Michelle McNamara wrote some of the greatest crime stories of our time, but few people knew about her secret life. Michelle allegedly had her own private drug den filled with a variety of prescription and illegal drugs inside the home she shared with her husband and 7-year-old daughter.
Police discovered that Michelle McNamara’s home had a special room that contained an assortment of uppers, downers, and painkillers. However, not all the pills were of the illegal kind like the ones found on the streets or sold by dope dealers. Michelle also had prescription drugs, given to her by the doctors she went to. According to Radar Online, these drugs included “prescription bottles of Bupropion, an antidepressant, Cefdinir, an antibiotic, and Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory drug.” Authorities discovered other prescription medication which included oxycodone, hydrocodone, and the stimulant Dextroamphetamine, which has been linked to psychosis and heart failure in some patients.
When police investigated Michelle McNamara and Patton Oswalt’s Los Angeles home, they found one prescription bottle that was missing the outside label. The patient’s name, the doctor who prescribed the medication, and the contents inside could not be verified. However, Mr. Oswalt claimed the bottle contained Xanax pills and it belonged to him.
While the assortment of drugs found in the Oswalt residence may seem alarming, their secret room held other drugs rarely found in celebrity homes. One drug, TFMPP, or Legal X, which is an alternative drug for ecstasy or MDMA, was concealed inside a large plastic bag. Each pill was embossed with a lightning bolt for easier identification. Authorities found a small brown vial hidden in another plastic bag that contained capsules filled with a mixture of cocaine and the livestock dewormer pill, Levamisole.
— Michelle McNamara (@TrueCrimeDiary) November 8, 2013
On April 4, 2016, Michelle McNamara was found unresponsive in her bed and a short time later she was pronounced dead. Law enforcement discovered a variety of pills along with a white powdery substance at the scene. The autopsy report concluded that Michelle did not die from a traumatic injury, and foul play was ruled out as well. Patton Oswalt told authorities that his wife died from a heart condition and an accidental overdose.
The coroner’s report revealed that Michelle “died due to effects of multiple drugs. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is listed as a contributing condition.” The toxicology report verified which drugs were in Michelle’s system when she passed away.
Cal Wildlife Center say it's baby band-tailed pigeon. They told me how to re-nest him. Reunite with Mama, lil guy! pic.twitter.com/nU1dsnqD
— Michelle McNamara (@TrueCrimeDiary) February 20, 2012
“The toxicology studies on blood reveal the presence alprazolam, and amphetamine at levels likely consistent with the therapeutic range, a metabolite of bupropion and a high level of fentanyl. Phenylpropanolamine and amphetamine are present in the urine. When fentanyl and alprazolam are taken together there may be a synergistic central nervous system depressive effect. Based on the history and circumstances, currently known, the manner of death is accident.”
Patton Oswalt told authorities that his wife did not use narcotics and she only drank at social functions. He revealed that even though McNamara had a problem with depression and had seen a psychiatrist, she never threatened suicide.
Michelle McNamara wrote crime stories. She didn’t choose ones that were high profile or ones that happened with big name celebrities. She wrote about the lesser known crimes that people committed. Those were the ones that she found the most interesting and she loved trying to solve them by finding clues that the police had missed.
“It’s the ones that really don’t get that much attention that interest me because I think what’s interesting about them is there’s more stuff to be unearthed that hasn’t been in the public yet and you can do it.”
Michelle graduated from the University of Notre Dame and she received her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. McNamara is the founder of the True Crime Diary website. At the time of her death, she was working on her next book, The Golden State Killer, and according to her husband, her health was suffering because of all the long hours she was putting in.
The night before she passed away, Patton suggested that she take some Xanax, go to bed and sleep until she woke up the next morning. Michelle never woke up from her sleep.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]