THE author of Where the Crawdads Sing has a dark past that is surprising similar to the book's murder plot.
Delia Owens and her ex-husband, Mark, spent some time in Africa to help save the elephants from poaching.
Although conservation efforts in Zambia seem to be a good faith effort in helping animals, Delia has been criticized for Mark and his son, Christopher's, alleged involvement in a shocking murder that was shown in the couple's documentary.
Eyebrows had been raised after an ABC broadcast titled “Deadly Game: The Mark and Delia Owens Story" aired in 1996.
During the hour-long broadcast, the ABC team captured the shooting and killing of a poacher in an African wooded area.
With little context, such as where the killing took place, who the victim was, and who murdered the poacher, viewers are left to wonder, who committed this heinous crime.
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, has studied this documentary and the Owens family and collected theories from credible sources.
Goldberg has published some huge allegations – Mark's son Christopher killed the poacher and Mark helped to get rid of the body.
In an article Goldberg wrote for The Atlantic, he claims that Chris Everson, the ABC cameraman who filmed the murder of the alleged poacher, said that it wasn't a Zambian game scout that pulled the trigger, but Christopher Owens.
Biemba Musole, the Zambian police detective in charge of the investigation into the killing, said that Mark Owens and his scouts put the victim in a cargo net, attached it to his helicopter, and dropped the body in a nearby lagoon, Everson reported.
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When Goldberg confronted Delia about the killing, she denied all the claims.
“We don’t know anything about it,” she said. “The only thing Mark ever did was throw firecrackers out of his plane, but just to scare poachers, not to hurt anyone.”
She also said that “Chris wasn’t there. We don’t even know where that event took place. It was horrible, a person being shot like that.”
Mark and Christopher's lawyers also denied any claims of wrongdoing or involvement.
Although no legal action was taken on any allegations of involvement, the similarities between Delia's time in Zambia and her book, Where the Crawdad's Sing, has left an eerie feeling.
Goldberg along with another reporter from Slate, Laura Miller, pointed out these similarities that are pulled from a novel about an isolated girl who commits a righteous murder of a local big shot.
Miller writes, Delia and her protagonist, Kya, are both "lonely, yet prefer the company of animals to people; the Owenses’ memoirs recount one long search for life outside the human fold."
"Kya is depicted as a misunderstood victim, cast out of society by the small-minded prejudices of her neighbors."
This would reflect that criticism that Delia faced after the killing of the alleged poacher.
There were also smaller details reflecting Delia's time in Zambia like the book's jailhouse cat who is named after a Zambian cook who worked at the Owenses' camp.
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Even Delia herself said in an interview with Amazon, “Almost every part of the book has some deeper meaning."
"There’s a lot of symbolism in this book.”
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