Before it was a movie, it was a book, and before it was a book, it was a very real, truly horrifying event that took place in Rochester, New York in 1982.


One winter evening, when Jim Kaurseneck returned home from work, he discovered the lifeless body of his wife Cathleen, who had been impaled in the skull with an axe. Cathy's murder went unsolved for more than 30 years, but in 2015, the Brighton Police Department and the FBI worked together to reopen the investigation. This time they began looking at Jim Karuseneck himself. After roughly 4 years of building a case, Jim was arrested in November 2019 and convicted of second-degree murder in 2022. (Krauseneck maintains his innocence.)


The novel All Things Cease to Appear was written by Elizabeth Brundage and was loosely based around one particularly troubling detail in the real murder case: The 3-year-old daughter of the Kaursenecks was reportedly in the same house for hours with her mother's corpse.

"I definitely used main points of the crime for the novel. As a novelist I was trying to do right by Cathleen." -Elizabeth Brundage



Brundage's novel was turned into the 2021 Netflix movie Things Seen & Heard. Truthfully, by the time it was curated for the screen, it no longer bore much resemblance to the original 1982 events, but some facts remained: an ax used in the slaying, and the daughter being home alone for hours before the husband returns.

29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
Amanda Seyfried stars in "Things Heard & Seen" (Getty Images)


According to Rotten Tomatoes, not great. It currently has a 39% rating based on 87 reviews. But hey, sometimes you can't trust the Tomato Meter. The best way to know is to fire up Netflix and watch for yourself.

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