The Killing Secret, a 1997 true-story movie, also known as The Secret, might have been inspired by the Rebecca Lynn Stowe, Robbie Leamon murder case. A recent documentary that is scheduled to air tonight reminded me of the years I spent trying to track down the true basis of The Killing Secret‘s true story in the early 2000s.
A producer finally told me the movie was based on a 1993 Texas murder, which I matched to the crime against Emily Jeanette Garcia, another 15-year-old pregnant teen, who was murdered the same year as Rebecca Stowe. I placed this information on my old blog (The Movies Based on True Stories Database) many years ago. Since then, other writers have re-blogged the same information based on what I now believe is partially incorrect—that The Killing Secret is based on the story of Emily Garcia.
I changed my mind after a tipster sent me the story of Rebecca Lynn Stowe a few years ago. She was convinced that it was Rebecca Lynn Stowe’s true story that inspired The Killing Secret. Out of the hundreds of true-story movies that I’ve researched, I have been wrong about the basis of two movies, this one included. (Remember: this was in the early days of searching through newspaper databases at the library for hours and matching murder cases to the movies.)
Like many of you, I also watched The Killing Secret again, starring Soleil Moon Frye, Mark Kassen, Ari Meyers, Tess Harper, and John O’Hurley. Those names, alone, bring back so many memories of old Lifetime movies based on true stories. Last night, I took some notes during the movie, and the tipster was right. This story is identical to the details found in the Rebecca Lynn Stowe murder file. The prosecutor in the case notified a news station in 2011 that Investigation Discovery was picking up the story for the Unusual Suspects documentary. I wonder if The Killing Secret is based on the story from his perspective.
In The Killing Secret (The Secret), the names were changed to Greg Dunleavy and Emily Decapprio. For now, it is still available on YouTube, though, I believe a scene or two was removed from it. In The Killing Secret movie, the girl’s body was found in a lake. Emily Jeanette Garcia’s body was also found in a Texas lake. In my opinion, The Killing Secret movie is a blend of these two stories, but mostly, it seems to be based on Rebecca Lynn Stowe’s murder.
The mystery romance thriller first aired as a Monday night movie of the week on NBC in January of 1997. Once NBC stopped airing the movie, The Killing Secret true-story movie began airing on the Lifetime Channel and became known as a Lifetime movie.
View photos of the real people and read more about Rebecca Lynn Stowe and Robbie ‘Rob’ Leamon’s new documentary here. Then watch the movie, and tell us what you think!
[Main Image via files of Traciy Curry-Reyes/The Killing Secret original promo movie poster]