Sometimes murder mysteries focus on innocent people who have had their lives ripped away, and sometimes they focus on people who have a lot of skeletons in their closet. This time around, it's the latter, and it's full of corrupt cops, booze, and mysterious death. The Hollywood Reporter has posted that the cast has come into place on an upcoming indie film, helmed by Brian Jun, called The Thacker Case. This is actually based on a true story of the 1983 wrongful death case of a man named Kevin Thacker -- one that was adapted by Robert Dean Klein, from a story by attorney Stuart Pepper. As THR describes it: "The story centers on around [sic] the mysterious death of repeat drunk driving offender Thacker, and the discovery of his body in an alley behind the Mashalltown, Iowa, police department after his latest DUI arrest."

The players will be -- Eliza Dushku (Buffy), Gabriel Mann (The Bourne Supremacy), and John Savage (Carnivale). Mann is playing Pepper, the author of the original piece, who is "a young up-and-coming attorney who launches his career by landing the controversial case, which required him to wade through law enforcement corruption and cover-ups." Dushku is taking her arse-kicking down a touch and will be his loyal assistant, Monica Wright, and Savage will play Thacker's father, "who enlists the help of Pepper to discover the truth behind his son's death."

Production began this week in Los Angeles and Iowa, after a recent casting call. The specs are still online, so dip into the jump for some character particulars for the movie, courtesy of igotmuse. Warning: There are no big spoilers, but if you're touchy about details, refrain from jumping.

THE THACKER CASE
Location: Los Angeles

[NANCY PEPPER] Stu's wife, she's a wholesome, attractive, 30 year old Midwesterner who "doesn't wear an ounce of makeup, because her charm makes up for it." The mother of two active boys, Nancy is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys a close and loving rapport with her husband.

[OFFICER JOSEPH DODGE] A hulking, muscular 35 year old cop, he has a bristling mustache and a mean streak. He busts young Kevin Thacker for drunk driving, and when Kevin later dies in his custody, Dodge insists that Kevin fell to his death while escaping.

[OFFICER RON PEEBLES] A stocky cop in his 30s, he's a tough guy with a rumpled mane of hair and an unbending manner. Dodge's partner and pal, Peebles is livid when Stu pursues a wrongful death action against Dodge, and he lets his feelings show on the witness stand.

[KEVIN THACKER] Age 21, he's a reckless youth, intelligent and a bit of a loner. Passably handsome, a little scrawny. Thomas and Beverly Thacker's only child, he's sexually ambivalent, and may have been experimenting with homosexuality. Kevin's conflicting feelings lead him to drink heavily, and he's been pulled over in the past for drunk driving.

[MONICA WRIGHT] Stu's assistant, age mid-late 20s, she's a bright, attractive, thoughtful and energetic young attorney who is currently studying for the bar. Book-smart and dedicated, she proves an invaluable asset during Stu's battle against the local authorities. Look is either Italian-American, Greek, Jewish or eastern European look, can be character type.

[ERIC JONES] A smarmy local guy of late 20s, he's a scruffy, somewhat trashy young man who is openly homosexual. Kevin loans him money, and is trying to collect on the night of his death. When questioned by Stu, the antagonistic Eric has obviously already been carefully coached on what to say by the police...10 speeches.