A “48 HOURS” PREMIERE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE
“48 HOURS” CORRESPONDENT ERIN MORIARTY INVESTIGATES THE CASE AGAINST A WOMAN WITH TWO DEAD HUSBANDS WHO DIED UNDER UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, IN “THE WIDOW ON SOLWAY ROAD” – 10:00 PM
CBS NEWS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT JAMES BROWN TACKLES THE IMPACT OF THE O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL ON AMERICA, IN “O.J. SIMPSON: ENDGAME” - 9:00 PM
48 HOURS kicks off its 30th anniversary season with a Saturday night double feature of all new back-to-back editions, Sept. 30, on the CBS Television Network. At 10:00 PM, Erin Moriarty investigates the case against Raynella Leath, a Tennessee woman with two dead husbands –who both died under strange circumstances – and the stunning outcome, in the season premiere of 48 HOURS, “The Widow on Solway Road.” Leading into the season premiere, CBS News Special Correspondent James Brown tackles the impact of the O.J Simpson murder trial and how it reverberates throughout the country today, in “O.J. Simpson: Endgame” at 9:00 PM.
48 HOURS: “The Widow on Solway Road”
Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS investigate the murder case against Raynella Leath in the death of her second husband, David Leath, in “The Widow on Solway Road,” to be broadcast at 10:00 PM. Click here for a preview.
David Leath was found shot to death in the couple’s bed. Raynella Leath, a nurse, called 9-1-1 to report finding her husband shot dead. There was no evidence linking her to the weapon or the shooting.
“There was more than one shot,” says District Attorney Steve Crump. “And while that’s not unheard of – well, it didn’t look like a suicide scene.”
“Everything good about this woman was twisted,” says Leath’s defense attorney Josh Hedrick. “Everything good about this woman was turned around to be evil. There’s not any real evidence to suggest a homicide.”
“How many times does this have to happen before someone says, ‘enough’?” says Beth Roberts, David Leath’s cousin.
Raynella’s first husband, who was in the late stages of terminal cancer, also died after being trampled by cattle on the family farm.
48 HOURS and Moriarty gained rare access to attorneys on both sides, family members, jurors and even the judge in a case that ended in a way that no one saw coming.
Was Raynella Leath very unlucky, or is there more to the story? 48 HOURS was there for the trial and the shocking end. But that’s not all. Moriarty also reveals key details jurors never heard.
48 HOURS has also launched a multi-part podcast tied to “The Widow on Solway Road,” built on additional original reporting and interviews from the 48 HOURS team of journalists, available at Radio.com, CBSNews.com and other platforms. Click here to listen.
48 HOURS SPECIAL: “O.J. Simpson: Endgame”
As the country debates how football players react to a national uproar over race, patriotism and free speech, CBS News Special Correspondent James Brown anchors a 48 HOURS SPECIAL: “O.J. Simpson: Endgame,” a one-hour broadcast at 9:00 PM, on the eve of Simpson’s release from a Nevada prison after serving time on armed robbery charges. Click here for a preview.
“Some half a million inmates will be released from our state prisons in 2017,” Brown reports. “None will be met by the spotlight, the curiosity that will greet O.J. Simpson. Will the man so many still consider a killer slip into the shadows and live out his days quietly? We know the national conversation about race and the criminal justice system remains center stage. It is America’s endless refrain, a nation’s unfinished business. When will race no longer measure and divide us?”
The special retraces the events that led Simpson to this moment: from his landmark murder trial – where he was found not guilty in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman – to how that verdict continues to influence race relations.
The broadcast also focuses on what role domestic violence played in the murder trial and how the case impacted the careers of those involved. Brown’s report features interviews with Ron Shipp, a former Los Angeles police officer and friend of O. J. and Nicole; Fred Goldman, Ron’s father; Tanya Brown, Nicole’s sister; Sylvester Monroe, a writer who covered the trial for Time magazine and now is an editor at the Washington Post; Simpson’s friend Joe Bell; sports sociologist Harry Edwards, and Simpson’s legal “Dream Team” members F. Lee Bailey, Shawn Chapman Holley and Carl Douglas.
Douglas tells Brown the verdict in the Simpson murder trial was about more than just about the man on trial.
“People weren’t cheering O.J. Simpson per se. But they were cheering that once, one time it seemed that the criminal justice system balanced in favor of a black person - tomorrow will be the same,” Douglas says. “Yesterday will be like it was. But one time, it seemed that the system balanced in favor of a black man, and still we Americans can’t get past that.”
Asked why there’s still a fascination with Simpson today, Sylvester Monroe tells Brown, “Because it reflects where we still are today on matters of race.”
“48 HOURS” KICKS OFF ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR WITH A NEW LOOK, TAKING VIEWERS INSIDE THE JOURNEY FOR THE TRUTH IN STORIES THAT MATTER
New Season Begins Saturday, Sept. 30,
with Back-to-Back Broadcasts at 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Click Here for Preview of the New Season
48 HOURS will kick off its 30th anniversary year on Saturday, Sept. 30 with a new look and a new emphasis on taking viewers inside stories that matter and the journey for the truth, it was announced today by senior executive producer Susan Zirinsky.
Saturday night’s #1 non-sports broadcast will launch with back-to-back editions starting at 9:00 PM with a 48 HOURS special, “O.J. Simpson: Endgame,” followed at 10:00 PM with “The Widow on Solway Road.”
“With every case, we’re taking the viewer inside the investigation and along the path of discovery taken by our teams,” says Zirinsky. “The viewer is watching and becomes immersed as the correspondent unravels these complex cases. Showing the correspondent’s journey was critical at the launch of 48 HOURS 30 years ago, and is even more important today.”
48 HOURS will feature a new opening sequence that includes a nod to the broadcast’s 30th anniversary, along with new graphics. 48 HOURS also will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series launch with special multi-platform elements that highlight key moments of the broadcast’s rich journalistic history.
“This is the best of experiential journalism,” says Zirinsky. “We have the top storytellers in the field, and viewers will sense that they’re standing alongside Erin Moriarty, Peter Van Sant, Maureen Maher, Richard Schlesinger, Tracy Smith and other CBS News correspondents as they uncover information and make sense of these highly emotional, often perplexing cases.
“We’re uncovering stories from Silicon Valley, to the nation’s heartland, and to Russia,” adds Zirinsky. “What they all have in common is they involve real people, real families and real drama, and they speak to larger issues about society and our world.”
48 HOURS began as the documentary 48 HOURS ON CRACK STREET in 1986, which featured the reporting of 10 CBS News correspondents and 15 crews over a period of one weekend to chronicle the impact of the sale, use and effect of drugs. It became a regular series on January 19, 1988 with the show built around a team of correspondents covering one subject for 48 consecutive hours. Over time it evolved into the premier broadcast for law, crime and justice stories. 48 HOURS remains the third longest-running primetime series on network television. 48 HOURS has also been the #1 non-sports program on Saturday nights for the past 11 seasons.
Reporting by 48 HOURS journalists has been credited with uncovering new information that has led to high-profile cases being overturned and wrongfully convicted people released from prison. To name a few, 48 HOURS has impacted the cases of Ryan Ferguson, who spent 10 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit; the West Memphis Three, three men convicted for killing a young boy; and Martin Tankleff, who as a teenager was convicted of killing his parents and today walks free, now a lawyer. 48 HOURS has earned numerous awards, including three Peabodys, 20 Emmys®, four RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.
The 48 HOURS team is often called on to produce breaking news specials for CBS, and has done so after such events as the shooting of five police officers in Dallas, the terrorist attacks in Paris, the deaths of Mary Tyler Moore and Muhammad Ali and most recently the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.
“Our team spends years reporting on some of these cases,” says Zirinsky. “We’re dedicated to bringing the best original reporting on crime and justice cases that matter.”