On ‘Dateline’: Fire sets off Ohio murder investigation decades after the crime

U.S. & World

(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” in 1985, Scott Purk called 911 to report that his pregnant wife, Meg Purk, died by suicide.

The case was closed — until a suspicious house fire 24 years later led police to question what really happened that day. With no eyewitnesses or physical evidence, the detectives begin the search for answers.

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

Wander through any graveyard and you’ll find them — mysteries etched in stone. Lives cut tragically short — by war, disease, misfortune and sometimes murder.

Many who rest in these peaceful places took secrets to their graves. But some here are merely waiting. Waiting for someone to take interest and ask questions.

And as you are about to see — the dead can be exceedingly patient.

Our story begins on a frigid March night in 2009, with a house fire in Stow, Ohio. That fire was important, not for what it destroyed, but for what it illuminated.

911 OPERATOR: 911 where is your emergency

GIRL: Uniondale drive. There’s a fire.

OPERATOR: The house or what?

GIRL: The house.

Watch “Dateline” tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC4, followed by NBC4 at 11.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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