As a judge handed down a life sentence without the possibility of parole to the so-called Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, Patton Oswalt was thinking about his late wife, Michelle McNamara.
McNamara was the author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the 2018 nonfiction book about her own obsession with solving the cold case of the serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although McNamara died at 46 in 2016, from an undiagnosed heart condition and an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, according to an autopsy, Oswalt helped to complete her book. It became a bestseller and HBO adapted it for a six-part documentary that concluded this month.
In the latest in the court case, on Friday a San Diego County judge, Michael Bowman, said that 74-year-old DeAngelo will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing 13 people and raping 50 people. DeAngelo, a former police officer, reached a plea deal with the prosecutor, in which he confessed to 53 attacks on 87 people in 11 counties between 1975 and 1986, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Oswalt marked the event with vintage photos of McNamara. He said he was thinking, too, of the victims, survivors and others who’ve worked on the case over the years. “Go forward in peace, all of you,” he said.
The insect gets none of my headspace today. I’m thinking of the victims, and the survivors, and the witnesses and crusaders and investigators. And of course Michelle. Go forward in peace, all of you. pic.twitter.com/XoYqV2X3ut— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 21, 2020
Oswalt married McNamara in 2005. He’s now raising their 11-year-old daughter Alice with actress Meredith Salenger, his wife since 2017.
He previously congratulated McNamara in February 2018. Then, when DeAngelo was captured just three months later, less than three months after his late wife’s book was published, Oswalt pointed out her contributions, after a sheriff said the book had not directly affected the case, except for keeping the public interested in it.
It did, but #MichelleMcNamaradidn’t care about getting any shine on herself. She cared about the #GoldenStateKiller being behind bars and the victims getting some relief. She was Marge Gunderson in FARGO, not Chilton in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. https://t.co/krMOWaWh9m— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25, 2018
Also, the cops will NEVER and HAVE NEVER credited a writer or journalist for helping them solve a case. But every time they said #GoldenStateKiller they credited the work of #MichelleMcNamara and #IllBeGoneInTheDark.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25, 2018
At the same time, officials noted that the public interest and DNA evidence is what led them to solving the case.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: