Best-selling true crime author Shanna Hogan has died as the result of an Aug. 27 pool accident at her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She was 38.
Hogan was swimming with her 15-month-old son Zander when she lost her footing and hit her head, her friend Kathleen “Katie” Mayer told People magazine.
Hogan’s husband of nearly 20 years, Matt LaRussa, arrived shortly after her fall to find his son safely outside the pool in his life vest, but his wife unconscious and submerged in the pool, Mayer told the outlet. LaRussa performed CPR until paramedics arrived and rushed her to an area hospital, where she remained in the ICU in critical condition for several days.
“Her brain suffered too much damage and we lost this wonderful woman,” Mayer wrote on the GoFundMe page she launched in support of the Hogan family. “This fundraiser will raise money to pay for the family’s extensive medical bills, memorial costs and to support Zander as he grows up without a mother”
The campaign had raised nearly $20,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.
In a Facebook post Friday, LaRussa remembered Hogan as an “amazing wife” and “best friend to me and thousands.” Hogan’s family donated her organs, Mayer added, already saving the lives of four people — and possibly more in the future.
“At a time where human kindness is so desperately needed, we’ve lost one of the people who gave that to our world, but Shanna’s writing will live on, the lives she saved will live on and her greatest creation — her little boy — will live on to inspire all of us,” Mayer told People.
After getting her start as a reporter at Arizona’s East Valley Tribune, the award-winning desert journalist went on to write a series of popular books such as “Dancing with Death: The True Story of a Glamorous Showgirl, Her Wealthy Husband, and a Horrifying Murder” and “Secrets of a Marine’s Wife” and “Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story.”
Hogan was also an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Arizona State University, in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
“We will never forget the mark Shanna left on our lives and on this world,” Mayer said.
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