Michelle McNamara vowed to find the Golden State Killer. Two years after her death, he’s been captured
Crime author Michelle McNamara was obsessed with tracking down the Golden State Killer, a man who murdered 12 people and raped at least 50 women in California in the 70’s and 80’s. She was in the middle of working on a book about the string of horrific unsolved crimes when she died in her sleep. Two years later, the Golden State Killer was captured — and the world is now thanking her for her diligent, skilled hunt.
On Wednesday, 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested for his crimes as the Golden State Killer. McNamara’s husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, took to social media to celebrate his wife’s exhaustive work on the case. “You did it, Michelle,” he said in an Instagram video.”The cops are never going to say it but your book helped get this thing closed.”
McNamara’s work was only half-completed when she passed away. Oswalt teamed up with an investigative journalist and a researcher to get her writing finished, and the book published. When he found out that DeAngelo had been arrested, he erupted into a flurry of happiness, shock, and pride. His entire Twitter feed was a completely beautiful, bittersweet tribute to his late wife.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Twitterverse was celebrating the capture of the Golden State Killer and tipping their hat to McNamara’s dogged pursuit of the truth. Seriously, this woman gave everything she had to solving this case. She interviewed victims. She scrutinized police reports. She spent countless hours in online communities, with people who were just as determined to crack the case as she was.
Even though Oswalt is deliriously happy that his wife’s case has been solved, he’s still experiencing a heaping of sadness underneath all the celebration.
“There’s exhilaration, and I don’t feel it now, but I can sense that tomorrow or the next day there’s going to be a huge drop in serotonin and happiness when I realize she really isn’t here,” Oswalt told The New York Times. “There were insights and angles that she could keep bringing to this case.”
He also has just one request for police officers. He wants to meet the Golden State Killer face to face, in honor of his late wife.
“It feels like the last task for Michelle, to bring him her questions at the end of her book — just to go, ‘My wife had some questions for you,’” he said.