Michelle McNamara spent years working on a book about The Golden State Killer. She died in her sleep before she was able to finish the book–in part because of the substances she used to cope with the horror of investigating these crimes. Her husband, Patton Oswalt, and a couple of collaborators made sure the book was finished and published. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was published a few weeks ago to huge acclaim. Today, police announced THEY’VE TAKEN A SUSPECT INTO CUSTODY!
You couldn’t write this stuff if you tried.
We know a few things about the person who has been arrested. He was apparently a police officer before being arrested for shoplifting. He’s been arrested by the Sacramento County Sherriff’s Office. And, somehow, Australia is involved because they wonder if he might also be their Mr. Cruel (a silly serial killer name, IMO).
I cannot imagine how bittersweet this moment must be for everyone behind I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, but especially for Oswalt. His wife, in some ways, died trying to solve this case, and she isn’t here to see it.
(I defy you to watch him say, “I think you got him, Michelle” and not cry. If you manage not to get weepy, you may want to make sure you’re not a serial killer.)
There is, reportedly, a DNA match. But something is bothering me. I have to wonder how, after all this time, there is suddenly a match. How did the police figure out who this decades-old DNA belonged to? We can only hope the renewed interest in the case made someone with information or suspicions come forward. But I happened to have watched I Am Evidence—a documentary about the shameful backlog of untested rape kits—last week, and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll find out that this case could have been solved earlier. I’ll be tuning into that press conference, I can tell you that much.