Lowell Cauffiel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lowell Cauffiel
BornLowell Joseph Cauffiel
OccupationJournalist, author, screenwriter
GenreNon-fiction, fiction
Notable worksHouse of Secrets
ChildrenJohn Cauffiel, son
RelativesJessica Cauffiel, daughter

Lowell Joseph Cauffiel (born 1951) is an American true crime author, novelist, screenwriter and film and television producer.

Life and career[edit]

Cauffiel was born in Michigan, the son of Ursula Irene (née Zulka), a Polish-American community leader, and Lowell Cauffiel, an aeronautical engineer and entrepreneur.[1] A 1974 journalism graduate of Wayne State University, Cauffiel began his writing career as a contributor to music magazines, including Rolling Stone, Creem and Guitar Player. He went on to become an award-winning reporter with the Detroit News and Detroit Monthly Magazine during the 1970s and 1980s. Cauffiel began his bookwriting career in 1988 with Masquerade: A True Story of Seduction, Compulsion and Murder. That title and the 1997 New York Times bestseller House of Secrets[2] have appeared on critics' lists of the best works in American true crime. Thematically, Cauffiel's books often explore how people embrace popular trends and exalt American values to hide their own dark intentions and destructive acts.

In the mid-1990s, Cauffiel wrote three fiction titles. He performed as a blues guitarist with the Progressive Blues Band in Motor City nightclubs.

The New York Times 1988 review called Cauffiel's book Masquerade an "excellent account of one man's flirtation with a twilight zone of his own making."[3]

In 2002, Cauffiel began writing and producing crime documentaries. In 2003 Cauffiel, he relocated from Michigan to Los Angeles to write for film and create series television. He's developed film and television projects with, among others, Billy Crystal, David Schwimmer, Michael Medavoy, Kiefer Sutherland, Kathryn Morris and Michael Douglas.

Cauffiel is a surfer and motorcyclist. He has worked in alcohol and drug rehabilitation as a volunteer and headed a research grant about alcohol problems among young people for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) for the National Institutes of Health. He's the co-founder of Primary Purpose Productions, a non-profit production company that creates short films about addicts and alcoholics in recovery. Cauffiel's directing debut with Primary Purpose, Men In A Box, starring Kurtwood Smith, was a selection at several American film festivals.

His daughter is actress Jessica Cauffiel.[4] His son, John, under the stage name Johnny Coolati, is the lead guitarist and singer for the Brooklyn-based rock trio Call of the Wild, signed to Kemado Records.


  • Dark Rage (1997) Kensington Pub. Corp., New York ISBN 978-0-78600-355-6
  • Marker (1997) St. Martin's Press, New York ISBN 978-0-31215-583-4
  • Toss (1998) (with Boomer Esiason) Dutton, New York ISBN 978-0-52594-429-4



  • Prison Boot Camp (2002) (TV) (writer, producer)
  • Love Behind Bars (2003) (TV) (writer, producer)
  • Bed Ridden (2009) (film) (writer, producer)
  • Men in a Box (2012) (film) (director, writer, producer)
  • Plan B (2012) (film) (producer)


  1. ^ "Ursula Irene Cauffiel (Zulka)", Poles.org
  2. ^ "October 11, 1998: Best Sellers Plus". The New York Times. October 11, 1998. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  3. ^ Ross, Michael E. (October 9, 1988). "Crime/Mystery: In Short; Nonfiction". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Jessica Cauffiel: Full biography". The New York Times. 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2012.

External links[edit]