Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Maria Awes: Is She REALLY an Investigative Journalist? Not if You watched her Serial Killer: Devil Unchained

The media continues its downhill slide into garbage tabloid offerings. Already we have a majority of television news channels spouting fake news, claiming things that have no basis in fact but are purely a product of agenda. Now, true crime shows are descending into the pit, not much concerned with the “true” part of crimes, but simply about the moneymaking, exploitive, prurient aspects to the shows they present. Netflix is the worst offender with its travesty “Making a Murderer” in which a defense attorney is given the freedom to slant the show, to pervert the evidence so as to incite the audience into believing an innocent man (read: psychopathic cat-burning, rapist, serial killer) has been railroaded and should be released from prison.

Now, we see Oxygen (Oprah’s network that set out to do positive shows) doing nothing but true crime junk. I just participated in their show on The Case of Martha Moxley that turned out to be trash. Although a portion of the evidence I presented was aired, the host/ex-prosecutor Laura Coates and ex-police detective Mark Fuhrman poo-pooed what I said, yet never presented any evidence against my conclusions. They also never allowed the fact that Michael Skakel had an airtight alibi to be examined. Their agenda was anti-Michael Skakel and I was only brought on to offer another suspect which they would then shoot down. I will never again do a taped show without a strong belief that I am not being used to develop “drama” as opposed to being there to provide an expert analysis. Now, Discovery  is a network I have done decent stuff with including I, Detective for four years  which featured mostly police work and evidence analysis - and The Mysterious Death of Cleopatra in which I presented evidence supporting an alternative manner of death (homicide) for the queen as opposed to a suicide by cobra. Fast forward a number of years and Discovery has pretty much nothing but killer shows (literally just about the killers and how cool they are).  So I am not surprised they aired Maria Awes’ Committee Film’s Serial Killer: Devil Unchained, a four part series giving infamy to scumbag serial killer Todd Kohlhepp and ignoring much of the truth about the reality of the police work and his claim to be the Superbike mass murderer.

Maria Awes, executive producer and supposed investigative reporter for Committee Films and this Discovery series, has managed to put together an exciting look into the mind of a serial killer and all the horrible things he has done. Lot of reading of Kohlhepp’s letters, face time with him in prison, and reenactments of his rapes and murders will surely give something for Kohlhepp to jerk off to every night of his incarcerated life and titillate the viewers as well . I found it disgusting and revolting to give this kind of attention to a psychopathic killer. Simply reprehensible.

But, let’s move on to the either lack of ethics or lack of investigative journalism of Maria Awes or both. She claims to be an investigative reporter and the series certainly shows her going about researching and trying to get answers. But going through the motions or faking the motions for a television show is not the same thing as true investigative journalism. TRUE investigative journalism like TRUE crime involves the TRUTH, something which does not appear to be important to Maria Awes.

When the promo came out for the show, I was shocked to hear in the video that she and Gary Garrett, the “biographer” of Todd Kohlhepp (read: some dude who once worked with him who claims to be a writer of some sort and became Kohlhepp’s prison pet and, therefore, useful to Awes) both question whether Kohlhepp had committed the Superbike mass murder because of two major issues; one, he claimed all four victims were shot in the forehead when, in fact, none were, and two, that he had the order of the shooting wrong. What I DIDN’T hear was my name being mentioned, that I was the profiler who worked on the case with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and that I was the profiler who analyzed Superbike via all the evidence I viewed at the SCSO during the week I spent with them, nor that I was the profiler who went public WITH that evidence and was very vocal that Todd Kohlhepp made a false confession and the two biggest proofs of this were the claim the victims were shot in the forehead and that he had the order of the shooting wrong. When I watched the show, sure enough, my name was mentioned nowhere in it and nowhere does the show credit me with the original analysis bringing up these important points.

Both, Awes and Garrett have responded to my accusations of unethical journalism, that they presented this analysis as their own without crediting my work. Both have stated they came up independently with these conclusions but, neither claim they never knew about me or read my work. In other words, they read my blogs online that included all of my analyses. Even Todd Kohlhepp has read my blogs!

Pat - it is important you know that all of the reporting for the series was based on an independent review of the full case file and consultation with others close to the case.  It was not based on any work you had previously done on the case. Maria Awes via Twitter

Ms. Brown, I’m disappointed to read such harsh word directed toward me, particularly without provocation. My opinions are based solely on my extensive investigation. My questioning of Todd’s guilt in the SBM shooting came solely from my first face-to-face interview with him at Broad River Correctional Institution following the receipt of his lengthy account of the crime. After this meeting I returned to the ballistic evidence I had obtained through a FOIA request. The evidence in my hands at that time was incomplete, but using photographs of the building and video footage from Geraldo at Large, I matched the locations of each shell casing, except for two. These two casings raised many questions. I'm sure you can guess which two. Determining their position in the building became a priority. Eventually, I gained access to the files and received my answer, using the same ballistic evidence you have studied. I have used no one’s opinions in my verdict, which I won’t voice here. Furthermore, I question your sincerity of wanting the truth behind the crime, when you have attacked John Douglass, claiming his profile was off base, and now you are coming after me because you think my conclusions are similar to yours. It baffles me that your first response to hearing someone with a comparable opinion is to verbally assault them, particularly since all you’ve heard of my beliefs is a seconds-long snippet. I’m studying the same case files as you—accept that my conclusions might parallel (or diverge) from yours. But you don’t know what my conclusions are, so I would appreciate some courtesy in how you speak about me publicly. I welcome a discussion about the case, but a personal attack is uncalled for. Garry Garrett via Facebook Messenger

Garrett seems like an opportunist, so I really don’t care that much about his lack of ethics (although when his book comes out, I will not be happy if he continues to present my analysis as his own without properly footnoting and crediting me).  But, Awes has no excuse. As a long time reporter and producer (for Minnesota local news stations and for Discovery Channel and for her own company), she knows both of me and of my work. I did a lot of crime news for Minnesota during my four years living there (and after I moved back to MD).  She clearly knows how to do preliminary research on any subject matter before pitching a show to a network like Discovery. So, do tell, how is it she can entirely leave me out of the documentary (and for that matter, not include Don Corbett, retired police detective who worked a long time on the Superbike case and wrote a blog for me about the case at The Daily Profiler) or at least credit  me in the documentary for the analyses she is going to use that are clearly mine. I really don’t care if you come to a similar conclusion after looking at the evidence; if you read my analyses first and THEN saw the rest of the stuff, you can’t claim it was 100% your determination. My work must be mentioned or it is simply theft, plagiarism, and unethical as hell.

Here are the TEN blogs Maria Awes and Gary Garrett had to have read (even Todd Kohlhepp admitted to reading them when talking to detectives). Please give them a read, media folk, and others, and tell me that I was unknown to them and my work had no influence on them. The first one was written in 2012 after America’s Most Wanted did a spot on Superbike and Sheriff Wright lied to the public. After the blog went online, Wright trashed me on television news, claiming I read everything about the case on the Internet. I followed up with three blogs about the case evidence and Don Corbett wrote one about the SCSO and Sheriff Chuck Wright.. I went to the press about this and nothing was written. After Todd’s false Superbike confession, I wrote five more blogs, three right afterwards in 2016 and two more in 2017 and the local newspaper did comment that I did not think he was guilty of that crime. Unfortunately, NO media would present the issue that none of the victims were shot in the forehead. Oh, hey, notice that blog actually titled None of the Superbike Victims were Shot in the Forehead? Don’t you think Ms. Awes saw that? Two or three years ago? Before she actually got hold of any actual documentation from the police or FOIA?

Oh, lastly, I almost forgot, even though evidence was presented that Todd Kohlhepp didn’t actually know how Superbike went down, retired FBI profiler John Douglass tells Awes on the show that he probably just didn’t remember. Awes agrees...yeah, Kohlhepp is still likely guilty of Superbike. And, let’s leave out the FACT the police actually TOLD Melissa Brackman (wife of victim Scott Ponder) that Kohlhepp knew something only the killer and the police knew, that “all the victims were shot in the forehead.” An investigative reporter with ethics and a desire for the truth? I don’t think so, Ms. Awes.


 Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Second Tragedy of the Superbike Motorsports Quadruple Murders


Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: I Read it on the Internet: Superbike Murders - Part One


Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: I Read it on the Internet: Superbike Murders - Part Two


 Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: I Read it on the Internet: 

Superbike Murders - Part Three

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
July 31, 2017


Unknown said...

These episodes are dragged out in a six part series that will bore you to death. Irritatingly she's constantly on the brink of finding out if he has killed more, only to find out he's a pathological liar and very boring. Snoozefest!!

PeterMac said...

Pat. I fear you are never likely to get anyone involved in these series to admit anything. The Netflix one about the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal 12 years ago was nothing more than a re-hash of their official story, and any other scenario was either ignored or dismissed - again, as you point out, without any evidence being brought forward.
Unforgivably the self-styled 'Investigative Journalist' and Editor of The Olive Press, a tabloid advertising sheet given away free at supermarket check-outs in southern Spain, was allowed in 2 episodes to tell outright lies direct to camera, when the background shots proved he was lying, even as he was speaking, or providing the voice over.
He says for example, that he was the only journalist at the scene until later in the afternoon, but the video taken on the day shows a group of at least 6 of them in a huddle, comparing notes and looking at each others clipboards.
It is almost beyond parody, but then when he earnestly describes a deep trench right outside the apartment, and actually points to the road to make sure we don't think it was somewhere else, only then to have Netflix show photos from all angles showing rows of cars parked in exactly the place he has been telling the world was being dug up, we have to wonder who is managing this deliberate dis-information.
I wrote to the Producer and the Director of the Netflix film, but as we might expect, got no reply.
Clarke's response is merely to brand me as a Troll in his newspaper, which I take as an admission that he has nothing else to say.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I'm translating that movie for certain TV and I'm 100% agree with Ms. Pat. That series is like parody and has nothing to do with professional journalism. Ms. Awes acts like "Oh my God I'm so smart" person. She confuses plots and subplots of the case, the series is horrendously tedious. I have no empathy for serial killers and I'm not gonna justify Todd Kohlhepp, but showing him as some kind of idiot is little not fair. That film is about Ms. Awes, not Mr. Kohlhepp.