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Relentless: Christina Fontana Opens Up About the Emotional Toll of an 11-Year Missing Case

Relentless: Christina Fontana Opens Up About the Emotional Toll of an 11-Year Missing Case

Relentless Christina Fontana

Movie News

Christina Fontana met the family of missing Hannibal, Missouri mother Christina Whittaker in 2010, less than a year after the then-21-year old disappeared after a night out on the town. It’s been 11 years since then, and there are still many unanswered questions — but Fontana has never stopped searching for answers.

The bizarre missing-persons case is the subject of Fontana’s new docuseries Relentless, the first three episodes of which premiered this week on Discovery+. Fontana culled through over 400 hours of footage, and said the case has taken a “substantial” emotional toll on her.

“There is a very raw, emotional scene at the end of Episode 5. Holy cow, I still reel from that. And then the revelations that happened in Episode 6? An incredible toll on my life, emotionally,” Fontana told MovieMaker. “I feel very lucky to have found a home at Discovery+ because not only are they really amazing creative partners, but they were so supportive of the emotional toll that it took on me as a human. I mean this isn’t just a story — this is my life for the last 10 years. So it was happening in real-time, all the time, and I think that’s why I wanted to do those diary cams. I really wanted people to connect with how I was feeling at that time, instead of just sort of commenting on it later in some way.”

Interspersed throughout the footage of the investigation are Fontana’s vlogs taken when she’s alone and able to unpack each shocking new detail — and there are countless new details, always emerging from every direction, the more the case unfolds. Whittaker’s story has so many twists and turns that it’s hard to keep track of every potential lead that pops up — and even harder to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying.

Also Read: What Happened to Christina Whittaker, the Missing Woman From Hannibal, Missouri in Relentless?

“It still takes a toll on me,” Fontana said. “I still weigh all of those things, you know? But I have to hold on to sharing the story and putting everything out there and reporting the truth is the right thing to do.”

More than Fontana, Whittaker’s family and friends bear the brunt of the pain of not knowing what happened to her.

“Families of the missing go through some pretty awful things,” Fontana said. “I think one of the takeaways from Relentless is that when you have a family of a missing person and they feel the need to carry the weight of their own investigation, that things can get messy.”

There are enough theories about what happened to Whittaker to make anyone’s head spin, but Fontana said that in her opinion, there’s one person in particular who needs to be further investigated: Darcy “Bookie” Morris.

Today, Morris is 44 years old. He’s currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for first-degree murder — but not of Whittaker. Instead, he’s behind bars for the murder of John Dunnigan, according to the Peoria Journal Star.

In an interview Fontana conducted with Morris in prison in Relentless, he strongly denied any involvement in Whittaker’s disappearance, and stated that he never knew her.

“I think the things that we were told about Darcy Morris really need to be further investigated because I’m still getting people who are contacting me even this week that are corroborating some of the things that I’ve heard,” she said. “I really think that more attention needs to be paid to these individuals, because when I talk to them they say, ‘I tried to talk to the cops,’ or ‘They didn’t want to talk to me, they’re not following up.’ So I think we need to take a deeper look into these people who are coming forward.”

But the real kicker in this story is yet to come.

“In the end, there is one lead that you will see in Episode 6 that I think immediately needs to be checked into, and I tried, and I was stopped,” Fontana said. “I think that is the first thing that needs to happen, even just to clear it — that needs to happen, like, right away.”

The first three episodes of Relentless, produced for Discovery+ by Blumhouse in association with Stick Figure Entertainment, are now streaming on Discovery+, with subsequent episodes dropping each Monday. The final episode will air on July 19. Main Image: Christina Fontana courtesy of Discovery+.

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  1. Pamela Spangler says:

    Why hasn’t the FBI investigated the Hannibal PD? It appears they have something to hide. Christina Fontana is a very brave woman for staying on this for 11 years. I can only imagine the number of times her life was probably in danger. Ive watched the first segment of Relentless and it has made me so frustrated for Ms. Fontana. Walls everywhere!!! Anxious to see the rest of this series. God bless you all and prayers for all involved.

  2. chris says:

    I agree with Pamela! Why is the Hannibal police not stepping up to the plate? Aren’t they there to serve and protect? Where is their moral conduct obligations? Somebody needs to go in there and clean house. They need to be thoroughly investigated, then maybe this crime will be solved.
    Great job Fontana!

  3. JenniferB says:

    I couldn’t agree more with these comments. I think the FBI absolutely needs to get involved and find out why Hannibal PD isn’t following up on the leads generated, why aren’t they willing to work with investigators and more importantly why aren’t they cleaning house at this PD? Great job to Fontana for her decade long journey on this case. I know if I were the family I would be beyond appreciative to her and her dedication. Keep going till this young woman is either brought home or justice can be served in one way or another.

  4. Jean says:

    First I want to say Thank you for being a huge support to the family even when it looked like they were acting shady. Secondly I do agree with the others on the FBI should be looking in the town police department as well as why it took a civilian to do more of investigation than the local PD. I hope that Christina is found so the loved ones can have a party or be able to put her to rest so she can be at peace. God bless her and her family and all those who love her.

  5. Esteban Nozorrie says:

    It almost feels like we are the ones being strung along. I’m really just sharing an opinion but this is very clear in 4 of the episodes that I’ve watched that she was being strung along and lied to. I am not so sure this is about finding anyone. It kind of seems like it’s about finding $$$$$ for a really poorly done program. Maybe I haven’t a clue but that is my opinion.

  6. Clean Up Hannibal says:

    People are dying constantly in Hannibal with “no foul play”. 🙁

  7. Glams says:

    I really hope Darren did not die. He did not strike me as a man that would take his own life. Something is really not right in this investigation. The FBI needs to investigate everything. The police department is ridiculous. Something is not right. I mean this is terrifying as US citizen. If something happened to Darren and think it was not suicide. How many people die in this small town or need to
    Die for the FBI, CIA hell anyone to get some answers.

  8. Brian K Harris says:

    I have so much respect for Christina fontana.
    She’s got some big cahoots. To do all this investigation
    An to put up god only know how much money for no one but retired Law Enforcement to
    backup her up??
    Wtf is wrong with this country?????
    Always more issues in a small town.
    You keep your head up MS.Fontana. thank u for the hard work an a great 📺 show. We love here in Nashville,tn.

  9. Lillian Mahaney says:

    How do I reach this woman Christina Fontana? I am the aunt to two of the people on the show. I have a few questions to ask Christina.

  10. KALEY GROOM says:

    I am so impressed with Christina’s tenacity and resilience in trying to uncover the truth about where Christina Whittaker is. The corruption that has been uncovered and exposed is mind boggling and I only hope that the Hannibal PD are investigated.
    I also hope that the truth of where Christian Whittaker is, is finally discovered too . From all the way in the United Kingdom, a huge amount of respect to Christian and the team for making this documentary .

  11. Doug Hastings says:

    Christina is a angel:)I have no doubts she will finally get sum answers to this

  12. Doug Hastings says:

    I just hope shes ready when it rains

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