Meet The Hosts Of New ID Show “Reasonable Doubt” Who “Live For Justice”

Chris Anderson and Melissa Lewkowicz [Investigation Discovery]

He’s a six-foot-five former cop. She’s a glamorous Los Angeles lawyer.

This may sound like the pitch for a new TV sitcom, but the two investigators on the new Investigation Discovery show Reasonable Doubt are re-examining controversial real-life murder cases — and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

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Retired homicide detective Chris Anderson and Los Angeles–based criminal defense attorney Melissa Lewkowicz then help the desperate families of those convicted of murder decide if it’s time to appeal, or accept the guilty verdict once and for all.

Melissa Lewkowicz and Chris Anderson [Investigation Discovery]

Melissa Lewkowicz and Chris Anderson [Investigation Discovery]

The issue of wrongful convictions is one that is near and dear to my heart,” Anderson told CrimeFeed. “If you have a wrongful conviction it disrupts the entire system.”

Anderson said he clicked with Lewkowicz immediately. “Physically, we’re total opposites and look kind of like the millennial Odd Couple,” he said. “But it only took us about 45 minutes to figure out that, when it comes to investigations, we have very similar mindsets.”

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Lewkowicz calls her partner “charming, dynamic, and brilliant” and says, “He’s got heart. He’s got soul. He’s very God-fearing and religious. When he’s on a case, he eats it, sleeps it, and breathes it. He becomes the case. That’s his skill set.”

Lewkowicz, who has obvious passion for her work, continues:

We’re looking to expose the raw truthWe live in a world that is black and white, and we’re working in the gray area, where no one wants to lookIt’s excruciating for Chris and I, as people who live for justice, to recognize cases where the justice system failed. But it’s also excruciating, in a different way, to deliver the sad news to families that, yes, this person needs to be behind bars, and it’s time to close the case.”

Anderson, who spent 21 years on the police force — and 17 to 18 working in homicide — said that he has lots of experience in digging for facts in an environment where there is constant pressure to make progress. “You have to compartmentalize, and remember that you are out there searching for the truth,” he said. “If you find yourself going down the wrong path, as an investigator you have to take two steps back — and maybe even sometimes start completely over.”

Related: Inside Scene Of The Crime: 5 Key Questions With Host Tony Harris

In the new show, the investigators often pore through clues previously overlooked by police – or barred by the court.

I’m very good at reading people,” he says. “‘I’m able to ask those hard questions be a very good listener. I’m also not one-sided; you can always change my mindset if you have enough evidence. That’s my speciality.”

Melissa is a very studious person,” Anderson says. “She’s very knowledgable about case law, she’s able to read and apply what she’s read to these cases, and we’re able to decompress everything that we’ve learned and figure out which way we’re going to decide on these cases.”

Anderson said that none of his cases when he was on the force ended in a wrongful conviction. “Often, wrongful convictions happen because there is only a single shred of evidence, or one ID witness when there should be several,” he said. “If I only had a single piece of evidence, I would keep going,” he added.

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He also said that, even though it can, at times, be annoying for an investigator, in the end having a District Attorney with “very high standards” when pursuing criminal prosecution was an asset. “I’m thankful,” he said. “Because it made me have high standards as well.

Melissa Lewkowicz and Chris Anderson, across from Sheila Phipps. Pictures of Mac Phipps and Club Mercedes are laid out in front of them. [Investigation Discovery]

Melissa Lewkowicz and Chris Anderson, across from Sheila Phipps. Pictures of Mac Phipps and Club Mercedes are laid out in front of them. [Investigation Discovery]

The premiere episode follows the case of rapper McKinley “Mac” Phipps, Jr., who was convicted in 2001 of manslaughter charges in the death of Barron C. Victor, Jr., 19, during a nightclub shooting. Phipps, now 39, was sentenced to 30 years to life.

Before the shooting, Phipps was a rap phenomenon who went from recording his first album at age 12 to becoming a rising star on Master P‘s No Limit Records. His albums, 1998’s Shell Shocked and 1999’s World War III, were hits.

Phipps, who is currently behind bars in Louisiana, has always maintained his innocence.

Related: The Coroner: Life In The Pursuit Of Death

In cases where he and his partner are forced to ultimately conclude that the right person is behind, bars, Anderson says he hopes the show can at least help the relatives of those incarcerated accept the verdict.

Ultimately, it’s about giving the families closure,” he said.

Watch the premiere of Reasonable Doubt on Wednesday, April 26, at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery or on ID GO.

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Main photo: Chris Anderson and Melissa Lewkowicz [Investigation Discovery]

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  • Brandy Moore

    Do we ever find out what happens to the inmates or what ever came about getting them released or what happened?

    • Hannah

      Most of the people on the show are guilty and will not get early release. They did help one innocent guy get out. He’s been released.

  • Emilie LaFave

    Chris Anderson, You seem to be a very intelligent, educated man. I think you should learn how to pronounce English words correctly – as in A S K.
    If you were saying the word TASK, would you call it TAX? Why call A S K
    AX ? You can plainly see that’s NOT what the word says. Please, whatever
    you heard growing up, decide to pronounce words like they should be
    pronounced. You’ll sound SO much more educated !

    • Cheryl Hopkins Kuczynski

      You sound so ignorant to even put this message on her!!!!

    • delruel

      It’s regional. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest and, although I’m a writer and know my language pretty well, we often say things like, “Where’s the dogs?” We know it’s “Where ARE the dogs?” but it’s something we country folk have heard all our lives. It tends to stick. The same goes for city folk and inner city folk. Rap is an example of that. So is Country Western, etc. It’s about a person’s or a peoples’ history. Besides, not everyone needs perfect English. Ask the Brits. They have plenty of objections to the way Americans speak their language. Hence, the distinction between British English and American English. So please stop ‘shoulding’ all over Chris Anderson.

    • Cali Angelie

      It’s called an accent, dumbazz. He’s obviously from the South and because of his dialect he pronounces certain words differently. Get a grip.

    • Leigh Ann Rosato

      What an ignorant thing to say! Chris is a good friend of mine. I live in Birmingham where he solved many homicides before retiring. I have trouble pronouncing a few words. Wish we could all speak as elegantly and as PERFECT as you!! BTW: what do you do for a living?????

      • Nancy Clifton Whitworth

        You say Chris is a good friend of yours, I need to know how to get on this show. A young man is wilting away in prison, he needs a chance for a new trial.

    • Leigh Ann Rosato

      You seem to be ignorant!! I’m sure you speak perfectly!! Idiot 😠

  • Cali Angelie

    Great show. Chris Anderson is super sharp and you can tell he has a lot of integrity, but that lady Melissa is annoying. She always sounds like she’s reading from a script and puts strange pauses in her sentences. She seems to be almost socially inept and comes across really bad (and condescending) when she’s talking to the main guests. It’s off putting to watch sometimes but otherwise the show is really good. I want to see Chris Anderson do his own show like McFadden in “I am Homicide” (another one of my favorites).

  • Dr. Karen L. Maloney

    Just watched the June 14th show. I have watched the others and I do not find these two individual’s to be that good at what they think they are good at which is allegedly re-investigating a crime in order to see if the convicted is not guilty of the crime. Chris Anderson should have had enough time to get on the convicted guys visitors list in order to speak to him in person. Additionally, Melissa Lewkowicz could have gotten on the visitors list quickly as an attorney trying to help him and Chris Anderson could have been in on that visit. I live in California and I know they could have done this. I am disgusted that they give families hope that their convicted family member may have a chance to have a new trial and, yet they do a truly crappy job at investigating the old crime scene information. I hope this show gets kicked to the curb.

    • Hannah

      Maloney Baloney. First of all, use paragraph spacing. Only disturbed people type in one gigantic chunk. That guy killed his parents. I know the story, details and facts of the case VERY well. Move on.

  • Barb French

    I just watched the episode about Diane Fleming allegedly poisoning her husband, Charles Fleming with windshield washer fluid in his sports drink. His death could have been caused by Diane or her son “Chucky”….but did anyone ever seriously look at “Miss Betty” (the nosey, opinionated, obnoxious and “best friend/ self-appointed big sister” of Diane?)

    a) she had access to the Fleming home;
    b) she desperately tried to blame it on the sweetener or muscle-building powder and turn the attention away from the windshield washer fluid;
    c) She acted ASTONISHED that you could not detect the blue color in the sports drink;
    d) Check out her facial expressions and body language when Chris and Melissa reveal all of the facts of the case to her.

    I know the case is now closed, but I would not put it past this evil woman who has been on this “crusade” for 14 years to exonerate Diane……. would it be to ease her conscious?

    If it was you “Miss Betty”… will pay in your next life!!


    • Hannah

      You’d have to be slow not to realize that Diane poisoned her husband. I remember the story well and do not have the time, nor interest to present all of the facts that leave zero doubt that the right person is behind bars.

  • Patricia Walker Singleton

    I am in a lot of pain because of what happen to my son, Antron Singleton (aka) Big Lurch.i have nothing but prayers for the Phipps family. My son was also a up and coming Rapper.In L.A California. He was found walking down the street in his birthday suit full of drugs. In the house where he was visiting they found a young lady died. They did not look at all of the evidence in his case. New evidence has been found There was a lot of miss information and lies. Even his attorney in the music industry was his business partner. Milton Grimes wasted no time in putting information in front of the media. It was like he was saying son was guilty before he went to trail. There has been so much information that was to my understanding was not submitted as evidence. Finger prints we’re found on the crime site that was not my son’s.Her mother said and told me that ( he’s my son ) Antron Singleton was set up.That she did not think that he did it. On video. Help me if you can.

  • Ashley Dawn Gackenbach

    I just watched the episode of the 2 Matt’s and David. That boy is innocent. Did anyone check to see if she went to the hospital for a broke hand? Or if they even really got a restraining order for Matt? Or looked for the knives? Y didn’t the police check his shirt for blood? So many things could have been done. The girl and her dad are liars and the 1 Matt is a liar. That’s the justice system failing once again!

  • Trenese Johnson

    Please if u can i really need to speak with u please Mr.Anderson u will find this very interesting just 1minute is all i need its about my son hes 26 been incarceratted since 17 all evidence state doctors everything say innocent black and white but they still say guilty how can they do that please help me pleas im in N.O