“Where the Crawdads Sing” Author is Wanted For Questioning in Murder

"There is no statute of limitations in Zambia."
By Savannah Moss
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images for Bentonville Film Festival

Delia Owens’ novel Where the Crawdads Sing became increasingly popular by readers, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and even adapted into a film. Singer Taylor Swift even wrote an original song for the film after reading it and being inspired. But, after The Atlantic published an article highlighting the controversy around the book and the film, Owens is currently wanted for questioning in a murder in Zambia, a nation in Africa.

According to the article, Delia Owens and her husband, Mark, traveled to Zambia, where they wrote their novel The Eye of the Elephant where they discussed and highlighted their battles as conservationists against poachers. This caught the interests of ABC, who created a documentary that then featured ” the filmed murder of an alleged poacher.” The author clarifies there is little evidence to prove the person was a poacher and refers to the person as a “trespasser.”

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Although this has been mentioned before, and the film and book have both been criticized heavily, the Atlantic article reignited the criticism online. The article also provided an update, as the author reported multiple sources confirmed that “Mark’s adult son from his first marriage, Christopher Owens, had been placed in charge of training the game scouts in hand-to-hand combat; and that Christopher Owens frequently beat the game scouts as a form of discipline.”The article also reported more disturbing things, like the Owens’ scouts tying up suspected poachers or bragging about the killing of poachers.

As of right now, the Owens have been directed to not return, as the original documentary ignited interest in authorities regarding the murder. Interestingly, the novel details the main character accused of murder, and many people have thought that the novel seems to mirror too closely the real story, which many find haunting. For example, the marketing line for the novel is “Every creature does what it must to survive.”