‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’: Patton Oswalt’s Wife Meredith Salenger Says Watching HBO Series Was ‘Harder Than I Expected’

HBO’s new docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is gripping, must-see TV for anyone interested in true crime. The six-part series, which premiered June 28, tells the story of writer Michelle McNamara and her search for the man she dubbed the Golden State Killer. But for one viewer, the store told in the show is much more personal. Actor Meredith Salenger is married to McNamara’s former husband, comedian Patton Oswalt. On June 28, she tweeted about her feelings about watching the new series.   

Michelle McNamara died before the Golden State Killer was found 

Michelle McNamara
Michelle McNamara | Photograph by Robyn Von Swank/HBO

RELATED: Did Michelle McNamara’s Book ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ Help Catch The Golden State Killer?

McNamara spent years investigating a series of rapes and murders committed by the Golden State Killer. Her quest to discover the truth became all-consuming and contributed to anxiety and insomnia, Oswalt told the New York Times. His wife — who also had an undiagnosed heart condition — began taking a variety of medications to cope. In 2016, she died of an accidental drug overdose at age 46. 

McNamara passed away before she was able to complete work on her book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, and before Joseph James DeAngelo, the man police eventually identified as the Golden State Killer, was arrested. But her husband made sure her book was completed. “This book had to be finished,” Oswalt told the Times. “Michelle died, but her testimony is going to get out there.”

Patton Oswalt remarried in 2017 

Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger
Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Oswalt and McNamara had been married for a little over a decade and had a daughter who was born in 2009. After her death, he began a relationship with Salenger. The two wed in November 2017, 18 months after his first wife passed away.

While some people criticized Oswalt for remarrying so quickly after his first wife’s death, others were glad to see the actor find happiness after a tragic loss. For her part, Salenger has made it clear that she supports her husband’s efforts to respect his late wife’s memory and continue her work. In 2018, she tweeted that she was “so proud” of Oswalt for “honor[ing] his beautiful and brilliant late wife” and promoting her book. 

Meredith Salenger urges people to watch ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ 

Now, with the premiere of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara is back in the public eye more than four years after her death. Salenger is urging people to watch the series and making it clear that she’s doing the same, even though it brings up some complicated feelings.

“This is gunna be pretty scary,” The Journey of Natty Gann star tweeted on June 27. “But also fascinating. Yes, I am going to watch. Yes. It’s complex. Will u watch with me??? Please.” 

“I don’t know how this is going to make me feel. So many layers,” she tweeted on June 28. 

After watching the premiere episode, Salenger shared another update. “Just finished watching. Harder than I expected. Yowch.”

Salenger also shared that Oswalt has already watched the first four episodes of the series. But she wrote that he has told her he “can’t watch the next 2. It is too hard for him.”

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark airs Sundays at 10/9c on HBO. 

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