13 People Talk About What Happened When The Spotlight Disappeared From Folks Whose Crimes Were Covered by Media

I’ve always thought that it must be very strange to have been involved in a high-profile crime in some way.

What happens to the regular folks involved in the story after the media spotlight fades away?

Have you ever wondered about this? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s check out these interesting stories from folks on AskReddit.

1. Awful.

“My very young cousin was abducted and murdered, and the police had tunnel vision for my aunt.

It ended up being two people completely unrelated to us. The media was constantly painting my aunt in a bad light, social media made it worse because every Joe Blow and Jane Doe Facebook detective was on the case, theorizing why she was the killer and bringing up our families criminal history.

This actually prolonged the investigation because they were so focused on my aunt, even going as far as to hire actors to get her to confess to them.

The media dropped it as quickly as they had picked it up after the two scumbags went on trial. My aunt doesn’t talk to anyone anymore and always asks for handouts on social media.

My uncle however, started a charity in my cousins name and works to keep child murderers behind bars.”

2. They can be vile.

“In 2016, my sister was murdered in a robbery gone wrong on vacation a week before she was supposed to come home. The local news wrote article after article about her murder and twisted the facts around.

Journalists asking for interviews over and over when one of the most important people in your life was just murdered felt like an insult, and then they just forgot. It started up again during the trial and sentencing, but we were finally able to grieve once they were gone.

I feel so bad for families who lose loved ones, not just because of how painful it is, but because of how vile the media can be to the families who just want to grieve.”

3. A personal story.

“Surviving Victim here, pretty much… nothing.

After some years, it’s business as usual, even family don’t talk about it. At all. I mean, you’re the center of attention for a while, is invited to interviews and photos with police officers and.such… but soon it’s life as usual.

Once a TV show wanted to do a in-depth of “cases of …. in my home State” I refused an interview, they used old footage anyway, got in the spotlight for another couple of weeks, and that’s it.

If I got some trauma? I worked with some mental pros, and time helps to heal.”

4. Depression and anger.

“Crippling depression and PTSD, and a lot of anger.

A friend’s ex wife and their 10 year old daughter were viciously murdered by the ex wife then ex boyfriend.

It took about 10 more years for him to touch anything in the little girl’s room (birthday presents were still laid out as she was coming back from her visitation with mom).

Truly horrific and heartbreaking.”

5. My friend.

“A friend of mine was murdered in high school.

It was all over the news and there is a lot of speculation as to what happened. This lasted about a week and as soon as all the hysteria died down, they ruled her death a suicide. Not a shred of evidence points to her committing suicide. Literally nothing matches up.

The media started digging up more records and they reopened the case recently. But now that the media is dying down again, they haven’t been working on the case at all. Funny how that works.”

6. Living life.

“The West Mesa Murders.

One of the girls was my husband sister.

Found buried on the mesa, 11 girls and 1 fetus in 2009. Murderer never caught, probably will never be.

Not much of a aftermath story. The families all continued on with their lives and media coverage usually happens on an anniversary. A park was built for them in memory. 11 trees planted for each girl.

To this day no one talks about it.”

7. Hit and run.

“My friend and her husband were left to die by a hit and run driver in Florida.

They think the guy attempted to go to the hospital out of guilt thinking the couple were both comatose (man was, wife wasn’t), but they never found him.

They have had to have some major surgeries. The husband had to have a trach and everything. And this happened between jobs, so they didn’t have insurance. It’s a miracle the husband lived, and he’s had to be rushed back for major surgeries, thought he was going to have a trach for life, and it’s just been a sh*t show.

Now, their insurance company’s supply side has been hell to deal with, the doctor will order something and they can’t get it for months. They had some sort of device he needed for the trach (I couldn’t tell you the name), and they needed to send it back to one company.

The company told them to keep it til they got one from their insurance, and if they hadn’t, they’d have been without it for months. And this is with BCBS insurance.

Now, they’re at extra risk due to COVID, and the COVID deniers want to show up to their house without masks.

Whoever got away with it deserves all the guilt they got, because my friends have suffered everyday from suddenly having mobility difficulties in such a f*cked up healthcare system and the husband now being at high risk of dying from COVID.”

8. Never got over it.

“I went to high school with Brianna Denison.

After she went missing it felt like she was all over the news, and again when they found her body. But even with all the coverage it all felt very personal. It was an extremely small high school so we all knew each other pretty well.

My town never really got over it. The media forgot about it within the year.”

9. A very sad story.

“There was an Indian family who lived in my hometown. The youngest son was one of my fiancé’s best friends in the 90’s.

The oldest son in the family moved to another state because he married a black woman, which his father didn’t approve of. In 2000, 2 men broke into their house while oldest son was at work, & strangled his wife with a vacuum cleaner cord, in front of their 7 month old daughter. She was left unharmed. It appeared to be a break-in gone wrong, though they didn’t take anything.

6 years later, the two killers were caught in another state for commuting a different crime. They admitted that they were hired as hitmen by the young black woman’s FIL to kill her. He was tried & sentenced to life in prison without parole. To this day, he shows no remorse & openly hates black people.

The youngest son, the one who was friends with my fiancé, is still in complete denial that his father had that woman killed because of her race. The victim’s parents ended up adopting their granddaughter, because her father could not go on without his wife. Very sad story.”

10. Stopped altogether.

“I had an acquaintance that snapped and murdered his wife and 11 year old adopted son and drove to his 20 year old daughter’s college dorm and tried to strangle her. She fought him off and he later shot himself in a parking lot not far from her dorm.

It was a huge local story and even made the national news and then after the funerals, coverage just stopped. Altogether. Not so much as an update on the surviving daughter or any mention of WHY this happened.

The whole thing is pretty messed up.”

11. Still messed up.

“A friend from back in high school was kidnapped, taken across the country, beaten with a bat, r*ped, and severely abused overall.

He wouldn’t let her shower and had all these weird “rules.” He fell asleep at some point and my friend was able to escape and get help. She was featured on one of those true crime shows (I think it was I Shouldn’t Be Alive).

We aren’t close anymore, but from her FB posts it would appear that she is still really f*cked up from it.”

12. Trying to move on.

“I know a guy who was convicted (rightfully) of manslaughter. I don’t want to get into details because I don’t feel comfortable sharing the information about something like this when I’m not directly involved. I’m not really close to him but close enough that if we bump into each other on the street we could chat for easily 30 minutes.

He’s doing about as well as you can. He is an extremely good person and anyone who knows him accepts he made a big mistake a long time ago that lead to extremely unfortunate circumstances. The media portrayed him as an evil, vile creature but in reality he never hid or plead innocent, he did his time and he just wants to move on as best as he can.

I saw him a few months ago and, mentally, he seemed do be doing alright, but he’s lost quite a lot of weight and was saying that he’s struggling with sleep and stuff. When people who don’t know him see him, they do say horrible things.

Tbh if you’re reading this I can’t even blame you if you’re thinking “he ended a life, he deserves hell and worse” but honestly because of the circumstances I think he deserves a second chance and to move on. He is not a danger to society whatsoever. It’s just a really horrible situation.

I forgot to add; the media also published his home address (he has a wife and 3 children) in every newspaper and I think that, no matter what the crime was, that’s an abhorrent part of journalism that we accept as normal.”

13. The D List.

“A local D list celebrity in my small town had his house broken into so kids could throw a party. The story made national news even though he twisted the story to be way worse than it actually was.

He claimed his house was trashed but in reality his “million dollar home” was already falling apart and in foreclosure before the party. The “graffiti” on his property was actually done years before by his kids and their friends with his permission. Anyways, people across the country felt bad for him so they sent him donations that he claimed he was going to put towards helping the kids who “ruined” his home.

Years later, where did that money go? He kept all the money for himself and the kids or community didn’t see a cent of it. I’m not saying the kids or community deserved the money, but he turned a bad day for himself into a way to scam a bunch of money from people all across the country.

He made himself out to be this humble victim with a big heart, but once the media lost interest he took the money and ran. I think he lives far away in Florida now.”

Have you ever known someone who was involved in a crime and it was covered by the media?

What happened after the media went away?

Tell us your stories in the comments, please!