On ‘Dateline’ a small town murder shakes a community’s faith


(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” in the small town of Morris, Alabama, faith is a way of life. But when resident Michael Reese is murdered in his home, rumors involving a local pastor begin to swirl as the truth ends up turning the community upside down.

Here’s a preview of Andrea Canning’s report:

Out here in rural, sweet home Alabama, where churches outnumber streetlights, faith is a way of life.

DELAINE MULLINS: I grew up in the church. Everyone, that I knew, went to church.

Sunday sermons. Wednesday services. Church picnics.

DELAINE MULLINS: Faith is a huge part and, and always has been, a huge part of southern life.

It’s how the people of morris, a small town outside of Birmingham, come together to celebrate life and the word.

DELAINE MULLINS: The values are integrated into every bit of southern society.

So, when salacious rumors involving a church started swirling, the god-fearing folks who live here hoped the whispers weren’t true. But they had to wonder.

JERRY VINCENT: Even the Devil went to church.

And on a cold February night in 2015, the truth began to emerge.

911 call P 2: Police Department…

C: Hey, um, I just got home and walked in the front door and I don’t know if the house has been broke into or what. The, the tables been knocked over and, I can’t, I can’t find my husband.

P 2: Ok, let’s back up just a little bit, just a, OK who are you?

C: Cindy, uh, Henderson Reese.

P 2: Cindy Reese?

C: Uh-huh

You can watch tonight’s “Dateline”, on NBC4  at 10 p.m.

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