TV program to re-create Lucas case BALTIMORE CITY

The detective work that led to Tonya Lucas receiving six consecutive life terms for the arson murder of six of her children is scheduled to be re-created on an episode of the "reality" television program "Top Cops."

The CBS network show will feature Baltimore homicide Detective Bertina Silver, the primary investigator in the Lucas case.


Detective Silver, a 19-year veteran of the city Police Department and a member of the homicide unit for the past six years, spent nearly a week in Toronto last month for the filming of what is expected to be a 20- to 25-minute segment on the Lucas case.

Lorenzo Carcaterra, managing editor for "Top Cops," said he became interested in featuring Detective Silver after reading about her in Sun reporter David Simon's 1991 book, "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets." He said he was eager to present the Baltimore Police Department -- only one episode in the show's previous seasons had focused on a Baltimore officer.


Also, he wanted to feature a female detective.

Program researchers contacted Detective Silver, 41, and asked her to suggest a particular investigation.

She described her work on the Lucas case, among others, and the producers picked that one.

In one of the more dramatic moments in the trial that ended in Lucas' conviction, Detective Silver cried on the witness stand when shown photographs of the dead children.

She said she became emotional when she thought of her son and daughter and how young children "are so full of love. They just want to hug you."

After a three-year run on CBS, "Top Cops" was renewed this year as a midseason replacement show.

No air date has been set for the episode describing the Lucas case.