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The premiere of my episode of Fatal Encounters just aired on Investigation Discovery. I don’t own a TV so I watched the show at my brother’s place. Although I was alone in the room, I felt like I was watching it with friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

It’s been seven months since I shot my scenes and the broadcast gave me a chance to reflect on the experience. In the last few days, I’ve shared 101 facts connected to the production on Twitter. Since many of my friends and acting colleagues don’t have a Twitter account, I’ll share the 101 facts here.


Fatal Encounters_Mike Vanessa Marc_Dying

1/101: The Hunt County DPS building was used to shoot scenes of the #FatalEncounters episode, “In His Father’s Eyes.”

2/101: While at the Hunt County DPS building, I met people who took the real 911 calls following Michael Walker’s shooting. #FatalEncounters

3/101: Knowing any sunglasses might get broken during the shooting of #FatalEncounters, I bought a $5 pair at Walmart in #GreenvilleTexas.

4/101: I did not audition for my role in #FatalEncounters.

5/101: My #FatalEncounters city gov’t office scenes were shot next door to where film star #AudieMurphy was inducted into the U.S. Army.

6/101: I got to keep the black cargo pants and blue button-down shirts that I wore in #FatalEncounters.

7/101: Due to my resemblance to the real-life victim, I wasn’t allowed to meet his father or children in #CommerceTexas. #FatalEncounters

8/101: Thanks to the director, I was allowed to see the house in #CommerceTexas where the real murder took place. #FatalEncounters

9/101: While driving past the #CommerceTX home where the murder took place, I came face to face with the killer’s father. #FatalEncounters

10/101: At least one member of the out-of-state crew was introduced to the discomfort of chigger bites during production. #FatalEncounters

11/101: The killer’s lead defense counsel provided the location for the city government office scenes for my character.  #FatalEncounters

12/101: The truck I drove as Michael Walker’s personal vehicle belongs to a local judge. #FatalEncounters

13/101: During a scene when I get shot, I tripped and fell in the street but got back up and kept running to save the take. #FatalEncounters

14/101: Owners of the #GreenvilleTexas home used as the site of the shooting claim a female ghost once occupied the space. #FatalEncounters

15/101: We used the same house to shoot an interior scene as the Walker residence and an exterior scene as a different home. #FatalEncounters

16/101: The cast consisted of Texas actors from the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as Houston and Austin. #FatalEncounters

17/101: The police officers responding to the shooting were portrayed by real police officers. #FatalEncounters

18/101: My scenes with the young actors playing my children were mostly improvised, including a scene where we play cards. #FatalEncounters

19/101: During production, I saw Michael Walker’s daughter outside the family home but was unable to speak to her. #FatalEncounters

20/101: When he was murdered in 2005, Michael Walker was three years older than I was during production last June. #FatalEncounters

21/101: I only had two photos of Michael Walker to use as a visual reference before production began. #FatalEncounters

22/101: The Walker family home in #CommerceTexas is a funeral home. #FatalEncounters

23/101: The victim’s father is a local funeral director. #FatalEncounters

24/101: The victim’s truck was still parked outside the family home 7 years after the murder. #FatalEncounters

25/101: Although the truck that belonged to Mr. Walker was locked, we shot a scene of me pretending to get out of it. #FatalEncounters

26/101: Michael Walker was murdered on a Monday. We also shot the murder scene on a Monday. #FatalEncounters

27/101: The young man playing the killer is the son of an actor I’ve worked with in a murder mystery dinner show in Dallas. #FatalEncounters

28/101: Although 22 at the time of the shooting in 2005, the imprisoned killer is now 30 years old. #FatalEncounters

29/101: A wrongful death suit filed by Richard Walker against his son’s shooter & that man’s father ended with a settlement. #FatalEncounters

30/101: Although the real Walker home is a 2-story structure, producers selected a ranch-style home for the production. #FatalEncounters

31/101: The Greenville home used for most of the Walker family scenes was built in 1920. #FatalEncounters

32/101: Before this project, I worked with #StevenMarkel, who plays the killer’s father, on a music video for a German country singer. #FatalEncounters

33/101: While shooting driving shots in Commerce, a homeowner thought we were burglars scouting our next targets.  #FatalEncounters

34/101: While playing “Pee Wee” Walker, I was at @TAMU_Commerce, a school attended by a Pee Wee’s Playhouse set designer. #FatalEncounters

35/101: We shot the killing out of sequence, starting with my dying in the morning and getting shot in the afternoon. #FatalEncounters

36/101: I once told #VanessaLua, who plays an EMT volunteer, that she looks like a Latina version of #ValerieBertinelli. #FatalEncounters

37/101: Getting strapped down to the ambulance gurney would trigger #panicattacks in me for several months.  #FatalEncounters

38/101: @subway was a popular meal choice as we ate it on my first and last day on set. #FatalEncounters

39/101: I drove from #Houston to #GreenvilleTexas on the morning of my first day on set. #FatalEncounters

40/101: The nearly 300-mile drive to set on the first day had me leaving Houston at 3:30 AM. #FatalEncounters

41/101: When cast, I already had the mustache necessary for the role. #FatalEncounters

42/101: I slept in my rental car one night in a Walmart parking lot before reporting to set. #FatalEncounters

43/101: On my first day, the kids who live in the house used for our set introduced me to #AdventureTime on Cartoon Network. #FatalEncounters

44/101: The casting director for #FatalEncounters selected me for the role based in part on my resemblance to the man I would be playing.

45/101: I was offered the role in #FatalEncounters through my Dallas agent, @LindaMcAlister.

46/101: #Greenville & #Commerce are just east and northeast of the area where I shot scenes for the true crime drama #FinalWitness on #ABC.

47/101: Hunt County seat #Greenville is more than two times the size of #CantonNY, the county seat in my native StLawrenceCounty. #FatalEncounters

48/101: Despite police barriers, locals still tried to drive down the #GreenvilleTX street where we were shooting scenes. #FatalEncounters

49/101: I almost ran out of gas on the way home from #Greenville on the last day of shooting. #FatalEncounters

50/101: I didn’t realize until after the shoot that former #Dodgers pitcher #BurtHooton is a native of #GreenvilleTexas.   #FatalEncounters

51/101: The real Ward house in Commerce sits much closer to the street than the Greenville house we used for production.  #FatalEncounters

52/101: Wardrobe had two identical blue button-down shirts for me to wear. #FatalEncounters

53/101: In a kitchen scene, the Walker family ate a real meal on camera prepared by the art department. #FatalEncounters

54/101: In real life, Walker got into his truck then back out during the shooting. I never entered the truck for that scene. #FatalEncounters

55/101: I got ant bites during the death scene due to lying on the ground for such a long time. #FatalEncounters

56/101: All of the scenes involving me with the two young actors playing my children were shot on the first day. #FatalEncounters

57/101: I shot 3 days in a 4-day period, using the “day off” to drive to #Austin for a #Purina audition. #FatalEncounters

58/101: The day rate paid by production for this non-union project was $100. #FatalEncounters

59/101: #Texasactors #ShelbySchneider and #DavidAllenNorton played my kids. #FatalEncounters

60/101: The CD sent this message one day prior to shooting: “Trim/dye hair and beard to approximate the actual Pee-wee.” #FatalEncounters

61/101: Production needed to insure me for my driving scenes on camera. #FatalEncounters

62/101: To protect the secrecy of the production, the name of my character, Michael, was changed to Will in the breakdown. #FatalEncounters

63/101: The Henry St. home in Greenville where we shot the murder scenes was built in 1893 when #HuntCounty was still thriving on cotton. #FatalEncounters

64/101: I destroyed a pair of black loafers while shooting the scene where I run from the shooter. #FatalEncounters

65/101: We shot two takes of me getting loaded onto the gurney and into the ambulance by real #paramedics. #FatalEncounters

66/101: Actual police dashboard camera footage helped us block the scenes involving the #murder. #FatalEncounters

67/101: The police dashboard cam footage shows the shooter being taken into custody. #FatalEncounters

68/101: Although the real murder took place in Commerce, most of the scenes for the show were shot in Greenville. #FatalEncounters

69/101: The Western shirt I wore in one scene was originally purchased for use on #FridayNightLights when I was an extra. #FatalEncounters

70/101: On the day Walker was killed, the jury in Michael Jackson’s trial for child molestation found him not guilty. #FatalEncounters

71/101: On set, I got to review copies of all the city code violations in the Ward file kept by the city. #FatalEncounters

72/101: I didn’t have any way of finding out what Michael Walker’s voice sounded like. #FatalEncounters

73/101: In one of the 2 photos of Walker I had, he’s wearing a ring on his left pinky. #FatalEncounters

74/101: To get into character one night, I wore the same type of Texas Longhorns hat worn by Walker in one photo I had. #FatalEncounters

75/101: The 2 photos of Walker both feature sunglasses, which I referenced when buying sunglasses for the shoot. #FatalEncounters

76/101: One of the photos of Walker shows him smiling, which I kept in mind when shooting the family scenes. #FatalEncounters

77/101: I never found out why Walker was nicknamed “Pee Wee” during or since production. #FatalEncounters

78/101: Before the kids and I could play #GoFish on camera, we had to get refreshed on the rules of the card game. #FatalEncounters

79/101: To help me remain in character, I didn’t watch any episodes of #FatalEncounters on TV or online during production.

80/101: The killing of Michael Walker was the third murder in Hunt County in 2005. #FatalEncounters

81/101: Michael Walker was one of two men shot to death in #CommerceTexas in a period of less than three weeks during June 2005.

82/101: Commerce City Hall named a conference room after Michael “Pee Wee” Walker. #FatalEncounters

83/101: We shot the scene of Walker on the phone asking for an officer outside, not in his truck as it actually happened. #FatalEncounters

84/101: I was surprised to find out Walker was only a part-time employee for the City of Commerce. #FatalEncounters

85/101: According to the Code Enforcement Association, this was the first time a code officer was killed on duty in Texas. #FatalEncounters

86/101: Walker’s father and police say they arrived less than a minute after the shooting began. #FatalEncounters

87/101: The victim’s father, an EMT responding to the shooting, didn’t realize it was his son who was shot at first. #FatalEncounters

88/101: We spent a lot of time blocking and rehearsing a scene involving me getting sprayed with a hose before shooting it. #FatalEncounters

89/101: Although Walker apparently died on the sidewalk, I landed on the grass next to the sidewalk. #FatalEncounters

90/101: The scenes we shot of police response to Walker’s shooting drew locals out thinking it was a real crime scene. #FatalEncounters

91/101: I got to keep a souvenir piece of medical equipment from inside the ambulance. I won’t say which one. #FatalEncounters

92/101: An officer on set told me the worst case he ever worked involved the beating death of a 2 year-old boy in 2011. #FatalEncounters

93/101: Tears and sweat made it almost impossible to keep my eyes open during the scene where I am dying on the ground. #FatalEncounters

94/101: The director reminds the cast often during improvised dialogue scenes to call Dick Walker “Pops” only. #FatalEncounters

95/101: 5 years after Walker’s death, his family placed a memorial message in the local paper, The Herald Banner.

96/101: Part of the message in The Herald Banner read, “Your babies are growing like weeds.” #FatalEncounters

97/101: In February 2007, Commerce City Council voted to honor Michael Walker by naming a conference room after him. #FatalEncounters

98/101: Walker’s murder is believed to be the first U.S. killing of a #CodeEnforcementOfficer in the line of duty. #FatalEncounters

99/101: We were originally told the episode would air much earlier, perhaps as early as summer 2012. #FatalEncounters

100/101:  Commerce denied any responsibility in Walker’s death following a wrongful death suit filed by his family. #FatalEncounters

101/101: The one-year anniversary of “Pee Wee” Walker’s death was marked by a graveside memorial service in Commerce. #FatalEncounters