The True Story Behind the Movie: "Snap Decision" starring Mare Winningham. Also known as "Snap Judgment by Traciy Curry-Reyes"
The real story involved Kathryn Myer, a well known photographer, who was arrested for taking photos of her daughter and her daughter’s friend while they were undressing.
Facts in the caseKathryn snaps pictures of her daughter and her daughter's playmate. She tries to capture the "perfect face." The girls are posing while undressing and their private parts can be partially seen in the photos. Kathryn’s goal was to photograph the girls in their natural state. She in no way intended for their private areas to show, in fact she didn’t even notice at the time that the private parts were exposed. She was concentrating on the girl’s face. Meanwhile, Kathryn stops taking pictures to go work in her garden, not knowing the girls were still snapping pictures. Those 12 photos were the prosecutor’s main focus. Kathryn then takes the photos to be developed at Akron Supermarket who then in turn sends the photos out for development at Mansfield photo lab. She did not go back to the store to pick them up. It was the Mansfield Photo Lab that made the dreadful call that would send Kathryn’s life into a tailspin after she failed to pick up the photos.
May 1993Kathryn gets a weird feeling that she is being watched. She notices some men outside who are dressed like workers, but they do not seem to be actually working. Kathyn is then confronted by the police about the photos. She is arrested and charged with child endangerment for taking these photos of the children.
June 29 1993
Kathryn Myers, 46, pleads innocent to the charges. The girls attend Old Trail School in Akron, Ohio. (one of these girls is her daughter)
Jurors are being selected for the upcoming trial of Kathryn Myers who was charged with taking suggestive photos of two young girls.
Kathryn’s friends and family testify on her behalf that she is a kind and honest woman. Photography experts testify that the main photos in question were obviously taken by an inexperienced person and not by Kathryn, a skillful photographer. Myer’s 8 year old daughter testifies that she and her friend took the photos while crawling around on the floor “playing babies". She states that her mother did not know about the photographs.
January 21, 1994
Kathryn Myers is acquitted. She is found not guilty of taking the photos of her daughter and a friend. Myers hugged her family and thanked everyone for their support.
TidbitsKathryn Myers: Kathryn Myers was a member of Leadership Akron the daughter of Louis S. Myers, chairman for Myers Industries inc. She also volunteered her time at the Akron Art Museum and Old Trail School, the school that her daughter attended.When the news of her arrest hit the press, she and her daughter lost a lot of friends. They were no longer invited to people’s homes for play dates and the parent's at her daughter's school had her banned. Her father, Louis S. Myer's died of cancer around the same time. Kathryn stated that her arrest is what helped kill him. She was disappointed with the fact that all of the people who really knew her well jumped ship when she needed them the most. After the trial, she busied herself trying to restore parts of her life and accepting that some parts would never be restored.
Judge Patricia Cosgove was the judge who sat on the case
The movie setting is Cincinnati, Ohio, but the real events took place in Akron, Ohio.
During the trial, Kathryn's daughter was cared for by her maternal grandmother, Mary Myers. Mary Schiller Myers died at age 86 in 2008. Here is her obit and photo
Kathryn now lives in Manhattan, New York.