Culture

Golden State Killer Caught Thanks to True Crime Writer

From 1976 to 1986, a man terrorized women and families in Southern California. Known as the “Golden State Killer,” or “East Area Rapist,” the suspect murdered 12 people, raped dozens of women, and held couples hostage in their own homes. He initially targeted women who were home alone at night, but as time went on, he got bold and victimized couples as well. He was known to stalk his prey for weeks ahead of time, lurking outside in the bushes and sometimes even letting himself into their homes prior to the attack to prepare the scene by unloading guns and unlocking windows.

After decades of dead ends, police have finally captured the Golden State Killer, and it was in large part thanks to the work done by late true crime writer Michelle McNamara.

McNamara dedicated her life to the case of the Golden State Killer — a name that she herself coined. She wrote extensively about it in her book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, and it was that very work that helped solve the mystery. McNamara died in her sleep almost exactly two years to the day prior to the capture of the murderer who had become her life’s obsession.

Fans of McNamara’s work took to Twitter to celebrate the good news:

It was the general consensus that McNamara’s dedication to the case is what made the difference in the end:

Michelle McNamara might be known to some as the late wife of comedian Patton Oswalt:

The suspect that has been arrested is 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, who was known to be a recluse.