Author Who Wrote Best-Selling Book on Convicted Killer Jodi Arias Drowns in Family Pool in Front of Her Son

Author Who Wrote Best-Selling Book on Convicted Killer Jodi Arias Drowns in Family Pool in Front of Her Son

The bestselling author Shanna Hogan tragically passed away at the age of 38 after drowning in her family’s pool.

A GoFundMe page for Hogan, a bestselling nonfiction writer best known for her true crime book “Picture Perfect” about convicted murderer Jodi Arias, states that she drowned last month in her family’s pool in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Wife, mother, friend and talented author Shanna Hogan lost her life tragically in August after a fall and accidental drowning at her Phoenix home,” the page stated. “She received extensive medical treatments in ICU to attempt to save her life, but her brain suffered too much damage and we lost this wonderful woman.”

Hogan is survived by her husband of 20 years, Matthew LaRussa, and a 15-month-old son, who was described as “the light of her life.”

“Shanna was always there for her family, friends, co-workers and readers with her warm smile and support,” the page added. “Now is our time to step up and be there for her family.”

The page, which has raised over $19,000 at the time of this writing, said that the money will be used to help the family cover the costs of Hogan’s medical bills, memorial costs and to help in the upbringing of the author’s son, Zander.

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Kathleen “Katie” Mayer, a friend and former colleague of Hogan’s, told PEOPLE magazine that she was swimming with her son when she fell and hit her head. Her husband later found her unconscious and performed CPR on her until first responders arrived to take her to the hospital.

“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 said.

Mayer went on to remember Hogan as someone who left a mark on the world, both in her professional and personal lives.

“Shanna was a talented writer with a gift for beautiful descriptions and compelling narratives,” she said. “Her extraordinary style of storytelling drew you in as a reader, while her warmth drew in those she wrote about so they felt comfortable sharing their most personal stories with her.”

“She had another book planned as well as a screenplay in progress and she was so excited about these projects,” Mayer added. “As a college instructor, she loved not only teaching but having fun in the classroom. She brought a zany sense of humor and so much laughter to her students.”

“Personally, she was the kindest human being I have ever known and beautiful with thick red hair and a warm smile,” she said. “She was the type of person to text you just to tell you, ‘Hey, I think you’re awesome and I just wanted you to know that.'”

Mayer concluded by saying it was Hogan’s role as a wife and mother that she treasured the most.

“For someone who accomplished so much as a young true-crime author, she above all, cherished motherhood,” she said. “She became a mom later in life but flourished in this role with a true grace that was breathtaking to see.”


This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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