BLAME EPISODE 10: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A DOCTOR TO BE A CORONER? – When Vickie Mahrling was 11 years old, her older brother, Leroy Drieth, died in a car crash.
That was shocking – but not nearly as shocking as the decision made in a matter of hours by a deputy county coroner, who was not a medical doctor, that Drieth killed himself by crashing his Chevy into a tree.
The decision was based on a short conversation with Drieth’s girlfriend, and almost immediately his family questioned it.
Twenty-five years later, they had his body exhumed. And what they learned confirmed their initial suspicions in a case with eerie similarities to the death of Jill Wells.
Come along as we examine those cases that highlight Colorado’s coroner system, which has its roots in the Old West and which lets nearly anyone – regardless of education – serve in a position critical to the thorough investigation of unexpected, mysterious and violent deaths.
BLAME is a podcast produced by the 9Wants to Know investigative reporting team at 9NEWS in Denver, Colo. Reporter Kevin Vaughan takes you along as 9Wants to Know investigates a mother’s death, her husband’s secrets and the lax police work that far too quickly accepted the story that the couple’s 6-year-old son was to BLAME.
It takes you back to the beginning, the day Jill Wells died and her husband Mike told authorities their son Tanner pulled the trigger, to re-examine the crime and ask investigators, family and friends the question: Who’s really to BLAME?
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Review key evidence in the case, meet the key players and learn more about the 9Wants To Know investigation into the death of Jill Wells on 9news.com/blame.