New television show about cold cases may include Williamson County

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — More cameras may soon turn their focus onto the work at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. 

On Tuesday, the Williamson County Commissioners Court agreed to let Sheriff Robert Chody and his office pursue a production deal on a new television show, tentatively titled “The Program.” 

Chody said a production company approached him about an idea to focus on the county’s unsolved murder cases, with the intent of offering experts to help his investigators. 

“Whether that’s DNA or whatever direction we should be going, they will make that suggestion to us in the Cold Case Unit,” Chody said. “And we will decide if that’s the direction we want to go in. If so, we wouldn’t have to pay for that. This production company would.” 

Not long after taking office, the sheriff established a dedicated Cold Case Unit to look into more than a dozen unsolved murders in the county. It’s currently staffed by volunteers who are mostly retired members of law enforcement. 

Chody said he sees this potential show only supporting, not distracting, the work being done right now by that team.

“I promised the victims of these crimes and cold cases that we were going to do everything possible to bring justice to them and their loved one,” he told KXAN. 

Carla Ritchey-Scruggs commended the sheriff for pursuing this production deal.

“The only way to get things out there, it seems, is social media or TV or those kind of mediums,” Ritchey-Scruggs said. “So I think it’s a good idea.” 

Her grandfather, S.E. Ritchey, died 31 years ago after a violent robbery outside his home in eastern Williamson County. The person who killed him has never been caught, which has left a void in the lives of Ritchey-Scruggs and her family. 

“With this many years that have gone by, as much as we can get out the word as possible, we need to do that,” she said. “Going nationwide and even beyond is something that certainly couldn’t hurt at this point.” 

Chody said the show is not attached to a network at this point, so it’s unclear when or where it would air. If it’s ultimately picked up somewhere, this would be the second show involving the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

In November 2018 the work of some of the deputies began to be featured on the popular A&E show “Live PD.”

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