John Stimpson and his H9 Films has joined forces with Casey Sherman and his Fort Point Media, a film and television production company he founded with partner Dave Wedge. Their script Franconia Notch is loosely based on Sherman’s book Bad Blood that chronicles the real-life murders of Liko Kenney and Bruce McKay in Franconia, New Hampshire in 2007.
Set in the shadow of the fallen Old Man of the Mountain, two men lay dead on a lonely stretch of mountain road, while a third man remains standing with a smoking pistol. It was a spasm of violence that took only a few minutes to play out but left a community divided and searching for answers.
Franconia Notch is the riveting account of Cassidy Barnes, a reporter who must risk her life and face the demons of her past to expose the startling truth of the longstanding feud between Lt. Bruce Caughlin and a rebellious teen, Arlo Manning.
As officers rush to the scene, one of their own is mortally wounded, shot seven times and gruesomely lodged under the front wheels of a car. The driver of the car is dead with two gunshot wounds to the head and neck. And a third man, a shirtless ex-Marine, holds the passenger of the car at gunpoint.
When the press originally reported it, Arlo Manning was portrayed as a wild kid who shot Lt. Bruce Caughlin in cold blood during a routine traffic stop in Franconia and then tried to run him over. Lloyd Thurman, who witnessed Caughlin’s murder and subsequently shot and killed Arlo, was a hailed a hero. And Caughlin was a loving father and a model law enforcement officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty. But that was far from the truth….
Returning to her hometown and her childhood demons to unravel the case is Boston based investigative reporter Cassidy Barnes who exposes the underbelly of the real Franconia, where right is wrong, good is evil, and the truth is hardly black and white. With the help of Everett Brown, a first responder the night of the shootings, and Arlo Manning’s former girlfriend Jennifer Ward, Cassidy digs into the pasts of the three principals in this explosion of violence and uncovers a long running feud between Arlo – a troubled teen with a famous cousin, Olympic ski racer Keifer Gale – and an overzealous police officer, Bruce Caughlin, who ran rough-shod over the young people of Franconia. She also discovers a violent, drug induced and delusional “good Samaritan” in Lloyd Thurman, with a dubious military record.
Meanwhile, Cassidy comes face to face with the horrors of her own childhood that are inexorably tied to this place – Franconia Notch. Cassidy turns the story that was originally presented to the public on its head and exposes the real corruption and deception that was manufactured for political gain. In doing so, she allows the process of healing to truly begin for the people of Franconia.
Casey Sherman is an award winning journalist and New York Times Bestselling Author of ten books including “The Finest Hours” (now a major motion picture for Walt Disney Studios starring Chris Pine and Oscar winner Casey Affleck), “Boston Strong” (adapted into CBS Films’ acclaimed movie PATRIOTS DAY starring Mark Wahlberg), “Animal” (soon to be a major motion picture for 20th Century FOX) “The Ice Bucket Challenge” (soon to be a major motion picture for Netflix), “Bad Blood,” “Search for the Strangler,” “Black Irish,” “Black Dragon” and his blockbuster 2018 novels “12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption” and “Above & Beyond: JFK and the Cold War’s Most Dangerous Spy Mission.”
John Stimpson is a Massachusetts-based writer/director who is responsible for over a dozen feature films that have been sold and seen all over the world. Best known for THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES, A CHRISTMAS KISS, THE WRONG CAR and his latest comedy, GHOST LIGHT, which recently was recently awarded Best Narrative Feature at the prestigious Austin Film Festival, Casey and John are excited about their
collaboration look forward to bringing Franconia Notch to the big screen. “In a time when brutal policing tactics by rogue cops have led to tragedies across America, it’s a story that needs to be told,” said Sherman. “The place, The North country of New Hampshire, is really a character in this story… as rugged and colorful as the people who call it home,” says Stimpson.
The team is currently seeking funding and/or production partners.