tv Dateline NBC NBC December 28, 2015 1:30am-2:30am PST
>> this woman essentially says, "i saw the murderer, and it >> there's the killer right there. >> i did not kill my wife. >> i'm lester holt, and this is "dateline." here's josh mankiewicz with "mystery at heath bar farm." >> 911 -- >> i need -- i need an ambulance. now. >> reporter: february 2009, coldwater, michigan. >> what's the problem? >> my wife! >> your wife? >> yes! >> reporter: in one day, one moment -- >> is she breathing? >> no! >> she's gone! she's gone! >> reporter: the innocent, simple life tom foley and his
forever. >> oh, my god. oh, my gosh. >> 27 seconds, gets it off to foley. >> reporter: it was a moment tom foley never would have imagined 23 years earlier. back then, number 30 -- >> going to be 15 seconds left exactly. >> reporter: -- scored the winning basket giving coldwater high school the regional title and earning young tom a place in coldwater's basketball hall of fame. >> i have goose bumps right now just talking about it. >> it was like victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat, and he came through with it. >> reporter: to what extent were you sort of known around here for being the kid that hit the game-winning shot? >> that went on for a long time. you know, maybe someone might come up, "hey, tom, you remember when you hit that shot?" i said, "of course, i remember."
hometown hero started dating another local standout named darlene weber. dar, as she was known, had a personality as big as her smile. >> the first time i saw her, she -- she was playing softball, of course, and she had on these lime green rec specs, so she looked a little funny. but when she took them off, i thought she was beautiful. >> reporter: it was a classic case of opposites attracting. >> i think we both went into the relationship knowing that we really loved spending time with one another. >> reporter: tom was the laid back, easy-going type. dar, an elementary school teacher, was more type a, and she didn't hide what she was >> she had opinions, and she let those be known. that's one of the reasons i loved her. i still love her today. >> reporter: still, when dar's sisters, ladonna, lynn, and marla, learned that dar and tom
left scratching their heads. >> my famous saying was, there's got to be something wrong with tom for him to stay with dar. >> reporter: 'cause you couldn't do it? >> no. >> reporter: you couldn't be around somebody who was, what, that much the center of attention? >> and telling you what to do. >> reporter: and that controlling? >> dar was not a domesticated person either. >> reporter: the foleys were married in 1994, and right from the start, dar took the lead. fair to say that she wore the pants in that house? >> i'd a probably 75%, 80% of the time she did. >> she was the breadwinner? >> yes. >> you stayed home and took care of your son? >> i did. >> reporter: heath was tom and dar's only child and the center of their lives. >> and we just loved being together. we were always together. >> reporter: and so the three foleys lived on the outskirts of coldwater in an old farmhouse they called "the heath bar farm."
that winter day back in 2009. what was the last thing you said to her? >> i said, "i love you, and i'll see you later." >> reporter: on that day, the foleys were preparing to celebrate heath's 10th birthday at a friend's house just down the road. dar still needed to shower, so tom, heath, and a friend of heath's left without her. the plan was for dar to follow in her own car and meet them at the party later that afternoon. but dar never arrived. that gave you some sort of sixth sense that something was wrong? >> yes. she was always on time or early to events. >> reporter: so tom left the party and headed back home in search of his wife. >> our kitchen back door was opened, and i noticed that the glass was broken, and there was glass all over our kitchen floor. so i looked through the rest of the house for her, and ended up finding her in our bathroom. >> reporter: she had been shot
point-blank range. tom immediately called for help. >> what's the problem? >> my wife is in the shower. she's just laying there in the blood. >> reporter: first responders rushed to the foley farm. when michigan state police detective james karbon arrived on the scene, he knew he was in for a long night. >> we don't have a lot of homicides that happen in and around branch county, and because of her position as a schoolteacher, just for the number of people that knew her, that put it in a much more serious type investigation. >> reporter: detective karbon and his team of state troopers scoured the crime scene taking pictures and seizing evidence of what appeared to be a home burglary gone wrong. the first clue? the broken glass coming from the kitchen door window. >> it appeared that a beer bottle was used to break that particular window. jewelry and credit cards were missing. the family desk had also been
documents inside were gone. and then there was the medicine cabinet. >> it looked like somebody had gone in and basically scooped a shelf off of the medicine cabinet and its contents. >> reporter: like maybe they were looking for prescription drugs? >> reporter: but to detective karbon, the items missing weren't nearly as telling as what was left behind. expensive electronics were untouched as was dar's purse found sitting on a hallway chair. >> it just didn't make a lot of sense. >> reporter: neither did the use of a shotgun. >> it's large, potentially bulky. if you're going to break into something, you have to carry whatever you steal out with this shotgun that you brought also. >> reporter: it wasn't until the next day that police found their first significant piece of evidence, evidence that led the investigation in a whole new direction. down in the foleys' dusty basement was a suspiciously
what was in the bag? >> three shotgun shells. >> when we come back -- police have some questions for the grieving husband. >> we found a dunham's bag. >> okay. >> that had some shotgun shells in it. >> okay. >> you ever seen that before? >> no. >> and so does his wife's family. >> there were a number of people who were offended by his demeanor. >> the funeral for dar foley was phil! oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? jingle jingle. if you're peter papa you stay young forever. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. you make me feel so young... it's what you do. you make me feel
>> the funeral for dar foley was held on the 13th, friday the 13th. those unlucky enough to be sharing their grief over the woman they'd loved and lost poured into union city high school auditorium. no church, it turned out, was big enough to accommodate the more than 500 people who came to honor and remember dar. >> she was so full of life. and she had a lot more to give. and we can't bring her back. >> your wife's been killed, and you've got a 10-year-old son. what did you tell him? >> i told him that someone had hurt mommy, and he goes, "is she in heaven?" and i said, "yes." >> reporter: it seemed that no
comprehend what had happened including steve and joanie pierce, close friends of both tom and dar, who learned of the murder from tom himself. >> i said, "the three of you were always together." and he was crying, and he said, "i know, i know. i should've been there for her." and then i said, "if you would've been, the three of you would be dead now instead of just dar." >> reporter: but just 24 hours into the investigation, detective jim karbon had almost abandoned the theory that this was a random act of violence. >> it appeared to me that this was a staged breaking and entering to try to hide a homicide that took place. >> reporter: but according to detective karbon, whoever staged the burglary didn't factor in the weather that day. >> it got really warm. we had a huge snowmelt off. >> reporter: the ground around the farmhouse was unusually wet and muddy. so you'd expect that there would be muddy footprints from inside
had come through that door? >> absolutely. >> and was there anything or any footprints? >> there was nothing. >> reporter: but it was the yellow bag found in the basement, the bag containing shotgun shells, that interested karbon the most. >> downstairs in the basement. >> okay. >> we found a dunham's bag. >> okay. >> that had some shotgun shells in it. >> okay. >> have you ever seen that before? >> no. >> reporter: now, the foleys didn't own a shotgun, as far as we know? >> that's correct. >> reporter: karbon sent the bag to the lab for analysis, and what technicians found on the bag surprised even this veteran detective. tom's fingerprint was on the bag? >> yes. >> reporter: suddenly detective karbon felt he needed to learn and take a closer look at tom foley and his seemingly picture-perfect marriage. >> i think they did a lot of things together, however, i don't consider them the picture-perfect couple.
sister lynn, in whom dar once confided. >> she said, "tom doesn't love me anymore. he's leaving me." "he's going through his change of life." you know -- >> his midlife crisis? >> yes. >> reporter: dar's sisters were becoming increasingly suspicious, especially, they said, after watching tom's behavior at dar's funeral. >> it was almost like he was relieved. >> there were a number of people that came up to me after the service that were really offended by his demeanor, his joyfulness. >> these are things that i've heard, and it's ridiculous. i mean, taking care of heath was on my mind, wondering who killed my wife was on my mind. they don't know the things that i've been through. >> reporter: maybe so, but detective karbon was keeping a very watchful eye on tom foley. he decided to interview the other foley who was at the farm
dar's son, heath. >> heath, like i told you, i'm detective sergeant karbon. >> reporter: he said that heath and his friend skylar wattie were inside the house playing video games, waiting to be driven to heath's birthday celebration. >> did you see anything different or out of the ordinary, or anybody walking around, anybody come up to the door, anything you can think of? >> not really. >> okay. >> reporter: the detective also interviewed skylar wattie, who said right before leaving for the party, tom sent the two boys outside to go start up the truck. >> he said that he'll be out there in a little bit. >> okay. >> so, i don't know what he was doing in there, taking a shower or what. >> reporter: like heath, skylar couldn't recall anything unusual about that day either, and then suddenly -- >> yeah, when we were outside running across the barns, there was like a big crash like way in the back of the house.
>> like breaking glass and a bunch of things falling like maybe a vase just -- >> it was a loud sound? >> yeah. >> reporter: detective karbon showed skylar a drawing of the foley farm and asked skylar to place an "x" where he believed the sound originated. >> like somewhere around in here. >> okay. >> reporter: skylar placed the "x" just outside the first floor bathroom, the same room where dar foley had been shot. >> it appeared to us that skylar wattie may have heard the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. >> reporter: detective karbon was also thinking this, the one other person in that house at that time was tom foley. coming up -- >> he wanted the house, he wanted her money. and if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> was that a motive?
when "dateline" continues. >> from the mouths of babes or in this case, one articulate 10-year-old boy, came what seemed like a case-breaking revelation. >> it was like loud, loud. >> reporter: detective karbon believed 10-year-old skylar wattie was an ear witness to the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. if true, it meant dar was murdered earlier than originally thought. more significantly, it meant tom foley was still in the house when the murder occurred. >> that lead was huge. it was very, very important. >> reporter: but if tom foley was in that house and pulled the trigger, the question remained, why? the answer, said karbon, is quite simple.
>> potentially yes. >> reporter: money in the form of an insurance policy. >> i think that he wanted out of the marriage and did whatever he needed to do to make sure that happened. >> and if he got $310,000 in insurance money and got out of better? >> yes. against tom foley was circumstantial but compelling. burglary? >> yes. >> and killed his wife? >> yes. >> reporter: they never found >> what do you think happened to the gun? >> i wish i knew. >> reporter: but even without it, in march of 2009, one month after dar foley was gunned down in her shower, state police arrested tom foley and charged him with his wife's murder. >> and i just, "what, how, why?" and i was like, "this cannot be
why do you think i did this?" i did not kill my wife. >> reporter: to tom and dar's close friends, the pierces, news of tom's arrest was almost as stunning as the news of dar's death. >> could you conceive of tom either hating his wife so much that he wanted to kill her? >> absolutely not. >> never. >> or killing her for the insurance money? >> absolutely not. >> that would be stupid. she made good money. why kill the golden goose? >> you think they had a good marriage? >> yeah, i do. everything seemed to be going real good for them. >> reporter: it seemed sadistic, shooting your wife at point-blank range, killing the mother of your son on the very day he was celebrating his tenth birthday. >> he never would have done that to his son. >> reporter: police continued gathering evidence. ten days after tom's arrest, police brought heath foley in for a second interview, and this time heath did recall hearing a noise that day.
you remember any of that. >> it was like maybe a gunshot maybe or maybe some like glass broke, i don't know. it was one of those two things maybe. >> reporter: according to tom, the sound heath heard was nothing more than glass breaking. >> they were old barn windows that i was trying to clean up. and i went to grab them and one of them slipped out of my grip, and it smashed on our back porch steps. >> and it made a loud noise? >> yeah, it did. yup. >> reporter: but detective karbon wasn't buying tom's explanation. the boys were playing over by this barn? >> yes. >> and how far is that to the house? >> it's approximately 75 yards. >> mr. foley claims he was dropping a window. would that sound have penetrated that far? >> in my opinion that couldn't have happened. >> reporter: police also say they carefully searched that area around the back porch. >> there was no glass that we
scene on that particular night, as well as the next day. >> reporter: for dar's sisters, the writing was by now on the wall. they were certain of their brother-in-law's guilt. >> we went over every case we could come up with to not make it tom. >> i think tom resented dar in that he couldn't be a man. i think it kind of ate at him and he couldn't take it anymore. >> people get divorced for that reason. >> he didn't divorce her because he's a selfish coward. he wanted heath, he wanted the house, he wanted her money, and if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> reporter: in november 2009, tom foley's trial began. the prosecution argued that only tom had a motive to kill dar. but the defense claimed police had rushed to judgment. defense attorney tom schaeffer and defense investigator ken koberstein. >> in their mind it's always the boyfriend or the husband. >> or the person who finds the
>> which in this case? > was the husband and tom. >> they wanted me bad. because they -- what's easier for them to go after someone that they can actually physically see or someone they cannot actually physical si see. >> what's wrong with the idea that money was the motive? >> absolutely not. i mean, we had a mortgage. to move on after all this was gonna take a hell of a lot more than that. >> reporter: after two weeks of testimony, the jury had its verdict. >> i felt the evidence was going to prove that there's absolutely no way i had anything to do with this. >> reporter: 12 jurors didn't share that feeling. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty of first degree murder. >> i was just, "what." i was just shocked. >> what was wrong with the jury? what do they know that i don't know? how could they convict a man on what they had? >> i knew what a conviction was
life without the possibility of parole. >> my sister is still dead. it still didn't bring her back. but you had a little bit of faith in the justice system. >> reporter: in the hours following the verdict, it seemed everyone in coldwater was relying on faith. >> i said to myself, "god isn't gonna let me go to prison for the rest of my life." something had to turn around. >> reporter: then less than 24 hours after the verdict, tom foley's defense team got a phone call from a woman -- >> this is a woman who essentially says, "i saw the murderer, and it wasn't tom foley." coming up -- >> there's the killer, right there! she saw him! >> a bombshell from out of the
convicted husband? music starts and plays throughout gucci guilty the fragrances for him and for her. when cigarette cravings hit, all i can think about is getting relief. only nicorette mini has a patented fast-dissolving formula. it starts to relieve sudden cravings fast. i never know when i'll need relief. that's why i only choose nicorette mini. karl, don't you have friends coming over? yeah, so?
are you kidding? wash it? let's wash it with febreze. for all the things you can't wash, use... ...febreze fabric refresher whoa hey mrs. webber inhales hey, it smells nice in here and try pluggable febreze... ...to continuously eliminate odors for... ...up to 45 days of freshness pluggable febreze and fabric refresher... ...[inhale + exhale mnemonic]... ... , two more ways to breathe happy covergirl is the easy way to draw attention perfect point liner smudge with sponge-tip to create a smokin' kitten eye lash blast mascara adds an instant blast of volume add a pow to your brow! wow! from easy, breezy, beautiful
(cell phone rings) where are you? well the squirrels are back in the attic. mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time... if you're a mom, you call at the worst time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there.
jumper, 18. he hits it with five seconds -- >> 24 years after the one-time hometown hero named tom foley made coldwater history, the now convicted murderer of the same name sat behind bars awaiting his sentence. you ready to spend the rest of your life in prison? >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: to tom foley's attorney, tom schaeffer, and his private eye, ken koberstein, the guilty verdict landed like a crushing blow. >> this was a grassroot whodunit, and we thought we had shown that it wasn't this person who had done it. >> i was devastated. when this ended, i could have walked into a wall. >> reporter: but just one day after tom foley's conviction, a woman stepped forward. she had new information that suddenly gave new life to tom's defense. >> she came forward and said, "i
of the driveway, almost hit me." "it looked like somebody was either high or running away from something." >> reporter: the woman was certain the driver was coming out of the heath bar farm right around the time dar was murdered, and she was equally certain the driver looked nothing like tom foley. >> there's the killer right there. she saw him, the person leaving our property. >> reporter: and then like a dam breaking, two other witnesses came forward, each having seen a mysterious car of their own, either parked on the foley property or speeding away from it. all the sightings were within two hours of dar's murder. >> i mean, it was just like one after another, and i'm saying, "what is going on? where were these people before?" >> reporter: the judge who was about to sentence tom foley to life wanted to hear what these new witnesses had to say. and after a year of appeals that
supreme court, tom foley was granted something most people convicted of murder never receive, a second chance. >> i was walking through the chow hall in prison, and somebody says, "hey, tom, i saw you on the news." i said, "really, what for?" "well, they gave you a new trial." >> i said, "what?" >> reporter: but news of a new trial didn't change the minds of dar's family. they remained convinced, not only did tom kill dar, he did so on the day of his son's tenth birthday celebration. >> you think tom's cold blooded enough to do something like that to his kid? >> yes. >> i think there's evil in him. >> reporter: prosecutor terri norris agreed. >> who killed dar foley? >> tom foley. there is nobody else. >> reporter: a year and a half after tom foley's conviction both sides filed back into the courthouse to once again determine tom's fate. >> circuit court is again in session.
state opened its case with crime scene analysts. >> what is it that you found in the basement? >> i found a yellow dunham's bag and located inside the dunham's bag were three shotgun shells. these are phone records. >> reporter: norris also showed the jury the foleys' home phone records from around the time dar was killed. >> there were no calls that either came in or left. >> your wife doesn't show up somewhere, why not call home and say, you know, "have you left yet? where are you? we're waiting for you." >> that's what i'd do. >> reporter: according to detective karbon, tom didn't bother calling dar at home because he knew dar was already dead. then, members of dar's family stepped forward to testify that tom and dar's marriage was troubled and that tom wanted out. >> he told me that his wife is very controlling and that it was wearing on him, and he did not necessarily want to stay in the
>> reporter: and there was more evidence of an unhappy marriage. according to this woman, back in 2006, tom had a wandering eye. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> carolyn zuck. >> reporter: carey zuck taught at the same elementary school as dar, who was known at school as "dee dee." that's how carey met tom. >> he told me that he was thinking about leaving dee dee. >> reporter: according to carey, tom also revealed he had feelings for her, and later he tried to kiss her. >> and what was your reaction to that? >> i didn't want anything to do with it. >> reporter: the prosecution wasn't done. this woman took the stand. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> marion victoria crandall. >> reporter: out of the presence of the jury, marion crandall told the court that, like carey zuck, she met tom through dar, and a couple of weeks after
the farm to offer tom support. >> i don't mean to embarrass you but you had sex with tom in his living room? >> he tried to, and it was stopped. >> all right. who tried and who stopped? >> he tried, and we both stopped. >> you don't have a sexual relationship with somebody within two weeks after your wife's been murdered in that house. >> reporter: but the jury never heard marion crandall's testimony because there was no indication of a romantic relationship prior to dar's murder. the judge ruled, just as he did in the first trial, that her testimony was prejudicial and, therefore, inadmissible. it was a huge blow to the prosecution's case. >> it supports the position that they weren't this deeply in love couple that he kept trying to present. that would have proven that. >> reporter: but norris still had her two key witnesses, tom's
sklyar wattie. both two years older and now more certain than ever about what they saw and heard the day dar was killed. >> last year at church camp for one of our activities, we fired shotguns, and it most resembled that sound. >> reporter: then it was time for heath to take the stand. the last time tom had seen his boy was at a hearing, also in court almost a year earlier. >> while you're in the barn, do you hear something? >> yes, i thought it was maybe skylar kinda ran into a wall. either that or a gunshot. >> you think the boys actually were, if not eye witnesses, then ear witnesses. >> ear witnesses to what happened. >> -- to a murder? >> yes. >> reporter: tom schaeffer knew that if he had any hope of getting tom foley acquitted, he'd need to prove the sound those boys heard was anything other than a gunshot. just two weeks before trial began, while inspecting crime scene photos, schaeffer found
client's freedom. >> and i says, "ken, is that what i think it is?" >> it was one of these, "holy crap!" >> it was, to us, just a perry mason moment. coming up -- >> we were together all the time. >> reporter: tom foley on the stand with his own fate on the line. >> i wanted to convince the police. i wanted to advice my wife's family. >> could he? when "dateline" continues. olay regenerist renews from within, plumping surface cells for a dramatic transformation without the need for fillers your concert tee might show your age... your skin never will. olay regenerist.
get fast-acting, long-lasting relief from heartburn with it neutralizes stomach acid and is the only product that forms a protective barrier that helps keep stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs. for fast-acting, long-lasting try gaviscon . i absolutely love my new york apartment, but the rent is outrageous. good thing geico offers affordable renters insurance. with great coverage it protects my personal belongings should they get damaged, stolen or destroyed. [doorbell] uh, excuse me. delivery. hey. lo mein, szechwan chicken, chopsticks, soy sauce and you got some fortune cookies. have a good one. ah, these small new york apartments... protect your belongings. let geico help you
the defense began presenting its case in hopes of convincing the jury that foley is innocent. >> reporter: midway thru tom foley's trial, the talk around coldwater focused on the damaging testimony of skylar wattie and tom's own son heath. >> what do you think was the strongest part of your case? >> the boys. the testimony of the boys. they heard the gunshot. >> reporter: but the defense was about to argue that over time, both boys' testimony had changed, and in significant ways. >> heath is now stating that it sounds like a gunshot. it's something that he didn't say in the first interview, the same thing with skylar. >> reporter: heath's courtroom testimony left tom furious, not at his son but at his accusers, the people who had cared for heath while tom was
or encouraging him? >> i believe so. >> coached or not, tom foley's defense team knew from day one they needed to prove the sound those boys heard was tom dropping a window pane on the back steps, and not the fatal gun blast. four days after tom foley's arrest schaeffer and koberstein took a trip to the farm to try and do just that. >> a couple of perry mason moments don't come very often. >> this is the frame that we >> reporter: right where tom said he dropped the frame, they found this tiny shard of glass. immediately they tried to match the shard with the frame tom said he dropped. >> if you take the shard and set it in one of the few remaining intact puttied areas of the frame, you can see it fits perfectly. >> reporter: it was compelling evidence that tom may have been telling the truth, but schaeffer would need more than just a shard of evidence. he next called this woman, jeanette moor, the woman who
following tom's guilty verdict and the reason he was ultimately granted a new trial. moor said she was driving past the foley house right around the time dar had been murdered. >> as i approached, this white car come racing out forward, and if i hadn't have braked, i would have hit him. >> reporter: jeanette moor said she got a good look at the driver. >> it was a young 18 to 20-year-old kid, had real black hair, and his face was real white, and he was clutchin' the wheel just like this. and i thought, he's crazy. he's gonna kill somebody!" >> why didn't you call the police? >> i didn't because i was afraid. >> reporter: but when jeanette moor learned about tom foley's guilty verdict, she said she could no longer keep her silence. >> god forgive me, and i truly
if i hadn't have been so darned scared. >> reporter: what followed was a succession of other witnesses, each claiming they too saw mysterious cars, either on or leaving the heath bar farm right around the time of the murder. >> whoever killed dar foley was either in one of those cars or all of three of them participated in this murder in some fashion. >> reporter: but tom foley knew if he had any hope of acquittal, the jury would need to hear from one more witness. >> i call tom foley to the stand your honor. >> i just didn't want to convince the 12 jurors. i wanted to convince the prosecutor. i wanted to convince the police. i wanted to convince my wife's family. i wanted them to know and look at me and hear me. >> reporter: tom started by answering some still nagging questions like how did a yellow plastic bag with shotgun shells in it get into tom's basement.
>> yes. >> how do you explain the bag in the basement with the shotgun shells in it? >> they weren't ours. that bag is probably ours. i mean, my fingerprint's on the bag. but for three clean shotgun shells to be in my basement just doesn't make sense. >> you have no idea where those came from? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: tom said he's never owned or used a shotgun. >> never. wouldn't know how to operate it. wouldn't know the first thing about it. >> reporter: tom schaeffer then asked why tom failed to call his home when dar didn't show up at the birthday celebration? >> something just wasn't right. so that's why i went home. >> if we had cell phones, i would have called her on the cell phone. i had to find her. i had to go and see where she was at. >> reporter: then it was time for tom to describe his relationship with dar. it didn't take tom long to lose his composure. >> we were very close.
>> go ahead. >> we were together all the time. >> reporter: tom admitted to the jury he did once flirt with carey zuck, but he says that happened three years prior to the murder during a brief time when he and dar were arguing more than they were communicating. >> that put quite a bit of distance between us, and it also led to intimacy problems between her and i. >> reporter: tom says he eventually told dar about his feelings for carey. he also says he went to counseling to work on their communication problems. >> after those sessions, did things get better? >> absolutely. >> reporter: but then why was it so easy for tom to become intimate with marion crandall so soon after dar's death? >> this is like three weeks after dar died. >> yes. >> and you're in the house where
>> yeah. >> what am i to think of that? >> think that i don't care about what had just happened to my wife. that's not true. if i could go back and change it, i would. but i can't. >> this was an event that involved grief and a reaching out, and it happened. >> do you love your wife? >> i love her very much. >> did you love her on february 7th, 2009? >> very much so. >> did you have anything to do with her death? >> not at all. >> reporter: before closing arguments, the prosecutor had one more card to play in the form of a surprise rebuttal witness who could unravel tom's alibi. >> please state your full name for the record. >> amber rapelje. >> reporter: out of the presence of the jury, dar's niece told the court that one week bffore
the farm to baby-sit heath. >> she told us not to go out in the back porch without shoes because tom had dropped a frame and there might be still some glass out there. >> reporter: but the judge ruled that amber's testimony was hearsay and therefore inadmissible. the jury never heard her challenge tom's claim that what the boys heard the day dar was murdered was him dropping a window frame. >> reporter: now, with the evidence that was admitted, and for the second time in two years, a jury was about to decide tom foley's fate. >> my stomach was turning. i wasn't eating. i was physically sick. >> coming up -- another verdict brings another shattering moment.
wept for 20 minutes. >> as he did in the first trial, attorney tom schaeffer prepared to address the jury for what he and his client, tom foley, hoped would be the last time. >> when your defense rested, were you comfortable? >> yes. >> you thought you were going to win? >> very much. yep. >> you thought that once before? >> yes, i did. >> apparently, the theory of the prosecution is if a marriage ever has a bump in the road, then that is a motive for murder. is it reasonable? i suggest not. >> reporter: tom foley, he says, had nothing to do with dar's death, but those mysterious cars did. >> those cars should not have been there. >> and the prosecution has not given you any explanation why they were there because there is
with the death of dar foley. ladies and gentleman of the jury, i submit to you there's more than reasonable doubt. i respectfully ask you to find tom foley "not guilty." >> reporter: then came prosecutor terri norris' turn, and she started by attacking the credibiity of those witnesses who say they saw the cars. >> if you were to believe that all of these vehicles were there, there was a party at the foley home that day with a -- with a bunch of white cars and a black suv. that makes no sense whatsoever, none. >> reporter: terri norris wanted this jury thinking only one thing. >> who had the motive? it's tom foley. whose fingerprints were on the bag of shells in the basement? tom foley. >> tom foley is "guilty" and i'm asking you to bring back that verdict. >> reporter: the outcome of tom's second trial was far from certain. >> what worried you the most? >> just that he was such a nice
something like this. >> right. >> reporter: and then at the fabled eleventh hour, it was time. the jury filed in. were they looking at you? the jurors? >> no, they weren't. i took a couple of deep breaths. and i just -- >> your honor, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> the waiting had -- it had paid off. >> as to count two, not guilty. >> the reaction of tom at the time of the verdict. absolutely incredible. he collapsed to the floor and wept for twenty minutes. unbelievable. >> he got away with murder, but he almost didn't. >> we had it. we had him convicted and to actually have to go back and talk with that family and give them some consoling, how do you do that?
angry at the jurors, the judge, and there's nothing you can do about it. >> i was more concerned about heath at that point, because i knew that he knew his father killed his mother, and i couldn't imagine having to go back and live with the man that killed your mother. >> yeah, get it. >> reporter: tom has regained custody of heath. and he treads very carefully when discussing that tragic day with his boy. >> from him i at least want to know, 'why do you think i did this?' i deserve that answer. and all he could say is, "i don't know who else it could have been." >> reporter: tom says he will never forget dar. >> i still think she's beside me. i'm going to continue to raise
him to be raised. >> do you harbor any grudge because of this? >> all i can say is they made a mistake, and that's all i am asking is that they search and search and search until they find dee dee's killer. >> reporter: according to prosecutor norris, there would be no point to that search. you're not investigating anymore? >> there's no one to investigate. and there's been no new evidence of anybody else ever having committed this crime. >> reporter: this boyhood hero wrote a whole new set of headlines as an adult, and coldwater may never be the same. as for those who remain convinced of tom's guilt, they cling to the memory of the one they lost and loved so much. >> are you ready? >> reporter: they gathered to release balloons in dar's honor. >> she loved to be the center of attention. so, this is her center of attention. >> two, one. >> they rise closer to where she
that we're thinking about her. >>e love you, dar. >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this sunday, donald trump is still leaping ahead and nothing he says seems to slow him down. >> i know where she went. it's disgusting. i don't want to talk about it. >> will 2016 will the year the plit lolitical establishment gets toppled? i'll be joined by bernie sanders, another outsider who upset the old political order. also, the commander-in-chief test. with america facing challenges on a scale not seen since 9/11, which candidate is best qualified to keep us safe at home and abroad. and film director spike lee
>> why are we okay with that 88 americans die everyday from gun violence? why are we okay with that? joining me for insight and analysis are matt bai of yahoo! news, helene cooper of the "new york times," amy walter of the cook political report, and michael gerson of the "washington post." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." good sunday morning, i'm andrea mitchell in for chuck todd who is taking a well-deserved holiday break. 12 months ago, most political pundits would have laughed in your face if you suggested that by the end of the year donald trump would have a commanding lead in the race for the republican nomination and bernie sanders would be giving hillary clinton a run for her money on the democratic side. but 2015 has been a year when conventional wisdom was turned on its head. the big question for 2016 is whether the old order can