From 1st Degree to 2nd Degree in 60 Minutes in the First 48 Hours

I’ve seen every episode of The First 48 Hours on A&E. Every once in a while I’ll catch one that I think I’ve never seen and then as it continues, I realize, nope, seen it.

So when a new season starts and they’re in a new city, I really get excited. This new season they’ve branched out into Atlanta (though they’ve been there before) and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The first few episodes they were … well … not that exciting. Actually, they’ve been boring up until now.

But this past episode, which aired Thursday, Feb. 26, has brought Tulsa into it’s own. First let me just say that I had no idea that Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) had a much younger brother working in law enforcement and living in Tulsa.

Corporal Nathan Schilling © AETV

Corporal Nathan Schilling © AETV

More on that later. When a car heist goes wrong and a “Stray Shot” kills the car owner, Corporal Nathan Schilling is up next in the rotation to solve the homicide.

On the scene to help is Det. John Brown and Sgt. Dave Walker. Solving a homicide is definitely team work and having a sense of humor must be an important asset, because I can’t ever remember hearing a man ask another man (much less a cop ask another cop) “do these pants make my ass look fat?”

Or maybe it’s just Det. Brown with the sense of humor. Upon leaving the parking garage it’s “exiting the bat cave.” And when he’s searching a 16-year old suspect he’s looking for “guns or bazookas.”

Detective John Brown © AETV

Detective John Brown © AETV

Even when he’s looking at the ammunition from the handgun to see if it’s the same type from the homicide he’s cracking wise about “he’s the oldest guy in here.” To which one of the other detectives brings him a magnifying glass 5 times the size of the one used by Sherlock Holmes.

With the 16-year old suspect in custody and the gun confirmed as the murder weapon the case is on track and now The Rock’s younger brother can go to work. Head of the Fugitive Warrant Squad, Sgt. Luke Sherman has a profile that would have any woman believing he’s Dwayne Johnson’s baby brother.

I’d show you ladies a picture but A&E doesn’t have one posted with the rest of the “Meet the Officers” photos.

Once they have a majority of the underage suspects in custody and interview them, they have a clearer picture of exactly how the homicide went down and exactly who the killer is. And after searching for him (who is not underage), but not finding him, he eventually turns himself in.

From the very start of the interview he denies involvement … “I was home that night.” I wanted to reach into the TV and smack him in the back of his head.

Sgt. Dave Walker ©AETV

Sgt. Dave Walker ©AETV

We’ve heard every one of the suspects say he was the one who had the gun and did the shooting. Sgt. Walker and Corporal Schilling tell him that as well. They tell him this is his opportunity to tell his side of the story.

Sgt. Walker gets frustrated … angry … pissed off … or is it just a ploy and exits the room and leaves Corporal Schilling in the room with the suspect. Which works and the suspect opens up and admits that the shooting was an accident. He didn’t mean to shoot anyone.

Which brings it from first degree murder to second degree murder, giving all of them some possibility of a life after serving their sentences.

Don’t take me for one of those bleeding hearts – they definitely deserve to go to jail. But as Corporal Schilling said, the victim lost his life and a bunch of families are going to lose their children. Their are a lot of victims of crime, on both sides of the table.

The officers who fight it see the devastation on all levels.





2013 Obits – May

Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton

May 31: Jean Stapleton, 90 – the character actress whose portrayal of a slow-witted, big-hearted, submissive (up to a point) housewife on “All in the Family” made her one of the foremost women in television comedy in the 70s died in her home in NYC.

May 31: Paul Samaras, Tim Samaras, Carl Young: killed while storm chasing in El Reno, Oklahoma. Their work tracking tornadoes was featured on the former Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers.” They were among 13 people killed in storms that struck Oklahoma.

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

May 27: Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein), 36 – internationally-known burlesque performer with the Bay Area’s Hubba Hubba Revue died  from injuries she received after the car she was riding in hit a party bus in Burlingame.

May 24: Rona Newton-John, 70 – mother of singer Tottie Goldsmith and first wife of Melbourne nightclub king Brian Goldsmith died in the U.S. Rona was a model and actress who left Sydney, Australia in the 60s to find her fame and fortune – but lived for decades in the shadow of her younger sister’s global fame. She was diagnosed with brain cancer last month.

May 20: Ray Manzarek, 74 – Keyboardist, songwriter and a founder of the Doors died at a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany from bile duct cancer. Mr. Manzarek was living in Napa, California. He founded the Doors in 1965 with singer and lyricist Jim Morrison.

May 19: Phil Buerstatte, 46 – heavy metal drummer, member of the Grammy-nominated New York City metal band White Zombie (1992-1994) was found dead in his home in Madison, WI. The cause of his death has not  yet been determined. His sister Rachel Tvedt said his family is waiting for toxicology reports. Friends and family spoke of years of drug addiction, treatment and prison time.

May 18: David McMillan, 31 – Former Cleveland Browns linebacker and three-year starter at Kansas was shot to death over the weekend in an apparent robbery attempt. An investigation by the DeKalb County (Georgia) Police Department is ongoing.

Richard "Dick" Trickle

Richard “Dick” Trickle

May 16: Richard “Dick” Trickle, 71 – who some claim is the “winningest” driver of all time, was found in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City (Lincoln County), North Carolina. It’s a place of significance for Trickle’s family. His granddaughter was buried there after she was killed in a car accident in 2001. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office said they received a 911 call from Trickle saying, “There would be a dead body and it would be his.” When they arrived at the cemetery a short time later they found Dick Trickle dead, from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

May 13: Dr. Joyce Brothers, 85, a former academic psychologist who, long before Drs. Ruth, Phil and Laura, was counseling millions over the airwaves, died at her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Dr. Brothers was described as the mother of mass-media psychology because of the firm, pragmatic guidance she administered via radio and television. Thru the 60s and beyond you could scarcely turn on the TV or open a newspaper without seeing her. She had her own nationally syndicated TV show, was a guest on talk shows like The Tonight Show and on variety show like The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and on many game shows. She lectured widely, had a call-in radio show, a syndicated newspaper column and a regular column in Good Housekeeping magazine and wrote books.

Malcolm Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz

May 9: Malcolm Shabazz, 28 – the grandson of the late civil rights leader Malcolm X, died while in Mexico from a beating during a robbery. He was actively engaged in politics, like his namesake. Juan Ruiz, a member of the California-based labor organization Rumec, told TPM Shabazz was in Mexico City with one of the group’s leaders, Miguel Suarez, who had been deported from the US last month.

May 8: Wilma Jeanne Cooper, 84 – Young and Restless veteran and mother to Corbin Bernsen, died peacefully in her home. She was an Emmy Award-nominated actress of Cherokee descent best known for her role as Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. She was married for 23 years to TV producer Harry Bernsen and was mother to 3 children including Corbin Bernsen (Psych).

May 7: Ray Harryhausen, 92 – the pioneer of visual effects and stop-motion film animation (Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans) passed away. He was a multi-award winner, including a special Oscar and BAFTA. He influenced today’s film makers including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s Nick Park.

May 2: Jeff Hanneman, 49 – founding member of Slayer, guitarist and songwriter, died from liver failure in Southern California’s Inland Empire area. Just two year ago he had survived a rare skin tissue disease (necrotizing fasclitis) most likely from a spider bite.

Kris-Kross-147x200May 1: Chris Kelly, 34 – one half of Kris Kross duo died from a drug overdose, a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin, at his home in Atlanta. He was found unconscious and taken to the Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead three hours later. Kelly’s uncle told police that his nephew had a history of drug abuse.