whitneygrayphotography.com » Whitney Gray Photography, Charlotte, North Carolina

Unusual Opportunities~ Behind Mansion Walls

Hi to all of you “Behind Mansion Walls” fans!  This episode, “The Price of Love” is now being shown on The Investigation Discovery channel (ID).  It is hard for me to watch the show because it feels very real to me.  What a horrible murder!

A few days after April 1 (that will make sense in a minute, I promise), I got an email from AUSTRALIA, asking if I would be interested in photographing crime scene photos of a 1994 murder in Charlotte for the Discovery Channel TV show “Behind Mansion Walls.”  The funny thing is I thought it had to be an April Fool’s prank- I had just photographed a wedding for an FBI forensic photographer- and I suspected that he was playing a funny joke on me.  But it turned out to be LEGIT!  They were doing an episode on the horrific murder of Fran Hayes by her husband John Hayes.  I remember when this happened and often drive by the house on Carmel Road, making it even more real when seeing the extremely graphic crime scene photos.  This was very disturbing to me and I struggled with the job.  In the end, I was able to scan the photos so I wouldn’t have to spend much time looking at everything.  I also didn’t have to reproduce any victim or autopsy photos.  I’ll post here on the blog and Facebook when the show airs.  It will be fun seeing the closing credits- Thanks to Whitney Gray Photography!

Then a few weeks later, a NYC production company contacted me to photograph crime scene photos and evidence of the Rae Carruth murder case for a new TV show.  Rae Carruth is the NFL Carolina Panthers football player who set up the murder of his pregnant girlfriend here in Charlotte.  It was a very sad situation and I agreed to do it only if the emphasis of the show wasn’t on the gore and sensationalism of the murder.  The producer assured me that the show would focus on the story, not graphic violence.  So I agreed.  What a horribly senseless crime!  It was disturbing to see the actual evidence proving that Mr. Carruth planned and carried out Cherica Adams’ murder.  This job wasn’t as graphic as the Hayes murder- very little gore, actually.  After scanning the crime scene photos, I photographed evidence and trial exhibits.  I’ll post here when the show airs.

Although these two photography “jobs” were a departure from my usual love of photographing beautiful things, I did learn from the experiences and have a new respect for forensic photographers and the countless others who serve in the criminal justice system.

And the closing credits:  I must admit, it’s pretty cool seeing my name-

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Drea - Whitney this is awesome!!! I now have to go google this murder! I am not familiar! Reminds me of my college forensics classes!! Thanks for sharing!

whit - Thanks, Drea- You probably would have enjoyed these jobs! If you take the emotional part out, I must admit that the science was interesting. Definitely learning experiences!

Ron - Whitney what a great opportunity!!! I think back to a few years ago at Fox Farm and other photographic opportunities you had there!! I hope this open other doors for you!!!

Anne - I was searching for more info on the ” Behind Mansion Walls” show when I happened upon your website. Your work is beautiful and so sentimental. I wish we lived anywhere near you, so you could photograph my family and our two beloved dogs.

Thank you for creating your website and sharing your beautiful images with the world.

Anne

Perry - Im not sure how long ago you posted this? When will the episode about John and Fran Hayes air, if it hasn’t already? We grew up on Carmel CC golf course. When we were young, they drained the lake for maintenance behind our house on the golf course shortly after John Hayes’ trial. My brother and I found a putter broken in half with John Hayes engraved in it! Kind of eery!!!!

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