Patton Oswalt credits late wife Michelle McNamara for Golden State Killer arrest

A police sketch of the Golden State killer

McNamara died in her sleep at age 46 nearly exactly two years before DNA evidence led Sacramento police to arrest DeAngelo, 72, on eight counts of murder in three California counties.

"It was pretty incredible", Sarah Stanard, a longtime friend of McNamara's, told The Washington Post.

At the end of his thread of tweets about the twist in the final story McNamara documented, Oswalt wrote sweet words to his new wife.

"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, 49, tells the New York Times.

Finally, an arrest had been made in the case of the Golden State Killer, a moniker Michelle McNamara coined on her personal mission to catch a man responsible for at least 12 killings and 50 rapes throughout California in the 1970s and 80s. Like they did for Kenneth Hicks 30 years after he killed Lori Billingsley in Aloha, Oregon.

Within hours, police in the United States announced the arrest of a 72-year-old former police officer in connection with the killings, and Oswalt praised his late wife for her persistence.

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A law enforcement official said at a press conference that the book "kept interest and tips coming in".

Though he was too "neck deep in grief" and dealing with the realities of suddenly becoming a single father to be actively involved, Oswalt says he leaned on her publisher and other collaborators to get the book done.

Oswalt said he wanted to talk to DeAngelo, to bring up questions his wife never had a chance to ask.

McNamara "didn't care about getting any shine on herself", Oswalt wrote on Twitter, comparing her to Frances McDormand's unassuming Detective Marge Gunderson in the 1996 film "Fargo".

The prescription medication she was taking for the stress and anxiety likely contributed to her death at 46, he said.

She died unexpectedly in her sleep in April 2016 when she was three-quarters of the way through writing her book on the Golden State Killer, I'll Be Gone in the Dark.

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In a freaky coincidence, Mr. Haynes, Mr. Jensen and Mr. Oswalt were all together at the book event in Chicago on Tuesday, and members of Ms. McNamara's family were in the audience.

"Just the fact that they said the book didn't help but then said 'We've got the Golden State Killer, ' it's a bit contradictory", Jensen said. Oswalt helped complete her half-finished book, which is now optioned for a documentary series on HBO.

"This is insane, looks like they've caught the East Area Rapist, and if that's true, they caught the Golden State Killer", Oswalt posted while on a flight from NY to Chicago.

"Her book and the article that lead to the book really amped up all the interest in the case, and really put a lot of focus on it", Oswalt said.

"He was very surprised by that", Jones said. In the book, in a haunting passage titled "Letter to an Old Man", McNamara addresses the killer directly under the assumption that he would someday be found.

Open the door. Show us your face.

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