Showtime is revisiting an infamous murderous spree with Lonely Hearts Killers, a drama project in development from Memphis Beat creators Liz W. Garcia and Josh Harto, Universal Cable Prods. and Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’s studio-based Hypnotic banner.
Written by married duo Garcia and Harto, the project is described as a modern retelling of the story of the Lonely Hearts Killers of the 1940s. It follows the unlikely coupling of a sexy, violent grifter and a quiet, love starved Dairy Plant employee on a cross-country crime spree. They seduce and ultimately murder lonely women – but most surprising of all, fall deeply in love with each other along the way. Garcia, Harto, Bartis, Liman and Gene Klein executive produce.
Raymond Martinez Fernandez and Martha Jule Beck are believed to have killed as many as 20 women between 1947 and 1949. They became known as The Lonely Hearts Killers for meeting their unsuspecting victims through lonely hearts ads. The duo were captured, tried and convicted of one murder, their last, and executed in 1951.
The story has found its way into pop culture, with a number of movies on the subject, including the 2006 Lonely Hearts starring John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Jared Leto and Salma Hayek. The case also was featured in an episode of the CBS drama Cold Case.
On the feature side, Garcia and Harto produced — with Garcia writing/directing and Harto acting in — the 2013 Sundance entry The Lifeguard starring Kristen Bell. Additionally, Garcia is writing the next installment of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants for Alloy Entertainment. The two are repped by CAA and Madhouse Entertainment.