CBS News journalists, embedded with survivors of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting, take viewers inside the creation of a movement as students turn grief into action, in 39 DAYS, a one-hour documentary to be broadcast Saturday, March 24 (8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In the days after a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shot and killed 17 people, CBS News began following a group of students who banded together to fight back. They set out to let the world know immediate change is needed to save lives. The documentary captures students’ raw emotions as they grieve and work around the clock in an effort to change the gun laws of this country.
“We’re trying to get people to stop dying,” says student Emma González.
Journalists were also embedded with Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the shooting. Pollack’s searing and powerful speech at the White House has made him one of the most visible of the victims’ parents.
“It should’ve been one school shooting and we should have fixed it,” Pollack told President Donald Trump that day. “And I’m pissed, because my daughter, I’m not going to see again.”
Pollack says the focus should be on tightening school safety, not changing gun laws.
“It’s great that the kids are out there together and that they have a voice,” Pollack says. “I would tell them to focus their energy on something that’s achievable that we could accomplish right now. What we need right now in this country is school safety.”
His mission, he says, is to make schools as secure as courthouses and airports.
“Her presence is keeping me strong,” says Pollack of his daughter, “to fight this cause, to keep the schools – we just gotta make ‘em safe. That’s all I want.”
39 DAYS also includes strong voices from the Second Amendment conversation. The documentary presents a taut timeline of the tumultuous events from the first day of the shooting to the “March for Our Lives,” which will take place in Washington, D.C. and cities around the country. The documentary will also feature reports from on the ground at the marches.
“Seventeen people. My peers, my teachers, they died,” says student activist Delaney Tarr. “Ultimately, the only way I feel I can really heal is if I try to make a difference.”
39 DAYS is produced by the team at 48 HOURS and CBS THIS MORNING.
Additionally, CBS News will provide extensive multiplatform coverage of the “March for Our Lives” beginning with CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY and continuing on CBSN, CBS News’ digital streaming news network; on the CBS WEEKEND NEWS; online at CBSNews.com; and on CBS News Radio. Also, CBS SUNDAY MORNING and FACE THE NATION will have reports on Sunday, March 25.
Can a personal fitness device that tracks steps, exercise and sleep habits save a man from being charged with murder and facing a life in prison?
Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS investigate a groundbreaking murder case that was solved using 21st century technology in “The Fitbit Alibi” to be broadcast Saturday, March 24 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
It’s a murder case that shook a community and one that hinges on another technology: Google Dashboard, a tool that many people don’t even know they have. But could it convict a killer?
Nicole Vander Heyden went out with friends for a night on the town in Green Bay, Wisc., on May 20, 2016. She never made it home. A day later, she was found dead in a field, having been beaten and strangled to death.
The murder left her friends and family shaken, and the community wondered how it could happen. At the time, Vander Heyden was living with her boyfriend, Doug Detrie, and their 6-month-old son. Detrie was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies and quickly became the prime suspect when blood was found on the floor of their garage and in Vander Heyden’s car.
“For us, it’s adding up,” says Detective Sgt. Brian Slinger, of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department. “Okay, this is our guy.”
Investigators also wondered why Detrie waited hours before reporting her missing. “It doesn’t seem like a guy who’s particularly worried about his girlfriend, the mother of his child, does it?” Slinger says.
Detrie was wearing a Fitbit device when he was interviewed and when he was arrested. Data recorded about his activities during the window of time Vander Heyden was murdered told a very different story – one that cleared him. He was released 18 days after his arrest.
Over the next several months, Nicole’s clothing and items at the murder scene were processed for DNA. That would lead investigators in yet another direction – and to another man.
“Nobody knew who he was,” says Kate Briquelet, a writer for the Daily Beast and a native Wisconsinite. “He had no connection to Nikki, no connection to Doug, no connection to any of their friends. I mean, he was literally a mystery man.”
What role did the Fitbit play in the case, and how did other technology come into play for the investigators? Moriarty and 48 HOURS report the story through interviews with Vander Heyden’s friends and family, investigators, the farmer who found her body, Briquelet and others.
48 HOURS: “The Fitbit Alibi” is produced by Resa Matthews, Mary Ann Rotondi, Marc Goldbaum and Stephanie Slifer. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.