For the second time this year, the 2006 slaying of Blairsville dentist John Yelenic and 2009 conviction of state police Trooper Kevin Foley for the killing will be explored on a national network television program.
“Dateline” on NBC will feature the sensational case Friday on a two-hour broadcast (9 p.m., WPXI TV) including interviews with Blairsville police officer Janelle Lydic and Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Tony Krastek, who had key roles in the investigation.
The show captures the shock of the Blairsville community following the grisly slaying, according to the network. Investigators said Yelenic bled to death after being slashed on his neck, face, chest, back, arm and hand, and neighborhood fears grew and suspicions swirled as police went almost 1ﾽ years before making an arrest.
The episode airing Friday is titled “The Premonition,” alluding to what some say was Yelenic’s expressed fear for his safety as his contentious divorce case proceeded through the courts.
Foley, who was living with Yelenic’s estranged wife, was an early suspect in the killing and was charged after police matched his style of shoe with shoeprints in a pool of blood on the floor of Yelenic’s house, and identified on surveillance videos a vehicle matching Foley’s SUV driving through Yelenic’s neighborhood around the time of the murder.
“A Pennsylvania man is convinced he has a target on his back during his messy divorce,” says NBC’s promotion for the show. “Soon after, he is found stabbed to death and his friends and family realize he was right all along in predicting his own gruesome murder. Andrea Canning reports on the case that had this small town in fear.”
The Oxygen cable network earlier profiled the Foley/Yelenic case on the “Killer Affairs” series, in an episode called “Murder in a Small Town.” The show aired Aug. 29, and a digital version is archived for online viewing at the network’s website.
The production company for the Oxygen show pored through hundreds of pages of transcripts of the Foley trial to lay out their story.
NBC consulted The Indiana Gazette for clippings of Yelenic’s slaying, the investigation and the trial as the “Dateline” show was in production.
Foley, now 54, was found guilty of first-degree murder on March 19, 2009, and was sentenced on June 1, 2009, to serve life in prison without parole. He is serving his sentence at State Correctional Institution-Retreat near Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County.