Patton Oswalt on Completing His Late Wife’s Unfinished True-Crime Book: ‘I Wanted to Do Right’

“That whole year is just this really painful blur,” comedian says

Last Updated: February 26, 2018 @ 9:15 AM

Michelle McNamara, the late wife of comedian Patton Oswalt, died in 2016, but her true-crime book will be released on Tuesday.

“That whole year is just this really painful blur,” Oswalt told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview, explaining that somehow, through pain and grief, he decided to finish his late wife’s book “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.” “I’m going to get this book done,” he said of his mindset.

The comedian said he sent emails, made calls and pressed everyone involved to “get this done.”

More than finishing, he said he wanted it done right.

“It was her book and it’s an amazing book. I wanted to do right by her,” said Oswalt.

And he did right, according to EW’s David Canfield, who called McNamara’s final work her “greatest achievement, a fitting cap to a career of investigative writing.”

Oswalt announced in a tweet last September that his late wife’s book would indeed be released posthumously. “My late wife’s true crime book, I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, comes out 2/27/18,” Oswalt wrote. “It’s amazing, Pre-order here:”

The book, which is being published by HarperCollins, revolves around the Golden State Killer, who according to the publisher is an “unidentified serial killer and rapist who committed 50 rapes in Northern California (1976-1979) and murdered at least ten people in Southern California (1979-1986).”

“Commonly referred to by the media as the ‘East Area Rapist’ or the ‘Original Night Stalker,’ this serial killer eluded capture time after time, baffling law enforcement officials and veteran detectives up and down the West Coast,” the book description continues. “Three decades later, true crime journalist McNamara took up a virtual hunt for the unidentified killer, coming closer and closer to the identity, when her own life was tragically cut short.”

McNamara died in the Los Angeles home that she shared with Oswalt and their daughter Alice in April 2016. She was 46.

McNamara, who founded the website True Crime Diary, died from a combination of prescription medications and a heart condition that had not been diagnosed, Oswalt said last year.

In a 2016 Facebook post, Oswalt said that he was helping to complete the unfinished book.

“Any spare energy I’ve managed to summon since April 21 I’ve put toward finishing Michelle’s book,” Oswalt said at the time. “With a lot of help from some very amazing people. It will come out. I will let you know. It’s all her. We’re just taking what’s there and letting it tell us how to shape it. It’s amazing.”