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Killer Book Club

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Join us for Virtual True Crime Book Club. We meet first Thursdays. 

Our June meeting of our Virtual True Crime Book Club will be on June 2nd at 7PM PST

We will discuss Unmasked by Paul Holes.

From the detective who found The Golden State Killer, a memoir of investigating America’s toughest cold cases and the rewards--and toll--of a life solving crime.

For a decade, The Golden State Killer stalked and murdered Californians in the dead of night, leaving entire communities afraid to turn out the lights. The sadistic predator disappeared in 1986, hiding in plain sight for the next thirty years in middle class suburbia. In 1994, when cold case investigator Paul Holes came across the old file, he swore he would unmask the Golden State Killer and finally give these families some closure. Twenty four years later, Holes fulfilled that promise, identifying a 73-year-old former cop named Joseph J. DeAngelo. Headlines blasted from the U.S. to Europe: one of America’s most prolific serial killers was in custody.

That case launched Holes's career into the stratosphere, turning him into an icon in the true crime world with television shows like The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes and America's Most Wanted, and with the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad. Everyone knows Paul Holes, the gifted crime solver with a big heart and charming smile who finally caught the Golden State Killer. But until now, no one has known the man behind it all, the person beneath the flashy cases and brilliant investigations.

In this memoir, Holes takes us through his memories of a storied career and provides an insider account of some of the most notorious cases in contemporary American history, including the hunt for the Golden State Killer, Laci Peterson's murder and Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping. This is also a revelatory profile of a complex man and what makes him tick: the drive to find closure for victims and their loved ones, the inability to walk away from a challenge--even at the expense of his own happiness. Holes opens up the most intimate scenes of his life: his moments of self-doubt and the impact that detective work has had on his marriage. This is a story about the gritty truth of crime solving when there are no flashbulbs and “case closed” headlines. It is the story of a man and his commitment to cases and people who might have otherwise been forgotten.

 

 

Join us for Virtual True Crime Book Club. We meet first Thursdays. 

Our July meeting of our Virtual True Crime Book Club will be on July 7th at 7PM PST

We will discuss Trailed by Kathryn Miles.

“​Trailed is a beautifully written account of a great American tragedy—the unsolved murders of an undetermined number of young women, all by the same serial killer, who got away. The truth is still buried. I couldn’t put it down.”
—John Grisham, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A riveting deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness, a journalist's obsession—and a new theory of who might have done it

In May 1996, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were brutally murdered while backpacking in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, adjacent to the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The young women were skilled backcountry leaders and they had met—and fallen in love—the previous summer, while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. But despite an extensive joint investigation by the FBI, the Virginia police, and National Park Service experts, the case remained unsolved for years.

In early 2002 and in response to mounting political pressure, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he would be seeking the death penalty against Darrell David Rice—already in prison for assaulting another woman—in the first capital case tried under new, post-9/11 federal hate crime legislation. But two years later, the Department of Justice quietly suspended its case against Rice, and the investigation has since grown cold. Did prosecutors have the right person?

Journalist Kathryn Miles was a professor at Lollie Winans's wilderness college in Maine when the 2002 indictment was announced. On the 20th anniversary of the murder, she began looking into the lives of these adventurous women—whose loss continued to haunt all who had encountered them—along with the murder investigation and subsequent case against Rice. As she dives deeper into the case, winning the trust of the victims’ loved ones as well as investigators and gaining access to key documents, Miles becomes increasingly obsessed with the loss of the generous and free-spirited Lollie and Julie, who were just on the brink of adulthood, and at the same time she discovers evidence of cover-ups, incompetence, and crime-scene sloppiness that seemed part of a larger problem in America’s pursuit of justice in national parks. She also becomes convinced of Rice’s innocence, and zeroes in on a different likely suspect.

Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders  is a riveting, eye-opening, and heartbreaking work, offering a braided narrative about two remarkable women who were murdered doing what they most loved, the forensics of this cold case, and the surprising pervasiveness and long shadows cast by violence against women in the backcountry.

 

 



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Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you at a virtual book club soon!

 

PREVIOUS BOOK CLUB PICKS
Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt
BTK: The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door by Roy Wenzi
Billy Summers by Stephen King
John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster by Sam L. Amirante
The Doomsday Mother by John Glatt
When a Killer Calls by John Douglas & Mark Olshaker
Sandy Hook by Elizabeth Williamson