WHY TWO PROMISING YOUNG TEENS ROBBED A BANK,
AND THE SEARCH FOR SPERM DONOR DADS, ON ABC NEWS'
"PRIMETIME: FAMILY SECRETS," TUESDAY, JULY 10
From a promising student turned bank robber to children searching for their sperm-donor dads, this week's "Primetime: Family Secrets" explores stories of secrecy revealed. Each episode of the limited series looks at the poignant and sometimes shocking secrets of families � why they keep them, how they keep them and what happens when the truth finally surfaces. "Primetime: Family Secrets" airs TUESDAY, JULY 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
By all accounts, Heather Johnston was a good kid, a talented tennis player, on her way to college. But unbeknownst to anyone, including her parents, Heather was living a secret life that would lead to a crime so brazen and bizarre that it would make headlines all across America. In an exclusive interview with David Muir, Heather explains how she went from a scholarship student to stripper to bank robber. She describes how she and her accomplice strolled into a Bank of America Branch in Doraville, GA, clad in designer shades and fashionable outfits, handed a note to a teller demanding cash, then strolled out of the bank with $11,000. Now, instead of college, the former high school tennis talent and scholarship winner could end up spending the next decade in prison.
Then: What is it like not knowing exactly where you come from? It is a question that lingers with many young teens who are born as a result of anonymously donated sperm. Sixteen-year-old Ryan Kramer wanted to know about his biological father and any possible half-siblings, so he took action. Ryan and his mother created a website called the Donor Sibling Registry. If a person knows their donor's number and the sperm bank from which the sperm was procured, they can use that information to make family connections. This website has been able to help hundreds of people meet their half-siblings, and in some cases their biological fathers. "Primetime" reports on the sperm donor industry and the challenges faced by those who want to reunite with their biological family members. Ryan tells "Primetime" his heartbreaking story of siblings he's being kept from and the painful issues of secrecy and privacy that surround this emotional topic. David Muir is with Ryan as he finally meets a half-sister for the first time.
Plus: Paula Paine seemed to be living a charmed life in Houston's social scene, but in truth she was living a double life. She explains to Jim Avila how her anxieties and issues about her past led to an unusual release � shoplifting. It began with a pair of sunglasses and soon, Paine says, she couldn't stop, even though she knew her actions were wrong. Next she was shoplifting higher priced items and even stealing from friends. Psychiatrists are taking a closer look at shoplifters like Paine to determine whether stealing, like gambling or alcoholism, may actually be an addiction that can serve as a coping mechanism of sorts. This report originally aired in October 2005.