DETROIT – Local 4 spent the last three months collecting 20 in-depth interviews about "White Boy" Rick Wershe Jr.
We thought we knew Wershe's whole story, but we learned a lot of new information from the interviews.
The Local 4 Defenders sat down with 20 people directly connected to Wershe's case in order to get the entire story. Over the next few weeks, Local 4 will bring viewers several surprises, such as a conversation with Wershe's girlfriend and childhood sweetheart.
"We just had a bond instantly," Michelle MacDonald said. "He told me so many things, and he would confide in me, and we were just really close."
MacDonald said she recently saw Wershe face-to-face for the first time since they were children.
"What was it like when she came to see you in prison?" Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz asked Wershe.
"It was hard," Wershe said. "We laughed. We cried. It wasn't easy, but it also -- as soon as we saw each other, it didn't feel like 28 years. It was an instant connection."
There's shocking new information from people such as the hitman hired to killed Wershe.
"That's who we came to kill, but the white boy jumped down and I could've swore it came across his back when the gun finally jammed," Boone Craft said.
One of the biggest drug dealers on Detroit's east side in the 1980s took Wershe under his wing.
"I never suspected that he was meeting with police because he was so young," Johnny 'Little Man' Curry said.
Wershe's sister said she watched her brother become addicted to the spoils of the drug world.
"It's like a sickness," she said. "The more you get, the more you want. It's like a gambling addiction. You hit a jackpot, but it's not enough and they want more."
Wershe talked about how much it hurt that he was in prison when his father died.
"Not a day goes by that I don't think about him, that I don't miss him," Wershe said. "I wish he was here to see the truth exposed. He always told me, 'Listen, they conspired to cover up what they did to you.'"
Local 4 obtained never-before-seen video of an FBI sting initiated by Wershe.
"We were talking, on a load like that for a successful mission and good escape, maybe $40,000-$50,000," officials said.
The sting resulted in then-Mayor Coleman Young's bodyguard and brother-in-law being busted for taking bribes.
Local 4 will dive in-depth into all those stories and more in an exclusive podcast. Viewers will see and hear from the people we interviewed throughout September. The podcast will begin Thursday, but viewers can subscribe now.
Click on the video at the top of this page to view the premiere showing of the podcast trailer.
Thursday on Local 4 News at 5 p.m., Local 4 will update Wershe's current situation and when he's likely to be freed from a Florida prison.
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