20/20 – October 15 2021 – Joe Bryan – ABC

On Friday October 15 2021 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 8 p.m. CT, ABC broadcasts a new two hour episode of 20/20 investigating Joe Bryan, a former high school principal convicted of murdering his wife, Mickey Bryan, in 1985. He spent more than three decade behind bars, but questions about whether Bryan committed the crime remain and his story was the inspiration for John Grisham’s 2019 book “The Guardians”.

Scroll down below to watch a recent story of 20/20 before the official preview and summary of tonight’s (10/15/2021) episode titled “The Principal’s Wife”.


A former high school principal convicted of murdering his wife – but did he do it? Now, hear from best-selling true crime author John Grisham & watch the exclusive prison interview for yourself. 

Joe Bryan, a former Texas high school principal, spent more than three decades behind bars for the 1985 murder of his wife, Mickey Bryan.

Out on parole, Bryan recently celebrated his 81st birthday, and he hopes to be exonerated for his wife’s death.

Mickey Bryan had been shot four times with a .357 caliber revolver loaded with snake shot rounds — a round with a plastic cap filled with tiny lead pellets. The Bryans used a similar gun to kill rattlesnakes in their yard.

On October 23, 1985, eight days after Mickey Bryan was killed, police arrested Joe Bryan and charged him with murder.

Bryan was convicted of first-degree murder in April 1986 and sentenced to the maximum penalty of 99 years in prison.


The Principal’s Wife Episode Videos



About 20/20

The hourlong broadcast includes insightful interviews with notable figures from the worlds of news, politics and entertainment, hosted by David Muir and Amy Robach. A revolving team of journalists from ABC News also contribute investigative stories.

This show is broadcast on ABC, also known as the American Broadcasting Company.

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