The murder of former Grizzlies player Lorenzen Wright remains an unsolved mystery three years after it occurred. But the producers of TV One's Celebrity Crime Files hope to bring new attention to the case in an upcoming episode.
The hour-long episode, which has been in production since March, will air Monday, September 16th, at 8 p.m.
"[Viewers] can expect to be able to follow Lorenzen's career that led to him having such a revered place in the Memphis community," said Ashir Gruder, the show's supervising producer. "And then [they can learn about] the events tracking his disappearance and what went on in Memphis and how the city, fans, and the nation responded to this amazing missing-persons case."
Wright was last seen alive on July 18th, 2010, when he left the house of his ex-wife Sherra Wright and their six children in Collierville. Sherra informed police that he had a box of drugs and an indefinite amount of money in his possession. She also said she overheard Wright on the telephone saying he was going to "flip something for $110,000."
Shortly after midnight on July 19th, a 911 dispatcher in Germantown received a call from a frantic voice muffling an expletive before more than 10 gunshots were heard. According to Courthouse News Service reports, one of the 911 dispatchers then hung up on the phone call to handle the police radio, while another dispatcher attempted to call the cell phone number back. No one responded.
Wright's bullet-riddled body was found on July 28th in a field off of Callis Cutoff between Hacks Cross and Germantown. His body was located one day after the Germantown 911 service notified investigators about the frantic call they received.
"There was the 911 call that was, you can't say it was ignored, but you can say it wasn't followed up on," said Robert Katz, executive producer of the show. "The gunshots are on the 911 call, but we don't really know what the circumstances are. The big question is why it happened or if Lorenzen was up to something, and if he was, what was it? So there's a lot of missing information here."
Celebrity Crime Files producers talked to Wright's family and friends to get a better understanding of who he was. They also talked to the Memphis Police Department, forensic psychologists, and reporters who covered the case.
Various rumors have surfaced regarding the events that led to Wright's murder, such as the possibility of his being involved in drug distribution or that he was potentially set-up by his ex-wife, Sherra. However, the MPD has no substantial evidence pointing to a motive for his murder or his killer or killers.
"It is a unique case to the extent that he's a beloved member of the Memphis community," Katz said. "In the course of our show, not one person said anything but great things about Lorenzen — as a person, father, [and] community member. I think that the big unknown is, How can someone so beloved have gotten themselves in this situation? Such an empty, hollow feeling is the fact that his death is not only unsolved, but it's unexplained as well. It would be great to find out who did it, but it would be equally great to find out how it happened and why."
CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County is offering a cash reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of Wright's killer or killers.