Recently, 48 Hours profiled a former Survivor producer, Bruce Beresford-Redman, whose wife Monica was murdered in a hotel during their vacation in 2010. He was later arrested and, after being in U.S. prison for 18 months, was extradited to Mexico in February 2012, where he’s been in prison ever since, as his trial is ongoing. The episode, which you can watch below, covers both his life in prison and the crime he’s accused of committing.
Monica’s sisters said through their lawyer that they didn’t want 48 Hours to show this episode, arguing it “will elevate Bruce’s status to one of celebrity, it will elicit sympathy for him and most troubling, it may even influence the rightful verdict in this case. As Carla and Jeane Burgos have asked CBS, ‘please do not further victimize our family.'”
The evidence against him was all circumstantial: trouble in their marriage, including an affair and conversations her sisters say she had with them about seeking a divorce; screams heard in his hotel room (he says it was his kids playing); that Monica left him with the kids for the day without her room key, cell phone, or passport; scratches on his hands and neck (he explains those away); and the fact that he went in and out of his hotel room nine times the night Monica was killed (he says it was “to take a look, to see if I could see her” when she was missing). However, physical evidence by police has since been contaminated; alleged witnesses don’t recall seeing anything; blood found in the hotel room wasn’t Monica’s; and footprints found near her body weren’t his.
In a new interview, Beresford-Redman refused to discuss his affair or its aftermath, saying that his marriage was fine and that, although his wife was considering divorce, they went on their annual family vacation to Mexico: “We had a really good time,” he said. Asked why Monica’s sister think he’s guilty, Beresford-Redman says, “I really don’t know. I understand their pain, I understand their senses of loss … however, why they want to blame me, I don’t know. … I’ve been accused of a horrible, abhorrent crime, and I’m innocent. I did not kill Monica.”
Life in a Mexican prison
His guilt or innocence aside, and even his experience aside, the portrait of the prison is fascinating. “In many ways, this is like a very small village that they just threw razor wire around,” he says. The Survivor, The Contender producer and Pimp My Ride co-creator says prison is “a very dehumanizing situation,” pointing out that his three-person cell currently holds 10 people, and has had as many as 17. Another American literally sleeps under Beresford-Redman’s bunk.
48 Hours also offers insight into Mexico’s justice system, including the way several trials happen at once, sometimes without the judge present (and the judge will make the decision). If a witness doesn’t show up to testify, they’ll reschedule that person for months later. While testimony has concluded, it’s unclear when the judge will rule on Beresford-Redman’s guilt or innocence.
His video diaries provide “a sense of what life is like here in hell,” and he said that in prison, there’s “a very basic struggle to survive.” Referring to the reality series he produced, he said, “it’s a world that is created. Being in here is real, it is real and it really sucks.”