I Know Who You Are: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Ballantine Books
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Barbara Rae-Venter is a New Zealand-born American investigative genetic genealogist, biochemist, and retired patent attorney best known for her work helping the FBI and other investigators identify Joseph James DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego and later a law degree at the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Rae-Venter is a founder and the president of Firebird Forensics Group, a not-for-profit corporation. Her investigative work earned her a place on the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2019, and she was recognized by the journal Nature as one of "10 People Who Mattered in Science in 2018."


"Like a good crime writer, Ms. Rae-Venter has a gift for storytelling. She describes the Golden State investigation and other cases--their complications and vexations, dead ends and breakthroughs--with enviable clarity, suitable detail and a fine sense of pace. Her scientific explanations are concise and her revelations are dramatic. I Know Who You Are is a remarkably exciting book. . . . Her description of the obsessive zeal with which she sought this personification of evil echoes the dedication displayed by such fictional police detectives as California novelist Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch."--The Wall Street Journal

"A lucid and entertaining detective story . . . Rae-Venter is a scientist at heart, and driven by a scientist's particular, almost possessive hunger for knowledge."--Slate

"A gripping story tracing the hundreds of hours spent rifling through people's family ties to find killers and identify bodies."--Nature

"I Know Who You Are is a true-crime masterpiece written by a cold-case-cracking master. This page-turner takes readers inside the web of lies spun by the worst criminal minds and reveals the path to solving the country's most notorious crimes. It's an epic read and a searingly important story."--John Douglas, New York Times bestselling co-author of Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

"This book is an invaluable addition to the true-crime genre."--Maureen Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

"I Know Who You Are is a propulsive true-crime thriller that takes the reader deep inside the manhunt for one of the most terrifying serial killers in American history. Barbara Rae-Venter's admirable work as a DNA sleuth provided the searing heat that melted the coldest of cold cases."--Casey Sherman, New York Times bestselling author of Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod

"I Know Who You Are offers an immersive, compelling account of a revolution in crime-fighting from the woman who pioneered it. With urgency and insight, Barbara Rae-Venter tells the unlikely story of a retired patent attorney whose obsessive, scientific mind transformed her from a genealogical hobbyist into the who helped identify one of America's most notorious serial killers."--Libby Copeland, author of The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We

"A remarkable account . . . Rae-Venter makes the science accessible and delves into the controversy that forensic genealogy has engendered because of privacy concerns. . . . It's an eye-opening and thought-provoking contribution to the true crime genre."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fascinating true-crime reportage infused with cinematic suspense . . . It's also an examination of corrupted humanity gone haywire and the thrill and release of an abuser being brought to justice."--Kirkus Reviews