I read Michelle McNamara’s book on the Golden State Killer, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, a couple of weeks ago, and it is fascinating and meticulously researched, but I wish I’d waited to read it until now. The book does an incredible job of covering the rapes and murders, describing the sense of panic in the Sacramento area at the time, and even profiling the potential suspect (they knew he was a military guy, for instance). My issue while reading the book, however, was that I knew that there’d be no resolution in the end, and it felt like this massive collection of stories that would all end in a cliffhanger.
Well, yesterday the cliffhanger was resolved when the police arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo. Now, I’m eager to read the still-unwritten next chapter, to learn more about JJ DeAngelo, and line all that we know about him to the accounts in McNamara’s book.
It’s that sense of resolution that Patton Oswalt spoke about last night on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Originally scheduled to appear on the show to talk about AP Bio, current events led to a change in conversation. And while the police did not credit McNamara’s book for the apprehension of the Golden State Killer, Oswalt knows the truth: That while police and lab technicians were obviously crucial in the arrest of DeAngelo, it was his late wife’s book that reignited interest in the case and ultimately led to DeAngelo’s arrest. “She always said, ‘I don’t care about credit. I want to know that he’s in jail.’ And now he’s caught. The bracelets are on, and it feels like this thing that she wanted so badly is now done.”