The Creepy True Story Behind Netflix’s ‘Aftermath’

Yep, it was based on real events.
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New Netflix horror film Aftermath has taken Australia by storm, landing a spot in the streaming service’s top ten this weekend. The film is pretty gripping, with a crazy plot twist you have to see to believe. But did you know it’s also based on a true story?

While the events of the film are wild, they’re no less wild than the real life story Aftermath is based on. In case you haven’t seen the film and just wanted to know the story behind it, here’s a quick overview. Broken couple Kevin and Natalie need a new direction for their crumbling marriage. Kevin works as a crime scene cleaner, and ends up brokering a deal on a house he cleans – where a husband fatally shot his wife, then himself. They move in, and strange things start to happen.

Is ‘Aftermath’ Based On A True Story?

Yes – while we are told at the beginning of the film that the events are inspired by real life, the story is actually just as crazy as the film.

Real-life couple Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter spoke to People exclusively back in 2015 about their horror story following the purchase of a house in San Diego.

They moved in with their toddler when Janice was 9-months pregnant, and almost immediately, weird things began to occur.

What Happened To Jerry Rice & Janice Ruhter?

First, their house was spotted listed for sale on numerous real estate sites. They’d just purchased it, so this was obviously strange.

Just like in the film, which also saw Kevin and Natalie’s new place listed for sale, Jerry and Janice started having mail problems – in the film, Kevin and Natalie receive dozens of send outs they didn’t sign up for. In real life, Jerry and Janice had their mail suspiciously stopped, and even worse – neighbours began receiving Valentine’s send outs from the couple – who did not send anything.

It gets worse. When Janice had her baby, according to People, “She was horrified to discover her name, picture and address had been posted online advertising for strangers to have sex with her while her husband was away.”


Who Was Responsible?

In the end, it turns out that Kathy Rowe, a 53-year-old who lost out on buying a property on the same block, was behind the torment. She pleaded guilty to felony stalking, claiming sleep deprivation and caring for her disabled daughter and unwell husband led to her behaviour.

She spoke to ABC, saying “I had put so much hope into this house. When I walked in, it felt like my house… it’s almost like, you know, you hear bluebirds sing and music play. I walked in, it was my house.”

What Happened To Kathy Rowe?

In the end, Kathy Rowe was sentenced to one year under home surveillance and then five years probation. She did interviews with news outlets and the case was very high profile in the San Diego area.

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