INDEPENDENCE – In October of 1981 the body of Vicki Lynn Klotzbach, 22, was discovered in a field north of Coralville.
Klotzbach was a 1977 graduate of the Independence High School, a graduate of Wartburg, and was working as a nurse for University Hospitals in Iowa City. She was survived by her mother Donna, who passed in 1997, and her brother Kevin, two-years her junior.
At the time DNA technology was limited, but by 1996 it developed to a point where they could link a prime suspect, Richard Dodd, to the case. Dodd was already serving a life sentence for another crime, so investigators methodically worked through the case towards a conviction, including gathering ballistic data on a bullet found at the scene.
In September of 2003, Dodd was brought to trial, found guilty, and the case brought to a close.
This Sunday, Jan 21, the Investigation Discovery channel (Indytel channel 94) will air at 9 p.m. local time, the episode “A Murder In Coralville” for the “On The Case With Paula Zahn” program. The program will feature footage shot in the Coralville and interviews with investigators and family members Kevin and his wife Deb Klotzbach.
According to Larry Israel, Executive Producer, “On the Case” looks to tell the stories of everyday people, doing everyday things, but usually off by themselves, and they end up victims of dreadful crimes.
“As I tell my daughters, we have never done an episode about three girls walking home together from a party,” he said.
The program, given a TV14 rating, is filmed with impressionistic recreations of the events leading up to the crime, and the immediate actions afterwards based on eyewitness accounts and court documents. Violence is implied, but not graphically shown. The program then goes through the investigation and, where appropriate, interviews family members.
The Klotzbach’s were contacted last year about doing the show and interviews were filmed last summer in New York City. According to Deb, everyone associated with the show were very kind and respectful.
“Our first call is to the family,” said Israel, “to see if they want to participate.”
Israel says they look for stories that are fully adjudicated; stories about innocent people not putting themselves in harm’s way; stories an audience can relate to; stories people say, ‘that won’t happen to me.
“We want to document the emotional twists and turns law enforcement and the family go through,” he said. “We want to show the initial struggles the police go through and how they surmounted obstacles. People believe there is a rational answer to crimes and sometimes they are disappointed.”
Israel elaborated saying disappointment may come from the fact that even though investigators ‘know’ who did it, they can’t prove it in a court of law. Also, the cases are tried under the law of the time the crime was committed.
Again the broadcast time is 9 p.m. (central) on Investigation Discovery network on the following channels: Indytel 94, Dish Network 192, Direct TV 284, and Mediacom 204.