If AMW and The Hunt are to be believed, it seems like Roberts was the mastermind and Jackson just kind of went along with him. I know one of the victims told AMW that Jackson followed Roberts around "like a puppy." AMW also portrayed him as being more nervous than Roberts. If that is indeed true, then it's not really a surprise that Roberts got a harsher sentence.
Before I became a regular viewer of AMW on March 30, 2002, I saw a few episodes of the show. The episode featuring Shausha and Shaina was one of the few I saw. Honestly, it was one of the most frightening missing children cases I've ever seen profiled. They showed actual home video footage of Frank Oehring, and it was so creepy because he was talking in this "devil-like" voice (it's the best way I can describe it).
This is definitely one of the strangest missing children cases I've ever seen profiled. There's evidence that the two met with foul play, but there's also evidence that they may still be alive.
The only possible reason I can speculate that AMW didn't air Ronald Fischer after 2006 was because Rick Segall left the show. Rick had been the only correspondent to report on Fischer, and after his original airing, they completely redid Fischer's profile to feature a roundtable of women who had dated Fischer and they all talked about how odd he was and that he was a habitual liar. Rick was the "moderator," so to speak, of the discussion, and maybe they felt he was too hard to edit out.
You could argue this theory makes no sense, as they kept airing William Plemons' Rick Segall-narrated profile even after he left, but I think that was just because they needed an already-put together show for reruns and didn't want to touch it too much.
I've got some info regarding profile dates, if anybody's curious. We know for sure the case was profiled on AMW in 1999 and once in 2006, but according to this article AMW came to Florida in 1996 to put the case together. No profile date, but we know for sure Julie Wills' killer was profiled in 1996.
After going through some recent episode guides and converting a few episodes to DVD, a random thought popped into my mind; how many cases that have been featured on AMW have been the subject of controversy? This can be controversy because they were featured on AMW or because of something that happened as a result of AMW.
Some obvious ones:
Unknown Denise Mansfield Killer - AMW first aired the case about the unsolved murder of a Maryland woman in March 2003. The first profiled included footage from an ATM camera that showed three women apparently using Denise's card and a man police wanted to question as a witness. An AMW tipster located the women (a mother, her teenage daughter and her daughter's friend) and soon discovered that a glitch in the system made it seem like the women were using Denise's card; turns out they weren't - it was actually the guy police wanted to question as a witness. AMW aired this case exactly once more in July 2003 as an update/apology, and never touched it again, which is a shame because this case seems fairly solvable.
Daniel San Diego - When AMW first profiled San Diego in December 2003, they said the Shaklee Corporation, which San Diego allegedly bombed, tested their products on animals. In March 2004, AMW aired an abbreviated update on the case and John Walsh revealed that Shaklee does not test their products on animals. Subsequent profiles were APB-length and didn't even mention Shaklee, until August 2007 when San Diego's full profile aired on The Ones Who Got Away, error intact. AMW issued a retraction in December 2007 and FINALLY, in August 2008, they re-edited San Diego's profile to say Shaklee does not test their products on animals.
Jack Schlump - Pretty sure we all know about this one.
Can anyone think of other AMW cases that have generated controversy because of their appearance on the show?
Carol's husband, who helped her in the clothing industry, said he didn't believe her job had anything to do with the case. He believed it was completely random. Ed Miller even asked him point-blank, and her husband said no.
We on this forum are known for complaining about the way certain stories have been told (Woodlawn Jane Doe and "Bones" come to mind). But on the other hand, when AMW did a story right, it could be absolutely amazing.
With that in mind, I'd like to know what are your favorite AMW reenactments and stories? These can be the best-told stories, most unique reenactments or even stories you like for no real reason.
Some of mine include:
Peter Cunningham - Tom Morris did an amazing job with this story. First, it was clearly inspired by Disco, that being the style of music Tavares performed. And after being introduced to everybody (Chubby Tavares, his son - and murder victim - Jason Tavares and his two best friends) it turns into a rap song performed by Jason's two best friends, telling their version of the events that led up to Jason's murder. The reenactment was shot in the form of a music video, and it worked perfectly. Not only did Peter Cunningham get caught mere days after this profile, but even today I still find myself humming the song performed by Jason's friends ("Every day that I'm alive, regret the ride to Deep Side.")
Janet & Ramon Barreto - I don't think there's one person that will disagree with this one. Having the lead detective tell the story was ingenious, and having it told as he and Edwin (who was saved from the Barretos' home) are going fishing. There is very little narration from John Walsh, except when needed, and unlike other times this format was done, it feels most genuine here. It's also one of the very few AMW reenactments that I don't mind taking up two segments.
Timothy McGhee - Every once in awhile, AMW would reenact a case having an actor say, verbatim, what a victim or person involved actually told either AMW or investigators. This happened with Marjan Rroku, Julio Ceja & Jose Garibay and the Unknown New York/Florida Serial Rapist, to name a few. But as far as I know, the first time this happened was actually with Timothy McGhee. Producers had interviewed a former TVR gang member who was so afraid of McGhee, he didn't want his face to appear or his voice to be heard. So AMW had an actor recite everything he'd told the production crew. It was a clever way of getting around this obstacle, and I'm glad AMW utilized it.
You know who I'm surprised isn't on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, or at least isn't discussed too often? Jose Badillo. He's a former cop from Oklahoma who is accused of sexually assaulting a child. He also allegedly took the child to Mexico for even more sexual abuse. And, curiously, his wanted poster is missing from the FBI's website, and as far as I can tell, he hasn't been caught.
Especially given how personally John Walsh took this case. When he was doing his post-case spiel, he looked at the camera and said, "If you know who killed him and don't come forward, you're an even bigger coward than the person who did this."
Also, Vuothy Tho almost seemed like a forgotten victim when AMW did the case. The website only listed the case as the Unknown Sok Ung Killer. And when AMW aired the case, he got maybe one mention during Ed Miller's piece. I don't think this was done intentionally, but I distinctly remember that happening.
It's written in legalese, but as far as I can tell, Ray Warren killed someone in 1979 and went on the run after he jumped bail. Apparently there was some controversy regarding Warren and the disposal of the gun. I'm no legal expert, but I'm pretty sure this is the same Ray Warren, as it took place in Billings, Montana and says that Ray Warren was never brought to trial for his crime.
I remember AMW broadcast this case twice as a seeking information alert during the summer of 2002. Part of me wishes they had broadcast it at least once more, simply because this guy is probably connected to other unsolved crimes.
The second time AMW aired the case, they showed two photos of young girls that were found spliced into child pornography videos Evonitz had in his apartment. Those photos were eventually removed from amw.com, so I'm guessing both had been identified.
That's the first time I've heard even a potential suspect mentioned in this case. When AMW aired the case they had almost nothing to go on, just footprints in the snow outside the Jones home.
This was one of the most frustrating unsolved murders AMW ever profiled. I really want to see this case solved. Fran seemed like a very nice lady and was obviously very well-respected in her community.
Unsolved Mysteries of course had some cheesy re-enactments as well.
Did you ever see the UM reenactment of Brad Bishop? They reenacted the scene where Roy Herrell spotted Bishop in the men's room. Now as Roy said it, when he asked if that was Bishop, the man backed away, swiped his forehead and ran away. But UM showed it as the man panicking, throwing the bathroom garbage can and running away as Roy said, "Wait, Brad!" It was so overly dramatic!