'Dateline' examines Dodge murder case, one of the most important stories Keith Morrison has covered, with 'beyond bizarre' ending - East Idaho News
Angie Dodge

‘Dateline’ examines Dodge murder case, one of the most important stories Keith Morrison has covered, with ‘beyond bizarre’ ending

  Published at  | Updated at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...
Photo: Angie Dodge, courtesy Carol Dodge. | In the video player above, EastIdahoNews.com reporter Nate Eaton interviews ‘Dateline NBC’ correspondent Keith Morrison.

IDAHO FALLS — Keith Morrison has been following the twists and turns of the Angie Dodge murder case for 12 years and this Friday, he’ll share the latest developments in a new two-hour “Dateline NBC.”

Dodge, 18, was found dead in her Idaho Falls apartment on June 13, 1996. Six months later, investigators named 20-year-old Christopher Tapp a suspect. Tapp initially denied any involvement but eventually falsely confessed to the crime and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

Tapp asserted his innocence from behind bars and Carol Dodge, Angie’s mother, worked to clear his name. After serving 20 years, he was released from prison in March 2017 and exonerated two years later after DNA from the crime scene matched Brian Dripps. The 53-year-old was arrested, charged and ultimately pleaded guilty to murdering Angie Dodge.

RELATED | Tapp walks free after 20 years: ‘I never thought this day would come’

“It’s been a journey. A strange, strange case of up and down and back and forth with moments along the way that I’ve found pretty hard to believe,” Morrison tells EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s truly one of the most important stories that I’ve ever been involved in, and the ending, well, my God, it is beyond bizarre.”

Morrison credits Carol Dodge for pushing investigators to keep the case alive as she worked to have Tapp released from prison. The veteran journalist interviewed Tapp when he was incarcerated and said it was an “awful” situation.

“Carol drove this as I’ve never, ever seen another family member succeed in doing so well,” Morrison explains. “She just forced every little bit to come into place at a great personal cost for more than 20 years.”

RELATED | ‘Dateline NBC’ correspondent Keith Morrison has covered thousands of stories and has never seen one like this

Morrison was at the Bonneville County Courthouse the day Tapp walked out a free man nearly five years ago. At the time, he still had the murder conviction on his record, and it would not be cleared for another few months.

“That was an amazing day to see these people rally around a guy who had been in prison all those years,” Morrison recalls. “It was absolutely extraordinary and disappointing at the same time. When he got out of prison, he was legally a convicted murderer, and it was very clear he didn’t do it. (It) wouldn’t be until a new investigation was able to ascertain who actually did this and clear him for good.”

Tapp sued the city of Idaho Falls and the Idaho Falls Police Department. As part of a settlement, he received an apology and $11.7 million from the city in July 2022.

Tapp recorded an interview with Morrison last fall and said it would be the last time he spoke about the case on-camera, according to Morrison.

Weeks later, on Nov. 5, 2023, Tapp died at the age of 47 in Las Vegas. Police say his death is being investigated as a homicide, but nobody has been charged and no suspects have been publicly named.

“He spent so many years inside that learning to live on the outside was difficult,” Morrison says. “Learning to live on the outside with quite a lot of money, which he had for good cause been able to achieve, made it doubly difficult. Money to a person who has never had it can be a dangerous thing, as it was to him.”

“Dateline” viewers can expect “things you didn’t think you’d see” Friday night at 8 p.m. MST and material that has never been shown to anyone, along with Tapp’s final interview before his death.

Watch our entire interview with Morrison in the video player above.

Editor’s note: Nate Eaton is a ‘Dateline NBC’ contributor and appears in Friday’s episode.