A Woman Who Escaped A Notorious Serial Killer Is Suing Lifetime For Depicting Her As A Hooker

Editor-at-Large
10.02.14 12 Comments

arquette

Keith Hunter Jesperon is a Canadian serial killer who earned the nickname “The Happy Face Killer” thanks to his creepy habit of drawing little smilies on confession letters addressed to reporters and prosecutors. He’s serving three consecutive life sentences for killing at least eight women in the early 1990s, and he claims he’s killed over 150 more. Only one woman, then 21-year-old Daun Slagle, is known to have survived an encounter with Jesperson. Slagle told police that Jesperson coaxed her into his car outside a shopping center after Slagle left her home with her baby following a heated argument with her husband. Jesperson then drove her to a remote location and attempted to sexually assault her, and starting choking her when she fought back. Slagle eventually convinced him to release her, and thinks the crying of her baby was the only thing that saved her.

Let’s see how Lifetime depicted this in Happy Face Killer, a recent made-for-TV movie starring David Arquette:

In the Lifetime movie, though, […] she’s depicted as a hooker named “Candy Smith” who performs oral sex on Jesperson in front of her child and then tries to extort money from him. [NY Daily News]

That seems, uh… a little different. Different enough that Slagle, now a grandmother and a nurse, has filed a lawsuit against Lifetime, saying the movie suggests she “provoked and/or deserved the attack due to her low character, criminal behavior and taunting of Jesperson” and that the portrayal “is false, egregious and disgusting.” Her point here is that since the events in the film are so obviously based on her encounter with Jesperson, and her story about being the sole survivor was publicized like crazy (including an appearance on Oprah in 2009), all of this will end up damaging her reputation. Not super unreasonable.

In a related story, “Candy Smith” is the most Lifetime name for a prostitute possible.

Via Courthouse News / KTLA / NY Daily News

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