Winner 2002

The Interrogation of Michael Crowe

Court TV, JB Media and Hearst Entertainment

Based on a true story, The Interrogation of Michael Crowe follows the ordeal of the Crowe family, whose 14-year-old son, Michael, played here so poignantly by Mark Rendall, is forced to endure an excruciating police interrogation into the 1998 murder of his 12-year-old sister, Stephanie. Michael repeatedly denies any involvement in this terrible event, despite hours of grueling interrogation without a lawyer or his parents (Ally Sheedy as Cheryl and Michael Riley as Stephen Crowe) present. Ultimately, however, under intense pressure from Detective Taylor (John Bourgeois), Michael is broken and coerced into confessing to the crime, subsequently spending seven months in jail. All this occurred even though police had arrested a homeless, mentally ill man who had been seen near the Crowe home on the night of Stephanie’s murder. Though he was released, police retained possession of this individual’s clothing, and through the persistence of defense attorney, Dorothy Sorenson (Rosemary Dunsmore), the clothes were tested for DNA evidence. Subsequently, Michael’s confession was re-examined by the judge in the case and the videotaped interrogation proved that Michael’s admission was coerced. In May 2002, four years after the death of Stephanie Crowe, the California State’s Attorney General arrested the suspect who will go on trial in 2003. This dramatic re-creation of powerful actual events was written by Alan Hines and directed by Don McBrearty. Andrea Baynes and Jean Bureau served as Executive Producers. Mary D. Silverman and Rosalie Muskatt are Executives in Charge of Movie Development for Court TV, and Art Bell is Executive Vice President of Programming. For exploring the delicate plight of children in the hands of a determined criminal justice system, a Peabody Award goes to The Interrogation of Michael Crowe.