Oprah Viewers Collect Reward for Tipping Off FBI

ByABC News via logo
October 12, 2005, 7:23 AM

Oct. 12, 2005 — -- Jeanne Rosenthal could hardly believe what she saw while watching "Oprah" on Oct. 4. The picture of the wanted child molester that aired on the show was a man she knew, a man she thought was a nice guy, a man who lived just above her friend and her friend's three children.

Rosenthal called her friend, Karie Miller, in Fargo, N.D. Miller, in turn, contacted the FBI. On Oct. 6, William C. Davis, a convicted sex offender wanted on allegations of deviant sex acts with an Indiana child between January and July 2004, was in custody.

"When I saw his (Davis') picture it scared me so bad," Miller said. "I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was him, but at the same time I was in disbelief."

Oprah announced on Oct. 4, she would give $100,000 reward to anyone who provided information leading to the capture of alleged sexual predators on the FBI's most wanted list. Within two days, two men were arrested thanks to tips by her viewers.

The second alleged sex offender, Niles C. Scott, was arrested in Belize. Winfrey's staff is still trying to determine who should receive the reward for Scott's arrest.

On Tuesday, Rosenthal and Miller each collected $50,000 from Winfrey. They also met Michelle Yott and Sharry Fray, the mother and grandmother of two of Davis' alleged victims.

"It was a wonderful feeling," Miller said of meeting the two women. "I felt their relief. That hug had such relief and such thanks. It was beautiful."

Davis phoned Miller from jail after his arrest. "'I can't believe you helped them bring me down. I thought we were friends,'" Miller said Davis told her. She replied, "You were on national television! You're a wanted child predator and you watched my children!"

After Davis broke his leg in a bicycle accident, Miller helped him around the house and cooked for him. Miller's three children are 2, 4 and 11.

In 1992, Davis was convicted in Indiana on two counts of child molestation and served 28 months in prison. He used the name of an older brother, Mark Allen Davis, to obtain a North Dakota drivers license.