CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – The much-anticipated visit from comedian Patton Oswalt took place Wednesday night to promote his late wife’s book.
It started with a roar of laughter as Oswalt and his two co-authors were introduced and then reintroduced again.
“How about we introduce ourselves again?” Oswalt laughed.
It was to a crowd of more than 100 people who lined up to hear from those who helped publish the New York Times best-selling book about the Golden State Killer, better known here as the East Area Rapist.
“It was a textbook reign of terror that he put on the community,” Oswalt said.
Those words were from Michelle McNamara who was desperate to find the Golden State Killer. She died before the book was published and the suspected East Area Rapist was ever caught, which is why McNamara’s husband is making sure her work lives on.
“I reached out to Paul and Billy and her publishers and said, please help me finish this book. I can’t let this book not be finished,” he said.
It’s been 40 years since the coined East Area Rapist tormented the Sacramento area. Some say they’re just intrigued and wanted to hear more about the stories.
“I mean, it’s a horrible subject, but it something that happened here and so I know all the places, I know all the people,” said one man standing in line.
Others came to hear Oswalt speak because they truly lived it.
“I remember it very well, in fact, I was one of the victims. I was No. 4,” said Trish Murphy.
She has lived in silence for many years, but now no longer and spoke out for the first time.
“I don’t know if this is part of my healing process or whether I’m just so excited that they finally caught him, but my daughter told me there was this woman that was researching and she was sure that he’d get caught, so I believed that too, because she put a name to it,” she said.
And last month police arrested a man they believe is the East Area Rapist. Joseph DeAngelo, 72, is now behind bars charged with killing 12 people and accused of dozens of rapes.
“He was a violent schlub that is in the cage he should’ve been in 30 years ago,” Oswalt said.
Murphy added that she feels empowered after the arrest.
“To see him and his stupid jail cell I’m happy with his self and his monster mind. It doesn’t matter if he gets tried in my life, it will probably be five years before they do it, but I just know he’s never going to get out and that’s good enough for me,” she said.
Many say the book helped keep the case alive and in spirit Patton says Michelle is still fighting for justice.
“Michelle did not believe in closure, she believed in relief and healing, so I hope there was an element of that,” Oswalt said.
They spoke for about an hour answering many questions.