“Dateline NBC” is set to air on Friday a compelling episode about a son and daughter who lost their parents to a tragic murder in 1979.
Called "The Haunting," the show will recount the day when two robbers broke into the Douglass' home, shot everyone in the family and took turns raping young Leslie Douglass. The parents died that day and the terrible loss deeply affected the children.
Pastor Richard and his wife, Marilyn Douglass, were known to be influential Baptist leaders in the Oklahoma area. The family was commonly known for their generosity towards those less fortunate as well as for their time in Brazil as missionaries.
The robbers were eventually found after leaving the children with emotional and physical pain. The criminals were discovered to have previously participated in a string of similar robberies in Texas and Colorado.
Years later, the Douglass siblings had to face their aggressors, Steve Hatch and Glen Ake, in trial and recount their stories as they testified before the court on numerous trials and appeals to secure justice for their parents' murder.
Leslie and her younger brother, Brooks, both later settled down and lived a professional life. Leslie became an assistant principal and now has a family and two children. Although Brooks had more difficulty overcoming the tragedy, he later became a lawyer and won the seat for Oklahoma State Senate in the 1990s. He was the youngest senator in Oklahoma history.
Brooks was later approached by a Hollywood writer and director, Paul Brown, in the hopes of turning the family’s story about the tragedy and their ability to find forgiveness and move on into a full feature film. “Heaven's Rain” will open in theaters to a limited release early this year.
"The Haunting," meanwhile, airs Friday 9 p.m. ET.