EXCLUSIVE: An adaptation of Caitlin Rother’s true-crime book Death On Ocean Boulevard: The Coronado Mansion, is in the works for the small screen. Untitled Entertainment has acquired the film/tv rights to the book, and the project is currently in early development as a scripted limited series. Rother will serve as executive producer alongside Untitled Entertainment. A writer is not yet attached.
Published by Kensington in April 2021, per the synopsis, Death On Ocean Boulevard chronicles the harrowing story of Rebecca Zahau, who was found dead on the morning of July 13, 2011, at the historic Spreckels Mansion, a lavish beachfront property in Coronado, California, owned by her boyfriend, a powerful pharmaceutical tycoon. When authorities arrived, they found Rebecca hanging from a balcony, naked, gagged, her ankles tied, her wrists bound behind her, and a cryptic message scrawled on a door: SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER.
Was this a suicide note, or a killer’s taunt? Rebecca’s death came just two days after her boyfriend’s son took a devastating fall while in Rebecca’s care. Authorities deemed Rebecca’s death a suicide resulting from her guilt, but her family insists she was murdered. But who would stage a suicide or a murder in such a bizarre, elaborate way? The family believes it was her boyfriend’s brother, and a civil jury agreed, but he insists he is innocent.
Rother, whose husband hanged himself, gives readers an objective, but uniquely personal look at the evidence and theories in this case. She provides a detailed window into Zahau’s past growing up as a religious Burmese refugee, overcoming insurmountable odds. The portrait is an intimate, layered and honest depiction of which most victims, especially women of color, are deprived in the media.
“I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing this compelling and important story play out on the screen,” Rother said. “The case is still developing as we speak, with a pending lawsuit by the Zahau family that seeks to re-open the criminal case, so I’m excited to see where it will go next.”
Bestselling author and investigative journalist Rother has had a prolific career, with fourteen books published, many of them bestsellers. Her titles include Dead Reckoning; Hunting Charles Manson; Secrets, Lies, and Shoelaces; Naked Addiction; Then No One Can Have Her; I’ll Take Care of You, Twisted Triangle, Body Parts, and Poisoned Love. During her nearly 20 years as a full-time investigative reporter, Rother’s stories have been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily News of Los Angeles, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Daily Beast.
Rother was repped on the deal by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary and Romano Law.
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