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Without a Kiss Goodbye (1993)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama  -  21 March 1993 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 113 users  
Reviews: 3 user

True story of a middle class mother charged with murdering her baby, despite her denials. Re-tells the story of the medical and police investigations, the later court proceedings and the final outcome.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Laurie Samuels (as Lisa Hartman Black)
...
Ray Samuels
...
Braddock
...
Myron Ogelsby
...
Jenine
...
Gerald Orr
...
Mrs. Samuels
Tom McBeath
Babs Chula ...
(as Babz Chula)
French Tickner ...
Mr. Samuels
Sandra P. Grant ...
Clara Davies
...
Mr. Harper
Bill Dow ...
Judge Banner
...
Detective Lovell
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Storyline

True story of a middle class mother charged with murdering her baby, despite her denials. Re-tells the story of the medical and police investigations, the later court proceedings and the final outcome.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

21 March 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Laurie Samuels Story  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An important message about our American justice system...
12 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is based on a true story and presents a cautionary tale of state social services and what happens to a family once they are in the system and wrongfully accused by over-zealous prosecutors.

Basically Lisa Hartman Black and her husband Chris Meloni, live in a middle-class suburb in Washington state. They have a newborn and some financial issues. Cloris Leachman is very good as the spiteful mother-in-law.

The baby first becomes sick so Hartman takes him to the nearest hospital, Hollingsworth Poison Control Center. The baby at first recovers, and the doctor informs them that he had antifreeze in his system. Unfortunately the child dies, and social services steps in and unjustly accuse the mother (Hartman). She is railroaded into prison and doesn't have money for a good defense lawyer.

Chris Meloni ("Law and Order") is very sympathetic as the loving husband who does all he can to get his wife freed from prison. He stands by his wife even when his own mother says, "I never liked Laurie, she probably did it". Unfortunately that is still the attitude here, as many are unjustly accused and thrown into jail.

Eventually, Laurie gets an attorney (well portrayed by James Staley), who is arrogant and uses her defense as reasonable doubt: he has won all of his cases, he says, and the jury will not convict. Well, that plan fails and Hartman is sentenced to life in prison.

Her husband fails to be deterred and now has a mission to prove his wife innocent. He eventually retains attorney Orr (David Ogden-Stiers) who researches the illness her child died from. It is a rare genetic disorder but the prosecution conveniently left out the medical facts. Eventually, she is released and in reality had a considerable civil suit against Washington State and the hospitals and social worker who testified against her. A frightening and true story. 9/10.


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