Matt's Memo: Airing the Steven Pieper video
Thu, 31 Mar 2011 04:27:11 GMT —
You can watch the video here of Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Andrews pulling over Steven Pieper in November.
The pain of the murder of Jenni-Lyn Watson is still terribly raw in our community. The case that moved so swiftly from discovery of her body to the arrest, conviction and sentencing of her ex-boyfriend Steven Pieper did not allow for time for passions to ease. It all wrapped up in three months time. We learned tonight how people still deeply feel the pain of her loss.
This afternoon our newsroom learned the District Attorney TMs office was releasing the video of Onondaga County Sheriff TMs Deputy Sean Andrews pulling over Pieper during a routine traffic stop for not having a front license plate. It was November 19th, the day Jenni-Lyn Watson was last seen alive. Deputy Andrews had no way of knowing the Pieper was transporting Jenni-Lyn TMs body in his trunk.
The video is remarkable first hand insight into the behavior of a killer. Pieper was overly apologetic in talking with the deputy about his missing license plate. He even manufactures an excuse that he is heading to Home Depot to get a couple of screws to hold the plate in place. The deputy acts professionally and gives Pieper a break by not ticketing him for the infraction. We later learned Pieper TMs next stop was a nearby park near the North Area YMCA where he dumped Jenni-Lyn TMs body.
District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick has cited this moment as critical to the ultimate discovery of Jenni-Lyn TMs body. The observant deputy on routine business made a traffic stop that likely left her remains in the vicinity instead of in some far away place. Had there been a trial the video would have aired there for all the public to see. It would have hurt then too.
The video only shows the VW Jetta Pieper was driving. We don TMt see his face, but we hear his voice. We do see Deputy Andrews walking and talking.
As we have aired this video tonight on television and posted it online we have received a range of passionate comments. Many of you have been upset by the video. Understandably so. It is incomprehensible to most of us that someone could kill a beautiful young woman and drive around with her body in a trunk. It would be surprising if people weren TMt upset. It is a terrible act committed by Mr. Pieper.
There is no question this video is newsworthy. A critical moment in one of the biggest stories of the year playing out on tape is by any definition news. There is nothing graphic in the video. We do not see any violence. It is the pain of what we now know happened a short time before that makes it awful to see.
We covered every aspect of this story from the moment Jenni-Lyn was reported missing. We amplified the effort to find her through our broadcasts and online reporting. We brought you every detail of the search, the discovery of her remains and the arrest of her killer. We told you about his guilty plea and his sentencing. We brought you the family TMs reaction and comments once Pieper was off to prison. This video is the logical next step in telling the story of this unforgettable tragedy where the raw pain still simmers just below the surface.
Thank you for letting us know how you feel about the video.
Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com . I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.
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