TOPEKA, Kan. - The television program "Unsolved Mysteries" has been filming a program about an unsolved murder on the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas tentatively scheduled to air on the Lifetime channel on Aug. 13.
Staff members of "Unsolved Mysteries" first became interested in the case after reading the story, "After three years, still no justice for Jodie," in the Dec. 6, 2000, issue of Indian Country Today.
"Murders happen all over everyday," a staff member said. "But this one had so many twists to it, that it was of special interest to our program."
The film crew arrived in Kansas the week of June 4 after doing extensive research on the murder of Jodie Bordeaux, a former employee at the Golden Eagle Casino in Horton.
Jodie Bordeaux was seven months pregnant when she was killed in what has been termed a drive-by shooting in her home in the early morning hours of Nov. 21, 1997. She and her husband Shawn both worked at the Golden Eagle Casino and had been in an employment dispute.
After three years, the murder of Jodie and her unborn child remain unsolved. Family members remain angry no one has stepped forward with information on the murders.
Shawn Bordeaux said he hopes after the program airs, someone will step forward with information and those responsible for killing Jodie will be brought to justice.
Shawn and others went to Topeka to do on-camera interviews with David Masser, director of the segment. Shawn, still driving the car his wife once owned, said he is anxious for closure on the case.
"We do a lot of stories about tragic deaths," Masser said. "This one in particular, in terms of a compelling story, this one has more layers and more intrigue than most because of all of the elements of different cultures. There is a lot of gray; it's not black and white. There are a lot of very sincere people who want to see it solved. It's a complex story, a fascinating one and one we hope we can be of help in solving."
Members of Haskell Indian Nation University's Thunderbird Theatre group have been contacted to help film the reenactment of the murder.
Kickapoo Chairwoman Nancy Bear cooperated fully with the crew, Masser said, and rolled out the welcome mat when they arrived. But Bear may be in the minority. Even as she was cooperating with the film crew, others made threats against tribal members who planned to tell their stories to the filmmakers.
But, the complexity and the rawness of the story came to light when one of those to be interviewed called to speak of the threats and indicated they were afraid to appear on camera.
The wall of silence and threats is one that Shawn Bordeaux hopes will come down after the program airs.
"I think it's great," Bordeaux said. "I hope to see that it will bring some results to the case. They have quite a bit of information, they just don't have quite enough to bring it to a close. So I'm hoping by "Unsolved Mysteries" picking it up, they will be able to answer any other questions they may have and wrap the case up. I also want to thank Indian Country Today for publishing the story and really putting their hearts into it and getting it out."