CBS’ limited run series, “Live To Tell” returns to document the lives of people affected by violent crime. The first program in the mini series, “Full Moon” tells the story of Yvette Rodier’s ordeal in the mountains of Utah.
On August 28th, 1996 Yvette and her friend, Zac Snarr, decided to go up into the Utah hills to take pictures of the moon. Their evening was shattered by a stranger who pulled up alongside them, and from that moment on, Yvette would not feel peace and security again for many, many years.
The driver, 19 year old Jorge Benvenuto then pulled a gun and fired every single bullet into their vehicle before driving away.
In the maelstrom Zac Snarr was killed and Yvette, having been shot four times, played dead until Benvenuto left the scene.
A few days after the shooting police caught Benvenuto who explained that he only did it for the thrill of watching them die. He added that he felt disappointment both had not been killed.
Yvette survived but was deeply scarred, both physically and emotionally. After three years and five operations to repair the injuries that left her with permanent nerve damage, she could not shake “survivor’s guilt.”
The psychological damage was completely debilitating and a once trusting and idealistic individual became an isolated, fearful soul who was terrified by the world she lived in.
She had to battle with her fears once again when faced with Jorge Benvenuto in court. Prosecutors intended to push for the death sentence but the defendant agreed to a plea bargain for life in prison. Yvette’s emotional torture did not end with his conviction however, as with every appeal he lodged came the fear that he might once again be free.
Benvenuto lost his last appeal in 2007 and time has gone some way to healing the damage inflicted upon Yvette Rodier. She is now a lawyer working with the victims of crime, and mother to her 7 year old daughter.
She still thinks of Zach each day, the guilt put aside, and is grateful that she lived to tell her story.
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images: ksl.com, deseretnews.com