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Dowell column leads to TV feature

By Cole Trahan
Daily News

On June 30, cable TV viewers across the nation will be able to see LaGrange native Glenn Dowell interviewed in a 42-minute episode of Investigation Discovery’s “Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death.” According to Apple TV, the true crime series “reveals how the impact of a crime changes people.”

Dowell said he’ll appear four times in the episode, called “I Forgive You.”

Years ago, Dowell wrote columns for The LaGrange Daily News. One of his columns, published in 2015, was about the murder of one of his former classmates, Henry Robinson, in Harris County. According to news reports at the time, Henry’s son, Adrian O’Neill Robinson, killed his father before stealing $900 from two nuns, abducting them in their car to Virginia, tying one to a post in a hotel room, taking the other to an office complex, and mutilating her. The nun he allegedly killed was Sister Philomena Fogarty. Robinson was later apprehended at a Burger King in Virginia.

Because Fogarty was against the death penalty, Robinson’s life was spared.

“She was a prophet because during her life, it is alleged and believed that she had always stated that were her life to be taken by someone, that person’s life should be spared,” Dowell said. “And her order was the prevailing force that the state of Virginia used in ensuring that Adrian did not get the death penalty.”

Dowell said Robinson will “never be able to get out of prison, and rightfully so.”

Dowell said he knew Henry very well.

“He and I were classmates,” he said. “And around the tenth grade … [he] became a good friend to all of us.”

Dowell said that the last time he saw Henry was at their ten-year class reunion. In 2003, he read a news report on Henry’s death.

“I was looking at a news story about a horrific murder in Harris County, and it’s my friend, murdered by his son,” Dowell said.

“And I was fascinated by that because Henry was a kind of diminutive, you know, kind of a small-framed man. I couldn’t fathom anyone hurting him, especially a member of his own family.”

Dowell said that though it took a while, he was able to forgive Robinson.

Dowell explained that because Robinson was a state wrestling champion, he may have suffered a brain-changing head injury that led him to commit his crime.

Though nothing can make up for the death of a loved one, Dowell was pleasantly surprised when he received a life-changing letter from Red Marble Media in 2019.

“Dear Mr. Dowell,” it read,  “… I have been researching the case involving Henry Robinson and Sister Philomena Fogarty. I was touched by your column published in The LaGrange Daily News and was hoping to speak with you. I know this is an incredibly difficult subject for you, but it is the reason that I am reaching out and I’m hoping you would consider speaking with me in the coming days.”

Dowell said he was “excited” to receive the letter, explaining that Investigation Discovery and its various products go into over 80 million homes. He said the theme of the episode is forgiveness.

Those who want to see the episode sooner than June 30 can stream it on Discovery+.

According to Dowell, his column on Robinson’s crimes came “directly” out of his book, “No Cross No Crown: Remarkable Testimonies of Faith in God During Unfathomable Crises.”