The doc filmmaker revisits the famous case of the “manacled Mormon.”
By Ben Kenigsberg|
What was the genesis of the Tabloid project? When you go to someone like Joyce McKinney and you say you want to make a movie about her, does she just say, “Okay, great”? I called her right after I read [a Boston] Globe article on [her] cloning [her dog]. [Similarly, years ago] I read this article in The New York Times—the title is, “Can capital punishment be humane?” It’s got a picture of Fred Leuchter [the subject of Morris’s Mr. Death] with his patent-pending electric chair.… At the bottom of this fucked-up article, it turns out the guy’s a Holocaust denier. [Claps hands] Sold! It’s the concatenation of two weird, fucked-up things. In my addled brain, I wonder, What’s that about? And with Joyce, it’s “32-year-old sex-in-chains story plus…dog cloning?” She didn’t want to talk when I first approached her. Months went by. I called her in L.A., and she was interested. And then it was a matter of just arranging to get her into a studio.