"The First 48" documents Lester Street Massacre - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

"The First 48" documents Lester Street Massacre

The wildly popular crime show "The First 48" has given Memphis unprecedented exposure. The Lester Street Massacre is arguably the most horrific crime the A & E program has documented.

"The body count's higher than normal...makes it particularly gruesome," said one detective in the program, which aired Tuesday night.

On a stormy night in March of 2008, six people, including two children, were found massacred inside a home at 722 Lester Street in Memphis' Binghampton neighborhood.

"They also found pieces of wood used to beat the child victims," said the program's narrator.

The highly-anticipated episode took viewers through the first 48 hours of the investigation and beyond.

"In my mind, we're looking at a minimum of three suspects," said a detective.

At first, the theory was that a gang may have been responsible for the murders, but suspect Jessie Dotson confessed in a dramatic real-life scene.

"I tried to get rid of the kids," said Dotson in an interrogation room.

"By doing what?," said a detective.

"I stuck 'em," said Dotson.

A woman named Effie Peete now lives with her family at 722 Street.

"It's an awful tragedy that he's done to this family," says Peete.

Her family sleeps where detectives examined blood splatter four months ago.

"This was one of the kid's rooms," said Peete on a tour of her home. "We try not to stay focused on it and just live our life as we do."

That includes not watching the television show. "We don't want to focus on the crime and stuff that happened here," she said.

Peete wants to focus on the future. She hopes the family of those murdered in her home at 722 Lester can someday do the same.


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