Did crime writer Michelle McNamara have children?

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark HBO follows the story of a true crime writer’s quest to find the Golden State Killer. Michelle McNamara, the author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, died before the killer was found. His novel was published in 2018 and McNamara died in 2016.

Throughout her life, McNamara was drawn to true crime stories. After graduating, she started a blog called True Crime Diary, which eventually became one of the most recognized true crime blogs on the Internet. She is often credited as an inspiration for true crime podcasters to this day.

McNamara earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, which she earned after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.

Here’s what you should know about the McNamara family:

1. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a housewife

FacebookMichelle McNamara.

McNamara was born in Oak Park, Illinois. She was the daughter of Thomas W. McNamara and Rita McNamara. Her father was a trial attorney and her mother was a homemaker.

When McNamara was just 14 years old, local runner Kathleen Lombardo was killed near McNamara’s family home, according to the New York Times. According to the Vulture, McNamara knew Lombardo from church. The murder was never solved and the event would later mark the beginning of a lifelong obsession for McNamara.

McNamara later described the way Lombardo’s murder haunted her as “the specter of that question mark where the killer’s face should be.” According to Kera Bolonik’s story in Vulture, McNamara was unsettled by the idea that the killer could “fade into the night, that her life could go on, even return to normal, for the survivors after the young woman’s violent death had to suffer”.

2. She was the youngest of six children

HBOMichelle McNamara in the HBO series I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.

McNamara was the youngest of six children born to Thomas and Rita. All the children were Irish Catholics.

After living in Oak Park for the entirety of his childhood and teenage years, McNamara attended the University of Notre Dame and then the University of Missouri. After graduating from both, he moved to Los Angeles to write television scripts.

That’s where he launched True Crime Diary in 2006. On the blog, McNamara spoke at length about unsolved murders. The blog wasn’t about looking back at notorious criminals, but focused on cases that hadn’t been solved yet and wanted to bring them to light.

3. She was married to Patton Oswalt

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and Michelle Eileen McNamara.

In 2003, McNamara met comedian and actor Patton Oswalt on one of his comedy shows. The two bonded over their shared obsession with serial killers and love of the movie The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The couple married just a few years after meeting, and Oswalt encouraged her to use her hobby of investigating cold cases to write, which was one of her passions.

In 2011, he used his blog to begin writing about a man then known as the East Area Rapist, who would later become known as the Golden State Killer.

4. She has a daughter

McNamara and Oswalt have a daughter, Alice Rigney Oswalt. Oswalt told The Guardian in 2019 that the only way he got over McNamara’s death and the salvation he found afterwards was through fatherhood.

“I can say with some confidence that if I hadn’t had Alice, if I hadn’t had a daughter, I think I would be alive right now, but I wouldn’t be doing very well.” he said he. “Drinking would have been a problem. Binge eating would have been a problem.”

He said that having Alice was something that made him tell himself to get out of bed, make breakfast and take care of someone.

5. Oswalt wrote the epilogue to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

After McNamara’s unpredictable and untimely death in 2016, Oswalt knew he wanted to finish the book. McNamara had died in his sleep due to a combination of prescription drugs and an undiagnosed heart condition.

Oswalt recruited Paul Haynes, McNamara’s investigative assistant, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen to finish the book, which was published two years after McNamara’s death. It features a trailer by Gillian Flynn and an epilogue by Oswalt.

Oswalt also served as executive producer on HBO’s six-part docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.


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