First Paul Holes Helped the Catch Notorious Golden State Killer, Now He's Writing a Memoir

Paul Holes, the detective known for aiding cold case investigations — including the one that led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer — will publish a memoir, Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases, on April 26th, 2022 via Celadon Books. 

The book will find Holes offering an inside look into the chilling investigations he’s worked on, including the Golden State Killer (real name Joseph DeAngelo), the murder of Laci Peterson, and the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard. Holes will also offer some insight into his own life as he writes about the forces that have driven his career and the personal sacrifices he’s had to make to pursue this kind of work. 

“My career has been simultaneously rewarding, frustrating, and traumatic as I worked to identify those predators that preyed on the innocent, hoping to make a difference for victims and their families,” Holes said in a statement. “Too often, I sacrificed my personal life — relationships, interests, fatherhood — in the obsessive hunt to catch murderers, most notably the Golden State Killer. By reflecting on the successes and failures in my career and personal life, I’ll show the gritty truth of detective work, and the tough decisions I’ve spent a lifetime grappling with in my pursuit of evil.”

Holes, who is now retired, spent nearly 30 years as an investigator based out of Contra Costa County in California’s Bay Area. He specialized in cold cases and serial predator crimes and was often at the forefront of applying new investigative, behavioral, and forensic techniques. His work on the Golden State Killer case is especially notable, as it relied on DNA evidence and databases established for genealogical research to identify DeAngelo. Last year, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and 13 kidnapping-related charges for crimes he committed in the Seventies and Eighties throughout California. 

While Holes no longer officially works in law enforcement, he remains active in tracking cold cases. In 2019, he and journalist Billy Jensen launched the podcast, The Murder Squad, with the aim of helping solve cold cases, while earlier this year he joined a reboot of America’s Most Wanted. 

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