The Bizarre Case Of The 'Jenny Jones' Murder

On March 6, 1995, The Jenny Jones Show taped what was supposed to be an episode about secret crushes. However, the revelations made during the taping led to a shocking murder and an explosive media frenzy. The Jenny Jones Show was one of many popular '90s talk shows that covered a number of salacious topics with episode titles like "I Don't Want My Daughter To Date Interracially" and "Teen By Day, Vampire By Night." Drama was obviously the show's bread and butter, but when guest Scott Amedure confessed that he had a crush on fellow guest Jonathan Schmitz, the show changed forever.

When Amedure told Schmitz about his crush during the taping, Schmitz did not appear upset but was reportedly angered by the confession. Three days later, Schmitz fatally shot Amedure. The episode, titled "Same-Sex Crushes Revealed," never aired, and only about five minutes of the episode have ever been seen by the general public.

  • Scott Amedure Confessed To Having A Crush On Jonathan Schmitz During A Taping Of 'The Jenny Jones Show'

    Scott Amedure Confessed To Having A  Crush On Jonathan Schmitz During A Taping Of 'The Jenny Jones Show'
    Video: YouTube

    Jonathan Schmitz, 24, had agreed to appear on The Jenny Jones Show with his friend Donna, who he believed had a crush on him, and was going to reveal the fact on the show. However, it turned out to be Donna's friend, 32-year-old Scott Amedure, who confessed to crushing on Schmitz.

    Before bringing the three friends on stage, Jenny Jones asked the audience, "Now which of these ways would you choose to reveal your secret crush on someone? A) Would you write that person a letter? B) Would you tell that person in private in case he rejects you? Or C) Would you tell that person that you’re gay and you hope that he is on national television?" The audience can then be heard screaming, shouting, and applauding.

    Schmitz reportedly had no idea what was about to happen.

  • Jonathan Schmitz Shot Scott Amedure Three Days After The Taping

    After the March 6 taping, Schmitz reportedly returned to Michigan and went out for a long night of drinking with friends, then returned in the early hours of the morning to find a sexually explicit note that Amedure left for him. The note read, "If you really want to get it off I'm the only one who has the right tool."

    Schmitz then withdrew money from the bank and purchase a .12-gauge shotgun before going to Amedure's mobile home and confronting him about the note. After Amedure confirmed that he had written the note, Schmitz allegedly went out to his car, then returned to Amedure's home and shot him twice in the chest before calling 911 and confessing.

  • Schmitz Was Found Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Two Different Trials

    After Jonathan Schmitz called 911 and confessed to murdering Scott Amedure, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Schmitz's lawyers attempted to put The Jenny Jones Show on trial to deflect their client's guilt. They also discussed Schmitz's issues with alcoholism, depression, and a chronic thyroid condition. However, Schmitz was eventually found guilty of murdering Amedure.

    Before being sentenced the first time, Schmitz read a poem he had written that was meant as an apology to Amedure's family. The judge told Schmitz that he still had to be "accountable to society" and sentenced him to 20 to 50 years in prison. After a series of appeals, Schmitz was re-tried but found guilty once again on the same charges.

  • Schmitz Claimed That He Was 'Ambushed' On The Show

    Schmitz claimed that the producers of The Jenny Jones Show "ambushed" him. He alleged that he knew someone had a crush on him, but he assumed it was either his friend Donna, an ex-fiancée whom he was engaged to for a few years, or an ex-girlfriend. Producers of the show later claimed they had told Schmitz that his crush could turn out to be either a man or a woman.

    Jones later wrote in her 1997 memoir, Jenny Jones: My Story, that Schmitz "truly, truly was not ambushed. We are definitely not to blame." In 1999, Jones told People, "It was not the 'Jenny Jones murder.' It was the Jonathan Schmitz murder."

  • A Producer Claimed That Amedure And Schmitz Had A 'Love Connection'

    During Schmitz's trial, Jenny Jones producer Karen Campbell testified that Amedure had called the show on March 7, stating that he and Schmitz and slow-danced in their hotel room and "hooked up." Campbell claimed that Schmitz also said that he and Amedure had a "love connection" after appearing on the show.

    Campbell's testimony about the call from Amedure came four years after the murder and was highly scrutinized in court. Her testimony also contradicted Schmitz's version of events up to that point.

  • Schmitz's Attorneys Argued That He Was Not In His Right Mind

    During the trial, Schmitz's attorneys claimed that their client was manic-depressive and had been up all night drinking and smoking marijuana before killing Amedure. The jury later reported that it was difficult to determine whether or not Schmitz had been fully in control of his faculties at the time of the murder.

    Juror Joseph Wurm said that after a three-day break from the case, the jury couldn't decide whether or not Schmitz was "thinking straight" when he fired two rounds into Amedure's chest. Another juror, Ms. O'Brien, said, "All of that led us to question whether [Schmitz] was in his right mind."