A possible movie adaptation of the true crime story was in talks since 1994, though Alex and Annie Morrell agreed only years later. Whereas they had no involvement in the production, and thought the film was overly dramatic, they supported the message and hoped that Daughters could help any victims of domestic violence.
In Spring 1989, Alex (Holly Marie Combs) and Annie Morrell (Sarah Chalke) finish prep school and return home to start college. Their mother, publishing heiress Anne Scripps (Roxanne Hart) welcomes them in her New York mansion. Anne has recently divorced her husband Tony (Ryan Michael) and is still struggling with the divorce. Nonetheless, she is happy with her new boyfriend, much younger Scott Douglas (James Wilder), a volatile-tempered young man whom she marries only months after their first meeting.
From the start, Alex is uncertain if she should trust Scott, having heard stories about a possible violent past. When Anne announces that she will be having a baby, Scott is distrustful to notice how Alex reacts with doubt about the news. To get rid of her, he claims that he has found marijuana in Alex's bedroom. Alex denies the accusation, but Anne defends her boyfriend, who forces Alex to leave the house.
Shortly after Anne and Scott's baby Tori's birth in June 1990, Scott gets violent and beats up Anne for inviting Tony's family for the baby's coming out party. Alex and Annie encourage their mom to leave Scott, but Anne forgives him after a couple of months, and by June 1991, she and Scott are a happy couple again. On Alex's 21st birthday, Scott lashes out at Anne again when he finds her smoking in the same room as Tori, and then throws a guest (Myriam Sirois) off the stairs. Enraged, Alex dares Scott to hit her, and the police interrupts their fight, only to have Scott lie about the situation. A similar occurrence takes place at a formal ball, where Scott pushes around Anne in front of her friends. As they leave, the fight continues in the car, and Scott eventually throws her out while speeding.
Three months later, Alex's charges against Scott have been dropped, though Anne has filed for divorce and attained a restraining order. The three women move on with their lives, until one night Annie is hit by her date, Mark (Edgar Davis Jr.) while Alex meets a new romantic interest, Jimmy Romeo (Jonathan Scarfe), though a relationship is postponed due to her focus on her mother. Another setback occurs when Anne is informed that she will have to share custody of Tori. Deciding a reconciliation would be for the better, Anne meets with Scott and believes that he has changed his life for the better.
It turns out, soon, however, that Scott is still as violent as he used to be and threatens to make Tori disappear if she does not stop continuing legal proceedings. The police arrive at the mansion sometime later, though Anne is too scared to file charges. The following day, upon finding out that Scott is stealing her money and planning on running away with Tori, Anne asks for another restraining order. Alex and Annie move in with her again to protect their mother from Scott, and until Alex leaves for the holidays, they are happy again.
One day, Tony calls the mansion, and Scott answers. Believing that Anne will get back with Tony, he announces that the threats are over, and that something has to be done. As soon as Annie leaves, Scott gets drunk and grabs a hammer, killing Anne while she is asleep. Afterwards, he jumps to his death off the Tappan Zee Bridge, over the Hudson River in New York, though his body is found over three months later. The girls are left behind in grief over their mother. Fifteen months later, Alex prepares to marry Jimmy, and in the aftertitles, it is revealed that she gave birth to a baby daughter.Holly Marie Combs - Alex Morrell
Roxanne Hart - Anne Scripps Douglas
Sarah Chalke - Annie Morrell
James Wilder - Scott Douglas
Jonathan Scarfe - Jimmy Romeo
Michael Buie - Andy Phillips
Edgar Davis Jr. - Mark
Stephen Fanning - Dave
Myriam Sirois - Stacey
Jim Thorburn - Princeton One
Rick Ravanello - Officer Calder
Alf Humphreys - Officer Derrick
Ryan Michael - Tony Morrell
Nalia Rukavina - Tory Douglas
Bob Osborne - Roger Preston
Colleen Winton - Suzanne Preston
Peter Yunker - Tom
Jane MacDougall - Barbara
Andrew Johnston - Lawyer
Marcus Hondro - Larry the Locksmith (as Markus Hondro)
Anna Hagan - Judge Karmin
Lesley Ewen - Linda Keesler
John Dadey - Officer Garrison
Rob Morton - Officer Tim
Tracey Lively - Waitress
Crystal Verge - Sylvia
Peter Bryant - Booking Officer
Both girls later divorced. In 2011, Annie committed suicide, exactly the same way her mother's murderer killed himself, by jumping off the same bridge at the same spot. She left behind a suicide note apologizing to her son and to Alex for leaving.