Michelle McNamara, a true-crime author, dedicated her life to finding the Golden State Killer, a serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite her untimely death at the age of 46 in 2016, her work continued to gain interest and ultimately led to the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo in 2018.

Michelle McNamara Grows Up — And Grows Curious

Michelle McNamara was born on April 14, 1970 in Oak Park, Illinois. Growing up, she developed a curiosity for true crime, not influenced by her father’s profession as a trial lawyer. Her interest was sparked when a woman named Kathleen Lombardo was killed near her family home. McNamara began investigating the murder herself, even picking up a clue that ultimately led nowhere.

She pursued her education at the University of Notre Dame and later earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Minnesota. In Los Angeles, she met comedian Patton Oswalt, whom she eventually married. Oswalt encouraged her to turn her passion for true crime into a writing project.

True Crime Diary and The Golden State Killer

McNamara started a blog called True Crime Diary in 2011, where she wrote about unsolved crimes from the 1970s and 1980s, including those attributed to the Golden State Killer. Her research and writing on the subject gained a large following and renewed public interest in the case.

McNamara theorized that the crimes attributed to the Visalia Ransacker, the East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker were the work of one man, whom she named the Golden State Killer. Her blog helped bring attention to the case and brought together investigators from different jurisdictions.

Hunting The Golden State Killer

Driven by her obsession and the desire to solve the case, McNamara embarked on writing a book that would further explore the Golden State Killer. The research consumed her, leading to immense stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2016 before completing the book.

However, her colleagues Bill Jensen and Paul Haynes, along with her husband Patton Oswalt, worked to finish the book using her extensive notes and research. McNamara’s book, titled I’ll Be Gone In the Dark and adapted into an HBO series, delved into the intricacies of the Golden State Killer case and brought it to the public’s attention.

Michelle McNamara’s Legacy

McNamara’s relentless pursuit of the Golden State Killer ultimately paid off. In 2018, Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested and later pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to his crimes. While McNamara’s book did not directly lead to his arrest, it played a significant role in keeping the case in the spotlight and generating tips and leads.

Michelle McNamara’s work as a citizen sleuth and her dedication to solving the case of the Golden State Killer solidified her legacy as a true-crime author. Her book, along with her blog and advocacy, helped bring closure to the victims and their families while also highlighting the importance of public involvement in solving cold cases.

Después de conocer la muerte de la autora de crímenes reales Michelle McNamara y su incansable búsqueda del Golden State Killer, lee sobre Sharon Huddle, la esposa de Joseph James DeAngelo. Luego, conoce a Paul Holes, el investigador que ayudó a capturar al Golden State Killer.