‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ Author Lois Duncan Spent Years Trying to Solve Her Own Daughter’s Murder
If someone is looking for a thriller to watch, they may think of the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. Many people considered the film to have revitalized the slasher genre along with Scream. Two of the cast members met on the set of the movie and soon began a long-lasting relationship.
Even though some people have positive things to say about the thriller, Lois Duncan did not. Duncan was the author of the novel of the same name. Before the film’s release, she was trying to solve her daughter’s murder.
‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ was a success
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1997 film that starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar. It is a slasher about four friends who are driving along the road during the 4th of July. They end up hitting a pedestrian and dump the body instead of calling for help.
The four of them make a pact to never speak about the incident again. A year later, Julie receives an ominous note that reads, “I know what you did last summer!” She tracks down the other three friends. Meanwhile, a killer picks them off one by one.
One of the most iconic scenes is Julie turning around to ask the killer what he is waiting for. However, no one is there. The idea for the scene came from a child who won a contest. Now, it is the most well-known scene.
The film was commercially successful upon its release. While it received mixed reviews, the movie became a classic in popular culture. Two sequels would follow up the original film.
Who is renowned author Lois Duncan?
Born on April 28, 1934, Duncan spent her early life in Pennsylvania, according to Publishers Weekly. She developed a hobby for reading and began writing at a young age. The author got married twice and had five children throughout her life. Duncan died in 2016 at the age of 82.
Early in her career, Duncan wrote plenty of articles for magazines while taking care of her children. The author also worked on manuscripts for novels. Her first novel, Love Song for Joyce, got published in 1958. Other early works include Debutante Hall and A Promise for Joyce.
Duncan generally wrote suspense novels for young adults. Besides I Know What You Did Last Summer, she published Down a Dark Hill and Summer of Fear. Killing Mr. Griffin became a critical success upon publication.
Readers of Duncan’s books found that the stories seemed rooted in real life. Besides being suspenseful, some novels had supernatural elements. Duncan wrote stories for adults and nonfiction as well.
Lois Duncan attempted to solve her daughter’s killing
While fans loved I Know What You Did Last Summer, Duncan did not like the film at all. According to The A.V. Club, the author hated how the adaptation changed the nature of the story. The movie was a slasher that had promiscuous teens getting stalked, as seen in many ’80s and ’90s thriller movies.
The film framed the deaths of the characters in a way that offered guilty pleasure to the audience. Duncan explained in an interview that she did not enjoy seeing teenagers get killed. The main reason is that the author lost her 18-year-old daughter in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time, Duncan was working on solving her child’s death.
Duncan’s daughter was named Kaitlyn Arquette. In the summer of 1989, someone killed Arquette in an unexplained shooting, according to BuzzFeed. The official investigation did not turn up any clues to indicate who did it, but Duncan dedicated herself to solving the mystery.
Duncan requested the help of psychics and a private investigator, and her investigation lasted 25 years. According to the Albuquerque Journal, as of 2019, the case remains unsolved.