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Home / US / Michelle McNamara persecuted the Golden State killer until she died. Some think their book, "I'll be left in the dark," led to the arrest of the suspect.

Michelle McNamara persecuted the Golden State killer until she died. Some think their book, "I'll be left in the dark," led to the arrest of the suspect.

Michelle McNamara wrote a book in 201

2 about the Golden State killer her husband Patton Oswalt published after her death. (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

She knew his blood type, physique, habits, and the way he breathed. She knew his twisted leanings, embarrassing mistakes in his anatomy, and accurate details of dozens of rapes and 12 murders the police believe he did. And after watching him and the cruel trail of crimes he'd left behind in California, for years she even seemed to know how it would all end.

But Michelle McNamara never saw the day on which a suspect was arrested

The "True Crimean Order" in2016decidedinfluence on a case that caught the notice that the former police officerJosephJamesDeAngelo (72) was arrested and charged with murder in two cases

McNamara is the author of a book on the terrible cold case "Me be left in the dark, "which was published posthumously this year with the help of her husband, the comedian Patton Oswalt. The book, the result of years of careful research by McNamara, helped make the case a national notoriety he did not have before. She even coined the murderer's catchy nickname, ignoring the nicknames the cop in the many jurisdictions he attacked in favor of a title that squeezed the geography of the state: the Golden State Killer

Joseph James DeAngelo. (1965-00007) But officials have downplayed the suggestion that McNamara's book played a role in the suspect's concern.

"That's a question we've got from the world over the past 24 years, and the answer is no," Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters.

Authorities have acknowledged that the work was building public interest in the case, which may have the effect of lending more resources to an old investigation more urgency and possibly more.

"It held interest and tips," Jones said, "but on the other hand, there was no information from this book that directly led to the arrest."

Many of McNamara's family, friends and fans believed she deserved more recognition for the arrest in the case.

"It was pretty amazing," said Sarah Stanard, a longtime girlfriend of McNamara to the Washington Post. "I'll try not to get angry, but they'll take everything."

Oswalt, who spent the day interviewing and ecstatically tweeting about the news of DeAngelo's arrest, said McNamara "does not care that she can shine."

"She worried that the Golden State Killer was behind bars and the victims got some relief " he wrote on Twitter .

Nevertheless, he said that he believed the police would not be inclined to reward writers and journalists who had helped them with the case.

"But every time they said Golden State killer, they gave up their work," he said.

McNamara's long fascination for true mystery stories After moving to Los Angeles, she worked briefly for a private detective before writing for television, Stanard said. But she returned to focus on her fascination for the real crime and started a blog in 2006 to investigate unsolved cases.

"She was just a stubborn person," Stanard said. "She had a different brain."

One of the cases she investigated was the unknown assailant known as the East Area Rapist, for past crimes committed in Sacramento, the original Night Stalker, after police learned that his crimes were older than serial killer Richard Ramirez and the Visalia Ransacker

The killer left behind a glaring trail of crime scenes and casualties in the big state: frightening house invasions, rape of women in front of their dreaded loved ones and a series of dead couples mating their homes. His meticulousness helped him escape captivity for decades.

"To find a victim, he often went into the house when no one was there, learned the layout, studied family photos, and remembered names," McNamara wrote. "The victims received suspensions or annoying phone calls before and after the attack, deactivated vandalism and unlocked windows, emptied bullets from pistols, hid shoelaces or rope under cushions to use as ligatures, and these maneuvers gave him a distinct advantage. because when you woke up from deep sleep into the dazzling flashlight and the skimasked presence, he was always a stranger to you, but you were not for him. "

For her, the case had become a fixation. She met with other amateur detection dogs in online news forums, met with survivors of the murderer's victims, studied over decades of old records, autopsy reports, maps and mug shots.

"I'm obsessed," she wrote on her blog in 2011. "It's not healthy."

In 2013, she wrote a lengthy narrative about the case and her obsession with Los Angeles Magazine, which led to a book contract with HarperCollins.

McNamara's book. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

"And, you know, when she wrote the book, she started recruiting retired murder detectives and policemen from all those different jurisdictions and districts and cities, and she made them get information "Oswalt said last year during an interview with NPR's Fresh Air." But her research was so meticulous and so complete that they would contact each other and tell Michelle to talk, she knows "That person is not really funny, you know, too enthusiastic amateur, she wants to give this man the bracelets."

But the work began to take a toll. McNamara, who often worked at night after her daughter and husband went to bed, began to develop anxiety and sleep problems, Oswalt said. He talked about the panic the case created for her, including a time when she thought he was an intruder in the middle of the night and waved a lamp on his head.

"I think that's what led her across this road with Xanax, and I know she took Adderall in the morning to get up and some – you know, before she died, the three days before she died they really did not sleep because all the new breaking stuff was on the case, "Oswalt said. "I will not be squeamish and say that this is the cause of death, the cause of death was a lot of things, but that certainly kept the door open for the other causes."

She died in her sleep from the landlord, Terry Gross April 21, 2016 as an undiagnosed heart problem along with Xanax, Adderall, and Fentanyl in their system designated 46th

Oswalt helped complete the book with the help of a journalist, Billy Jensen, and a researcher, Paul Haynes monitor. It was hailed by critics, writers such as Stephen King and Gillian Flynn, and readers and ended up on bestseller lists.

Family and friends said they had just read their book in a bookstore in Chicago at the time DeAngelo was arrested.

"I think you have him, Michelle," Oswalt said in a video he posted on social media.

"At night, when all of Michelle's coworkers were first detained together with Michelle's family in Michelle's hometown, the monster we sought is simultaneously detained," wrote Paul Haynes . "I'm a sensible man, but I can not help but feel that this is beyond chance." shared a particularly forward-looking passage from the book that provided for the arrest of the suspect in the future] "One day you will hear a car pulling on your curb, a cut-out engine, you will hear footsteps on your front way" McNamara wrote. There are no side doors open You have long jumped over a fence Take one of your lightning-fast breaths Teeth your teeth Customs shy on the haunting bell That's how it ends for you "

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