It was based off the 1985 murder of Linda Bailey Brown by her 14-year-old stepdaughter Cinnamon. The crime was eventually discovered to be arranged by her husband David Brown and her sister, Patti Bailey, who then soon married David herself.
- Big Fancy House: David used the money from Linda's life insurance to buy a beautiful new two-story home.
- Cool Big Sis: Linda is this to Patti, according to flashbacks about their life.
- Driven to Suicide:
- Cinnamon was manipulated into killing herself after killing Linda. She ultimately survived due to vomiting up most of the pills she took.
- Patti attempted to kill herself via hanging upon being arrested for the murder. She is saved by a fellow inmate and is placed in a padded cell.
- Grandparent Favoritism: Played with. While David's parents do love their son, they clearly love their eldest granddaughter, too (with Cinnamon and her grandfather in particular sharing a special bond). It was even his knowledge of David and Patti's affair that eventually caused her to turn on him and put them both in prison.
- Greed: The primary reason for David manipulating the girls into killing Linda (the other being so he can be with Patti).
- Lack of Empathy: David has shades of this.
- Manipulative Bastard: David is very much so this trope. Even before the murder, it was said that he continuously played Linda, Patti and Cinnamon off from one another.
- Naïve Newcomer: Cinnamon as she first arrived in the juvenile hall. She initially was reluctant to acclimate to prison life due to believing that she would be released soon.
- Parental Substitute: Linda was this to her kid sister, taking care of her like any mother would. Even at one point when she views her eating ice cream, she takes it out of her hand, puts in back in the freezer and gives her an apple instead.
- Say My Name: Patti shouts out "DAVID!" as she sees him holding a gun to his head and wrestles it away. Turns out, he had no intention of killing himself, only doing it to manipulate her into killing her sister under the ruse of him killing her before she could kill him.
- Shower of Angst: After her first day of testimony and having to go over the sordid details of her and David's past relationship, Patti is seen crying and feverishly scrubbing herself off in the shower, even using her toothbrush to scrub her skin.
- Tangled Family Tree: David has a daughter with both Linda and her kid sister Patti.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Lampshaded by the judge to David at his murder trial: "Charlie Manson? He looks crazy. You? You look saner than your attorney."
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending explains where the characters are doing at this point circa 1991: Cinnamon will be released after turning 25 as would Patti, Amber (David and Linda's daughter) is still living with her grandparents and David is serving his life sentence. It also states that while he continues to write Patti everyday, she doesn't write back.
- Wife Husbandry: David and Patti initially have a father-daughter relationship with one another years before they were married (indeed, Patti was just six when they first).