Catch Murder Prosecutor Donna Pendergast on aDateline special shown tonight at 8:00 on "Real Life Mysteries" from The Learning Channel:
From the program:
Northern Michigan, lovely and unspoiled with tiny towns on crystal lakes, is a tourist paradise. Beautiful clear days give way to dark, dark nights. Nights that hold a multitude of secrets, some of them bone-chilling. Florence and Mark Unger loved the lake country. It was a favorite getaway for them and their children—perfect, really, until it became forever the place of unspeakable tragedy. . . .
Attorney Donna Pendergast led the prosecution. Daughter of a Detroit cop, Pendergast has been called Michigan’s best prosecutor. This was her 93rd murder case. This time Pendergast had her work cut out for her. She had a tough opponent and a weak case. There was no DNA evidence. No fingerprints.
“But we had circumstantial evidence,” Pendergast said. “And we believed with what was admissible as evidence, that we could present a pretty clear picture for the jury."
And so began a trial that would last nearly nine weeks and would include mountains of conflicting evidence. Detailed pathology reports, a recreation of Mark's walk down to the water that morning, a wooden mock-up of the deck railing, and explicit animations—all of it leading to very different conclusions.
Pendergast said, “In this case it was pretty clear—that this woman was not just scared, but terrified of the dark. And the bottom line is, if you believed that she truly was afraid of the dark, then she simply would not have stayed out on the deck where it’s pitch-black. Then his story failed from the get-go.”
Find out the rest of the story tonight on TLC at 8:00!