‘What Did the Children See?’ 48 Hours Episode on Lovelace Case to Air Saturday
The national spotlight shines on Quincy this weekend as a result of the Curtis Lovelace murder case.
The first trial of the former assistant state’s attorney and school board president will be featured on the CBS program “48 Hours” this Saturday night at 9 p.m.
Curtis Lovelace is accused of killing his first wife, Cory Lovelace, on Valentine’s Day of 2007. The first trial ended in a hung jury two weeks ago.
48 Hours will air locally on KHQA-TV Channel 7.
CBS issued this press release in connection with the "48 Hours" episode on the Lovelace case. For a preview of the report, click here.
What happens when a hard-charging former prosecutor is tried for murder in his former courthouse? Correspondent Maureen Maher and 48 HOURS take viewers inside the investigation into the Valentine’s Day death of a Quincy, Ill., mother and the case against her husband in “What Did the Children See?” to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 20 (10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
48 HOURS has the only camera there when family members learn the fate of a loved one in a case that shocked a small community and made national headlines.
Curtis Lovelace was an All-American high school athlete who went on to become a Big Ten football star. After college, his string of success continued when he landed a job as an assistant state’s attorney in Adams County, Ill. He seemed to have everything – a good job, a beautiful wife, Cory, and four loving children. But then, on Valentine’s Day 2006, after dropping three of their children off at school, Curtis found his wife dead in their bed.
The death was as mysterious as what happened next. Lovelace, a well-known, though some say arrogant, member of the community, didn’t call 911, nor did he try CPR.
“In looking at the autopsy photos, it clearly looks like there’s irritation under her nose and around her mouth,” local writer and author Bob Gough tells 48 HOURS.
“There were rumors that he had poisoned her,” says KHQA-TV reporter Jenny Dreasler.
Still, faced with the evidence at hand – and statements from the children that said they saw her earlier in the morning – the coroner labeled the cause of death “undetermined.” The case was then closed. That is, until a newly promoted detective named Adam Gibson picked up the Lovelace file eight years later.
There was something that struck Gibson as odd in the way Cory Lovelace was found lying on her back with her arms outstretched in front of her in the couple’s bed. “Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see things,” Gibson tells 48 HOURS. But could his hunch hold up? By then, eight years in, Curtis Lovelace had gone on to marry not once, but twice.
“A body always tells a story, the way you find them,” says James Keller, who was deputy coroner and on the scene at the Lovelace house when Cory died. He estimated Cory could have been dead for up to 12 hours, which conflicted with the story Curtis had told police: that she had died in between the time he had dropped his children off at school and when he returned. Additionally, police interviews with the children stated they had seen their mother alive that very morning. But the coroner ruled Cory’s death undetermined, and the case was closed until 2012, when a newly promoted Quincy detective reopened the case and finally uncovered what he believed was the cause of death: suffocation.
In 2014, Curtis Lovelace was arrested and charged with murder. But could the prosecutors in the very place where Curtis had prosecuted others prove their case, which hinged on two things – science and the word of the Lovelace children?
Maher and the 48 HOURS team report the Lovelace story through interviews with the investigators, coroners, Lovelace friends and jurors. 48 HOURS: “What Did the Children See?” is produced by Alec Sirken, Marc Goldbaum, Paul LaRosa, Chris Young Ritzen, James Stolz and Aimee deSimone. Stephen McCain and Anthony Venditti are the field producers. Jud Johnston, David Spungen, Diana Modica, Mike Mongulla, Grayce Arlotta-Berner and Marlon Disla are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
Chat with members of the 48 HOURS team during the broadcast on Twitter and Facebook. Follow 48 HOURS on Instagram. Listen to 48HOURS podcasts at Play.it.