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NBC Dateline Wraps up the Paige Birgfeld Case

The_Kitchen_Guy

Legend Member
Silver Member
Nov 4, 2005
12,459
79
NBC News Dateline ran an episode this evening entitled Double Lives about the disappearance and murder of our fellow Cheffer, Paige Birgfeld. The first forty minutes of the show was a review of the story we all know too well. The file films, interviews with Paige's parents and the the trail of Paige's belongings along US 50 brought it all back to me. For me, it was like writing these updates all over again.

In the second part of the show, the story of Paige's double life came out. Now that the trial is over and Paige's adductor/killer has been convicted, details of evidence came out. The investigators had an incredible collection of evidence, much of it circumstantial but damning, about several potential persons of interest.

Several persons of interest were described, one strong person of interest was particularly described, George Coraluzzo.

But in the end, it all boiled down to one person of interest, Lester Ralph Jones. The evidence LE had on Jones was kept secret until the trial, and much of it was revealed to us during the second hour of the Dateline episode.

In the last half hour, we relived finding Paige's remains in Wells Gulch. It's a dry riverbed in far western Colorado, in the next county. Once her remains were found, the case accelerated. George Coraluzzo was still a person of interest, but he drowned in New Jersey several years ago. Security video and testimony collaborated George's alibi. That pointed LE directly to Jones. He was arrested and brought to trial.

The episode wrapped up with the trials of Lester Ralph Jones, including the first trial that ended in a mistrial. And, of course, the conviction of Jones in the retrial.

The program wrapped up with shots taken from Paige's date book - one of the shots was of the dates Paige took her children to Atlantis - a trip she had earned with The Pampered Chef.

Probably the one part of the story that impacted me the most was the trail of Paige's belongings found strewn along US 50. At the time, we all hoped it was a "trail of bread crumbs" that would lead to Paige. As it turns out, that is most likely what it was. Detectives think Jones abducted Paige and drove her to Wells Gulch in her own car. Even bound, with duct tape over her mouth, she was able to toss things out of her purse from the car. Searchers were likely at that site, but with her body buried in the gulch, she was not found until spring runoff exposed her remains, five years later.

Thank you, NBC, for giving us a nice wrap-up. (The Pampered Chef was mentioned and the logo shown, twice, without the usual "kitchen gadget" crack that most reports have used in the past.) The secret life of Paige was discussed tastefully and not the focus of the story, as so many other outlets have done.

Paige, you are still loved and missed by all your friends and family. Rest in peace.

(Note, if you missed the broadcast, Dateline runs episodes online.)
 

dianevill

Senior Member
Gold Member
May 18, 2005
2,539
0
Great recap to the episode! Thank you, again, for your vigilance in keeping Paige's memory alive and for keeping us all updated over the years!
 

legacypc46

Senior Member
Gold Member
Oct 9, 2006
2,346
6
KG, Thank you for the continuing updates. Sad to think about the trail of items. -Leggy
 

The_Kitchen_Guy

Legend Member
Silver Member
Nov 4, 2005
12,459
79
You're right, Leggy, while the story was being told, I had a video playing in my mind of Paige trying to leave a trail for searchers to follow. It is all too painfully clear to me now what happened, the order in which it happened and I suspect how it happened. As Frank Birgfeld said at the conclusion of the trial, no one won.

We may be coming to the time to close up the daily updates. The Jones defense team hasn't made any movement toward an appeal. We can probably guess why.
 

raebates

Legend Member
Staff member
Dec 6, 2005
18,356
436
Thank you, KG, for faithfully keeping Paige at the forefront of our minds with your updates. You have been a faithful friend to her all this time.
 

scottcooks

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jul 7, 2005
1,932
96
For years the mystery kept us bound in its spell
A story mainstream media couldn't share well
Salacious details which were hard to believe
Loss of friend, mom and daughter caused our hearts to grieve.

The story of Paige was a story gone mad
No closure for so long, an end must be had
Families torn asunder when the light of day
Shone into the dark spots where some lost their way

Yet through the lone bleak times and emptiest days
A soldier stood questioning and offered us ways
To share our grief and to connect one to another
To light a candle, jot a note and remember the mother

The avatars changed as the story unfolded
Some leads ran hot while the others grew colder
The first saddest news came when out of the ground
Examiners concluded that yes, Paige had been found.

That her family could have closure was just the start
Of the trial and agony that pulled at our hearts
While the first trial revealed Lester's deceit and beguile
The jury was locked and so led a mistrial.

Yet the soldier of truth kept this forum alive
With daily news updates, plus historical jive
"On this date in history" came other tales, told and reknown
Still keeping a vigil; so Paige wasn't alone.

That even past the veil of life and death we can see
This saga mattered to him, to you and to me
So Kitchen Guy, for displaying this love - kind and deep
We thank you, for helping us learn, know and weep.

The story of Paige is the story of each of us
Of life lived, secrets kept, and things out of reach of us.
What's there to learn, what meaning's to be found?
Kitchen Guy showed the way - pass the love around.

Knowledge is power and to know helped us grieve,
The story of Paige had lessons to leave
Tell stories, learn history and know our brother
Kitchen Guy had Paige's back. So? Love one another!

Does anyone have the time to start a Go Fund Me in Paige's name to contribute to Polaris or Hope for Justice?
 

chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
118
Oh, Scottcooks, that is wonderful.

Thank you, KG for your tireless quest to keep us informed.
 
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