Watch the full Dateline episode 'The Night Brianna Vanished' and keep the conversation going with its producer, Meade Jorgensen.
Hi, my name is: Meade Jorgensen.
I am: a producer for Dateline NBC, and have been for 16 years.
When I first came across this story, I thought to myself: I first did this story in 2008, when Brianna's body had been identified, and police were still looking for a suspect. My first thoughts were, "I can't imagine what the mother of this young lady is going through. How horrible it must be for her to go through this ordeal" and second, "Oh my gosh, I have to get this story on the air… focus!" Two years later, revisiting this story, I am so glad the police caught this guy, and gave Brianna's mom closure.
My inspirations as a storyteller: My colleagues here at Dateline, who are the best storytellers in the business.
The one thing I'll never forget about Reno, Nevada: The craps tables.
The most memorable words I heard: "Seven out."
The most admirable person I met along the way: There were a few. First and foremost, Bridgette Denison was so helpful to us, and in such horrible circumstances. The detectives who worked the case ten months non-stop, Adam Wygnanski and David Jenkins, they retired after they broke this case, and they went out winners. The prosecutors who were on this case from day one, Elliot Sattler and Christopher Hicks, they made their case air-tight. I'm sorry we couldn't give them more credit in the program.
The most striking image I saw: The hundreds of people who came to Brianna's memorial service on a snowy day to honor her. Most of them didn't even know her, but many people in Reno felt a connection to her.
If I had to choose between forever hoping and knowing a painful truth: Oh, knowing the painful truth of course. As Brianna's mom said, "At least you're not waiting years to find out... wondering." (Is there something I should know?)
Biggest challenge while doing this story: Keeping the events and story straight over the two years we covered it. Knowing there would be an end, a suspect, and and an arrest sometime, but not knowing when was tough.
In a word, this is really a Dateline story about: Faith. That good does conquer evil… even if it takes a long time.
Last but not least, in general, I wish: To thank Michelle Madigan and Angela Gerald for sheparding this project through over two-and-a-half years. For all the time you spent in Reno, in trials and making calls, thanks.
Thanks for watching and let me know your thoughts too!