Paramount Pictures was sold.
In 1995, The New York Times reports, the studio paid $17,800 to one William Knoedelseder for the movie rights to a 13-page book proposal--a biography of a professional cat burglar named Alan Golder.
In a plot turn supplied by real-life and not Hollywood, police this week said they believe Knoedelseder and Golder are the same man--and Golder is their prime suspect in a string of jewelry heists at posh homes in Connecticut and New York.
The crimes, over a yearlong 1996-97 period, netted the crook some $750,000 worth of purloined property.
Golder/Knoedelseder's book proposal called its thief the "dinner-at-eight-bandit"; police officials' tag name was the "dinner-time burglar."
The two sources agree on the crook's M.O.: Climb in an upper-story window at supper time, rifle through the bedrooms for precious trinkets, slip out unnoticed before dessert was served downstairs.
Golder is a paroled murderer. He served 15 years in prison for the 1978 killing of a millionaire during a botched burglary, the newspaper reports.
To kill time behind bars, Golder apparently took up writing. His book proposal, Precious Metal: Confessions of a Rock 'n' Roll Thief, trumpeted its exclusivity: "Golder has never talked to a reporter before."
Police don't know how much of the biographical passages are boasts, how much are the real deal. But, as the Times reports, some are chillingly dead on, including the name of Golder's murder victim during a botched burglary in the 1970s.
Elsewhere, Golder romanticizes himself in the text: "With his exquisite features, trim physique, skin-tight designer jeans and $1,200 leather jacket, he could have passed for a member of a rock group."
Today, Golder is a wanted man--still at-large.
One thing he won't be missing during his days on the run is his movie deal. Paramount lost interest in the project long ago, a studio source tells the newspaper. Says the insider: "It's gone."
Just like its author.