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10 Terrifying True Stories That Deserve Horror Movie Adaptations part2

The Silent Twins
The Story:
June and Jennifer Gibbons were British twin girls whose bond became something ostracizing and dangerous as it drew them together, away from the world, and into trouble. As children, they spoke their own language, and rarely spoke to anyone else. But their love for each other sometimes curdled, resulting in one trying to murder the other and vice versa. As they got older, they went on a crime spree of theft and arson that got them branded as psychopaths. They were committed to Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane when they were just 14 years old. Later, they did finally begin to reach out to someone, journalist Marjorie Wallace. To her, they showed a remarkable self-awareness, admitting they could never be individuals as long as the other lived. Jennifer told Wallace, "I'm going to die. We've decided." And as they were being transferred to a lower security facility that would give them more personal freedom, Jennifer did just that. Though she is said to have died of a heart condition, it's a bizarre coincidence to say the least.

The Pitch: The Silent Twins have gotten a made for TV movie in the UK (trailer above), but their story is so unusual that it deserves something a bit flashier. It could be a deeply moody film that speaks to the pain of creating an identity apart from family. As June lives (free and seemingly mentally stable), it'd probably be best to center a film on her, and her struggle to love her sister while attempting to be separate from her. Imagine The Brothers Bloom, but darker. This is the kind of story I'd love to see We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay handle. Can someone get on that please?


Death in the Dyatlov Pass
The Story:
There's a passage in Russia's Ural Mountains that's conditions are so harsh that its nearby peak is called Dead Mountain because of the lack of wildlife there. Why you'd want to go skiing in such a place is beyond me, but that's exactly what nine ski hikers did in February of 1959, never to return. The eventual search party discovered a tent ripped in two and all of the group's belongings--including their shoes--left behind despite the deathly cold temperatures. Following a trail of shoeless footprints that led to the woods, they soon recovered five of the bodies, some in their underwear. The rest were found two months later, when the spring thaw melted the snow that covered them. These were better clothed that the others, but unlike their friends--who were believed to have died of hypothermia--this foursome had strange fatal injuries that included major skull trauma, major chest fractures, and a missing tongue. The impact that could make this kind of damage is said to be that of a high-speed car crash, which has inspired many wild theories. You can see one of these in the History Channel piece above.

The Pitch: A recent low-budget thriller has imagined a found footage approach to tackling this tale, following five filmmakers aiming to retrace the steps of the ill-fated ski trippers. But I'd be more interested in seeing the original story explored as a monster movie, where something so big and horrible emerged from Death Mountain that it scared the hikers to abandon their tents in a rush, without proper weather protection. Perhaps a yeti or a terrible troll could be the creature at the center of this feature. Or considering the timeframe of the 1950s you could go the science-gone-awry path and have it be a beast of the atomic age, which would inspire a government cover-up.


The Disappearance Of Belle Elmore
The Story:
Belle Elmore was the stage name of aspiring opera singer Cora Crippen, unhappy wife of homeopathic Dr. Hawley Crippen. Sadly, her greatest fame was not achieved on the stage, but posthumously because of the bizarre circumstances surrounding her death. Despite her popularity in London's theatrical community, the Crippens did little together but quarrel, often publically. After a dispute at a party they'd thrown on January 31st, 1910, she went missing. Her husband insisted Cora had gone to California. But her friend, professional strongwoman Kate Williams, suspected foul play and went to Scotland Yard. Suspicion grew as Dr. Crippen invited his secretary, the pretty young Ethel Neave, to move in, and she began wearing Cora's jewelry and mink coat. When Scotland Yard turned up to his home to investigate, he was gone. But the coppers discovered a dismembered torso in his cellar, and the chase was on! Crippen and a cross-dressing Neave were spotted on a ship headed to Canada, and quickly caught upon their arrival.

The Pitch: Crippen's story is most often remember for being the first where a telegraph communication--in this case from a boat captain to Scotland Yard--was used to collar a criminal. Nonetheless, there's something deeply creepy about a man who'd murder his wife, wrap his lover in her clothes and happily live in their home until suspicion loomed too large. By all accounts, Crippen was not a bold man. He was typically described as mild-mannered, especially in contrast to his big and brassy wife. But clearly there was something sinister in his soul, inspiring him to poison his wife, hide the body, and effectively recast her with his doting assistant. Given the right screenwriter--say Peter Morgan--this intimate tale of betrayal and murder could be made into a harrowing domestic thriller for the ages.
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