But McNamara's idea for the "Golden State Killer" name, her coverage of the case in "Los Angeles Magazine" and a blog, the shocking news of her death, and the book all shined a spotlight on the decades-old crimes, he said. DeAngelo was a police officer in Exeter, Calif., from 1973 to 1976, and in Auburn from 1976 to 1979.
They said "discarded DNA" had been used to match him to crimes attributed to the so-called Golden State Killer - suspected of 12 murders, 51 rapes and more than 120 burglaries. Overall, the Golden State Killer was said to be responsible for 12 murders and more than 50 rapes from the late 70s until the mid-80s.
Meyers asked Oswalt to read aloud her "Letter to an Old Man", the afterword, in which McNamara envisioned the killer being arrested.
Despite the case having been cold for decades, investigators maintain there is no correlation between DeAngelo's arrest coming two months after McNamara's book was published - which debuted in the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
The suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, who was sacked from the Auburn Police Department, was arrested after a DNA sample came back as a match to the Golden State Killer, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said Michelle McNamara's book had no bearing on the investigation that led to DeAngelo's arrest.
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Though he was too "neck deep in grief" and dealing with the realities of suddenly becoming a single father to be actively involved, Oswalt says he leaned on her publisher and other collaborators to get the book done.
"The hook for me was that the case seemed solvable", she wrote. Patton posted a series of tweets in which he revealed that Michelle, who had made it her mission to help solve the case, would have never looked for credit and that she just wanted the killer behind bars. "Not to discredit the work that the police and the lab technicians did". You can see Patton Oswalt's passionate tweets below.
On Late Night With Seth Meyers, Oswalt read the chilling final words his late wife wrote before her death. Not surprisingly, the actor said he was now "on adrenaline and sleeplessness" due to the bombshell development in the case after more than 40 years.
"There's exhilaration, and I don't feel it now, but I can sense that tomorrow or the next day there's going to be a huge drop in serotonin and happiness when I realize she really isn't here", Oswalt, 49, tells the New York Times. "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.
I mean, it's unbelievable", Oswalt told Meyers. "There's all this new evidence".