Crime writer Michelle McNamara had spent years researching and writing about the case of the Golden State Killer. The wife of comedian Patton Oswalt was working on a book that she hoped would bring the as-yet-unidentified serial rapist and murderer to justice. Sadly, McNamara died in her sleep in April 2016, leaving her book unfinished.
But in the months following her death, Oswalt made it clear that he would ensure that her work was completed and published. And Oswalt kept that promise.
On Tuesday, HarperCollins released McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer.
And early Tuesday, Oswalt honored his late wife by bringing a copy of the book to her gravesite.
“You did it, baby,” Oswalt wrote on Twitter. “The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way.”
Oswalt has expressed hope that McNamara’s book will help solve the mystery of the Golden State Killer’s identity.
“I can’t help feeling that somewhere, in her final pages, she left enough clues for someone to finish the job she couldn’t — to put California’s worst serial killer behind bars,” he wrote last year. “It is an intense, fascinating read.”
Oswalt called the process of finishing McNamara’s book “very painful.”
“I think other people are going to really love the book,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “But to me, there’s so much that’s left unsaid and unfinished.”
Oswalt had been married to McNamara for more than a decade when she suddenly died in her sleep due to a combination of prescription medication and an undiagnosed heart problem. They had a daughter, Alice, then 7.
The comedian has since remarried, tying the knot with actress Meredith Salenger in November 2017.
“I’ve only ever felt that level of joy once before in my life, and it was so profound and perfect it felt greedy to ever wish for it again,” Oswalt said of Salenger in a People interview. “But I did, so now all I can do is show Meredith a level of gratitude and love that’s greater than the joy she’s brought me, and my daughter Alice.”