Third Place Books welcomes famed cold case investigator Paul Holes for a presentation of his memoir, Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases, an intimate story of solving crime and bringing closure to families who long thought such a thing impossible. As the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "Fans of true crime will love every page of Unmasked. It is a wildly engaging and painfully honest read that will appeal to anyone curious about the lives of those who pursue justice for voiceless victims."
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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 this 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. This 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.
"[Paul Holes's] memoir grabs its reader in a stranglehold and proves more fascinating than fiction and darker than any noir narrative."
—Los Angeles Magazine
"Fans of true crime will love every page of Unmasked. It is a wildly engaging and painfully honest read that will appeal to anyone curious about the lives of those who pursue justice for voiceless victims."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"An exceptional memoir. . .his unflinching look at the emotional toll the more than 27 years he spent working in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area took on him and his family distinguishes this from similar true crime narratives."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"True-crime superstar Holes takes readers on a gripping journey into the mind of a cold-case detective. . .a thoughtful yet fast-paced and absorbing amalgamation of personal memoir and true-crime novel. Crime junkies and nonfiction fans will clamor to get their hands on this book."
Paul Holes retired as a cold case investigator after spending over 27 years working for the Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices during his tenure in Contra Costa County located in the Bay Area, California. Having experience in both forensic and investigative assignments, Paul throughout his career specialized in cold case and serial predator crimes, developing and applying investigative, behavioral, and forensic expertise in notable cases such as the Golden State Killer and Jaycee Dugard. Paul is frequently sought out by investigators to consult on the most complex and high profile cases and has played a part in putting several serial predators on Death Row such as Darryl Kemp, Joseph Naso, and Joseph Cordova Jr.
As an FBI Task Force Officer while employed with the DA’s Office, Paul teamed with FBI and Sacramento DA personnel to apply innovative technology that identified Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer. Since the arrest of DeAngelo, Paul has been very involved on the media side continuing to assist law enforcement and victim’s families with their unsolved cases, through the television shows The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes and America’s Most Wanted, and with the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad. (Photo credit: Steve Babuljak)
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