TV show spotlights 1984 murder
Cold Case Files covers how DNA led to arrest
By Helena Rodriguez
Reporter-News Staff Writer
A television film crew for the Cold Case
Files is in Abilene shooting footage for a segment on a 1984
murder case solved just two years ago.
The three-man crew from Kurtis Productions
Ltd. in Chicago has been in town since Tuesday reporting on the
murder of Tracy Rene Benge Sewell, a clerk bludgeoned to death
at the Texaco Star Stop on South 23rd and Barrow streets.
In July 2000, a jury convicted Clifford
Scott Wright of the murder and sentenced him to life in prison.
The Cold Case Files airs at 8 p.m.
Tuesdays on the A&E Network. The shows crew will be
in Abilene through Sunday, interviewing police and witnesses for
the segment to run next summer.
Cold Case Files producer Mike West said
an e-mail from a viewer sparked his interest in the case. After
researching the case through the Abilene Reporter-News Web site,
he decided to include it on the show.
We look for cases with a lot of twists
and turns, and this case had that, West said, noting that
it was eventually solved by using new forensics and DNA technology
to identify the victims blood on Wrights boot.
What was interesting about this case
is how many people Wright told about the murder, and none of the
people had motives for making it up, West said. The
people were telling the same story.
West said that good police work also helped.
District Attorney James Eidson, who was
interviewed by Cold Case Files, said the Arrest & Trial television
show has also aired a segment on the case.
This is an interesting case because
of the fact that it was dormant for about 15 years and advancements
in forensics testing allowed us to get evidence that was technologically
impossible before, he said. A case can now be revived
after that long and successfully prosecuted.
Wright was charged with the murder in 1984
but a mistrial was declared. In 1998, his wife and other witnesses
told police that Wright had told them about the murder.
Sometimes killers cant keep
their mouths shut, and when their relationships with other people
change, thats when people come forward, West said.
Contact leisure writer Helena
Rodriguez at 676-6761 or email@example.com
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