A Valentine’s Day murder: The best ‘Dateline’ NBC episodes for Feb. 14
Love is war. You know what happens in war? People die. What better way to celebrate that sentiment and Valentine’s Day than curling up on the couch, getting your favorite takeout, and watching hours & hours of true crime on Dateline.
Since its premiere on NBC in 1992, Dateline has been a staple in the true-crime diet of murderinos everywhere. Covering murder before it was cool, the show has since gone on to meme status with one of its investigative reporters, Keith Morrison. With delightful glee, Morrison analyzes and leads us through gruesome murder scenes. What’s not to love?
Whatever your reason for watching Dateline, here are a few episodes to watch this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re by yourself or with the one you love.
“Secrets of Lake Seminole” –Season 27, Episode 21
Love can tear you to shreds. At least that’s what police initially thought happened to Mike Williams, who was presumed to be eaten by alligators. The thirty-one-year-old real estate appraiser was celebrating his sixth wedding anniversary on Lake Seminole in Jackson County, Florida on December 16th, 2000. When he never returned to his B&B from his morning duck hunt excursion, his wife knew something was wrong.
Even though police ruled Mike Willams’s death to be at the mouths of alligators, that didn’t sit right with Williams’s mother, Cheryl Ann. Of course, a mother’s intuition is never wrong and seventeen years later a shocking confession is made.
With twists & turns straight out of a true-crime lover’s fantasy, correspondent Dennis Murphy weaves a tantalizing tale full of betrayal & heartache. Happy Valentine’s Day!
“The Carrollton Plot” – Season 23, Episode 4
Most love stories on Dateline end fatally, but for Nancy Howard, the end of her marriage proved to be a fate worse than death. The Carrollton Texas mother of three had been in a loving relationship with her husband, Frank, for over thirty years. When Frank went away on business to California in 2012, his then fifty-three-year-old wife was brutally attacked in her garage.
Spoiler Alert: She doesn’t die but who shot her and who was behind the attack is a lot more complicated than it appears. What’s so powerful about this episode is the strength emulating from victim Nancy Howard. Proving suffering continues long after perpetrators are behind bars, “The Carrollton Plot” will make you question who you believe and if you should ever fall in love – or have children.
“Family Business” – Season 28, Episode 40
Though Valentine’s Day is mainly a day focused on romantic love, the love of a family can be transformative – the hate of a family can be destructive. Roberto Ayala worked as a farm manager for Paul Moore, a rancher from a well-known Colusa County, California family. While tending to Moore’s rice fields with his seven-year-old son, the forty-three-year-old went to adjust an irrigation pump.
After a loud explosion, the boy looked up to see his father on fire. Seeing the entire Ayala family show up on camera to talk about how much they love and miss their dad is completely heartbreaking. The episode does a good job juxtaposing the Ayala family dynamic with the Moore’s, adding a more sinister layer to the tragedy.
While this episode is less love-centric, it’s hosted by everyone’s favorite true crime dreamboat zaddy, Keith Morrison asking all the right questions. Just imagine – a bottle of wine, chocolate, and two hours of Keith Morrison crooning to you about murder. That’s our kind of Valentine’s Day!
You can watch these Dateline episodes and the rest of the series on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. What’s your favorite episode of Dateline? Let us know in the comments.