How To Catch A Killer (Using The Crowds)

May 1, 2013

Credit Flickr user Vince Alongi

From 1976 to 1986, a violent criminal terrorized communities across California. He became known as the Golden State Killer, and was linked to at least 50 rapes and 10 murders. For years, his whereabouts were hazy.

Then, the writer Michelle McNamara started the blog True Crime Diary, where she and a community of fellow obsessives started piecing together clues that had long been passed over by authorities.

“I have come to really see these cold cases as kind of unloved children,” she says.

In this interview on The Story with Dick Gordon, McNamara says she became fascinated by crime at the age of 14, when a neighbor was violently killed. She says she has discovered she has a knack for remembering obscure details of crime stories, and that the work she’s done through her blog has been like crowd-sourcing cold cases.

Hear the conversation at The Story's site. Also in this show: contributor Roman Mars considers how architects allow and encourage space; and the man traveling the world to record the language of Jesus.