"DATELINE NBC" CORRESPONDENT KEITH MORRISON SITS DOWN WITH CHRIS TAPP IN INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY'S "WHO KILLED ANGIE DODGE? KEITH MORRISON INVESTIGATES"
- Two-Hour Special Premieres Monday, May 29 at 8/7c -
- Tapp Was Freed from Prison in March After Being Resentenced to Murder. Meanwhile, Police Have Released New Sketches of the Prime Suspect in the Murder of Angie Dodge -
(Silver Spring, Md.) - In 2012, Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison nationalized the heartbreaking case of Angie Dodge, an 18-year-old woman murdered in her home in Idaho Falls, Ind. Two decades ago, police arrested an acquaintance of Dodge, 20-year-old Chris Tapp, after he confessed to participating in her murder. In the years since Tapp's conviction, hours of video documenting his interrogations with police were made public and ignited a firestorm of controversy over whether the confession that led to his life sentence for murder was false and coerced. The Idaho Falls Police Department denies the allegations and stands by Tapp's conviction. But in a surprising twist, Angie's own mother, Carol Dodge, became one of Tapp's greatest advocates and was at the helm of the fight for his exoneration as part of her ongoing mission to find the man who killed her daughter.
Morrison's original reporting sparked nationwide interest in Tapp's case and inspired an outcry from advocates calling for Tapp to be freed. In March 2017, Tapp struck a deal with the state: he was released from prison immediately, but his murder conviction was upheld. Tapp remains a felon in the eyes of the law. Investigation Discovery's (ID) cameras were in the courtroom for Tapp's emotional release and now the leading true-crime network has teamed up with Morrison to share the latest installment in the Angie Dodge murder investigation, as well as Tapp's story, through an interview conducted with him three weeks after he became a free man. Produced by NBC News' Emmy Award-winning production arm Peacock Productions, the two-hour special WHO KILLED ANGIE DODGE? KEITH MORRISON INVESTIGATES premieres Memorial Day: Monday, May 29 at 8/7c on ID.
"Keith's personal passion for the case to free Chris Tapp - most remarkably led by the mother of his alleged victim - was what persuaded Investigation Discovery to follow his fight and ultimately be there to witness the end of this chapter in seeking justice for Angie Dodge," said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery. "Keith's ability to mine for facts without neglecting the emotional impact makes his coverage of WHO KILLED ANGIE DODGE? exceptionally compelling as this homicide investigation enters a new phase of desperately needed attention."
"When I first reported this story in 2012, I was amazed by Carol Dodge's determination to help exonerate the man convicted of killing her own daughter," said Keith Morrison. "I've been thinking about this case ever since my first visit to Idaho Falls, and it has only become more complex and controversial in the years that followed. After 20 years behind bars, Chris Tapp has been released from prison, and Carol Dodge is still searching for the killer of her only daughter, Angie. I will continue to follow this unsolved case."
Leading into coverage of Tapp's release and the latest developments in the unsolved murder case, WHO KILLED ANGIE DODGE? revisits the investigation surrounding Angie's death through Morrison's original 2012 interviews with Carol Dodge, two former Idaho Falls Police detectives who handled Tapp's interrogations and others close to the case. Five years later in 2017, the hunt is still on for the killer. Morrison returns to Idaho Falls to report on the latest developments with new interviews with Carol Dodge, Tapp's public defender and a man who was falsely implicated in Angie's murder but has never spoken on camera, until now. In May 2017, the Idaho Falls Police Department announced a new Angie Dodge tip line and released computer generated sketches of the man who left DNA at the crime scene. Meanwhile, Tapp's attorney continues to work with Carol Dodge as she pursues her own investigation and track down leads.
ABOUT THE CASE
On June 13, 1996, after Angie Dodge doesn't show up for her shift at work, two coworkers go to her apartment to check on her and discover her lifeless body on the bedroom floor. As police ramp up their investigation, the community of Idaho Falls, Ind., is shattered by the tragic news. Seven months of dead-end leads culminate in a breakthrough: a confession from 20-year-old Chris Tapp, a high school dropout and acquaintance of Dodge.
Tapp is initially questioned by police so they can learn more about his friend Ben Hobbs, who became the lead suspect in Dodge's murder after he was arrested in a neighboring state on a separate rape charge. Over the course of several interrogations, Tapp's story changes and authorities are convinced he knows more than he is letting on. Tapp always cooperates with police and participates in multiple lie detector tests. Detectives insist he must have repressed memories of the murder. They continue to press him and in a recorded interrogation, he confesses to restraining Dodge's arms while Hobbs killed her, and even says he cut her once with a knife. Despite the lack of any DNA evidence connecting Tapp or Hobbs to the murder, Tapp's confession is enough to convince a jury that he is guilty. In 1998, he is sentenced to life in prison for the murder and 20 years for rape. It would be 30 years before Tapp is eligible for parole. The police had no evidence against Hobbs and he is never charged in the murder of Angie Dodge.
Today, Tapp claims his confession was coerced and that detectives fed him details about the crime that were ultimately used against him. Tapp's public defender believes investigators manipulated his trusting nature by threatening him with life in prison and offering him an immunity agreement that was ultimately rescinded.
Meanwhile, investigators know that Tapp couldn't have been the only person responsible for Dodge's murder. DNA evidence found at the scene doesn't match his profile and indicates the presence of another man who actually murdered Angie. Angie's mother, Carol Dodge, takes it upon herself to find her daughter's killer. She watches the tapes of Tapp's interrogations and is shocked to witness what she says are signs of police coercion. Carol becomes one of the fiercest advocates for Tapp's release. Still, the Idaho Falls Police Department is unwavering in its conclusion that Tapp's conviction was just and to this day it maintains more than one person was involved in the murder of Angie Dodge.
After multiple appeals by Tapp's attorneys, two week-long hearings were set for April 2017 to present new DNA evidence that the defense says would exclude Tapp from the crime scene, as well as the full interrogation and polygraph videos that Tapp's defense attorneys say prove he was coerced into confessing. Prior to the hearings, in a dramatic development, the prosecutor offered Tapp a deal that would vacate his rape conviction and release him immediately without probation or parole. Tapp's conviction for murder would stand. Tapp accepts the deal on March 22, 2017, and is released from prison after 7,352 days behind bars. He continues to maintain his innocence.
WHO KILLED ANGIE DODGE? KEITH MORRISON INVESTIGATES is produced for Investigation Discovery by NBC News' Peacock Productions with executive producers Elizabeth Fischer and Knute Walker, senior producer Kimberley Ferdinando and the president and general manager of Peacock Productions, Sharon Scott. For ID, Diane Sperrazza is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Jane Latman is executive vice president of development, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President of Investigation Discovery, Destination America, and American Heroes Channel.
About Investigation Discovery
Investigation Discovery (ID) is the leading mystery-and-suspense network on television. From harrowing crimes and salacious scandals to the in-depth investigations and heart-breaking mysteries behind these "real people, real stories," the always revealing network challenges our everyday understanding of culture, society and the human condition. One of our nation's fastest growing cable networks, ID delivers the highest-quality programming to more than 85 million U.S. households and is available in both high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD). For more information, please visit InvestigationDiscovery.com, facebook.com/InvestigationDiscovery, or twitter.com/DiscoveryID. Investigation Discovery is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 pay-TV programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.
About Peacock Productions
Peacock Productions, a division of NBC News, is a nonfiction production company that combines the editorial expertise, technical resources, and seasoned talent of NBCUniversal to create series, events, and live specials for global audiences. Peacock Productions reaches more than 300 million people worldwide every year across broadcast, cable, syndication, and emerging platforms with its award-winning specials and series. Sharon Scott is the President and General Manager. For more information, visit: http://www.peacockproductions.tv/