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Old 05-28-2012, 03:56 AM   #1
wiseguy182
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Default Reunited...and it feels so awkward

Lost Love segments are sort of the Opera category on Jeopardy!, something that's met with nearly universal groans whenever it comes up. One of the bright spots to them is that they can sometimes have a payoff if an emotional reunion happens, but I noticed that a lot of the times the reunion just feels so awkward. I don't know if the presence of cameras causes some people to not be as emotional or what, but watching it feels awkward. This could also apply to missing people reunited with family or whatevs. What are the most awkward reunions?

Mac McDonald
- This was the guy who committed statutory rape on his neighbor, but instead of a "Wanted" case, it's a "Lost Love". Long story short, every time he hooks up with her, her mom chases him off. He impregnated the neighbor, but only got to see his child for a few minutes, and didn't even know what gender it was. Now he wants to leave his kid a million dollar estate. Well the reunion happened, but it kept being mentioned how the daughter had moved on with her life. I don't know if she got the estate or not, or if it was mentioned.

Judy Davis and Becky Terry - This was from the telecenter broadcast, the girl with polio looking for her schoolmate. As much as I loved the live from the telecenter concept, this is the product of what happens when you do live t.v. Both the ladies seemed really lost for words, and it felt really strange. I think Diana picked up on this and tried to salvage things, but it didn't work. They also said a face-to-face reunion probably wasn't in the cards in the near future, and I don't know if it ever happened.

Arthur and Nicholas Karapalous - a bittersweet, yet awkward reunion. Nicholas telling his dad "Oh. Hi." and then launching the basketball at his tiny brother's head was an oddity.

Jackie Dragon - This was the young lady with the really bad perm who was looking for her 3 sisters I believe. When the final sister stops in for the reunion, she hugs the other two, but just puts her hand on Jackie's shoulder, which is weird because it was Jackie who was key in getting everyone reunited. Pretty anticlimactic.

I'm sure there's more, who else has one?
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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The Alex Cooper reunion seemed awkward. You know his family so was relieved to have found him alive but also had to be quite mad that he put them through that, not just the disappearance but the lifetime of lying about who he was.

"Tyler's" on camera reunion with his mother is another example. You find your son who's been missing and have to bail him out of jail, that must have been awkward. Not to mention he claimed to have amnesia and not remember her and he acted tense when she hugged him.

Craig Williamson's reunion with his wife was sad. You could tell in the initial segment how much she loved him but when they showed them together after he was found they seemed more like casual friends and mentioned they had decided to go their separate ways.

Although this wasn't shown on television I've often wondered how the reunion with Diane Brodbeck and her family went and am sure it must have been awkward. Her mother sits there on national television and swears up and down that her daughter would never help a convicted murderer escape and thats precisely what she did not to mention abandoning her entire family. I'm sure it took them a long time to get over that betrayal.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182
Mac McDonald - This was the guy who committed statutory rape on his neighbor, but instead of a "Wanted" case, it's a "Lost Love". Long story short, every time he hooks up with her, her mom chases him off. He impregnated the neighbor, but only got to see his child for a few minutes, and didn't even know what gender it was. Now he wants to leave his kid a million dollar estate. Well the reunion happened, but it kept being mentioned how the daughter had moved on with her life. I don't know if she got the estate or not, or if it was mentioned.
I actually did a double take when I first saw this since I instantly thought of that OTHER MacDonald who's been featured on UM, and wondered if he had a new secret I didn't know about.

Anyway, even though it wasn't featured on UM, I can only imagine that the reunion between Gilbert Ortiz and his son Jonathan must have been incredibly awkward and uncomfortable since Jonathan wound up beating up his father up several years later and blamed him for his mother's imprisonment.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182

Judy Davis and Becky Terry - This was from the telecenter broadcast, the girl with polio looking for her schoolmate. As much as I loved the live from the telecenter concept, this is the product of what happens when you do live t.v. Both the ladies seemed really lost for words, and it felt really strange. I think Diana picked up on this and tried to salvage things, but it didn't work. They also said a face-to-face reunion probably wasn't in the cards in the near future, and I don't know if it ever happened.
Actually, there was a reunion between these two, and I don't think it was awkward at all. I've noticed here on the site with everyone (even the people that don't like lost love cases) that this is one of their favorite reunions and I have to agree with them.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #5
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Well, I definitely agree that the Mac McDonald reunion was awkward. In fact, it was the first I thought of.

I disagree about Judy Davis and Becky Terry though. Admittedly, it's been awhile since I watched the telecenter special, so I can't comment about how they were on the air - as you said though, it was live TV. Thrust a live television camera in front of the average person who has never been on television before and see how it goes. However, I distinctly remember that they did have a reunion some time later. It was an update I saw. In fact, I remember Becky running up to Judy (who was in a wheelchair) and giving her a huge hug. I think this was the segment where the old boyfriend even called in and wished them well. Didn't they joke that the two girls taught him how to kiss? Does anyone else remember this?

With regard to Arthur and Nicholas, I don't remember much. However, I always thought he was probably too young to truly grasp all that was going on and perhaps he would have needed some counseling due to his mother's influence.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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The one where the amnesia victim didn't recognize his mom when they were reunited was awkward to say the least. He was also wanted for a crime I believe? The same can be said about another amnesia victim who was found dazed at the side of a highway and he was later identified and came home to face embezzlement charges. I forget both of their assumed/real names.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinW
I actually did a double take when I first saw this since I instantly thought of that OTHER MacDonald who's been featured on UM, and wondered if he had a new secret I didn't know about.

Anyway, even though it wasn't featured on UM, I can only imagine that the reunion between Gilbert Ortiz and his son Jonathan must have been incredibly awkward and uncomfortable since Jonathan wound up beating up his father up several years later and blamed him for his mother's imprisonment.
Actually there was a reunion shown although Jonathan's face was never shown. During the early 00s revamp of the show, UM actually filmed a complete update on this case complete with new interviews with the detective featured in the original segment and also showed footage of Gilbert and Jonathan playing baseball together. Sad to see their relationship take a turn for the worse.

I think the Mac McDonald case might be one of the saddest cases profiled on UM and it might be my all time favorite LL case. I think the lesson to be learned from this is quite simply carpe diem. You have this guy who ended up becoming extremely successful and wealthy over the course of his life and yet ended up pretty miserable due to the fact that he chose to run out on both the woman he loved and their daughter.

I'm not surprised that the were some hard feelings emanating from the other side once Mac located his daughter but on the other hand I hope it was able to bring him some closure because I really felt the entire segment was about him making peace and trying to rectify what he felt was probably the biggest mistake he made in his life.

As far as Nicholas Karapalous goes, I've always found it odd they never mentioned what happened to Levia. I guess they figured it wasn't any of our business (which it isn't) but I'm guessing the consequences she faced were mainly dealt with within the realm of "family court" so to speak. I wouldn't be surprised if she had her custody/visitation privileges revoked or even if a restraining order was put into place. However, Nicholas is now obviously an adult and I wonder if he ever chose to get back in contact with his mother?

Last edited by DarkDante; 05-28-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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The Mac McDonald one was so sad and tense. I'm surprised they didn't just do a text update. I was happy for him that he got to hug her and she seemed polite enough, but I felt awful for him. He made the wrong choice, but think about it- wouldn't you run if you thought you were going to jail for up to forty years? The mother had threatened to call the police AND had called the police before on him so no wonder he was scared that's why she was there that night. So while what he did was wrong, it was also not unbelievable. He should have called her up and asked if the mother was going to press charges or something to be sure before totally abandoning her, but it's punishment enough that he was miserable for forty odd years after feeling guilty. I hope that they would at least meet occasionally after that. Am I wrong in remembering that the old girlfriend herself called after watching UM? Maybe it was seeing him feel so guilty and desirous of a reunion (on top of the inheritance) that compelled her to call.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:18 AM   #9
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Brenda Merrill - This was the infamous one where she puts the tire in the stove. Anyways, at the end of the original segment, we learn she found one sister and one brother, but she was still looking for 2 brothers and another sister. Well the update came around a short time after, and it says she found one brother, but was still looking for the other brother. There is absolutely no mention of the missing other sister. Usually, if they found out they died or whatever, Stack will mention it, but it was like they were trying to completely wipe her from memory. Weird.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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There was one case where all six siblings were found and it was mentioned they reunited, but only five appeared on camera and they never mentioned what name the sixth was using. That person really didn't want to be identified! I don't remember if this was the "Silent Night Suicide" or some other case of a family being split up.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justins5256
I disagree about Judy Davis and Becky Terry though. Admittedly, it's been awhile since I watched the telecenter special, so I can't comment about how they were on the air - as you said though, it was live TV. Thrust a live television camera in front of the average person who has never been on television before and see how it goes. However, I distinctly remember that they did have a reunion some time later. It was an update I saw. In fact, I remember Becky running up to Judy (who was in a wheelchair) and giving her a huge hug. I think this was the segment where the old boyfriend even called in and wished them well. Didn't they joke that the two girls taught him how to kiss? Does anyone else remember this?
I loved their reunion, which took place 2 months after the live telecenter date. Becky literally ran up the driveway to Judy and both women were crying and laughing at the same time. This was a popular lost love case. If anyone wants to watch it, it's listed as 'Reunited childhood friends' on the forbidden site.

I assume the reunions being filmed was left up to the people themselves. The lost love case of Aleatha Evertz looking for her 2 brothers and 1 sister was solved. However, since their childhood memories were so painful because of their neglectful parents, she requested that cameras not be present for their reunion.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #12
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I just watched Judy Davis and Becky Terry's face-to-face reunion, and that went along a lot more smoothly.

I'm not sure if I've seen the other case Dynoguy mentioned, I tend not to remember as much with the lost love cases. Weird that she wouldn't allow cameras though, after all the lengths UM went to.

That kind of reminds me, did anybody ever THANK Unsolved Mysteries? I mean, the show was a pretty huge public service and the first of its kind, but I can't remember if we ever got any shots of people thanking UM for catching criminals, reuniting lost loves, etc.

Actually, UM seemed to receive it's fair share of criticism, suprisingly. Diane Strom certainly didn't seem to like the program.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm not sure if I've seen the other case Dynoguy mentioned, I tend not to remember as much with the lost love cases. Weird that she wouldn't allow cameras though, after all the lengths UM went to.
It was a really sad situation. Two parents who barely cared for their 4 young children because they were never home. Aleatha Smith, who was barely 5 years old, was responsible for taking care of her younger siblings Marty, Noreen and Richard who were 4, 3 and 2 years old. Eventually, neighbors noticed that the children were always home alone and they called child authorities.

The four children were sent to live with foster parents Frank and Mary Anne Wiley, who loved them and took great care of them. Aleatha was finally able to live like a normal 5 year old girl. However, a year later, the birth parents were able to get custody of the children back. The Smith kids left with their birth parents and things went back to the way they were with Aleatha having to run the house. At this point, custody was taken away from the parents permanently and all four Smith children were sent to separate foster homes where they lost all contact with each other.

Aleatha lived miserably in 2 separate foster homes for the next several years before eventually being allowed to go back with the Wileys. By then, all she cared about was finding her siblings so at the age of 12, she took her allowance and ran away, taking a bus to Oklahoma in hopes of finding her birth parents so they could tell her where her siblings were. Once she arrived, she didn't have anywhere else to turn so she stopped at a police station where she was declared a runaway and she was sent back to the foster care system.

Given the circumstances of this case, I can kind of see why Aleatha didn't want cameras present for the reunion when her siblings were found. Her entire childhood was filled with nothing but painful memories and she was robbed of growing up with her siblings because her parents didn't give a crap about their well being and emotional state. This segment had more tragic elements to it than a usual Lost Love case.

Robert Stack mentioned during the update that despite Aleatha's wishes that cameras not be present for the reunion, she wishes to thank the UM viewers for helping her lifelong dream finally come true.

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:17 AM   #14
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oh, ok, I do remember that one now. I think it was pretty early in the show's run. Shame the birth parents got custody for a second time, they clearly didn't deserve it.

I wonder why she also didn't try to find the Willeys, unless she figured they were dead by then.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182
oh, ok, I do remember that one now. I think it was pretty early in the show's run. Shame the birth parents got custody for a second time, they clearly didn't deserve it.

I wonder why she also didn't try to find the Willeys, unless she figured they were dead by then.
The Wileys were interviewed in the segment. They wanted to find the other Smith kids as well. Apparently child services didn't let Alethea go back to live with them after she ran away.
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