'The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all about Lifetime's true-crime film

'The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all about Lifetime's true-crime film
Kim Delaney in Lifetime's movie 'The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice' (Lifetime)

A mother can go to any lengths for her child and that’s what Lifetime’s upcoming movie is all about. Titled ‘The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice’, the cable network’s upcoming true-crime film chronicles the journey of a woman named Mari Gilbert and her search for the truth behind what happened to her daughter Shannan, a sometime escort who disappeared after a ‘date’ on Long Island.

Based on a true story, the Long Island Serial Killer is an unidentified suspected serial killer who is believed to have murdered 10 to 16 people over a period of nearly 20 years. His victims are mostly prostitutes and the bodies are left in areas on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. One of his victims was Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman from New Jersey, who was reported missing on May 1, 2010. According to the investigation, Gilbert, who worked as an escort, was last seen running from one of her client’s home in the Oak Beach area.



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Kim Delaney in the movie 'The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother's Hunt for Justice' (Lifetime)

Police found a body upon searching and ordered a search operation in the entire area. Two days later, police officials found three more bodies in the same area, on the north side of the Ocean Parkway. The law enforcement authorities said that finding four bodies in the same area is “more than a coincidence".


The movie will tell the story of Gilbert’s disappearance, police investigation and her mother’s hunt for the serial killer.

Release date

The 400th original movie from Lifetime, which is a part of the ‘Ripped from the Headlines’ franchise, will exclusively premiere on Saturday, February 20, at 8 pm ET. 


Based on a true story, the movie covers the Long Island serial killer and how he murdered several women, mainly prostitutes, between 1996 and 2013. It also tells the story of a mother who seeks to find the truth behind her daughter’s disappearance.

The official synopsis reads: “After Shannan (Katharine Isabelle) fails to come home, her mother Mari (Kim Delaney) knows something is terribly wrong. Pleading to the police to take her concerns seriously, she keeps pushing the police for answers. Mari’s insistence that her daughter not be overlooked eventually leads to a horror hidden on Long Island for more than a decade – 19 bodies of young women discovered buried in shallow graves along Ocean Parkway in the area of Jones Beach State Park. Though the search for the killer is still ongoing, Mari’s passionate dedication to giving her daughter and other forgotten women a voice, and the attention they deserve, has kept the case alive with hopes of a breakthrough soon.”

It will be interesting to see how the network uses the source material because Shannan Gilbert’s case is still “unsolved".



Kim Delaney

The 59-year-old actress plays the role of Shannan Gilbert’s mother Mari Gilbert in the movie. Talking about the upcoming project, Delaney said she was impressed by her character’s tenacity.

Delaney, an Irish-American, started her professional acting career with the TV series ‘All My Children’ in 1981 and appeared in 34 episodes. Delaney was nominated in the supporting actress category for her portrayal of Jenny Gardner in the show and received universal acclaim. However, her moment of glory came in 1995 when she was cast as Detective Diane Russell on the blockbuster TV series ‘NYPD Blue’. The actress got nominated for two Golden Globes for her impeccable acting.


Actor Kim Delaney attends the 2018 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at NOMADIC LIVE! at The Armory on February 3, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Getty Images)

‘Mission to Mars’, ‘Philly’, ‘CSI: Miami’, The O.C.’, ‘Army Wives’ and ‘General Hospital’ are some of the high-end projects she has featured in.


Katharine Isabelle

The Canadian actress has been a part of the industry since childhood. Katharine Isabelle started her career as a child actor in Joel Schumacher’s ‘Cousins’. She received a lot of praise for her performance and started to get roles in a variety of projects. In 1989 alone, she appeared in six different projects.

She continued to work extensively during the 90s and featured in shows such as ‘Knight Moves’, ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘The X-Files’. Katharine gained a lot of prominence after appearing as Margot Verger in the series ‘Hannibal’ alongside Mads Mikkelsen from 2014 to 15. She also starred in the thriller 'American Mary'.


Actress Katharine Isabelle attends the '88' Canadian premiere at Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas Cinemas on May 8, 2015 in Toronto, Canada (Getty Images)


Created by Lifetime, ‘The Long Island Serial Killer: A Mother’s Hunt for Justice’ is produced by Lighthouse Pictures, with Sony Pictures Television distributing. Emmy-winning journalist Deborah Norville and Elizabeth Stephen will serve as executive producers.


Journalist Deborah Norville attends the 15th Annual Women Who Care luncheon benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of New York City at Cipriani on May 9, 2016 in New York City (Getty Images)




Where to watch

The movie will exclusively premiere on Lifetime on Saturday, February 20, at 8 pm ET.

If you like this, you'll love these:

‘The Irishman’

‘Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer’

‘Black Mass’



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