Maris Conner is one of the antagonists of the 1996 live action film, Ransom. She is the girlfriend of Jimmy Shaker, the man who kidnapped Sean Mullen, son of the prominent millionaire, Tom Mullen. She worked as a caterer for them, acting as a mole.
She relayed that Tom Mullen was being interviewed by the press on account of bribing a union boss. When she and Shaker kidnapped Sean, they blindfolded him and chained him to a bed. Maris despised Sean because she thought he was spoiled child. Maris and her boyfriend Jimmy demanded the Mullens to pay a two-million dollar ransom for the safe release of Sean.
She was portrayed by Lili Taylor.
Not much is known about her early life, but she appeared to have a rough childhood. She was beaten by her father enough times to have PTSD from it, as evidenced in a nightmare she had later in the movie. In her late adolescence (about mid-1980s), James Shaker arrested her father and had him locked up. Maris fell in love with Shaker and they have been together ever since.
Eventually, she and Shaker were tired of their paycheck-to-paycheck existence, and decided to kidnap Tom Mullen's son Sean, because they saw him as an easy target, and to teach Tom Mullen a lesson. They realized that what they were doing was wrong, but they figured that since Mullen was bribing corrupt officials that he was an equal if not a lesser criminal, so they felt justified in kidnapping Sean. Since neither Conner nor Shaker had any prior convictions, they hired two professional thieves, Clark and Cubby Barnes, and a computer hacker, Miles, to assist them in the kidnapping.
When one of the other kidnappers, Cubby Barnes (the only one who seemed to show any kindness to Sean) was feeding Sean candy bars and kid cereal, she chewed him out for it, and was suspicious of his behavior with him. When Jimmy was away at work, she was the enforcer among the kidnappers. Having to put up with three criminals, all of which were dysfunctional and crude, heightened Maris' frustration, often taking it out on Sean.
The Barnes brothers, along with Mullen and the FBI, soured the ransom drop-off. This fueled Shaker's anger towards Mullen and was getting to the point of wanting to kill Sean regardless of whether he got his money or not. Maris found herself in a position where she was seriously questioning what she was doing. She claimed that she was scared of Sean, but in reality, was scared of her own humanity. Unlike the other kidnappers, besides Cubby, she saw Sean as a human being, and just a child, instead of her boyfriend Jimmy, who saw him as a pawn. She experienced cognitive dissonance as a consequence. She knew that Jimmy was going to kill Sean, and was very uncomfortable about it. Nevertheless, whenever an opportunity presented itself to be kind to Sean, she would immediately react in the opposite manner.
Tom Mullen publicly put a hit out on Jimmy Shaker, offering a two million dollar bounty to whomever turned Shaker in, and returned Sean. This caused a ripple among the kidnappers, and Jimmy began suspecting them of turning against him. Fearing for her life, and getting fed up with Shaker's game, she tried to leave him, but he found her and forced her to return to the house where they were holding Sean.
When Shaker tried to demand the ransom from Mullen one last time, Mullen refused and Jimmy pretended to kill Sean. Shaker then left the house where they were holding Sean and hatched a plan to claim the reward for himself, betraying his teammates. Now fully aware of Shaker's brutality, and attempting to walk away clean from the situation, Miles and Clark attempted to flee in a van. Shaker caught them and revealed himself as a policeman, in which they then tried to run him over. Shaker shot Miles and Clark and then made the crime scene look as if they were attempting a vehicular homicide.
During this time Maris was in the house, thinking of suicide, as Shaker had ruined her life, and she felt guilty in leading the Mullens to believe their son was dead. Deciding instead to redeem herself and eliminate Shaker, she opened fire on him, who returned fire and killed Maris right on the spot. Shaker went in the house, wounded from his encounter. He called the other cops, and tried to portray himself as a cop of valour.