‘Dateline’ reexamines woman’s motives behind notorious prison break

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(NBC News) – Tonight on “Dateline,” when Kansas prisoner John Manard escapes with the help of Toby Dorr, a prison volunteer and mother of two who was 20 years his senior, investigators scramble to track the pair down as questions arise over Dorr’s true involvement.

Dorr speaks out in her first network interview this Friday about the story that made worldwide headlines.

Here’s a preview of Andrea Canning report:

It was a cold February night along an isolated stretch of a Tennessee highway when U.S. Marshal Tony Crawford and dozens of state troopers finally spotted the woman they’d been searching for.

TONY CRAWFORD: I just really was trying to see inside the truck and I could see the top of her head. That’s all about I could see of her.

She was sitting in the passenger seat. Terrified. A 48-year-old beloved mother of two, a cancer survivor and community volunteer.

Back home in Kansas, her tight-knit family desperately wanted her home safe.

TOM PHALEN: We were all just fearful for her life.

And justifiably so. As Crawford drove alongside the truck, he knew that if he wanted to get to her, he had to stop – him – the man at the wheel. A convicted killer, armed and dangerous, who wasn’t going down without a fight.

ANDREA CANNING: He’s taking you on a wild ride.

TONY CRAWFORD: Yes, it was. That part was the wildest chase I’ve ever been in.

And a fitting climax to a wild, improbable story that blurred the lines between duty and desire. A story about breaking out of prisons, both real and imagined.

ANDREA CANNING: This wasn’t just the talk of the town. This was the talk of the nation.

TOM PHALEN: Yes, it was. It was — it was just unreal.

Watch “Dateline” tonight a 9 p.m. on KFOR.

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