2017 IDCon: Joe Kenda, Tony Harris, Chris Hansen, Candice DeLong and other ID stars greet fans, share stories

May 20, 2017

by Carla Hay

Investigation Discovery show host Lt. Joe Kenda ("Homicide Hunter") was a popular personality at IDCon 2017.
Investigation Discovery show host Lt. Joe Kenda (“Homicide Hunter”) was a popular speaker at IDCon 2017. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Aficionados of true crime got an unforgettable experience at Investigation Discovery’s second annual fan event IDCon, which took place at the Altman Building in New York City on May 20, 2017.  ID show hosts Joe Kenda, Tony Harris (who was IDCon 2017’s lively and humorous emcee), Paula Zahn, Tamron Hall, Chris Hansen, Candice DeLong, Garry McFadden, Maria Elena Salinas, Graham Hetrick, Michelle Ward and Rod Demery all participated in the event, and most of them did meet-and-greet sessions with fans. The event kicked off with a greeting from Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America. He thanked the fans for making ID the top-rated U.S. cable network for women. IDCon 2017 also premiered sneak preview footage of the upcoming ID scripted movies “Final Vision” (about the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case) and “The Dating Game Killer” (about serial killer Rodney Alcala).

Investigation Discovery show host Tony Harris (“Scene of the Crime”) emceed IDCon 2017. (Photo by Carla Hay)

The event space expanded this year to include a downstairs lounge area. The lounge had an ID Addict Truth Booth where fans can videorecord their ID Addict confessions, some of which could be televised or posted on ID’s social media.

IDCon 2017 attendees could confess their ID channel addiction in the ID Addicts Truth Booth and have their confessions videorecorded for possible airings on the network. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Other new activations this year the “Liar! Liar! Liar!” polygraph demonstration; a competitive “Be an Eyewitness” photo competition game; an “Evidence Board” to break down the facts behind the unsolved murder of Chandra Levy; and an exclusive photo booth where attendees can “Become the Notorious Headline” by having their photos imposed on mock crime-magazine covers.

IDCon 2017 attendees could participate in the Liar! Liar! Liar! polygraph test demonstration. (Photo by Carla Hay)

IDCon 2017 attendees were served free samples the first three wines from the recently announced ID Wine Club (which is available as of June 1). There was also plenty of ID merchandise for purchase. The items included a black T-shirt that has the IDCon 2017 logo and a gray T-shirt that says “I’d Rather Be Watching ID.” (The T-shirts come is sizes S, M, L and XL.) There were also thermoses and mason jars with Kenda’s signature catch-phrase “My My My.”

All proceeds for IDCon will be donated to New York’s Silver Shield Foundation, an organization which provides educational support to families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. ID Addicts unable to make the trip to New York can watch select panels via the network’s Facebook Live streams, or go to network’s social handles at Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat for behind-the-scenes coverage.

ID host Tony Harris (pictured at right) gets a live polygraph exam at IDCon 2017.(Photo by Carla Hay)

A few fans at IDCon who were posting on social media and using the hastag #IDCON2017 during the event were randomly selected to win prizes, such as selfie sticks. Attendees also had the opportunity to answer trivia questions sent via text messages to win a grand prize of a trip for two on the Kenda Cruise, a partnership with Princess Cruises. Kenda announced the winner at the end of the event.

Here were some of the highlights of IDCon 2017 panels:

Missing From the Headlines

IDCon 2017
“Missing From the Headlines” panel, at IDCon 2017. Pictured from left to right: Investigation Discovery senior vice president of production Sara Kozak (panel moderator), Tamron Hall, Chris Hansen, Maria Elena Salinas and Paula Zahn. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by ID senior vice president of production Sara Kozak, this panel of TV journalists—Hansen, Zahn, Hall and Salinas—discussed some of the crime cases (usually murders) that they have brought to their ID shows.

Hall mentioned that in an upcoming episode of her show “Deadline: Crime,” Tyler Perry will be featured, and he donated $100,000 toward solving the crime. She elaborated, “Tyler saw the story on the local news … And he agreed for the first time to do a sit-down, on-camera interview about this case.”

Even when cases are solved, there is often a messy aftermath that doesn’t always equal a happy ending. Zahn mentioned the case of John Purvis, who was wrongly convicted of murder and freed nine years later, as an example of a case that stands out for her. Tragically, Purvis’ mother, who was his strongest supporter in the ordeal, died before he was released from prison. And a police officer risked his job and reputation to prove that Purvis did not commit the crime. “Even after they had proven [Purvis’ innocence] through DNA technology, this cop with still dealing with people who were doubting his testimony.”

Salinas also discussed an upcoming episode of “The Real Story” about the June 2016 mass murder at the predominately gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She said that Omar Mateen, the shooter who was killed by police officers , may not have been motivated by terrorism but rather homophobia. Salinas said one of the people interviewed in the episode is a man who claims he was one of Mateen’s gay lovers and says the reason for the Pulse shooting was “[Mateen] wanted to get back at some men he had one-night stands with who told him they were HIV-positive.”

All of the panelists agreed that one of the most important aspects of their jobs is having crime victims’ families tell their stories on the shows. Hansen mentioned that an upcoming episode of “Killer Instinct” is about the 1997 murder of Susannah Chase, a 23-year-old in Boulder, Colorado. Her killer was tried and convicted 12 years after the murder. Hansen, who interviewed Chase’s brother and sister, noted:”When they sit down and talk about their sister 20 years after [the murder] happened, it’s almost like the first time.”

Salinas added about families affected by murders and other violent crimes, “They have something to say … We have to remember that in a crime, it’s not just the deceased who are the victims, it’s the family that’s the victim. Sometimes it’s two separate families—also the family of the perpetrator. They sometimes provide details that we didn’t know before.”

People Magazine Investigates

“People Magazine Investigates” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right: People deputy editor Dan Wakefield (panel moderator), People senior editor Alicia Dennis, People staff writer Caitlin Keating and People senior writer Christine Pelisek. (Photo by Carla Hay)

People magazine’s senior editor Alicia Dennis, senior writer Christine Peliseck and  staff writer Caitlin Keating gathered for a panel moderated by deputy editor Dan Wakeford to discuss the ID series “People Magazine Investigates,” which explores true crime stories that were covered by People. The panelists talked about how it was a relief that ID respectfully handles the recreations on the show because one of their biggest concerns before the TV show began was the real people in the magazine’s crime stories would be recreated for television. The panel also discussed the series’ first episode about the Long Island serial killer (who still hasn’t been caught) and the bizarre twist of how Mari Gilbert, the mother of one of the victims, was stabbed to death by her other daughter, according to prosecutors for the crime. Gilbert’s interviews for the show were among the last she ever did.

Notorious Headlines

“Notorious Headlines” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right:producer Steph Watts (panel moderator), Candice DeLong, Beth Karas,Sgt. Derrick Levasseur, Dr. Kris Mohandie and producer Tim McConville. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by producer and reporter Steph Watts, this panel featured hosts and producers of ID shows that covered famous crimes. The panel included FBI profiler Candice DeLong (host of “Deadly Women”); legal analyst Beth Karas (“An American Murder” mystery specials on Casey Anthony and JonBenét Ramsey); police sergeant Derrick Levasseur and forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie (commentators, “Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence”); and showrunner Tim McConville (“An American Murder Mystery”/”American Scandal”).

DeLong, who was one of the few people who has interviewed Unabomber serial killer Ted Kaczynski, said he was the only “evil genius” she ever met. DeLong also recalled that one of the strangest aspects of their conversation was that he gave her advice on “how to boil turnips on an open stove” after she had asked him what it was like to live in a remote, rural area. “It was the worst date I’ve ever been on, ” she joked. DeLong also said after interviewing him as an FBI profiler and reading his journals, her opinion of Kaczynski is that he only cared about two things: “his quarter-acre of land with a shack on it and the other was killing people.”

For the still-unsolved murder of college student Chandra Levy, Karas said that Washington politics and the high-profile aspect of the case played a big role in hindering the police investigation. “You have to have press conferences constantly, you’re under scrutiny … It’s a headache, but the public has a right to know, so it’s a delicate balancing act. They made mistakes along the way.” Gary Condit, a U.S. Congressman who later admitted to having an affair with Levy, was a person of interest for years, but Karas believes that Condit (who was cleared from the investigation) “had nothing to do with the disappearance [of Chandra Levy]” and that the reason why he fell under public suspicion so quickly was “bad timing for him” in a world where the media had obsessively covered the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In 2016, several JonBenét Ramsey TV specials (including one from ID) aired within weeks of each other. McConville said that “time” is the biggest challenge when there is race to bring these competing specials on the air. “The pressure is to work fast. It was a race to get out there to find contributors. We were aware of the other specials coming out, but I don’t think we let that knowledge influence the way we were thinking of telling the story.”

For the ID special “Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence,” Mohandie said in addition to getting the cooperation of the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, it was important for the investigative team to get interviews with former Los Angeles Police Department investigator Tom Lange to directly address accusations that the police planted evidence in the OJ Simpson case. Mohandie said that other key witnesses that were interview coups for the special included Allan Park (the limousine driver who arrived at Simpson at home on the night of the murders) and witness Jill Shively, whose was dropped by the prosecution after she gave a tabloid interview. “She saw something very important that night. Whether she sold her story to a tabloid is irrelevant, in my mind. She had been blamed by the prosecution for losing the case, and  [interviewing her’ gave us a chance to tell her that she had nothing to do with the loss of this case.” Levasseur added, “We were really focusing on Jason Simpson [O.J. Simpson’s oldest son] and that theory [that he might have been involved in the murders].”

The Case That Keeps Me Up at Night

“The Case That Keeps Me Up at Night” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right: Dr. Michelle Ward (moderator), Rod Demery, Joe Kenda, Garry McFadden and Graham Hetrick. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward, this panel talked about cases solved by investigators/ID hosts Kenda (“Homicide Hunter”),  Demery (“Murder Chose Me”), McFadden  (“I Am Homicide”) and Hetrick (“The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead”) .

ID’s long-running “Homicide Hunter” is one of the network’s highest-rated series, so Kenda got the biggest cheers from the audience. When asked which case haunts him the most, Kenda and the other panelists gave a similar answer: “I don’t have a single case,” said Kenda, who added, “I did not solve 31 murders. All 31 haunt me to this day. Why didn’t I solved them? I solved 356 of them. People often ask me, “What was the most horrible case you’ve ever seen?”

Kenda and McFadden, who were on an IDCon panel together in 2016, mentioned many of the same things they talked about on that year’s panel, such as how their police work affected them and their personal lives. McFadden talked about a homicide victim’s daughter whom he eventually began to treat as if she were his own daughter.

One of the most interesting questions asked of the panelists was whether or not they think the worst murderers are created by nature or by nurture. Given that most serial killers and other murderers have siblings who do not become murderers too, the panelists said they believe that murderers’ disorders can be explained by “nature,” i.e., something to do with what’s going on inside the individual’s body, whether it is mental illness, a psychological defect or the effects of long-term substance abuse.

Ultimately, Demery said that murderers and other criminals “make a choice” to commit the crimes, and they should be held responsible for their choices. McFadden noted, “We all have the ability [to murder], but we may not act on it.” Hetrick added, “I think the study of environment is very important, and I think it’s important that we look at physical things ….certain pathologies of the brain. They’re all very important. They’re not as important from a personal standpoint as much as they are to understand how we can [help] society.”

2017 IDCon: Preview event attended by ID stars; stage, activations, panels revealed

May 19, 2017

by Carla Hay

IDCon
A view inside IDCon 2017 at the Altman Building in New York City (Photo by Carla Hay)

Investigation Discovery’s second annual fan event IDCon is set to take place at the Altman Building in New York City on May 20, 2017. But on May 19, select members of the media were invited to a sneak preview of the event. (IDCon is sold out, but most of the event will be streamed on Facebook Live.) The event space was still being set up during the preview, but most of the participating talent was hanging out and doing some interviews. They included ID show hosts Joe Kenda, Chris Hansen, Candice DeLong, Tony Harris (who will emcee IDCon 2017), Garry McFadden, Graham Hetrick and Rod Demery. As previously reported, Paula Zahn, Tamron Hall, Maria Elena Salinas and other ID stars are expected to attend.

In addition to the panel lineup (listed below), attendees will have be able to go to two separate meet-and-greet sessions throughout the day.  IDCon 2017 will also premiere sneak preview footage of upcoming ID show episodes.

The event space has expanded this year to include a downstairs  lounge area. The lounge has an ID Addict Truth Booth where fans can videorecord their ID Addict confessions, some of which could be televised or posted on ID’s social media.

A view inside IDCon 2017 at the Altman Building in New York City (Photo by Carla Hay)

Other new activations this year include the “Liar! Liar! Liar!” polygraph demonstration; a competitive “Be an Eyewitness” photo competition game; an “Evidence Board” to break down the facts behind the unsolved murder of Chandra Levy; and an exclusive photo booth where attendees can “Become the Notorious Headline” by having their photos imposed on mock crime-magazine covers.

ID Wine Club
ID Wine Club (Photo courtesy of Investigation Discovery)

IDCon 2017 attendees will be able to sample the first three wines from the recently announced ID Wine Club (which is available as of June 1). There will be plenty of ID merchandise for purchase. The items include a black T-shirt that has the IDCon 2017 logo and a gray T-shirt that says “I’d Rather Be Watching ID.” (The T-shirts come is sizes S, M, L and XL.) There are also thermoses and mason jars with Kenda’s signature catch-phrase “My My My.”

All proceeds for IDCon will be donated to New York’s Silver Shield Foundation, an organization which provides educational support to families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. ID Addicts unable to make the trip to New York will be able to watch select panels via the network’s Facebook Live streams, and follow the network’s social handles at Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat for behind-the-scenes coverage. Attendees are encouraged to share their experience and photos at IDCon on social media using #IDCon2017 with highly-engaged fans winning exclusive giveaways.

Here are some sneak-preview photos of IDCon 2017:

A view inside IDCon 2017 at the Altman Building in New York City (Photo by Carla Hay)

Here is the full IDCon 2017 panel lineup:

 Missing from the Headlines with esteemed news journalists including Tamron Hall (“Deadline Crime”), Chris Hansen (“Killer Instinct”), Maria Elena Salinas (“Real Story”) and Paula Zahn (“On the Case”). Moderated by ID senior vice president of production Sara Kozak, this panel digs into the cases that have compelled these journalists to bring these stories to a national platform on ID.

People Magazine Investigates featuring People Magazine’s award-winning slate of crime reporters—including senior editor Alicia Dennis,  senior writer Christine Peliseck and staff writer Caitlin Keating—and moderated by executive editor Dan Wakeford. This panel unpacks the intersection of television and print, and discusses how the magazine chooses which stories to bring to life on ID.

Notorious Headlines delves into the most provocative cases that have captivated our attention, from the Unabomber, O.J. Simpson, Chandra Levy, and Casey Anthony. Moderated by producer and reporter Steph Watts, this panel features personal insight from former FBI profiler Candice DeLong (host, “Deadly Women”), legal analyst Beth Karas (“An American Murder” mystery specials on Casey Anthony and JonBenét Ramsey) police sergeant Derrick Levasseur and forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie (commentators, “Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence”), and showrunner Tim McConville (“An American Murder Mystery”/”American Scandal”).

The Case That Keeps Me Up at Night Moderated by criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward, this panel unearths the cases that haunt ID’s own crime-solving superheroes and explains how killers leave a wake of destruction in their path for all that encounter the crime. The panel features Rod Demery (“Murder Chose Me”), Graham Hetrick (“The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead”) Joe Kenda (“Homicide Hunter”), and Garry McFadden (“I Am Homicide”).

Oxygen network debuts new logo and begins re-invention as true-crime network

May 11, 2017

by Carla Hay

Oxygen logo

Oxygen, the female-oriented TV network owned by NBCUniversal, has announced the new shows that will be part of the network’s  re-invention as a destination for true-crime programming, beginning in the summer of 2017. The move is a concerted effort to make Oxygen a rival to Investigation Discovery, the true-crime network that Discovery Networks launched in 2008. “Law & Order: SVU” star Ice-T and former HLN host Nancy Grace are among those who will be hosting the new Oxygen shows. (See the complete list at the end of the article.)

“Snapped,” Oxygen’s flagship true-crime program about female murderers, will remain on the air. “Snapped” has also two spinoff series: “Snapped: Killer Couples” (still on the air) and “Snapped: She Made Me Do It” (cancelled). Other existing true-crime shows on Oxygen include “Three Days to Live” and “It Takes a Killer.”  Before focusing on true crime, Oxygen had primarily female-oriented reality shows that centered on relationships and conflicts, such as “Bad Girls Club,” “Fix My Mom,” “Last Squad Standing” and “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop.”

Here is the list of new shows. The descriptions are from an Oxygen press release:

New Series:

“What Happened to…Jessica Chambers?” (working title)

Produced by Wilshire Studios and BuzzFeed Motion Pictures with Joe Berlinger and Matthew Henick serving as Executive Producer.

This active crime investigation docu-series takes a deep dive into the mysterious death of Jessica Chambers, the Mississippi teen who was doused with gasoline and set on fire in December of 2014. The series is inspired by the investigative journalism of BuzzFeed News’ Senior National Reporter Katie J.M. Baker, who reported Chambers’ story, uncovering developments and helping raise awareness about the case. Executive Produced by Academy Award® nominated, two-time Emmy® and Peabody Award winner Joe Berlinger (“Brother’s Keeper,” the “Paradise Lost Trilogy” and “Intent to Destroy”), the series looks at the mystery and unanswered questions surrounding Chambers’ death, which has made it one of the most-talked about cases on the internet. In 2016, a grand jury indicted Quinton Tellis, 27, charging him with capital murder. Tellis has pled not guilty to the charge.  A trial date has been set for October of 2017, which Wilshire Studios plans to cover as part of production.

“Mysteries and Scandals”  

Produced by Wilshire Studios with Jason Sklaver and Soledad O’Brien serving as Executive Producer.

Hosted and executive produced by multiple Emmy® and Peabody Award winner Soledad O’Brien, this new true crime series investigates Hollywood’s most intriguing criminals, murders and cases of corruption, exploring infamous headlines that captured the nation’s attention using archival footage, new interviews and stylized depictions of past events.

“Final Appeal”

Produced by Peacock Productions with Sharon Scott, Elizabeth Waller, Melody Shafir and Siobhan Walshe serving as Executive Producers.

Brian Banks was a star football player with NFL aspirations before he was wrongfully convicted. He spent five years behind bars until he was fully exonerated a decade later. The series will follow Brian along with former prosecutor, Loni Coombs, as they attempt to unravel details of criminal cases where the defendants claim to have been wrongfully convicted. The series will expose viewers to a thrilling whodunit mystery as the puzzling cases unfold and potentially reveal new information that could change the fates of the suspected criminals.

“Ice Cold Murder” (working title)

Produced by Asylum Entertainment with Steven Michaels and Jonathan Koch serving as Executive Producers along with Final Level Entertainment with Ice-T and Jorge Hinojosa serving as Executive Producers.

Hosted by Ice-T, this series exposes outrageous tales and shocking true stories involving sex, money, murder and sometimes a fatal cocktail of all three. Captivating reenactments will spotlight the very dark side of playing with fire and the tangled webs of lust, greed and death.

“Criminal Confessions”  

Produced by Wolf Reality and Shed Media with Dick Wolf, Tom Thayer, Pam Healey, John Hesling and Adam Kassen serving as Executive Producers.

This series delves into the psychological showdown that takes place inside actual police interrogation rooms and dissects what happens to yield a confession.  Each hour-long episode takes viewers through the twists and turns of a real homicide case from the crime scene to the suspects’ questioning to the ultimate confession. The police officers and detectives assigned to each case will reveal their methodology while interviews with the suspects’ and victims’ friends and family will shed light on the crime.  In every case, the interrogating officer will “break” the suspect and get a shocking reveal of what really happened.

“The Disappearance of”

“The Disappearance of…” is a series of multi-part documentaries that dive headfirst into a rabbit hole of unexplored leads, missing evidence and unnerving suspicion surrounding the most puzzling cases of young women who have gone missing.

The first two cases in the franchise are:

“The Disappearance of: Natalee Holloway”

Produced by Brian Graden Media with Brian Graden, Dave Mace, LB Horschler and Alex Weresow serving as Executive Producers.

Since her mysterious disappearance, Natalee’s family has been plagued by false leads and confessions of what happened that night. Then, two years ago, Natalee’s father Dave Holloway, was presented with the most promising lead to date. A first-hand account from someone who claims to actually know the specifics of what happened to her and the remains of her body. This could be Dave Holloway’s final chance at getting justice for his daughter and finally having peace for his family after so many years. This six-part series will follow Dave Holloway and a private investigator as they delve into this new lead. This riveting and shocking series will be an active journey with new evidence, never-before-seen footage, and real potential for resolution.

“The Disappearance of: Maura Murray”

Produced by Texas Crew Productions with David Karabinas, Eric Begley and Sonia Slutsky serving as Executive Producers.

When a young nursing student, Maura Murray, vanished in 2004 under strange circumstances, she became the first prominent disappearance of the social media age. Since then, the investigation into Murray’s case has fueled a legion of online armchair detectives, causing an endless procession of blogs, books, websites and podcasts, becoming a rabbit hole of unexplored leads, eyewitness discrepancies, missing evidence, questionable actions and strange characters. Now, in this six part docu-series, an investigative journalist, attempts to unravel one of the most complicated and mysterious cold cases of the last quarter century. With access to Murray’s family and friends, unique connections to local law enforcement, and the cooperation of the most prominent investigators on social media, she’ll attempt to find resolution once and for all.

“Patricia Cornwell’s True Conviction” (Working title)

Produced by All3 Media with Greg Goldman and Patricia Cornwell serving as Executive Producers.

Patricia Cornwell, a world-renowned author who has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and has built an entire career on extensive scientific research and unprecedented forensic detail, has assembled an all-star team of world-class experts in the fields of psychology, forensics, and clinical pathology.  Together, they will apply their collective knowledge toward a real life case where the stakes are life and death.

The Price of Duty (Working title)

Produced By Intellectual Property Corporation and Turn Left Productions with Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Todd Crites and Jackson Nguyen serving as Executive Producers.

From Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman, the producers of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” “The Price of Duty” delves into the most haunting cases of homicide detectives’ careers.  Each episode takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride to the front lines of the investigation, retracing their first steps on the crime scene to the final bust and the emotional aftermath that they still carry today.

Acquisition:

“Dateline: Secrets Uncovered” (Working title)

Produced by Peacock Productions with Sharon Scott and Andy Cashman serving as Executive Producers

Real-life mysteries. Investigative reporting. Justice. Dateline is the long-running, award winning newsmagazine bringing viewers stories ranging from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. Hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin, each episode of “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered” incorporates the classic elements of drama and great storytelling: good guys, bad guys, conflict with the highest stakes, suspense and resolution.  Hear the chilling tales directly from those most affected and involved, including investigators tasked with cracking the case and the families confronting tragedy. In every story we tell, we help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with you.

In Development:

“Retried”

Produced by Leepson Bounds Entertainment with David Leepson, Stephanie Lydecker, Nancy Grace and John Terenzio serving as Executive Producers.

This true-crime series follows a group of legal experts lead by Nancy Grace as they reassess an adjudicated murder case to see if they can uncover new information that could potentially lead to a retrial. Each week, the team will tackle one new case, studying key moments from the trial, inadmissible evidence, and crucial facts that were never made public.  Could the reexamination ultimately produce a different theory, or did our justice system get it right the first time?

“Kept Alive”

Produced by All3 Media and Maverick with Adam Greener, Simon Knight, Greg Lipstone, and Emily Mayer serving as Executive Producers.

This investigatory series explores the true stories of missing person cases where the attacker convinced the world their victim was still alive by impersonating them.  Through text messages, social media posts, and more, the murderer or murderers were able to divert suspicion of foul play.  On each case, family, friends, key witnesses and the detectives assigned will unravel the tangled mystery and expose the mistakes that finally brought a killer to justice.

2017 IDCon: talent lineup and ticket information announced

April 6, 2017

by Carla Hay

IDCon
Tony Harris, Tamron Hall, Chris Hansen and Paula Zahn at IDCon in New York City on June 11, 2016. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Investigation Discovery (ID) has announced that its second annual IDCon, an event for ID fans, will take place May 20, 2017, at the Altman Building in New York City. The theme of the event is “Notorious Headlines.” Unlike the first IDCon, which was free to all  attendees, the 2017 edition will be selling tickets at $40 each. Tickets go on sale at EventBrite on April 7, 2017, at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. According to ID, all proceeds for IDCon will be donated to New York’s Silver Shield Foundation, an organization which provides educational support to families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.

ID show hosts Paula Zahn, Chris Hansen, Joe Kenda and Garry McFadden (who were all at IDCon in 2016) will return to the event in 2017. ID hosts Maria Elena Salinas, Rod Demery and members of the “People Magazine Investigates” team will make their first appearances at IDCon this year. More talent appearances are expected to be announced.

In a statement, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America group president Henry Schleiff commented: “IDCon was created as a thank you to our passionate fans, and our inaugural IDCon last year just ‘killed,’ selling out in less than eight hours with more than 7,000 people on the waitlist! Our self-proclaimed ‘ID Addicts’ have now made ID the #1 network for women, so we are particularly excited this year to deliver these superfans this unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet their favorite ID stars.”

The event, which is expected to sell out quickly to the approximate maximum of 300 people, will once again feature panel discussions, immersive experiences and meet-and-greet opportunities with ID stars.  On April 10, 2017, ID will also launch a sweepstakes for a lucky fan to win a trip for two to IDCon.

True Crime Entertainment: Content Guidelines

What’s covered:

  • True crime entertainment that is non-fiction content or scripted entertainment based on real-life crime cases. Audio and video content must be at least 30 minutes in length and must be widely available in several countries in order to be covered here. For content in print, prominent true-crime books can be covered. Print articles about true crime can be linked as sources, but are generally not given stand-alone coverage.
  • Cases of real-life missing people, even if there is no evidence of a crime, if police or private investigators have gotten involved in the search. The missing-person cases discussed here must be widely covered by entertainment media (such as TV, movies, books, radio, and podcasts) that can be accessed by people in several countries.

What’s not covered:

  • Crime/mystery novels (fiction books)
  • Articles in magazines, newspapers or online media are generally not given stand-alone coverage here. Exceptions might be made if the article is a major exclusive that broke a case wide open.
  • Scripted entertainment of fictional cases, such as scripted crime/mystery shows and scripted crime/mystery movies that are based on fictional cases, even if the cases are very similar to real-life cases.
  • Content about ghosts, paranormal/supernatural activity, aliens from outer space, or other unexplained cases that are not true crime cases related to the legal system.
  • Breaking news on criminal cases or other legal cases, unless it involves a well-known public figure.
  • Attempts to solve cases, report illegal activity, report evidence, or change the legal outcome of cases that have not been discussed in the true crime entertainment covered here. If you have a cause, agenda, evidence or other important information that involves a true-crime case, please go to law enforcement, a private investigator and/or an appropriate attorney.
  •  If a true crime case is not covered by entertainment media, such as TV, movies, books, radio, credible websites or podcasts, it will not be covered here.