10 Real-life Crimes That Became Fictional TV Episodes


Bad Therapy

One case was so incredible that it was dramatized into fictional plots of not one, but three different crime dramas: The "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" episode "Overload," The "Law & Order" episode "Born Again" and the "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" episode "Cage." They all center around a real, controversial therapy technique involving a dangerous "rebirthing" ritual for children with behavior problems.

Such a rebirthing ritual was conducted on 10-year-old Candace Newmaker. After having been in five foster homes, Candace was adopted by a nurse practitioner, Jeane Newmaker, at age 6. Jeane, frustrated with Candace's persistent behavior problems, became interested in "Attachment Therapy." The therapy includes a "rebirthing" procedure, where a child suffers through a reenactment of birth, which will supposedly help it bond with a mother.

In April 2000, Jeane enrolled Candace into an intensive two-week program that included such a procedure. During that videotaped session, four adults, Jean Connell Watkins, Julie Ponder, Brita St. Clair and Jack McDaniel, wrapped Candace in a flannel sheet and restrained her against her will, all while Jeane looked on. Candace's screams and pleadings for air fell on deaf ears. Twenty minutes into the session, Candace vomited and urinated in her blanket. After she went silent (50 minutes into the session), the adults sat on her for another 20 minutes before unwrapping her and commenting that the child, though blue-lipped, was simply "sleeping in her vomit." Jeane rushed to Candace to perform CPR and called 911, but it was too late [source: Cina].