Comedian Patton Oswalt spent much of his day on Wednesday celebrating the news that authorities have apparently arrested the Golden State Killer. He ended it with an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers that could not have been timed better.
Before she passed away in early 2016, Oswalt’s wife Michelle McNamara had been working on a book about the notorious rapist and murderer—whom she dubbed the Golden State Killer—with the aim of discovering his true identity and helping the police track him down. Earlier this year, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was finally published and has already shot back to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.
“I have been awake since 3 a.m.,” Oswalt confessed at the top of the segment. “So I don’t know how this segment’s going to go.” He explained that he started receiving texts and alerts early Wednesday morning with the big news. “They arrested him today,” he said. “He is in jail.”
Oswalt told Meyers that McNamara’s book “really amped up all of the interest in the case and really put a lot of focus on this.” He added, “It was her dream. 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. It’s just amazing.”
Later, Oswalt read aloud from the end of McNamara’s book, which she called “Letter to an Old Man.” In it, she imagines the moment the object of her obsession will finally be caught. “This is how it ends for you,” she wrote. “‘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.” Oswalt added, “And that’s what he did today.”
Even though he was “still neck-deep in grief,” Oswalt said that he wanted to help finish the book because, “I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live and go on with life if this was left undone.”
“And now, you know, because he’s been caught, now they can start linking him to all these other cases. There’s all of this new evidence. I mean, it’s amazing,” he continued. “This is the beginning of the whole other chapter of this, of this saga—this insane crime saga.”