CBS Schoolbreak Special (1984–1996)
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Dead Wrong: The John Evans Story 

Convicted of murder and set for execution, John Evans tells his story to the prison chaplain.


E. Arthur Kean


E. Arthur Kean


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Laughlin ... John Evans III
Bibi Besch ... Mrs. Evans
Cameron Dye ... Ritter
Timothy Gibbs Timothy Gibbs ... John Evans III (as a Boy)
Ed Lauter ... Buddy Evans
Royce D. Applegate ... Mr. Riggs
Tom McFadden Tom McFadden ... Assistant Warden
Jamie Bozian ... Zack
Joe Dorsey
Jennifer Savidge Jennifer Savidge
Bryan Scott Bryan Scott ... Richie
Sandra Alexander Sandra Alexander
Randy Bechtold Randy Bechtold
Hannah Cutrona Hannah Cutrona
Nicole Eggert


The first "CBS Schoolbreak Special" detailed the true story of John Louis Evans, a convicted murder who was sentenced to die by electrocution in Alabama. Days before Evans' execution on April 22, 1983, he gave permission to have a TV crew tape his life story, in which he detailed his crimes and more importantly (now having grown wiser, albeit too late) gave advice to teen-agers about making good choices and not falling into such things as drugs, theft and murder. Evans story is dramatized throughout, first detailing his crimes as a juvenile and how, through a lax juvenile court system, they grew more serious. After being paroled from prison in 1976, he tries to settle down but is soon visited by an fellow inmate, Wayne Ritter, on the night before he is to be wed. Ritter convinces Evans to go with him on what will become a two-month-long crime spree, which culminates with the brutal shooting death of a pawn shop owner (in plain sight of his two daughters). Both men are eventually ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

24 January 1984 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

One man's repeated run-ins with the law inspire him to tell others not to make the same mistakes.
19 April 2000 | by witchy_macSee all my reviews

I got to watch this TV movie in my ninth grade Health class, and I just watched it, amazed. John Evans, after having gotten over his adolescent criminal urges, and ready to get married and settle down with a family, once again decided to repeatedly break the law in various ways.

Evans is the anti-hero of the tale, with film clips of the real John Evans adding insight at the beginning, offering a prologue for this heart-wrenching story.

I recommend this movie for anyone old enough to understand the consequences of breaking the law, and how it affects them as an actual human being.

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