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For a decade, The Golden State Killer stalked and murdered Californians in the dead of night, leaving entire communities afraid to turn out the lights. The sadistic predator disappeared in 1986, hiding in plain sight for the next thirty years in middle-class suburbia. In 1994, when cold case investigator Paul Holes came across the old file, he swore he would unmask the Golden State Killer and finally give these families some closure. Twenty-four years later, Holes fulfilled that promise, identifying a 73-year-old former cop named Joseph J. DeAngelo. Headlines blasted from the U.S. to Europe: one of America’s most prolific serial killers was in custody.
That case launched Holes’s career into the stratosphere, turning him into an icon in the true crime world with television shows like The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes and America’s Most Wanted, and with the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad. Everyone knows Paul Holes, the gifted crime solver with a big heart and charming smile who finally caught the Golden State Killer. But until now, no one has known the man behind it all, the person beneath the flashy cases and brilliant investigations.
In his new memoir, Holes takes us through his memories of a storied career and provides an insider account of some of the most notorious cases in contemporary American history, including the hunt for the Golden State Killer, Laci Peterson’s murder, and Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapping. This is also a revelatory profile of a complex man and what makes him tick: the drive to find closure for victims and their loved ones, the inability to walk away from a challenge—even at the expense of his own happiness. Holes opens up the most intimate scenes of his life: his moments of self-doubt and the impact that detective work has had on his marriage.
Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases is a story about the gritty truth of crime-solving when there are no flashbulbs and “case closed” headlines. It is the story of a man and his commitment to cases and people who might have otherwise been forgotten.