Image: Igor Malijevský, “Petr’s Shadow,” Čelechovice, 2000. Courtesy of the artist.
This month we bring you accounts of true crime from seven countries. While the offenses range from identity theft to murder on the high seas, the reports here are uniformly arresting. In their Muriel Award-winning graphic novel, Marek Šindelka, Vojtěch Mašek, and Marek Pokorný track an obsessed reporter on the trail of an elusive cult leader. João Paulo Cuenca finds himself the victim of a unique form of theft, while Du Qiang talks with one of the few survivors of a bloody mutiny. Graphic novelist Jake Raynal takes a sardonic look at the flexibility of facts. Shoko Ugawa gives a harrowing account of a banquet turned bloodbath. Cezary Łazarewicz reports on a young woman bludgeoned in her bed. And Miguel Ángel Hernández returns to his hometown to take a stab at uncovering the truth behind a baffling murder. WWB’s Susan Harris provides an introduction.
Forced Confessions: On True Crime Writing
The pieces here map the translation of event into prose—the creation of true crime writing.
The Sixth Victim
It all began about the time that the men and women were finishing their first drinks.
It's not your job to solve this case.
I Found Out I Was Dead
"She’s the one who identified the body with your name, address, and document number."
Like most gruesome crimes, the case also reveals something of society’s ills.
The Pain of Others
Twenty years ago, one Christmas Eve, my best friend killed his sister and threw himself off a cliff.
“Must you put on a fur when someone shouts ‘murder'?"
Massacre in the Pacific: A Personal Account
"It's not a crime to kill someone on the high seas, you know."
Reviewed by Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado
A remarkable novel about the traces left by the Chilean dictatorship in the lives of children explores the tension between the unsaid and shreds of remembrance that acquire outsize importance when the reader connects the dots.