The AMC + original crime series Ragdoll follows the appearance of the eponymous serial killer. The attacker is known to dismember the bodies of his victims and sew them together into a grotesque ragdoll. A group of detectives led by DC Lake Edmonds (Lucy Hale) and the quirky DS Nathan Rose (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) are investigating the serial murders.
The killer mocks the police by targeting Nathan as the next victim. While Nathan is excited, the killer seems to be on their necks. The captivating premise leads to a dark and troubling mystery full of twists and turns. Interesting interactions between criminals and law enforcement have made the headlines many times, but you might want to know if this series is based on actual events. In that case we should investigate further.
Is ragdoll based on a true story?
No, Ragdoll is not based on a true story. Apparently there is no known serial killer in the history of criminology who makes macabre dolls out of his victims. Freddy Syborn developed the series and co-wrote most of the script with actress and writer Florence Keith-Roach and Kara Smith. The series is based on the book of the same name by the author Daniel Cole. Ragdoll is the first of three books in the author’s bestselling series Fawkes and Baxter, the other two being Hangman and Endgame.
When the book came out, critics and publishers touted it as vibrant, and there is no doubt that the series does justice to the original material. Daniel Cole, who has been writing screenplays for six years, was still waiting for his big break after many rejections. For Ragdoll, he changed the form to a novel and was fortunate enough that it worked out well.
Just before the book was released in early 2017, Cole spoke about his writing process. He revealed that he usually thinks up a beginning and an end and then builds up the story chapter by chapter. So, for the book that inspired the series, the author only had a few key plot points in mind, and the rest of the story fell accordingly. However, after completing the book, Cole made a spider diagram to make sure he had all the loose ends connected. According to him, it usually takes about nine months to finish the first draft of a book. This is followed by rewriting and revising what he calls an endless process.
When asked if Cole’s life experiences inspired parts of Ragdoll, he admitted that no author can write a work of fiction without incorporating aspects of his life. He also recalled that his time in the ambulance marked some of the most haunting scenes in the book. The dry and dark sense of humor he learned from the emergency services also feeds into the plot.
However, as Cole affirmed, the drab office scenes – which he feared most – ended up being the most entertaining. In these scenes he had a free hand to give the characters shading and to incorporate the much-needed humor. The book was published in 2017, and in February 2021, AMC and Alibi acquired the option for a thriller series. Soon after, Syborn came on board to write the film, and production began in the spring of 2021.
All things considered, it is safe to say that the events in the series have no counterpart in true crime cases. However, history has proven that it is not uncommon for serial killers to operate on the bodies of their victims. A prime example is Ed Gein or the Plainfield Ghoul, who allegedly made leggings from the human leg skin. So we can confirm that this series takes a realistic look at the aberrations of a criminal mind, albeit through a fictional narrative.