Exactly a year after his wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, died suddenly due to a combination of prescription drugs and an unknown medical condition, comedian Patton Oswalt will discuss her investigation into the so-called “Golden State Killer” on an episode of CBS’ 48 Hours. It won’t be the first time he speaks publicly about his late wife, as Oswalt has discussed her passing on social media, in print, and during several talk show appearances. However, the 48 Hours interview will be his most expansive conversation about McNamara’s passion.
“She had a mind for the details of true crime the way other people have for baseball or me for films,” Oswalt says in a brief preview published by CBS News. “She could recall the details of pretty much every late 20th and 21st century crime. It was just in her head.”
Before her death in 2016, McNamara had devoted herself to investigating the Golden State Killer — a heretofore unknown assailant who committed 50 rapes and 12 murders across the state of California during the late ’70s and ’80s. The unidentified individual, who would often break into his victims’ homes in the middle of the night, suddenly vanished after 1986. McNamara gave the suspect the “Golden State Killer” moniker while working on a story for the Los Angeles Times Magazine in 2013.
“She started looking at the devastation that this guy wrought,” Oswalt explains in the preview. “I’d go back into the back office and Michelle would just be there… in tears because some road she had gone down had not panned out, and then — it’s, ‘I now have to start back again from zero.'”