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A Devil in the Valley  By  cover art

A Devil in the Valley

By: Paul Holes,Peter McDonnell
Narrated by: Jim Clemente,Paul Holes
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Publisher's summary

This is a true story. In 1994, an aspiring young cold case investigator in California’s East Bay, Paul Holes, puts aside trying to solve the Golden State Killer case as he waits for science to catch up. Paul returns to an old file cabinet at the back of the forensic lab to look for another cold case he can work - something with DNA. He finds one. The 1978 murder of a married mother who went for a morning jog in a nearby park. The original investigators believed that a serial killer named Phillip Hughes was responsible; they just couldn’t prove it. But Hughes was headed to prison for three other local homicides, all because of an unexpected break in those cases. Without it, Hughes might have gotten away with everything. In the years since though, as Hughes sat in prison, so did his secrets. And now he’s coming up for parole. In a race against time, Paul commits to solving the 1978 cold case before Hughes is let out. The victim’s family needs an answer. And, if Paul can prove that Hughes is the killer, he’ll use it as leverage to force Hughes to confess to everything else he may have done. Little does Paul know, however, that the 1978 cold case he opens will take an unexpected turn, lead to other cases and killers he never knew about and haunt him for his entire career. It turns out that the small towns of Contra Costa County were home to a more sinister history than anyone had imagined. But the clues didn’t disappear. They just needed the right person, at the right time, to see them.
©Audible Originals, LLC 2021 (P)Audible Originals, LLC 2021

About the Creator and Performer

Paul Holes retired as a cold case investigator after spending over 27 years working for the Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices in Contra Costa County, California.
Paul has applied his expertise in forensics, investigations, and criminal behavior to solve cold cases and serial predator crimes. He's worked many notable cases, including the Golden State Killer, Zodiac Killer, and the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard. His work on an FBI Task Force and with the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office led to the use of an innovative forensic tool and identified Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer, the most prolific and cunning serial predator in US history.
Since DeAngelo's arrest, Paul frequently consults on complex and high profile cases. Through his work in the media, he also assists law enforcement and victims' families by bringing attention to unsolved cases. He is a co-author of the Audible Original Evil Has a Name, a host of The Murder Squad podcast, host of the TV series The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes, and an expert on the relaunch of America's Most Wanted.

About the Creator and Writer

Peter McDonnell is a creator and writer of The New York Times best seller Evil Has a Name, as well as Call Me God (selected as one of Audible’s Top 10 Listens of 2019), Shootout, Brooklyn North, and The Riddle of Emmon Bodfish. He was a producer of the 2020 Netflix documentary series Pandemic and the NBC documentary series The Forgotten West Memphis Three. McDonnell runs the audio department at XG Productions. He’s a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has an MFA from Oregon State University, where he also taught writing. A native of St. Louis, he lives in Los Angeles.

About the Writer

Mark Gantt is a writer, director, actor, and producer who co-created, co-wrote, and starred in Crackle's Streamy award-winning series, The Bannen Way. Originally from Stockton, California, he came from a law enforcement family and drew upon those experiences as part of the backstory for the title character in The Bannen Way. Gantt is fascinated with true crime and directed the Lifetime original film Murder In Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story. He's since written and directed four feature films for A&E and Lifetime and directed national campaigns for Nissan, GMC, Capital One, Kohls, and ESPN. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Brianne, and son, Davis.

About the Performer

Jim Clemente is a podcast host, writer, producer, and retired FBI agent and profiler. He is a host of the podcasts Real Crime Profile and Best Case Worst Case. For all 15 seasons of Criminal Minds, he was a technical adviser, then writer and producer for the TV drama. He is also the co-creator and co-writer of the Discovery limited series Manhunt: Unabomber, and wrote and produced on the upcoming HBO Max series Crime Farm. He is an executive producer of the new FOX series America’s Most Wanted, a co-author of the Audible Original series Call Me God and Evil Has a Name, and the author of the novel Without Consent. Before his writing and producing career, Clemente was a prosecutor for the New York City Law Department and then a supervisory special agent and profiler for the FBI with a focus on serial killers, child abductions, and other violent and serial crimes. He has investigated some of the highest-profile criminal cases in US history, including the Unabomber, JonBenet Ramsey, Amanda Knox, the DC snipers, 9/11 attacks, and many more.

XG Production Credits

Created by: Paul Holes, Peter McDonnell
Written by: Peter McDonnell, Paul Holes, Mark Gantt
Narrated by: Jim Clemente, Paul Holes
Executive Producer: Peter McDonnell
Co-Executive Producer: Mark Gantt
Edited by: Peter McDonnell, Emily Martinez, and Mariana Clemente
Senior Producer: Francey Hakes
Story Producer: Mariana Clemente
Production Coordinator: Sydney Sidell
Dialogue Editing: Matt Gurgol
Sound Design and Mix: Reel Audiobooks
Detective Alex Smith is played by: Doug Gochman
Susanne Perrin is played by: Keaton Talmadge
Phil Hughes is played by: Patrick Pedraza
Cover illustration by: Ivan Canu
Produced by XG Productions

Dear Listener,

Why did I start investigating these cold cases?
"This Audible Original is about my pursuit of a serial killer, but the cases in this series were atypical. I wasn't trying to identify the offender. In these cases I had the killer's name—or so I thought. Phillip J. Hughes Jr. had been convicted of three murders he committed back in the 1970s. However, I was confident—and still am—that he has done much more. My initial goal when I started looking into other unsolved cases in the Bay Area was to prove Hughes was responsible. My goal dramatically shifted when I attended one of Hughes's parole hearings and met the family members of the three victims he was known to have killed. I was stunned by the ongoing trauma the families were subjected to, having to relive the loss of their loved ones at these parole hearings every few years. How, I thought, could a serial killer who was convicted of three horrific crimes against women and girls be eligible for parole? He should be locked up for life for these types of crimes. He never should have been afforded the hope of being released to, in all likelihood, kill again. My new goal was to solve a cold case that proved Hughes committed more murders, which would remove any possibility of him seeing the light of day. But even I was stunned at what happened as several of these cold cases were solved. In A Devil in the Valley you will hear my story, you will hear from family members, and you will learn that the serial predator is not as rare of a beast as most think, even in the safest of communities." –Paul Holes, author of A Devil in the Valley

What listeners say about A Devil in the Valley

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Excellent!!!

Waited up past midnight for the series to drop and was not disappointed. I was very unfamiliar with the case, but Paul's incite on every bit of evidence brings so much fascination of what it was like when DNA , became a tangible device for law enforcement, literally traveling through time to solve cold cases. My one and only gripe is I burned through it to quickly, but that's on me. Excellent performance, excellent production, and all around a story that will stay with you. Another testament to the importance of forensic science and the passion of those who chase and catch real life monsters.

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8 people found this helpful

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Well Done Reveal Of Cold Case Investigation

I have tried to listen to several True Crime type podcasts and found the repetitive chit chat and slow, wandering pace of them in no way contributing to the value of the story.

Paul Holes covers this situations in a smooth blend of eye witness accounts and investigator/author narration. The well made editing choices kept me very interested. and my heart went out to families and friends of the victims.

Especially disturbing was the reveal of specific instances where our "justice" system utterly failed to keep dangerous people behind bars.

Definitely worth listening to.

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6 people found this helpful

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Whoa!

Okay, so is paul holes a super hero? I wish there was one like him for every Phil Hughes. Someone get this man a cape.

Okay, but that aside, podcasts aren’t always something I’m in the mood for, but this was the first audible podcast I’ve listened to, and tbh wasn’t expecting what I got. This was the most well thought out, produced, put together podcast I ever listened to. The subject matter was vast and fascinating and put together in such a way that the events were easy to understand, easy to grasp, engaging and impactful. A lot of the true crime out there is hard to get through, but the people responsible for this got right to the important things. And I really liked that the killer didn’t get glorified, I liked the attention given to the surviving family members and the victims, it’s likely a tough balance to achieve. Overall, this was masterfully made, fascinating, and I just can’t say anything more positive. 10/10 would recommend. I like the idea that these victims whose files are still stuck, unsolved in drawers still have some hope of answers, and I hope it inspires more people to keep digging for them. Amazing series.

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Utter waste of time

Essentially a sappy tribute to the dedication and dogged determination of an investigator who singularly failed in what he set out to do. Of course, there are a myriad of reasons for this, none of them his responsibility. Even when there is a result, it falls into his lap, or others do the work! The podcast resorts to long tangents, making it clear midway through the process, that they don't really have an ending. Unless you're interested in hearing the blood lust calls for the death penalty, and shaky hypotheses on the nature of serial killers (widely debunked, but backhandedly presented here), don't waste your time.

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Compelling!

NO SPOILERS! This was a really compelling podcasts. It presents a great mystery and provides some good insight into the birth of criminal profiling. I am a big fan of Paul Holes, who relentlessly searched for the Golden State Killer.

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Moving and at times very disturbing

An incredibly moving narrative of “cold” cases, though the victim’s are not forgotten. Wonderful producing, writing and narration including the voices of the relatives.

The predators, as they really should be called are, I believe, fairly represented without completely demonising clearly very disturbed people.

It will always raise the debate on the death penalty or not. I shall not comment on that.

Be prepared to be upset by the description of the crimes - very painful to hear but necessary.

And of course-let’s not forget the courage and determination of the investigators who try to give families some peace and closure.

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5 Star Audible Original

This was fantastic. All the work these dedicated people put into solving crimes is incredible.
I like the format- they interview loved ones of the victims (which is hard to hear though), along with
everyone involved in the investigations.
Excellent!

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Quickly captivating, easy listen

Caught my interest quickly, held my interest through all episodes. narration was easy to listen to and follow.

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  • tt
  • 08-18-21

Love both Jim and Paul. Both are extraordinary

Jim Clemente former FBI profiler, attorney, podcaster and director is simply the best ( other than his brother) behavioral analyst out there. Paul is an excellent and experienced investigator and has hosted crime shows.the story is well laid out, riveting and a great listen if you e joy true crime. Listen to real experts

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Intriguing!

Holes & McDonnell weave a fascinating account that kept me on the edge of my seat. So interesting that I binge-listened the entire series in one evening.

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