Ripped from the Headlines! The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies’ Most Memorable Crimes

Harold Schechter. Little A, $24.95 (442p) ISBN 978-1-5420-4180-5
In this fascinating survey, Schechter (Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men) details the links between more than 40 movies and the real-life crimes that inspired them. Many of Alfred Hitchcock’s films were based on real incidents, in particular 1960’s Psycho, which drew on the hideous crimes of Ed Gein, who, after his mother’s death, robbed graves and murdered two women and kept their body parts in his farmhouse. (Hitchcock’s Frenzy and Rope also merit chapters.) The author brings his erudition to bear on other classics including Arsenic and Old Lace (a late 19th-century female series poisoner), Dirty Harry (San Francisco’s Zodiac killer), and Murder on the Orient Express (the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case). Lesser known films get fair treatment, such as 1976’s cheesy Eaten Alive! about a man who kills women and feeds their bodies to his pet alligator, which was based on the story of Texan Joe Ball, who kept alligators in a pond behind his tavern and murdered women. True crime fans and movie trivia buffs will devour this one like popcorn. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/30/2020
Release date: 07/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7997-0864-3
Paperback - 978-1-5420-4182-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-7997-0865-0
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