Famed author of Where The Crawdads Sing Delia Owens is wanted for questioning after being linked to a horrifying murder being taped for a documentary, new reports claim.
Delia and her husband Mark were featured in a 1996 program titled Deadly Game, which examined their conservation efforts in Zambia, which reportedly took a deadly turn.
Years before Delia celebrated the success of her first novel, she and her husband Mark moved to Africa on a mission to save elephants from poachers.
ABC aired her story in a documentary, in which co-host Diane Sawyer said, “You’ve traveled halfway across the world to follow a dream.
“An idealistic American couple – young, in love. But a strange place and time would put that love to the test.”
Deadly Game: The Mark and Delia Owens Story follows the American couple’s journey to Zambia to study and conserve the elephant population.
The documentary showed how they fought to save the elephants from poachers who were after them for their precious ivory tusks.
While this sounds like an idyllic tale of two brave scientists trying to preserve nature at all costs, Jeffrey Goldberg, a critic of the Owenses, described the documentary as a “snuff film”.
And that’s not just speculation – the documentary actually telegraphed the murder of a poacher who was killed after being caught on a game warden’s compound.
“The victim is not identified by the narrator of the story, journalist Meredith Vieira,” Goldberg wrote.
“The identity of the person or persons who fired the fatal shots off-camera will also not be disclosed.”
Describing the warfare in the documentary, the Paley Center for Media said: “Game wardens must shoot poachers as soon as they see one or they will be shot themselves; the Owens have decided that in order to save the elephants, they must sacrifice people.”
Rather than just witnessing the war between game wardens and poachers, Goldberg claimed that Mark and Delia were allegedly involved in killing poachers.
He said he visited Zambia where “I learned that Mark Owens had gradually come to command a corps of wildlife scouts in North Luangwa, outside the Zambian government’s oversight, showing their loyalty by providing weapons , boots and money.
Goldberg also claimed that Mark’s adult son trained scouts in hand-to-hand combat so they could apprehend poachers more effectively.
A professional hunter named PJ Fouche showed Goldberg a letter Mark allegedly sent him during his anti-poaching campaign.
“To date I have flown eight anti-poaching airborne operations over your territory, including four using ambush scouts,” Mark wrote, according to Fouche.
“As far as I know, two poachers have been killed and one wounded and we are just warming up.”
However, Mark and Delia have vehemently denied any claims that they were involved in murders or committed any wrongdoing.
“The only thing Mark ever did was throw firecrackers out of his plane, but only to scare poachers and not hurt anyone,” famous author Delia told Goldberg.
“Why don’t you understand that we are good people?
Regarding the letter Mark Fouche wrote, Mark said in a statement: “‘We’re just getting started’ didn’t mean that anybody just started shooting at poachers, just that we had just started anti- establish poacher patrols in this area.”
Mark said his words were an exaggeration to please professional hunter Fouche.
Despite this, Zambia’s chief prosecutor, Lillian Shawa-Siyuni, said Mark, Delia and Mark’s son Christopher are still wanted for questioning in connection with the killing of the alleged poacher in the documentary, Goldberg said.
“There is no statute of limitations on murder in Zambia,” Siyuna said.
“You are all wanted for questioning in this case, including Delia Owens.”
The only thing Mark ever did was throw firecrackers out of his plane, but only to scare poachers and not hurt anyone.
Delia’s first novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, has sold more than 12 million copies since it was published in 2018.
The book has been adapted into a feature film, which will air later this week, thanks to producer and early supporter of the book Reese Witherspoon.
Days before the film’s premiere, Goldberg emphasizes that the Zambian government still wants to speak to the successful author.
“I want to know how Mark and Delia brought guns into Zambia and made themselves law enforcement officers,” Chief Prosecutor Siyuni told Goldberg.
“I can’t even go into the US embassy with a camera.”
Today Mark and Delia are said to be amicably divorced.
Delia wrote several best-selling non-fiction books before she found fame with her first novel.
Mark has written several non-fiction books on zoology and environmental activism.
Jeffrey Goldberg previously wrote about Delia and Mark in The New Yorker’s 2010 article The Hunted.
The Sun has reached out to Delia’s publishers and the Owens family regarding this issue.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5753216/where-the-crawdads-sing-delia-mark-owens-zambia-murder/ Inside Where The Crawdads Sings dark tale starring author Delia Owens, who is about to be questioned over grisly televised murder