Changeling Movie : The True Collins Incident & The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders

Salam & Hi Lovelies! 

Alright in this post, I'd love to talk about this Based From True Events, 2008 Movie titled 'Changeling', which directed by Clint Eastwood. Have anyone of you had watched it? or maybe if you guys had already read about it's true incident which had inspired this movie? 

Changeling, the official US Movie Poster 

Well I just wanna share in case you haven't, because I think it's definitely one of the must watch especially for Thrillers / Crime / Drama / Murders / as well as the Based From True Story fans. Ah and of course, one more reason is because Angelina Jolie starred as the main character in this movie, and for those movie addicts like me, this movie scored 7.7 on IMDB, so yeah you know this movie is worth to watch. To be honest, I actually had encountered / reading about the case first before I watched this movie, interesting haha as which usually it's the other way around - I'll only know and search for the case after watching it's based from true story movie heheh. It's been years since I read about it, and then the moment I found out that Changeling was out and was based from that Collins case, I immediately wanna watch it, and glad that I have at the time! Now, I've found that the movie is recently had been added to Netflix, so I guess if you haven't watch it yet, you can try to find and watch it there on Netflix as well okayy.  

You can watch it on Netflix 

Basically, this movie is about the Collins family - the disappearing of a 9 years old Walter Collins on March 1928, which had turned to be such sensation during that time. It started with a brief moments of the Collins together, before reeled us upon this single mother (Christine Collins) journey from the moment she found out that her son (Walter Collins) was missing, then the problems with such corrupt authorities and how she fought them back ever since she knew that the authorities had brought back the wrong boy to her, as she insisted that the boy wasn't her son from day one and wanted them to keep on looking for her real son. The authorities kept on dismissed her, tried to turned it on her, and even worst, had illegally put her in psycho ward as well when she started to voice out her concerns to more people, including gathered legit documentations as proof and to standing up upon herself. Apparently, the disappearance of Walter Collins also linked to the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, which was the pedophile serial killer case at the time. Yet Christine still have hope and chose to believe that her son was alive, and loyally waited for her son. 

one of the movie scene, which was during the said reunion of the Collins 

I know it might sound heavy for some, but I think it's safe to watch since the movie goes on lightly and swiftly from plot to plot, yet can fill you in with the right emotions. No gore scenes, no nasty scenes / languages and all (well it's based from the year 1928 so yes you know how polite everyone is during the 20's right) yet indeed, interesting. In addition, this movie's script was based from numerous real documentation of both Collins case and the Wineville Murders - ie the hearing transcript, archive documents and all, rounding about 6000 pages. Whew, can you imagine? As a results, they did made such detailed movie tailored well with it's each cases, which definitely deserves such recognitions. Well even Angelina Jolie had won an award for her character as Christine Collins in this movie by the way hehe. Okay for those whom didn't know about the real said cases, let me pour their real stories one by one, started with the Collins case okay? Let's go :


Walter Collin, both pic credit Pinterest 

On March 10, 1928, Walter Collins went missing after his mom, Christine Collins, gave him some money to go to the cinema. The LAPD had followed up yet unfortunately, no success to solve the case. After 5 months, they had found a boy who claimed to be Walter, at Illnois. After exchanging letters and photograph, Christine Collins paid the expanses for the boy to be brought to her at LA. 

Newspaper clip from the reunion, pic credit to 

At the reunion, Christine Collins told them that the boy wasn't her son, Walter, but the officer in charge, Captain J.J. Jones convinced her to just take the boy home and 'try the boy out'. Three weeks later, she returned to them and again, saying that the boy was not her son. Jones accused her of being a bad mother, and being ridicule to the police. He then sent her to the psychiatric ward at Los Angeles County Hospital, on which she had been committed under "code 12" - a term used to jail or committed someone whom had been inconvenience or difficult. 

Still, Jones questioned the boy wether he was really Walter or not. At first the boy said yes, but then he admitted that he was not the real Walter, as he was actually a runaway from Iowa, a 12 years old Arthur Hutchen Jr. He also said that he was posing as Walter because he want to get to Hollywood, so he could meet his favourite actor, Tom Mix. After 10 days Hutchen admitted he was posing as Walter, finally Christine Collins was released from the ward. She then filed a lawsuit against the LAPD and won against Jones, which awarded her with $10800 from winning that lawsuit but it was never been paid by Jones. 

The real Walter on the left, while the imposter boy, Hutchen, on the right pic 

Newspaperclip of when Hutchen go back to his family, in this pic was his stepmother. 
Pic credit to 


This series of abductions and murders of young boys happened between 1926 to 1928, at LA and Riverside County, California. The murderer, Gordon Stewart Northcott had built a chicken ranch and a house on a land in Wineville, at Riverside County. He has his nephew, Sanford Clark, staying there to help him but he began to beat and sexually abuse his nephew, then continually to did other crimes of kidnapping and more with other young boys that he brought there too. 

Gordon Northcott, credit to Wikipedia 

In August 1928, Clark's older sister, Jessie, came there from Canada to visit and so Clark manage to told his sister that he feared for his life and also that 4 boys had been murdered by Northcott at that ranch. The moment Jessie had returned to Canada one week later, she informed an American consul there of Northcott's crimes. The consul then wrote a letter to LAPD detailing Jessie's sworn information. Since there was some concern over an immigration issue, the LAPD contacted US Immigration Service to determine the next move. 

Sanford Clark, Northcott's nephew, pic credit Wikipedia 

On the end of August 1928, two Immigration Service inspectors visited the ranch and took Clark into custody. Northcott had seen the agents earlier driving on the road to his ranch, hence he told Clark to stall them when they got there or he will shoot Clark, then he fleeing along the treeline and kept running to save himself. When Clark felt like the agents could protect him, he then told them that Northcott had fled. 

Northcott and his mother, Sarah Louise, had fled to Canada but were arrested near Vernon on September 19, 1928. Clark testified at Sarah Louise's sentencing that Northcott had kidnapped, molested, bitten, and killed 3 young boys with the help of Sarah Louise and himself. Clark also testified about the murder of a Mexican citizen young man, which Northcott had forced Clark to help disposed of the victim's head by burning it in a fire pit and then crushing the skull. Northcott stated that he "left the headless body by the side of the road near Puente because he had no other place to put it." He also stated that quicklime was used to disposed of the remains and the bodies were buried in the ranch. 

Sarah Louise, Northcott's mother, pic credit to 

The authorities digging on Northcott's ranch, pic credit to NY Daily News 

Authorities had found 3 shallow graves at the ranch exactly like where Clark stated it. However, they only discovered parts of bodies, which were 51 parts of human anatomy consists of bones and blood as well to be exact. It was learned that the bodies had been dug up by Northcott and his mother on the evening of August 4, a few weeks before Clark was taken into protective custody. Apparently they had taken the bodies out to deserted area, and most likely burned those in the middle of the night. The complete bodies were never found. 

The remains founded on Northcott's ranch. Pic credit Tumblr 

Room where Walter was imprisoned and killed according to Clark, 
pic credit to 2 Black Cat at Wordpress 

Newspaper clip of Northcott's ranch murder, credit to Everything Horror 

Canadian police arrested Northcott and his mother on September 19, 1928. Sarah Louise confessed to the murders, including that of Walter Collins. But she then retracted her confession, as did Northcott whom had confessed to killed more than 5 boys. She was then again confessed and pleaded guilty to killed Walter, and then had been sentenced to life imprisonment on December 31. 

The Winslow boys, two of Northcott's victims along with Walter Collin as stated by Clark 

It was speculated that Northcott had killed more than 20 boys, but no evidence can be produced hence he was only been convicted of those 4 murders that been identified earlier, along with that the jury had heard he kidnapped, molested and tortured those victims as well. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on October 2, 1930 at the age of 23 years old. 


Christine were hopeful that her son was still alive since Gordon Northcott had denied killing the boy. She then concluded that Walter was still alive because she thought Northcott was insane and he seems to not know whether he had even met Walter. 

When Christine met Northcott, pic credit Pinterest 

Later then, Christine received a telegram from Northcott shortly before his execution, saying that he lied before and will tell her the truth regarding Walter's fate when she came down to meet him there in prison. So Christine went there and managed to visited Northcott just few hours before his execution, but he recanted at Christine, resisted to see her and just repeating that he doesn't know anything, as well as saying that he's innocent. 

Christine pour her outrage as Northcott seemed to refused to remember the details about Walter such as the boy's eyes colour and his cloths, yet then she silently hoping that her son was truly still alive. She then was more encouraged when another boy made appearances and spoken to the authorities with his parents, 5 years after Northcott's execution. The boy was missing 7 years earlier and the authorities speculated that he was one of the murder victims as well at the time. 

Newspaper clip from Christine's final visit with Northcott at prison, 
pic credit to 

Up until today, no one knows whether was Christine right in regards of Walter was really still alive, or maybe the authorities were right being Walter was one of Northcott's victims, since in Sanford Clark's testimony had stated that Walter was one of the three other boys aside from the headless victim which ever been held and murdered at the ranch. Clark also never stated of a boy escaped the ranch. Through all these years, Walter was never been found yet Christine had kept on waited and searched for him, the rest of her life. 

So, those are the detailed story of these real events from this movie. There are some minor differences if we compare between the case's facts and what was shown in the movie, such as the facts about the boys that managed to escaped - it was shown in the movie when this one boy came out and spoken with the authorities, but truth is based from the historical records and testimony, Sanford Clark never told / stated that. Then, in the movie, they didn't add any character of Northcott's mother nor ever mention her as accomplice, but that's okay as I think that's the way to cut things short a little bit. It's okay as the storyline is still shown to us perfectly and we still get the other facts around. 

Newspaper clip about the Northcott's Murders, which stated that Wineville later changed it's name to Mira Loma. Pic credit to 

Overall, I do think this is a good movie to watch. It managed to filled me with various of emotion while watching, and most scenes including the ending was nicely done too. It followed the true facts closely, and able to deliver in structured and easy-to-follow kinda plot. This movie round up around 2 hour, so yes, it might seems too long but once you start watching, you'll gradually wanna keep on watching till the end. I know I have poured major spoilers in my writing here but you just gotta watch it yourselves in order to really get what I've been talking about here heheh. Angelina Jolie is always deliver her best and indeed, she suits splendidly as this Christine Collin character in this movie. I also see Christine Collin as a strong woman and mother, just look at how resilient she was while facing through every of this hardship. She was filled with hope and never give up in search for her son, and indeed I admired that as I believe it's truly painful to lose our child, let alone without any direction or affirmation to be hold on to. 

Christine Collin, pic credit Wikipedia 

The thing that made me ponder is, how dangerously these pedophile are even from those 20's. They could easily lose themselves without us being notice of what they did (you might catch this one dialog from Northcott in the movie stating something like that too huuu), which as same as how it is in today's world. Yet I think these modern time are far way dangerous as they got advance tools and all especially technology, to equipped themselves and make their move. Looking back at all the news that we heard, watched, upon what these culprits does, I just hope we can take extra care and precaution, and may more NGO or authorities around the world coming up with variety of ways and ideas upon how to catch these sickos, as well as discussing the laws upon them or whatever that related to it - yes including such sick movies etc that portrayed to support pedophile. 

Wow these had been too long to read now right haha sorry guys, so I guess I better stop it here. Thank you so much for stopping by, and feel free to let me know what you think of this movie in case you've watch it earlier or later, okay? Till then, take care and may you all will have such a great week ahead! 



P/S : I mostly get my references to write about the true events and the movie here from Wikipedias, as well as some reading from Changeling movie site, IMDB, and other sites for the pics as credited as well as my point of view after watching this movie previously. I've also had read various sharing regarding the Walter Collin case many years before and make use of what I remember from those into my writing here too. 

21 bubblynotes :):

  1. Ramai cakap filem nih best

  2. ooo nampak menarik plak, cuba fahamkan, tapi takpe nanti nak tengok sendiri ceritanya...boleh tahan lama ye ceritanya 2 jam..

  3. base on the true story is always something i like to watch, and i admire your entry.. u even included the real even details while if i did any review base on true story i am so not good putting the details because im scare if my facts is not correct.. huhuhu i will just review the movie it self

  4. wahhh base on true story yer ? ok nice ...memang time2 pkpb ni nak kena standby movie yg best2 ...kejap lagi nak cari dalam netflix ....

  5. This is truly an impressive review with inclusion of the real events that have unfolded. This gives more depth for comparison for sure. Thanks for sharing this movie.

  6. wow! what a review!dah macam essay haha but very informative! bolehlah tengok nanti sebab suka juga siri macam ini even dia agak heavy sedikit

  7. suka betul tengok cerita based on true story ni, lepas baca review ni terus nak tengok sendiri movie ni tau, suka jalan ceritanya dan nak tau sendiri ending dia macamana

  8. Dulu pernah ikuti kes ni sebelum movie ni movie ni kak min lom tgk tp cam sedih sebenarnya tgk kegigihan dia cari anak dia huhu..

  9. Very interesting write up. Awesome effort and passion. Keep up the good work.

  10. Adaptasi daripada cerita benar memang menarik kalau kita fahami cerita mereka ni walaupun nampak panjang penerangannya hehehehe kita suka juga cerita pencarian ni hehehehe...

  11. bestnya kisah collins tu tapi sayangnya LAPD tak bayar dia pun walhal dah terang2 salah. Dah la anak dia hilang, duit saman pun tak dapat hmmm kejam

  12. kana tengok nih. Dah la Angelina Jolie yang lakon kan..

  13. wahhh kena tengoknie, finally jumpapon org review movie nie, nak tengok tp takut xbest pulak. so on hold dulu. nanti ada masa nak tengok lah

  14. Watched Changeling years ago and as always in awe with angelina’s performance.
    Your sharing puts more knowledge about the facts of the movie. Thanks

  15. I've read a lot of tragic cases since my field relating to laws. Yes, there were so many tragics and heart-broken cases such as this.

  16. Suka baca pasal true story of murder and crimes. And yes changeling ni mmg best. Ada byk sebenarnya cerita mcmni. Kita sedih utk mangsa but at the same time intrigued to know.

  17. Omg, kejam juga ye orang dulu2... Byk budak yang terkorban. Tak boleh bayangkan after movie ni ditayangkan, the mother-son reunion as her gut was right that Walter still alive. 🤞

  18. Terbaikla revieq.. I baca slow naknpahamkan.. Cerita macam ni i suka.. Kejam juga ye smpai 20 org kanak2 tu.. Mesti sedih mak kehilangan anak ni.. Then reunion semula

  19. I love movies based on true stories. Especially ones that are set in another decade. Love seeing how much research that must have gone into it to make it look accurate.

  20. MasyaAllah very details one. But sad #1 dont have Netflix. But madam likes Angelina Jolie acting. Thanks for oh so true review. Most viewers 'base on true story's musta likit.

  21. I love your in depth review backup all the relevant articles. This is based on true story right.


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