Synopsis: When a housewife is found lifeless in her home, the babysitter moves in and replaces her. Starring Keri Russell and Phylicia Rashad
Reality: The Babysitter Seduction is a movie inspired by a true story. It came to tv in 1996 as one of those made for tv movies of the week. They changed the names of the characters and the locations. It is now part of Lifetime Movie series.
I had been looking for the basis for this movie for several years, and this is just a lead, but I believe this movie is based on the case of a man named George Paul Ballman aka George Ballman. He had a wife named Eva Jean Ballman. The movie is alot different than the Eva Ballman case, but you will recognize key aspects of this movie that pretty much indicate that it is based on this case, such as the babysitter stepping into the role of Mrs. Bartran, the babysitter trying on the wife's jewelry, the detective who would not give up, and most of all the tape recorder which was vital in the case.
|Eva Ballman aka Eva Jean Christian seen her in a yearbook photo|
The crime happened in 1971, and it was all over the news. Newspapers also covered this story. Eva went missing from her home in July 1971, and no one had any idea where she could have been. Her family feared the worst, and the detective in the case made it his mission to retrace her steps to find out what happened to her. In his investigation, the detective uncovered an affair that George Paul Ballman had been having with the babysitter. George became a suspect from that moment on. His wife was missing for a whole year, before they located her body in the sand, about three feet below the ground in Panama City. Mostly all that remained was the steel pin from her leg and a bikini. George was arrested and convicted in the crime.
The Trial July 1972
Here is how the events unfolded according to the Prosecution: George also known as Butch was living in the small town of Newton, Alabama with his 27 year old wife and their two children. At some point, he had began having an affair with the babysitter. The babysitter, who was 20 years old at the time of the trial, testified that the affair began five or six years earlier. Mrs. Ballman became aware that something was going on after she found a pair of women's undergarments in her husband's suitcase. Ironically, he had just returned from that trip with the babysitter. Another person who was close to the family stated that he became aware of the relationship at a wedding that George attended. He was accompanied, not by his wife, but by the babysitter, which the person found rather strange. According to him, the whole time they were at the wedding, they acted like they were together....a couple. His exact words were "Rosemary was walking around as if she was his wife." George admitted to his puzzled friend, that he planned to divorce Eva, but he postponed it due to the fact that his wife had a steel pin placed in her leg after an accident. He explained to his friend that someone had put the lingerie in the bag, and Eva found it. His exact words to his friend were: "I am in for it now."
He Planned the Crime
During the July 4th holiday, George Ballman went on vacation with the babysitter at Grayton Beach State Park near Panama City. Onlookers say that they acted as if they were a couple on their honeymoon. At some point during the vacation, George left suddenly to return to Newton. Upon his return, a police officer, who had arrived outside the home to serve George with papers for separation, overheard George trying to convince his wife that he had ended the affair and that he wanted to work things out with her. Evidently she believed her husband, because she left her Newton home with him. No one ever saw her again.
Now fast forward several days later, one of the neighbors saw George and the babysitter, Rosemary, come back to the home. His wife Eva was not with them. On a hunch, the detective passed by the home in his car and noticed that Eva's car was not there. When the detective asked him about it, George told him that Rosemary was actually living there in the home with them, to help take care of the children. He also explained that he and his wife had had a disagreement and that she took off to Panama City. The detective went to Panama City to investigate. In the meantime, George and the babysitter moved out of the Newton house to a place in Mississippi. Police detectives also discovered that Rosemary the babysitter had also forged the wife's name on a few documents. The two were later married, and remember this is only a couple of months since Eva vanished. On the stand Rosemary told the jury that she had taken various trips with her employer while the wife stayed home.
On the night Eva went missing, the babysitter remembered George bringing her to a hotel in Panama City called the Roundtowner. When she got inside the room, she could see all of his wife's clothes hanging in the closet. She said she became so scared that she could not stay in the room. While she was on the stand, the prosecutor noticed that she was wearing a wedding ring that belonged to Eva Ballman. When she was asked about it, she told the jury that George had given her the ring in New Jersey.
According to George's trial testimony, he claimed that they started arguing in the car over the babysitter. Eva wanted to personally confront Rosemary Fuller. They began struggling over the (gn) and it accidentally went off. He then noticed that his wife was not moving. He blanked out after that and couldn't remember a thing. All he knew, is that somehow he ended up with a shovel in his hand at Grayton Beach. This completely went against his previous conversations with the detectives. The detectives had his voice recorded, and they were able to go back and listen to several versions of what happened that night, finally Ballman incriminated himself on the tape. In 1973, he was found guilty and sentenced to life. When the juror read the verdict, George and the babysitter both started crying. Those who attended the trial say that Rosemary was distraught and hysterical.
Eva was not shot at all, it appeared that someone had put pressure around the neck area
George Ballman Now
While serving his sentence his name was in newspapers again, this time for escaping custody in 1976. He enjoyed freedom for a short time. He used the named Edward Michael Smith, before authorities finally caught up with him 1982. So he is now serving two life sentences. I am not sure what happened, but when he was caught someone actually lost their life or almost lost their life. I can't find the specifics on that. But, in any event, he got double the time. He is still there in Florida serving his time.
Rosemary Fuller Now
I don't know what happened to Rosemary Fuller. I hope I can find some more information. If anyone knows her please let me know. The only thing that I know about her is that she was Miss Newton at one time here in Alabama.
Update: Received this tidbit from a person last week. I haven't confirmed it, so....
"Rosemary is alive and well. She lives between Florida and Texas. At times in Mississippi and Louisiana."
Key People in the Case
George Ballman: the husband, Army helicopter pilot
Eva Ballman: the wife
Rosemary: the babysitter, former Miss Newton in the Annual Newton Pageant
Dennis Cummings: the neighbor