In Defense of Dr. Phil – Was there more to it than what you saw?

An Orchid for Morgan

An Orchid for Morgan

The Dr. Phil show was intense. They contacted us without reservation for weeks in advance, and were very detail oriented. The questioning, research, interviewing and production of documents for that one hour segment far, far eclipsed any investigation into Morgan’s death by the authorities.

So why were so many people unhappy with Morgan’s moment on that show? Other than the obvious that we all love her, and want only the best for Morgan, there are other facts that I really want to share in all fairness.

First, as with any good multi-layered crime as this there was maneuvering – oh was there ever maneuvering. The show wanted an opposing point of view to ours, that made perfect sense. So they asked the Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kurtzman, which would have made Dr. Dobersen’s presence even more important, and would have made for a few moments Steve and I would have really looked forward to. But no, Dr. Kurtzman would not go on national TV to talk about Morgan. The Sheriff was invited, but he would not speak about Morgan’s death, or her felony stalking case on national TV. The Sheriffs department has a media officer, who’s job it is to publicly represent Garfield Sheriff’s department, she was offered up as a possibility, but then pulled off the proverbial table. The Coroner, as we understand, never returned the call. Then there was Keenan and his Mother. After consulting with their legal counsel the decision was made that the criminal exposure was far too great, and they completely declined to appear. Their lawyer made a statement for them for the show.

Of course the possibilities were dwindling and there was ?, and perhaps ?’s dad and ?’s mom. To do this they had to appear before a judge, and do even more maneuvering. I believe ? and ?’s dad wanted to go on the show, but they needed to temporarily waive a temporary order, and I believe they did. They also needed counsel to accompany them, so as not to risk the criminal exposure theory. And I say it this way, because I really do not understand it completely, but that is what was said to the judge. I asked our lawyer if we needed him to come with us as well, as it seemed quite popular. He explained that no, no, we had no potential criminal exposure so we did not have to concern ourselves with protecting against criminal exposure.

All this just to sit on a stage and explain your story, and answer questions. Of course I was going, and of course I was going to tell the world all about Morgan. I honestly could not imagine ever saying no. And as for all the maneuvering so far, maybe this is how it always goes, I can say I understand, but even Steve said, “I must be missing something here.” Somehow that made me feel better about it all.

Then came the whirlwind of days of taping ending with the live taping on stage. I am going to estimate that about 1/4 of what was taped made it to the final show. There were such interesting moments. Mostly Steve asked, but a few times I would ask a simple straight forward question, and there would be nothing in return. Not yes, no, can’t remember, I have to take the 5th on that one, nothing. Those moments, without exception, did not make it to the show. Their counselor sat in the audience and was asked a question toward the very end. He stood up and said things that shocked me. People out in the audience connected with Steve and I after the show was over and offered to testify to what they had witnessed, should we ever need it. To those of you whom we have never met before and would offer to travel halfway across the country to testify for our daughter Morgan, Steve and I want to publicly tell you how much that means to us, and the fight against stalking, of which all of us are all a part of now. Nobody’s little girl should ever, ever have to suffer what happened to Morgan.

But back to Dr. Phil, he is so calm, and confident that I doubt it bothered him, but I felt that his hands had to be at least a little tied behind his back by all this maneuvering that went on. The producer of the show did ask me to please not blog about the show until after it had aired. I said of course, after everything they were enduring to get Morgan’s story out, it was the least I could do, although I was excited, and did want to share as it was happening.

For Morgan’s justice there will now be many moments, good and bad, as parents Steve and I simply ask what she is supposed to be afforded by the law – to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. I thank Dr. Phil for doing that, also Ed and Eric at KDNK, our local radio station for their series on Morgan, and stalking in our valley, Sarah Afshar, for her interview on Yahoo, and Jennifer Shaffer for her priceless advice and her calming voice, always at just the right time. And to all of you willing to join in the fight against stalking, it really is for all of humanity.

And I just have to add this: for all the readers, the family that is now part of this blog, picture the producer looking at me and asking, “Toni, can you tell me why I am getting so many emails about how I have to put you on the show, it just doesn’t end?” I shrugged my shoulders for him, but I really knew that it was all of you contacting the Dr. Phil show that made it happen. Thank You!

31 thoughts on “In Defense of Dr. Phil – Was there more to it than what you saw?

  1. I agree…personally I thought the show was very good and handled well. I think he was fair. IT’s not his job to be defensive and take a side of course…his objective and role was to present the facts and the story and I thought people who commented otherwise were clearly not seeing what his role was as facilitator.

    He was not there to attack someone or make judgment and based on the facts that’s understandable.

    • Sorry Terri but if you ever watch Dr. Phil He often times “attacks” his guest asking the questions to get to the bottom of the issue. He asked barely any questions of ?. Just my opinion

      Toni, can you tell us about what was said during the show that we didn’t see? What did ? And dad say? I really am waiting with baited breath. Whats next?

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the difficulty of going through the holidays without your precious daughter. I just saw the Dr. Phil episode regarding your family and truly felt your pain. I do not know if ? directly had a hand in the Morgan’s death…I do know what it is like to be stalked and terrorized by another individual. It is unfortunate that, after all these years, there seems to be no reprieve from the abuse until someone gets hurt, murdered, or takes their own life because the stalking becomes too hard to deal with. Complicity of stalkers whichever… I hope you find peace and take solace in the coming days, months and years. God bless, J

  2. I thought Dr. Phil was extremely cold and unfair to Morgan. Actually, I was stunned and shocked at how mean & unfair he was towards Morgan & family. And it was SO painfully obvious, even to an untrained facial expression reader like myself, that the other guest was clearly LYYYYYYYING her face off.

    • I have to agree with you so that was the first and last time I watched his show. He really didn’t ask any questions at all. It kind of upset me when he tried to act like he was playing referee. You could plainly see that Toni and Steve only wanted answers and ? and company looked guilty as sin. The only thing ? and company proved is that they most definitely need to be investigated. She wants proof that Toni and Steve have evidence she was involved, I say she needs to prove that she wasn’t.

    • I agree ,2 weeks prior there was a woman and her daughter on who were accusing the husband of her other daughter that was missing of killing her. Dr. Phil was pretty rough on him said things didn’t add up. He gave him a polygraph which showed as deceptive on many on his answers. The next day after the taping he ( the husband) called the producers and cofessed. Telling them where her body could be found. I was looking forward to morgan’s story and having Dr. Phil asking ? The tough questions and a polygraph. He seemed to be more sympathatic towards ? And her dad.

      • You dont even know what youre talking about.. Her body was found in her bed the morning of the night she was murdered. They were not polygraphed. And she has a baby to take care of, even if she was involved, it would be worse to take a life from someone else. That’s most likely the reasoning of no confessions of the stalking, or keying Morgans car.

        • So because ? has a baby he couldn’t have asked her tough questions like the guest 2 weeks earlier or offered a polygraph? on the other show the man knew he wasn’t going to get away with it because Dr Phil knew hew wasn’t telling the truth.

        • TheDoors, I think you are confused. Mel N was referring to a different Dr. Phil show when she mentioned the polygraph and missing body. I also think your logic is flawed. Just because she has a baby doesn’t mean she gets a pass on a murder. Frankly, that’s the most ridiculous defense I have ever heard.

  3. It was by the far the worst Dr Phil show I have seen in many years. Dr Phil often has said how could this not all add up, (In his own way) to many accused people on his show. He often asks alot more questions of the defense, not the victims. He often plays for the underdog and tries to make things as fair as possible. I was glad this show got out there but I don’t think Dr Phil did the best job he could. The awareness and story went public and that is the great part. After watching the show, I read the blog and as much as I could about Morgan’s stalking. I am still upset at the producing of that show, I think there would have been better sections to show the public. I think he should do a follow up. I considered not watching Dr Phil after that show, however now I am just waiting for him to do anther show where he acts that way. It wasn’t the Dr Phil I have watched for ten years.

  4. Toni, do you know if Dr. Phil offered ? a lie detector test? I wish there was a way to watch the whole tapping. If people in the audience would testify for you what they saw during it, and what I saw in the hour show proved to me that she is totally lying, I can’t imagine what I missed.

    • Dr. Phil never asked during taping. Steve asked her a question that we already knew the answer to and she denied it. I suspect the lie detector question was part of the “maneuvering” before the taping, but that is just a guess on my part.

  5. Toni, I was quite disappointed in the show, but I am very happy and relieved to hear that there were things said and done we as viewers didn’t get to see. I always wondered about that when watching shows like the Dr Phil show. I am so glad your story got national exposure, it can only help, I have read lots of posts that people who had not known about this case until they saw the show are now a part of this, which only means more support and prayers for you and Steve.

  6. Toni, please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of you beautiful daughter. I have been following your blog for awhile now. I finally made the time last night to watch the Dr. Phil episode and was horribly disappointed! In comparison to a normal Dr. Phil show, this seemed closer to Jerry Springer! :( With every innocent person I have heard about, they are eager to prove their innocence by providing alibis and evidence…..I have never in my life seen a “supposed” innocent person smirk and say “where’s the proof?” I’m sure Dr. Phil’s hands were tied with their lawyer being there but I would have loved to see he go after her and her father the way he attached you and Steve! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  7. im sorry – this may sound like a dumb question… but what do you mean by “manuvering”? And are you doing any more shows? Have you considered Nancy Grace? That might be great for you because she has a knack for getting world-wide attention on cases.

  8. Toni, can you share what ? Lawyer said at the end that shocked you?
    I agree with the fact that Dr Phil did not treat this fairly, but he did agree that the case should reopened.
    The good thing is that it did introduce Morgan’s case to more people.

  9. I understand your being gracious to Dr. Phil. After all, he allowed his show to be forum for you to further spread the word and get more support for justice for Morgan. But sitting at home in my living room, completely objective, I saw him imply that Morgan was a drug user through the irrelevant questions about the items found in the car, the comments made because of her associations, and the pills she had been prescribed. Would drug use or experimentation mean that she suddenly decided to kill herself or deserve to be stalked? Or was he trying to say that she was a junkie who overdosed right under your noses. He made no comments to the fact that there were no pills found in her stomach. I heard him try to make her death somehow justified as a suicide because she had harsh words with her mother, the night before. I don’t know of any parents who has never had a disagreement with their children. I didn’t see or hear him offer you any closure or emotional support for losing your daughter, especially in such a way. His hands may have been tied in some way. But just because he couldn’t control the outcome of the show was no reason to attack the victim of a horrific crime. What I got at the end of his show was an attitude and advice that simply said, “Get over it.” I was outraged. Parents who have lost their children have come on the show and received more compassion. Your situation was unique and needed even more special handling because you had been victimized for months before it happened. Stalking effects the entire family. I have no doubt you all lived in fear of what would happen next. You were going to turn your lives upside down to solve this problem. Dr. Phil could have at least tried to help YOU to come to terms with your loss. The only advice I heard him give was that you take down this blog. But how did this advice help anyone?

    • This comment said everything I was thinking. Dr Phil had more questions for the Ingrams then anyone else. I keep waiting for Dr Phil to revisit it and compensate for his lack of sympathy.
      Also to the person (TheDoors) speaking out above saying because the other girl has a baby it wouldn’t make sense to take away from her baby if she was guilty. Sorry but it makes all the sense in the world, if she is a murderer or accessory she needs to her daughter to someone who can give her the life she deserves. These were choices she made and will have to live with. There is no statue of limitations for murder. When she proven guilty her daughter will have a safe life. That’s not a place for a child to be if she has anything to do with taking Morgans life. I can’t believe you think she should get away with this if guilty just because she has a child, someone took Morgans life and they will end up paying for it. Karma and the law will catch up.

  10. “EVEN IF SHE WAS INVOLVED…?” What?! So because she has a baby now, that should cause immunity for her crimes? Wow. TheDoors, that makes no sense. If she was involved, she should be prosecuted, no matter how many babies she has! If she was involved ( and I firmly believe she was) , she doesn’t deserve to be a mother!

    • Ditto Misty, unless I am wrong I thought I read in the beginning of the blog she was actually still pregnant, anyways, I agree if she was involved, a baby is NOT an excuse or a get outta jail free card. It is scary to think she is responsible for an infant.

  11. Regarding Dr. Phil’s Show: Most of us that have watched him over the years pretty much know how he will react and his catch phrases. His manner was totally UN-Dr. Phil. Some thing was off there but it could have been that he simply didnt have enough clear cut evidence that pointed at you-know-who’s. Even today it bothers me how “off” Dr. Phil was … almost like he was reluctant to do the show. If I remember correctly…. didnt he lean forward alot and have his arms crossed very tightly? Like he KNEW something but was struggling NOT to blurt it out. Also, he turned AWAY from the other two guests as if to “protect/shield” them… to make them almost non-existent. Very odd mannerisms from Phil that day.

    Toni and Steve: thanks for sharing Morgan and your story. You ‘ve taught us alot of safety tips. Keep up your search for her real cause of death. I am believing with you that you will get definite answers. Morgan is so blessed to have you two as parents.

    • I felt the exact same way, Teresa. I felt like something was “off” with Dr Phil. We all know what all wasn’t said on the show. We also have to remember that after the show, there is an editing process. I’m sure that there was a lot that was edited out. I have said it before, I don’t like how the show aired. Speaking of polygraphs, does anyone think in their right mind that. ?? would ever agree to a polygraph? Never would she. After all, she knows that she’d show deception on more than one question. That’s my opinion.

  12. I can’t wait til I have some time to sit down and watch these Dr. Phil episodes. Does anyone have any other links to episodes I need to watch regarding Morgan other than the one link mentioned earlier in the comments on this post?

  13. I”m going to do some speculation, idk exactly what they have told you that WE could say, but please do read before posting, because after reading this and watching and just today, re watched this episode, I have some, like I said, speculation, questions to be raised, possible theories.
    One good thing is that it got the story out there. It was the first time I’d heard of the case. From a complete outsider’s point of view, and with only the knowledge of their behavior on the show, and what I have learned here, I have just a few ideas to point out. I have a degree in psychology, so, automatically, because of my educational background, and work experience, I am sensitive about a few things I noticed. Maybe this has been brought up, but maybe not, you did mention she went to the doctor the day before the night this transpired. I don’t really hear about a lot of suicidal people visiting the doctor that close to the event, because someone who is planning to complete suicide usually already knows they would be doing it so soon, and wouldn’t go to the doctor right before this happened. As for the show, I think maybe doctor phil was just making sure to try to keep the bases covered. Even with editing out, there is an audience, and I’m sure that audience uses social media, so something that could be said in a heated debate could effect the investigation I know he has to want started. As for this girl’s father, I came up with 3 possible solutions; A-he is lying about everything and could know everything that happened, B- he has denied this to himself after some knowledge that his daughter could possibly be capable of this kind of thing, that he even has himself believing that as a father, regardless of what he may have found odd, just explained away, or C- he genuinely knows nothing, and is sincere in his statements. I’m leaning towards B for reasons being, I do not know these people, but by scores, the father seemed more genuine about what he was saying than the daughter. Parents often deny guilt of their child, even with clear evidence in cases (not saying there’s clear evidence here, without an investigation, sadly). This is common in parents’ post verdict defense of their child. As for the boyfriend, I didn’t see him on Dr. Phil. Tells me he does not want anything more to do with this case period. From what you’ve said, he was showing clear signs of a stalker’s delusional beliefs about a relationship with your daughter. I cannot believe this is the first time he’s done this. Whomever he is, whether he is K or someone else, he was VERY good at what he did. The daughter, wow, I do believe if she’s involved it is the first time of something like this. I think for her to say, “Where’s the proof?” knowing no investigation has been done, rather than sincerely stating she had nothing to do with it, could never harm anyone, etc. I think she may have been jealous of her boyfriend’s feelings for Morgan. That right there makes me WISH a rape test was conducted. It is one of the essential parts of an investigation. TOTALLY out of character for this not to have been done by any coroner, btw. Now, this is just me thinking about this, so idk if this will even be posted, but I think a possibility is at some point, if it is proven these 2 people are involved, that at some point, Morgan may have been raped by the boyfriend. Could have been that night, could have been another time, all I’m saying is that this girl was extremely jealous of her, and that could at least explain a motive for this, sense of something that can’t be made sense of. could mean that her death was the girl’s idea. I do believe 100% that the stalker has done this before, and I mean the male, but I have nothing further to know how this came about, but if it was someone who did this to her, which I believe someone DID, I think at some point, she could’ve been assaulted, or at least he tried to do something, and maybe the girlfriend was there, or found out. The change of clothes could be in hopes of destroying dna evidence, and the jewelry, I don’t know, maybe trophies? Only speculation, 100%, but she was just very unemotional besides being at just an almost excited level about this case. Makes me theorize she could possibly have a connection. The very fact this happened, should make her cry, she showed no emotion. I just REALLY hope this is investigated. I cannot believe it wasn’t she was stalked! Thank you for sharing this. I hope I haven’t said anything upsetting unnecessarily that you haven’t maybe thought of too, if so, I apologize. For the justice of Morgan and all women stalked, this MUST be investigated. We, as a nation, CAN do things. We can ALL demand an investigation. The petition is great. The point is, this needs more media attention, your blog has definitely served its purpose, you have not written this and relived it in vain. It is up to all of us now to do just something, no matter how small it seems, to get this stared.

    • Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your observations. Going forward I do believe this still needs and will get more media attention and this case will be opened on way or another. She was stalked and she was murdered and it needs to be solved and people need to know what happened so changes can be made. I do believe (just from the readers that contact me from this blog) that people will stand up and demand that these changes be made. Our families are our most valuable asset and we need to protect them. Take care and please stay in touch!

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