Behind the Scenes

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There are many pictures posted today — and some explanation is needed (certainly for two of the pictures.) All but two of the pictures are from our quick trip to Paris last week. The other two? Totally random, but I could not resist. In going through my pictures to select some to post today, I found two sort of funny pics: one of me with Jeanine Pirro and the other with Shepard Smith.

• Click here to check out my photo essay

The picture with Jeanine was taken this past spring when we were on the road for the show (Florida) and Jeanine happened to be in the same town... so we drafted her to be a guest on the show. After the show, she came back to the hotel with me and we had one (yes, one and only one) beer together and one of my producers grabbed my camera and took the picture. I figure Jeanine won't kill me for posting this picture (she has a beer in her hand) because if you look closely, I have a beer in my hand, too. (In case we could ever be so lucky that you would wonder, yes, we are both over 21!) I promised you behind the scenes and I figure that you might be interested to know that we often debate our guests, walk off the set, sit and talk as friends — yes, have a beer... and even directly from a bottle (I am from Wisconsin, I don't know Jeanine's excuse.)

The second random picture is one with Shep Smith. I think my husband took this picture at one of the political debates — not sure — but I decided to post it. I think the picture conveys the behind the scenes: Shep and I are good friends.

Now for the Paris pictures: If you follow the blog, you know we were in Paris working for two days last week (and then surprisingly Friday morning got detoured to London when we expected to be headed home to the USA.) While in Paris, we worked from sunup to sundown... and beyond. For example, we finished our Thursday work "day" — which started at 8 a.m. Thursday — at 2 a.m. Friday. We then headed back to our hotel (not the Crillon which is one of the posted pics), packed and were up at 5 a.m. for the unexpected detour to London via train. I have posted pics of interviews we did in Paris, as well as our crew and producer. What you may notice is that the background changes from daylight to dark (I told you we worked until 2 a.m. Friday!) The Paris interviews will not be aired until some time mid to late August... so stay tuned for that.

The train ride to London was uneventful — I feel like I missed it. As it turned out, we (the three of us traveling together) did miss it. We were so tired that we all fell asleep just minutes into the ride and work up 3 1/ 2 hours later when the conductor announced our arrival in London. What was unusual is that we were the only ones in our train car and thus pretended we had a private train. Because the train car was empty, we each took two seats, put up the arm rests and slept. I imagine it was quite a sight: The three of us looking homeless sprawled out on the seats of the train. I was the last to go to sleep so naturally, since I am stuck in the 7th grade, took their pictures and then before I went to sleep made sure my camera was sufficiently hidden to avoid the risk of retaliation should one of them awaken. I have not posted the pictures of the two colleagues sleeping (but I will hold the pictures over their heads. And if they annoy me? Well, the pictures will get posted! I hold onto my pictures forever... as Jeanine and Shepard will learn if — when? — they read this blog!)

When I got home, someone forwarded me an editorial from a local Midwestern paper criticizing me for asking the question whether three peculiar events — one murder, two disappearances of women with some similarities (not all) in an area of 120 miles — were the work of a serial killer. This was a question, not a statement of fact and after three unusual events. First, it is wise to ask that question early on, rather than later, if indeed it is true — since you want to comb the individual cases right away for common clues to help find the culprit (and thus avoid more events.) Even something that could seem insignificant in one case (an eyewitness account that could later fade) if common to the others could help get a dangerous person off the street. Aggressive police always ask themselves that question immediately when they find three peculiar events with some similarities. There has been a lot of heartache in cases where that question was not asked early.

Second, and where the focus must be, there IS a killer out there who still has not been caught. The killer is not a serial killer, but a killer with an uncertain future. Kelly Nolan's murderer still roams the area. Obviously police want to catch him (or her) before he can strike again. If my question should make people more vigilant in the area until this killer is caught, that's not such a bad thing. Yes, I agree if I lived in the area I would feel some comfort knowing a serial killer was not out there... but not sure how much more comfort knowing a killer is out there who might strike again. Serial killers DO strike again. Other killers? Sometimes... sometimes not.

There is one other oddity: Over the past few years, I have received dozens and dozens of e-mails about missing or dead college students — mostly male — along the Wisconsin/Minnesota border. (Madison, where college student Kelly Nolan was murdered, is about 100-plus miles from the border.) Over the years I have done segments on the string of deaths or missing college students in this area. It is weird that there have been so many college student deaths or disappearances in this area, but it could be a coincidence. Many — I get the e-mails from viewers in the area — are suspicious that the college deaths or missing cases are linked and that the authorities won't consider this. That I don't know. I do know the authorities publicly say they are not linked and that there are explanations for several (alcohol/suicide.) I have no way of knowing for certain about these cases but until definitively solved, a good investigator remains skeptical.

In any event, I suppose we should all worry less about what we call a killer and focus instead on getting justice for Kelly Nolan (the murdered student) and finding her killer to make the community safer.

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