Yesterday was the first day of filming for the documentary based on the late Michelle McNamara’s best-selling true-crime book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, trailing the decade-long spree of a serial rapist and murderer. Today, in a string of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction
coincidences, a press conference was held in Sacramento announcing that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the heinous crimes after a 40-year search.
In one twist, McNamara, a true-crime writer and late wife of actor Patton Oswalt, who died in her sleep at age 46, passed away two years ago this week and would have celebrated her 48th birthday two weeks ago. Her life’s work mission was to bring to justice the serial rapist and murderer she dubbed the Golden State Killer. McNamara no doubt would have been pleased and perhaps vindicated by the arrest of 72-year-old former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo on two counts of murder; Sacramento police, who made the arrest, said they are preparing more charges. The Golden State Killer was linked to 12 murders, 45 rapes and more than 120 home burglaries that spanned from Northern California to Ventura and Orange counties. The killer also was known as the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist.
In another bit of serendipity, Oswalt shared on his Twitter feed that yesterday’s film shoot, on location in Naperville, where contributors to McNamara’s True Crime Diary blog had gathered, ended with him saying, “He’s running out of time.” Of his prediction, he mused, “And now all this. Surreal.”
First day of filming on the documentary was yesterday’s book event in Naperville. All of @TrueCrimeDiary’s family was there. Ended with me saying
And in yet another coincidence, today was DNA Day. It was DNA evidence that led to DeAngelo's arrest. He was captured in Citrus Heights, near Sacramento, as authorities waited for him to come out of his home Tuesday evening, according to a law enforcement official at the noon press conference.
“It is fitting that today is National DNA Day,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Schubert said at the press conference. “We found the needle in a haystack and it was right here in Sacramento.”
Oswalt noted the “GALACTIC SYCHRONICITY” of the day’s events and Twitter trends, as #IllBeGoneInTheDark trended at #1 on Twitter, followed by the #2 trending #DNADay.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25
Finally, the words of Michelle McNamara, in I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, could prove prophetic, as today’s arrest mirrored her message to the Golden State Killer in “Letter to an Old Man” at the end of her book released last month:
“This is how it ends for you.
‘You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark,’ you threatened a victim once.
Open the door. Show your face.
Walk into the light.”