“There’s a scream permanently lodged in my throat.”
Premiered on June 28, 2020, on HBO, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark is an American true crime documentary series directed by Liz Garbus, Elizabeth Wolff, Josh Koury, and Myles Kane. It revolves around Michelle McNamara as she writes a book about and investigates the Golden State Killer, more often known as EAR/ONS (East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker.)
Episode 02: Review
“I just didn’t want him to see my body“ – EAR/ONS Survivor
As the title says I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, the EAR (East Area Rapist,) was also lost in the dark always, something so close and yet so far! In the second episode of I’ll Be Gone in The Dark, McNamara talks about a gut-wrenching crime in her neighbourhood during her childhood, that made her interested in crimes overall – The Kathy Lombardo murder case.
It focuses on the very prevalent issue of victim shaming – What was she wearing? Was she beautiful? Why was she out at night? And how, back in the ’70s, sexual assault was like any small crime. It’s horrifying.
EAR/ONS had weird and disturbing habits. After 50 rapes and 12 murders, he was still unreachable, and I cannot even imagine the sheer horror each and every woman of Sacramento went through. Other rapists like The Stinky Rapist, Car Key Rapist, and The Pillowcase Rapist also found a place in this episode following the EAR’s case.
EAR would hogtie the victim and his husband and would place plates and bowls over the man while he took the lady to another room to carry on with the heinous crime. One might wonder what could possibly be the purpose of the utensils – well, they allowed him to know if the husband made any move. Clever.
“He was just walking around the house like he owns it,” Linda O’Dell, Survivor #20, recalls, adding that her husband never knew how to process the trauma. “I don’t think a lot of men knew how to deal with it, to be honest.”
A survivor, in an interview, shared her story of surviving EAR’s, she recalled “We were just a piece of evidence in our own home,” she says. Once she returned home after visiting the hospital, she says, the place was a wreck and was covered in fingerprinting dust: “Everything felt contaminated in that house, and it never felt the same.”
To feel blamed and naked in the eyes of people irrespective of the fact that you are traumatized and in pain was something very common back in the ’70s.
McNamara’s insight for the case was the ultimate call for justice after all hopes were lost. Victims were quiet and no traces were found. She decided to look up for all the special items that he took from his victims on eBay and to her surprise, she did find it.
Was this the end of EAR/ONS?
Read Michelle McNamara’s blog TrueCrimeDiary which is live till day.
Read I’ll Be Gone In The Wind, Episode 01 Review here.
Watch episode 2 here.