Rachel Maddow Slates Doc on Tiller Murder

By Alex Weprin Comment

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will present an hour-long documentary about the murder of Dr. George Tiller Monday, October 25 at 9 PM. The special, “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” will look at the circumstances that lead to the murder, and the aftermath. It will also feature  a never-before-seen interview with Tiller, where he recalls an attempted attack in 1993, where he was shot five times.

Tiller was a regular topic on cable news programs, particularly on “The O’Reilly Factor,” where host Bill O’Reilly made him a regular subject of his “Talking Points” segment. The show even sent producer Jesse Watters to Kansas to confront Tiller’s attorney.

Following Tiller’s murder, O’Reilly condemned the action, while also attacking his critics:

When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime. That is exactly what has happened.

More information about the MSNBC documentary, after the jump.


NEW YORK—October 13, 2010—Rachel Maddow turns to the documentary format to bring her viewers inside the intricate story of the events leading to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a prominent Kansas abortion doctor who was fatally shot on May 31, 2009, by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller,” an MSNBC Films and Peacock Productions presentation, will premiere on Monday, October 25th, at 9 p.m. ET.

“The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” provides first-hand accounts of Tiller’s murder at this church in Wichita—including police footage of Roeder’s arrest shortly after the murder and his compelling courtroom testimony where Roeder proudly admits to killing Tiller. The jury quickly found Roeder guilty and sentenced him to 50 years without the possibility of parole.

The documentary also includes a never-before-broadcast interview with Dr. Tiller describing a 1993 attack on his life where he was shot 5 times at point-blank range by anti-abortion extremist Shelley Shannon. Despite his life-threatening injuries, Dr. Tiller returned to work the very next day. Tiller said, “There was never any question in my mind that I was not going to go to work the next day. I was going to work—hell or high water. I’m not gonna be run over—I’m not gonna be run out. It’s that simple.”

The special features interviews with Scott Roeder’s ex-wife, as well as colleagues from Dr. Tiller’s clinic who experienced constant harassment both at work and in their own homes.

“This documentary has been a long time in the making, and we here at MSNBC are very, very proud of it,” said Rachel Maddow. “This new MSNBC documentary explains how the murder happened and what we know of why it happened. We obtained a lot of new footage that has never been seen anywhere else and interviews with people who you will not believe we got interviews with.”

The airing of “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” on October 25th is especially timely, as Scott Roeder is now the subject of a federal grand jury investigation exploring whether his actions were part of a broader conspiracy. In addition, politicians on both sides of the political spectrum—from Sarah Palin to David Axelrod—agree that the debate over abortion continuing to be a legal option will be an extremely important issue in November’s elections.

Clips of “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” will be available soon atwww.MaddowBlog.msnbc.com.

“The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” is co-produced by MSNBC and Peacock Productions. Mike Rubin is Vice President, Long Form Programming, MSNBC. Scott Hooker is Senior Executive Producer, MSNBC. Timothy Smith is Senior Producer, MSNBC. Sharon Scott is the Executive-in-Charge of Peacock Productions; Keith McKay is Executive Producer; Toby Oppenheimer is the Producer; and Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker are Executive Producers, Peacock Productions.

Peacock Productions is an award-winning, nonfiction production company that combines the editorial expertise, technical resources and seasoned production talent of NBC News to offer a wide-range of programming to broadcast, cable and digital entities with worldwide reach. For more information on Peacock Productions, visit www.PeacockProductions.tv.

MSNBC’s award-winning documentary unit combines compelling storytelling with exclusive access to some of the most intriguing and rarely seen places and people in the world, allowing viewers to become eyewitnesses. Building on the world-class newsgathering and talent of MSNBC and NBC News, the MSNBC documentary unit takes audiences undercover to investigate in-depth some of the most important stories of our time. Drawing on partnerships with accomplished producers and acclaimed filmmakers, MSNBC presents powerful documentaries and also showcases unique features under the MSNBC Films umbrella.