48 Hours January 8 2022: Jonelle Matthews

Tonight, Saturday January 8  2022, CBS broadcasts a new episode of 48 Hours investigating the disappearance of Jonelle Matthews and the trial of former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Steven Dana Pankey for her murder.

Scroll down to read a summary and watch tonight’s (1/8/2022) 48 Hours episode titled “Who Killed Jonelle Matthews?”.


Episode Videos: Who Killed Jonelle Matthews?

Episode Summary: Who Killed Jonelle Matthews?

48 HOURS correspondent Richard Schlesinger goes inside the investigation of the disappearance of Jonelle Matthews, and the trial of former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Steven Dana Pankey for her murder, in “Who Killed Jonelle Matthews?” to be broadcast Saturday, Jan. 8 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.

Was Pankey a true-crime junkie who talked himself into being indicted, or was it something more?

Matthews vanished from her family’s Greeley, Colo., home five days before Christmas in 1984. The only evidence left behind were shoeprints in the snow – shoeprints someone tried to erase with a garden rake. The case drew national attention. Matthews was featured on milk cartons with other missing children. Then more than three decades later, in 2019, Matthews’ body was found by a crew digging a pipeline. In 2020, Pankey, who says he never met Matthews, was charged with murder after repeatedly making public statements that inserted him into the case, including drawing up a list of persons of interest with his own name on it. Pankey went on trial in October 2021.

Anthony Viorst, Pankey’s former attorney, says Pankey craves attention but is not a murderer.

“[T]here’s no indication that he committed this murder, no indication that he had anything to do with burying the body. Mr. Pankey wanted to be a person of interest. … Mr. Pankey loves the limelight … all of the statements that he has made about his culpability have been, ‘I didn’t do it,’” Viorst told Schlesinger as he prepped for the trial.

At trial, Viorst told the jury that Pankey was a true-crime junkie. And Pankey himself took the stand.

“It was just me trying to be a big man, be in the case, okay? I had no knowledge,” Pankey said.

“It began as a series of lies, and it got bigger and bigger over the years,” Pankey told the jury. “One lie leads to another.”

If Pankey didn’t kill Jonelle Matthews, then who did? Pankey’s defense names someone they think did it.

Schelsinger and 48 HOURS are in the courtroom for the trial and the bizarre twist in the case of Jonelle Matthews. After two days of deliberations, the jury announced they were split and could not convict Pankey.

Is the case closed? Not yet. 48 HOURS has the latest.

48 HOURS: “Who Killed Jonelle Matthews?” is produced by Judy Rybak. Claire St. Amant is the development producer. Doreen Schechter is the producer-editor. Ryan N. Smith is a development producer. Jordan Kinsey, Elizabeth Caholo and Lauren A. White are the field producers. Ken Blum and Jud Johnston are the editors. Chelsea Narvaez is the associate producer. Patti Aronofsky is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.


This newsmagazine investigates intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all aspects of the human experience. Over its long run, the show has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, driven the reopening — and resolution — of cold cases, and changed numerous lives. CBS News correspondents offer an in-depth look into each story, with the emphasis on solving the mystery at its heart. The program and its team have earned critical acclaim, including 20 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.



About 48 Hours

This newsmagazine investigates intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all aspects of the human experience. Over its long run, the show has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, driven the reopening — and resolution — of cold cases, and changed numerous lives. CBS News correspondents offer an in-depth look into each story, with the emphasis on solving the mystery at its heart. The program and its team have earned critical acclaim, including 20 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

This show is broadcast on CBS, also known as the Columbia Broadcasting System.

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