Just hours after the arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer, actor Patton Oswalt — whose late wife, Michelle McNamara, tirelessly investigated the long-cold case and wrote a book on the murders — appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, opening up about what he said was her “dream.”
“Her book and the article that led to the book really amped up all the interest in the case and really put a lot of focus on this,” Oswalt said. “Not to discredit all the work that the police and the lab technicians did — it was her dream.”
McNamara was a true crime writer and journalist. Oswalt, 49, recalled, “She always said, ‘I don’t care about credit. I want to know that he’s in jail.’ And now he’s caught, the bracelets are on and it feels like this thing that she wanted so badly is now done. It just feels amazing.”
The Golden State Killer — dubbed as such by McNamara — was allegedly linked by DNA and method to 12 murders, 45 sexual assaults and more than 120 burglaries from Sacramento to southern California’s Orange County between 1976 and 1986 in California.
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Suspect Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested on April 24. He is currently charged with capital murder in four killings: the February 2, 1978 slayings of Brian and Katie Maggiore in the Sacramento area, and the March 1980 slayings of Lyman and Charlene Smith in Ventura County.
Police say, however, that they believe he killed many more people.
McNamara died in her sleep in 2016 at 46. At the time of her death, she had been working on the book. Oswalt promised he would finish the book for her, and earlier this year, the star — who writes the afterword — released I’ll Be Gone in the Dark with the help of other contributors.
“I was still neck deep in grief and suddenly a single father and not sleeping, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live and go on with life if this was left undone,” he told Meyers of finishing I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. “I basically begged [the co-authors] and the publishers to find a way and they were the ones to find a way and finish it.”
Earlier in the day, Oswalt reacted to the arrest in a video he shared on Instagram and Twitter.
“One of the more surreal days of my life,” he said. He added while sharing a series of tweets and videos on Twitter and Instagram, “She would be beyond excited about this. I think this is the definition of ‘bittersweet.’”