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From the CBS Television Network...
"48 HOURS MYSTERY" TO BROADCAST BACK-TO-BACK EPISODES ABOUT THE REAL-LIFE LAWYERS WHO INSIRED THE NEW CBS SERIES, "THE DEFENDERS," SATURDAY, SEPT. 18 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
NEW YORK - September 14, 2010 - On Saturday, Sept. 18 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), 48 HOURS MYSTERY will broadcast back-to-back programs featuring Las Vegas lawyers, Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese, the real-life inspirations for the new CBS legal drama, THE DEFENDERS, starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell.
THE DEFENDERS, which premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 22 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), is a drama about two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. 48 HOURS MYSTERY examined two of Cristalli and Saggese's most infamous cases (described below).
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Vegas Heat" (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) examines the case of Craig Titus and his wife, Kelly Ryan, two of the biggest stars of the body building world who were defended by Saggese and Cristalli respectively after they were charged with murder. The duo-a Mr. Olympia competitor and a fitness champion-together won numerous fitness competitions and graced magazine covers but these Las Vegas hard bodies were also hard partiers, known for using illegal drugs and pain killers. Then, on Dec. 14, 2005, the charred corpse of a young woman was discovered in Ryan's burned-out car on a Las Vegas desert road. Authorities discovered that it was the couple's live-in assistant, Melissa James. Police soon pieced together a web of fame, sex, drugs and jealousy that ended in this brutal murder, a gruesome cover-up and the downfall of two fitness powerhouses. Now family, friends, detectives and witnesses each shed light on this shocking story, and shamed bodybuilder Craig Titus tells his side of what happened the night James died, insisting that is wasn't murder.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Buried Secrets of Las Vegas" (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) profiles the case of gambling tycoon Ted Binion, who was found dead in his Las Vegas home. As the son of legendary gambling impresario Benny Binion, who founded the famous Horseshoe Casino, Ted was Sin City royalty. A charismatic and brilliant casino operator, Binion used his millions in gaming profits to indulge his darker side - an addiction to smoking heroin. Paranoid about his wealth, he was known to have hid at least $7 million in a buried vault, among other places, and it is believed that millions have never been recovered. Before his death, Binion had taken up with a young woman, Sandy Murphy, who shared his lavish lifestyle until she told police that she found him dead of an apparent drug overdose. When authorities discovered that Murphy was having an affair, and her lover was trying to make off with Binion's buried treasure, both were charged with his murder and eventually found guilty. Then, in a twist, the convictions were overturned after Sandy's appeal, and she was later found not guilty in a retrial handled by hotshot Vegas defense attorney Michael Cristalli. Even after two trials spanning five years, Binion's death remains one the biggest mysteries in Las Vegas history. 48 HOURS MYSTERY attempts to put to rest some of the unanswered questions in the case, including what happened to Ted Binion's missing millions.