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Is 'Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story' Based On True Events? Know Details

'Abducted: The Mary Stauffer' is a part of Lifetime's Ripped from the Headlines series and brings to light a 39-year-old case. Learn about the true events.

abducted: the mary stauffer story

How I Met Your Mother alum Alyson Hannigan starrer Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story introduces viewers to a gripping 39-year-old case that had shaken the world at the time it occurred. The movie aired on Lifetime as a part of their "Ripped from the Headlines" feature film series. The film captured 1.04 million viewers during its first airing and has still not left the limelight as it's still talked about today. How accurate is the movie in depicting the true events that took place? Read to find out.

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Is Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story based on a true story?

The terrifying fiasco occurred on May 16, 1980, when 36-year-old Mary Stauffer and her daughter Beth were visiting a beauty salon. While leaving from there, a man forced himself into their car at gunpoint. He directed her to drive to a remote site, after which he tossed the mother and daughter into the car's trunk and drove away to his home. During a second stop near his house, a 6-year-old boy heard noises from the trunk and proceeded to venture near the car. The kidnapper did not spare him either as he abducted the young child and beat him to death in an isolated area the same day.

He then took Stauffer and her daughter captive in a narrow closet in his house. He raped Stauffer daily and tortured Beth by suffocating her with a plastic bag. This happened for nearly two months until June 7, when Stauffer finally managed to escape while the kidnapper was at work. 

The kidnapper was not just any random psychopath. In fact, he was Stauffer's student 15 years prior to the incident. Ming Sen Shiue had become obsessed with her when she taught him in his 9th grade and used to stalk her for years after. A series of revelations started unveiling after the news of her abduction became viral. In 1975, he broke into her in-laws' house once after mistaking it as her house and had tied them up at gunpoint and threatened to kill them if they ever reported to the police. Her in-laws finally broke their silence on the home invasion five years later when Mary got abducted.

Stauffer and her husband were living in the Philippines as missionaries most of the time, which luckily kept her out of Shiue's reach. But the moment she returned to the U.S. for a short vacation, he did his research and committed the aforementioned crime. Shiue was eventually found guilty and is still serving his sentence in the prison.

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