I'll Be Gone in the Dark (McNamara) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—April 14, 1970
Where—Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Death—April 21, 2016
Where—Los Angeles, California
Education—B.A., University of Notre Dame; M.F.A., University of Minnesota


Michelle Eileen McNamara was an American freelance writer and crime blogger. She was the author of I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, a true crime book about the Golden State Killer. The book was released posthumously in February 2018 and is being adapted as an HBO documentary series.    

Early life and education
McNamara grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, the daughter of Thomas W. McNamara, a trial lawyer, and, Rita McNamara (nee Rigney), a stay-at-home mother. Her parents were Irish American. McNamara was the youngest of the couple's five daughters and one son. They grew up Irish Catholic.

In 1988, she graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, where her senior year she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, "The Trapeze." In 1992, McNamara graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in English.[9] She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.[10]

Career
After graduate school, in 1997 McNamara moved to Los Angeles to write in the film and TV industry. In 2006, she launched her website TrueCrimeDiary. McNamara had a long-standing fascination with true crime originating from the unsolved murder of Kathleen Lombardo that happened two blocks from where she lived when she was young.

She became interested in the Golden State Killer case and penned articles for Los Angeles magazine about the serial killer in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, McNamara and true crime investigative journalist Billy Jensen were on a SXSW Interactive panel called "Citizen Dicks: Solving Murders With Social Media." McNamara and Jensen had a long-term friendship based on their shared passion for researching and writing about true crime.

It was McNamara who coined the term "Golden State Killer," after authorities linked DNA evidence that connected the Original Night Stalker and East Area Rapist.  She then signed a book deal with HarperCollins and began to work on a book about the case.

She died before the book could be finished; it was posthumously updated and finalized by true crime writer Paul Haynes and her husband Patton Oswalt. The book, released almost two years after her death, reached No. 2 on the New York Times Best Seller list for nonfiction and No. 1 for combined print and e-book nonfiction.

In April 2018, HBO announced it had purchased the rights for I'll Be Gone in the Dark and were developing it into a documentary series. Filming began in April, 2018.

On April 25, 2018, two months after the book's release, Californian authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo as the alleged Golden State Killer. Oswalt believes that authorities' use of the appellation, "Golden State Killer," indicates the "impact" of McNamara's book.

Personal life
McNamara married actor Patton Oswalt on September 24, 2005. The couple's daughter Alice was born in 2009.

Death
McNamara died in her bed on April 21, 2016, in her family's Los Angeles, California, home. According to the autopsy report, her death was attributed to the effects of multiple drugs, including Adderall, Xanax, Fentanyl and amphetamines. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was a contributing factor. The coroner ruled it an accidental overdose. She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 8/23/2018.)

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