Stephen King’s latest adaptation, A Good Marriage, first appeared in his short story collection Full Dark, No Stars. King has explained in the past that the story was inspired by the killings and life of BTK Killer Dennis Rader, a fact that hasn’t escaped Rader’s family. The convicted murderer’s daughter is criticizing King for using her family as the basis for the story and its upcoming film adaptation. From Hutch News:
“He’s exploiting my father’s 10 victims and their families,” Kerri Rawson told the Wichita Eagle for a story published Friday.
Rawson said that King’s upcoming movie, “A Good Marriage,” prompted her to break a self-imposed nine-year silence. She sent letters to King and local media outlets, saying that her family also feels exploited and that King should not profit from the grief her father caused.
King has said in media interviews that the movie – adapted from one of his short stories about a wife who suddenly discovers her husband is a serial killer – was inspired by Rader and his family. “A Good Marriage” is a story in the collection “Full Dark, No Stars,” which was published in 2010.
King said Friday in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that he doesn’t think Rader’s daughter has to worry about her father being flattered by his portrayal in the film as a “banal little man.” He said that none of the murders are shown and that the independently financed film is not expected to bring huge returns.
Much like yesterday’s post on Madam Secretary and Hillary Clinton, there’s no denying that real life influences fiction. I find that it is always a tricky situation to write or talk about real life murderers without somehow offending the victims or families involved on either side.
Take the rash of spree murders and school shootings we’ve encountered in the past few years and the backlash against reporting that focuses on the killers. It is an easy thing to do because that’s the festering sore in the center of the story, the people affected by it are always going to be numbers first and foremost. It takes a bit of care to get past that, something you have to hope King does in the story.
I haven’t read it myself, but it’s hard to think that anything short of completely shelving it will do any good for Rawson and the victims of Rader. I personally don’t see an issue with the story itself because it isn’t telling a true story or glorify the murders. But I’m certainly no expert, what do you think?
(Via Hutch News)