In November 2020, the Reddit user with the handle stocazzo24 asked other >Ozark fans if they thought Darlene Snell could have been inspired by the real life story of Lisa Marie Montgomery and the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, pointing out some of the eerie similarities between real life and fiction.
The most obvious similarity is Montgomery's crime. In 2007, as reported by BBC News, Lisa Montgomery was convicted of kidnapping resulting in death. Three years earlier, Montgomery strangled the pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett and cut her baby out of her with a kitchen knife, just like the murder of Grace Young in Ozark. Just as Darlene is older than Grace in the show, Montgomery was 36 when she killed Stinnett, while the latter was only 23. While Montgomery was from Kansas, she traveled 175 miles to Missouri — the state in which Ozark is set — to kill Stinnett and take her child.
Then, there's the way Montgomery lured her victim into a false sense of security. Montgomery found Stinnett — a professional dog breeder — on an online forum about rat terrier dogs called "Ratter Chatter" (via BBC News) Before driving to Missouri, Montgomery made an appointment to look at some of Stinnett's puppies — and she used the alias "Darlene Fischer."
There hasn't been any word from Ozark's cast, writers, or producers on whether or not stocazzo24's post has any merit, but considering the striking similarities in their stories, either there was definitely some inspiration — conscious or otherwise — culled from Montgomery's crime, or it's an absolutely astounding coincidence. As for Montgomery, two months after stocazzo24's post, she became the first woman executed by the federal government in 67 years.