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"Dying to Love You" is based on a true crime story that happened in the early 1990s, in the Washington, DC suburbs. The film's story line is faithful to actual events, as published in a paperback book on the crime, "Deadly White Female" (1994).
The real Lisa Rohn was born Lisa Ann Miller in northern California. Raised in a trailer park-resident dysfunctional family, she married at 16 to a sailor, Steven Rohn. When the marriage fell apart, she drifted into prostitution, and accumulated a string of arrests in the San Francisco area. While working the streets, she learned to steal everything from money to credit cards from her clients. Ultimately, she headed east with a partner in crime, Raymond Huberts, and the two ran a very successful identity-theft and credit fraud scheme.
When Huberts got caught, Lisa was on her own. She took a job using one of her favorite aliases - Johnnie Elaine Miller, which happened to be the name of an older sister who had died in an accidental shooting in 1983 (believed by friends to have been a suicide).
It is here that the movie begins. Rohn, aka "Elaine," had developed a keen ability to recognize and exploit vulnerable men, and when she answered an ad placed by Roger Paulsen in the Washingtonian magazine, she knew she had found her mark.
The movie is an accurate re-telling of real events - if anything, it understates both Paulson's naivete and unscrupulousness of Rohn.
The acting is good, and the story well-written, making this one of the better made-for-TV movies. Actress Tracy Pollan, who plays Rohn in the movie, told the Los Angeles times that the film should make people "think twice" before answering personals.
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