The new installment of ABC’s 20/20 will follow the investigation into Keith Hunter Jesperson—the “Happy Face Killer”—and how someone else shockingly confessed to his first murder, allowing the Jesperson to remain on the loose for years.
- ABC has revealed that the next episode of 20/20 will explore the case of Keith Hunter Jesperson who became known as the “Happy Face Killer.”
- Friday’s installment follows the 1990 investigation of the first murder commited by Jesperson, which was suddently derailed when a 57-year-old Laverne Pavlinac confessed to her part of the crime.
- Pavlinac told authorities that she and her boyfriend, 39-year-old John Sosnovske were responsible and the couple was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
- Meanwhile Jesperson remained on the loose and killed seven more women.
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) November 1, 2021
- But the story doesn’t end there. Pavlinac later revealed that her confession was false, she was trying to get out of what she described as an abusive relationship with Sosnovske.
- This two-hour presentation of 20/20 dives into how Pavlinac duped police. Audiences will hear audio from the couple’s confessions, police interviews, and a hidden microphone installed in Pavlinac’s apartment when she tried to convince Sosnovske that he was involved in the murder.
- 20/20 will feature reporting by “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang and presents an exclusive interview with Melissa Gavin, a friend of Julie Winningham, the last person Jesperson killed before his arrest.
- Additional new interviews include:
- John Ingram, lead detective who investigated Bennett’s murder
- Jim McIntyre, prosecutor for Pavlinac and Sosnovske’s cases
- Darlene Carpenter and Bonnie McAlpine, Pavlinac’s daughters
- Michelle White, Bennett’s sister
- Melissa Moore, Jesperson’s daughter
- Alafair Burke, bestselling author and former prosecutor who based her first novel on the case.
- The program also features Chang’s interview with Jesperson from the ABC News archives and gives an inside look at how police ultimately tracked Jesperson down.
- 20/20 airs Friday, November 5th (9:01-11:00 pm EDT), on ABC and streams on ABC News digital platforms and Hulu.
- 20/20 is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach.
- David Sloan is senior executive producer, and Janice Johnston is executive producer.