HBO Documentary Films announced Monday that is has acquired the rights to Michelle McNamara’s true-crime book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, which debuted earlier this year at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. The late wife of Patton Oswalt, McNamara passed away before she could finish her work on the book, which was eventually completed by her lead researcher Paul Haynes, and another close colleague Billy Jenkins.
McNamara herself was obsessed with solving the crime and was said to be close to revealing the serial killer’s identity at the time of her death.
Creator of the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, McNamara was determined to find the violent psychopath she dubbed “The Golden State Killer,” who committed 50 home-invasion sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten murders. Then he disappeared, eluding multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Obsessed with the case three decades later, McNamara pored over police reports, interviewed victims and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” also explores her own past, including her years growing up in Oak Park, Ill. in a large family, and the reverberations of the unsolved murder that haunted her youth.
Oswalt, who wrote the afterword to the book and was his wife’s biggest fan, said of the news, “HBO taking on this story will advance the passionate pursuit that Michelle shared with dozens of men and women in law enforcement — to solve the mystery of one of California’s most notorious serial killers.”