August 26, 2014

Stephen King to visit Wichita on Nov. 14; BTK-inspired movie out in October

“A Good Marriage,” a film due out Oct. 3 based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name, was inspired by serial killer BTK.

Stephen King is coming to Wichita. That much we know. But like any good mystery, suspense is building about the details.

The beloved author will be in Wichita on Nov. 14 to promote his next novel, “Revival,” according to his website, www.stephenking.com. Watermark Books is sponsoring his visit but couldn’t say more Tuesday.

“We’re working with WSU,” said Watermark owner Sarah Bagby. She’s been sworn to secrecy on any other details, such as where the event will be.

King’s website says details about the book tour, which begins Nov. 11 in New York City, will be posted online Sept. 15.

Katie Monaghan, deputy director for Scribner Publicity, said in an e-mail to The Eagle on Tuesday that King wasn’t available for interviews.

His visit to Wichita – one of six cities on the tour – will come a little more than a month after “A Good Marriage,” a movie based on King’s novella of the same name, hits the big screen. The movie is due out Oct. 3 and stars Joan Allen as Darcy Anderson and Anthony LaPaglia as Bob Anderson, an accountant-turned-serial killer. The novella is part of the “Full Dark, No Stars” collection.

In the afterword for the collection, King writes that “A Good Marriage” “came to my mind after reading an article about Dennis Rader, the infamous BTK (bind, torture, and kill) murderer who took the lives of ten people – mostly women, but two of his victims were children – over a period of roughly sixteen years.

“In many cases, he mailed pieces of his victims’ identification to the police. Paula Rader was married to this monster for thirty-four years, and many in the Wichita area, where Rader claimed his victims, refuse to believe that she could live with him and not know what he was doing.

“I did believe – I do believe – and I wrote this story to explore what might happen in such a case if the wife suddenly found out about her husband’s awful hobby. I also wrote it to explore the idea that it’s impossible to fully know anyone, even those we love the most.”

BTK resurfaced in 2004 with a cryptic letter sent to The Eagle. A Wichita Police Department task force tricked him into revealing himself 11 months later.

Rader is serving 10 consecutive life sentences at El Dorado Correctional Facility. The 69-year-old is in a special management unit at the prison.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SGCountyDeb.

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