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Patton Oswalt Reveals the Cause of His Wife’s Death

McNamara passed away unexpectedly on April 21, 2016.

Michelle McNamara Patton Oswalt


Michelle McNamara, crime writer and wife of Patton Oswalt, passed away unexpectedly last year at the age of 46. The cause for her death was unknown and a shock to the “Talking for Clapping” comedian, who expressed his grief and struggles coping with her loss in the following months.

On Friday, February 3, Oswalt shared that the coroner officials told him that his wife died from a combination of prescription medications and an undiagnosed heart condition. Neither of them knew about her condition, which caused blockage in her arteries, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We learned today the combination of drugs in Michelle’s system, along with a condition we were unaware of, proved lethal,” Oswalt expressed in a statement to the Associated Press.

McNamara’s blockage, combined with her taking Adderall, Xanax and the pain medication Fentanyl, caused her to pass away in her sleep.

READ MORE: Patton Oswalt Tells Stephen Colbert How to Cope With Grief on ‘The Late Show’

McNamara was known for creating the True Crime Diary blog where she wrote about smaller-profile murder cases such as the Golden State Killer and the murder of nurse Melanie Howell that happened in 1976.

After winning his first Emmy last September, Oswalt dedicated his trophy to his daughter Alice and late wife. He later told Conan O’Brien during an interview, “She was the reason that my comedy got better to get me to the point where someone would consider me for an Emmy. So it was hard to encapsulate that in a quick speech.”

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