Lifetime has a built a brand out of ripped-from-the-headlines, made-for-TV drama - but it’s not just for middle-aged, bored divorcees like the stereotype. The network is absolutely loaded with action-packed retellings of true crime that deal with hyper-gritty subjects. In fact, the list of Lifetime originals based on true stories might even be more impressive than every season of Law & Order: SVU combined.
It’s true that most of the Lifetime movies that really happened focus on mothers, daughters and the struggles they’ve overcome, but sometimes it’s straight-up serial killers like The Happy Face Killer and Blue-Eyed Butcher. Other times, it’s a heartwarming coming-of-age triumph like the ultimate Lifetime classic Gracie’s Choice.
These Lifetime movies based on true events are the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Vote for your favorites to pick an ultimate, action-packed, drama-filled winner.
A teenage girl (Kellie Martin) sees a photograph of herself one day in the school cafeteria - on a Missing Persons column on the side of a milk carton. But her beloved parents would never kidnap anyone and there's a deeper mystery ahead.
A single mother who becomes the first victim of kidnapper Ariel Castro (Raymond Cruz) finds herself trapped in his home for 11 years, where she eventually becomes a friend and sister to two other women who are taken captive by Castro.
Police launch a high-profile investigation after a teenager (Alana Boden) is abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City.
A baby abducted at birth and raised by the woman who took her, eventually discovers she is a missing child, reconnects with her birth parents, and struggles with choosing between her two identities.
Based on the disturbing trial that gripped the nation, this Lifetime Original Movie tells the story of a seductive, aspiring photographer found guilty of ending the life of her former lover.
The true story of Gwen Araujo, a young trans woman who was brutally slain by four men in 2002.
Based on a true story and a remake of the 1996 film of the same name. A shy high school student's seemingly perfect relationship with a popular jock quickly turns abusive and dangerous.
Based on a true story, 15 year old Tina Spangler discovers she is pregnant. Her choices are abortion, adoption, or a lonely, exhausting life as a single parent.
A video of an assault on a teenager surfaces on the Internet.
A teenage girl tries to raise her three half-brothers and one half-sister on her own after their drug-addicted mother is sent to jail.
Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school.
A pair of girls seeking adventure beyond the their Western Washington trailer park encounter the area's most ruthless serial killer.
A teacher is harassed by a group of snotty, popular cheerleaders who think they can get away with anything. However, the teacher has no intention of taking their rude behavior.
Inspired by the true story of teenagers at Gloucester High School in Massachusets who agreed to get pregnant at the same time.
When multi-millionaire Ted Ammon is found bludgeoned to death at his East Hampton estate, suspicion falls on his estranged wife, Generosa Rand, and her lover, Danny Pelosi.
Riley (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is a single mother living in a small Texas town and leading a shocking double life.
A chronicle of Brittany Murphy's rise to fame in the 1990s, her struggles with self-esteem, and her tragic early death.
Texas beauty Susan Wright appeared to have a fairytale life with an adoring husband, Jeff, two beautiful kids, and close family and friends. But in 2003, six years into their marriage, the fairy tale crumbles when Jeff is found dead and buried in the backyard of their suburban home.
A couple discover that the baby girl they're trying to adopt is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. The couple become part of a sting operation to bust the baby-selling ring.
A teenage girl is abducted and held in a forest in an underground bunker by a sexual predator.
In Massachusetts in 1893, Lizzie Borden is put on trial for ending the lives of her father and stepmother with an axe.
This film explores the inner lives and motivation behind the slayings of entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty at the hands of their sons Lyle and Erik in 1989.
An 18 year old girl, Natalee Holloway (Catherine Dent), goes on a senior class trip to Aruba, only to mysteriously disappear after meeting a man at bar.
The riveting film is based on the true story of a powerful and respected military officer who committed numerous brutal crimes and was eventually brought down by a tenacious small town police detective.