Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Worries About Police Doing Online DNA Searches Have Already Been Validated

Worries About Police Doing Online DNA Searches Have Already Been Validated

McNamara died suddenly in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished manuscript, which her husband, actor Patton Oswalt, salvaged and pushed toward publication. To honor his late wife, the comedian finished her book after she passed with the help of other qualified contributors.

The killer, who evaded investigators for decades, is believed to have committed 12 murders, at least 50 rapes and multiple home burglaries throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s.

Joseph James DeAngelo, the alleged Golden State Killer, making his first court appearance Friday. Despite an outpouring of thousands of tips over the years, DeAngelo's name had not been on the radar of law enforcement before last week, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, about the criminal McNamara dubbed the Golden State Killer, had been on The New York Times best-sellers list for eight weeks when, on April 25, the Orange County sheriff finally arrested a suspect.

In a 2013 Reddit Ask Me Anything interview, McNamara was asked what she would do if the killer ever contacted her for an interview or information for her book, but on the condition of anonymity.

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While authorities at a press conference in Sacramento Wednesday credited McNamara's book with rekindling public interest in the crimes, they also said it didn't produce direct evidence that led to DeAngelo's arrest.

The "A.P. Bio" star added that he hoped he'd one day get to meet with the suspect, if he is indeed the Golden State Killer, to ask him the questions McNamara never could. It has sold around 150,000 copies and was optioned by HBO, which is adapting it into a documentary series. Sharing these stories in a respectful way-as McNamara does with I'll Be Gone in the Dark-feels like it frames personal trauma as a political issue.

December 30, 1979. The Golden State Killer breaks into osteopathic surgeon Dr. Robert Offerman's condominium in Goleta, a city just south of Santa Barbara, and shoots him and his girlfriend, Debra Alexandria Manning. He said, "But every time they said #GoldenStateKiller they credited the work of #MichelleMcNamara and #IllBeGoneInTheDark".

McNamara wrote in her book that she became interested in cold cases as a 14-year-old girl when a neighbour's murder went unsolved. She's fighting to get rape kits processed by police departments and labs in a more efficient manner to keep this kind of crime spree from ever happening again. "I was on the hunt".

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Joseph DeAngelo was arrested Tuesday after investigators say they matched crime-scene DNA using genetic material stored by a distant relative on a website.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has said DeAngelo was in a psychiatric ward of the county jail and has said little. "It happened nearly instantly and he was taken into custody without incident at all".

In another bit of serendipity, Oswalt shared on his Twitter feed that yesterday's film shoot, on location in Naperville, where contributors to McNamara's True Crime Diary blog had gathered, ended with him saying, "He's running out of time". In I'll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara's vast capability for empathy is at the forefront.

Open the door. Show your face.

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