Is ‘Above Suspicion’ (2019) Movie Based On A True Story?

Is 'Above Suspicion' (2019) Movie Based On A True Story

According to Lionsgate Movies, Above Suspicion, a thriller based on the true story of FBI agent Mark Putnam killing an informant with whom he had an affair in 1989.

Phillip Noyce (‘The Resident‘) directed the thriller movie ‘Above Suspicion‘ (2019). It tells the storey of a scandalous love affair between an FBI agent new to a small Kentucky town as well as a local woman who becomes his reliable informant.

Emilia Clarke, Jack Huston, Sophie Lowe, and Johnny Knoxville feature in the film.

Despite the negative reviews from critics, the film’s crime of passion that follows the love affair leaves a lingering sense of spooky reality that makes one wonder whether it is based on true events or stories.

We’ve got you covered if you’re asking yourself the same question.

Here’s all we know about the ‘Above Suspicion’ movie.

Susan Smith And Mark Putnam
Susan Smith And Mark Putnam

Is There a True Story Behind Above Suspicion?

Yes, the novel ‘Above Suspicion’ is based on TRUE STORY. The film is based on Joe Sharkey’s novel of the same name, which was published in 1994.

Susan Smith was murdered in 1989, and the novel is based on her death. Murders in small towns frequently make the front pages of local newspapers, and writers have long used them as inspiration for novels, films, and television shows.

Susan Smith’s murder was also the topic of Sharkey’s book, as well as American investigator Aphrodite Jones’ novel ‘FBI Killer,’ and an episode of Investigation Discover’s series ‘Betrayed.’

Susan Daniels Smith was born in the West Virginia town of Matewan in 1961. Shortly after her birth, her family relocated to Freeburn, Kentucky. Susan dropped out of school in seventh grade due to her family’s financial difficulties.

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Is There a True Story Behind Above Suspicion

She began dating Kenneth Smith, a twenty-two-year-old drug dealer, when she was fifteen years old. The pair married in the late 1970s and went on to have two children together. The marriage, however, was marred by drug usage, and the pair split.

In the spring of 1987, Susan met FBI Agent Mark Putnam. Putnam was investigating a bank robbery case in Pikeville, Kentucky, involving felon Carl Edward “Cat eyes” Lockhart.

Susan worked as an informant for Putnam on the case, and her information helped the FBI Agent catch Lockhart before the end of the year. Susan was compensated handsomely for her participation to the lawsuit.

Putnam claimed that the agent and informant had developed a sexual relationship in 1988, after Lockhart was detained, and that their relationship had progressed beyond just a professional one.

Watch ‘Above Suspicion’ Movie on Netflix.

Putnam had moved to Florida in 1989, but he returned for an investigation in 1990.

Putnam met Susan on June 8, 1989, and she informed him that she was pregnant and claimed the kid as his.

Susan sought financial assistance from Putnam for the baby, according to Putnam, and the two got into a heated disagreement that swiftly escalated into a brawl. Putnam strangled Susan to death in a fit of wrath.

He stuffed her body into the trunk of his rental car and drove it down an abandoned coal mining route. Susan’s sister filed a missing person report three days later.

Putnam confessed to the murder and pled guilty in court a year later. He was condemned to sixteen years in prison, but only served ten of them. Due to his outstanding behaviour, he was freed from prison early.

The case is renowned for being the first known incidence of an FBI agent committing homicide. The film tells the storey from Susan’s perspective and generally sticks to the facts.

As a result, it’s safe to state that ‘Above Suspicion‘ is based on a factual storey in major part.

Through Susan’s character, it does integrate certain fictional aspects to build a riveting narrative and extensively explore themes of poor self-esteem, exploitation, mistrust, emotional blindness, and so on.

It preserves the scandalous character of Susan and Putnam’s affair, and Emilia Clarke’s brilliant portrayal gives Susan’s genuine storey added emotional value.