Actress-writer Malea Rose and writer/director Paul Haggis are developing and pitching “Dark Paradise,” a miniseries about the Massie case. Said case, a rape and murder investigation which went to trial, marked the final case of famed criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow.
The story will be based on David E. Stannard’s book “Honor Killing” which Rose and Haggis optioned. The crime took place in Hawaii in the 1930s and spawned two court cases. The victim was a young aristocratic socialite who comes to Hawaii when her husband is stationed at Pearl Harbor. One night she is found on the side of the road, bloody and beaten, and accuses five men of color of brutally raping her.
The story not only examines the evidence but also mirrors the country’s current racial divide, the sexual oppression and shaming that goes along with the crime of rape, the corruption of power, and the best and worst of human nature.
Haggis will direct the first episode and also will be the executive producer; Rose will be executive producer, co-writer, creator and will act in the series.