Lorenzen Wright's tragic story will soon air on TV One's Celebrity Crime Files. The cable network recently filmed in Memphis after Wright's mother made an appeal to FOX13 News and the Mid-South.
Your response to TV One was overwhelming. Though his murder investigation has been on their radar, it was the 1,000 phone calls appealing to their network that helped his mysterious case make the list for the show's second season.
FOX13 News recently spoke with Deborah Marion as she was getting prepared to speak with TV One's Celebrity Crime Files. She said while getting ready, she remembered her son giving her the royal makeup treatment 16 years ago.
"It makes me want to cry but I don't want to mess up my makeup," she said. "It's like a pamper party."
Now, she's back in this chair for him.
"That somebody else really going to hear it and maybe somebody'll get my story and start helping me, find out what I need to find out, what happened to my son and why," Marion said.
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The former NBA star disappeared on July 18, 2010, shortly before he was to ride back to his Atlanta home with a friend of his. Nine days later his body was found in a wooded area in Southeast Memphis near Hacks Cross Road and Winchester.
"He was Memphis. He was Memphis sports," she said.
No arrests have been made in the high profile case.
"I have been waiting on this day to get my story out because it's been inside of me like a time bomb, tick, tick, tick away," Marion said.
Since Wright traveled extensively, Marion hopes national exposure would help find answers. She texted 560 friends to appeal to TV One, which highlights controversial cases on celebrity crime files.
"Leave a message and tell them you would like to see the Lorenzen Wright story," she said.
After 1,000 calls to the cable channel, a production company landed in Memphis. After one final touch up, Marion reflects on her son's memory before her big TV One close up.
FOX13 News captured some of the behind the scenes action while the crew detailed Wright's childhood, the investigation, and lack of clues.
Crime Stoppers Executive Director Buddy Chapman calls the case very cold.
"This has been just an unbelievably extraordinary case," he said. "The fact the gunshots would be fired, there was no location, we didn't know where the body was. It turned up later. When it turned up his jewelry was still on him, which is extraordinary because if it was a drug deal gone bad or robbery they would've taken the jewelry. Just kind of where it is. I've never encountered anything like it."
While Chapman says the case has received no substantial tips, he commends this mother for her one-of-a-kind persistence.
"I don't know that I've seen anyone as tenacious as she," Chapman said.
The production company's Memphis shoot lasted two days, but their presence offers Marion a glimmer of hope forever.
"Hope somebody's conscious play on him and say I can't live like this," she said. "Got to go, do my time. She don't want me dead, she just want me to serve my time. I don't want anybody dead. Enough people done died. My son was one too many."
Marion says she's in talks with a private investigator. She says a group of volunteer criminal experts who help solve homicides are also looking into the case.
The air date for the Wright story has not been released but is set to air this year.
If you have any information on the Wright cold case you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.