Is The Stranger’s James Liston Based On A Real Guy?

Netflix’s ‘The Stranger’ is based on the book ‘The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer’ by Kate Kiriacou. Thomas M. Wright is the director of the crime thriller film inspired by true events. It follows Markrame (Joel Edgerton), an undercover cop who tries to get a confession from Henry, the prime suspect in James Liston’s disappearance.

The film follows the complex investigation into the disappearance of James Liston, which baffles the police almost ten years after his abduction. Given the sensational nature of the presentation, viewers must wonder if James Liston is based on a real person. In that case, let us share everything we know about the inspiration behind James Liston in The Stranger.

Is The Stranger’s James Liston Based On A Real Guy?

In The Stranger, James Liston is the subject of an investigation by Detective Rylett. Liston is thirteen years old and was abducted on May 12, 2002 under mysterious circumstances. He was waiting for a bus near the subway. However, there is no information about whether the boy boarded the last bus from the scene. Nearly eight years after Liston’s disappearance, the investigation continues, and police have identified Henry Teague as the prime suspect in the case.

Eventually, the operation leads Henry to confess that he killed James Liston. Although Henry claims to have strangled the boy, we don’t actually see him commit the crime. Moreover, James Liston appears only a few times in the film and does not appear on the screen. However, James Liston is most likely based on Daniel Morcombe. The film is based on Keith Kiriakou’s book The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer, which tells the story of the investigation into Morcombe’s death.

Born on December 19, 1989, Daniel Morcombe was the son of Bruce and Denise Morcombe. He lived with his parents and two siblings on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. On 7 December 2003, Morcombe was abducted from an informal bus stop under the Kiel Mountain Road flyover in the Woombye district. Shortly after his disappearance, the police began an investigation. Several suspects, including Brett Peter Cowan, have been questioned by police in connection with the Morcombe abduction.

However, the case remained unsolved until 2011. About eight years after Morcombe’s disappearance, police arrested Cowan and recorded his confession. Cowan confessed to killing Morcombe and the child’s remains were discovered near the Glass House Mountains in August 2011. orensic evidence found at the site linked Cowan to Morcombe’s death. Morcombe was thirteen when he died.

On March 14, 2014, Cowan was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Morcombe. The Morcombe family have established the Daniel Morcombeoundation to perpetuate Morcombe’s memory. Although The Stranger is based on the murder of Daniel Morcombe, the real-life victim of the tragedy is not mentioned in the film. In an interview with director Thomas M. Wright, he explained the decision to remove Morcombe’s name from the film. Diversity.

“One reason I didn’t show children or families was to make a film with a clear moral perspective. I could not presume to know anything of that family’s experience. But I saw that there was a story about creating empathy and meaning in the wake of violence, not violence itself,” Wright said. Based on Wright’s words, it is safe to say that James Liston is a fictionalized version of Daniel Morcombe and not a direct counterpart of the real person.

Read more: Is Henry Teague aka Peter the Stranger more based on a real person? Where is he now?