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Trivia / The Bad Seed

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  • Follow the Leader: The Bad Seed's Bessie Denker was created in inspiration by several real life murderers March knew about. Bessie Denker's career is based very roughly on the real-life careers of Belle Gunness and Jane Toppan. The description of her execution in the electric chair is based on that of Ruth Snyder.
  • He Also Did: William March is largely only remembered today for having written this novel, which has suffered Adaptation Displacement, but he had quite a fascinating life. Serving in the Marine Corps in World War I, a wounded March helped with a counterattack on German troops during the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, and earned a Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Croix de Guerre from the French government. After the war, he started writing prose alongside a successful office job, published the novel Company K, which was hailed as an American counterpart to All Quiet on the Western Front, was sent by his employers to Germany just in time to watch the rise of Adolf Hitler, struggled with depression and schizophrenia, and published The Bad Seed to good reviews, only to die just five weeks after it was released.