The story of a 1994 attempted murder in East Tennessee plays out on the small screen this weekend, with a Blountville native cast in the role of the loving wife turned plotting murderer. Tracy Christian completed filming an episode for the Oxygen cable channel show “Snapped” in October, and the finished product airs Sunday at 9 p.m. Christian plays Lisa Whedbee, a Knoxville mother of two who served one year in jail for solicitation of first-degree murder after an incident inside her home where her lover and choir director at her church stood over the bed of her sleeping husband with a butcher knife.
The love tryst turned attempted murder made national headlines in June 1994 after Whedbee’s extramarital affair partner, Michael Frazier, could not bring himself to kill Rob Whedbee and started to walk away when he bumped the bed and a struggle ensued.
“I come running into the bedroom with a baseball bat. When (my fictional husband) asks me to call police, I don’t respond, and then I say, ‘If you’re going to kill him, kill him now.’ Then he starts to put one and one together,” said Christian of one of the climatic scenes in this episode.
Whedbee was convicted of solicitation of first-degree murder and served one year in jail following a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Frazier was found guilty of attempted involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in jail.
Christian said she researched the case before agreeing to do the show, which highlights cases where the most unlikely women “snap” and think and sometimes do the unthinkable.
“This just seemed like the all-American family,” said Christian.
“Very involved in her church and a devoted mother and husband. I can see where no one would suspect her of such a crime. She apparently recanted on her story with the police until she confessed.
“It was kind of fun playing this type of character because I am easygoing, and this lady was intense and involved in a true crime. This was kind of a crazy case, and getting to play something like this was a great opportunity.”
All of the content was shot in one 12-hour workday in Knoxville.
Actual detectives from the Knoxville Police Department were used in the interrogation scenes — an intimidating situation, as Christian explained.
“I didn’t even commit this crime, and these guys were so good in questioning me that I was convinced I did it. They were really good, and I can see why they got a confession,” she said.
Christian will see the episode when the rest of the world tunes in Sunday, leaving her with a nervous waiting period.
“I am very nervous, but I think it will turn out great because the producers and staff with Jupiter Entertainment just made the work feel so effortless. Professional and fun is a way to describe my experience,” she said.comments powered by Disqus