“Chase Darkness with Me” and Agatha

After 15 years as a journalist investigating unsolved murders, Billy Jensen had enough. He wanted to make a difference; he wanted to catch killers. Using a targeted social media approach, Jensen creates a framework for citizen detectives to help step in when the case gets cold, and the cops have given up.

“People read and watch and listen to true crime because it restores order from chaos.”

I first learned of Billy Jensen after he helped finish Michelle McNamara’s magnum opus “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” after her death. In Jensen’s book you get to meet Michelle in the midst of her journey to catch the Golden State Killer. You get to hear Billy and Michelle as they obsess over true crime, and how cold cases can be solved and killers caught. And after Michelle’s death, Billy pushes himself even harder. “Chase Darkness with Me” is full of highs and lows, thrills and heartbreak as he investigates murderers, searches for missing people, and looks for answers.

“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.”

I got to meet Billy Jensen last fall at a book signing for “Chase Darkness with Me.” It was a great talk and I was happy to leave with a signed copy.

Agatha enjoyed it too.

I was hesitant to publish this review, in fact it’s a week later than I had planned but in the midst of protests and police brutality and racial inequality, I wasn’t sure if this book was a good choice for right now. Billy Jensen works with cops everyday and until a couple days ago, I wasn’t sure where he stood. But he recently tweeted, “I used to use the terms “good cops” and “bad cops.” That stops now. And because I have to interact with cops on an almost daily basis, this might make my job a lot harder. But things need to change. They need to change RIGHT NOW.”

It is time for great change, for systemic change, and honestly one of the things I loved most about “Chase Darkness with Me” is that regular people can make a difference. Armchair detectives can change the number of unsolved crimes; they can make a difference and bring closure and justice to families and friends of the nearly 5,000 murders that go unsolved every year. We can all be part of the solution.

I was inspired by Billy Jensen’s coffee meetings with Michelle McNamara and could imagine them discussing the Golden State Killer over coffee and donuts. My personal favorite donut is blueberry so of course that’s what I made. Here’s the link to the recipe I used. I will say these were very messy and I needed a lot more flour than it called for. I’d suggest chopping the blueberries so you can adjust the dry ingredients to match the wet of the blueberries. When I rolled out the dough, the blueberries would pop and the dough became wet and sticky and really unmanageable. After making 10 donuts, I used the remnants to make donut holes because it was much easier to handle. The donuts were very yummy, but I think I prefer the fake blueberry flavor of the donut shops over the actual fruit in the donut. But what can I say, I’m a weirdo.

Glazed Blueberry Cake Donuts


2 ¼ c all-purpose flour

1/3 c sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

½ c lowfat milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ c fresh blueberries

oil for frying (about 1 quart)


2 cups powdered sugar

3-4 Tbs water (or more as needed to make dippable consistency

1 drop of vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, stirring to combine. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla extract, mixing together. Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, quickly stirring to disperse the butter and from small crumbs. Stir in milk and egg mixture, bring the dough together with a spoon.

Before it comes completely together, add in blueberries, mashing some as you go along if desired and bring dough together with your hands. (This is where I ended up using more flour to make it come together enough to handle.) Form it into a large ball, then roll it out on a floured surface to about ½ inch thickness. Cut donuts using a donut cutter, a biscuit cutter, or even a knife, using a small lid to cut out the center. Repeat with dough scraps until all the dough is used.

Whisk ingredients for glaze together until smooth and runny. If it seems too thin, add more sugar a little at a time, if it’s too thick add more water a little at a time, whisking constantly.

Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer, bringing it to 375°. Fry donuts 1-2 at a time, frying for about 1 ½-2 minutes per side. After your first donut, check it by cutting into the center and making sure the dough is cooked through. Finish remaining donuts, then dip the entire thing in glaze and let sit to cool before serving.

Published by Aprile

An passionate reader, amateur baker, aspiring writer, and professional cat lady.

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