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Under The Bridge on Disney+: Is Under The Bridge based on a true story?

Under The Bridge is Disney+'s next big crime drama but is it based on a true story?


  • Jun 12 2024
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Under The Bridge on Disney+: Is Under The Bridge based on a true story?
Under The Bridge on Disney+: Is Under The Bridge based on a true story?

under the bridge disney plus true story

Under The Bridge on Disney : Is Under The Bridge based on a true story? (Image: DISNEY PLUS)

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Under The Bridge. 

Under The Bridge has finally landed in the UK and Disney+ subscribers are keen to know all about its inspiration. 

Originally released in the US on Hulu back in April, the gripping eight-part limited series is now available to watch on Disney+, with the show starring the likes of Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone. 

Given the horrific events that Under The Bridge revolves around, fans want to know if the plot actually happened in real life or if it’s simply fiction. 

Is Under The Bridge based on a true story?

Unfortunately, Under The Bridge is based on author and journalist Rebecca Godrey’s 2005 true-crime book of the same name. 

Like in the series, the story is about the brutal 1997 murder of 14-year-old Canadian teenager Reena Virk who was killed by a group of her schoolmates. 

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Under the bridge disney plus true story

Under The Bridge on Disney : Is Under The Bridge based on a true story? (Image: DISNEY PLUS)

Reena was reportedly part of a family that was “a minority within a minority”, with her dad an immigrant from India and her mum from an Indo-Canadian family. 

They were also Jehovah’s Witnesses in the local South Asian community of around 3,000 who were predominantly Sikh. 

Reena, due to her racial identity, tried to find acceptance by those her own age but was often bullied and ostracised for her race as well as her weight. 

She was then invited to a party by a friend somewhere near the Craigflower Bridge in Saanich but things took a dark turn when a group of those attending continued to drink and smoke drugs.

Under The Bridge on Disney : Detective Cam Bentland actress lily gladstone

Under The Bridge on Disney : Detective Cam Bentland is played by Lily Gladstone. (Image: DISNEY PLUS)

A group of friends who became known as the Shoreline Six, predominantly made up of girls, decided to lure Reena away from everyone else so they could assault her. 

She attempted to escape but was pursued and once again attacked but more violently. 

It was Kelley Marie Ellard and Warren Glowatski who dragged the teen to the other side of the bridge where they continued to beat her until she died. 

News came out of her death eight days later after police found her body had washed up at the Gorge Inet, a major waterway on Vancouver Island.

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Under The Bridge on Disney : true story rebecca godfrey author

Under The Bridge on Disney is based on the true crime novel of the same name by author Rebecca Godfrey. (Image: DISNEY PLUS)

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Glowatski was sentenced to life in prison while Ellard had not one but three trials. 

She was initially charged with second-degree murder and tried as an adult in 2000 and was convicted but the decision was overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeals in February 2003. 

Ellard had a second trial were the jurors were deadlocked as they couldn’t agree, leading to a mistrial but the third trial in April 2005 saw her sentenced to life imprisonment. 

Under The Bridge is available to watch on Disney+.

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