Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Investigation Discovery filming show about Paul Ezra Rhodes murders

If I seem a little distracted and erratic today, it's because I am going to be interviewed by Investigation Discovery, which is doing a show about the Paul Ezra Rhodes case of 1987 and the effect it had on eastern Idaho. Because I was in the Post Register newsroom at the time, my name was given to the show's producers, who are in town today.

I wasn't on the police beat at the time, I was assistant city editor. I had gotten married the year before, and Karen and I had just bought our first house, on Ninth Street. It was a freaky time.

Having reviewed the material the producers sent me ahead of time, especially the interview with Deputy Victor Rodriguez, the lead investigator for the Sheriff's Department, I can say this was a watershed moment for Idaho Falls. There had been homicides before, but nothing that engendered fear the way Rhodes' crimes did those few weeks in February and March.

Talking about this the other day with Mel Brown of Mel's Lock and Key, he told me their business went through the roof when Rhodes was on his spree. "We went from doing one or two houses a week to doing 10 or 20," he said. I find it interesting, however, and perhaps ironic that as soon as Rhodes was taken into custody business returned pretty much to normal. I know it's not possible to live at a constant fever pitch of fear, but I sometimes wonder if we're any more alert or vigilant than we were then

Anyway, I'll share more with you after this is done. It promises to be interesting.