Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Outside Valentine

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Outside Valentine

by Liza Ward

Outside Valentine by Liza Ward X
Outside Valentine by Liza Ward
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2004, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2005, 320 pages

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Outside Valentine is an elegantly written and compelling first novel in its own right, but the story is given an extra edge by the fact that the author's paternal grandparents were two of the victims, and one of the fictionalized characters in the book is, apparently, based on the author's father.  

The Starweather/Fugate killings were the inspiration for a number of movies such as Terrence Malick's Badlands (1974), Quentin Tarantino and Tony Scott's True Romance (1993), and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994). You can browse a comprehensive summary of the case here.

As for what happened to the perpetrators; Starkweather was sent to the electric chair in 1959, but Fugate was given life imprisonment.  She was paroled in 1976 and apparently lives quietly in Michigan, working as a medical assistant.  She would have turned 60 last year.

This article is from the August 3, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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