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!