Since I’m taking on thrillers and mysteries for this month, I thought I could talk about one of the most silliest but inevitable questions I’ve asked as a reader back when I was a kid growing up and steadily devouring crime books (that are way too adult for me) together with my RL Stine titles (Ah, nostalgia!). I know better now, of course, but back in the day, I always find myself wondering: where do crime authors get their ideas for all the gruesome details in their plots? Are all those from their imagination? Had they ever, at some point in their lives, wanted to commit crimes themselves? Okay, that question is admittedly juvenile. And then I came across this odd discovery a couple of years back.
The collage of pictures above are screen shots from this 1994 movie, Heavenly Creatures, directed by the famed Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson and starred Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet in her debut role. It is based on a real life dark, obsessive friendship between two 15-year old girls in New Zealand and the crime they have committed which became the much sensationalized Parker-Hulme Murder Case, in which they have conspired together to kill Parker’s mother by heavy blows in the head using a brick inside a stocking. Gruesome, yes. It was so hyped that a couple of books have been written about it.
So where’s the trivia in this, you ask? Let’s consider another collage of pictures for a moment.
Not familiar? She’s Anne Perry, one of the most prolific and popular writers of modern crime detective fiction. Since the film Heavenly Creatures garnered critical acclaim and box-office success, it has also created quite an uproar when it has been revealed that Anne Perry, the well-known author, is actually Juliet Hulme in real life—yes, one of the two girls charged for murder back in 1954. After being released from prison, she has actually changed her name legally when she moved to the United States. The other pictures are from her teenage years together with Pauline Parker, her best friend. You can read more about the details of the case HERE
I don’t mean to generalize of course, that all crime authors have a dark past. I just found it rather amusing that an Inception of sorts happen once in a while even in this thrilling literary genre. Life, has a sick sense of humor sometimes, and at it’s very best, you just can’t help but exclaim at its brilliance, muttering, ‘Wow, I didn’t see that coming!’