Waco Woman Says in Federal Suit That First 48 Mix-Up Made Her a "Gang Target" in Dallas

Fascinating case over on Courthouse News involving a Waco woman named Dorothy Isabel who used to live in Dallas and says she can't return here to visit her relatives because, well, an old episode of A&E's true-crime series The First 48 ID'd her as a prostitute known as "Lady" who is a "possible party to the murder the subject of the episode." That particular ep (titled "Misled/Somebody's Daddy") involves a shooting in a Dallas motel parking lot, and the pleadings filed in Austin say the mix-up is the result of an old mugshot of Isabel's being shown on the show.

Per the complaint: "Lady" was brought in to ID a gang member who was eventually convicted of the shooting -- and though you never saw Lady's face (it was, says the federal suit, "blurred out"), a mugshot ID'd as being Lady was "in fact Ms. Isabel, taken several years prior to the taping of this episode." The ep ain't hard to find on the Internet. And, says the complaint, A&E airs it all the time, despite Isabel's (and her attorneys') insistence that, look, that ain't her:
The result of airing Ms. Isabel's photograph and representing to the public that she had anything to do with the murder the subject of the episode has caused Ms. Isabel to fear for her life and personal safety. Episode 86 involves a murder that took place in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Isabel is from Dallas and currently all of her relatives reside in Dallas. The representation that Ms. Isabel had any involvement with the subject murder and/or apprehension of the murderer places her in a very dangerous situation; specifically, she fears she has become a gang target. At this time, Ms. Isabel is not able to return to Dallas or visit her family due to safety concerns.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

Latest Stories