On ‘Dateline’ a cold case forty years in the making is finally solved

U.S. & World

(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” when 21-year-old college student Helene Pruszynski is found murdered, the case remains cold for nearly forty years until a new detective uses an innovative method to catch Helene’s killer.

Here’s a preview of Josh Mankiewicz’s report:

For a victim’s family, there may be no greater frustration than having a loved one’s case go cold. 

Often, someone needs to play the role of the tireless advocate.

Even at only 26, Helene’s friend Kimberly La Tourette realized that and made her promise.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ: Which was?

KIMBERLY LA TOURETTE: I saw Helene’s parents, and I just promised them that I would not stop for as long as I was living in doing everything in my power to find Helene’s killer.

“Everything” to Kimberly meant constantly calling detectives, generating press coverage, anything to keep a laser focus on the case.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ: You have any idea how many years you were signing up for when you made that promise?

KIMBERLY LA TOURETTE: No.

For nearly four decades Kimberly La Tourette kept her promise. Forty years looking at faces, forty years meeting with detectives, forty years re-tracing Helene’s steps.

KIMBERLY LA TOURETTE: When I make a promise and make a commitment, I follow through.

Helene never knew it, but she had another friend.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ: You never met Helene. You feel like you know her?

SHANNON JENSEN: I do. I feel like I know her well, as well as I possibly could.

Shannon was three years old back when Helene disappeared. It was only last year when she accepted a challenge.

SHANNON JENSEN: I had to win. I wanted to win for Helene.

Watch tonight’s “Dateline,” on NBC4  at 10 p.m.

Dateline NBC is the longest-running series in NBC primetime history and is in its 28th season. Dateline is anchored by Lester Holt and features correspondents Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.

Dateline is the #1 Friday newsmagazine and reaches more than 17 million people every week through its broadcast, and millions more through its social media platforms and podcasts.

The stories range from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. When major news breaks, they go to the scene, putting the pieces together to bring the viewer the full picture. And in every story they tell, they help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with the viewer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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