Dylan Meserve and Michaela Brand, young lovers and fellow acting students, vanish on the way home from a rehearsal. Three days later, they are found in the remote mountains of Malibu, battered and terrified. They've had a harrowing ordeal: held at gunpoint by a sadistic abductor who subjected them to a horrific regime of confinement, starvation, and assault. But doubts arise about their story and, as forensic details unfold, the abduction is exposed as a hoax. They claim emotional problems, and the court orders a psychological evaluation. Alex Delaware finds that Michaela's claims are true enough, but they don't explain her lies. Nevertheless, the case is closed, only to be reopened when Michaela is savagely murdered.