The XX Factor

Lovely Bones, Sort-of-True-Crime Version

I haven’t read the book either, Nina , but I feel as if I’ve already seen the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones . It was called Murder in Greenwich , told the story of Martha Moxley’s violent death in Belle Haven, and aired on USA in 2002, the same year Sebold’s book came out. Both stories involve the deaths of pretty teenage girls (Moxley was 15; Sebold’s character, 14) and take place in the mid-’70s (Moxley was killed in 1975, Sebold’s character in 1973).

The true-crime version has a more interesting cast of characters; Mark Fuhrman wrote Murder in Greenwich , and Ethel Kennedy’s nephew (a distant relation of mine) was eventually convicted of the murder. But both screenplays, weirdly enough, involve the victims themselves sweetly narrating the search for the killer from heaven. Is surveying the application of justice from another world just something we expect adolescent girls to do?

Still from Murder in Greenwich trailer courtesy of Columbia TriStar Entertainment.