THE CONVICTED KILLER OF A FLORIDA WOMAN SPEAKS OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, AND REAL-LIFE NCIS AGENTS REVEAL THEIR INVESTIGATIONS INTO TWO MURDERS, IN BACK-TO-BACK EDITIONS OF "NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET"
Wednesday, July 3, 9:00 and 10:00 PM
The convicted killer of a Florida woman speaks out for the first time on television, and real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents reveal their investigations into two separate murders, in back-to-back editions of NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET, to be broadcast Wednesday, July 3 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT; 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Samira Watkins, a 25-year-old mother of a 4-year-old boy, was studying to be a dental assistant when she vanished. Five days after she disappeared, her body washed up in a duffel bag about 200 yards away from the entrance of the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. NCIS agents take viewers inside the investigation into what happened to Watkins in NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET: "Death of a Dream," to be broadcast at 9:00 PM.
Working with the Pensacola Police Department, NCIS agents were able to link pieces of circumstantial evidence together to arrest Watkins' boyfriend at the time, Zachary Littleton, a Navy police officer. He was later convicted of murdering her and was sentenced to life in prison.
In his first TV interview, Littleton says investigators got it all wrong - and he admits he lied to them and was with Watkins the night she disappeared.
"I don't know what happened to Samira," Littleton says.
"They sentenced me to life in prison. Natural life. In the state of Florida, there's no parole - life is life," Littleton says. "I did not kill Samira Watkins."
"Death of a Dream" features interviews with the agents who painstakingly and methodically tied the evidence together and with Littleton, who explains for the first time what he says happened on the night he and Watkins were last together.
At 10:00 PM, NCIS agents take viewers inside a cold case murder of 10-year-old Tammy Welch that haunted the agency for three decades, and they look at the separate murder of Ricky Wiltrout, in the third season finale, "Never Forget."
On August 27, 1984, Tammy Welch and her sister, Jennifer, were outside playing in an apartment courtyard the day their family was moving to Navy housing in Jacksonville, Fla. Jennifer went inside to talk with her mother, leaving Tammy alone outside. When she went back out 30 minutes later, Tammy was face down in the grass, dead. She had been brutally strangled and assaulted.
"Investigating cases in which children are victims are probably one of the most difficult types of investigations an NCIS agent will come across," says Gregory Ford, executive assistant director of NCIS Criminal Investigations. "The Tammy Welch case was every parent's worst nightmare."
NCIS agents were called in immediately after Welch was killed. Days turned into months, months into years, with no new leads. The case turned cold, and the identity of Tammy's killer would remain a mystery. But in 1999, NCIS' newly formed cold-case team reopened the case, determined to solve it for Tammy's family. The agents traveled across the county seeking DNA from more than a dozen potential suspects. It wasn't until 2012 that agents got their first break when a partial DNA profile from the child's former neighbor, James Jackson, was linked to the crime scene through advanced forensic testing.
But would it be enough to convict Jackson of first-degree murder? NCIS agents would need hard evidence, and what they found was a bizarre tattoo on Jackson's back with the victim's name and the year of her murder. It was, they say, a confession written in ink.
NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET is in its third season and is hosted by Rocky Carroll. The series features a slate of the biggest cases handled by the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service. These are the kinds of challenging investigations that have inspired cases on CBS Entertainment's successful primetime series NCIS, broadcast television's #1 drama, as well as NCIS: LOS ANGELES and NCIS: NEW ORLEANS. The previous name of the series was 48 HOURS: NCIS.
About NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET
NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET: "Death of a Dream" is a CBS News production from the team behind 48 HOURS. Rocky Carroll is the host. Anthony Batson is the executive producer. Asena Basak is the producer. Diego Senior is the field producer. Phil Tangel and Marlon Disla are the series' producer-editors. Jonathan Leach is the senior development producer.
NCIS: THE CASES THEY CAN'T FORGET: "Never Forget" is a CBS News production from the team behind 48 HOURS. Rocky Carroll is the host. Anthony Batson is the executive producer. Jonathan Leach and Caroline Sommers are the producers. Phil Tangel and Marlon Disla are the series' producer-editors. Marc Kuznetz is the field producer. Mirella Brussani is the associate producer. Jonathan Leach is the senior development producer.