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Crime News Dateline

"Chilling Twist" in Idaho Teen’s Brutal Murder Case After Friend's False Confession, Real Killer's Capture

A false confession by Christopher Tapp landed the wrong man behind bars in Angie Dodge's murder, but more revelations were yet to come. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Angie Dodge featured on Dateline.

After an Idaho man falsely confessed to murdering his friend, the real killer was caught more than two decades later — but the lengthy case still had a “chilling twist” to come.

Dateline NBC took a fresh look at the murder of Idaho Falls 18-year-old Angie Dodge for an all new episode airing Friday, February 23, titled “True Confession.”

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“Murder destroys many lives, not just the victim’s," Dateline Correspondent Keith Morrison told NBC Insider of what he hopes viewers take from the shocking story. "And botched investigations, false confessions and improper convictions magnify the damage beyond imagining."

Christopher Tapp's false confession in Angie Dodge's murder

As the Dateline episode's official synopsis explains: "Idaho resident Christopher Tapp is sentenced to life after falsely confessing to the murder of his friend Angie Dodge. When the real killer is caught over 20 years later, the case appears to finally be closed until a chilling twist begins a new chapter in the decades-long saga. Friday’s two-hour episode features the latest developments, including correspondent Keith Morrison’s sit-down with Tapp.”

Chris Tapp featured on Dateline.

Dodge’s violent murder in 1996 rocked the quiet town of Idaho Falls.

“I just stare at that house and try and figure out how scared she must have been,” Dodge’s mom said through tears in a video preview of the episode.

The 18-year-old suffered “well over 14 different wounds," according to the preview clip.

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Dodge’s murder — and the twists and turns in the case that would follow — sent shockwaves through the community and took years to unravel. 

“It was a challenge to stick with it and I’m so grateful that Dateline allowed us to do so,” Morrison told NBC Insider. “This story was a 12-year odyssey for us, but double that for those affected.”

Tapp suggested that Dateline even played a role in his exoneration.

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“If it wasn’t for this show, I guess I’d probably still be sitting in an 8 by 10 cell right now,” Tapp divulged in the preview.

Along with Tapp, the episode also includes new interviews with Bill Squires, Jeremy Sargis, Steven Drizin and CeCe Moore.

Keith Morrison featured on Dateline.

As for the most surprising aspect of the episode? Morrison told NBC Insider it was “the last moment,” something he didn’t plan to reveal more about until the episode airs.

To see just how the chilling story plays out, tune in to Dateline on Friday, February 23 at 9/8c p.m. on NBC or stream it the next day on Peacock.

And for more Dateline, sign up for the show's official newsletter and check out its podcast.

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