Amish Affair: Is the Lifetime Movie Based on a True Story?

Directed by Robin Hays, ‘Amish Affair’ narrates the story of Hannah, who falls for an Amish leader while caring for his wife, unaware of the darkness lurking beneath their affair. Aaron, a handsome Amish leader, hires Hannah to look after his sick wife. The two are immediately drawn to each other and begin a steamy romance, which Hannah begins to regret as his wife has been very kind to her. However, Aaron believes that their love is a part of God’s plan, and nothing should come in its way. When Aaron’s wife is found murdered under mysterious circumstances, Hannah becomes embroiled in the police investigation. The thriller film spins a shocking tale as a part of Lifetime’s Ripped from the Headlines event, calling its origins into question.

Amish Affair is Inspired by the True Story of Eli Weaver

The story of ‘Amish Affair’ most closely resembles the real-life case of Amish man Eli Weaver’s conspiracy to murder his wife. Written by James Phillips, the Lifetime film takes some elements from the actual event and weaves them into its largely fictional tale. While Aaron is an Amish leader, Eli Weaver was the son of an Amish leader and was a member of the highly conservative Andy Weaver Amish in Apple Creek, Ohio. He was married to Barbara Weaver but resented the restrictive lifestyle of his community and had run away from his family twice before returning and asking for forgiveness.

The hunting store owner created a Mocospace account called Amish Stud and began several affairs. It is important to note that within the Amish community, adultery is considered a grave sin. Things took a dangerous turn when he began asking the women he met if they were willing to kill his wife. Most thought he was joking and brushed off the question. He felt that he could not leave his marriage because of his community but would be accepted if he took on another romantic partner after the death of his wife. Barb Raber, a married taxi woman with children of her own, had an affair with Weaver. They would secretly meet in his barn, much like the sexual trysts seen in ‘Amish Affair.’

Eli Weaver Almost Got Away With His Murder Conspiracy

When Weaver asked if she would kill his wife, Raber agreed. The two initially thought of blowing up his house but settled on using a gun. As the hunting store owner went on a fishing trip with his friends, Raber took a weapon from her husband’s gun cabinet, crept into Weaver’s house, and shot Barbara Weaver as she slept in her bed on June 2, 2009. The police investigation initially focused on her husband as the primary suspect, with reports of the kids having seen him shoving their mother on multiple occasions. However, they hit a dead end when his fishing alibi checked out.

Another lead was unearthed when police discovered that Weaver had been asking people to kill his wife, and the online link and chats between him and Raber were uncovered. In court, Weaver cut a deal to give a statement against Raber, who was convicted of aggravated murder in September 2009 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. The deceased’s husband was himself sentenced to 15 years in prison for complicity in committing murder.

Rebecca Morris chronicled the case in ‘A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal, and a Cold-blooded Murder,’ and a Lifetime movie, ‘Amish Stud: The Eli Weaver Story,’ is based on it. The case of Eli Weaver was additionally shocking as it was only the third instance of an Amish man being suspected of killing his wife in the community’s entire history in the country. ‘Amish Affair’ diverges in its story from real events when it comes to the specifics but seems to take inspiration from them.

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