Someone has rightly said that there is no greater glory in the world than love. Additionally, there isn’t any worse punishment than jealousy. We start doubting all our bonds with our friends when the resentfulness of Magen Fieramusca takes the life of her best friend, Heidi Broussard. Stolen Baby: The Murder of Heidi Broussard revolves around a true crime event in Austin where trust is butchered. Under the skillful direction of Michelle Oullet, the film cuts straight to the event without delving much into a dramatic build-up before the tragedy befalls Heidi Broussard and her baby Emma.
The able actresses, Anna Hopkins and Emily Osment, do justice to the respective characters of Heidi and Magen in Stolen Baby. The portrayal of an incident where a mother is killed and her baby taken away is quite shocking. Magen’s obsession with Heidi’s baby from the very beginning makes us anticipate the ill fate of the mother-daughter duo. The ways in which Magen tried to cover up her crime throughout have been portrayed through the simple narrative of Stolen Baby without creating extreme suspense for the audience. Let us find out what befalls Magen when her crimes are unveiled!
What Happens In The Film?
Magen keeps a constant tab on Heidi, and one day, when nobody is at home, she shows up, asking her to go out with her to talk over coffee. When Heidi saw the state that Magen was in, she, along with Emma, got into her car. Since that day, both Emma and Heidi were nowhere to be found. Her fiancée, Cody, along with some friends, search frantically for her all over the town, only to be disappointed. After the launch of a missing report, the FBI gets involved in the case and interrogates all her friends and family. Despite being Heidi’s best friend, Magen does not show up or help Cody and her parents solve the case. They all feel that because she has also given birth recently, she is unable to show up. But the truth lies somewhere else! Magen was having a very rough time with her boyfriend Greg, and he wanted to break up with her. In a desperate attempt to save her relationship, she had lied to everyone about her pregnancy. She had also lied to Heidi, making her think that they were both pregnant at the same time. During the investigation, she keeps trying to manipulate Heidi’s other friends into thinking that Cody is the culprit.
Initially, the FBI thought that Cody was the culprit, which made them interrogate him thoroughly, and he was made to undergo a polygraph test. As they were conducting other routine interrogations with friends and family, they called up Magen and thought that something was not right about her. They did a thorough background check on her, only to find that she had been arrested for theft the previous year but was let off due to a lack of evidence. They also did further checks on her internet searches to find that she had made extensive searches on her friend Heidi. She had searched for missing bodies found in Texas, which made them suspicious of her, and they assumed that Heidi was dead, and now they had to save Emma.
Having kept Greg in darkness all this time, Magen says that her car had not been working and, therefore, she had kept it in the backyard. Having hidden Heidi’s body in the trunk of her car, Magen did not let Greg help her with the car. She behaves suspiciously and says that she is exhausted from childbirth. Greg also said he wanted to help with the child because both she and the child looked sick, but she declined. She constantly checks in with her friends to see if some leads have been found about Heidi, just so that she can be informed of any new evidence beforehand and manipulate it accordingly. We see helicopter blades whirring over Magen’s house as she holds Emma. She is frantic and trying to think of a way out of the situation that she is in. The police are seen approaching Greg at a store, and as they show him Emma’s picture, he says that the child is his daughter, which proves that Emma has been abducted by Magen.
Later, two people are seen coming into Magen’s house, stating that they are from the mother-child health check department. They are later revealed to be undercover FBI agents and are finally able to rescue Emma and find Heidi’s body, stuffed in the back of Magen’s car. In the court of law, Magen pleaded guilty of the crimes she had committed after which she was sentenced to fifty five years in prison. As of now, Magen is still behind bars for mercilessly murdering Heidi.
Why Was Magen So Envious Of Heidi?
Stolen Baby opens with a peek into the perfect life of Heidi, along with her fiancée and her two children. On the contrary, the mess of a life that Magen has is also brought to our attention, with no children and a relationship that is almost about to fall apart. As the film progresses, there are certain plunges that it takes into the past. We are taken through a series of flashbacks where Magen gets to know about Heidi’s pregnancy. As soon as the revelation is made, the jealousy on Magen’s face is quite evident, as she has not been able to conceive. Since childhood, Magen has always tried to fit into the shoes of Heidi. Magen likes whatever Heidi likes from a young age, which has been brought out in many instances. We see her putting on the earrings that Heidi had chosen for herself when they were young. She always tries to imagine herself in Heidi’s place instead of living her own life.
We see that Magen lies to Heidi about her conceiving just because she has heard that Heidi is expecting again. Heidi is seen supporting her in all situations as they spend time together, and says that she is happy that they are going through this phase together. The unrelenting jealousy in Magen is glaring throughout the course of Stolen Baby. She overhears another friend telling Heidi that Magen is obsessed with her children and that she cannot fathom how they are still so close, considering the kind of person that Magen is. That is when Heidi tells her that she feels bad for Magen. She is so overcome with jealousy that she is seen imagining herself in the place of Heidi at her baby’s gender-revealing ceremony, surrounded by all her friends and well-wishers. The extreme jealousy that Magen felt made her murder her own best friend and take away her baby, an act that could only be done by the spawn of the devil.
The tragic story of Heidi Broussard instills in us a constant fear of being betrayed by the people around us. The crime that Magen has committed is purely evil and psychotic, and a lifetime of punishment for that would not suffice. The sorrow that we feel at the end is inexplicable, and the fact that it is based on a true event is petrifying. The narrative of Stolen Baby directly cuts into the story, making it short and crisp. In my opinion, Stolen Baby has been made as a reminder to all people to be content with whatever they have in their lives. ‘Jealousy’ is the biggest evil of all, and it can make you do things that you never would’ve imagined yourself to be capable of.