Authors often draw inspiration from themselves or people they know for their characters, and Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, resembles his book’s protagonist more and more every day. Like the fictional Mikael Blomqvist, Larsson was both an author and a journalist. And, also like Blomqvist, it turns out that he was deeply troubled by an unsolvable mystery.
Up until his untimely death, Larsson had been actively researching the 1986 assassination of Swedish prime minister, Olof Palme. Journalist Jan Stocklassa discovered this research—boxes upon boxes of it—in 2014 through Larsson’s former employer, Expo magazine.
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Stocklassa used the research to write a true crime story titled The Man Who Played With Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin. The book was originally published in Swedish in November of 2018, and, after much ado, Amazon Crossing will publish the English translation on October 1st, 2019!
Larsson’s life has been a hot topic of late; a film titled The Man Who Played With Fire (also co-produced by Stocklassa) premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and focuses on Larsson’s research into far-right, neo-Nazi groups, rather than on Palme’s assassination.
IMAGE VIA SUNDANCE.ORG
Though Larsson passed away in 2004, he remains influential in both literary and social justice circles. Stocklassa’s new book will give readers a chance to be mesmerized by the life and works of Larsson one more time.
There’s no doubt that the true crime and mystery genres have been growing in popularity. From books to TV series to podcasts, this genre is just booming in every way and form it possibly can. There’s just something about the subject matter that awakens our morbidly curiosity, and authors are taking full advantage of this!
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The true crime genre has been on the rise since the beginning of 2018, selling over 1.6 million books in the U.S. alone. In the book world, the genre has been thriving so much that Amazon’s sub-categories are including Biographies and Memoirs of serial killers. One of the fastest selling novels at the moment is CL Swinney’s Robert Black: The True Story of a Child Rapist and Serial Killer from the United Kingdom.
Image via Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin, a best elling crime novelist, says:
“Humans are fascinated by evil, we wonder where it comes from and whether we ourselves could ever carry out such an act. Some readers turn to crime fiction for answers, while others prefer true crime. Of course, there is a vicarious frisson for the fan of either – the reader stands at the shoulder of monsters without being endangered.”
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Personally, I think the genre will continue to grow well beyond next year. There are plenty of upcoming novels from new and old authors and they seem to be pretty popular with the people who are able to get ARC copies. Romance novels is the number one best seller, but that might change in the coming years.
Truman Capote’s 1966 novel In Cold Blooddepicts the real-life murder of the Clutter family, a bizarre and gruesome act of violence. After learning about the senseless killing, Capote journeyed to Holcomb, Kansas with friend and famed author of To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee to investigate the source material for what would become his professional success and his personal downfall. Together, they logged thousands of pages of notes about the “quadruple murder” as the basis for Capote’s work. Literary critics describe this true (if sensationalized) novel the pioneer work of both the non-fiction and true crime genres. Serial killer fanatics- this story is for you!
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The real-life murder took place in Holcomb, KS, the sleepy sort of town where nothing bad ever happens… until, of course, it does. Holcomb was a town built on trust,a place where no one locked their doorsand everyone acted like neighbors. (That door locking thing is going to matter later.) Not only did the Clutter family’s murder destroy the four lives it claimed, but it also shattered the town’s sense of community and friendship. On November 15th, 1959, the killers entered the Clutter’s home in search of cash they never found- $10,000 the Clutters allegedly kept in a safe. But the family would die for money they didn’t even have. Dissatisfied with Mr. Clutter’s confusion about their demands for the safe, the murderers cut his throat and shot him in the head. Chillingly, Mr. Clutter’s killer stopped to listen to his blood “gurgling” out.
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When the killers realized there was no money in the home, things got messy. Maybe the killers didn’t want any witnessed to their botched break-in; maybe they were angry. The result was the brutal, execution-style murder of Mrs. Bonnie Clutter, as well as children sixteen-year-old Nancy Clutter and fifteen-year-old Kenyon Clutter. The men bound the terrified family with rope and duct tape before the killing. Since each victim was taken to a different room for the murder, all of them died alone. And what did these murderers make off with? Fifty dollars, binoculars, and a radio. The Clutters died horribly and for nothing.
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When Capote told their story, the medium of non-fiction as we know it did not exist. Initially, many believed his efforts were an attempt to combat writer’s block. Capote assured the naysayers that “reporting can be made as interesting as fiction, and done as artistically.”Though his efforts brought him wild success, the psychological toll was immense. He felt a kinship with one of the murderers who had a troubled childhood similar to his own- a feeling so strong Capote considered him“the man he might have been.”When the murderers eventually got the death penalty, Capote was torn apart. Following the execution, Capote began a lifelong battle with alcohol and drugs, even appearing for televised interviews seriously inebriated. Though he would die of his addiction just six years later, Capote’s leaves behind a much brighter legacy. Openly homosexual, Capote stands as a prominent LGBT historical figure for writers, readers, and members of the LGBT community. And as a pioneer of two widespread and beloved genres, Capote will command respect and admiration so long as there are books to read.
Still wondering who the murderers were? You know what to do! Read thebook.
Author Helen Bailey achieved success with her Elektra Brown series. She earned her profits and even spent some on her own personal home worth 1.5 million pounds. However, things took a dark turn for the author after she met with the now infamous Ian Stewart. Stewart would propose to Bailey, but with the intention of killing her and inheriting her wealth. He would succeed in taking her life, but not without being caught. In 2017 he was imprisoned for his crime.
However, Stewart may also be responsible for the death of his first wife. If not, he may have knowledge on what made her die so out of the blue. After being sentenced last year, detectives from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit re-examined the case.
Stewart didn’t stop at killing Bailey, he also killed her beloved dog | Image Via Pinterest
This Wednesday, it was reported that a 57-year-old man had been arrested earlier this week and questioned under the suspicion of the murder of Diane Stewart. The 47-year-old had previously been said to have died of natural causes and/or sudden death via unexpected epilepsy. The chief inspector of the crime unit reopened the case on suspicion that Stewart had killed before the murder of Helen Bailey.
Diane Stewart, Ian Stewart’s ex-wife | Image Via Daily Mail
Relatives of Diane Stewart seem to highly suspect Ian as the culprit. An anonymous family member stated to The Telegraph:
“We were told at the time it was an unexplained death and it has worried me, it has been on my mind that it was unexplained.”
Ian Stewart is highly suspected in at least having something to do with his ex-wife’s murder. Helen Bailey was drugged by Stewart with the sleeping drug Zopiclobe each night before finally killing her in April of 2016. Perhaps the killer may have done something similar with his ex-wife. The story is still in development, so for any updates, be sure to check out Bookstr daily.
McNamara sadly passed away before the book’s publication, but her widower, actor Patton Oswalt, tweeted today that if it is indeed the perpetrator his wife devoted so much time to finding, he would like to meet him. “If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller,” he says, “I hope I get to visit him. Not to gloat or gawk — to ask him the questions that @TrueCrimeDiary [McNamara’s handle] wanted answered in her “Letter To An Old Man” at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark.”
The man in custody is Joseph James DeAngelo, a seventy-six-year-old ex-cop. According to CNN:
DeAngelo is a former Auburn, California, police officer who was fired in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. He worked as a police officer in Exeter and Auburn between 1973 and 1979.
Creepy AF. An officer stated that DeAngelo may very well have been a cop while committing some of these crimes, which makes the whole thing even harder to stomach, if you ask me.
They stated that while McNamara’s book had not directly impacted the case, it had helped to draw public attention to the horrifying crimes that for so long went unsolved.