New York, N.Y.-,
Dec 1, 2012
The investigative CBS television show 48 Hours will focus on what it calls “one of the coldest cases in U.S. history” in a premiere entitled “The Hunt for Mr. Wright” tonight, Dec. 1 at 10 p.m. eastern time.
48 Hours recently filmed a hearing held Congressman Chris Smith (NJ04), chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), in July called “Justice in the International Extradition System: The Case of George Wright and Beyond.”
To watch a sneak preview, click here.
George Wright was convicted in 1963 of murdering Walter Patterson during an armed robbery. He is also sought as a prison escapee and for the 1972 hijacking of a passenger jet. Last year, the FBI and Portuguese law enforcement located him in a coastal village in Portugal, but a Portuguese court denied the United States’ request to have him extradited.
Bronze Star recipient
48 Hours interviewed witnesses at Smiths’s hearing, including Ann Patterson, daughter of Walter Patterson, other family members and R. J. Gallagher, the now-retired FBI Special Agent who led the efforts to track Wright down. Click here to watch Smith’s hearing, or read witnesses’ testimony
“George Wright is a convicted murderer who escaped prison
,” said Smith, who noted the U.S. Justice Department has unsuccessfully sought to extradite Wright, and that the U.S. State Department could do more to apply pressure on Portugal. “There’s no statute of limitations for murder. George Wright has been living high on the hog in a resort area of Portugal, while the children of Walter Patterson, a combat war hero from World War II, struggled and grew up as orphans without the love of their father. He has not paid his debt for his crime. Justice has not been done. He must come back to serve out his sentence. The U.S. government must press for this murderer’s return. Walter Patterson must not be forgotten. ”