Does crime pay? Boy, does it ever — at least in Hollywood. The film and television industries have had a long-running love affair with revenue-producing “you-were-there” stories of murder and mayhem. The legal question of the hour, however, is: Who gets to collect on these true-crime bonanzas?

Well, not the criminal, at least as things currently stand in California. The credit for that belongs to the state’s “Son of Sam” law (named after the New York serial killer who later sold the story of his 1977 killing spree), which prohibits criminals from raking in the bucks from books or movies about their deeds.

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