Patton Oswalt reacts to life sentence for Golden State Killer, whom his late wife wrote about: 'Go forward in peace'

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 mins read
Patton Oswalt completed late wife Michelle McNamara's book about California's Golden State Killer. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Patton Oswalt completed late wife Michelle McNamara's book about California's Golden State Killer. (Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

As a judge handed down a life sentence without the possibility of parole to the so-called Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, Patton Oswalt was thinking about his late wife, Michelle McNamara.

McNamara was the author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the 2018 nonfiction book about her own obsession with solving the cold case of the serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although McNamara died at 46 in 2016, from an undiagnosed heart condition and an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, according to an autopsy, Oswalt helped to complete her book. It became a bestseller and HBO adapted it for a six-part documentary that concluded this month.

Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara, pictured in 2012, married in 2005. (Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara, pictured in 2012, married in 2005. (Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage)

In the latest in the court case, on Friday a San Diego County judge, Michael Bowman, said that 74-year-old DeAngelo will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing 13 people and raping 50 people. DeAngelo, a former police officer, reached a plea deal with the prosecutor, in which he confessed to 53 attacks on 87 people in 11 counties between 1975 and 1986, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Oswalt marked the event with vintage photos of McNamara. He said he was thinking, too, of the victims, survivors and others who’ve worked on the case over the years. “Go forward in peace, all of you,” he said.

Oswalt married McNamara in 2005. He’s now raising their 11-year-old daughter Alice with actress Meredith Salenger, his wife since 2017.

He previously congratulated McNamara in February 2018. Then, when DeAngelo was captured just three months later, less than three months after his late wife’s book was published, Oswalt pointed out her contributions, after a sheriff said the book had not directly affected the case, except for keeping the public interested in it.

At the same time, officials noted that the public interest and DNA evidence is what led them to solving the case.

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