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How Jennifer Dulos' Real-Life Writings Play A Role In Lifetime's 'Gone Mom'
The story of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos, who police believe was murdered by her estranged husband Fotis Dulos, gets the Lifetime movie treatment in "Gone Mom."
When viewers tune into Lifetime's new movie "Gone Mom" — which chronicles the case of missing (and presumed murdered) Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos — they'll get a taste of something not often featured in the extensive media coverage of the case: Jennifer's own voice. That's because the film actually features eerie snippets based on Jennifer's real-life blog.
“I know I sound like the poor little rich girl complaining about a life that most people dream of, my dear blog readers, but most people aren’t married to him,” a voice over from Jennifer (played by Annabeth Gish) intones as she pulls into her garage at the start of the movie.
The garage is where investigators believe that Fotis Dulos (the “him” Jennifer is referring to) was “lying in wait” for her in May 2019 before he killed her, according to an arrest warrant. The estranged couple were embroiled in a contentious divorce and child custody battle at the time. Jennifer’s body has never been found and Fotis was brought up on murder charges before he died by suicide last year.
The film depicts Jennifer as a woman who came from a wealthy background, who put aside her aspirations for a writing career to marry Fotis and have five children with him. Indeed, the real Jennifer wrote an unpublished novel that, according to Fotis' lawyer Norm Pattis, had a similar plot to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl," which tells the story of a woman who fakes her own disappearance in order to frame her husband. Pattis then controversially pointed to that book’s plot, claiming that Jennifer Dulos might have staged her own disappearance. It’s a theory that family and friends have consistently denounced.
While Jennifer never got that book published while alive, she was a writer. She contributed to the local Patch.com site and an her own blog, fivemakesseven.com, a domain name that referenced her five children.
In a 2012 post on Patch, she wrote about her lack of sleep while raising a newborn.
“Oh, Noelle, I know that this too shall pass” she wrote, speaking directly to her young daughter, before eerily adding: "But I fear I may be in a body bag by then.”
The missing mother made her blog private, but it appeared to be a place where she felt safe sharing her inner thoughts. A subtitle of the blog, which is no longer up, stated, “a mother of five in Connecticut writes to her children as a way of capturing this moment in time.”
“Gone Mom” mined the site for insight into Jennifer’s life.
“The blogs [in the movie] were paraphrased versions of what Jennifer really wrote,” the film’s executive producer Ilene Kahn Power told Oxygen.com. “They weren't invented out of whole cloth, but rewritten to be the essence of what she did write in several instances, in both her blog, ‘and five makes seven,’ and her column in the local Avon, Connecticut Patch newspaper. They were adjusted primarily for length and dramatic impact.”
Kahn Power noted that Jennifer never said anything harsh about Fotis in a public forum and that she was careful when referencing him. In fact, she rarely did, In one instance, she described her former husband giving their sons attention as "a treat" in a 2013 blog post, vaguely implying that it was rare for him to give them "his undivided time and attention and care."
In another 2012 blog entry, she seemingly referenced Fotis again, stating: "When you decide to put an end to the cycle of deprivation in your life, you’ll need to start saying no, setting limits, and putting boundaries in place to protect your time, energy, and emotional needs. This poses a huge challenge for most caring individuals. Why? Because inevitably you’ll end up disappointing a friend… And, you can rest assured that you will piss off a spouse who suddenly has to do his own laundry because you’ve decided that you’re no longer going to play house maid to everyone who lives under your roof... Don’t be surprised if someone close to you – a best friend, a family member, or a spouse, tries to pull you back into the fold of compliance. And when this happens, the worst thing you can do is give in. When you do, you give mixed messages and you teach people not to trust your word. Instead you need to be honest, direct, and appropriately remorseful and that’s it. Don’t over explain, defend or invite a debate about your decision. The fewer words the better. "
"Gone Mom" premieres on Lifetime Saturday, June 5 at 8/7c.