I've produced a lot of crime stories, but few have the sensational elements of what I called "A Father's Justice," reported and narrated by 16x9 chief correspondent Carolyn Jarvis.
YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL 16X9 STORY HERE.
At the heart of the story is Aurea Vazquez-Rijos--blonde, irresistible and relentless. And by all accounts, ruthless. While a fugitive in Italy, she was known as the "Vedova Nera"--the Black Widow. Now she is in prison in Puerto Rico, awaiting what is certain to be a headline-grabbing murder trial.
Aurea is accused of masterminding the murder of her husband, Canadian millionaire Adam Anhang, on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2005. She's charged with promising a hitman $3 million to kill Anhang, fearing that an imminent divorce would leave her penniless.
After the murder, Aurea fled Puerto Rico and flew to Italy where she started another family. I spent several days in Florence, tracing her movements and meeting the Italian banker who was financing her defence.
Carolyn conducted interviews in Puerto Rico and in Winnipeg, where Abe Anhang, the victim's father, was determined that Aurea would be brought to justice. He tracked her every movement. However, it would take years, and the intervention of an Italian detective, Interpol and the FBI before she was arrested in Spain and extradited to face trial in San Juan.
That trial will soon unfold.
YOU CAN SEE THE FULL STORY HERE
It's the story of three individuals--Leonard Rodrigues, Rohan Pais and Kate Bainbridge--who were all diagnosed as vegetative or "brain dead" after a catastrophic accident or illness. But the doctors were wrong. As their families discovered, all three did in fact have some brain function, and two of them are on the road to recovery. Kate, who lives in Cambridge, England, has actually written a book and paints watercolours.
In the case of Rohan and Kate, their brains were unlocked through the work of a remarkable Anglo-Canadian scientist--Dr. Adrian Owen of Western University in London, Ontario. Owen discovered that as many as one-fifth of all patients diagnosed as vegetative may have some detectable brain function, and that this enables them to communicate with their doctors and loved ones.
And that may be the first step to recovery from brain injury once thought to be incurable.
In conversation with 16x9 executive producer Laurie Few, I talked about the making of this story. YOU CAN SEE THAT CONVERSATION HERE.