Life Imitates Art: Polish Crime Writer Convicted

Novelist gets 25 years for murder he wrote
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2007 10:04 AM CDT
Author Krystian Bala, right, listens as a the court convicts him of directing the killing of a local businessman in a crime that bore eerie similarities to a grisly murder he described in a novel in Wroclaw,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Polish author charged with a gruesome murder similar to one he wrote about in a novel has been convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. A Warsaw court found Krystian Bala guilty yesterday after prosecutors demonstrated that his 2003 novel Amok contained information that only the murderer could know, the BBC reports.

The case surrounded the murder, torture, and mutilation of a young advertising executive whose body was found in the Oder River in 2000. Police had no leads until they read Bala's novel; they later discovered that he had spoken to the victim on the day of his death. Bala continues to insist that he is innocent and wrote the novel from media accounts.