For true crime fans and the murderinos who love My Favorite Murder, Billy Jensen is probably a very familiar name to you. Jensen has been focused on investigating cold cases for an extended portion of his career as an investigative journalist. Chase Darkness with Me allows Jensen to share moments from his life that will have you captivated and in tears, both happy and sad. He is an engaging narrator and also a powerful storytelling. Whether you are familiar with Billy Jensen and his work or not, this true crime connected work is well worth a listen, especially for if you are a murderino.
When Billy Jensen met Michelle McNamara he worked with her on the creation of her bestselling novel, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Following her unexpected tragic death, Jensen was part of completing the book. This further evolved into guest appearances on the well known podcast, My Favorite Murder, and once Karen Kilgariff, who wrote and read the foreword to Chase Darkness with Me, and Georgia Hardstark created their Exactly Right podcast network, Jensen and fan favorite, Paul Holes, also famous for his work on the Golden State Killer case, released their own podcast through this network titled The Murder Squad. Chase Darkness with Me allows Jensen to share his path to becoming fascinated with cold cases, the cases he researched, and how he grew a friendship with McNamara that led to the growth of crowdsourcing investigations, citizen sleuths, and to her completed Golden State Killer book.
When I began listening to Chase Darkness with Me the inclusion of Karen Kilgariff made me feel as though I was sliding into the familiar waters of My Favorite Murder. The foreword is the perfect note to begin Billy Jensen’s story, which then switches over to his narration. I recently started listening to The Murder Squad and for a brief period I kept expecting Paul Holes to chime in, but while he doesn’t there are some elements of guest voices. While Jensen is the only narrator, he works to provide the others in his story with a slightly different tone or element of voice that makes it feel as though he is not always the only one there. He speaks warmly of his father and how through his passions, Jensen found himself captivated by crime. Outside of crimes and murders, he shares how he and his father were best friends and how special their bond was to him. This is one of the sections that definitely had me tearing up.
When Jensen moves into the topic of his friendship with Heather MacNamara he talks excitedly about their meetings, the work they did, and how they were working to create a citizen sleuth team to help solve crimes. The passion he exudes about their work is heartwarming and brings a light to the darkness that true crime often exudes. Chase Darkness with Me covers a variety of crimes, some of which you may know and some you may not, and acts not only as a memoir for Jensen, but also as a condensed true crime compendium. I highly recommend to those who are interested in cold cases and true crime. Even if you’ve never listened to the podcasts I’ve mentioned or read I’ll Be in Gone in the Dark, this can act as a the perfect gateway to expanding your true crime library.