[PW] Crime Faction: Fiction based on real crimes; as compiled by Georgine Olson

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 1 20:38:10 PDT 2016

Two omissions come immediately to mind: The Price of Silence by Kate Wilhelm and The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. An impressive list.--TM (Turns out, as I didn't quite realize, Georgine's list was keyed to the Fairbanks collection...which had the Wilhelm and now or soon has the Ketchum.

The list as posted: 

Some comments:
Bill Crider said...
Probably several by Vin Packer, esp. The Evil Friendship. [About the murder of writer "Anne Perry"'s friends mother, with "Perry" as juvenile accomplice.]
October 22, 2016 at 8:08 PM 

Jerry House said...
Robert Bloch's American Gothic. [About the same murderer, "H. H. Holmes" as THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY...published twenty years+ earlier]
October 23, 2016 at 9:30 AM 

Anonymous said...
Was The Man Who Was Thursday included by mistake for Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, based on real events involving anarchists in London? Whatever else it is, The Man Who Was Thursday wasn't based om anything realistic. Conrad's Nostromo was also inspired by a real theft of silver and Under Western Eyes has characters based on real Russian anarchists. 

The connexions between The Great Gatsby and the Hall-Mills murder case are also remote. On the other hand, Meyer Wolfsheim in that book was directly based on Arnold Rothstein, the man who fixed the 1919 World Series.
A Pin To See The Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse was also based on the Bywater-Thompson case.

Todd Mason said...
One thing I wasn't aware of, was that this list was based on what's in the collection at the Fairbanks Public Library, which helps to explain some omissions...Georgine reports that she has ordered a copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR for the library, and added the Wilhelm to her list, and I'm passing along these comments to her.

Bill: Definitely! I imagine Meaker and "Anne Perry" never crossed paths too comfortably, if they ever have at all. I gather there was a specific case LOLITA was based on, as well.

Jerry: Shame on me for not immediately thinking of that one.

Anon: Had I allowed myself to think about it, the Chesterton was an odd choice. Conrad was certainly much more directly inspired by espionage at various levels.

--Todd Mason

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