If Someone Had Known

If Someone Had Known Information

If Someone Had Known is a 1995 American television drama film based on a true story, directed by Eric Laneuville. Although the film received no critical acclaim, Kellie Martin was praised for her 'believable performance'. Writers Alan Landsburg, Susan Cuscuna and Michael Petryni received the Christopher Award for their teleplay. Originally aired on NBC, the film is nowadays frequently re-aired on Lifetime and sister channel Lifetime Movie Network.


Katie Liner is the attractive 18-year-old daughter of Jack Liner, a powerful police officer. At one of his benefit parties, she meets Jimmy Pettit, a young man in his early twenties she soon starts dating. Initially, he seems to be the perfect guy: he is well-educated, respectful, polite, popular and has no records with the police. Nevertheless, Jack is not sure about the guy and when he finds out that Katie is engaged, he is not enthusiastic. Things are going fast, though, and in a short period of time, Katie and Jimmy are married and she gives birth to a son.

Soon, Katie finds out that Jimmy is not the perfect man he seems to be on the outside. He starts to show violent behavior, pushing and hitting her. Apologizing afterwards makes Katie forgives him every time. Her older sister Sharon who is growing concerned about Katie's marriage to Jimmy notices the bruises, and Katie admits the truth about how bad Jimmy is treating her, but begs her not to oust Jimmy even when she makes her promise to dissolve their marriage if he beat her again implying that Jimmy doesn't love her (Katie). By the time she is pregnant with her second baby, his aggressive behavior worsens, as he also starts to hit their son Jamie. Desperate, she admits to her mother that she is a victim of domestic violence and that Jimmy isn't treating her right. Ellen convinces her to dissolve their marriage, but Jimmy is not willing to let go of his wife and beats her up severely for trying to leave him. When he threatens to shoot her, she defends herself by killing him with a gunshot.

Katie is arrested and admits to her lawyer that she is guilty, although claiming that she still loves her husband. Jack is shocked to find out she was abused and has trouble accepting that she did not turn to him with her problems implying how it could have saved her from the abuse. He tries to discourage her from taking the case to trial, explaining she could be sentenced for life. Katie thinks she stands a chance, though, wanting to show the jury that she was abused. She also starts to realize and is upset that Jack treats Ellen very badly, and confronts him with it (also pointing out that she never came to him about the abuse in fear he would become overprotective of her in the future). Realizing that it is the truth, he tries to better his life and apologizes to her (In one particular scene, he has a possible domestic violence perpetrator arrested, despite being a friend of the man).

Once the trial begins, Katie has trouble proving the intensity of the domestic violence and is harassed by Jimmy's best friend, Wade Blankenship, who wants revenge for the killing. Additionally, the fact that none of the witnesses reported the violence sooner instead of standing by and doing nothing so as to save Katie from Jimmy's wrath starts to work against her (the prosecuting attorney forces Sharon to give only a "yes" or "no" answer to whether she did or not, plus one of their neighbors, an older man, explained he grew up during a time when whatever happened between another couple was "their business"). When Katie testifies, she admits she was naive enough to believe if she provided unconditional love to Jimmy that he would eventually stop abusing her, but finally realized that was never going to happen, and that one of them was going to kill the other. She is found not guilty by the jury and even Jimmy's parents, who at first wanted her in prison for the murder, sympathize with her.

The film ends with Katie laying a flower at Jimmy's grave, then telling Jamie that they will have a better life.


  • Kellie Martin as Katherine 'Katie' Liner-Pettit
  • Kevin Dobson as Jack Liner
  • Linda Kelsey as Ellen Liner
  • Ivan Sergei as James Charles 'Jimmy' Pettit
  • Kristin Dattilo as Sharon Liner
  • Anna Gunn as Officer Linda Reed
  • Alan Fudge as Chief Hunt
  • Jennifer Savidge as Dr. Lois Coutu
  • Tom Amandes as Paul Chambers
  • James Harper as Charles Pettit
  • Noah Emmerich as Officer Ed Hunt
  • Rodney Rowland as Doug Pettit

DVD release

The film was released on DVD in 2005 by MPI Home Video, one of a number of TV films issued under their "True Stories Collection" banner.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "If_Someone_Had_Known" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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