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Michelle McNamara (1969 - 2016)

Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Michelle McNamara (1969 - 2016)

Michelle McNamara, crime writer and wife of comedian Patton Oswalt, died on April 21, 2016 according to multiple news sources. She was 46.

McNamara died unexpectedly in her sleep according to Oswalt’s publicist, Kevin McLaughlin. Her death was a shock to family and friends as she was not known to be ill. No cause of death has been released.

A screenwriter by trade and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, McNamara channeled a personal interest in true crime stories into the website she founded, True Crime Diary. She covered lesser known crimes and cold cases.

“It’s the ones that really don’t get that much attention that interest me,” she said in a 2007 online interview, “I think everyone loves a mystery.”


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Her published writings included articles about the Golden State Killer for Los Angeles Magazine.

In 2005 she married comedian Patton Oswalt, whose credits include “The King of Queens,” “Agents of SHIELD,” and “Ratatouille.”

Friends have taken to Twitter to voice their support for the family. Fellow comedian Kristen Schaal tweeted, “One of my favorite dinners was with @pattonoswalt and Michelle. I felt greedy, I couldn’t get enough of her stories. All my love to you.”

McNamara is survived by her husband and their 7-year old daughter, Alice.

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