In the Peter Sullivan directorial titled ‘To Kill a Stepfather,’ Alexandra Camacho stars as Nicole Ray, who finds out that her stepfather, Matthew, died of falling down the stairs of their family home. What comes more of a shock to Nicole is that her estranged mother, Kate, gets arrested for Matthew’s murder. Despite not being in touch with her mother for years, she begins an investigation of her own to find out what really happened and possibly to clear her mother’s name.
As Nicole delves deeper into the investigation, she realizes that not everything is as it seems. Apart from Camacho, the Lifetime thriller film stars Kelly McCart, Jamel King, Avis Wrentmore, and Elyse Mirto and explores several realistic themes, including the complexities of familial relationships. Thus, it is natural for many viewers to pose the question — Is ‘To Kill a Stepfather’ rooted in reality or not? If the same question has been brewing in your mind, let’s explore it in detail, shall we?
Is To Kill a Stepfather a True Story?
No, ‘To Kill a Stepfather’ is not based on a true story. The enthralling storyline is the collaborative effort of the three screenwriters — Robert Dean Klein, Jeffrey Schenck, and Peter Sullivan — who combined their creative minds, brilliant penmanship, and years of experience in the industry to come up with the gripping and seemingly realistic screenplay for the Lifetime movie.
Whether it is the cases involving the murder of a stepfather or wrong convictions, they are not unheard of in real life. For instance, the murder case of Tom Merriman, the stepfather of the accused Jade Janks, was a mystery as the latter claimed that he was alive and breathing when she left him in the car, only to find him dead later on New Year’s Day 2021. Besides that, another reason why some of you might find the themes and elements of the film familiar is that they have been touched upon in several other movies and shows.
One of the aptest real-life examples has to be that of the biographical crime drama series ‘The Staircase.’ Based on the 2004 eponymous true crime documentary created by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the Antonio Campos creation stars Colin Firth, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Dane DeHaan, and Olivia DeJonge. It follows a renowned crime novelist named Michael Peterson, who bears the accusation of killing his wife Kathleen when she is found covered in her blood and dead at the bottom of their house’s staircase. During the intense investigation, the family gets pulled into a strenuous legal battle as Michael tries to prove his innocence.
Just like Michael gets accused of murdering his wife in ‘The Staircase,’ Kate is blamed for the death of her husband in ‘To Kill a Stepfather.’ Moreover, Michael’s family tries their best to clear his name, just like Nicole attempts to do the same for her mother in the Lifetime film. Thus, all in all, we can conclude that despite consisting of true-to-life and familiar subject matters, ‘To Kill a Stepfather’ is nothing but a work of fiction.