Leonard Kastle stands in front of a poster of The Honeymoon Killers

One-hit writer and director, Leonard Kastle, of his first and only film, “The Honeymoon Killers,” reportedly died May 18 at his home in Westerlo, N.Y., after a brief illness, said Tina Sisson, a friend. He was 82.

“The Honeymoon Killers,” released in 1970, is described as a “grimly realistic, low-budget, black-and-white crime drama about a lowlife lothario and his overweight nurse lover whose partnership in conning lonely women leads to murder.”

“The Honeymoon Killers” was based on the true-life story of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, the so-called Lonely Hearts Killers who were executed at New York’s Sing Sing prison in 1951.

The film’s original director was reportedly a young Martin Scorsese. But Scorsese’s filmmaking pace was too slow and he was soon removed. Industrial filmmaker Donald Volkman then stepped in for a time before Kastle took over as the credited director.


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