BEHIND THE BADGE
We’ve had a lot of people sending messages asking why the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t on the Dateline show.
First of all, our staff did an INCREDIBLE job with this case and it’s investigation. I would put them up against any big city or county investigations team, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they did. They are incredibly talented people who worked day and night for weeks on this case.
Our investigator’s work received high praise from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office – their amazing work played a huge part in us being able to avoid a trial. We have some truly amazing men and women serving here who genuinely care about the communities and the people we serve.
Dateline titled its 2-hour show “The Woman in the Bar.” Here in Dodge County, for the Riess family, Lois wasn’t “The woman in the bar." Regardless of whatever mental break caused her to do what she did, she’s still their mom, and she killed their dad. They not only lost their father and grandfather, they essentially lost their mother and grandmother as well in this terrible nightmare. Lois and David’s kids are still trying to process this, and always will be. The grandkids who dearly loved David and Lois, who spent a great deal of time at grandma and grandpa’s house, are now trying to process all of this.
This family is still struggling to heal the best they can. If we had talked to Dateline (or any of the other numerous tabloid TV shows who’ve been calling), our appearance would have done nothing more than help them sell advertisements, which frankly does nothing to help this family. In reality, unless the family is involved to help tell the story, shows like this simply re-victimize them over and over again.
Unfortunately, the true reality is these national network tabloids don’t care about victim's families like the Riess or Hutchinson family. They don’t care about Dodge County – they’d never heard of Dodge County until this happened. All they care about is getting the story and selling advertisements. This is evident by their relentless calls and emails to this office and to this family over the past several months and years.
Some of these national organizations even flew to Minneapolis, rented a car, and then called me on their way down to Mantorville to tell me they were on their way to visit with me – assuming that we would want to meet with them, like other agencies have done with other high profile cases. Well, we’re not like other agencies, and we refused every time.
Long story short, our number one priority with this case is the Riess family. That’s why we didn’t participate. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as they work through the healing process and figure out what their new normal looks like.
Scott Rose is in his second term as sheriff of Dodge County. His office was the lead agency in the Riess murder investigation.