'Aftermath' Is Based on the Terrifying True Story of Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter

In 'Aftermath,' viewers learn that the horror film is inspired by a true story. Part of the plot is based on what happened to Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter.

Shannon Raphael - Author

Aug. 9 2021, Published 11:31 a.m. ET

Source: Netflix

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Aftermath.

The Netflix horror film Aftermath is keeping people on edge throughout its nearly two-hour run, and many viewers may become even more terrified when they learn the true story of what inspired part of the plot.

The movie centers around married couple Natalie (Ashley Greene) and Kevin Dadich (Shawn Ashmore), who move into a luxury home that was the site of a supposed murder-suicide for a fresh start.

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They purchased the property from the sister and brother-in-law of Jay, who was the apparent perpetrator of the heinous aforementioned crime.

Almost immediately after they settle in, Natalie begins to hear strange noises in the home, there are serious issues with the thermostat, and strange items and random people show up to the address.

Though the film is based partly on a real events not all of the creepy incidents that transpire are rooted in the truth.

Source: Netflix
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'Aftermath' is inspired by the true story of Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter.

The two main causes for concern for the Dadich couple are Natalie's paranoia about someone physically being in the house, and Kevin's discomfort over receiving strange items in the mail.

The latter set of issues is based on a sinister true story.

Soon after the couple moves in, Kevin receives a subscription to an adult magazine, and he finds out that someone charged two thousand dollars worth of pornography to his credit card.

Later on, someone lights the couple's car on fire, and the perpetrator can be heard shouting, "You're not welcome here." Kevin and Natalie then learn that a Facebook post had indicated that their address was used to recruit white supremacists.

Finally, a man shows up to the home thinking that Natalie had posted an ad about wanting to have an affair with a stranger. The two have a violent tussle before Natalie stabs the intruder in the back with a pair of scissors.

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When Natalie and Kevin go to the police station, they find out that Jay's brother-in-law, Robert Sorrentino (Alexander Bedria), has been arrested for posting the listings that caused the vandalism and the attack on Natalie.

He wanted the two to be scared off because he felt like they purchased the house for too low of a price.

Robert's desire to get the couple out is based on what happened to Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter. The pair bought a home in San Diego, Calif. in 2011, while Janice was pregnant with their second child.

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Many unnerving things began happening soon after they moved in.

They noticed that their home was still listed for sale online, and that they were getting charges on their bank statements that weren't theirs. Someone also posted an online party invite that encouraged people to go to their address without their knowledge.

The two began receiving magazine subscriptions before their mail was stopped entirely, and a listing was posted that advertised for an affair with Janice.

Like the duo in the film, Jerry and Janice set up surveillance in their home to catch the stalker. They found out that Kathy Rowe, who had also bid on the house, was the person behind all of the unsettling ads.

Though the motive behind the harassment was different in the film, Robert's actions are inspired by Kathy Rowe.

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Janice Ruhter and Jerry Rice learned that Kathy Rowe was behind the harassment at their San Diego home.

When Janice and Jerry first moved in, Kathy sent a note offering the couple an extra $100,000 on top of the asking price to move out of the home. They didn't respond, and that's when she began her harassment against them.

She felt like the one-story property was her dream home, and that it would offer her family a new lease on life. At the time, Kathy Rowe was caring for her severely disabled teenage daughter, and her husband had been battling cancer.

Kathy Rowe
Source: ABC

Though Kevin and Natalie also have to deal with someone secretly living in their home in addition to Robert's actions in Aftermath, that was not based on what Jerry and Janice went through.

In November 2014, the San Diego resident pled guilty to felony stalking and she had to apologize to the couple she harassed. She was sentenced to one year of home electronic surveillance, and to five years of probation.

Kathy Rowe was also ordered to stay away from the married pair for 10 years.

Aftermath is available to stream on Netflix now.

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