Story videos AMW wants to hear your story

Most criminals featured on America's Most Wanted try their best to cover their tracks and head for the hills, hoping never to be seen or heard of again.
Then there’s the other kind: those who get a sick kind of pleasure from dancing with danger and taunting the police to just try and catch them.
One such criminal is the killer of 8-year-old April Tinsley. April’s body was discovered in her home town of Fort Wayne, Ind. after she had been missing for three days in 1988.
Although the coroner was able to determine the attacker suffocated April after she was raped, there was very little insight into who the attacker was.
Since 1990, someone claiming to be the killer has been leaving cryptic messages around town, threatening other children that he will strike again.
“Experts at the FBI say that this killer is a risk-taker who enjoys challenges,” says AMW producer Jenna Griffiths, who spent months digging into the case. “By leaving notes he is reliving the crime over and over again.”
The author’s letters were written in crayon, and full of spelling and grammatical errors. “I am the same person an Rape an kill Aproil tinsley here is a present foR yo you are my next vitem..,” he wrote.
“Cops think that he is purposely misspelling words to disguise his intelligence and handwriting,” Jenna says.
According to police, the “presents” referred to in the note have included used condoms and several photographs of the unknown killer, naked from the waist down.
“I couldn’t believe that a killer would taunt police the way this killer did,” Jenna said. “He literally gave police pictures of himself and his own DNA.” You can see photos of the clues in the case file at
“Knowing that we are helping families helps me work on such disturbing cases. This case is more than 20 years old. The family and law enforcement didn’t have any other options,” Jenna said.
This Saturday night, we have an exclusive update to the story, and you'll hear from both April’s mother and the original detective who worked the case more than 20 years ago.

The Hidden Threat of Identity Theft
Most of us might not realize how easy it can be for a thief to get a hold of our identities. But this silent crime can affect any one of us. Can you be sure that your identity is safe? And if your personal information has been compromised, do you know what to do to regain control of your life? This week at the AMW Safety Center, we've got the tips you need to make sure you stay on guard against identity thieves.
Justice: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Every month, AMW receives hundreds of letters from viewers seeking answers about their missing loved ones.
This weekend, we’re launching a brand new feature that will finally help the loved ones of the missing have their voices heard by millions.
“John Walsh was touched by the overwhelming number of missing adults,” says AMW producer Peter Gillespie, who produced the latest edition of the “My Story” segments. “He wanted us to do something about it, so we all got together and came up with an idea.”
John Walsh brought in one of his longtime advisors to lead the team: Cheri Nolan, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General who spent years at America’s Most Wanted before joining the U.S. Department of Justice. Cheri brings to AMW a unique background and skill set; she’s spent more than 20 years working on behalf of victims of crime and their families.
“For the first time ever, families of the long-term missing – whether adults or children – will make their voices heard to the whole country,” Cheri said.
The driving force behind My Story, which has been a part of for years, is that the victims’ families can tell their stories in their own words.
“We thought people could make their own videos and send them to us. We’ll put it on, and we'll make some of them a part of the show,” says Peter. “The timing just seemed right.”
Since there are often aren’t many clues, missing persons cases are often difficult for television viewers to help solve.
“When someone goes missing, it’s all just a big mystery. It’s not cut and dried. Where are they?” Peter asked. “In the past, AMW producers have had very few options for helping a missing person's family. This gives us a chance to give these families hope.”
In a My Story video, the missing person’s loved ones can interview themselves. Once that video arrives at AMW, we'll do the rest.
The ones that make it to the television show will be the ones that come from the heart.
“We’re looking for emotion. We want to see the love the family had for this person and why they mean so much to them,” Peter says. “The emotional impact on the family and how it mobilizes them is the thing that helps turn a lot of these cases around.”
You can see the television premiere of the first My Story videos this Saturday. For families who need some help, it only takes one tip to prove that justice is just a letter -- or video -- away.

Catch AMW on FOX, Saturday Nights 9pm Eastern and Pacific; 8pm Central.

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Tags: AMW, American, Most, Wanted, missing, story, video


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Comment by missjean on July 18, 2009 at 5:46pm
Angelica franco,The news story is now on You-tube re: Celeste...
Comment by angelica franco on July 18, 2009 at 3:24pm
I think this is awsome for AMW to do is truly a blessing.
Comment by missjean on July 18, 2009 at 3:14pm
Getting the word out will help others .....while it was posted on other sites and Peace 4 the missing some were still not aware ....that AMW is becomeing active in missing this manner.
Comment by missjean on July 18, 2009 at 3:12pm
America's Most Wanted Makes an Announcement
« on: July 17, 2009, 08:08:06 PM »


Hello everyone,

I have good news for you in the form of a new awareness venture for your missing loved one with the America's Most Wanted (AMW) TV show.

The Missing Persons Producer asked me to make sure you knew about this, and to encourage you to tune into the show to see the announcement. This is something that I know many of you have wanted and asked for and now it's here.

We all know how visuals are critical in the search for missing persons. We've always believed in more than visuals, and that is in the sharing of your story. What better way than to get the face of your missing loved one in the public's eye, tell your story in your words, and add the personal element to help others understand and want to help.

The producer tells about My Story in her own words:

"The launch of the “My Story” segment of America’s Most Wanted will take place this Saturday night. My Story will allow the loved ones of missing persons to submit video to America’s Most Wanted about their case, told in their own words. As the show is configured it will air 46 minutes into the show. For people that miss it, the show is always available at after the show airs. On Saturday night people will be able to go on to see, download and print the instructions and guidelines for submitting video to us.

We only have 46 minutes of airtime each week. The missing cases will be competing with other cases for airtime. Our website has the capacity to hold these videos as well so that in addition to a larger presence of missing case information being on the web, we will be putting the videos up once edited."

She would like to know what you think about this and your comments after seeing the show. If you email me with those, I will compile them and send them to her. Be sure to indicate if you wish to remain anonymous, or sign your name to your comments.

In addition to this exciting announcement, I have been told that three families will have their missing loved one featured on the show.

Patricia Viola:
Joe Pichler:
Jennifer Kesse:

Check your local listings for station and time, as this may vary.

Remember, there is always hope.........

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason
Help us find the missing: Become an AAN Member

All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.
Comment by Lourdes Pagan on July 18, 2009 at 10:54am
Thanks for sharing MissJean. Criminals can run all they want, however sooner or later JUSTICE WILL BE KNOCKING AT THEIR DOOR
Comment by John Quinn on July 18, 2009 at 1:28am
Wow missjean..This is awesome news !! Several of us have played with the idea of a show like this and now it's a reality !! Thank you so much for your post and giving us something positive in our lives !! With much love and Big Hugs...ALWAYS...john
Comment by Sara Huizenga on July 18, 2009 at 1:26am
Regarding as well, I received the following update/info. from Todd Matthews of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Database, as well as from Doe Network....

Hi Todd

I just wanted you to know that beginning Saturday, July 18th America’s Most Wanted will be airing a regular (not necessarily weekly) segment entitled “My Story.” My Story will allow families of long term missing persons (adults or children) to submit to our website and air their story about their missing loved one. This will be the first time ever families of the missing can have their voices heard. During the show John Walsh will announce that information will be on our website on the how-to’s and guidelines for submission.

Feel free to let people know. The segment will air about 45 minutes into Saturday night’s show!

Thanks so much for sharing this vital info. with Peace4, Todd!!
Comment by Sara Huizenga on July 18, 2009 at 1:20am
missjean, awesome awesome awareness post here, thanks so much for adding to it to peace4!!! this is fantastic news! so many thanks and kudos to amw as well!!
Comment by missjean on July 17, 2009 at 8:23pm
As the awarness grows so does are Hope !


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