Ferguson\'s Release Draws National Coverage

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COLUMBIA - Ryan Ferguson's release sent a flood of emotions throughout the Columbia community and around the country.

KOMU-8's Jim Riek asked Ferguson "Did the media help or hurt you?"

"I don't know. It helped and it hurt, you know," responded Ryan Ferguson. "Whenever the media first gets a hold of the case, they are getting stories and theories from the state, and they are not true."

This was one of many questions KOMU asked Ferguson shortly after he was set free.

Dozens of extra camera crews from across the country crowded Columbia on Tuesday to get a look at Ferguson's release from prison. NBC's Dateline was one of the many crews.

KOMU sat down with Dateline's Keith Morrison to see why he and producer Anthony Galloway made multiple trips for the story.

"Anthony called me and said are you interested in this story," said Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison. "I know it had been done before and I said, sure its a great story if we can talk to the right people and then I met the Ferguson's and I was all in."

Morrison said the story captures their viewer's attention.

"Its a wonderful human drama on many different levels you can't help but follow it and it's one of those things that insists your eyes," said Morrison. "You meet his father who is a remarkable advocate and stays up until two or three o'clock in the morning wandering around the city trying to find evidence of what really happened that night and it is just really compelling."

Morrison said he still hopes to talk to Chuck Erickson, the man who told police in 2004 that he and Ryan Ferguson murdered Kent Heitholt.