Gawker has a theory that alleged David Letterman extortionist Robert “Joe” Halderman got the idea for the plot after working on a specific story for CBS’ “48 Hours” where he was a producer:
The story originally aired in February, but the August re-broadcast was updated with new reporting based on developments in the case. It’s a run-of-the-mill true-crime tale of murder and deception, but it features one detail that seems strange in retrospect: The sister of one of the victims, who never got her brother’s remains from the Philippines after his murder, at one point received creepy anonymous e-mails from someone claiming to have her brother’s ashes, and offering to sell them to her.
Gawker found it while researching other old stories Halderman produced looking for signs of unscrupulousness. They haven’t come across any thus far.