events luckily led to me being sooo happy I picked this book up! Jensen is a great "I'm not chasing people. I'm chasing shadows, phantoms that flit in and out of surveillance video. That's on a good night. On the other nights, I'm chasing darkness." I was introduced to Billy Jensen while catching up on the podcast, My Favorite Murder, which in turn introduced me to his podcast The Murder Squad. I found this book while scanning the shelves at my favorite bookstore and had to scoop it up. All those events luckily led to me being sooo happy I picked this book up! Jensen is a great writer and advocate for justice, this book is the ultimate call to action for those who love true crime and want to help find answers. It's truly inspiring to see what the future of crime solving may indeed look like!

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