Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chicago (Beulah and Belva)

Synopsis: A married woman kills her lover when he finally leaves her.

The Real Story: Chicago, a Cecil B. Demille silent film, came to the big screen in 1926. The movie Chicago was remade in 2002. The two movies were inspired by the case of Belva Gaertner and Beaulah Annan who were both found guilty of killing their boyfriends. 

They called Beulah the pretty one
Here are a few facts on Beulah May Annan

She was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on November 1899. In fact, that is where she met a married a guy name Perry Stephens. They later moved to Chicago. Now, Chicago is where she met the guy named Harry Kalstedt...and they started having an affair behind Perry's back.In 1924, tensions rose to a point where Beulah ended up shooting and killing her boyfriend Harry. She claimed that it happened while they were arguing. The two had also been drinking according to her. All of a sudden Harry Kalstedt tried to shoot her, but she was able to get to the gun first. In the end, she confessed to the murder of her boyfriend, and then she later changed it to self defense. During the trial, the prosecution tried to show that Beulah had really killed him because he told her that he was leaving her, and that it was not self defense. However, the jury found her innocent of murder, and she was acquitted in 1924. Her husband paid for her defense, and he basically stood by her all through the court proceedings, and as soon as she was acquitted she left him high and dry. She married twice more, but she died only 4 years later in 1928 from TB. If you are researching the case you can find her listed by the last name of Stephens. She is buried in her hometown of Kentucky.


The murder happened in her bedroom. Her lover Harry was shot in the back. After she shot Harry, she took a sip from her glass, listened to the tune Hula Lou for the next several hours.

Belva The Fashionista

Now, Belva was not cute, but she was known as the one with style. She was born Belva Brown, and she was known as a Cabaret singer. Her stage name was Belle Brown. And she was married three times. Her boyfriend was a man named Walter Law. She shot and killed him in 1924 too. They found him on the front seat of her vehicle. Here is how the police described the scene: 

She told police that she could not remember the events of the night. The arrested her, and she was indicted for murder. Shockingly, she was also acquitted in 1924. She lived her life in California until 1965. She lived until she was 80 years old. The cause of death is listed as natural causes.

Bitter Blood (Susie Lynch-Tom Lynch)

Plot: A high drama divorce and a messy custody dispute leads to the murder of two innocent children.

Bitter Blood is a 1994 movie that is based on the Susie Newsome Lynch and Tom Lynch case. The opening remarks stated that this movie was based on fact. The true life story happened back in the 1980's. Joe Bledsoe's book Bitter Blood was the basis for the movie.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Inconvenient Woman True Story

An Inconvenient Woman made its debut on tv in 1991. It is based on the true story of Vicky Morgan and her boyfriend Alfred Bloomingdale. They changed all the names in the movie. Vicky Morgan led a scandalous life that include politicians and some very rich men as lovers. Morgan was known as a very beautiful woman with a bad girl image. Her story inspired a novel written by Dominick Dune.

Gloucester High School Scandal

 It was based on the Gloucester High School Pregnancy Scandal.

In 2008, the news media began to report on a rash of pregnancies that involved 17 girls who became pregnant at the same time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The story came to the attention of the press after school nurses started noticing that some girls were disappointed because their pregnancy tests were coming back negative. Everyone in the fishing village were talking about the 17 girls, all under the age of 16, who had made a secret pact to become pregnant. Many people theorize that the girls made the pact out of trying to fulfill a void in their lives or trying to be grown up. Others theorize that the girls wanted someone to love. Most of the men who fathered the children were not high school students. The pregnancy pact scandal dominated news stations and newspapers as everyone tried to find some sort of answer as to why these girls were deliberately getting pregnant.

In the movie a hobo had fathered one of the children. In real life, the father was a 24 year old homeless man, but he was not the hobo type as depicted in the movie.

There was a back lash from many people in the village, who stated that the whole Gloucester scandal was untrue, that in reality, there was no pact. Some students who attended Gloucester High at the time stated the movie was not at all a true story because some of the girls lived outside of Gloucester, and that the media blew the whole event out proportion.


You can find a few pics of the real pregnancy pact girls here

Some deny the rumors as false. They say that some girls who were already pregnant made an agreement to help one another raise their babies, and that the rest of the pregnancies were coincidental.

Girl Soldier

Plot: Soldiers in Uganda kidnap 30 young ladies. Stars Uma Thurman

 Girl Soldier is a movie based on a kidnapping that occurred in Uganda. A total of 30 young ladies were kidnapped. Their true story was chronicled in Kathy Cook's book Stolen Angels.

Secrets of Eden

Secrets of Eden is a 2012 Lifetime movie based on the book by Chris Bohjalian. The book was inspired by a real domestic case. The real story is that Chris Bohjalian was doing some research for another book that he was writing in 1997. While he was speaking with a victim's rights advocate in Burlington, Vermont, she told him about a domestic abuse case involving a woman that she was trying to convince to leave her abusive husband. During the conversation, the advocate showed Bohjalian a photo of a wall that had head indentations. He wondered to himself how much force it would take to shove someone so hard that it would leave a dent in the wall. That photo was forever etched in his mind. He never forgot it, and he knew that it would be the basis of a book.

Now, you want to know the name of that murder case right? So do I, but it doesn't look like we will ever know for sure. We do know that this murder happened in 1997 in Vermont...most likely, Burlington, Vermont. It may have been a case that never made the newspapers. Bohjalian learned other details of that case from the attorney who was reviewing the case file with him.

He also got inspiration from a real minister/pastor to whom he dedicated Secrets of Eden.  The minister recounted his own experiences in counseling abused women. Real women who had been abused by their husbands also spoke with the author. His 15 year old daughter was also a great source of inspiration in letting him know how today's teens really talk. 

Read an article here where he goes on to describe how his wife and daughter critiqued him.

Chris Bohjalian changed the location in the movie to his hometown in Lincoln,Vermont.

She, Alone True Story (Tiffani Thiessen Movie)

Plot: A high school girl endures harassment from students and the school system does little to protect her. Starring Tiffani Amber Thiessen

The Real Story: This movie is a 1995 movie based on the case of Heather Wright of Iowa. Her case made headlines when she sued the Mason City School system for harasment. The real story happened during the 1992-1993 school year at Mason City High in Iowa when freshman Heather Wright broke up with her boyfriend. After the breakup fellow students started antagonizing her. She was also called names. The family also had to endure late night phone calls from students. Eventually, Sandi Wright pulled her daughter out of the public school and let her study at home. The Wrights accused the school district of not protecting her. The district was found liable in 1996 for not protecting her, but some portions of the judgement were overturned.

Where to Research this Case
Find A Case Wright V Mason City Community School District: here you will find the case summary of the case.

Wicked Minds

Wicked Minds is not advertised as a movie based on a true story. According to the movie directors it is completely fictional, but take a look at the Dana Ewell case. The movie writer's put a lot of emphasis on the son's character: his obsession with money, his obsession with wanting everything, the fact that he was the sole heir of his father's fortune and his business. Read the Dana Ewell case you will see so many similarities. The stepmother angle is not there, but everything else is there. In Dana Ewell's story his best friend/ lover was the one that helped him wipe out his entire family so that there would be no heirs. People were shocked that Dana didn't seem very sad over his father's death. In fact, right after his father's funeral he bought a brand new car and had plans to travel to Mexico with his lover/friend. Read it. I won't give it all away. The Dana Ewell case happened in the early nineties. The movie came out in 2002.

Dana Ewell had a girlfriend at the time of the murders, but the prosecution insisted that his true love was his male friend. 

People's Magazine

LA Times

The Girl Next Door 1998 starring Tracy Gold

Synopsis: A cop convinces his lover to kill his wife.

I suspect that this movie is loosely inspired the the Diane Hood murder case.

Read ny notes on the Diane Hood case here

Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 movie. It is a fictional story that was most likely inspired by the life of 13 year old Ashley White, the African American girl who made headlines in 1999 for winning the D.C Spelling Bee before moving on to compete in several rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The real story was also depicted in a documentary "Spellbound."

Ashley's strong desire for learning came to the attention of her teachers at Hine Middle School who then encouraged her to enter the spelling bee. Ashley studied feverishly, and she carried her spelling book with her every where she went. She even studied on weekends. In the real story Ashley loses in the third round by misspelling the word "ecclesiastical". She was unable to compete at the same level as some of the other children whose parents were able to hire private tutors to help them. After the spelling bee White fell on some really hard times. By 2004, at the age of 18, she was a single mom struggling to take care of her daughter. After dropping out of college for a while and became discouraged. After watching the documentary Spelling Bee again, she was determined to succeed. She enrolled Howard University, and she was able to find an apartment for herself and her daughter Dashayla. Ashley White graduated college in 2008. You can find a small update on the other of the students here.

Hands of Stone

Synopsis: A professional boxer and his trainer share a special relationship

Hands of Stone is based on the life of Roberto Duran. The movie is also based on the book by the same name. Roberto Duran was a professional boxer. He is famous for the words "no mas" which means no more. Duran uttered those words after he was uppercut during a fight in the ring. He finally retired in 2002. This upcoming movie is due to be released in 2013.

Holy Land

Synopsis: recounts the story of the development and construction of the biggest houses in Lakewood, California in the early 1950's for World War ll veterans. 

Holy Land is based on the memoir "Holy Land" by D.J. Waldie. Waldie reflects on what life was like growing up after World War ll in Lakewood, California. The movie is in production. The release date is 2013.

A Teacher's Crime

Is A Teacher's Crime based on an actual story?

According to the writer and producer the movie is not based on or inspired by a true story. There were a couple of teacher-blackmail cases in the news, but nothing remotely similar to this movie.

Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story

Plot: Police start investigating a woman after her men keep dying mysteriously. Starring Elizabeth Montgomery

Black Widow Murders is a 1993 true story movie based on the case of black widow Blanche Taylor Moore. The real story began several decades ago. The movie is based on the book "Preacher's Girl."

Blanche Taylor Moore is also known as Blanche Kiser Taylor Moore

Blanche Moore is still incarcerated and still awaiting execution on North Carolina's death row. She has tried to appeal her conviction over the years.

A Girl Like Me the Gwen Araujo Story

Plot: A little boy's desire to be a girl continues throughout his teens and ends in murder.

A Girl Like Me The Gwen Araujo Story is a 2006 film that is based on the case of Gwen Araujo. The real story murder took place in 2002.


Some of the names were changed in the movie

Eddie Araujo's name was legally changed by his mother in 2004.

Are they Still in Jail?

Jaron Nabors and Jason Cazares have been released due to pleading to lesser charges. Micheal Magidson and Jose Morel are still serving 15 to life in prison.

Augusta Gone

Plot: A mother struggles to control her out of control teen.

Augusta Gone is a 2006 movie based on the book Augusta Gone A True Story by Martha Tod Dudman. The book, published in 2001, chronicles Martha's troubles with her teen daughter. The name was changed from Georgia to Augusta. Her daughter's real name is Georgia Howland. She is now a responsible adult taking care of herself out in California. She has read the book. Since the movie was released Georgia has made several appearances with her mother Martha.

Racing for Time

Plot: A Texas correction's officer starts a track team to encourage the female youth offenders

Racing for Time is a 2008 Lifetime movie based on the story of real life coach and prison guard Noel Chestnut aka Noel Chesnut and theVentura Youth Correctional Facility's track team. The real story took place in California in the 1990's when Californa's Youth Authority's correction's officer Noel Chesnut started a track team for female inmates throughout the Camarillo area facilities. Many of the female offenders had been convicted of murder and robbery. Noel sacrificed a lot to encourage these girls. A couple of them went on to lead successful lives due to his program.

Where to read up on this case

Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal is supposed to be based on the book about news anchor Jessica Savitch's life. It was later changed and only used element of Jessica Savitch's life as a basis for the movie. You can say that it was loosely inspired by her case.

The name of the book on which the movie was originally based is Golden Girl: The Story of Jessica Savitch, by Alanna Nash

There is another movie that is based on her life called Almost Golden The Jessica Savitch Story. You can read up on her life and death there.

If Looks Could Kill the John Hawkins Story

Plot: A man with looks to kill turns out to be a murderer and a con man. Starring Antonio Sabato Jr.

If Looks Could Kill The John Hawkins Story is a movie that was based on America's Most Wanted criminal John Hawkins. The movie debuted in 1996.


Plot: A single mother infiltrates the mob in order to take care of her children. Starring Alyssa Milano

Wisegal came to television in 2008. It is based on the case of Patty Melchiorre the director's mother.

Is Deadly Sibling Rivalry Based on a True Story or Actual Events?

No, it was not advertised as a true story movie. According to the writer, they came up with idea after using a focus group.

However, there are several stories of women stealing their sister's identity.

Read up on the story of Gina Han also known as Jeena Han. This was a notorious case back in 1996. Gina Han attempted to murder her own twin sister and steal her identity. Her sister's name was Sunny Han aka Su Han.  There is also the 1997 case of Susan Arvison. Linda Morrissette's sister Leslie Mary Roberts stole her identity too. 

Movies Similar to Deadly Sibling Rivalry

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane starring Joan Crawford and Betty Davis. 

Perfect Bride Maybe Inspired by a True Story

Plot: A sister becomes suspicious when she learns that her brother’s fiancee killed all of her other grooms before they got to the altar.

The Perfect Bride came to television as a movie of the week in 1991. It now plays on Lifetime Movie Network and Trumovie channel. I can’t confirm this, but I believe this movie was loosely based on a couple of female serial killers one of them being Vera Renczi. It was not advertised as a true story movie.

One Heart True Story

Plot: A  football team made up of at risk kids experience a life changing event. It is a sports drama based on the true story of Coach Hogan and his football team at Grapevine Faith High School. Starring Romeo

True Story: Based on the Gainesville State School Prison and the One Heart Movement. The real story  occurred in 2008 when the Grapevine Faith Lions football team told their fans to cheer for the Gainesville State Tornadoes, a local high school football team in Texas. Gainesville State School was made up of at risk youths who had been incarcerated at one time. The Gainesville State School students were deeply moved by the support and compassion that the Grapevine Faith Christian School Lions showed to them. Many of the students remember it even now. One student named Isaiah Else had a small part in the movie as an extra. That game led to a movement called the One Heart Movement-One Heart Project.

Here is an original article on the case. The case was covered by ESPN back in 2008. There is a photo of the real people who inspired the movie.

The One Heart Project@


One Heart release date is set for 2013

Scared Silent: is it based on a true story?

Yes, the movie Scared Silent was advertised as a true movie based on actual events. It is actually based on a few women who got together to criminally prosecute a policeman.

I don't have any further info on the real cop right now. Stay tuned...

We Have Your Husband based on Eduardo Valseca and Jayne Valseca

Plot: An American expatriate lives a paradise-like life in Mexico, until some men kidnap her husband in broad daylight. 

We Have Your Husband
is based on the kidnapping of Jayne Rager Valseca's husband Eduardo Garcia Valseca aka Eduardo Garcia.
The true events occurred in 2007,when Jayne Rager and her husband Eduardo Garcia Valseca lived a paradise-like life in San Miguel de Allende. They had built a business, a local school, and a ranch from the ground up. They had total financial security and peaceful surroundings. Until one day, on the way to taking their children to school, some strangers suddenly appeared and abducted her husband. She didn’t hear anything from the abductors until a few days later, when they sent her an email with detailed instructions on how to get eight million dollars to them. Jayne did everything she could to get the money. She went through a very stressful ordeal of continued emails and phone calls from the kidnappers.

The men were from the area and they knew that the Valsecas were rich. They probably thought they kept money in their home like many Mexican people do. Eventually, Jayne thought that she would never see her husband again, and she tried to put the pieces of her life back together. She had begun to do just that when her husband appeared out of nowhere. She was so happy to see him. She immediately began taking care of him until she had nursed him back to health. She wrote a book about her ordeal, and then eventually she was contacted by the producers of Lifetime to make her story into a movie. When the movie came out in 2011, we were all so happy to know that there was a happy ending. But, shortly after the movie came out Jayne Valseca found out that she had cancer. In later interviews, she stated that she knows that the cancer was a direct result of all of the stress that she had gone through with her husband. She did a commercial for Cancer Treatment of America, and it looked like she was going to make it. Sadly, she died on May 26, 2011 at the age of 45. She left behind her beloved husband Eduardo Valseca and her loving children.

To really get a feel for how much these abductions happen in Mexico, just research it.  You can find so many stories about abductions and kidnappings there.

Cited Sources

 Article about the movie: We Have Your Husband
The Desperate Hours: MSNBC documentary

Eduardo Garcia Valseca and Jayne Valseca Now

After Eduardo came back home to his family, his wife Jayne nursed him back to health and helped him recuperate. They came back home to the US and spoke about their case on talk shows and documentaries while the Mexican authorities investigated the kidnapping. The email company changed its procedures for tracking anonymously sent emails. While the Valseca's put their lives back together, Jayne found out that she had cancer. She died from complications in 2011. The children are still with their father Eduardo.

Borderline Murder True Story?

Plot: A woman, whose sister is missing in Mexico is alarmed when she finds out that her sister went to Mexico to have plastic surgery.

Borderline Murder was adapted from a few true stories that were circulating in the press a few years back. The director of the movie confirms this.

I was watching a movie about a woman who was searching for her missing sister in Mexico, and it reminded me of these cases.

Right before this movie was made, several investigative news shows reported the number of Americans traveling to Mexico to have plastic surgery. The lure had been the cheap prices when compared to American doctors. The difference is the surgery clinics were not legal, not sanitary, and did not follow medical practices. News reports as well as the American Embassy warned Americans not to travel to Mexico to visit these clinics. Here is how the situation was described:

The number of Americans missing in Mexico have reached astronomical numbers. They are literally crossing the border and are never seen by their families again. If you know anything about Mexico or you have kept up with the stories about Mexico then you have heard that most missing people in Mexico have been buried. This is why they are never found most of the time.

When some investigative reports started researching the cases they found some clinics in Mexico in good condition. They looked like legitimate medical clinics, but most of the clinics with the cheaper prices were located in shady parts of town. The reporters noted that some of the buildings had no business name on the outside and some were located in back alleys.

In the movie a woman is speaking to a reporter about her experience when she visited the clinic. That story was inspired by a woman named Lisa. Lisa’s story was covered heavily in the news back in 2005. Lisa was about 50 years old, and she felt like she needed to make herself look more appealing. She was a single mom and wanted to start dating again. She felt that the prices here in America were too high so she cross the border to have the surgery. According to her, she actually found out about it from tv. Everything sounded legitimate, so she went. When she came back to the US she was in so much pain she had to go to local ER. She recounted her entire experience to this news reporter, but she later changed her mind about participating. She only allowed her first name to be used for the investigation out of fear.

Here are some suggested reading on the problem of those Mexican clinics.

Miriam Yukie: In 2002, Yukie was a former dancer who posed as a plastic surgeon in Mexico. She was called The Beauty Killer. More than 140 patients took her to court for malpractice. Now in the movie they twisted the plot so that the dancer was actually her sister.

Read about the mass burials in Northern Mexico. It reminds me of a friend who once told me how easy it is to disappear in Mexico.

And definitely read the case of Dr. Michael Mastromarino. His case was big in the media in 2005. The case is very well known.

plastic surgery clinics
I was watching a movie about a woman who was searching for her missing sister in Mexico, and it reminded me of these cases.

Right before this movie was made, several investigative news shows reported the number of Americans traveling to Mexico to have plastic surgery. The lure had been the cheap prices when compared to American doctors. The difference is the surgery clinics were not legal, not sanitary, and did not follow medical practices. News reports as well as the American Embassy warned Americans not to travel to Mexico to visit these clinics. Here is how the situation was described:

The number of Americans missing in Mexico have reached astronomical numbers. They are literally crossing the border and are never seen by their families again. If you know anything about Mexico or you have kept up with the stories about Mexico then you have heard that most missing people in Mexico have been buried. This is why they are never found most of the time.

When some investigative reports started researching the cases they found some clinics in Mexico in good condition. They looked like legitimate medical clinics, but most of the clinics with the cheaper prices were located in shady parts of town. The reporters noted that some of the buildings had no business name on the outside and some were located in back alleys.

In the movie a woman is speaking to a reporter about her experience when she visited the clinic. That story was inspired by a woman named Lisa. Lisa’s story was covered heavily in the news back in 2005. Lisa was about 50 years old, and she felt like she needed to make herself look more appealing. She was a single mom and wanted to start dating again. She felt that the prices here in America were too high so she cross the border to have the surgery. According to her, she actually found out about it from tv. Everything sounded legitimate, so she went. When she came back to the US she was in so much pain she had to go to local ER. She recounted her entire experience to this news reporter, but she later changed her mind about participating. She only allowed her first name to be used for the investigation out of fear.

Here are some suggested reading on the problem of those Mexican clinics.

Miriam Yukie: In 2002, Yukie was a former dancer who posed as a plastic surgeon in Mexico. She was called The Beauty Killer. More than 140 patients took her to court for malpractice. Now in the movie they twisted the plot so that the dancer was actually her sister.

Read about the mass burials in Northern Mexico. It reminds me of a friend who once told me how easy it is to disappear in Mexico.

And definitely read the case of Dr. Michael Mastromarino. His case was big in the media in 2005. The case is very well known.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lies He Told

Plot: a man deserts his family and the Air Force and starts a new life. Starring Gary Cole.

True Story: The movie Lies He Told is a 1997 movie based on the case of James Pou. The names were changed in the movie to Dave Bay aka David Bay. The real story happened back in 1987.

Lies He Told is based on James Pou. Read the timeline below.

James Pou Timeline created by Traciy Curry-Reyes

1987: James Pou is declared missing after he does not arrive at work at the Airforce base at Kirtland. His team members search everywhere for him, but they find nothing accept his bike and his shoes.He is eventually declared dead. The family assumed that he was killed on the bike path in a hit and run accident. His first wife Suzy and her two sons are in shock over his disappearance.

10 days later: Pou arrives in San Diego, where he assumes a new identity. He also finds a new woman and marries her. They have two boys together.

1992: His second wife Monica becomes suspicious and checks his background. She discovers that he is leading a double life and reports him. The newspapers go wild with information that the Airforce base deserter has been discovered after 5 years. His mother is excited and relieved to know that her son is alive after all these years. No matter what he has done. He is being held in San Diego and charged with desertion and bigamy.

1992: Military deserter is sentenced to 18 months in prison. He tells the military judge that he felt guilty after hitting his kids and that he just didn't want his kids to have his upbringing. Television producers start trying to buy the rights to his story right away. His friends and fellow Airforce companions are devastated by the news. Pou was once considered a hero who was especially skilled as a parachute rescuer.

1993: James Pou escapes a military prison detention center at March Air Force Base. He was waiting for a court-martial for being involved in a bank heist year earlier. He eventually turns himself in a couple of weeks later. When the judge asked where he had been, he told them he spent time in the mountains camping and enjoying some fishing.

1994: Pou is sentenced to 6 years in prison for the bank robbery and escape charges.

2003: James Pou publishes a novel called Whence the Rivers Come

The bank robbery happened in Calallen, Texas in 1988

they call him Doug

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dying to Belong (Inspired by a True Story)

About Dying to Belong

When a college girl's friend is killed during a college hazing incident, she is determined to find out the truth about what really happened. The movie was released in 1997. Two real hazing cases inspired the making of the movie. 

The True Story

It took a while to do all the research for the movie. The directors compared several hazing cases. There are not many cases that include women. There are only a few documented cases that include college women. It was those particular cases that served as the basis for Dying to Belong.

In the opening scene we see a young college woman who is running behind a moving vehicle in a remote area. She desperately tries to leap onto the back of the car when she realizes that they are trying to leave her. This case really happened in the seventies to a female member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority, at a local college in the state of Illinois. I got a tip from a person who remembered the case. He said that the name of the girl was Donna Bedinger. The other case that inspired the movie had to do with a girl who was attending college at the University of Colorado. In 1985 she actually fell while she was attending a party. No one was charged in her death. It was finally ruled as an accident.

Cited Sources
You will not find any news articles of those cases.You can read up on these cases with the resources below.

 Hazing Cases:  This site has a lot of cases by year. 

Wrongs of Passage by Hank Nuwer: There is actually a really good book that is good for researching this. It details the two cases we just mentioned.

The Stepfather

Plot: A stepfather tries to create the perfect family with deadly consequences.
Reality: These movies were loosely inspired by the case of John List.

The are actually two movies called The Stepfather. The first one came out in the eighties. The other one is a remake. They are both inspired by the crimes of John List. John List became infamous in 1971 when he suddenly took off after murdering his entire family including his mother. What made the case so strange is that he left classical music playing in the background. Weeks went by before anyone realized that no one was home. A neighbor finally notified police that the lights, which had been left on, were going out one by one. When police came to investigate, they discovered the bodies of John List's children and his wife in the ballroom, and his mother in an upstairs room. A manhunt ensued, but John List, an accountant, had disappeared. In the years since his disappearance, he changed his name to Robert "Bob" Clark, and remarried a divorced woman . America's Most Wanted featured his story 18 years later in 1989. On the show, a forensic artist named Frank Bender created a bust to show what List might look like 18 years later. The likeness looked almost identical to the real John List. When the show aired, several calls came in, and John List was arrested at his job. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to five life terms.

In real life a neighbor recognized John List when his story was featured in a tabloid magazine in a 1987 follow up on the case. She could actually see John List from the window as she was reading the article. She later went over to tell his present wife about him, and she stated that she would ask John about it. They later packed up and moved away. To this date, the wife has never given an interview about her life with John List.

I was reading an article regarding John List's supposed stepdaughter, and a commenter stated that she was the grand daughter of John List. She went on to say how hard things have been for her family since this happened. She also stated that it is difficult to read so much on the computer about her family. She clarified that the woman known as John List's stepdaughter is actually his daughter because he adopted her when she was just nine years old. That nine year old girl is the commenter's mother. She said that her mother adored John. Below is a direct quote:

 John List died in prison in 2008 of pneumonia.

There is a another movie from 1993 that is based on this case called Judgment Day The John List Story.

Places to read up on the case and cited sources

"The Forgotten - Where is Brenda , the Only Surviving Victim in the John List Saga?"

Judgment Day The John List Story (Judgement Day)

Plot: A church going man obsessed with having the perfect family kills them all and disappears for more than a decade.

True Story: Judgment Day the John List Story is a 1993 movie that is based on the real life story of John List. There are several other John List movies too. You can find more info in our archive under The Stepfather. This was the name of the other movie that was inspired by John List.

The Obsession 2006

Plot: A ballet teacher becomes obsessed with his student. Starring Daphne Zungia

The Obsession is a 2006 movie. It is not advertised as a movie based on a true story, but there are a couple of stories that made headlines. Research the case of Jose Anibal Macedo and Maurice Lamont Jones. They were both well respected dance instructors who were obsessed with their students.

Jose Anibal Macedo was a ballet instructor who often wore a cane and a brace.

Rabbit Proof Fence

Plot: 3 Aboriginal girls who are forced to leave their home to live in an institution finally escape and return back to their homeland.

True Story: Rabbit Proof Fence is a 2002 movie that is based on Doris Pilkington Garimara's mother. The real story happened in the 1930's and also includes the true story of two other Aboriginal girls who were of mixed race. The name of the real settlement is Moore River Native Settlement. It is located in Australia. She wrote a book on which the movie is based called Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence.


This movie caused a lot of controversy and drew a lot of criticism.

Where to read up on the movie

The Stolen Generations : The Ten Big Fictions of Rabbit-Proof Fence
This is a very good site that takes a critical look at the film's authenticity.

A Mother's Nightmare

Is the movie a Mother's Nightmare based on a true story?

Yes, it was inspired by Shelley Gillen's experiences with her youngest son.  According to Lifetime's site, it is loosely based on her story. Some parts of the movie are made up while there are other parts that are based on fact. The real story took place in Canada. A Mother's Nightmare is a 2012 Lifetime movie.

Love Thy Neighbor

Plot: After a family moves to a new neighborhood after an intruder break in, they meet an obsessed soccer mom who will stop at nothing to make sure her daughter wins a spot on the team.

True Story: Love Thy Neighbor is a 2006 movie that was inspired by two true stories according to producers. One of the stories sounds like it could have been the Wanda Holloway cheerleading mom case. But it could involved another case similar to it. It will be hard to match the two stories together, but I'll keep looking....stay tuned.

In the meantime read up on the Wanda Holloway case in our archive-database

It also sounds a little bit like that best friends-neighbor stalking case. Where the neighbor was lying to school officials to try to get a parent in trouble. She also stalked her neighbor and would sneak into the neighbors home. That one was most likely the basis for the movie Best Friends. It could have been used in this plot as well.

Take a look at Best Friends too

It could also involve some Canadian cases since it was written by Canadian screenwriter Kraig Wenman.

Honor Thy Father and Mother True Story of the Menendez Murder

Plot: Two brothers in Beverly Hills murder their parents

True Story: Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders is a 1994 movie that is based on the case of the Menendez brothers and the murder of their parents. There is another movie that was made about the case that came out the same year called Menendez A Killing in Beverly Hills. You can read up on the true story there.

Movies similar to this one you can find in our archive

Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills True Story

In God's Country

 About In God's Country

Synopsis:  A mother fed up with life in a polygamous sect is determined to escape.

True story:  In God's Country aka The Ultimate Sin is a Lifetime movie that was not originally stated to be based on fact, but it is most like based on a group of sister wives who finally left a polygamous family headed by Warren Jeffs and Merril Jessop. 


Update on Warren Jeffs: as of this date Warren Jeffs is still alive. There was  a hoax stating that he had died. He attempted to take his own life a few times while being incarcerated, but he has been unsuccessful.

Her Final Fury

Synopsis: a follow up to the movie A Woman Scorned. Starring Meredith Baxter

True Story: Her Final Fury Betty Broderick The Last Chapter is a 1992 movie that is a follow up to the first movie that was based on Betty Broderick. It is also referred to as the Betty Broderick movie part 2. It akes up from the ending of the first movie, and moves through court trial testimony, and finally Betty Broderick's experiences in prison.

You can see the movie on Lifetime and on True Movies channel. The movie originally aired as a CBS Sunday night movie of the week back in 1992.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Plot: Youngsters fall asleep only to end up dead during a dream.

True story: A Nightmare on Elm Street: the writer was inspired by some news articles that appeared in the Los Angeles Times about Asian immigrants who were dying in their sleep after having nightmares.

Dianne Hood aka Diane Hood-Jennifer Reali case

Catch the documentary Homicide Hunter Lt. Joe Kenda tonight on Investigation Discovery. They are showing the Diane Hood aka Dianne Hood-Jennifer Reali murder case. I think this case also inspired the movie The Girl Next Door. I can't confirm it, it's just a hunch.

You can find my notes on The Girl Next Door in the archive.

Final Sale

Plot: When an organ recipient finds out that the girl who donated the kidney to her died, she uncovers a scheme by a shady doctor.

 True Story: Final Sale is a 2011 movie was not advertised as a true story movie, but it may have been inspired by the case of Michael Mastromarino. Also, take a look at the case of Levy Izhak Rosenbaum.

 Tidbits about the real case

His case came to the attention of the press in 2005.

The documentary My Life is a Lifetime Movie recently featured the case.

The Oprah Winfrey Show also interviewed his wife Barbara Reifel aka Barbra Reifel

There is an urban myth story that also circulated in the news in the 1990s. But that case was never actually proven. Despite that fact, many people believe the story to be true and it has been the basis for a couple of books and a "Law and Order" episode. 

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum's case was in the media in 2009. His case was considered the first case of its kind. Several rabbis were indicted in that case. It happened between Brooklyn and Israel.

Other movies similar to this one
Borderline Murder

Barbara Reifel and Michael Mastromarino Case

Catch the documentary The Devil You Know on Investigation Discovery. They will feature the crimes of criminal doctor Michael Mastromarino. The documentary is told from the perspective of his ex wife Barbara Reifel aka Barbra Reifel.


I think this case also inspired the movie Final Sale that came out in 2011.

This case is also similar to the movie Borderline Murder

The Eleventh Victim

Plot: An assistant District Attorney's life is turned upside down when her fiancee is murdered. Starring Jennie Garth

True Story: The Eleventh Victim is a 2012 Lifetime movie loosely based on the real story of Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace has written a book by the same name. The movie will premier Saturday, November 3 at 7/8 central on Lifetime.

Tommy Mccoy was released from prison in 2006.

Keith Griffin was Nancy Grace's fiancee. The man who killed him was Tommy Mccoy.

Grace said when Keith was killed she lost a lot of weight. She wouldn't marry anyone for a long time.

John Hawkins - Richard Boggs Story

Watch the documentary Blood, Lies &Alibis on Investigation Discovery tonight. They will feature crimes of John Hawkins who was a handsome criminal featured on America's Most Wanted years back. It will show tonight at 9E/P.
This case inspired the movie If Looks Could Kill


Plot: Chronicles the life of the President that united us all...Starring Tommy

True Story: The movie is based on the last four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life which was chronicled in  Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography Team of Rivals. 

Release date is Novemember 9, 2012 in select theatres. In all theatres November 19, 2012.


Plot: A psychiatrist struggles to understand a young lady's multiple personalities.

True Story:  "Sybil" is based on the true story of Shirley Mason.


Read an article about it

Here is some interesting stories from those who knew the real woman.

Nancy Dillard Lyon aka Nancy Lyon

Be sure to catch the documentary City Confidential today on the Biography channel. They will feature the crimes of Richard Lyon, the man responsible for the poisoning death of his wife Nancy Dillard Lyon aka Nancy Lyon. This murder case was also made into a movie called Death in Small Doses.

Homeless to Harvard

Plot: A teen is homeless when her parents abandon her

True Story: Homeless to Harvard is a 2003 Lifetime movie based on a one time homeless teen named Liz Murray.

Sante and Kenny Kimes

Catch the documentary Mothers Who Kill today on the Biography channel . They will feature the crimes of mother and son duo Kenny and Sante Kimes. Their case was also made into a couple of movies: Like Mother Like Son and A Little Thing Called Murder.

Pregnancy Pact

Plot: A group of high school girls make a pact to become pregnant at the same time. Starring Thora Birch and Madisen Beaty

True Story: Pregnancy Pact is a 2010 Lifetime television movie based on the case of the Gloucester High School pregnancy pact scandal.

Read my Notes here

Taking Chance

Plot: A Lt. Col escorts the body of marine back to his hometown. Starring Kevin Bacon

True Story: Taking Chance is a 2009 HBO movie that is based on actual events. The real story is based on an article essay regarding Lt Col Michael Strobl's account of what it was like to escort the body of  Chance Russell Phelps aka Chance Phelps. Phelps was killed in action while escorting a convoy in Iraq. The real event took place in 2004.

Documents and Cited Sources

A Soldier's Story: Taking Chance

Lt Col Strobl's personal account

Perfect Sisters based on Beth Andersen and Sandra Andersen

Plot: Two sisters grow tired of their alcoholic mother and plot to drown her in the bathtub.

True Story: Perfect Sisters is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the murder of Linda Andersen by her daughters Beth and Sandra Andersen. Sandra Andersen and Beth Andersen were two sisters who drowned their alcoholic mother, Linda Andersen in the bathtub. Their case was recently featured on an episode of Deadly Women. The case happened in Canada in 1998.


Plot: A woman involved in a hit and run accident finds it hard to cope.

True Story: Stuck is advertised as a true story movie inspired by the case of Chante Mallard. Mallard's story became national news in 2002 when she was charged with running over a homeless guy. 

There were two other movies that were inspired by Chante Mallard's case.  Hit and Run (2009) and Accident On Hill Road.

Laura Doyle Parole

Laura Doyle has been released from prison and is on parole. She was the last person who was convicted in the murder of Missy Michelle Avila. Karen Doyle was released in 2012.

You can find more detailed info at  A Killer Among Friends Blog that is dedicated to Michelle Avila.

Not Like Everyone Else

Plot: a student is accused of casting a spell on a teacher.

Reality: Not Like Everyone Else is based on Brandi Blackbear. Her true story was told in the 2008 Lifetime movie. Brandi Blackbear's ordeal occurred in 1999 when she was in high school in Oklahoma.

Where you can read up on the case

Article 1: this is an article about Brandi Blackbear at Pagancentric.

People's Weekly: Witch Is It: here is another good article covering the case

A Kidnapping in the Family

Plot: A grandmother thinks her daughter is not fit to raise her grandchild and sets out to kidnap her grandson.

Real Story: based on the case of Pat Farmer and her grandson Jared Peters.

At Close Range

Plot: When two sons finally reunite with their father, they became intrigued by his life of crime.

True Story:  At Close Range is a 1986 film that was based on the actual crimes of Bruce Johnston, Sr., in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Three murder victims were shot and buried along the infamous Cossart Road on the Northern Delaware/Pennsylvania Border in Pennsbury Township, Pennsylvania. This road was also the location of where part of the picture was filmed. Other filming locations were Spring Hill, Tennessee, Franklin, Tennessee at the town square and at Fred J. Page High School.


People's Weekly Article,,20075903,00.html

Bruce Johnston Dead

Did you like this movie? Well, here's another similar!

Like Mother Like Son: based on Kenny and Sante Kimes

basis confirmed: (Thanks for the lead on this one Nikki Thompson)

Zero Dark Thirty

Plot: A retelling of the more than eight year struggle to find Osama bin Laden.

Reality: Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 Osama Bin Laden movie based on the notorious most wanted man Osama Bin Laden. Osama Bin Laden was sought for nearly 8 years during the Bush administration before being found and executed during the first term of President Barack Obama by the Navy Seal Team 6. I cannot wait to see this movie!!!The directors got their hands on some pretty classified information which was used as a basis for the movie.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony

Plot/Synopsis: A woman, accused of murdering her young daughter, is acquitted.

The new Lifetime movie Prosecuting Casey Anthony will be based on Jeff Ashton's book Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, which covers the trial of Casey Anthony the most hated woman in America at the moment. The real story took place in 2008 when Casey Anthony's daughter, 3 year old, Caylee Anthony went missing. Her body was found a few months later. Her mother was charged with her murder after the grandmother called the police to report her granddaughter missing. Casey Anthony was acquitted in 2011. The release date for the movie is schedule for January, 19, 2013. Starring Rob Lowe and Virginia Welch.

Casey Anthony Now (Casey Anthony 2012)

October 9, 2012: 
Casey Anthony's lawyers are asking for Zenaida's case to be thrown out of court.

Casey Anthony's attorneys are asking for a limit in the amount of money that Casey Anthony would have to pay back if she is ordered to pay.

Attorneys are also seeking to suppress testimony from her criminal trial which could be included in her civil trial.

Casey Anthony 2013

It is rumored that Casey Anthony adopted a child

March 4, 2013: Casey Anthony comes out of seclusion to attend bankruptcy court.

The Elizabeth Smart Story

Plot: A missing teenage girl is kidnapped from her home and held against her will. Starring Amber Marshall

Reality: The Elizabeth Smart Story is a 2003 movie based on the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. Smart was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. She was missing for almost 9 months before she was found in 2003.

Her kidnappers Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Eileen Barzee were convicted in 2010. Brian David Mitchell is serving a life sentence in Arizona. Wanda Eileen Barzee is serving a 15 year sentence. She apologized for her cooperation in the crime.

Update: Elizabeth Smart and her family published a book  Bringing Elizabeth Home in 2003. The book is the basis for the movie that was made based on her case.

Update: Elizabeth Smart married her sweetheart Matthew Gilmour in 2012 in Oahu, Hawaii.

I am watching this movie today for the first time. It is a really good movie. What a smart little sister Elizabeth Smart has. No thanks to the policeman. I'm literally screaming at the tv. If it were not for her father's tenacity and belief that his baby was still out there, this case may have never been solved. And thank God for America's Most Wanted for highlighting the case. John Walsh knows what he's doing.

Hit and Run

Synopsis: Drunk college student hits a homeless man with her car. Can she keep her secret?

True Story: "Hit and Run" is based on Chante Mallard.


Read the true story here

Is the movie Hit and Run based on a true story?

The movie Hit and Run is a 2009 movie that was not advertised as a true story movie. But, if you have seen the movie then you know that it is based on that hit and run case that happened in 2002 involving Chante J. Mallard and Gregory Biggs. Chante Mallard was a nurse's aid and Gregory Biggs was a homeless man who was struck by Mallard as she was driving home. Without stopping, Chante kept driving as the Biggs was obviously stuck to the windshield. She drove all the way home and left the man in her garage to die for two days. She went back and forth to tell the man that she was sorry and literally waited for him to die. Police found his body and had no leads until a tip came in about four months after the fact. Chante Mallard was arrested and convicted in 2002.

The real Gregory Biggs, a homeless man who was struck by a woman driving drunk


This is Chante Mallard. She was driving drunk one night after a party when she hit Greg Biggs with her car. She was a top college student and nursing student.

"Stuck" is another movie that was based on this story.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Baby is Missing

Plot: A woman is told that her baby was stillborn, and she has a feeling that it's all a lie.

"My Baby Is Missing" the true story

Ok, so first this movie is not based on a true story, but it was inspired, in part, by the Norma Armistead case. The original true crime took place in the seventies.

In the movie, the details and the chronology of events are all mixed up, but it is the same story. Here are some clues: the mother is sedated, the mother is told that the baby was stillborn, the child is stolen, the mother believes that the nurse was an'll recognize many more.

Read up on the case of Norma Jean Jackson aka Norma Armisted and Mary Childs on the Empty Cradle's page in the database. Empty Cradle was a movie that was entirely based on the Norma Armistead case.


There was an article entitled "My Baby Can't Be Dead" that appeared in the March 1982 Reader's Digest article back in the eighties. It was also based on this case. It was told from the perspective of the mother of the stolen child. Her name was Mary Childs.

Other cases

Here is another case from 1999. In this story, a mother, Janet Johnson, sued the hospital where her baby was born stillborn after she watched a show on Oprah about a mother who had given birth to healthy babies, but was later informed that her babies were stillborn. In that case it was discovered that the babies were being sold.

The Ron Clark Story

Plot: A teacher from a small time learns to control and win the hearts of tough inner city kids

Reality: The movie The Ron Clark Story is a 2006 movie based on teacher Ron Clark. Some of the names and events were made up for the movie. The movie originally aired on TNT.

Ron Clark started teaching when he was just 23 years old. His first job was in a school in North Carolina. The first class was out of control. So he thought of some new techniques for controlling the classroom better. He later used those techniques in a classroom in New York City. He came up with a book for teachers entitled The Essential 55, which hit the best sellers list in the 2003 New York Times. He was named Disney's Teacher of the year in 2001. His way of teaching excited teachers everywhere. The basic principals of his book are "enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation and resilience. " He also stressed the importance of children showing " respect and feel compassion for others, learn from their mistakes and display confidence."

His students loved him. One student even wrote about her experiences with Mr. Clark in Reader's Digest. She discussed how all of the students were shocked to see this guy with a "funny Southern accent" at their school in Spanish Harlem. He later won their hearts with his caring attitude. He genuinely showed interest in the students, even sitting at the table with them at lunch instead of at the teacher's table. She states:

"He was only 27 and had the most unusual way of teaching. To help us learn the states and capitals, he changed the lyrics of a popular rap hit called “Thong Song” and had us sing and dance with him. When we read the Harry Potter books, he decorated our classroom like Hogwarts. And during the Presidential election, he put campaign posters on the walls and covered the room with 5,000 red, white and blue stars."

Ron Clark continues to help educators with classroom management at The Ron Clark Academy. He also wrote a book for parents called the The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children.

On his website he talks about the movie and distinguishes which parts were real and which parts were added for the movie.
1. about 90% of the movie is accurate
2. The NYC principal was really a  female and not a male
3. They left out the fact that he had a wonderful assistant who helped him with everything.
4. He really did stay at the YMCA and looked for a high risk school in Harlem, New York.
5. He really did use rap in his lessons.
6. He learned how to do the Double Dutch
7. He really did become ill with pneumonia
8. His students really did outscore the gifted classes.
9. The girl who portrayed Shameika was really a student named Tamara, and she really did make a perfect score.
10. He implemented all 55 rules at the beginning and not gradually

Murder or Memory

Plot: A mother believes in her son's innocence after he confesses to a murder while under hypnosis.

 The real story: The movie is based on the 1981 murder of Mary Kosinski and the accused William Boyd Jr. of Wheeling, Illinois.


Facts in the case of William C Boyd Jr and Mary Kosinski 

by Traciy Curry-Reyes

His legal name is William C. Boyd, and he was just 14 years old at the time or the crime. He was by all accounts a very well liked popular athlete at his school. He also made good grades. Before the incident occurred he had no prior problems with the law.

Facts in the case of Mary Katherine Kosinski
Mary Kosinski was living with her parents in Wheeling, Illinois. She was only 14 years old at the time of the murder. One night the teens met up for a backyard all night slumber party. The teens included Mary Kosinski, William Boyd Jr., William's sister, and some more of their friends. The kids had been making so much noise that William Boyd's father got annoyed and told everyone that they needed to go home. All of the kids left. When later asked by police, some of the kids stated that they went to a local park and continued to party instead of going home. Mary was seen going into the shed in her backyard. This was the last time Mary Kosinski was seen alive.

She was found the next morning in the shed. She was not alive. The police investigators arrived at her home in the 100 block of West Jeffery Ave in Wheeling, Illinois. They found the girl in the shed. She was lying on her back with one leg against the wall or a board. She appeared to have been trying to defend herself. There was a pillow nearby, which was most likely used to muffle the screams. The t shirt was around the neck area. In their investigation they learned that William Boyd had a crush on Mary K. Kosinksi, so he became the prime focus of the investigation.

The investigators relentlessly pursued the case, and they asked Boyd to meet with them at the police station. William Boyd was accompanied by his parents. His parents allowed him to go in the room, but they did not know what was going on. In the room, William Boyd underwent something called guided relaxation. This was supposed to help him remember what happened that night. In the confession, Boyd revealed that he and Mary Kosinski went into the shed at around 2 in the morning. He started telling her how much he liked her and how much he wanted to be with her. She was not interested in him at all because she liked someone else. He made advances toward her and a scuffle ensued. He remembered scuffling with her, but that's all he could remember.

After writing out the confession he signed it, and he was arrested for murder. His parents were in shock that he had confessed to the murder and they were very supportive of him throughout the proceedings. He was tried as an adult. His parents cried while in court, and his father could be seen consoling him during the trial.  In 1983, the judge threw out the confession and later the entire case. But, in 1988 Boyd was back in court again. This time for a law suit. By this time William was an adult, and his attorney fought hard for him. His attorney told the courts that he confessed because he was a scared little boy. His mother Carol Boyd stated that when they were at the police station her son was escorted to the back with the psychotherapist. When he finally came out of the room she said he looked like he was in some sort of a trance. She hugged him while he told her that he had done it.  At the proceedings an odontologist testified that the teeth impressions did not match Boyd's. Eventually the lawsuit was dismissed. Mary's murder is still unsolved.

(here is an aerial view of the houses in that area in case you want to see what the neighborhood looked like.
After the case was dismissed Boyd went on to live a normal life. He expressed a desire to become a missionary and even attended bible school. He married in 1988. He went into the janitorial business.

Update: I decided to see what was going on with Mr. Boyd. He is still alive and he is still married, I believe to the same woman, and he has a family of his own. He seems to be very religious still. Though it does not appear that he is a missionary. He looks like he has a very nice family. He still likes to play sports and he likes Bill O'reilly. (hmmm side eye) They still live in Wheeling, Illinois.

Some people are still very angry about this case. They felt that he got away with murder because he signed the confession. Source say that Mary's family has never gotten over the murder.


About the Movie
 A woman can't cope with the secret of knowing that she killed a homeless man in a hit and run accident. Stuck was released in 2007. It is considered a comedy thriller. It is loosely based on the case of Chante Mallard.

The True Story

Chante Jawan Mallard's story inspired this movie. In 2002, Chante Mallard's story dominated the news when she accidentally hit a homeless man while she was driving home in 2001. The hit and run took place in Texas.  The homeless man was 37 year old Gregory Biggs. When she struck Biggs with her car, she continued driving while he was on the windshield of her car. She was too afraid to get help, so she let Gregory Biggs die in her garage instead of calling for help. In fact, she kept entering the garage to see if he was still alive. He was there for two days. According to Chante Mallard, she kept telling the homeless man that she was sorry for what she had done. When he was no longer breathing, she tried to get rid of the body with the help of a friend. No one would have connected Mallard to the crime until she bragged about it at a party.  An anonymous source called police, and she was finally convicted for the crime and sentenced to 50 years in 2003.

Chante Mallard Now
Chante Mallard is still serving her 50 year sentence in the Texas Department of Corrections

Other Movies Like this One
1.Accident on Hill Road

2.Hit and Run

Those movies are both inspired by the Chante Mallard-Gregory Biggs case.

Extra Tidbits
*Her case was known as the Windshield Murder Trial

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Privacy Policy

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Abducted The Carlina White Story (the true story of Nejdra Netty Nance and Kidnapper Ann Pettway))

Carlina White Timeline

1987: Joy White and Carl Tyson welcome a baby girl named Carlina Renae White. They are living at 3150 Broadway in Manhattan, New York. 

Ann Pettway is in Harlem, New York. After having several miscarriages and a few still born births, she is depressed that she is unable to have a baby. She becomes desperate and decides to pose as a nurse at Harlem Hospital in New York. 

Several nursing staff members and patients see the nurse walking around the hospital. She even stops to talk to some of the patients' families who are sitting in waiting rooms. She is asked by at least two hospital employees who she is and what she is doing there.  She tells a nurse she has family there and she tells visitors that she is a nurse on the 4th floor.


August 4: Joy White, 16, and Carl Tyson, rush their 20-day-old baby girl Carlina Renae White to the ER at Harlem Hospital. She is running a 103 degree fever. Joy White is nervous and scared about Carlina's condition. A woman dressed as a nurse consoles her and tells her not to cry. The young nurse assures her that everything will be ok.

At 3 am, when no one is looking the woman, disguised as a nurse, disconnects the tubes from baby Carlina, and leaves the 17th floor of the hospital. Hospital staff is frantically looking for the baby, helicopters are launched to search around the area.

What no one knows is that the woman's name is Ann Pettway. This is the 1987 composite sketch of the kidnapper. The woman is described as a light skinned Black woman with hair under her chin. The composite sketch is released to the media. She is described as  a heavy set woman about 25-30 years old.

Annugetta Pettway changes Carlina's name to Nejdra Nance and raises her as her own in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ann's family suspect something strange, but they can't put their finger on it. All they know, is that Nejdra "Neddie" Nance looks nothing like her.....

Sometime later....
A woman named Lucy Brockington, 31 years old of Baltimore, Maryland, is questioned because she fit the description of the abductor. Police realize that this is a false lead.

August 27: The city offers a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of Carlina White.

1988: Elizabeth Joy White and Carl Tyson file a 100-million dollar civil suit in Manhattan District Court. They separate as a couple this same year.

1992: Joy White and Carl Tyson receive a $750,000 settlement

1998: Ann Pettway gives birth to a boy named T. She raises T and Nejdra as brother and sister. Ann Pettway has a chaotic life at times due to her mental illness and substance abuse. She has been arrested a couple of times while raising Nejdra-Carlina.

2004: Nejdra "Netty" Nance aka Nedjra "Neddie Nance" is about 17 years old. She is about to give birth to her own child and needs her own birth certificate to apply for prenatal care. She questions Ann again about her birth certificate which she has never seen. Ann admits to her that she was adopted. Immediately, Netty knows something is not right.  She goes on to give birth to her own little girl. They continue to live with Ann Pettway for the next two years.

Joy White and Carl Tyson find out that the Manhattan attorney who represented them in their civil suit has taken about $6000 from their daughter's trust fund. The attorney, Richard Wertis, is disbarred. Over $160,000 is saved for Carlina in the event that she is ever located.

2006: Nejdra Nance moves into her own apartment with her baby.

Spring of 2010: Ann Pettway is working at Belk department store. She is placed on probation for trying to embezzle money. Belk security accused of her stealing over some clothes and over $100 in cash.

January 2011
Carlina White is an adult and living in Atlanta, Georgia. She reflects on how life was for her growing up. She has a strange feeling about the circumstances surrounding her birth. She gets on the website for missing and exploited children when she sees a baby photo that looks just like her own baby picture. She also sees the resemblance in her own baby. She calls the center and tells them that she thinks that she is the baby in the photo. A DNA test is taken, her biological parents are contacted, and a while later the DNA test comes back a match. The case hits the news. Headlines read: Woman Missing for 23 years Found! It is a highly profiled case.

January 21, 2011: a warrant is issued for the arrest of Ann Pettway for violation of parole. Pettway is on the run.

January 23, 2011: Ann Pettway, with the help of a friend and cop, turns herself in after she had made arrangements to have her son cared for by family members.

February 17: Ann Pettway is indicted by a Federal Grand Jury

February 10, 2012: Ann Pettway pleads guilty to kidnapping

July 30. 2012: She is sentenced to 12 years of incarceration

Carlina White distanced herself from the case almost immediately. She was completely overwhelmed by the media attention. She was also offered a movie deal. She did participate in one more in depth interview sometime after the case broke.

Ann Pettway's Psychological Report indicates the following

*She was depressed and suffering from mental illness due to her miscarriages and two still born births.

*She was emotionally and physically abused as a child. The parents were described by Ann Pettway's sister, Cassandra, as Southern parents who used belts and extension cords to discipline them. There was also an instance of (S. Abuse) The one thing that was most important to Ann Pettway was to become a mother. She was diagnosed as severely depressed with psychotic and delusional features.

Notes on Carlina White's Childhood and whether or not Ann Pettway Abused her
According to documents filed in court, Ann Pettway did not abuse her. By all accounts Nejdra Nance aka Carlina White's upbringing was fine. Ann Pettway was a loving and responsive parent who was not abusive. According to Ann's son, who was about 14 years old when he was interviewed, she provided a loving home and his mother and his sister were very close. (read here for more background family info)

However, I distinctly remember hearing reports that Ann was abusive according to Carlina. This was when the case first broke. In earlier interviews it was said that Carlina described a mother who often left her alone to take care of her little brother. She also described a mother who once hit her so hard that it left a shoe imprint on her face. In one interview, Joy White's sister, Lisa Heatley, stated that Carlina told her that she loved hugs because she didn't receive hugs growing up. She later changed her statements. Those who followed the case from the very beginning will remember Carlina referring to Ann as "that lady." I personally think the truth lies somewhere in between. She was probably abusive in terms of hitting, like many Southern parents used to do, but she also cared for them and raised them as a mother would despite her mental illness and her own abusive upbringing.

 Carlina White Reunion with Biological Parents Joy White and Carl Tyson

Joy White and Carl Tyson were so happy at the possibility of seeing their biological daughter again. Her aunts on her mother's side were excited too. Carlina went to New York to see her mother and the rest of the family. According to the New York Daily News they had a big family dinner where they ate lasagna and curry chicken. Joy White was so happy. For a while Carlina was communicating with her mother and father everyday. However, The happy reunion was short lived. She is now estranged from her biological parents Joy White and Carl Tyson. She continues to use the name Nejdra Nance. There was a lot of family drama going on behind the scenes. There were some resentments and some hurts that did not play out in the media. All the public really knows is that Carlina stopped communicating with them shortly after she discovered that the money that had been set aside for her was gone. The parents had waited until her return, but when she was not located, they divided the money. Family member's on her father's side.....not her father Carl, but someone on his side of the family wrote on blogs that Carlina just wanted the money. Here is one quote that appeared on a news site:

March 9, 2011 11:44 pm

"Carlina told Joy and Carl you guys abandon me why should i come back to new york****************************she do not want to have nothing to do with her parent because there’s no money Trust fund is gone Carlina text her mother over and over asking about the money and the 10,000 reward money****** and she stated that Ann Pettway abuse her and mistreated her that came from her********* Carlina have been so rude to the Tyson and Whites family as if we had kidnapped her ….. she lied about talking to her parent and trying to get to know them when she come to New york she won’t even let them know she in town."

If I am not mistaken, this is the same person that I contacted several days ago. I was asking for any updates that he was willing to share about the case. The first thing he emailed me back was "how much are you paying.?" When he found out that I was not paying....the insults began about how unethical I was.....yet he was willing to spill all the details about his family for the right price....

Ann Pettway's father died when she was 3 years old.

You can listen to that interview in 3 parts (here.)

According to Carlina's biological father, Carl Tyson, Carlina's birth certificate actually says "Carlina Renee Tyson." Newspapers in 1987 printed the name sometimes as Carlina Renee White-Tyson.

Ann Pettway's Facebook page: this page has since been removed. It stayed up for a couple of months after her arrest. 

Carlina White's Facebook: she has had a couple of Facebook pages. They have all been deleted. She does have one facebook page open now. She goes by the name Nejdra again. (here)

Carlina White fan page: here is a Carlina White fan page that was created when the news first hit the media. You can join that page to interact with other Carlina White fans.

The Joy White Interview with the Today Show doesn't seem to be working. But, you can see other interviews featuring different family members.

Carlina White's siblings: She has a brother and a sister by her mother Joy White, and her father Carl Tyson as three other children.

Carlina stated that when she spoke with her real parents, the connection was stronger with her mom Joy White. When she spoke with her father for the first time, it was like talking to a stranger. But, then it became easier as time went on.

In a strange twist, after reading about the Carlina White story, a man named Steve Carter decided to investigate his past. He found his baby photo on the site His mother had abducted him and fled to Hawaii, over 30 years ago. Until then, the Carlina White case was the longest case in history where a child was found after disappearing.

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