‘No One Would Tell’ (1996) – “No One Would Tell” is a 1996 television film directed by Noel Nosseck and starring Candace Cameron, Fred Savage, and Gregory Alan Williams. It follows Stacy Collins (played by Cameron), as she embarks on an emotional journey with controlling and abusive boyfriend Bobby Tennison (Savage).
The movie follows Stacy and Bobby as their relationship becomes increasingly abusive, as Bobby becomes more controlling and violent towards her. Despite her friends and family’s worries, Stacy remains committed to their union, believing that Bobby truly loves her. Eventually, things turn ugly towards tragedy as Stacy’s friends and family must confront the reality of domestic violence and learn to recognize warning signs in abusive relationships.
The film originally aired on NBC. In 2018, Lifetime remade the same title into a Lifetime movie featuring Shannen Doherty and Mira Sorvino as lead characters.
Is “No One Would Tell” (1996) a True Story?
The story is based on a true event: on August 23, 1991, in Beverly, Massachusetts, 14-year-old Amy Carnevale was tragically killed by her 16-year-old boyfriend, Jamie Fuller. This event sent shockwaves throughout the community and raised important questions about teen dating violence and warning signs to help prevent such tragedies.
This story follows 16-year-old Stacy Collins, a shy student at North High School who falls in love with Bobby Tennison – the most popular guy in school. They begin dating after realizing their fathers have abandoned them, and, despite her hesitations, Stacy quickly becomes deeply committed to him.
Bobby becomes increasingly possessive and jealous when other boys approach or talk to Stacy. At first, Stacy doesn’t suspect anything is amiss, but his behavior becomes increasingly erratic and abusive. He frequently locks her up and becomes violent towards her when she draws attention from other boys at school.
Nicki, Stacy’s best friend, becomes increasingly concerned for her safety after noticing bruises on her body and hearing from Bobby’s cousin Donna Fowler that his ex-girlfriend transferred schools after being assaulted by him. Yet Stacy refuses to believe Bobby could harm her and stands by him even when he slaps her publicly.
After breaking off contact with Bobby after his violent reaction to her conversation with his mother, Stacy eventually reconciles with him; however, he becomes violent again when he sees her talking to another boy at a school dance. When Nicki confronts her about Bobby’s abusive behaviour, Stacy becomes aware of its extent and attempts to end their relationship.
Bobby remains possessive and abusive towards Stacy even after they break up. When Stacy suggests they become friends again, Bobby slaps her again in response. This story emphasizes the dangers of toxic relationships and urges us to speak up against abuse to prevent similar tragedies.
Later that night, Bobby Tennison and his friend Vince Fortner persuaded Stacy to go for a ride in Bobby’s car with them. He took her to an isolated spot near the water, and soon after, she disappeared. Although most believe she hitchhiked away, Laura became suspicious of Bobby’s involvement after finding Stacy’s purse in his room. Nicki, too believes Bobby is responsible for Stacy’s disappearance; she approached Carla, who was present at Bobby’s house that night but couldn’t recall anything except for arguing about leaving.
Nicki and Laura eventually reported the abusive nature of Stacy and Bobby’s relationship to the police, with Carla confessing that she knew Bobby and Vince took Stacy to the lake with them. Both Bobby and Vince are taken into custody; Bobby initially attempts to blame Vince for Stacy’s disappearance when faced with evidence showing Vince didn’t know if Bobby had killed her or not. Upon being confronted with evidence showing she wasn’t last seen with him, Bobby admitted slashing her throat when she refused his advances. He then dumped her body into a trash bag sealed with duct tape then secured by cinder blocks before it could be identified.
Laura and Nicki grieve together after Stacy’s body is discovered in the lake. At trial, witnesses are asked whether they saw Bobby physically assault Stacy; Carla admitted lying because Stacy wouldn’t pay attention to him. Donna and her fellow students acknowledged being present during the abuse but believed that Stacy would eventually leave him.
When asked about Bobby’s abusive behavior towards Stacy, Val, Vince, Nicki, and Tony, all spoke out; Nicki even revealed her desire to rid herself of him but fear of losing Stacy’s friendship. Bobby is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; the judge suggesting if witnesses had reported the abuse instead of remaining silent, it may have saved Stacy’s life today.
Nicki later cleans out Stacy’s locker and laments their friendship, wishing she had taken action sooner to protect Stacy from harm. In memory of Stacy, Nicki and Tony leave a bouquet of roses on the beach near the lake in her memory. This tragedy serves as a reminder that it is important to recognize signs of abuse and speak out to prevent similar tragedies from occurring.