True Crime Author: 'I'm afraid of the Zodiac case' Next week, Hollywood's $80+million retelling of the Zodiac's murder spree will hit theaters. From a recent article in the San Jose Mercury-News: "I'm afraid of the case,'' admitted San Francisco true-crime author Robert Graysmith. "It is so obsessive, once you get into it, you find it hard to get out.'' He should know: he penned the two Zodiac books the new movie is based on."
Dominick Dunne Takes On the Perry March Case And some folks aren't too happy about it. Perry March was eventually convicted of the murder of his wealthy wife, Janet March.
A Journey From Murder to Theology? True crime devotees remember Jens Soering (photo) as the guy who brutally slashed his girlfriend's parents and was convicted for it. Twenty-two years afterward and he's a prison philosopher with four books on theology and reform. From The Virginian-Pilot:
Jens Soering stands apart from most of the Virginia prison system's 31,000 inmates. And not just because he is serving a double life sentence for a pair of grisly murders.
He has attracted dozens of influential supporters - including the German ambassador to the United States and the Most Rev. Walter F. Sullivan, bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. They and others hail him as an up-and-coming theologian and prison reformer....
The sensational case had all the elements - money, privilege, obsessive love, gruesome violence and an international flight from the authorities. It made Soering the biggest news that part of Virginia had seen in ages. He was Geraldo material, a true-crime heavyweight. He was 24-hour cable gabfest fodder before there were 24-hour gabfests....
The Mythic Tale of a Card Game Gone Wrong A great article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel describes some of the art and music that a famous Christmas murder inspired:
On Christmas night, 1895, Lee Shelton and Billy Lyons were playing cards at a saloon called the Bucket of Blood in St. Louis. At some point during the night, an argument broke out between the two men, supposedly over Shelton's Stetson hat. Though the details have been blurred by the passing century, what is known is that Shelton, forever more to be known as "Stagger Lee," shot Lyons to death, and was sent to prison, where he died in 1912 at the age of 47.
As word of the crime spread throughout the years, the story took on a life of its own, in the songs of blues and folk musicians, who each told their own take on the now mythic tale of a card game gone wrong, and a man's pride in his hat. The murder ballad of "Stagger Lee" has been sung by artists as varied as Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Lloyd Price, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, The Clash, and Nick Cave, all performing different versions of the song over the years....
The Jacob Ade Family Murder Steve Huff wrote a mesmerizing story of a family murdered in 1897 and a possible answer to the riddle that fans of very well written historic true crime stories are bound to admire.