Sunday, January 11, 2009

Update On Murdered Boy's Photo on NIGHT SHIFT

Back in October, We Love Soaps reported on the story of a murdered boy's photo being used in an episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT. Billy Dee Williams' character received a letter and a photo from a son he supposedly abandoned -- the photo in the actor's hand was that of Christopher Barrios.

In March 2007, Christopher Barrios Jr. was kidnapped, raped and murdered. The tragic story received a lot of attention both locally and nationally.

"They ain't got no right doing that -- not a bit of right," said Christopher's grandmother Sue Rodriquez after a clip of the show in October.

Two months later, the family's attorney, Mark Gelman, released some new information about how the Barrios family is handling the incident.

"All we're trying to do right now is establish the facts and find out how this happened," Gelman said.

Gelman said the television company told him that in search of a photo a prop master did a Google search for "black children" hoping to find a kid who resembled Billy Dee Williams.

"Somehow, someway he chose Christopher's picture out of the other million or billion that are on the Internet," Gelman said.

ABC offered an apology to the child's family, saying: "We offer our deepest condolences to the Barrios family for their loss and our sincerest apologies for any pain caused by our mistake."

The network also produced a public service announcement on missing and exploited children in Christopher's honor. The PSA aired on SOAPnet.

However, Gelman said the Barrios family continues to struggle with the idea that Christopher's photo was used. He said they are still sickened by it.

"Once they find out the facts, how this happened, then they'll make up their mind as to what they want to do," Gelman said.

He said he would like to talk to the prop master himself and find out how and why he chose to use Christopher's picture, but Gelman said he has not been getting any cooperation.

Gelman also said the Barrios family would like to keep the matter out of court but if they don't get the answers they want, court may be their only hope.


  1. So it's okay for a Network or Production Company to use any photo they find on the internet? What about slander? Seems ABC screwed up and tried to get out of paying $10 for using an actor's head shot. I bet most actors would do it for free, just for the exposure.

  2. I love "We Love Soaps" and read it daily but for the life of me I don't know how or why you would include a screen shot of the clip that "sickened" the boy's family. "We Love Soaps" has always been a notch above most other blogs. Showing that boy's photo from the NS scene accompanied by a story about how much that scene upset his family seems very out of place on "We Love Soaps."