Patton Oswalt pays touching tribute to late wife as her book makes it to NYT Bestseller List

In 2016, writer Michelle McNamara died unexpectedly while working on her book, 'I'll Be Gone In The Dark.' Two years later, her late husband took the onus of finishing it and published it posthumously.

Patton Oswalt expressed his joy after seeing late wife Michelle McNamara's work of non-fiction in New York Times' Bestseller List. After all, McNamara's true crime book titled 'I'll Be Gone In The Dark' featured at #1 spot on the coveted list. The 49-year-old took the opportunity to share his pride and wrote on Twitter, "I hope you know, sweetie. I feel like you know. And I hope you know it when your work leads to his capture."  

McNamara's work of non-fiction has been gaining critics' praise since it was published posthumously on February 27, 2018. The Independent described it as "A brilliant, shattering work of art."

The book follows the murders of a man dubbed as the Golden State Killer, who targetted nuclear families in California and bludgeoned them to death. He carried on the killings for 10 years from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s and was never caught. In the final chapter, McNamara envisions his capture but he still remains at large. Oswalt's tribute honored her investigation on 'I'll Be Gone In The Dark.'

The book was still unfinished when McNamara died unexpectedly in 2016 after a cocktail of drugs including Adderall, Xanax, and the pain medication fentanyl caused blockage in her arteries and proved to be lethal. A year after she died, Oswalt took it upon himself to add the finishing touches to the book.

Jennifer Barth, McNamara’s editor at HarperCollins, which published the book told Entertainment Weekly, "If Michelle had been married to somebody else, I’m not sure that they would have pressed on with the book and been able to help make it happen in the way Patton did. It was a total commitment… He’s just been a real champion."

Actor Patton Oswalt (L) and Michelle Eileen McNamara attend LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari Presented By Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for LACMA)

Oswalt told the outlet that there was no big moment of epiphany that led him to finish it. He just wanted to do right by his late wife. He began doing so by sending out emails and making several calls. He later made sense of her handwritten notes and thousands of computer files that were unassembled.

McNamara hoped to uncover the identity of the killer but two years on after her death, he is still referred to as the Golden State Killer or the Original Night Stalker. 

The comedian, who recently married TV star Meredith Salenger, uploaded a picture of 'I'll be Gone In The Dark's' hardcover on the day of its publication. Oswalt and McNamara share an 8-year-old daughter Alice Rigney Oswalt. 

In an interview with Playboy last year, he said, "If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now. I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic. Everything would have shut down. I wouldn’t have been about anything. But with Alice, it was and is ‘You got to get up."

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