ABC 20/20 “Since You’ve Been Gone” September 15 2023 Recap & Preview

The mysterious disappearance of 17-year-old Alissa Turney has baffled investigators and captivated the public for over two decades. Initially dismissed as a typical runaway case, the story took a chilling turn as new evidence emerged, leading authorities to suspect something far more sinister. In this two-hour special, 20/20 delves deep into the recent twists and turns of this perplexing case, drawing upon its original reporting dating back to Alissa’s disappearance in 2001

Meanwhile, Dateline broadcasts an episode into a chilling case that gripped the border city of Laredo, Texas, in the summer of 2018 in an episode titled “The Streets of Laredo“.

On the last day of her junior year, Alissa Turney vanished without a trace. At first glance, it appeared to be a classic runaway case, complete with a goodbye note. However, as time passed, doubts crept in, and investigators started to entertain the possibility of foul play.

The Alissa Turney case took a bizarre turn when a serial killer made a false confession. This unexpected development sent shockwaves through the investigation. Additionally, the discovery of pipe bombs added a layer of complexity to the mystery, leaving law enforcement with more questions than answers.

One of the most dramatic moments in this long-running saga was the recent acquittal of Alissa’s stepfather, Michael Turney, who had been accused of her murder. Michael, whose 2009 interview with ABC News played a pivotal role in the case, now walks free. The program features a new interview with him, shedding light on his perspective and the trial that captivated the nation.

Despite the passage of over two decades, authorities are still in pursuit of answers surrounding Alissa Turney’s disappearance. Lead detectives Stuart Somershoe and William Anderson share their insights into the investigation’s twists and turns. James Turney, Michael’s son, provides a unique family perspective, and true-crime podcaster Ottavia McHenry, who extensively covered the case, offers her insights.

Join ABC for this gripping two-hour special as 20/20 explores the chilling enigma of the Alissa Turney disappearance. The program airs on Friday, September 15, from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. EDT on ABC, with next-day streaming available on Hulu. As the search for answers continues, prepare to be immersed in one of the most perplexing and compelling mysteries of our time.

What Happened to Alissa Turney?

Alissa Turney vanished more than two decades ago on the last day of her junior year at Paradise Valley High School, on May 17, 2001. Michael Turney claimed that he and Alissa had argued that day because she wanted more freedom. He stated that she had become angry and retreated to her room. When he returned home later that evening, Alissa was gone, leaving behind a note claiming she was running away to California. At the time, the police believed she was a runaway, and no foul play was suspected.

Nearly a decade later, the Phoenix Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit reopened the case, concluding that foul play had indeed occurred. They focused their investigation on Michael Turney and executed search warrants at his residence. While they found video footage spanning decades, there were no tapes from the day Alissa disappeared.

Michael Turney Trial

Earlier this month, after nearly three years since his arrest, 75-year-old Michael Roy Turney faced trial for second-degree murder in Phoenix, Arizona. He stood accused in connection to the 2001 disappearance of his 17-year-old stepdaughter, Alissa Turney.

During the trial’s opening arguments on July 6, Sarah Turney, Alissa’s half-sister and Michael’s biological daughter, provided emotional testimony. She recounted instances of her father’s criticism towards Alissa. On the second day of her testimony, Sarah revealed that her father had told her he would reveal the truth about Alissa’s disappearance on his deathbed when she asked him about it.

In July 2023, the trial took place, with jurors hearing testimony from various witnesses, including detectives and Alissa’s former boyfriend. On the sixth day of the trial, Michael Turney’s defense attorneys requested an acquittal, citing the lack of substantial evidence to support a conviction. The judge ruled in favor of the defense, leading to the dismissal of all charges against Michael Turney, who was subsequently released from custody.

Following his release, one of Michael Turney’s defense attorneys conveyed his client’s relief and continued concern for Alissa’s case. Sarah and James Turney, two of Alissa’s siblings, expressed gratitude for the support they received throughout the years, even though the trial’s outcome was not what they had hoped for.

Alex Matthews

Alex has been an avid fan of television since they were a child, always eager to discover new shows and characters. Over the years, Alex has written numerous articles and essays about television, exploring the themes, characters, and cultural impact of some of the most beloved shows of our time.

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