The one-year anniversary of Joseph James DeAngelo’s guilty plea as the Golden State Killer fast approaches. To mark the occasion, the dogged investigating efforts of true-crime blogger Michelle McNamara are being revisited by HBO following the revolutionary I’ll Be Gone In The Dark docuseries of 2020. Original series director Liz Garbus will be back to produce alongside Patton Oswalt (McNamara’s husband at the time of her death) and true-crime writers Paul Haynes and Billy Jensen (who helped piece together McNamara’s research into the book) for a special episode. The fresh installment might reflect upon the DeAngelo case to a slight degree (he was sentenced to 26 life terms for raping 50 women and killing 13 people in the process), but expect to see revelations about another case that informed McNamara’s writing from the very beginning.
That would be the 1984 death of Kathleen Lombardo in Oak Park, Illinois. She’d been fatally stabbed while walking near her apartment, and Michelle wrote in I’ll Be Gone In The Dark that the case sparked her initial interest (at age 14) in investigating murders. In fact, Michelle (who lived in Oak Park in the 1980s) visited the murder scene two days later and discovered pieces of a Walkman, which she believed belonged to Lombardo. She later revisited the scene in 2013, and the case remains unsolved to this day.
Here’s more information on the special episode from an HBO press release:
This episode brings shocking new revelations to light in the Lombardo case and features the late McNamara’s own research into the rape and murder, which led to her return to Oak Park in 2013 to investigate it on the ground, quickly finding inconsistencies in the police work. Featuring the late McNamara’s own archival research and voice recordings, and interviews with residents of present-day Oak Park, this episode highlights the trauma that persists when a crime goes unsolved, with McNamara’s work standing as a stark reminder of the importance of citizen sleuths who remain dogged in their search for the truth.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark returns for this special episode on June 21, and it will be available for streaming on HBO Max.