Ripped from the Headlines
Lifetime brings feature films straight from the news to the small screen, including titles Death Saved My Life, The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice, Girl in the Basement, Circle of Deception and A House on Fire.
On the surface it seems Jade (Meagan Good) has it all, a successful marketing career, a husband admired and respected in the community, and a young daughter they both dote on. But behind closed doors, her life is far from idyllic. Her husband Ed (Chiké Okonkwo) is a controlling man who is physically and psychologically abusive. When Jade decides to leave Ed he tells her “If I can’t have you, nobody will,” a threat which becomes very real when she discovers he has hired someone to kill her. Knowing no one will believe her, Jade realizes the only way to escape Ed is to make him believe the hitman completed the job and that she is dead. La’Myia Good plays Jade’s sister Leigh.
The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice tells the story of Mari Gilbert’s search for the truth behind what happened to her daughter Shannan, a sometime escort who disappeared after a ‘date’ on Long Island. After Shannan (Katharine Isabelle, Hannibal) fails to come home, her mother Mari (Kim Delaney) knows something is terribly wrong. Pleading to police to take her concerns seriously, she keeps pushing the police for answers. Mari’s insistence that her daughter not be overlooked eventually leads to a horror hidden on Long Island for more than a decade – 19 bodies of young women discovered buried in shallow graves along Ocean Parkway in the area of Jones Beach State Park. Though the search for the killer is still ongoing, Mari’s passionate dedication to giving her daughter and other forgotten women a voice, and the attention they deserve, has kept the case alive with hopes of a breakthrough soon. The movie not only follows a mother’s tireless search for the truth, but it also digs deep into the murders, including Shannan’s, that have gone unsolved for so long.
Inspired by actual events, Girl in the Basement is the horrific story of Sara (Stefanie Scott), a vibrant teen girl who was looking forward to her 18th birthday so she could move away from her controlling father Don (Judd Nelson). But before she could ever blow out the candles, her world became extremely dark after Don imprisons her in the basement of their home. While Don tries to convince wife Irene (Joely Fisher) that Sara ran away, he would secretly visit her in the basement to torture and rape her while Irene and her sister Amy (Emily Topper) continued living upstairs. As the years pass, Sara gives birth to several children, alone in the basement. Don eventually brings up their youngest son, leaving him on the doorstep for Irene to find with a note from Sara saying that was her son and she couldn’t care for him, leaving Irene to finally accept Don’s claims about Sara. After decades of captivity, Sara finally escapes, and her family learns the devastating truth about what had been going on for over 20 years right beneath their feet.
Based on Ann Rule’s true crime book Practice to Deceive. In this New York Times Best Seller, a small, island community is turned upside down when Russel Douglas, a local businessman, is found dead the day after Christmas. Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be ex-wife, who often complained to her former beauty queen best friend Peggy Sue Thomas that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Through an investigation that twists and winds its way through neighbors, ex-wives, and best friends, it is discovered that Peggy enlisted the help of her former lover, Jim Huden, to murder Russel.
Inspired by the New York Times bestseller by prestigious and prolific true crime writer Ann Rule, this is the story of Debora Green, a brilliant doctor with a genius IQ who appeared to be living the American dream: her own medical practice, marriage to a handsome star doctor, three loving children and a beautiful home in an affluent Kansas City suburb. However, behind the curtain is a rocky marriage that includes Deb’s difficult bedside manner, her inability to get along with other doctors, abuse of pills and alcohol, major envy of her husband’s successful medical career and his easy social manner. Tragically, these problems masked her underlying mental illness, which finally led to the 1995 catastrophic fire of their beautiful home and the death of their only son and youngest daughter. Deb plead no contest to charges of arson and murder. She is currently serving a 30- year prison sentence.