Agawam residents react to NBC Dateline episode on Lisa Ziegert case

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Agawam re-lived a grim chapter of recent history Friday night when 22News broadcast the two-hour NBC Dateline special detailing the murder of Lisa Ziegert.

Residents in Agawam shared their feeling to 22News about the two-hour broadcast trip through time.

The 27-year-old mother of three, Caty Slatcher of Agawam, hadn’t been born yet when 24-year-old Lisa Ziegert was murdered in April of 1992.

But the crime held such a firm grip on Agawam through the years, children grew up learning at home what had happened during the many years the crime went unsolved.

“I wanted to go out there and try to solve what happened,” Slatcher told 22News. “I work right there, right next to Rocky’s and Friendly’s and right around the corner where it happened, where she worked.”

For Agawam residents like Slatcher, the Lisa Ziegert story on Dateline Friday was very personal. They were not casual viewers as they watched a familiar chapter unfold in their living rooms.

“Honestly, I had the chills the whole time, because especially when Gary in ’93 and they didn’t believe what his wife was saying, and they find out that it was him,” she recalled.

Brian Hope of Enfield was a young father with a growing family in 1992. Watching Friday night’s two-hour exploration of the Lisa Ziegert case, he was reminded how Lisa’s murder effected him down through the years.

He told 22News, “Even though you didn’t know her, I didn’t know her, it felt like you knew everybody, knew her even though you didn’t physically, it felt so sad for her and her family.”

During those powerful two hours broadcast by NBC, Brian said he feels so proud of law enforcement for doggedly continuing its work until the Lisa Ziegert killer had been caught.

“How they just singled out everybody and got down to the right person, that guy was living among them,” Hope noted.

Dateline provided Agawam with a memorable, deeply personal two hours, encapsulating all they had gone through during the many years leading up to justice being served.

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