Monte Francis

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As a boy, I loved to watch TV. I loved it so much, in fact, my family thought I might have been sucked into the television set itself, like the TV-obsessed boy in Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My mother was glad, when unlike Mike Teavee, I went on to cultivate other interests; but no one who knew me was the least bit surprised when I decided to pursue a career in TV journalism.

I began my reporting career at a radio station, WSYR in Syracuse, New York, shortly after graduating from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1995. A few years later, I transitioned to TV, producing the 5 o’clock newscast at WSTM, also in Syracuse. When offered a producing and reporting job in Fresno, California the following year, I jumped at the chance to move to the West Coast.

During my five years at KSEE 24, Fresno’s NBC affiliate, I had the opportunity to cover several high-profile murder cases, notably the murder trial of Scott Peterson, which I covered from beginning to end. I also covered the trial of Cary Stayner, the hotel handyman responsible for the “Yosemite murders.”

While at KSEE, I was honored to receive two Emmy Awards: one in 2003 for a series called “Surviving the Unthinkable,” about how people survive horrific tragedies, and for another series the following year, about an effort to repeal California’s Three Strikes Law.

In 2004, I was among a small group of reporters who responded to the scene of a home in Fresno, where an apparent domestic disturbance would become Fresno’s worst mass murder. Nine family members would be pronounced dead by the evening’s end, as the patriarch of the family, Marcus Wesson, was escorted out of the house in handcuffs.

During Marcus Wesson’s murder trial, I secured permission from the judge to blog live details about the testimony, adding my observations from inside the courtroom. The blog became so popular, a literary agent contacted me, and asked if I had considered writing a book about the case. I had just received a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California State University Fresno and in 2007, HarperCollins published my first book, By Their Father’s Hand: The True Story of the Wesson Family Massacre.

In 2005, I moved to San Francisco and fell madly in love with the City by the Bay.

That same year, I began writing for KTVU Fox 2 and reporting for NBC Bay Area. At NBC, I reported on a wide range of topics, from wildfires to politics, and received two more Emmys. I was also honored to be named Reporter of the Year in 2013, by the Associated Press Television and Radio Association, for a region covering 13 western states.

In the fall of 2014, I traveled to Alaska to investigate a series of killings for my second true crime book, ICE AND BONE: Tracking an Alaskan Serial Killer, which was published by WildBlue Press in 2016.

I am now thrilled to be writing and reporting for KTVU Fox 2. The people with whom I work are simply some of the best in the business, and there is no place I would rather be!

Finally, I should mention that I am an identical twin. My brother, Matthew, is a Harvard-trained actor who has worked in the tech and financial sectors, has staged one-man shows, and has his own web series which he wrote, produced and in which he stars. We are not the same person, just in case anyone is confused!

Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter and send me your story ideas. I would love to hear from you!

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