Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen is a fascinating tale about the path of a true-crime writer and how he began to help authorities and the family members of victims solve cases using social media.
I’m a huge fan of the Jensen and Holes podcast. When Billy announced that he had a book coming out, I preordered a copy immediately!
This book was exactly what I was hoping for.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Chase Darkness With Me by Billy Jensen
Chase Darkness With Me is a must read for not only true crime fans, but people that are interested in learning more about how others become involved in solving cases.
The book focuses mainly on Billy and his path that lead him to where he is today. I had so much fun reading about his past and all of the situations he found himself in, even the difficult ones, as they packed in the most life-lessons.
I also enjoyed the tidbits that he threw in about his family as well as all of the nerdy elements that popped up, like talking about superheroes and Star Wars. It will never not be enjoyable to me to learn about things like this that my heroes are interested in!
This book doesn’t shy away from the darkness of various crimes. There were a few cases Billy wrote about that I had been aware of from my various murder-focused podcasts, but there were many more that I hadn’t heard about.
I was reading the book one day out on the deck of the house we just bought. It was a case that I was familiar with. Even so, just when it got to a reveal, an acorn fell off the tree above me and hit the deck. My bum left my chair… I was so captivated by the story and how Billy wrote it!
Each case was portrayed wonderfully. Billy treated each with respect. In fact, that was one of my biggest takeaways from this read- just how much respect Billy always showed in whatever situation he was in. Toward the end of the book, he outlined his rules for others that want to start helping to solve crimes. But all of that can be summed up with this awesome quote:
“… the rules you should be living by every day: Be kind. Be true. Don’t be an ass. Use your head.”– Billy Jensen
While reading this book, I learned that Billy helped to finish Michelle McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, when she passed away. Amazing! And as I’m sure many readers have said, thank you, Billy, for bringing her book into the world! And readers, if you haven’t yet read her book, I highly recommend snagging a copy ASAP!
My Favorite Passages from Chase Darkness With Me
In the newspaper, people read the story to the end. But in Siwiak’s story, there was no end. It was my first of a thousand dances with the guy who got away with it.
No matter what is thrown in your way, you keep moving forward.
There were also a few of the racist and just-want-to-watch-the-world-burn comments that seem to come with most every story about a crime posted on Facebook. I won’t repeat them, but let’s just say proper spelling and grammar are kryptonite to racists.
Everyone has someone who thinks of them as their starshine.
It’s hard not to see the world in good and evil colors when all your heroes wear capes or carry lightsabers. Baked within us is the ability to identify the villain within five minutes of watching a Disney movie. But the grainy, fleeting image you chase is every shade of gray.
I’m not chasing people. I’m chasing shadows, phantoms that flit in and out of a surveillance video. That’s on a good night. On the other nights, I’m chasing darkness.
That evidence sitting in evidence lockers and old files is a bonfire of hope, burning ridiculously bring now that familial DNA matches are in play. The needles in the haystack are now buzzing, glowing, bouncing up and down, screaming to be found. We just have to look for them using these new tools.
…the rules you should be living by every day: Be kind. Be true. Don’t be an ass. Use your head.
My Final Thoughts on Chase Darkness With Me
Wonderfully written, perfectly organized, and very interesting; this is a book I cannot recommend enough to true crime fans.
Go snag a copy today!
Snag a copy through Bookshop to help support local indie bookshops:
Thanks for reading!
If you read true crime, I would love some recommendations! Let me know the titles of some you enjoyed in the comments below!