‘Nightingale’ HBO Movie Loosely Inspired By True Story Of Palatine, Illinois, Murder Case Karl Sneider, Kathy Sneider

Nightingale, is a new HBO original movie that was loosely inspired by the true-story murder of Kathy Sneider. The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that Nightingale, which will air tonight on HBO, is acted by only one man, Selma actor David Oyelowo. The plot centers around Peter Snowden, an insane war vet who anticipates the arrival of a male friend, but ends up savagely killing his own mother at their home.


An original film, Nightingale takes the viewer inside the mind of a killer as he struggles with what he’s done while at the same time feeling free from his mother’s controlling ways. Snowden hates when he allows his temper to get the best of him, and his mind constantly spins as he comes to grips with his inexcusable actions.

Nightingale viewers will watch Snowden’s mad descent into craziness like no one has ever seen before. It’s a constant tailspin of Peter Snowden talking to himself and slowly sinking into despair. According to David Oyelowo, HBO’s Nightingale is a very unique film which attempts to tell one man’s story with only one actor. The cutting edge masterpiece has been called “spellbinding,” and Oyelowo’s performance as “brilliant.”

A friendly caution. Nightingale is laced heavily with violence and insinuates homosexuality — though not directly. It also takes on issues of bigotry, and insanity among war veterans. The movie is best suited for mature audiences. According to The Chicagoist, Nightingale is directed by Elliott Lester and written by screenwriter Frederick Mensch.

The unusual movie, while not completely based on a true story, takes its inspiration from a true crime story that happened in Palatine, Illinois, back in 2003. That’s when Kathy Sneider was murdered by her own insane son. The grizzly crime shocked neighbors as they learned about the case.

According to court record, Karl Sneider, who had a history of bizarre behavior and mental problems, grew angry with his mother when she mentioned the possibility of placing him a mental institution. On January 27, 2003, as soon as Kathy Sneider walked into her home in the 300 block of North Mac Arthur Drive, 26-year old Karl Sneider, took his fist and struck his mother in the face, before stabbing her to death and cutting off her head. He placed his mother’s decapitated head on the front porch, then cleaned off his body with pages torn from a bible, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He was arrested a short time later but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Karl Sneider was placed in a mental institution in Illinois where he has privileges which include walking the grounds freely. Family members live in fear everyday that someday Karl Sneider will get out.

Watching the movie tonight while knowing that an actual case of this nature exists makes Nightingale even more terrifying. Don’t miss it. Nightingale premieres tonight at 9.


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