7 Stories From Action-Packed Thrillers That Actually Happened

Films based on real events often attract more attention from the audience than their completely fictional “brothers.” The terrible and incredible moments that once happened to someone and which are hard to believe seem to us more mysterious and intriguing, genuine. While watching such films, we sometimes even forget that from the real story in the film there can only be a basis, and everything else will be the work of the film crew.

We at Happy Worthy Life decided to find out the details of real events that inspired directors to create famous thrillers and horror films. Be careful, there may be spoilers inside.

The Story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan – The Open Sea

The Story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan - The Open Sea

Diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia will seem to someone a real dream, but for someone it can turn into a dangerous adventure. In 1998, a young couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, together with a group of divers, went to a chain of shallows near the reef to view the underwater depths. This was not the first dive for the Lonerganovs, by then the couple had been under water for about 160 times, so they worked without an instructor.

Emerging after another dive to the surface, the couple noticed that there were no other divers nearby, their boat sailed, and now they are alone in the middle of the ocean.

The organizers noticed the disappearance of the spouses only after 48 hours. Despite the fact that 17 planes, 2 helicopters and several private boats were involved in the search for the Lonerganov, Tom and Aileen could not be found alive. Rescuers found only parts of their deep-sea suits in the ocean. Experts concluded that due to the hot tropical sun and dehydration, the couple voluntarily parted with rescue uniforms, which for a long time did not allow them to drown.

Based on the history of Lonerganov, in 2003 the thriller “Open Sea” was released.

The Life of Mary Ann Cotton – The Dark Angel Mini-Series

The Life of Mary Ann Cotton - The Dark Angel Mini-Series

Mary Ann Cotton was unlucky in love. And in general, she was completely unlucky in life. Born into a poor family, the girl lived in hardships and worked a lot since childhood, although she dreamed about something completely different. It seemed that a profitable marriage could solve her problems, but the ordinary miner became the first spouse of Mary Ann. And 8 children born in this marriage, died in infancy from unexplained stomach fever. Some time later their father followed. Mary Ann received insurance compensation for her spouse, moved to another city and soon married again. However, this spouse soon left the girl, leaving behind only an inheritance.

A month after the death of her second husband, Cotton got a nanny in the house of a wealthy widow-shipbuilder. And as if it brought misfortune with itself: all his children, after the arrival of a new nurse, died from stomach fever. A man who needed support after the tragedy married Mary Ann, but soon became disappointed. In family life, a woman was very wasteful and greedy for money, so her husband broke off her relationship. And Mary Ann soon found a new groom …

Perhaps a series of these sad events could last a long time. But one day, a friend of the new family, Cotton found out that she sent the child for arsenic to the pharmacy, and charged her.

The exact number of victims of Mary Ann Cotton is unknown, but it is believed that she caused the death of 21 people. Among the alleged victims are 3 of her husband, mother, lover, girlfriend, 4 adoptive women and 11 own children.

On the life of a cold-blooded black widow, the mini-series Dark Angel was filmed.

The story of Dr. Maria Alvarez – the film “Impossible”

The story of Dr. Maria Alvarez - the film "Impossible"

In 2004, a vacation in Thailand turned out to be a disaster for the family of Dr. Maria Belen Alvarez. One day, a monstrous tsunami hit the resort town where they were relaxing.

A huge wave, sweeping away everything in its path, carried Maria away from her family, but she managed to grab onto a tree and stay afloat for some time. When a woman tried to save her drowning son nearby, a second wave surged, which, along with water, carried garbage, stones and sharp fragments of buildings. Under the action of adrenaline, Maria did not feel pain and only a few hours later she saw her leg torn to shreds.

A woman and a boy who climbed from a flood into a tree were saved by local residents. By that time, the mother was already in critical condition and had lost a lot of blood. At the hospital, doctors were able to save Mary, but not her leg. The husband and 2 more sons of Belen miraculously survived.

The story of Maria Belen inspired the creators of the movie The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

The Story of Eric Lemarque – “At 6 Feet”

The Story of Eric Lemarque - “At 6 Feet”

After completing his sports career, hockey player Eric Lemark realized his dependence on adrenaline. In ordinary life, he began to miss the drive, so he became addicted to snowboarding and meth. And once this explosive mixture played a cruel joke with him.

On February 6, 2004, Lemarck, contrary to the warnings of the ski patrol about snow drifts, decided to break into the eastern slope of Mammoth Mountain and ended up in a snowy desert. A blizzard quickly swept over all traces and landmarks, preventing a man from returning to base. He did not understand where he was, around for several kilometers there was only snow.

In an attempt to find the way back, Lemarck spent 7 days, got completely lost and lost all hope of returning home. A rescue team found a snowboarder on day 8, 11 miles from the base. The man was severely exhausted and frostbite, but still alive. In the snowy desert, he lost both legs.

Based on the story of Eric Lemarque, the movie “At 6 Feet Depth” was filmed in 2017 with starring Josh Harnett.

The Story of Robert Durst – The All the Best

The Story of Robert Durst - The All the Best

In 1982, the wife of New York tycoon and heir to a major real estate company, Robert Durst, went missing. During the investigation, the specialists could not find any traces of the woman. Although Robert’s friends, acquaintances, and even relatives were sure that during the next quarrel he simply got rid of his wife. Before the disappearance of Caitlin, Robert repeatedly beat her severely, could sit on his wife for nothing and prove his innocence with his fists.

While the investigation was ongoing, Durst decided not to risk his own skin. He escaped from the city and hid for a long time, forging documents and living under other people’s names. Of all the acquaintances, the man kept in touch only with his old girlfriend Susan Berman. She helped Durst with an alibi and informed him of the progress of the case until she asked for a fee for her help. In 2000, a woman was found dead in her own apartment. And a little later, Morris Black was also found – an elderly neighbor of Durst hiding in Texas.

The Story of Robert Durst - The All the Best

Robert was arrested in Galveston, Texas, shortly after the discovery of the remains of his deceased neighbor, and in 2003 he appeared in court. Due to the impossibility of a full forensic examination, the man was acquitted by the jury of the murder, although the court proved that it was Durst who chopped it into pieces and tried to hide Black’s body.

The wife of billionaire Caitlin has not yet been found, and Susan Berman’s case remains open.

About the terrible acts committed by Robert Durst, the film “All the Best” was shot, in which the main roles were played by Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst.

The wreck of the whaling ship “Essex” – the film “In the Heart of the Sea”

The wreck of the whaling ship "Essex" - the film "In the Heart of the Sea"

The spectacular film “In the Heart of the Sea“, shot by Ron Howard, is based on the real story of the Essex whale ship sinking in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1820, the ship was attacked by a huge sperm whale and began to sink to the bottom. The team escaped in 3 small boats, but ended up in the middle of the ocean with virtually no livelihood. There were about 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km) to the nearest coast.

During the journey to civilization, sailors, in order not to die of hunger and thirst, had to eat their dead comrades and drink their own bowel movements. It took the sailors about 3 months to land to land, and of the 20 survivors of the ship’s wreck, only 8 reached the shore.

The Story of Louise Ogborn – “The Obedience Experiment”

The Story of Louise Ogborn - “The Obedience Experiment”

In April 2004, an unfamiliar man phoned one of McDonald’s restaurants in Mount Washington, Kentucky. He introduced himself to manager Donna Summers as a police officer, Scott, and said that one of the employees of the institution is under suspicion of theft. Then the man gave a description of the girl and asked the manager to search her right at the workplace.

Donna Summers, despite such a dubious offer, agreed to help the caller. One of the girls who worked that day, Louise Ogborn, came under the thief’s description. For “interrogation and search” the manager took the employee to the back room, on the instructions of the policeman forced her to undress, searched the girl and took her clothes into the car. After Donna, the boyfriend Walter Knicks began to inspect the girl, who also unconditionally followed the instructions of the voice from the tube. For almost three and a half hours, the caller came up with new tricks and tests to search the waitress.

All the mockery of Louise Ogborn was captured by surveillance cameras, the recordings of which became the main evidence against Summers and Nyx in court. It’s hard to believe, but about 70 women from different states of America suffered from such tricks of a telephone fraudster. For 10 years, an exemplary family man and father of 5 children, David Stewart, played a policeman, but was never caught. The incident with Louise Ogborn also got away with the man due to the lack of direct evidence of his guilt.

This incredible case of telephone fraud formed the basis of the criminal drama “The Obedience Experiment.”

Do you like movies based on real events? Do you consider it possible to embellish reality in such films?

Preview photo of Open Water / Lionsgate , wikimedia commons

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