Ex-Craig law enforcement officer impressed with Dateline special
If you missed Friday’s two-hour Dateline NBC special that included a portion on Craig and Moffat County, visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com and search “The Haunting.”
Jeff Corriveau, a former Moffat County Sheriff, said it was difficult to watch Friday’s installment of Dateline NBC.
But, the difficulty had nothing to do with the quality of the program.
Quite the contrary, he said.
“I thought they did a wonderful job,” Corriveau said. “It was a wonderful, compelling story.”
The story was a two-hour special called “The Haunting,” which documented the 1979 crime spree, arrest and trial of Steven Hatch and Glen Ake, and the fallout the duo’s actions had the victims.
Corriveau, who was an investigator at the time, was involved in the apprehension of the fugitives at a ranch north of Craig. Dateline staffers interviewed Corriveau and shot footage of the area December in Craig.
The episode aired at 8 p.m. Friday.
“It wasn’t easy to watch,” Corriveau said.
Corriveau said law enforcement officers are forever bound to survivors of violent crimes they investigate. This story, he said, was no exception.
The TV special followed siblings Brooks and Leslie Douglass, who were shot alongside their parents by Hatch and Ake in the family’s secluded Oklahoma home.
The parents died, but the siblings survived.
Brooks went on to become an Oklahoma state senator. He also wrote and acted in an upcoming biopic about the crime called “Heaven’s Rain,” in which Brooks learns to forgive the men who murdered his parents.
Corriveau said Dateline’s handling of the story honored the survivors.
“It did a very good job of portraying the struggles of Leslie and Brooks,” Corriveau said. “It showed their strength and their ability to forgive.”
Corriveau recounted details of the arrest for the camera, and he said it wasn’t the first time he had been on TV.
However, Corriveau said his television appearances were generally the result of tragedies.
“We had a triple murder here once,” he said. “We’ve had horrendous crimes right here in Moffat County.”
Corriveau said he is still in contact with some of the survivors of those crimes.
In one instance, the adult children of murder victims contacted Corriveau.
“They were toddlers at the time (of the crime),” he said. “They contacted me so they could learn the intimacies of the case.”
Corriveau also said he receives Christmas cards from survivors every year.
“You build relationships that last forever,” he said.
The same goes for the Douglass family. Although Corriveau hadn’t met Brooks and Leslie, he said he has followed their lives with interest.
“Your personal involvement hangs on,” he said.
Dateline NBC billed “The Haunting” as a story of closure for its victims.
Corriveau said he wasn’t sure if it would bring closure for him.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t think it would come back like this after 30 years.”
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