“48 HOURS MYSTERY” TUESDAY’S EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE PLAYED BY POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER IN PVT. JOHN NEEDHAM’S KILLING OF HIS GIRLFRIEND WAS #1 IN HOUSEHOLDS AND VIEWERS
CBS News’ 48 HOURS MYSTERY TUESDAY (R) was first in households (4.0/07) and viewers (5.66m), while delivering a 1.5/04 in adults 25-54, according to preliminary Nielsen same day ratings for June 26. Compared to last week, 48 HOURS MYSTERY TUESDAY was even in both adults 25-54 and adults 18-49.
The broadcast, which aired on the eve of National PTSD Awareness Day, featured Troy Roberts’ emotional report on Pvt. John Needham, who beat to death the woman he loved, 19-year-old Jacque Villagomez. Needham’s story started in Iraq where he was severely injured in combat and exposed to multiple IED and grenade attacks. He was later diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Needham’s father says the war took a heavy toll on his son, and ravaged his mind and body. From the beginning, Needham took responsibility for Villagomez’s death but said he remembered little of the incident. He said that as they argued one night, something inside him snapped. He blamed his brain injury and PTSD for the beating that came next.
What’s unsettled about the case is the role Needham’s battle with PTSD played in Villagomez’s murder. Needham’s defense team had planned to use PTSD to explain his psychological state of mind when the murder occurred. As his lawyer was preparing for trial, John Needham died from an overdose of prescription painkillers.
This broadcast was produced by Chris Young Ritzen, producer-editors were Atticus Brady and Michael McHugh, associate producer was Lauren Clark, senior producer development was Kathleen O’Connell and senior producer was Judy Tygard. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
“Private Needham’s War” is one of several updated editions of 48 HOURS MYSTERY episodes that will be broadcast Tuesday nights at 10:00 PM this summer in addition to the program’s usual Saturday 10:00 PM telecasts.
For the week ending June 24, 48 HOURS MYSTERY TUESDAY was tied for #15 in households (4.1/07) and #21 in viewers (5.76m). Summer-to-date, most current, 48 HOURS MYSTERY TUESDAY is tied for #18 overall in households (4.0/07) and #23 in viewers (5.85m).
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