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Crime News

Lifetime To Take On Controversial Jennifer Dulos, Lori Vallow and Anna Gristina Cases

Annabeth Gish, known for her role in “The X-Files,” will be playing Jennifer Dulos in "Gone Mom," one of six upcoming Lifetime movies based on real cases.

By Gina Tron
Lori Vallow Jennifer Dulos Anna Gristina Ap Pd

Several high-profile cases are getting the Lifetime movie treatment, including the controversial Lori Vallow, Jennifer Dulos and Anna Gristina cases, the network announced last week.

Lifetime announced on Thursday that six new movies inspired by true stories will drop in June. The series of films, part of their annual “Summer of Secrets” series, will kick off with “Gone Mom” on June 5, which is based on the Jennifer Dulos case, a press release states. Dulos vanished in May 2019 amid a contentious divorce and child custody battle with her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. He was slapped with murder charges before he died by suicide in January 2020.

Annabeth Gish, known for her roles in “The X-Files,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Mystic Pizza,” will be playing Jennifer Dulos. 

The movie title refers to the controversial “Gone Girl” theory that Fotis’ attorney Norm Pattis floated a month after the mother of five vanished. Pattis hinted that Jennifer Dulos may have orchestrated her own disappearance in order to frame her husband — a salacious claim first reported by the New York Post. He noted that she once wrote a book manuscript with a similar plot to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl.” A spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos’s family and friends has consistently denounced the suggestion that she staged her own disappearance. 

The following day, Lifetime will be airing “Soccer Mom Madam,” which is based on the  Anna Gristina case. She was a suburban mother of four when prosecutors accused her of running an upscale escort service in New York City in which she raked in millions in profits. Gristina, who was also represented by Pattis, maintained that she was running a dating service. She was sentenced to time served in 2011 after pleading guilty to one count of promoting prostitution, NBC New York reported at the time.

Jana Kramer of “One Tree Hill” fame will portray Gristina.

“Doomsday Mom” will run towards the end of the month, on June 26, and will take on the high profile case of Lori Vallow, the Idaho mother who is currently behind bars in connection with her missing and presumed dead children. Her kids, Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, vanished in 2019 and their bodies were discovered in 2020 on the property of Chad Daybell, who is Vallow’s husband. No murder charges have been filed in the case, but both Vallow and Daybell are currently behind bars on charges connected to the discovery. 

The movie title refers to the pair’s obsession with doomsday visions, which Daybell has apparently been fascinated with for years; he has even written several books on the subject.

Actors Lauren Lee Smith and Marc Blucas star as the couple. 

In addition to these three movies, Lifetime will be airing “Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story,” based on the 2006 attempted murder of high school student Ashley Reeves, on June 12. “Secrets of a Gold Digger” airs the following day, and is based on Celeste Beard Johnson, who murdered her millionaire husband Steven Beard in 1999. The murder of Erin Corwin, a pregnant teen who was murdered in 2014 by a former Marine who was having an affair with her, is the basis of “Secrets of a Marine’s Wife,” which airs on June 19.