Is Accused Episode 3 “Danny’s Story” Based on a Real Case?

Image Credit: Steve Wilkie/FOX

The third episode of Fox’s ‘Accused’ follows the story of a boy named Danny who is desperately trying to prove that his father’s new girlfriend is not what she seems. Alison arrives at his house as a hospice worker for his ailing mother. Once Danny’s mother dies, Alison’s affair with Danny’s father, John comes to light. As if Danny didn’t already have enough to suspect her, he is gripped by an unshakable belief that she is trying to kill him. The more Danny’s suspicions take hold of him, the more difficult it becomes for him to make everyone believe his story. It is a very scary situation for someone to be in. If you are wondering whether the writers of the show were inspired by any true events to create this episode, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Danny’s Story is a Fictional Work

Image Credit: Steve Wilkie/FOX

No, ‘Danny’s Story’ is not based on any real events. However, there are some details in the episode that point toward the fact that the writers dug into some real-life cases to concoct this fictional story. In the episode, Alison marries Danny’s father and then slowly tries to kill them to get her hands on their money. A similar case came to light in 2009, when a woman named Stacey Castor was convicted of killing her second husband, David Castor, and trying to kill her daughter, in the hopes of pinning the blame for the murder on her. Stacey had also filed a fake will to get David’s estate to her name.

A deeper investigation revealed that Stacey’s first husband, Michael Wallace, had also died under suspicious circumstances. An exhumation of his body revealed that he had died of ingesting ethylene glycol, a substance found in antifreeze. Previously, his death was supposed to have been caused by a heart attack. Similarly, it was believed that David Castor had died of suicide, when in fact, it was Stacey’s elaborate plan to make it look like he’d killed himself.

According to the facts that came to light, Stacey had been slipping antifreeze into David’s food for some time. Meanwhile, she also manipulated the events to look like he was depressed so that the story of his suicide would be easier for people to accept. When he was found, it looked like he first drank alcohol and then the antifreeze. Despite her efforts to keep it an open-and-shut case, the cops started to close in on her. So, she came up with another plan.

Image Credits: Keri Anderson/FOX

Stacey decided to kill Ashley Wallace, her daughter with Michael, by giving her sleeping pills and then feeding her prescription pills with vodka to make it look like a suicide. She even typed a suicide note in her daughter’s computer so that the murders of both her husbands would be pinned on her. However, she failed this time and the law caught up with her. She wasn’t convicted for the murder of her first husband, but the prosecution used it to prove that she’d killed David and was motivated by money from things like insurance policies.

Alison’s case in ‘Danny’s Story’ looks quite similar, especially with the alleged use of antifreeze, which is considered a difficult thing to pin down in a medical checkup. Over the years, several cases have come forward where people have used antifreeze to kill their spouses. In 2022, a woman named Judy Church was accused of poisoning her boyfriend with it. In 2012, a woman named Diane Staudte killed her husband and son, Mark and Shaun, respectively, in a span of six months. At first, both deaths looked like a coincidence, but then, it turned out that Diane, in collaboration with her daughter, Rachel, had used antifreeze to kill Mark and Shaun, and had also been trying to kill Sarah, Diane’s other daughter.

In the same vein, numerous such cases have emerged over the years, which is terrifying because it makes one question the intent of their own family members. ‘Accused’ has touched upon this issue in ‘Danny’s Story.’ So, even if they might not have based it on any particular case, it is clear that they took notes from real-life cases like these to create a realistic story.

Read More: Accused Episode 3 Recap and Ending, Explained