The long and irregular work hours and confrontation with human sufferings, not to mention the administrative accumulation and demanding circumstances with victims’ families made homicide detectives’ work more stressful than most.
On one side, detectives work against the clock, so more murders can be prevented, but on the other, they cannot jump to conclusions and make decisions that may compromise the investigation.
Even for law enforcement with all the resources, including case files and the ability to obtain a search warrant, the works can be mentally and physically overwhelming, let alone for journalists and independent researchers.
Michelle McNamara’s fascination with and curiosity of the Golden State Killer finally took a toll on the wellbeing of the actual crime author on April 21, 2016, when she was found dead by her husband in their home.
After taking a combination of drugs for anxiety and nightmares, she died in her sleep, primarily due to her relentless investigative works to identify the serial killer.
10 /10 True Crime Diary
The unsolved murder of Kathleen Lombardo in August 1984 sparked the investigative nature in Michelle, who was only 14 when it happened.
Although she did not know Kathleen personally well enough, they lived in Oak Park, just west of Chicago.
Later on, in 2006, Michelle created the True Crime Diary website filled with a collection of cold cases, including the Golden State Killer, which for a long while had not been identified.
Michelle wrote about the killer – blamed for 13 murders and 50 rapes across California between the 1970s and 1980s – for Los Angeles Magazine.
9 /10 Accidental Overdose
In an interview with the New York Times, her husband, Patton Oswalt, said that Michelle might have accidentally overdosed.
He recalled Michelle was working long days and nights in the process of writing a book about a serial rapist and killer. She was unable to sleep due to nightmares and anxiety that kept her awake at night.
Patton then suggested his wife take a break and go to sleep, worrying about her health. Michelle took some Xanax and went to sleep. She never woke up.