George Raffield, Greg ‘Sparky’ Knighten: ID’s ‘Shadow Of Doubt’ Covers 1987 Fatal Shooting Of Undercover Cop Who Posed As Midlothian, Texas Student

Traciy Reyes

George Raffield, the rookie undercover cop and hero who was gunned down and left in a vacant field three decades ago, will have his story aired on Shadow of Doubt. Investigation Discovery’s successful crime show will review how a dedicated rookie cop, desiring to make a difference, went undercover but was killed after rumors swept through the community that he was really an undercover cop.

In the episode “Midlothian Jump Street,” expect to listen as law enforcement investigators give their commentary on the case. Family members and friends may also make an appearance. For killing an officer in the line of duty, 16-year-old Greg Knighten was convicted and sent to prison. Today, according to Dallas News, Greg Knighten is much older and says he can’t believe that he was that “type of person.”

George William Raffield Jr.’s story begins innocently enough in Midlothian, Texas, in 1987. Starting out as a police dispatcher on the night shift, Raffield desired to make more of a difference in his life as a police officer. It was then that he noticed Midlothian’s growing problem of drug addiction, especially among the teens. Not far from Dallas, Texas, Midlothian didn’t offer much of anything to interest local teens back in the late 1980s, except a few hayrides and driving the back country roads in a friend’s pickup truck. And when they weren’t doing that, several of them were engaging in seedier activities such as taking drugs.

George Raffield wanted to be a part of the police movement to rid the city of drugs, especially in the high schools. And he got a chance to do that after he was recruited as a rookie with the Midlothian Police Department to train as an undercover cop, which Investigation Discovery’s Shadow of Doubt will dramatize. His job would entail going to the high school to pose as a student in order to gather intelligence about who may have been supplying the teens with drugs. He fit in pretty well. He was handsome, slender, and had a youthful appearance. It didn’t take him long to find a friend in Greg Knighten, a local teen everyone called Sparky. Sparky was also the son of a prominent police officer in the area. They became good buddies, and they shared a lot of intimate conversations. George hoped that “Sparky” Knighten would unknowingly lead him to the top drug dealers in the area.

George had all but abandoned his old life, even going as far to pretending to ignore former cops who had greeted him in the town for fear that someone may recognize him. Unfortunately for George, his worst fears came true. The beginning of the end happened after George Raffield accompanied his friend, Sparky, to the home of a 23-year-old woman named Cynthia Fedrick, whose home was a known hangout for drug people and teens. It was there that a friend told Cynthia that she believed George was a narc. According to Innocence Lost, an old true-crime book by Carlton Stowers, Cynthia Fedrick studied George’s moves the whole night, leaving her with the conclusion that her friend was right. George didn’t move or act like a person who did drugs. In fact, he didn’t even look like a teen when you looked at him closely.

Cynthia expressed her feelings to Sparky. It was then decided that George Raffield needed to go — permanently. On a dark, rainy night in October 1987, Greg Knighten put his plan in motion by luring his friend George to a vacant field, where they chit-chatted before Greg lured George out of the vehicle, where he shot him twice in the back of the head, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Shadow of Doubt on Investigation Discovery will provide viewers with details of how the police worried when George didn’t return. He was finally located when a helicopter spotted his dead body. Raffield’s family and girlfriend were beside themselves with sadness to learn of his death. His death also touched another police officer named Chief Scott Lindsey, who told his story in the documentary The George Raffield Story. Every now and then, past Midlothian High School students remember the case of the fallen officer and those who were a part of it. Here are some of their Facebook comments.

“Johnathan jobe is one of my Facebook friends, i dont know about Greg Knighten or richard geoglin!!!”

“I almost got in a fight with Greg in school like 3 days before that went down.”

“long gone from Midlothian by that time, but was amazed they would send someone undercover in the high school that lived in Red Oak. In my time, you would have known everyone from Red oak!”

“They might of been able to pull it off nowadays but back then it wasnt the smartest thing to do.”

“I remember the day he showed up to school. I knew he was to old, something just wasn’t right.”

“George sat by me in homeroom, he would buy a football ribbon from me on Fridays…I never once thought or would have guessed he wasn’t our age.”

“They made us walk frm our schools to the police station for the memorial.”

“He [George Raffield] sat next to me in many classes!”

“I just thought it was strange that Mr. Roesler would let him [George Raffield] in school with those thick sideburns.”

To understand how the George Raffield story played out, watch Investigation Discovery’s Shadow of Doubt this Wednesday at 10 p.m. In previous weeks, the Inquisitr has covered other stories that have appeared on Shadow of Doubt, including Michelle Warner and Lynn Armstrong.

[Image via YouTube]