This made-for-TV movie is based on the book Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers by Rhonda Saunders. We’ve all heard about stalkers stalking the rich and famous. In 1989 Rebecca Schaeffer, a young actress, was killed by her stalker. Political figures, entertainment personalities, and others suffer the problem of not only the paparazzi but also stalkers. However you don’t have to be famous to be stalked.
While there are laws on the books about stalking and people can get restraining orders, if someone is intent on stalking they will do it. Stalkers is a movie about two women who make stalking a priority in their jobs. Julia Winston (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) is an ambitious A.D.A. who is up against the old boys’ network. She sees the danger in stalkers yet cannot get funding for a special task force to work on the problem. Diane Harkin (Drea de Matteo) is a newly hired detective who is intent on focusing on stalking cases. Julia has to fight the political ambitions of her bosses and Diane deals with a secret from her past while confronting the dangers of stalkers. Together they manage to force the city to create a special task force, and none too early.
From the beginning Diane comes across a disturbing old case about a woman who is being stalked and abused by her former friend. Jane Cox (Lela Loren) is being stalked by a woman with whom she had a close friendship. Ivy (Mena Suvari) is obsessed with Jane and is making her life a living hell. Even after the task force is formed, Ivy continues to elude the authorities and wreak havoc on Jane and her boyfriend. While Diane and Julia work together, with the special task force, they forge a friendship based on their mutual desire to punish stalkers and make stalking a major offense.
This seems like a black and white issue yet it is more complicated. Many on the police force and in the D.A.’s office want to focus on crimes that have already been perpetrated and don’t feel stalking is on the top of their priority list, so Diane and Julia have to not only work to save Jane from her psychotic stalker, but at the same time they must make it clear to everyone that stopping stalkers is just as important as solving murders and other crimes.
Stalking is something we see on the nightly news all the time. A stalker killed John Lennon and many others have made the front pages of newspapers. However stalking regular, everyday people is rarely reported. It does happen, and it happens more than you think. This movie shines a light on the crime and especially the prosecutor who took it upon herself to bring the issue to the forefront of public awareness.
This is an interesting movie about a crime that is rarely reported and rarely discussed, unless you have had the experience of having a stalker of your own. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe is known for her roles in Prison Break and last year’s Lifetime Original Movie A Nanny’s Revenge. Drea de Matteo won an Emmy for her role in HBO’s The Sopranos. She was also in NBC’s Joey and FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Among Mena Suvari’s credits are American Beauty, the American Pie movie franchise, Rumor Has It, FX’s American Horror Story and many more.
While trying to save Jane, both Diane and Julia put their lives and their careers on the line. Stalkers premiers April 13, 2013 on Lifetime.