It’s sweeps month in local TV and that usually spawns a round of “I’m not saying, I’m just saying” investigations that create more heat than light. KSTP’s story on the death of Chris Jenkins in Minneapolis in 2002 suggests a conspiracy to kill young men around the country, leaving behind a “smiley face” at the point where a body went in nearby water.
But even the reporter involved says she’s not all that interested in knowing whether the conspiracy theory is true.
“I totally agree that it is a way-out there theory that sounds pretty far-fetched. But it’s not my job to say if they are right. I’m just reporting on what they think,” reporter Kristi Piehl told media critic Brian Lambert
This afternoon, the Minneapolis Police Department released a statement on Jenkins’ death and investigation:
Investigators with the Minneapolis Police Department Homicide Unit have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and tragic death of Chris Jenkins since 2002. Although we have collaborated with investigators from the FBI and communicated with other jurisdictions in which similar drownings have occurred, we can neither confirm nor endorse the ‘Smiley Face Murders’ theory currently being publicized.
The investigation into Chris Jenkins’ murder remains open. Investigators are assigned to the case and will follow-up on any credible leads. There is no shortage of theories about what happened to Chris Jenkins on Halloween night in 2002; however, there simply is not sufficient, demonstrable evidence to support a criminal prosecution. As in every unsolved murder, it is our goal not only to uncover the facts surrounding Chris Jenkins’ death, but to identify evidence which objectively proves those facts beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the day when those facts may be proven, our investigation will remain active.
Our sympathy continues to be with the Jenkins family and all of those who have suffered the loss of a child in these incidents.