The true story of a woman who is sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her husband's ex-wife. After being dismissed from the Milwaukee police, Laurie Bembenek is swept off her feet ... See full summary »
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Richard A. Colla
Gordon Michael Woolvett
The true story of a woman who is sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her husband's ex-wife. After being dismissed from the Milwaukee police, Laurie Bembenek is swept off her feet by divorced Fred Schultz and they decide to marry. The pair face mounting financial problems, but when Fred's ex-wife is killed with a bullet from his off-duty pistol, it is Laurie who is arrested for the brutal crime. Written by
This movie/miniseries is entertaining and Tatum O'Neal and Alex McArthur do a great job in particular with their roles. They really make you sympathize for Bambi and her plight as the only righteous character in a massive plot against her by Milwaukee Police, State of Wisconsin employees, neighbors and friends, and even her own husband. But, let's remember that Lawrencia Bembenek herself wrote the book that this movie is based on. She is less than biased. As a very intelligent woman, Bembenek is able to draw you in and make you believe her story. She had many, many people buying her claims of innocence and conspiracy theory, especially in Wisconsin. As someone who lived through that time in Milwaukee and who's father gave the expert testimony about the wig fibers found on Christine Schulz being a highly probable match to the wig found stuck in the apartment's pipes after it was flushed in an attempt to destroy evidence, this woman is manipulative and I have no doubt she is guilty.
But as the master storyteller she is, Bembenek twisted fact and molded public opinion to sway perception of her innocense. As a movie, this telling of her story does the same. It draws you in and is a fascinating story of justice gone wrong. It has a nice pacing for getting all that information and long time period into 3 1/2 hours. Ms. O'Neal plays the incredulity of Bambi very well. Bruce Greenwood does a nice job with what he was given, although the writing leaves him with little room to doubt that Fred Schulz was a evil and devious man - quite an inaccurate characture. I would have enjoyed this movie more if you were left a little more in doubt as to what actually happened, as no one still knows the complete story. Every person in the real drama had motive and no one was without their significant flaws. That's what made the real story so compelling and intriguing, and that would have made the movie better, if you were left to make your own decisions. Overall, worth the investment of time, but not necessarily of money.
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