River's Edge is Based on a True Story

The movie River's Edge debuted as a made for tv movie that was inspired by the murder of Marcy Conrad in Milpitas, California in 1981.

Boy with Emotional Issues was a Mixed Race Child

Some of you have been asking for the exact racial identity of the killer and his mother. Here is a tidbit that I received from a reader who knows them personally. 

"Jacques mother was total African American. His dad was mulatto (half white half black). There was no discussion about his mother's mental health at the time amongst the neighbors. Neighbors stated that she died of an heart attack. Jacques told me he found his mother dead in the shower. He told me and his friends at the time that he thought she had slipped on soap and died and even displayed the soap to us. A few years later, when my family returned to the area, I saw him and his father and there appeared to be no issues. It is still stunning to this day."

Thanks for that tidbit anonymous

Questions and Comments from Readers

Steve I will try to update this page more often. Many of the people who know this case well are not willing to talk about it. So it has been difficult finding out any new info.

To Rangingranter: Yes, the true story was a bit different from the movie version. The true story was a lot more sad than the movie portrayed. There was a lot of speculation in real life on the actual relationship between  Marcy and Broussard. You have people on both sides of the case who insist that they were just friends, and others who claim to know that they were involved with one another "physically." We will never know the truth I assume.

Thanks Anonymous about that Ethan Hawke tip. My bad....

Anonymous: I have no info on where she is buried exactly. Perhaps someone close to the case will send us a tidbit.

Marcy Conrad and Anthony Broussard Case

 Some Notes on the Marcy Conrad and Anthony Broussard Case
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

Background on Broussard
His mother committed suicide when he was just eight years old. She had mental problems, and his father seemed just like a regular guy. Others say that she had a heart attack while she was showering and that Broussard discovered the body. Everyone agrees that this seems to be when his problems began. At age sixteen he stood 6ft 4in tall, weighed 280 pounds, and was considered big and creepy. He had a reputation for being "weird" too. Other words to describe him are antisocial and strange. Broussard had a problem with drinking even as a teen.

 Background on Marcy Conrad

Marcy Renee Conrad was born February 5, 1967. She was originally from Bloomer, Wisconsin. At the time of her murder her family had been living on Pinewood Way in Milpitas, California for about ten years.  Everyone who knew her considered her to be a very nice and sweet young lady. No one had anything bad to say about her.  At some point she became friends and or lovers with classmate Anthony Jaques Broussard aka Jacques Broussard. There is a discrepancy about the real nature of her relationship with Broussard. Family and friends claim that she never dated Broussard. Others have stated that they did indeed have an intimate relationship, but that she wanted to keep it away from her close family and friends...especially her mother. Her mother did not condone the relationship between Anthony Broussard and her daughter Marcy. Many of Marcy's friends claim that they were not lovers and that Marcy was only being a friend to him. In any event, Marcy was warned by several others to stay away from him. 

The Murder

On November 3, 1988, (Milpitas, California) Marcy Conrad was murdered by strangulation. She was also been violated by Anthony Broussard.  After the murder, he disposed of the body in the hills. In the days following the murder, Jacque Broussard bragged to anyone who would listen that he killed Marcy. When his friends did not believe him, he showed them the location of the body as proof.  Several classmates went to the location and viewed the body for themselves. They poked it, someone threw rocks at it, and another person covered the body over with leaves. No one reported it. Some did not believe that the body was real. The only person to report the crime was an 18 year old kid named Mike Irvin. Irvin had friends at the school who were talking about the murder. Irvin actually went to the hills to see if was really a mannequin as some suggested, but when he viewed the body, he noted that it was pale white and stiff to the touch. He knew immediately that the body was real.  Irvin, along with another friend, reported the murder immediately. He was quite shocked when his friends turned against him for doing the right thing. Broussard was arrested and held in jail until his hearing.

January 1982

Extra charges were added because it was uncovered that he had assaulted a 13 and a 15 year old girl.

Feb 1982 
Kirk Rasmussen was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact. He helped hide her body by covering over with leaves. He claimed that he did this out of respect for Marcy, others state that he did it to help his friend Broussard.

 July 1982

 Broussard stopped his trial cold when he entered a plea of guilty after the judge was going to permit the testimony of his cellmate about his plans to kill Marcy's family, including her brother and her mother. While undergoing psychological examinations, he stated that he would not even be in jail if had not been for his friends. Broussard was so afraid that he would be sentenced to life in prison. He didn't feel that he deserved life because he did not mean to kill her. He was sentenced to 25 years to life with parole possible after 16 years and eight months. Some of the charges were dropped after the plea bargain. He was quiet as the sentence was read.


This film River's Edge debuted. The writer mixed in other teen murder cases from around the United States. It is considered a fictionalized account of the murder of Marcy Conrad. It was advertised as movie that was loosely based on the case. The writer of the screenplay got the idea for the movie after hearing about the murder and reading about it in the newspaper. He deliberately left out certain facts of the movie. When the movie came out the community was outraged. They did not want a movie to be made about this case. The mayor did his best to stop the movie from being shown in his city. People who went to the school state that the movie was not even close to the true story. They say Marcy was liked by everyone, and that she was not Broussard's girlfriend. Even some of the detectives who originally worked the case state that the movie version is just that...a movie, not a factual account.


The real killer was mixed with African American and White (not sure which parent was which)
As of December 2011 Anthony Broussard is still incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections. He has been denied parole every time thus far.

His friends stated that they did not report the murder because they were intimidated by Anthony Broussard, and they were afraid for themselves. Others state that there was a code of silence that was respected amongst the young group.  

Broussard is not considered one of the tough guys in prison. He is in protected custody.

You'll find some pictures of the location at this blog. It may not be the exact ravine where her body was found, but it looks like the other ravines in the same area. It will give you a feel of how deserted the place looks. It was also a regular hangout for teens.