Sunday, March 15, 2009

Changeling and True Crime by Morgan Mandel

Saturday night my husband and I watched Changeling. I often fall asleep watching movies on the couch at home, but this this was one movie which kept my attention from start to finish. Just when everything seemed to be going right, more setbacks slammed into Christine Collins, played by Angelina Jolie. Leave it to the DH to notice she didn't seem to mind getting her eye makeup smeared or her nose red, but I digress.

What's shocking is this movie was based on a true story. Each day I hear more about corruption in our era, but the events in Changeling began in 1928. For some reason I expected old fashioned values to prevail in such a setting, instead of what was the case.

The movie is about a mother whose son disappears and the police claim they've found him, but is it really him? For more, here's the clip:

Although there are enough hair raising happenings to choose from, I've never considered writing a book or script about a true story. The plot would be limited to a certain degree to keep true to history, but in between there would be lots of leeway to exercise the imagination.

What about you? Do you like to read True Crime books? Have you read a good one? Would you consider writing one? Please share.


Lillie Ammann said...


I wrote a nonfiction book about a crime; however, it wasn't really a true crime book.

The book focused on how a group people recovered from an incident of workplace violence that left three people dead and one person seriously injured.

The injured victim, who was the business owner and a close friend of mine, and her employees showed remarkable faith, hope, love, and courage, and I thought their story deserved to be told.

The purpose of the book was to raise money for my friend's medical treatment as she didn't have insurance. However, she received victim compensation from the state and donated treatment by doctors and hospital so we ended up contributing many of the books to a literacy organization.

Writing the story was quite an experience. Although I was concerned that the survivors would not want to talk to me, the interviews were a catharsis for them. I told them what I was doing, punched the button on the tape recorder, and most of them talked until I stopped them to turn over the tape.

The shooter killed himself so there was no trial, so I could move fast. The book was published by an organization established to help my friend within a few months of the incident.

Lillie Ammann
A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye

Dana Fredsti said...

I find true crime fascinating, but wouldn't be interested in writing about one...and read it in limited doses as I find the true crimes a lot more horrific than the fictional ones...and life can be depressing enough without reading about the real atrocities people commit. Yes, I am a wuss. :)