Sister's 2004 murder drives MSNBC's Tamron Hall


Tamron Hall, left, host of “Deadline: Crime,” speaks during the Discovery Communications TCA Panel. (The Associated Press)

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.

MSNBC's Tamron Hall says her anchoring a crime series for "Investigation Discovery" is partly motivated by the feeling that she failed her sister, who was murdered in 2004 in what remains an unsolved crime.

Hall's ID series, "Deadline Crime," begins its second season this spring. Hall hasn't talked about her own family's story as part of the series, but she opened up about her regrets last Thursday at a news conference.

"I feel that I failed my sister, because I knew there was domestic violence happening but I didn't know what to say," Hall said.

Hall said her sister had been visiting her, and then she discovered that her sister had let a person in the home who had assaulted her.

"She was beaten, my house was torn apart," Hall said. "I kicked the person out of my house. The next morning my sister had let him back in.

"Rather than hug her and stick beside her, I kicked them both out," Hall said. "And I didn't talk to my sister for three months. And now with this show and talking to other victims, I try to teach others what I believe I did wrong, which is, I should have hugged my sister and I should have found help for her."

Hall said interviewing people for the show has given her the opportunity to let people know they are not alone if they are struggling with the idea that they should have done something different for loved ones involved in tragic crimes.

Hall said her sister's body was found face down in the swimming pool in her backyard. Her hair had been ripped from the back of her head and her nails were gone. Detectives told her they believed they knew who did it, but no one has been charged.

Hall said she met a truck driver from the Midwest whose daughter had been murdered. She felt a distance during the interview, until Hall opened up and told about her sister's killing.

Hall anchors a weekday news program on MSNBC and is a substitute host for NBC's "Today" and "Weekend Today." She makes the series for NBC's production company, which sold it to ID.

Bobbi Kristina

Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, has tied the knot with Nick Gordon.

A representative for the family confirmed Friday that the 20-year-old Brown married Gordon. But the rep did not know where or when the marriage took place.

Brown tweeted about her marriage last Thursday, posting a photo of the couple wearing wedding rings with hands on top of each other. She wrote in the caption, "#HappilyMarried. So #InLove. If you didn't get it the first time that is."

In 2012, Brown caused a stir when she was spotted wearing a sparkly bauble on her ring finger. But it turned out she was wearing her mother's ring and was not engaged.

Brown's father is Bobby Brown.

The late Houston left her entire estate to her daughter, her only child.

SNL black writers

"Saturday Night" is expanding its ethnic diversity off-screen as well as on.

A network spokeswoman, Lauren Roseman, said last Wednesday that NBC's comic institution is adding two black women to its writing staff.

The move follows the addition of an African-American woman, comedian Sasheer Zamata, to the show's cast.

The hiring of LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones as writers was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. The trade paper said the two had been part of recent auditions focusing exclusively on minority women.

"Saturday Night Live" has been criticized for a lack of diversity, particularly the absence of a black woman among the 16 regular or featured players.

Image Awards

In a year rich with black-oriented films, nominees for the NAACP Image Awards include "12 Years a Slave" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

"Fruitvale Station," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "The Best Man Holiday" are the other nominees for outstanding motion picture, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced last Thursday.

The 45th annual NAACP Image Awards, which honor diversity in the arts, will be presented in a Feb. 22 ceremony airing on the TV One channel.

Other nominees include best movie actor contenders Chadwick Boseman for "42," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave," Forest Whitaker for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Idris Elba for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and Michael B. Jordan for "Fruitvale Station."

The outstanding actress nominees are Angela Bassett for "Black Nativity," Halle Berry for "The Call," Jennifer Hudson for "Winnie Mandela," Kerry Washington for "Tyler Perry Presents Peeples" and Nicole Beharie for "42."

In the outstanding supporting actor category, nods went to Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo and Terrence Howard for "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and to Howard and Morris Chestnut for "The Best Man Holiday."

The nominees for outstanding supporting actress are Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave," Naomie Harris for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," Octavia Spencer for "Fruitvale Station" and Oprah Winfrey for "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

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