Insider Information

October 1, 2011

Some things that were apparently not disclosed last night on Dateline.

1  The Cold Case Detective is no longer with the Police Department because he is a first hand expert in domestic abuse.  He punched his live-in girl  friend in the face.  If we had gone to trial, I would have qualified him as an expert.  That examination would have given me perverse pleasure.

2.  Dateline researchers located the “friend” in Phoenix, but because he had not been located during the actual investigation, they did not interject him into the story.  When the Cold Case Detective (see number 1) was trying to find him, he sent letters to all the people with the same name in the Phoenix area asking if they had been involved with Ellen’s husband.  Wow!  What a surprise! No one raised his hand and said, “Yep.  It was I.”

3.  The ranting sister was estranged from her brother.  He went out of his way to avoid any contact with her.  I suspect she feels dreadfully guilty about that.

4.  The deceased’s family has shunned his daughter (only child), so she not only lost a parent, she lost grandparents and aunts as well.  She was just a little girl and had no responsibility for what occurred.  Shame on the family for treating her badly.

There are a million other things that will occur to me as time passes, but I think these four things have bearing on the case.



  1. Carolyn's Mom says:

    I knew there was waaay more to that story…there usually is! That being said…Good Job Penni!

  2. Sharrie says:

    Sure was an “interesting” story. Fun to see you on a tv show even though I really don’t know you. You did a good job!

  3. Ariel says:

    I was left with an intense longing to punch the sister in the mouth!
    I was hoping the little girl was okay, and with someone who loved her. Is her brother doing okay?

  4. Builder Mama says:

    I figured you could shed a little more light on the case. Honestly, the sister of the “victim” pissed me off more than anyone else on the whole show. Just something about her…I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now that I think about it what bugged me was how indignant she was that Ellen brought the kids to the viewing for the grandfather. It was the daughter’s grandfather, for Pete’s sake, and I thought Ellen was very nice to even consider bringing them there. It had to be really awkward.

    I thought you did a great job representing her on the show…you showed compassion and caring. But of course, that’s the kind of person you are.

  5. Albuquerque has such interesting crimes. I wonder what the rest of the nation thinks about us, between this episode of Dateline and the whole “Breaking Bad” series?

    It was fun to watch you in person, Penni. As for the cold case detective, I couldn’t focus on what he was saying – he looked too much like Jim Carey.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Just wanted to share that I watched much of the show, but had forgotten that you were going to be in it (I watch Dateline for fun sometimes :), and before I realized it was you onscreen (during an interview in your office), my eyes locked on the face of the Cardigan (I assume Chase) on your screensaver…and then the calendar on the wall (and then I was suddenly REALLY interested in whosever office it was. Of course, that’s when I realized it was you (and promptly rewound my DVR). 🙂 Anyway, I’m glad I got to see it (what an awful situation). I can’t imagine the emotional drain.

  7. nancy says:

    Viewed Dateline program and I agree with Ariel, the sister was so hateful. It’s too bad that they have cut that child out of their lives. They willnever know what they are missing. Truthfully, it may be the best thing for the child. I will pray for the son, whose conscience will nag him the rest of his life. And for Ellen to, as she has lost the most of all. You did a wonderful job.