The late Michelle McNamara was unable to complete the true crime book before her passing in 2016

By Aurelie Corinthios
February 27, 2018 12:49 PM

Patton Oswalt is honoring the completion of something near and dear to his heart: the posthumous publication of his late wife Michelle McNamara’s book.

On Tuesday, the comedian shared a touching post on Twitter: a photo of a copy of the true crime book McNamara had been working on at the time of her death, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, sitting atop her resting place. The late crime writer died unexpectedly in her sleep at age 46 in April 2016, leaving Oswalt to care for their 8-year-old daughter, Alice. Following her death, Oswalt, 49, swore he would finish the book for her. It’s now published.

“You did it, baby,” Oswalt wrote alongside the photo. “The book is excellent, the writing brilliant. You tried to bring kindness to chaos, which was your way. #IllBeGoneInTheDark #MichelleMcNamara.”

McNamara had been formally working on the book from 2013 through to her death, though the research process started long before. The book is an intimate, thrilling account of her search for the Golden State Killer, an unidentified man believed to have committed at least 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders from 1976-86. McNamara was unable to finish the book before she died, leaving Oswalt — who writes the afterword — and other contributors to complete the volume for her.

“She was a very logical person with a lot of compassion,” Oswalt previously told Entertainment Weekly of his late wife. “When she saw someone act with such cruelty, the logic part of her brain would kick in and go, ‘Well, that kind of cruelty should be met with justice, and there should be someone to answer for the victims.’ To have all of those threads and have it be open and unresolved for so long really ate away at her sense of order. She took on the pain of the survivors and of [those] that lost family members because of this guy. That’s what drove her.”

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Oswalt has since remarried, tying the knot with Meredith Salenger on Nov. 4 in front of family and friends in Los Angeles, 18 months after McNamara’s passing.

“It feels like an evolution,” he previously told PEOPLE. “After the darkness, I went through all the ways I had to strengthen myself to try to recognize joy again. Meredith was a beacon I had to reach for.”

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