07 September, 2016

The Truth Will Set You Free: Will MTV's Unlocking the Truth Crack the Door for Me Tonight?

The last time a television series addressed the death of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen, the teenage friend I was wrongfully convicted of murdering, viewers got a sensationalistic crap-fest that On the Case with Paula Zahn titled "Betrayal and Regret." I was not impressed, and hammered out my response to Ms. Zahn's journalistic improbity, relying on numerous summaries from friends who actually watched. After getting those thoughts off my chest, the world looked bright and rosy again.

A year and a half earlier, Sharp Entertainment (a production company not affiliated with Scott Steinberg Productions, which excretes On the Case each week on Investigation Discovery) had contacted me by snail mail. They wanted me to submit to an on-camera interview for a new ID series that was in development. The producer who wrote was cagy about its title, though, which sent up a red flag. Following a bit of phoned-in googling, I learned what he'd been reluctant to reveal: the series was Dates from Hell. (David Randag, if you happen to be reading this, you're a shitheel.) I declined more respectfully than was deserved.

With two strikes against the TV weasels, a third production company reached out to my supporters last year. Their proposed series' format was pitched as "Serial for TV." We tentatively agreed to participate, but they were still shopping their concept around to various networks when a producer from Unlocking the Truth called.

The new MTV series wasn't called that yet, of course. It's working title was pretty meh, meaning that, unlike with Dates from Hell, there wasn't any way of knowing what might be in store if we signed on. Our only assurance was the producer's word that this investigative series would strive for an unbiased examination of the facts.

For years, my supporters and I have subscribed to the maxim that "Facts are our friends." As long as MTV hewed close to empirical truths, I felt at ease.

Multiple interviews followed. The familiar visiting room, cleared for cameras, light rigs, sound equipment, and coils on coils of wire, bore a slightly eerie resemblance to its usual bright, crowded self. But the interviews went well enough. The crews were professionally friendly to the point that I, having been duped more than a few times, began wondering when their line of questions would turn hostile.

It never did. Nor did they shy from asking the crucial questions (it was an investigation, after all). My lawyer turned over all sorts of information, but when it came to interpreting the evidence, they consulted their own experts, hired at MTV's expense. We don't know what all Unlocking the Truth learned, but we'll start finding out tonight, when the first of several episodes focusing on my case airs.

For the first time in a long time, I'm excited for the future.

Previous episodes of MTV's Unlocking the Truth can be seen on the network's website, while new ones live stream on the show's Facebook page and air Wednesdays at 10:00 PM Central Time.

5 comments:

  1. I found your website after watching the episode on MTV, the only problem with it I think was at the end when they played the phone call between you and the crack head is they cut out 16 minutes of the whole recording (I've dated girls with bpd and could instantly tell she was off her rocker). I understand that for TV they have to keep people tuning in but I feel like they could have played more of the recording just to show how Bat shit crazy that bitch sounds. Best of luck to you, keep your head up

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    1. they might just cont. the call too in their next segment?

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  2. You can listen to the entire conversation on our website: http://www.freebyroncase.com/what-went-wrong/index.html Scroll down near the bottom of the page & we have the full recording.

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  3. I have not even listened to whole phone call yet I only saw/heard the start up until the response of I don't think we should talk about this and only saw the intro to the case so far but I have a strong opinion already. I have had a best friend who has since passed away from his heroin use however anyone who has ever dealt with someone who uses drugs frequently can recognize a pattern speech behavior etc when someonre they know well is high. I think when she got high this topic comes up often and probably may be one of the reasons her use increased was from her friends death. I think he set the phone down and picked it up heard topic not specifics and answered how he did. I think she babbled way too long and with sounds of blankness from his end no reactions no breathing SILENCE. He wasn't there for all of it... Even lies get an intake of breath on reaction or frustration etc I HOPE MY GUT IS RIGHT AND YOURE INNOCENT AND GET OUT

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  4. I watched the MTV show I hope and pray this is the light at the end of your tunnel that u so deserve justice is slow as u know but for some it does happen I'll be watching and praying good luck

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Lacking computer access of any kind, Byron cannot respond to your comments but is relayed them and appreciates your kind remarks.