TRAGIC DETAILS FOUND IN MICHELLE MCNAMARA’S AUTOPSY REPORT
Michelle McNamara, a dedicated true crime author, dived into the mysteries surrounding the Golden State Killer. Her journey began in high school, sparked by a tragic local murder. Despite a successful career in television and film, her fascination with crime remained. Inspired by her husband, Patton Oswalt, she started the blog True Crime Diary, debunking the cold cases that captured her imagination.
The Golden State Killer: McNamara’s investigative odyssey
McNamara’s focus shifted to a series of crimes in California attributed to the Visalia Ransacker, the Eastern Territory rapist and original night stalker. She connected the dots, coining the term “Golden State Killer.” Immersed in research, she spoke with victims, investigators and families, driven by the search for justice. Her dedication led her to write “I’ll Disappear into Darkness,” a book documenting her relentless pursuit of the elusive criminal.
Michelle McNamara’s Last Quest
In 2010, McNamara launched her investigation into the Golden State Killer, balancing it with caring for her daughter. Night after night she dug through files, communicated with stakeholders and managed an intricate web of unsolved crimes. The effect on her well-being became obvious when she confided: “If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t have dealt with it while I was writing. Because I do both and it really takes its toll.”
A Tragic End: McNamara’s Last Night
Concerned for his wife’s health, Patton Oswalt urged McNamara to rest. On the fateful night of April 21, 2016, she took Xanax and went to bed. The next morning, Oswalt discovered her lifeless body. The paramedics’ efforts proved futile, and McNamara died in her sleep at the age of 46.
Disclosure of autopsy report
In 2017, Patton Oswalt revealed that McNamara had an undiagnosed heart problem. Radar Online obtained her autopsy report, which cited “multiple drug effects” as the cause of death. The report detailed various medications and a white powdery substance found in her room. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, along with undiagnosed heart disease, played a role in her tragic death. Xanax, Adderall and fentanyl were present in her system, leading to the conclusion that her death was accidental.
Completing McNamara’s legacy
Despite her death, McNamara’s unfinished book was completed with the collaboration of Oswalt, researcher Paul Haynes, and journalist Billy Jensen. “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” was released in 2018 and later adapted into a documentary series. The impact of her work reverberated beyond her life.
Justice served posthumously: Golden State Killer identified
Months after the book was published, Joseph James DeAngelo, the elusive Golden State Killer, was arrested. McNamara’s relentless pursuit of the truth, captured in her writings, played a role in bringing justice to the victims. DeAngelo was sentenced to life in prison without parole, a testament to the lasting impact of McNamara’s research legacy.