EXCLUSIVE: Before The Mentalist‘s Red John, there was 1990s serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, known as the “Happy Face Killer” because of the happy face he drew on a bathroom wall and in anonymous letters he sent to the media and prosecutors during his spree. David Arquette is set to portray the Canadian murderer in Happy Face (working title), a Lifetime original movie about the infamous case. A troubled kid of an abusive alcoholic father who tortured and killed animals and attempted to kill kids who bullied him, Jesperson spent 15 years as a married truck driver with three kids before getting divorced in 1990 and pursuing a career as a policeman. After an injury derailed his plan, he returned to truck driving and launched his murdering spree which spanned six U.S. states. Jesperson, who is serving life in prison, clams to have killed 160 people, but only eight victims have been confirmed, including his girlfriend, which led to his 1995 capture. Rick Bota will direct Happy Face from a script by Richard Christian Matheson. Tom Patricia and Harvey Kahn executive produce for Happy Face Prods/ Front Street Pictures. Filming is slated to begin in November in Vancouver. Arquette, repped by APA and Untitled, just wrapped the indie Chuck Hank And The San Diego Twins and is filming the psycho-sexual indie drama The Key. He is starring in Sony Pictures TV/Crackle’s crime/thriller web series Cleaners and the unscripted Sundance Channel series Dream School.

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