On ‘Dateline,’ a cold case forty years in the making is finally solved


(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” when 21-year-old college student Helene Pruszynski is found murdered, the case remains cold for nearly forty years until a new detective uses an innovative method to catch Helene’s killer.

Here’s a preview of Josh Mankiewicz’s report:

For a victim’s family, there may be no greater frustration than having a loved one’s case go cold. 

Often, someone needs to play the role of the tireless advocate.

Even at only 26, Helene’s friend Kimberly La Tourette realized that and made her promise.


KIMBERLY LA TOURETTE: I saw Helene’s parents, and I just promised them that I would not stop for as long as I was living in doing everything in my power to find Helene’s killer.

“Everything” to Kimberly meant constantly calling detectives, generating press coverage, anything to keep a laser focus on the case.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ: You have any idea how many years you were signing up for when you made that promise?


For nearly four decades Kimberly La Tourette kept her promise. Forty years looking at faces, forty years meeting with detectives, forty years re-tracing Helene’s steps.

KIMBERLY LA TOURETTE: When I make a promise and make a commitment, I follow through.

Helene never knew it, but she had another friend.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ: You never met Helene. You feel like you know her?

SHANNON JENSEN: I do. I feel like I know her well, as well as I possibly could.

Shannon was three years old back when Helene disappeared. It was only last year when she accepted a challenge.

SHANNON JENSEN: I had to win. I wanted to win for Helene.

Watch tonight’s “Dateline,” on NBC4  at 10 p.m.

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