Gary Kinder waited nearly a decade for his book on the notorious Hi Fi Shop murders to be made into a television movie.
He says it wasn't worth the wait."I think the story on film doesn't have near the impact the book does," Kinder said. "It could have been powerful, really powerful, and I think it misses that."
Sunday night's CBS Movie of the Week, "Aftermath: The Other Side of Murder," is a docudrama that Kinder had hoped would be faithful to his 1982 book, "Victim: The Other Side of Murder."
The book focused on the aftermath of the 1974 robbery of the Ogden Hi Fi Shop in which a pair of airmen from Hill Air Force Base tortured and shot five people in the store's basement. A woman was raped, and all five were forced to drink a caustic drain cleaner. Three died.
Pierre Dale Selby and William Andrews were condemned to die for the slayings. In 1987, Selby was executed by injection. Andrews, the nation's longest-standing death row inmate, awaits the outcome of a federal appeal.
"Aftermath" stars Richard Chamberlain as Ross Colburn, a fictional characterization of Dr. Byron Naisbitt, whose wife, Carol, was among those killed. Naisbitt's son, Courtney, was critically injured but survived and now lives at an unspecified location in the Pacific Northwest.
Actress Michael Learned portrays Irene Colburn, Chamberlain's murdered wife and mother of Terry Colburn, confined to a wheelchair for his injuries.
The names aren't the only facts Interscope Productions changed, Kinder points out.
In the movie, Ross Colburn at first tells his recovering but amnesiac son that he and his mother were in a car accident. Naisbitt told Courtney the truth from the beginning.
Kinder sees little similarity between Chamberlain's character and that of Nais-bitt.
"They get away from the story being one about victims, and it becomes a story about a man who is insensitive and a little cold when this tragedy strikes," he said. "That is not Byron Naisbitt."
He describes the real doctor as an outgoing, caring man who teases co-workers and whistles off-key. "None of this comes across in the movie," he said.
Naisbitt, who also has previewed the movie, said he preferred to keep his opinion to himself. "Let people make their own judgments," he said Friday.
"I volunteered to have the movie made if they would portray how violent crime affects the victims, their families and those around them," Naisbitt said. "I would like people to understand that that's the reason for this film."
After Kinder's recent private screening of "Aftermath" with his wife, Alison, he said his impression was that in cutting the movie, "they didn't have enough time to tell the story properly."
"My wife used the perfect word: `surface.' It's all very surface stuff, and you really don't get to know (the victims) or care about them."
When he watches it again Sunday night, Kinder said he'll try to judge the movie with more charity.
The 44-year-old writer said his own attention to detail probably doesn't make him the best movie critic. "Victim" took Kinder seven years to research and write.
Nearly 250,000 paperback copies of "Victim" have been sold. Coincidentally, Dell Publishing Co. had decided before the movie was scheduled to republish "Victim," complete with a new epilogue and cover design.
It will be shipped to bookstores beginning Monday.