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CONVICTION

Introduction
Those who heard Betty Anne and Kenneth's story when it first made the news in the Spring of 2001 could not help but be moved by the unbreakable bond and steadfast refusal to give up that led to a man being saved against all the odds. Among those people was director Tony Goldwyn, whose wife saw the story on TV and urged him to investigate the incredible tale further. Goldwyn – acclaimed for his portrait of a woman and a nation on the cusp of change in A WALK ON THE MOON – immediately saw in the Betty Anne‘s battle something quintessentially cinematic, a story that would break the mold of the typical courtroom drama to become an emotional detective story about family loyalty and determination.

Says Goldwyn, "Betty Anne was a woman who gave up so much for her deep faith and belief in her brother, who could just as easily have been guilty. The questions for me were: What is that bond about? What is it that allows us to grasp onto impossible hope with those we love?"

These pivotal questions would lead Goldwyn on a nine-year journey of his own to capture Betty Anne's dedication to Kenny on film. Goldwyn's mission began with seeking the rights to the story, which had been acquired by New York-based filmmaker Andrew S. Karsch, who would come on board as the film‘s producer along with Andrew Sugerman.

Then Goldwyn dove into research, travelling to the Waters‘ home town in Rhode Island, researching who Betty Anne and Kenny really were and how they forged the bond that held them together through such an epic struggle. Although they were often separated in different foster homes as children, they always held onto their love for one another.

Goldwyn knew the basic facts of the case. In 1980, Massachusetts diner waitress Katharina Brow was found murdered in her trailer home, stabbed multiple times and robbed of $1,800 dollars. Early on, Kenny Waters, who lived near Brow and had a reputation as a troublesome kid, was questioned, and unequivocally said he was not involved. But two years later the confessions of two ex-girlfriends – who each claimed he admitted to the crime – helped to seal his conviction for murder, despite the lack of concrete evidence, and he received a life sentence without parole.

Yet Betty Anne never believed her brother was guilty, no matter what anyone - including a jury - might have said. Driven now to get him out of jail, and clear his name of the accusations that made no sense to her -- yet with no money for high-priced lawyers -- she made a daring leap for a woman with no job and two kids. She steadfastly continued her quest on the slim hope that if she could just get him an appeal and could just show the witnesses were coerced into lying, her brother might have a shot at freedom.

Goldwyn recalls, "I felt that Betty Anne‘s was the kind of story that people are hungry for right now -- not about personal gain or naked ambition, but about one person acting purely out of commitment to another human being."

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