Is Gitchie Girl Movie Being Filmed at Gitchie Manitou?
UPDATE: 11/1/2017 4:58 PM: I spoke with survivor Sandra Cheskey Wednesday afternoon by phone. She informed me that she has made every effort to having the production of the film shut down. The film will not be called 'Gitchie Girl' nor, according to Sandra, be based on the truth of what happened on that night in 1973. She was extremely upset and concerned that it would be turned into a "horror film" - as it is strongly rumored - and not an accurate portrayal of the tragic night's event. I want to thank Sandra for reaching out to me and shedding some light on the project. Sandra and I are speaking again soon and will make sure the public is accurately informed on the basis of the film. Stay tuned. ~ DV
There has been a lot of activity at Gitchie Manitou State Park east of Sioux Falls. More than the usual nature walks and hikes by fall lovers. Much of this activity has been taking place at night.
One evening a few weeks back, a co-worker of mine, Scott, who lives nearby the state preserve, noticed an unusual amount of lights and vehicles in the area. Curious, he rode his bike to the entrance where he was greeted by an officer with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources. When asked about what was going on, the officer responded that a movie was being filmed on location.
Further questions revealed that the filming of the movie will be about the infamous, tragic 1973 Gitchie Manitou murders.
Locals know the story all too well, as it's the most grizzly murder in this area's history. On a crisp November evening, five teenagers, sitting around a campfire, were attacked by three brothers. Four of the teens were murdered in cold blood. Sandra Cheskey, 13, was raped but survived the attack. Her brave testimony brought Allen, James, and David Fryer to justice.
The three brothers are serving life without parole at the Iowa State Penitentiary.
Those killed were Roger Essem, 17, Stewart Baade, 18, Dana Baade 14, and Michael Hadrath,15.
The movie, will more than likely follow the harrowing accounts of the best-selling book by Phil and Sandy Hamman, Gitchie Girl.
UPDATE 11/1/2017: A call returned from the Lyon Country Conservation officer Tait Anderson has confirmed filming was indeed happening on site.
The filming lasted for several nights at Gitchie Manitou. Whether it'll be a movie or documentary remains to be seen. Will it make it to the big screen or be shown on the indie movie circuit?
At the time of this post, we're trying to identify the production company who was filming - but at this time, no calls were returned.
Actors and actresses names were not revealed.
As someone who was given the book by Sandy herself, I'm curious to say the least. We'll keep watching for updates.