TVNZ Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire, Wednesday March 28

Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire
Wednesday 28 March, 9.25pm

In March 2006, Dyersburg, Tennessee, was put on alert after two children were apparently kidnapped by their live-in nanny. When the police caught up with Erika Sadowski a few hours later, they were stunned to discover that ‘she’ was actually a ‘he’.

‘Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ shows the story that shocked America and divided a community (tonight at 9.25pm on TV ONE). Sarah Garner and Robert Smith had employed Sadowski as their live-in nanny for five years when the event occurred and they had no idea she was a he.
They were not the first Dyersburg family Sadowski had nannied for: David Burgess had employed her for to take care of his daughter Tiffany for six years and it was he who recommended Sadowski. Burgess says, “she was a great person, she treated my daughter great and my daughter loved her”.

When the alleged kidnapping occurred and it was discovered that Erika was once Edward Sadowski – a man who spent 20 years in military service in the Air Force, had married twice and had four kids – the case captured the town’s imagination and sent ripples throughout the community.

Edward retired from the Air Force in 1987 on a pension, started taking hormone therapy and started a new life as a nanny. When Erika came out to her family as a woman, the family disowned her and from that day on she kept her true gender a secret.

Why Sadowski took the children for 15 hours is still unclear. While Garner and Smith maintain their children were kidnapped, Sadowski made a statement to police that saw her charges reduced and bail dropped by 90 per cent, from US$100,000 to $1,000. What she said to the police remains confidential.

“Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ talks with the families who employed Sadowski but who remained oblivious to her secret, and pieces together the events of the night in question. Featuring an exclusive interview with Sadowski herself “Real Crime: The Real Mrs Doubtfire’ is a true tale of life imitating art.

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  • Lorna

    this was shoking. i would have defended erica because ‘s’he changed to a she because it was her feelings and mind and her family disowned her for being a transexual. i feel sorry that she is now dead. good program though! 🙂

  • clara

    i can’t believe this..
    i am sure he is not mean to kidnapping those kid…
    the think that i am sure is sarah garner family is just a make story and said that Ms. Erika is guilty(bad person)
    so irritate..
    if she is life..
    i can just take her with me and being a nanny for my kids..