All the controversy surrounding Where the Crawdads Sing explained

The author is reportedly wanted for questioning in relation to a murder case

Since its publication in 2018, Where the Crawdads Sing has taken the world by storm, selling over 12 million copies making it one of the best selling books of all time. But since the release of the movie adaptation this year, Where the Crawdads Sing controversy is being discussed a lot online.

The coming of age novel is now leaving a sour taste in people’s mouth as it has come to light that the author Delia Owens is reportedly wanted for questioning in relation to a murder case. But what actually happened? This is all the Where the Crawdads Sing controversy explained:

Who is Delia Owens?

Delia Owens is an American conservationist, zoologist and author known mostly for her nature writing with Where the Crawdads Sing being her first novel. The 2018 book has now been turned into a feature film starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and produced by Reese Witherspoon.

Delia is now 73 years old and lives in America but she used to live in Africa for more than 20 years with her then husband Mark Owens and his son, Christopher.

Delia and Mark worked as conservationists first in Botswana before settling in Zambia where they focused their attention on the poaching issue in the country’s North Luangwa National Park.

Where the Crawdads Sing controversy

via @authordeliaowens on Instagram

Delia is reportedly wanted for questioning in a murder case

In 1995 when Delia, Mark and Christopher were living in Zambia, some of the family’s conservation work was being filmed by a camera crew for a documentary.

The documentary, according to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg who has spent time with the Owenses, included the shooting of an alleged poacher.

Jeffrey said: “Producers included in this documentary the filmed murder of an alleged poacher, executed while lying collapsed on the ground after having already been shot.”

The identity of the person killed and the identity of who fired the shots have never been confirmed.

via @authordeliaowens on Instagram

The Owenses deny any wrongdoing and no one has ever been charged

Delia has continued to deny any involvement in the alleged murder case and no charges have ever been brought against anyone.

In 2012 Delia said: “We don’t know anything about it. The only thing Mark ever did was throw firecrackers out of his plane, but just to scare poachers, not to hurt anyone.

“Chris wasn’t there. We don’t even know where that event took place. It was horrible, a person being shot like that.”

Lawyers for the Owens family have also issued denials concerning any wrong doing or involvement.

In June 2022, Zambia’s director of public prosecutions, Lillian Shawa-Siyuni, confirmed Mark, Delia, and Christopher Owens are still wanted for questioning in relation to this case.

She said: “There is no statute of limitations on murder in Zambia. They are all wanted for questioning in this case, including Delia Owens.”

Siyuni added that the investigation has been stalled by the lack of extradition treaty between Zambia and the United Sates.

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