On August 23, 2009, Ryan Jenkins was found
dead in a hotel room in Hope, British Columbia. This is the second time
that I've covered a death in the game/reality show complex, and the
reason has less to do with the death than the aftermath.
Ryan was the only suspect (and subsequently formally charged) in the
murder of Jasmine Flore, in California. I suspect he realized that law
enforcement was tightening the net on him, and that he would rather die
by his own hand than face a trial. (This is just an opinion; I don't
know much other than a minimum of research on the case.)
Ryan was a contender on VH1's recent dating program: "Megan Wants a
Millionaire." The winner from series three of "Beauty and the Geek", and
contestant on "I Love Money" Megan Hauserman was presented seventeen
suitors and whittled them down in the fashion of just about every
dating/reality show seen since "The Bachelor." Ryan later competed on
the as-yet-unseen third series of "I Love Money, as well.
After news of Ryan's death, VH1 pulled "Millionaire", decided that the
third series of "Money" would not be aired, and removed evidence of both
shows from their website.
I really don't like this, and since this is my column, I'm going to tell
People do all sorts of scuzzy things all the time. (Let's go ahead and
assume for the sake of the piece that Ryan was guilty, it'll make things
easier). But life goes on. Just because one participant on a program
turned out to be a thug is not reason enough to junk two entire shows.
There are about 20 people in a series of "Money" competing for a
sizeable sum of money, and it isn't right to deny them that privilege
just because VH1 would rather pretend that the entire sordid episode
I'm not sure what VH1 would do instead. Put a PSA or message at the
beginning of the shows? Offer them for online viewing? It isn't a
decision I would want to make, but I still think that they made the
Travis Eberle can be reached at