Held Hostage

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Held Hostage
Directed byGrant Harvay
Written byJames Kearns and Maria Nation (teleplay)
Michelle Renee Ramskill-Estey as Michelle Renee (novel)
StarringJulie Benz
Brendan Penny
Sonja Bennett
Natasha Calis
Distributed byLifetime
Release date
  • July 19, 2009 (2009-07-19)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Held Hostage is a Lifetime Movie starring Julie Benz that aired on July 19, 2009. It is based on the true story of Michelle Renee Ramskill-Estey who also wrote the novel. Hal Foxton Beckett was nominated for a Leo Award for the music featured in the movie.


Michelle Ramskill-Estey (Julie Benz), a single mother, is kidnapped by three masked men and held hostage until she is forced to rob a bank which is the only option she has to save her only child's life while they are both wired to explode.[1]

Actual events[edit]

In November 2000, Michelle Ramskill-Estey and her 7-year-old daughter Breea Ramskill returned to their Needles, California home, only to find 4 men, armed with guns. They strapped fake bombs to the two and ordered Ramskill-Estey to drive to a Bank of America location, where she worked, and give them the $360,000 in the vault.[2][3] Three people were charged, two men and one woman. The two men were convicted and the woman was acquitted of all charges.[4][5] The story was shown on I Survived... and 48 Hours.



  1. ^ "Man Gets Life For Kidnapping Bank Manager". ABC 10News. February 28, 2003. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Casey Glynn (September 10, 2012). "FBI investigates Calif. bank heist, alleged kidnap as possible "copycat" case". CBS News. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Vista Bank Kidnappers Convicted". ABC 10News. September 12, 2002. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Moshay Simpson (June 19, 2002). "He testifies bank manager came up with robbery idea". U-T San Diego. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  5. ^ ""48 Hours Mystery:" Show Me The Money". CBS News. October 3, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2015.

External links[edit]