Patton Oswalt On Golden State Killer: “I Think You Got Him, Michelle”

Earlier today, Sacramento police arrested the man suspected of being the Golden State Killer, after an almost forty-year-long search for his arrest.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of murder. If he is indeed the Golden State Killer – also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker – then he’s believed to have killed at least 12 people, raped at least 45 people, and committed more than 120 home robberies, with his crimes being notable for being calculated, cold and brutal.

“These cases are some of the most horrific I’ve had to investigate,” said Erika Hutchcraft, an investigator for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. “They’re not a one-time, you know, crime of passion, but these are almost passionless crimes. Very cold, very violent.”

The late crime writer Michelle McNamara made it her life’s mission to catch the Golden State Killer, and her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, commissioned a journalist to turn her notes into the bestselling book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark after her untimely death.

“I think you got him, Michelle,” he tweeted, after news broke that DeAngelo had been arrested.

“She would be beyond excited about this. I think this is the definition of bittersweet,” he said in another tweet.

“Michelle McNamara didn’t care about getting any shine on herself. She cared about the Golden State Killer being behind bars and the victims getting some relief. She was Marge Gunderson in Fargo, not Chilton in Silence of the Lambs.”

During the press conference, police refused to acknowledge that McNamara’s book helped bring renewed interest in the case. But during the conference, they referred to DeAngelo as both the East Area Rapist and occasionally the Golden State Killer, a term coined by McNamara.

“Cops will never and have never credited a writer or journalist for helping them solve a case,” Oswalt tweeted. “But every time they said Golden State Killer they credited the work of Michelle McNamara and I’ll Be Gone In The Dark.”

People are paying tribute to for her tireless dedication in tracking down the Golden State Killer, and for her part in making today happen.

Oswalt’s wife, actress Meredith Salenger, also paid tribute to her husband’s late wife.

People are also sharing an excerpt from I’ll Be Gone In The Dark that predicted just how the Golden State Killer would one day be captured – a prediction that appears to be almost bang on the money.

One day soon, you’ll hear a car pull up to your curb, an engine cut out. You’ll hear footsteps coming up your front walk. Like they did for Edward Wayne Edwards, twenty-nine years after he killed Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew, in Sullivan, Wisconsin. Like they did for Kenneth Lee Hicks, thirty years after he killed Lori Billingsley, in Aloha, Oregon.

The doorbell rings.

No side gates are left open. You’re long past leaping over a fence. Take one of your hyper, gulping breaths. Clench your teeth. Inch timidly toward the insistent bell.

This is how it ends for you.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,” you threatened a victim once.

Open the door. Show us your face.

Walk into the light.