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  • Unmasked

  • Crime Scenes, Cold Cases and My Hunt for the Golden State Killer
  • By: Paul Holes
  • Narrated by: Paul Holes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)

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Summary

From the detective who helped catch the Golden State Killer, a memoir about investigating America's toughest cold cases and the rewards—and toll—of a life spent solving crime.

For a decade, from 1973, the Golden State Killer stalked and murdered Californians in the dead of night, leaving entire communities afraid to turn off the lights. Then he vanished, and the case remained unsolved.

In 1994, when cold-case investigator Paul Holes came across the old file, he swore he would unmask GSK and finally give these families closure. Twenty-four years later, Holes fulfilled that promise, identifying 73-year-old Joseph J. DeAngelo. Headlines blasted around the world: one of America's most prolific serial killers had been caught.

That case launched Paul's career into the stratosphere, turning him into an icon in the true-crime world. But while many know the story of the capture of GSK, until now, no one has truly known the man behind it all.

In Unmasked, Paul 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 Laci Peterson's murder and Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping. But 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. This is a story about the gritty truth of crime solving when there are no 'case closed' headlines. It is the story of a man and his commitment to his cases, and to the people who might have otherwise been forgotten.

©2022 Paul Holes (P)2022 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about Unmasked

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If you're a Murder Squad fan, you'll love this

I'm a big true crime fan, and The Murder Squad is one of my favourite podcasts. I also loved the audio book of Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark, which is also about GSK and the hunt to find the killer. Paul takes a few chapters to settle into reading his own words aloud, but once he warmed up I was completely gripped by his story of how he became the world famous (retired) detective we all know and love today.

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great listen for all detective/true crime fans

loved it,and even though I knew the outcome of a lot of cases,it was exciting and thoughtful,touching and confronting, true super hero's,willing to look at the unimaginable

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Holes delivers more in another audiobook

Holes delivers more information on additional cases, and expands on the GSK case destabilising his life, the life of others and multiple marriages. Holes doesn’t take full responsibility for his own part in these problems. Holes doesn’t give enough information on other cases, circling back to them in the end almost as an afterthought, showing how GSK consumed him. Far from beating GSK, it appears Holes is another victim. Holes spends (in my opinion) too much time on GSK, a case already covered in depth in his audible exclusive GSK book (a fantastic listen). This is a great audiobook, but it’s clear Holes needs time, therapy and recovery to make another more balanced book on his career.

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Paul can't read.

I'm a big fan of Paul, but he needs to get someone else to read this book.

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Well written and read

I always feel somewhat shameful enjoying true stories of horrendous cruelty and suffering. I think what I get is relief when killers are caught, and perhaps some education on avoiding becoming a victim? idk

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Absolutely gripping and visceral

Superb story of a man so committed to justice for those who suffer unspeakable crimes and fear. Wonderful work to snare GSK and finally bring some closure to the very many victims. The narration from Paul is excellent and adds do much knowing it is his real true lived experience. Thank you for sharing your career and the punishing impact it has had on you and your family.

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Great criminal minds

We need more Paul Holes. His tenacity and obvious highly ethical approach really pays off. Feel bad that it came at great personal cost. I wish he was involved with the Delphi murders, that case is begging to be solved but unfortunately it doesn't look like a DNA case.

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Fantastic

I listen to Paul’s podcast with Billy - couldn’t wait for this book to come out - fantastic as expected!

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gripping from beginning to end

this is one of the best true crime books I've listened to, a really good balance between personal and professional life in the story, with fascinating insights into the GSK case. highly recommend!

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Amazing man, fascinating book.

An incredibly interesting book read by Paul Holes himself in his gorgeous, soporific voice. A hero of mine due to his intelligence, utter determination and self-effacing humanity - the book is a detailed account of his life hunting down some hideous criminals. The GSK story itself is one of the most fascinating serial killer cases I’ve studied - groundbreaking methods used to catch him. I hope Paul Holes’ life will be made into a film one day soon. Inspiring and brilliant - this book is everything I’d hoped it would be and more.