A true story served as the inspiration for the Oscar-buzzy film Foxcatcher, released last Friday and starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.
Now, Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz tells the inside story behind the sensational one in his memoir Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness and the Quest for Olympic Gold, written with David Thomas, a former sports columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
At its heart, the book is about the relationship between two close and competitive brothers — Mark and Dave, both outstanding wrestling champions (they competed collegiately for Oklahoma) and Olympic gold medalists in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Without financial support, the brothers — first Mark, then Dave — began working with wrestling fan John du Pont, the wealthy (and highly eccentric) heir to the du Pont fortune, at his Foxcatcher Farms outside Philadelphia.
On Jan. 26, 1996, du Pont shot and killed Dave. How did “Team Foxcatcher” go so horribly wrong? Mark tries to get into the mind of the murderer, who was convicted and died in prison in 2010.
“Foxcatcher is a tragic and intriguing story, and with the advance praise the movie has received, the question of why John du Pont murdered Dave Schultz once again will become the cause of a lot of speculation,” Thomas says. “Of course, we’ll never know why the murder happened, but Mark Schultz gives us insight that no one else can.”
— Celeste Williams