News-Sun reporter in the ‘hot seat’ about Yang murder case
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org January 28, 2013 7:06PM
Director of photography Dave Kurtovich of Minnesota prepares the set for interview and filming of Lake County News-Sun reporter Beth Kramer of Waukegan for Investigation Discovery. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:13AM
My attitude toward cameras has always been to point them at someone else. What possessed me to agree to do an on-camera interview for a TV show? Simple. I thought I would regret it later if I didn’t jump on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I guess I am no different from everybody else who is ready to grab 15 minutes of fame.
I agreed to speak to Sirens Media, who shoots footage for Investigation Discovery (ID). ID is putting a show together about the famous Rhoni Reuter murder case. Reuter was seven months pregnant when Marni Yang gunned her down in Reuter’s Deerfield condo on Oct. 4, 2007. Reuter was pregnant with Chicago Bears player Shaun Gayle’s baby, who was on the team when they won the Super Bowl in 1985. Yang handled some of Gayle’s real estate transactions. Gayle also said he slept with Yang two to three nights a year and had slept with Yang the night before Reuter was murdered, according to court testimony.
I was there when Yang was sentenced to two life terms for murdering Reuter and her unborn daughter in May 2011. I was also there in court for several of Yang’s pretrial hearings. It was the highest profile murder case I have handled to date for the News-Sun.
A producer from Sirens Media saw my byline on several Yang stories and asked if I would be willing to go on camera and speak about the case. I have only been on video camera a handful of times in my life. I also seldom offer much in the way of my personal thoughts on a court case publicly, especially while a case is pending. (Yang’s appeal is pending while she serves life at Dwight Correctional Center.) I may share an observation or two, but my interview with Sirens Media was the most I’ve disclosed publicly.
As a reporter, it is my job to be fair and unbiased. My opinions and speculations will never appear in a News-Sun story about any court case. While Sirens Media did ask me a lot about the facts of the case, I was also asked for my opinion several times.
It was strange to be on the other side of the interview. Stranger still to be seated in a chair hooked up to a microphone with bright lights to either side of me. A crew of about three or four people were behind the camera while field producer Kaia Jacobi asked me about 70 questions. Her questions will be edited out of the final cut, but it put me at ease to speak to a person instead of staring at the camera.
If you want to hear what I disclosed about the Yang case, you’ll have to catch the episode when it airs in about five months.