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Sad news out of Southern California: Darlene Flynn, a 58-year-old woman who held the Guinness world record for the largest collection of shoe-related items and memorabilia, was found dead in her swimming pool. Her former boyfriend, Justin Charles Smith, has been arrested and charged with her murder.
In addition to many pairs of shoes, Flynn had amassed over 15,000 shoe-related items, including shoe-shaped furniture, lamps, and jewelry. Novelty shoes reportedly covered every surface in her home and garage. Flynn named her dogs Shoesy and Bootsy.
Neighbors say the couple frequently fought. They broke up last year, after Smith was charged with stealing Flynn's car and selling it. But Smith continued to turn up at Flynn's house, and arguments would often ensue.
Here's footage of Flynn's appearance on a TLC show My Collection Obsession. Smith turns up at 0:45, and the two tell the story of how they met at a local bar when Flynn asked him to dance. The two are then shown dancing next to the pool. At one point, Flynn says, "I am very crazy obsessed with shoes...I'll be surrounded by shoes when I die."
— Jenna Sauers
· MENIFEE: Guinness Record Holder Found Dead in Pool
· Darlene Flynn [Guinness]