911 Nightmare is a new movie that will air on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) this weekend. 911 Nightmare, also known as Dispatch, is about a 911 operator who hangs up on a child because she believes it’s a prank call. Possibly inspired by a true story, it stars Fiona Gubelmann as Christine McCullers, Cole Edwards as Stevie, John Lee Ames as Kyle, Scott Bailey as Monty Fealon, Chase Cortese as Dustin, and Joseph C. Phillips as Detective Arnold. 911 Nightmare also stars Heather Mazur, Laua Niemi, and Drew Fuller, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).
Written by Bryan Dick and directed by Craig Moss, Lifetime Movie Network’s 911 Nightmare (Dispatch) tells the story of Christine McCullers, a tough cop who has lost the use of her leg, as well as her father, in a fatal shooting two years prior. Bitter about her circumstances, she is somewhat resentful about having to shuffle papers and answer 911 calls all day. And the situation gets worse for Christine after she receives a 911 call from a young boy who insists that the boogeyman is at his home. Begging her to get him some help, Christine tells the boy that he needs to hang up so the line is open for real emergencies. After disconnecting, she goes on with her day, fielding a number of emergency calls in the area.
When her superiors call her into a meeting to tell her that a boy was found murdered in his home, she realizes that the boy is the same one who called in about a boogeyman. For her actions, she’s been placed on administrative leave for her actions. Not only that, but news outlets have picked up on the story and are printing headlines about a 911 dispatcher who ignored a boy’s cry for help. Now, the police department is under fire while trying to solve this boy’s death. It appears that his parents are under suspicion, since there is a history of violence in the home, and they were present at the scene. However, Christine isn’t so sure that the parents are responsible for their son’s murder. Wanting to do the right thing to make up for her negligence, Christine does everything she can to find out the identity of the real killer.
LMN’s 911 Nightmare is presented by Marvista Entertainment, a production company who is known for their good movies. Though it’s not advertised as a true-story movie, it does have several elements that are similar to some true stories out there. One case that comes to mind is the story of Sharon Nichols, a former 911 operator in Detroit who failed to take a call from a 6-year old boy seriously. The incident happened back in 1996. That’s when police say little Robert Turner tried to get help for his mother who was later found dead on her kitchen floor because they thought his call was a prank.
Another case that is similar to Lifetime’s 911 Nightmare is the sad story of Omaree Varela, a 9-year-old boy who called authorities to get help due to his abusive parents. In the background, one can hear the boy’s stepfather verbally abusing him, according to KOAT-7.
“The child was crying and sounded scared. The male was constantly cursing and saying ‘I wish you weren’t here,’ ‘I don’t want to be your dad’ and ‘I don’t want to deal with you anymore.'”
The 911 operator suggested that an officer listen to the 911 call, but they never did. Omaree Varela was later found dead. An autopsy report showed that he had been beaten and kicked to death. His mother, Synthia Varela Casaus, was arrested and charged with his death. One of the officers who was told to listen to the call was fired.
911 Nightmare will air on Sunday, January 10, at 8/7 central on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN). Be sure to watch and let us know how you enjoyed it, using hashtag #911Nightmare.
[Image via Lifetime]