'People's Court' Disappearance Means Show Needs to Screen Better (VIDEO)

Michelle Parker is a young mom of three children who went missing a week and a half ago on the same day she appeared on an episode of The People's Court with her ex-fiance Dale Smith. Their episode featured a fight between the former couple over whether Parker owed Smith money for the engagement ring she lost during one of their fights.

That was on November 17, and no one has seen or spoken to 33-year-old Parker since the day that episode aired and she brought the 3-year-old twins she shared with Smith over to his house.

The two had a very stormy relationship. According to ABC News, Smith once dropped Parker off in areas with no shoes by herself. She sought restraining orders against him and the two had a very volatile history. See below:


But was it The People's Court that finally led to murder? It's awfully hard to believe that a young mom would disappear the same day a nationally televised show airs featuring her and that the two aren't related. It's possible, but it seems unlikely.

Smith has just been named the prime suspect in her disappearance and it seems likely that there may be more to this story as it unfolds. If Parker was killed because of the show, she wouldn't be the first (or likely the last) murder victim of reality television.

It make sense. Reality TV gets its name because it's real. And on some shows -- like talk shows or People's Court -- you are dealing with highly emotionally charged issues and people who could very easily resort to hurting one another.

Sometimes it's easy to forget the people on these shows aren't actors. While we might dismiss Taylor Armstrong or Trista Rehn as cheesy reality stars and make fun of them, they are also very real people, a lesson we learned this summer when Armstrong's husband Russell committed suicide, possibly in part because of the show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

We trust that the people we see on TV are sane because why would they be hired if they weren't? But it's simply not possible to know everything that a person is capable of doing given the right pressures.

If Parker is dead and Smith did have something to do with it, then the show is also partially responsible in some small way. If a woman is dead because she was on that show, then they share some of the blame. No one should feel unsafe going on a show and the show owes it to their participants to thoroughly check backgrounds.

Do you think this is the show's fault?

Image via YouTube

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