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Of the 12 Ann Rule books made for tv movies – these are my favorite two.

I remember first being introduced to the works of Ann Rule by a roommate and finding her books to be gripping and hard to put down once I’d begun reading them. Favorites include: The Stranger Next to Me, Small Sacrifices, and If You Really Loved Me.

12 Ann Rule Books made for TV movies

There have been 12 Ann Rule books made for TV movies. These Ann Rule movies have varied from excellent to disappointing.

For the reader’s sake, I have chosen to share my favorite two movies that you need to check out.

#1. Small Sacrifices with Farrah Fawcett

The first ever TV movie based on an Ann Rule book, Small Sacrifices, starred Farrah Fawcett in one of her best roles EVER.

Official Movie Description of Small Sacrifices 

A peculiar and disturbing case catches the attention of the police when a young mother [Farrah Fawcett] and her children, all severely injured, show up in a hospital’s emergency room.

Sadly the movie is not available on DVD or digitally but you can find it sometimes on YouTube.

Who is Diane Downs?

Elizabeth Diane Downs (née Frederickson) was born August 7, 1955. She was convicted in 1984 for murdering her daughter and attempting to murder two other children in May 1983. She was sentenced to life in prison plus fifty years.

Downs briefly escaped in 1987 and was recaptured. She was denied parole in December 2008 and again in December 2010.  Diane Down’s next hearing is set for 2021.

Tissue Rating: Bring the box!

Triggers: Murder, Attempted Murder, Children in Danger, Murdering Mother

Book/Source Material: Ann Rule’s Small Sacrifices

#2. And Never Let Her Go with Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon may be best known to modern audiences as Gibbs from NCIS but before that he starred in two gripping true crime movies as the sexy yet dangerous murderers Ted Bundy (The Deliberate Stranger) and Thomas Capano (And Never Let Her Go).

This has to be one of the best examples of Ann Rule books made for TV movies due to the acting by Mark Harmon.

Official Movie Description for And Never Let Her Go

Thomas Capano [Mark Harmon] has power, influence, and money. Anne Marie Fahey has a desperate need to escape. From Ann Rule, “the queen of the true-crime genre” (Philadelphia Inquirer), comes the shocking true story of a love that turns to cruel obsession, and the perfect man who a turns a woman’s life into the perfect nightmare. Based on the New York Times bestseller, this movie is a cautionary tale of love, innocence, and family, perverted by an uncontrollable obsession.

Sadly, while the movie is available on DVD, it is not easy to find for sale.

Who was Thomas Capano?

Thomas Joseph Capano was born on October 11, 1949 in Delaware.

In 1994, Capano was a partner at the Wilmington office of Saul Ewing LLP when he became involved with 28-year-old Anne Marie Fahey, the appointments secretary to then-Governor Tom Carper. Married with four daughters, Capano separated from his wife Kay the following year.

Fahey was last seen alive on June 27, 1996, when she went to dinner with Capano in Philadelphia. Fahey’s family reported her missing on June 30. After an extensive search, the FBI joined in the investigation in July.

Capano, the last known person to have seen Fahey alive, was the prime suspect. He was arrested for her murder in November 1997, over sixteen months after her disappearance. However, Fahey’s body was never found.

The case against Capano started on October 26, 1998, and lasted twelve weeks. On January 17, 1999, the jury convicted Capano of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Thomas Capano was discovered dead in his jail cell at 12:34 p.m. on September 19, 2011. The official cause was cardiac arrest.

Tissue Rating: Potential for tears

Triggers: Murder, Sleazy Politician, Sexual Manipulation, Woman Goes Missing

Book/Source Material: And Never Let Her Go by Ann Rule