“Dateline NBC” will air a two-hour special Friday detailing the crimes of Valley Center-area commune leader Daniel Perez, who was convicted in February of child rape and first-degree murder in a decade-old drowning death that initially had been ruled accidental.
“Angels and Demons” starts at 8 p.m. on NBC.
The show will feature interviews with Sedgwick County sheriff’s Detective Ron Goodwyn, whose nine-year investigation into Perez’s life and finances culminated in criminal charges; and with two sisters who suffered years of sex abuse while living at the Angels Landing commune. One of the women was prosecutors’ key witness in the murder portion of Perez’s trial.
Perez, a purported seer who used false names and told his followers he was a centuries-old angel, will also be interviewed, according to the show. He is serving two life sentences in a Kansas prison.
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Jurors in February found Perez guilty of 28 crimes, including the 2003 murder of commune member Patricia Hughes, 26; child rape; sexual exploitation of a child; and directing that false information be put on life insurance and car credit applications.
Witnesses at his trial testified that Perez moved his communal family from state to state, leading an elaborate lifestyle funded by life insurance payouts from the deaths of his followers.
He was charged with Hughes’ murder and dozens of other crimes after a woman told authorities in 2011 that she helped stage Hughes’ death as an 11-year-old child.