ABC News’ ‘20/20’ Interviews Survivor of Brutal Attack Who Underwent Hypnosis to Retrieve Repressed Memories That Helped Solve the Case, Friday, June 15
June 14, 2018
‘20/20’ INTERVIEWS SURVIVOR OF BRUTAL ATTACK WHO UNDERWENT HYPNOSIS TO RETRIEVE REPRESSED MEMORIES THAT HELPED SOLVE THE CASE
Hour Features Exclusive Interview With Man Arrested After His DNA Matched One Drop of Blood at Crime Scene
‘20/20’ Airs Friday, June 15 (10:01 – 11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC
Could hypnosis retrieve repressed memories to solve a crime? “20/20” investigates the 2008 attack of Brittani Marcell, who after undergoing hypnosis says she could not stop thinking about the name of an acquaintance, Justin Hansen, despite having no memory linking him to the crime. This led detectives to test Hansen’s DNA, which matched a drop of blood found at the crime scene in Albuquerque, nine years after the attack, leading to his arrest. ABC News correspondent Matt Gutman speaks exclusively with Hansen, a father of four, who is currently awaiting sentencing in July. Hansen, who has no prior criminal record and whose DNA was not found on any of the weapons at the scene, maintains his innocence. The hour includes an interview with Brittani who says today she is certain Justin attacked her. “20/20” airs Friday, June 15 (10:01–11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
“20/20” also features an exclusive interview with Doreen Shoemaker, Justin’s mother; the first TV interviews with Jodi Gonterman, the detective who helped crack the case; David Waymire, deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case; and additional interviews with Diane Marcell, Brittani’s mother, who walked in during the attack and called 911; three of Brittani’s sisters – Alicia, Kathlein and Jennifer; and forensic psychologist Dr. Leon Morris, who hypnotized Brittani.
Following the attack, Brittani suffered traumatic brain injuries and entered a facility for rehabilitation where she relearned basic skills such as how to walk, talk and eat. As Brittani made significant improvements, eventually earning her high school and then college diplomas, the case grew cold until 2014, since Brittani had no memory of the incident. It was only after Gonterman came on the scene – suggesting that Brittani undergo hypnosis to help her gain access to her blocked traumatic memories – that the case started to heat up again.
After a visit from Gonterman, Hansen refused to voluntarily turn over his DNA, causing undercover detectives to collect it from a used cup he tossed in a trash can at a fast-food restaurant. Hansen’s DNA was later matched to that drop of blood found at the scene, and he was arrested on multiple charges that could have put him behind bars for decades. Both Hansen and his mother believe that additional testing on the weapons at the crime scene could exonerate him; however, that is impossible since a 2015 clerical error led to almost all the evidence in the case being destroyed. A week before Hansen was scheduled to go on trial this April, he pleaded no contest to attempted murder and aggravated burglary, refusing to admit guilt, and is now awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 18 years behind bars.
“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.