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The True Horror Of Hounds Of Love Lies In The Story Of Its Real Serial Killer


It’s never explicitly stated that “Hounds of Love” is based on a true story, but it follows the real-life case of David and Catherine Birnie so closely that it’s hard to believe the film didn’t draw any inspiration from it. Within the span of five weeks in 1986, the couple kidnapped, raped, and murdered four women. Vicky’s character mirrors Birnie’s 15-year-old victim Susannah Candy, who also had a wealthy surgeon father. Vicky promises that he will pay a hefty ransom, but the Whites are only interested in inflicting harm. The Guardian reported┬áthat Australian film scholar and curator Alexandra Heller-Nicholas also found similarities to the Birnies in the set design:

“It’s incomprehensible to me to look at this as anything other than a true-crime movie: the details are too close, too similar. I even looked up the house that the Birnie murders took place in on one of those real-estate websites and the layout of the house in ‘Hounds of Love’ is almost identical.”

Much like the Birnies, the Whites force their victim to take sleeping pills and have a guard dog to block their potential escape. David and Catherine were both sentenced to life in prison, whereas the couple in “Hounds of Love” turns against each other, with Evelyn killing John and her fate left unknown as she wanders the streets holding the knife.

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