"Empty Cradle" is a true story based on murderer Norma Jean Jackson aka Norma Armistead. The movie also tells the story of Mary Childs. "Empty Cradle" first came to television as an ABC Sunday night movie, according to Variety. Directed by Paul Schneider, the fact-based dramatization stars Kate Jackson and Lori Loughlin. All the names and locations were changed to disguise the true story.
Empty Cradle Plot:
A mother becomes obsessed with finding the baby that she feels is still alive after doctors tell her the baby was stillborn. The woman gets the surprise of her life once she learns that a local nurse actually stole her baby from the hospital and murdered another woman. Later, the killer fakes a pregnancy and kills an innocent pregnant woman by cutting her unborn infant from her womb.
According to The Movies Based On True Stories Database, The movie version stays close to the true story. The real story involved a Van Nuys woman named Kathryn Miramontes. Miramontes, was brutally killed in the 1970's by Norma Armistead/Norma Jackson, a local nurse. Police say, Norma Jackson, who was White, wanted to find a mixed child in order to fool her Black boyfriend, Charles Armistead. But, in the movie the races were changed, according to Traciy Curry-Reyes, who has researched the old case extensively. The real woman, portrayed by Lori Loughin in the movie, was a woman named Mary Childs. Childs was told by doctors at Kaiser hospital that her baby was stillborn.
Another movie was also partially inspired by this case, it is called "My Baby Is Missing."
Where is Norma Armistead now?
Norma Jackson Armistead was sentenced to life in prison. According to Reyes, she was due to be released on parole in 2012.
The movie still airs on Lifetime and True Movies Channel.
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