'Where the Crawdads Sing' Author Delia Owens Reportedly Sought for Questioning in 1996 Poacher Murder

Delia Owens, whose best-selling book "Where the Crawdads Sing" was adapted into a movie released this week, is reportedly wanted for questioning in the 1996 murder of a suspected poacher in Africa.

The haunting new movie “Where the Crawdads Sing,” produced by Reese Witherspoon, is a murder mystery set in the south and based on the best-selling book by Delia Owens.

Now, a real murder mystery is casting a shadow of suspicion over Owens, who spent 20 years working in Africa with elephants and other endangered species alongside her husband, Mark.

In 1996, ABC News chronicled the couple’s attempts to combat elephant poaching in the region. They captured a disturbing video, in which a suspected poacher was shot and killed.

Over two decades later, Owens is wanted for questioning as a possible witness, co-conspirator and accessory in the murder, The Atlantic reports.

The magazine claims her husband actually wrote a letter describing killing poachers: “Two poachers have been killed and one wounded that I know of thus far, and we are just getting warmed up.”

Nigel Smith, an editor for People, is also covering the story. 

“Shortly after the killing, Delia and her ex-husband moved away from Africa to Idaho, a very remote part of Idaho,” Smith said.

Witherspoon fell in love with Owens' novel and produced the movie, which was released this week.

The murder investigation was dormant for decades, but the success of the book, and now the movie, have put a spotlight on the case.

In 2020, Delia Owens told an interviewer, “I had nothing to do with the terrible event." 

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