Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell
The future enfant terrible of British theatre, Joe Orton met his long-term lover and eventual murderer Kenneth Halliwell while studying at RADA in 1951. Halliwell was seven years older and exuded a sense of refinement that led Orton to think he could learn from him. In reality, to Halliwell's chagrin, Orton was a far more talented individual, and brought most of the flair and comedy to their subsequent writing partnership. Bored and living together in near-poverty, the couple executed a string of practical jokes to entertain themselves, the most extreme of which - altering the covers of library books and stealing art prints - landed them both in prison for six months. Orton attributed the severity of the sentence to their homosexuality. While Halliwell suffered greatly in jail, attempting suicide, it was the making of Orton. His solo writing flourished as he railed at the hypocrisy of the middle classes, and he fast became a success. Consumed with jealousy at Orton's achievements and the discovery that he had taken other lovers, Halliwell sank into a severe depression. In 1967, he bludgeoned Orton to death with nine hammer blows, before killing himself with sleeping pills. The lovers' ashes were mixed and scattered together.