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At the Desk of: Bob Gilmartin, Dateline producer

by Dateline NBC /

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Bob Gilmartin is the producer of this Friday's episode with Keith Morrison, Secrets on the Emerald Coast. We caught up with him at his desk to get the inside scoop. (Edited for time and clarity, not that Bob’s not always clear…)

Dateline: We know you’re producing this Friday’s Dateline. We have a few questions.

Bob Gilmartin, Producer: OK.

Dateline: How did you come across the case in this Friday’s report?

Bob: I read about it about a year and a half ago, and I follow a lot of stories down in Florida. And then I met a detective on this case at a homicide [investigators] conference, which I -- strangely enough -- go to. And he told me about it and I said, “Yeah, that’s a Dateline story.”

Dateline: How many homicide investigator conferences do you go to in a year?

Bob: At least a half dozen – sometimes more.

Dateline: And so, you’ve been working on this for a year and a half?

Bob: I’ve known about it, and I’ve had some contact for about a year and a half, but been really working on it for about six weeks.

Dateline: Without giving anything away, tell us a bit about the story.

Bob: Sure. As we say in the story, it’s a story about love, lies, religion and murder. Which is all the Dateline elements you really need. But, it’s really a story about this woman, Marie Carlson. A beautiful young lady who lived in northern Florida, who had a child. And then -- all of a sudden -- sent out a mass text message to friends and family saying, “I’m leaving. Don’t try to stop me. I’m going off to do something I want to do.” She left her baby behind with a local pastor and his wife. And from there, the mystery started.

Dateline: What was the most unusual location you filmed at for this episode?

Bob: We shot at a museum of decommissioned airplanes and fighter [jets], because it was very near Eglin Air Force Base in northern Florida, which is a huge establishment.

Dateline: What is the one clue we should be on the lookout for?

Bob: As usual – text messages.

Dateline: What’s the best thing about working on a story with Keith?

Bob: His voice. No, actually – people love him. I mean, he is – walk into a room and if they don’t know his name, they know him, his hair, his voice. And he’s just the sweetest guy you could imagine working with. He just makes everyone feel comfortable. And it’s great. It’s the way I like to work.

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