Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Literally "torn from today's headlines," this made-for-cable drama recounts the sordid story of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster (here played by Jason Gedrick), who, over a period of several years, used the "date-rape" drug GHB to render several impressionable young woman unconscious, at which point he raped them while a video camera recorded his assaults. Galvanized by Luster's first victim, herein identified only as Connie Doe (Marla Sokoloff), two other girls who had been drugged and ravished by the wealthy predator joined Connie in bringing about legal action against him. Although the girls were forced to relive their horrendous experiences during testimony, their combined efforts so moved the jury that Luster was convicted on 86 criminal charges and sentenced to 124 years in prison. At the time this film went into production, the real-life Luster was fugitive from justice; escaping from house arrest and skipping off to parts unknown, he was tried and convicted in absentia. In June of 2003, one week before filming on A Date With Darkness wrapped, Luster was recaptured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman (played in the film by an uncredited stunt man). This necessitated a hasty rewrite of the film's final scenes and an equally hasty refilming (as evidenced by the patently false beard on the face of actor Jason Gedrick). In its final form, A Date With Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster debuted August 11, 2003, on the Lifetime Network; the telecast was followed by an impassioned warning against the dangers of GHB, delivered by the film's co-star, Marla Sokoloff.
fugitive, rape, trial [courtroom]