In April of 2016, writer Michelle McNamara died unexpectedly in her sleep from a combination of drugs in her system and an unknown medical condition. Her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt, publicly mourned losing her.
Now, McNamara's posthumously published true crime book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," has topped the best sellers list. On social media, Oswalt has praised the accomplishments of his lost love.
The official Harper Collins synopsis of "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" describes the book as "a masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case."
The book was completed by McNamara's lead researcher and a close colleague following her death, according to E!. Gillian Flynn, the author of the widely popular "Gone Girl" novel, provided a forward for the text. Oswalt provided an afterword.
Oswalt posted some emotional tributes to McNamara on Twitter.
"You did it, baby. The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way," Oswalt wrote in the caption of an image of the book next to the writer's grave.
"I hope you know, sweetie. I feel like you know. And I hope you know it when your work leads to his capture. #IllBeGoneInTheDark debuts at #1 on the @nytimes bestseller list. I’m so proud of you," Oswalt wrote as a caption of a screenshot of the Times list.
Oswalt's second wife, Meredith Salenger (who he married 18 months after McNamara's death) was also supportive of McNamara's new book. She expressed her appreciation for both her husband's pride and the writer's work over social media.
"I’m so proud of @pattonoswalt watching him honor his beautiful and brilliant late wife #MichelleMcNamara promoting her incredible book #IllBeGoneInTheDark at amazing venues like the @nypl. It is a testament to his love for her and his belief in her talent. I’m in awe. #beautiful," Salenger wrote on Twitter.
Oswalt and McNamara had married in 2005. When McNamara passed away, Oswalt expressed shock and disbelief in a series of emotional public statements. In a New York Times interview, he speculated that she was killed by an accidental overdose.
In December, Oswalt reflected on his first year as a single father in a melancholy but resilient essay for GQ.
“This is my first time being a single father. I’ve missed forms for school. I’ve forgotten to stock the fridge with food she likes. I’ve run out of socks for her. I’ve run out of socks for me. It sucked and it was a hassle every time, but the world kept turning. I said, ‘Whoops, my bad,’ and fixed it and kept stumbling forward,” Oswalt wrote.
“I’m going to keep going forward, looking stupid and clumsy and inexperienced at first, then eventually getting it, until the next jolt comes, and the next floor drops out from under me, until there are no more floors.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.