Season Finale Saturday, July 15 from 8 to 10 PM ET/PT on ABC
“20/20: In an Instant” retells heart-pounding, first-hand accounts of the world’s most harrowing tales of survival by bringing them to life through breathtaking dramatizations. The powerful series features gripping interviews with the people whose lives were on the line and those who were instrumental in helping them survive. Ordinary people stared death in the face and outlasted tremendous odds. What key decisions did they make to save themselves?
In the season finale, “In an Instant: Home Invasion Horror,” Katie McConnell and her two children, Liam and Zoe, had just returned from a playdate. After putting Zoe down for a nap, Katie walked into her son’s room and saw a sight straight out of a horror movie – a masked gunman signaling her to keep quiet.
Taylor Crisman and his accomplice, Chris Hill, wanted to rob a bank without ever stepping foot in it by forcing Katie’s husband, Brian, a local bank manager, to do it for them. When Brian came home from a city council meeting, he realized something was wrong and headed for the knife block, but was stopped in his tracks. After staying up all night with his wife and the hostage taker, Brian went to the bank, emptied the vault and drove home with almost $200,000 in cash.
While Crisman started sifting through stacks of money, Brian used the opportunity and managed to grab the hostage taker’s gun. However, Brian was convinced by Crisman to give back the weapon for fear of everyone being killed by Crisman’s partner if Crisman didn’t get away with the money and gun.
After Hill and Crisman sped off, Brian called 911, but when police responded, the family felt they were treated like suspects. Brian and Katie were forced to go through hours of intense interrogation and lie-detector tests before their names were cleared. A few weeks later, the FBI along with local law enforcement eventually caught Crisman and Hill. They pleaded guilty and are now serving time in federal prison.