Two months after the posthumous publication of Michelle McNamara’s true crime bestseller I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which chronicles McNamara’s hunt for the Golden State Killer (a name she coined), California police have arrested a man named Joseph James DeAngelo and charged him with two counts of murder. Per The Daily Beast’s reporting, The Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist) is thought to be responsible for “12 homicides, 45 rapes, and 120 home burglaries in California in the 1970s and ‘80s.”
Billy Jensen, an investigative journalist who worked with McNamara, tweeted after today’s news broke that DeAngelo, a former police officer, was once accused for stealing “dog repellant and a hammer” from a drug store. He lost his job because of the accusations, but avoided jail time and further investigations into his private life.
McNamara’s book, which I coincidentally began reading earlier this week, makes it clear from the introduction (written by Gillian Flynn) that she never identified the killer before her sudden death last year at the age of 46, but her widower Patton Oswalt suggested that DeAngelo’s arrest would not have occurred without her years of painstaking research and investigation.
“I think you got him, Michelle,” he says in an Instagram video uploaded early Wednesday.
The Sacramento Police Department is expected to hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon.