Thursday, April 4, 2013

Taken Back Finding Haley True Story

So here is a story that sounds very close to the movie. I can't be sure if this is the basis, but a very similar story happened about 15 years ago in Port Richey, Florida, at a mall called Gulf View Square Mall. In that mall, there is or there was a merry go round. In 1997, a woman named Margaret Johnston was at the mall with her two year old son, Robert Johnston. Both mother and son were riding on the carousel merry go round when a woman out of nowhere jumped on the ride, and yelled "That's my son. I need to get him." She went on to tell Margaret to get away from her son.  Margaret Johnston screamed for someone to help her as she struggled with the woman that had snatched her baby. Mall security intervened and arrested Eija Potter. Potter told the police that she thought the boy was her own son. Eija kept repeating that the boy was her own lost child even though her own son was 16 years old at the time. Her daughter couldn't understand how her mother could do something like that despite the fact that Potter was having a lot of anguish and emotional problems at the time. It seemed like Potter had a story to tell, but she would not open up to police to tell them what happened with her own son that may have led her to do this. She was arrested for attempted kidnapping and mj possession.

Eija A. Potter aka Eija Annikki Toppinen Potter stated that every time she smokes (marij....) it makes her want to steal kids. She kept going on and on about her feelings and memories of her own son.
She also told police that she had tried to steal a little girl who was riding the merry go round the same day.

That's all I have on that story. I could not find any more stories even remotely similar to this. There are literally only two articles on the case. So I wonder how that story came to the attention of the producers. It is not like this case made People's Weekly or some other large magazine. Anyway, I will continue to try and get a picture. I would also like to know the actual outcome of this case. I'll keep searching....keep checking back.

Update: 8/02/2012: Remember that I posted that I thought one part of the movie Taking Back Finding Haley was based on the Delimar Vera case? Well, I am 99.9999% positive that I have found the other true event that inspired the movie. I will posting it tonight. Stay tuned. This is just too good!

Ok, first...two things. 1:  I'm watching this movie again, and at the beginning of the movie it states "inspired by actual events" and Lifetime's advertisement states based on a true story, which is totally different. 2 It appears this movie was supposed to be headed for the big screen in September of this year, but instead it was picked up by Lifetime, and now some station in Canada has picked it up.

If it was only inspired by actual events, that means that the different events in the movie could be based on true events...meaning more than one event. These are the hardest to track because they take interesting true/factual events and weave other stories around them to come up with a plot. I can't be sure just yet, but it appears that part of this movie was inspired by the Delimar Vera case: the mother never giving up hope that her daughter is alive. The mother being able to feel it in her soul that her daughter is out there. The whole break up resentment episode between her and the husband, the fact that she kept seeing her on the street and stopping people, and the biggest clue was the taking of some dna from the girl in order to have it tested to see if it matches her daughter. All of that was part of the Delimar Vera story. The other parts are most likely based on other factual events.  Still looking and searching....looking and searching...

basis unconfirmed


  1. what happened to the mother that kidnaped Hayley, she obviously had mental problems, she should of gotten life in prison

    1. Yeah, I know, she was insane!

  2. I watched this recently. I found it a very gripping story. If it were based on true events I would want to know what happened when Haley was reunited with her bio dad. Also, as far as the couple that kidnapped Haley-they both belong in jail with the woman who kidnapped Haley and killed the friend needing life without parole and her husband needing a good long stint in prison for allowing his wife to kidnap this child and rename her Emma after their dead daughter. I thought the movie was so well done I am going to look into purchasing it on DVD!

  3. She did go to jail but the movie didnt offer a time frame of how long.

  4. This movie didn't give any info at the end. I always wait to read what ended up happening, so that was disappointing to read 'nothing'. That leads me to believe this wasn't a true story. True stories are my favorite, but I hate it when producers put "based on a true story" or "true story", then there is no truth to it. Did the real mom 'really' have that track record, did she really put the girl in a trunk, did her friend really get shot, did the other couple's baby really drown ??? etc etc etc The Delimar Vera case isn't like this one. I want MOST of the movie to be true, not a couple of things........ :-(

  5. There already is another Lifetime movie for Delimar Vera and it is not this one. Her's is called Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story...

  6. We already know that the whole movie was not inspired by the Delimar Vera case. We have the Delimar Vera movie already on the website. What I said was perhaps, that part of the movie could have been inspired by that case. Sometimes the directors like to mix up the facts and blend facts from other cases when they want to conceal the true identities.

  7. I was completely smitten by the movie taking back Haley. I believe it could be true. A Mother has that born instinct of her child. I have four and wondered all through the movie if I had lost one, could I find him again????
    It is the same with all life, including animals, they know their kindred no matter how long.

  8. Eija Potter spent 2 months in jail, went to court and was released, she was represented by a public defender.
    I know her and she definitely is not a criminal, but a victim of circumstances, suffering from emotional trauma.
    Her true story would make an excellent Life Time Movie,