Sexual-predator Robert Snyder continues to generate news-worthy interest. It appears that America’s Most Wanted does not want to let the story die. Undoubtedly chess teachers all over North America are becoming increasingly scrutinized by both rightfully-concerned parents and school authorities alike. For decades the chess-in-schools business, as a general rule, has been run with little or no oversight and is widely recognized as needing strict regulation and control. Most of the bigger chess-in-school businesses say that they screen their teachers to keep out the sexual perverts, but clearly the Robert Snyder saga shows that some slip thru the cracks…
America’s Most Wanted Films Episode in Belize
Wed, February 3, 2010
It made international headlines in December when American fugitive Robert Snyder was captured in Belize. It was big news because he was the subject of an international manhunt. The chess teacher is a convicted child molester who fled the United States and relocated to Belize where he married a policewoman and changed his name to Augustin Rios.
But Belize was no refuge for Snyder who was featured on America’s Most Wanted on November 28th. Less than a week later a tipster led police to where he was. And that is why this week the host and crew of the fox network’s show are in Belize. Keith Swift went behind the scene.
The episode was shot on location in the Raccoon Street Police Station parking lot which on Tuesday afternoon resembled a movie lot with a full camera crew, the show’s Co-Executive Producer, a makeup artist for Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura and of course – the host of America’s Most Wanted – John Walsh.
John Walsh: ”Earlier tonight I told you about convicted child molester Robert Snyder who fled and tried to hide out in paradise but he was caught in this very station thanks to your tips.”
The episode is built around the capture of convicted child molester Robert Snyder – a chess instructor who was hiding out in Belize.
Steve Katz, Co-Executive Producer – America’s Most Wanted
“A citizen here in Belize who was watching America’s Most Wanted sent the information to us. The Belize Police cooperated with the American Police and this guy Robert Snyder is now facing life in prison. He thought he could hide here but due to the international cooperation of law enforcement and with the help of our show he is now in jail.”
“Assistant Police Commissioner Miguel Segura took down one of our most dangerous fugitives, a convicted child molester named Robert Snyder that we have been looking for, for a long time and that tip was generated by a 12 year old girl here. She watched the show and said that guy gives me the creeps, he is the chess instructor at our school.”
“We want to tell our viewers the story of how that happened, to show them the kind of international manhunt that we take part in.” said Steve Katz
The show’s co-executive producer is Steve Katz.
“We want our viewers to see that Belize has got many aspects to it and it is a very beautiful place and people shouldn’t, if they hear that there was an American fugitive captured here, shouldn’t think it is a bad place. It is really a beautiful place that somebody was trying to take advantage of.”
“Lots of fugitives go to countries where English is spoken, they would come to places like Belize and they think that the police work isn’t that sophisticated but the opposite is true here. This was an example of tremendous police work.”
His capture is also an example of the show’s global reach. It has been on the air for 23 years and tips have led to the capture of more one thousand fugitives. For Walsh – it isn’t a job – it is a crusade.
“I really didn’t know if the show would work. I wasn’t in television, I was approached by Fox in 1987 to host the first reality show in America but I am the father of a murdered child. My six year old son was kidnapped and murdered 28 years ago and I thought it might be a good use of television. I don’t think anybody dreamed the show would go this long, that we would reach out to an international audience, but its been a very gratifying experience to see how many of these horrible people caught because of the partnership between the public, the police, and a TV show.
I think we’re effective, we will be on I hope as long as I can do it and as long as the public watches. We caught more guys last year than we’ve ever caught and we’re now seen in more countries than we’ve ever been seen. I really this is a global community and it is really a gratifying experience to see someone who destroyed someone’s life, who could have the potential to hurt someone, this guy could have come here and tried to molest young boys here in Belize, I am sure that is what he planned, it is very gratifying – it keeps me motivated. We can make a difference.”
And Walsh says Belize made a difference when Snyder was taken off the street.
“I think Belize should be very proud that they’ve captured so many fugitives here. It sends a good message to other countries, the Central American countries, that don’t be a haven for the bad guys, don’t let the garbage come from other countries.”
“What can we expect to see when this show airs?”
“Well I will be talking about Belize, shooting all over Belize, and I am almost profiling some of the world’s most wanted. I hope they are not in Belize but if they are, if one of them is here, I am sure he will get caught by good people.”
The episode will air on February 27th.
The show will also film part of the Belize based episode from San Pedro. John Walsh brought a crew of 8 and there are an additional 7 Belizeans who have been hired. Again the America’s Most Wanted episode that was filmed in Belize will air on the fox network on February 27th.