PrimeTime: Katarina Witt’s Secret File

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For Release: July 25, 2001

Exclusive Interview With Olympic Gold Skater Katarina Witt About Secret File on “PrimeTime Thursday,” July 26

And: Special Encore Presentation Of Shocking Story of Cancer Misdiagnosis

— Two Women Come Forward After Original Broadcast To Thank “PrimeTime Thursday” For Information That They Believe Saved Them From Medical Nightmare –

In an exclusive TV interview, Olympic Gold skater Katarina Witt tells ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas she has asked the German government to keep private her secret “Stasi” file. The former East German secret police starting keeping a file on Witt in 1972, when she was 7. The file contains reams of information on Witt’s daily life, including her conversations. “It reads like a diary,” Witt tells Vargas. In an emotional denial, Witt says she was never a spy for the East Germans. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” says the skater, who won two Olympic Gold medals for East Germany. Witt is currently on tour with an ice show. The report airs on “PrimeTime Thursday,” 10-11 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. Read the rest…

20/20 Downtown

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For Release: June 15, 2001The Shocking Saga of a Young Runaway, on
“20/20 Downtown,” airing Monday, June 18

And: Jurors In Anna Nicole Smith Trial Speak Out;
Also: Sex Offender Cries Victim

In a special report, “20/20 Downtown” takes its cameras deep inside the stark world of a young runaway named Star Chase, just one of an estimated 2 million outcasts who once lived in society’s shadow. Correspondent Chris Cuomo followed the teenage Star for two years, offering a gritty first-hand account of her saga on the streets, littered along the way with graphic forays into prostitution and drug abuse. “I mean, once you put the needle in your arm even if someone does it for you, you are still a junkie, even if you do it just once,” Star tells Cuomo. “20/20 Downtown” airs MONDAY, June 18, 8-9 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. Read the rest…

BRIAN ROSS INVESTIGATES

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 FOR RELEASE: May 24, 2001

BRIAN ROSS INVESTIGATES ENSLAVEMENT
OF US VETS BY JAPANESE COMPANIES AFTER
BATAAN DEATH MARCH

And: Author Anna Quindlen on the Little Book That Could; Also: Macaulay Culkin Gives His Regards to (Off) Broadway and Barbara in an Encore Presentation, on “20/20” FRIDAY, May 25 on ABC

During the first weeks of World War II, some 20,000 American GIs were taken prisoner in the Philippines and forced to endure the infamous Bataan Death March. Many of them died. For those who survived, it got worse: they were put to work as slave laborers for Japanese companies. Now in their 70s and 80s, veterans of Japanese slave labor camps have sued two of the largest companies in the world for reparations. The companies, Mitsubishi and Mitsui, say they are different companies than those that ran the forced labor camps. What is more surprising, though, is information uncovered by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross: the US government has sided with the Japanese companies against the American veterans in their efforts to obtain compensation from those companies. The report airs FRIDAY, May 25 on “20/20,” 10-11 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. Read the rest…

John Stossel Special

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For Release: June 27, 2001

John Stossel Challenges the Doomsayers Warnings on Genetic Engineering, Human Cloning and Global Warming, in a One-Hour Special, Tampering with Nature with John Stossel, Airing Friday, June 29

In a one-hour special, ABC News Correspondent John Stossel investigates the outcry over genetic engineering and human cloning and challenges the dire warnings surrounding environmental threats like global warming. Why have recent advances in science been met with fear, protests, even acts of terrorism? Why is the industrial society that helped make our comfortable lives possible treated with suspicion and contempt? Stossel challenges the activists who say we’re destroying the earth’s ecosystem with everything from genetic engineering to greenhouse gases. Tampering with Nature airs FRIDAY, June 29, 10-11 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. Read the rest…

PrimeTime Thursday

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For Release: June 19, 2001

A “PrimeTime Thursday” Investigation Into A Massachusetts Facility For Sexual Predators Uncovers Offenders Released To Strike Again, In “Predators Among Us,” Airing Thursday, June 21

According to a special, six-month “PrimeTime Thursday” investigation, dangerous sexual predators were released from a Massachusetts facility that was supposed to treat them — only to rape, molest or murder again. Nathaniel Bar-Jonah was incarcerated at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous after a history of sexual crimes against boys. He could have remained locked up for life. But in 1991 — after 12 years — a judge ordered him released. Within days, he was arrested for allegedly committing another offense. Rather than return him to the treatment center, a Massachusetts judge, in a plea agreement, dropped the charges after Bar-Jonah agreed to move to Great Falls, Montana. No one notified Montana officials. In 1999, Bar-Jonah was charged with killing a 10-year-old boy authorities say he also cannibalized. He’s pleaded not guilty. Read the rest…

PrimeTime: A ONCE-BLIND WOMAN’S REMARKABLE JOURNEY

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August 15, 2001

And: An Encore Presentation of an Exclusive Interview with Teenage Daughter who Brutally Killed her Adoptive Mother, then Claimed Insanity

In this week’s “PrimeTime Thursday,” ABC News’ Jay Schadler tells the miraculous story of a young New Zealand woman who went to sleep blind – and woke up to see her beloved guide dog. Lisa Reid was blind for 10 years, the result of surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor which had been diagnosed when she was 11. Read the rest…

“20/20” INVESTIGATES THE BABY BUSINESS IN ROMANIA

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For Release: May 31, 2001

Correspondent Tom Jarriel Finds Alarming Conditions Persists,
Children in State-Run Institutions Still Suffer Deplorable Conditions
10 Years After”20/20″ Aired First Report

In a disturbing new report, “20/20” investigates the multi-million dollar “baby business” in Romania. They’re called the “Cadillac babies,” the cutest, youngest, most desirable of Romania’s abandoned children — and they can bring in big bucks for the agencies that handle the adoptions. Foreign couples pay an average of $25,000 to adopt Romanian children, but often have no idea where the money goes. “20/20” has learned that, according to a US Embassy survey, millions of dollars paid to Romania foundations that handle adoptions has vanished. Read the rest…

A “20/20” INVESTIGATION ASKS: SHOULD SEX OFFENDERS EVER GET OUT OF JAIL?

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ABC NEWS May 31, 2001

And: Sid Caesar is Still in the House and We’re Still on the Floor.

Also: Hidden Cameras Reveal Hidden Meaning Behind Seemingly Meaningless Comments.

Across America, the fear of a convicted child molester living nearby is so great that one Texas judge now requires released sex offenders to wear controversial signs warning “Danger…registered sex offender.” This week’s “20/20” examines the campaign of an angry Florida mother, Judy Cornett, to go one step further: To prevent the release of her son’s molester from prison — forever. Read the rest…