|It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I wasn’t alone, that I wasn’t weird for being incredibly intrigued by true crime. Billy says we all have an origin story. That if you think about it for a minute, you just might realize what first got you interested in crime. For me, it was Silence of the Lambs. I wanted to be Jodie Foster so, so bad. Then there was the OJ trial. I remember watching the chase in my basement, the trial after that. Then there were the crime novels and then a book called “The Most Infamous Serial Killers in History” that I found at a bookstore. There was the family member/detective that would share old police reports with me. I would go over those like Indiana Jones with a treasure map. I went to school for criminology and criminal justice. I wanted to investigate, I wanted to profile. I wanted to catch the bad guy. Then CSI made everything cool and jobs scarce and I got married and had kids.
It wasn’t until years later, after I packed my killer books away because my husband said it probably wasn’t appropriate for our girls to see them, after I started working again after being a stay at home mom, that I met Sarah. Through Sarah, I found sort of a kindred spirit. “How have you not heard of My Favorite Murder?!” she asked one day after we stumbled upon the realization that we both loved true crime. From Sarah, I found Karen and Georgia. From Karen and Georgia, I found Michelle McNamara and others like me. We are called ‘murderinos’. Through them and Karen and Georgia, I found Billy.
Billy Jensen’s Chase Darkness with Me is an ode to true crimerinos everywhere. We’re no longer the weird ones. The ones who have a weird affinity for death and crime. We’re the ones who want answers. We’re the ones who might just find those answers. We’re Batman. Chase Darkness with Me is Billy’s journey to what he’s doing now. He talks about the late nights, how social media is changing the way crimes are solved, how people like you and me and him are starting to make a difference. He even lets you in on his relationship with his dad. I feel like that’s an honor in and of itself.
Not only does Billy go over his journey, he talks a lot about Michelle and finishing her journey. What it was like when The Golden State Killer, the moniker she penned for the monster, was finally apprehended, found completely clueless with a roast in the oven. All thanks to familial DNA and Michelle’s tenacity.
He talks you through what to do if you want to do what he does. If you want to become a hunter. If you want to help solve crime. He talks of what mistakes to avoid, best practices to use. He makes so many damn good points that I want to highlight them all for you.
Reading Chase Darkness with Me is like being let into a club you didn’t know existed. You feel Billy’s highs, his excitement, you feel his disappointment and his losses. And all of these cases are real. Some still ongoing, some having been solved. Billy is now in partnership with Paul Holes (who once said that Michelle was like his partner) in a podcast called The Murder Squad: Jenson and Holes. While I still haven’t yet listened to every MFM episode (sorry!), Jenson and Holes has been added to my playlist.
If you like true crime, this book is 150% for you. You will love it, highlight it, read it again, and cherish it. It’s a book for us. Thanks for writing it, Billy.
I received a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own.