BTK family member criticism

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Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
This probably has been brought up in another thread, but I assume people have read about the criticism King has received from the daughter of the BTK individual.

This got me irritated. Believe me, I have the utmost sympathy for this woman, for obvious reasons. But I think she should be more concerned about the victims than with King.

I hope she has never watched things like "Psycho" and "The Silence of the Lambs," as both those stories I believe had real-life inspirations.

As a wannabe, unpublished writer, I do admit I changed at one time something I used in a horror story at the last minute before sending it out, something that was based on a real event that had occurred, at the time, very recently. I can't recall the story fully without looking it up -- and my connection is not great right now, so I can't do so -- but if you remember, there was some mining accident somewhere where, at first, it was thought the majority of people survived, exciting all the family members, and then, it was revealed that was a mistake, the majority were lost and only one person survived. Horrible tragedy.

In my story, I had a teen witch-sort-of character use her powers to actually cause that change from one dying to one surviving, because in her mind all the cheering people were arrogant (obviously I don't really believe that, and it was just one part of the story). In the end, I thought it was too soon to incorporate the actual event (although I always wonder if someone did, and if someone got criticized for it), so I changed the situation from a mine to a disaster somewhere else, a mall I think. The story was rejected, but the editor I think said it came close, or he liked it, whatever. Never sent it out again.

Therefore, yes, I might have at times a problem with writing something directly based on something else (in the above, I literally used the event, at first), but if I did, or if/when King does, he shouldn't be criticized. I oftentimes try to look for events I can use in fiction, it makes things more interesting and marketable. And again, she should avoid the news, many movies, etc., that make money off tragedy. (Yet, I wonder if the studio offered her money to be a consultant, what she would think.)

Besides, as he said, it's not really about the actual event.


Ms. Mod
Jul 10, 2006
There is another post somewhere but think it might be mixed in with other comments. Just in case you didn't see it, here's the response Steve sent to the Wichita Eagle.

I don't think Mr. Rader's daughter has to worry about her father getting a big head; there's nothing glamorous about the portrayal of Bob Anderson in A GOOD MARRIAGE. He's depicted as a banal little man, and none of the murders are shown. As for making millions from the project…not going to happen. AGM is a very small, independently financed feature that is opening in less than two dozen venues. How it does as a video on demand feature film (VOD) is hard to predict, but we don't expect huge returns. The story isn't really about the killer husband at all, but about a brave and determined woman. And while I understand Ms. Rawson's distress, the BTK crimes have already been chronicled in no less than 4 feature films, and there may be more in the future. I grant there is a morbid interest in such crimes and such criminals--there have been at least a hundred films about Jack the Ripper, who claimed far fewer victims--but there's also a need to understand why they happen. That drive to understand is the basis of art, and that's what I strove for in A GOOD MARRIAGE. I maintain that the theme of both the novella and the movie--how some men are able to keep secrets from even their closest loved ones--is valid and deserves exploration.
Stephen King

Here's a link to how they used it for their followup.


Don't worry. I have a permit!!!
Feb 5, 2010
Wonderland Avenue
I commented in another place about this. I'll say it here as well... Art, especially of the type that SK does, is only as good as its comment on the human condition. Art reflects life and vice versa. Nothing in "A Good Marriage" is close to as horrific as what actually occurred in the BTK killings. This story isn't even an exploration of those events, but one that was inspired by it. Why haven't we heard from the family before about these movies directly about BTK?
Because SK and his perceived deep pockets weren't involved perhaps?

On a side note, I will be seeing it this weekend in Tampa. I enjoyed the story and the movie looks to be good.