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Model's Murder Prompts Casting Concerns

A gruesome murder case is raising new concerns about reality TV.
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VH1 executives have cancelled "Megan Wants a Millionaire," the reality TV show that Ryan Alexander Jenkins appeared in before he was charged with brutally murdering a former swimsuit model.

Previously the network had said the show, in which wealthy young men try to win over a materialistic blonde, was postponed. On Friday, VH1 spokesman Brett Henne confirmed that the show has now been cancelled.

Jasmine Fiore's body was found without fingers or teeth in a bloodstained suitcase in a trash bin. She met Jenkins in Las Vegas in March, soon after he completed filming the reality show, and married him weeks later.

Investigators say Jenkins and Fiore checked-in to the L'Auberge hotel in Del Mar on August 13. The next morning, Jenkins checked out, and Fiore was never seen alive again. Investigators believe Jenkins may have killed Fiore while in San Diego and then dumped her body in a trash bin in Buena Park.

On the reality TV show, Jenkins is referred to as the "smooth operator." But in real life, police allege Jenkins is a cold-blooded killer who strangled and mutilated his ex wife.

"You can't always predict how someone is going to behave because the nicest guy, with the most stable personality, there could be a situation that sets him off," Richard Levak, Ph.D. said.

Levak is a psychologist who worked on some of TV's biggest reality shows including “Survivor” and “The Apprentice ” and says that when producers search for contestants, they look for interesting people with different personality types.

"You want a worried anxious nice guy, you want a manipulative, self serving type," he said. It was Dr. Levak's job to weed out certain people. "The role of the casting psychologist was to rule out people who were potentially dangerous, kill someone, hurt themselves," he said.

That is why criminal background checks are a vital tool.

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," Levak said.

Ryan Jenkins has a criminal past, including a 2007 conviction in Canada for assaulting his former girlfriend. That type of information would be available to anyone who does a thorough criminal background check.

"The more a producer is willing to spend on casting, the better the cast and the more thorough the background checks," Levak said.

51 Minds, the company that produces the show, said that an outside company performed checks on all of the contestants, including Jenkins.

"Clearly the process did not work properly in this case. 51 Minds is investigating what went wrong and taking steps to ensure that this sort of lapse never occurs again," the company said in a statement.

Company officials also said Jenkins would not have been cast, if they had known about his criminal record.