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tv   Today  NBC  January 26, 2016 7:00am-10:00am CST

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- next, on "unsolved mysteries"... 18-year old leroy drieth is killed when his cararrashes into a tree. 25 years later, an autopsy suggests he may have been murdered. a man is crushed while working on his car and pronounced dead. he comes back to life and describes an incredible life after death experience. a father and his two sons steal over 15 million dollars in the largest medicaid scam ever. how did they pull it off? when alex cooper disappears, his family learns that he's been living a lie for nearly 40 years. in fact, alex cooper doesn't even exist. some hot cases. some cold cases. and some cases that will even shock you.
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[captioning made possible by cosgrove-meurer productions, inc.] 6:00 pm. 18-year old leroy drieth has just left his girlfriend's house. he is killed instantly. the coroner's ruling? suicide.
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his sister, vickie, has always been convinced that her brother was murdered. - i took a vow that i would do this for my brother. and i don't feel like i can stop until it's done, because i would be letting him down. and i already feel l le the authoritieielet him down, and obviously someone took his life and someone has to stand up and talk for him. - for vickie mahrling, time has stood still since the day her brother died. her goal is simple: to bring leroy's killer to justice, no matter how long it takes. leroy drieth was the oldest of four children. at the agegef 17, he fell in love with a 16-year-old girl named patty. a year later, they were engaged. on the day he died, leroy went to a party at patty's house. - how are you? - good. good.
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a block and a half away, his car smashed head-on into a tree. the first people on the scene were leroy''s father and brothth. - leroy! son, it's ok. i tried to hug him, and i said i'm gonna go get you some help, so i ran to the truck and told doug, i said, run to the grocery store and call the ambulance. [siren] - out of the way, sir. folks, does anybody know what happened here? - he had a fight with his girlfriend. he said he's gonna killllimself. - it was that off-handed r rark from a bystataer that triggered the "suicide" theory. - ok, on three, one, two and three. - the coroner come to the hospital, went over what happened, and then i was the first one to relay the story to him that, uh,
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- based on that information, the coroner decided that no autopsy was necessary. he called leroy's death "auto suicide." - i went to the diststct attorney in grgrley, and i said i don't believe this uh, was a suicide, i believe it was a murder and i need for you to investigate it. and um, he was very rude. he said um, u're just a straught parent. there's no reason for us to investigate this. you just go on home and get over it. i just cried and went home. - why don't you take this? you always liked it. - for 11-year-old vickie, leroy's death was the defining moment in her young life. i remember that my m m was crying for a aong time, and even though i was only 11, i knew there was something wrong, but i had to wait until i was adult
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- i never did believe that leroy committed suicide. - years later, vickie paid a surprise visit to the coroner's office. she expected to be stonewalled. instead, they told her that they thought that leroy's death had not been fully investigated. - as you can see with this report, it's very minimal. re only two pages well, why is there only two pages? - i felt like it was a real strange thing for the authorities, to bring it to my attention, thatatomething's wrononhere. - vickie became her own investigator. shshknocked on doors, talked to neighbors,s, and looked for anyone who knew leroy's girlfriend patty, or remembered the day he died. - yeah, well, that's what they say, that there has been a fighting. - oh, they said there was a big fight. - according to the townspeople, there was a party going on at patty's house, and there had been a fht, but that it had not been between patty and leroy.
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- that there had been uh, several other family members there that did not like leroy and that had been drinking all day. - vickie placed an ad in the local newspaper asking patty to please contact her. it worked. - i went to the cororor and got the coroner's report. it stated that you had told the authorities, that he was uh, gonna leave your house to kill himself. did you say that? - no, no, i never said that. - i felt like pattyknew answers, but was reluctant to talk. - can you tell me anything about that day? anything else? - no. - vickie and her family decided to have leroy's body exhumed, hoping that an autopsy might provide some answers. - it was immediately apparent that uh, this young man had sustained actually two incised wounds to the neck.
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all the time, and other persons who've uh, received stab or slash wounds to the neck. - vickie was stunned. leroy's neck showed two cuts-- one, a stab wound, nearly two inches long, and the other, a deep, four-inch slash, that had severed his windpipe. based on this information, the cause of leroy's death was changed from "auto suicide" to "undetermined." but crucial questions remained: who had attacked leroy and why? - in retrospect, everything leads back to patty's house. every time i think of a scenario, the same conclusion and the same thought. it started at patty's house with an argument. - hey! - hey, how are you? - good, how are you? - you look beautiful. - leroy arrived for the barbeque at around 5:00 pm. - leroy came over that day,
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and everyone had been drinking. i was married to patty's brother, i was living in the house with the family, for about eight months, before and after this happened. - all right, just calm down. - no, you calm down. this is my house. - patty's family and leroy had a slight argument, kind of a racial argument over girlfriends and boyfriends. - why don't you just go find yourself a nice little white girl, huh? huh? - because i love her and she loves me, ok? - you're a punk! - after the argument, patty walked leroy to his car. vickie thinks that just before he left, leroy was attacked by one of patty's family members. - i believe that they continued arguing, and that a male person just quickly reached out and uh,
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- i feel that leroy was probably fleeing for his life in the automobile and then lost consciousness or lost control of the vehicle because of the injuries. he would have been in pain, and ah, would have been extremely afraid, but the actual cause of death were injuries sustained from the automobile crash. [crash] - i feel like i have become a cop in this whole scenario, which is very difficult at times because i have no training and i don't know what to do and i'm sure i've made the wrong mistakes at times, but i also know that i love my brother very much and i know that as long as i am doing this that there is going to be a conclusion. - vickie claims that patty contacted her again, and offered to provide an account of the party. but when vickie called to set up the meeting, she found that patty's phone had been disconnected.
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- alex cooper was a traveling salesman, and a family man. alex was the last person that anyone would expect to find at the center of a mystery. but all of that changed one morning when alex's daughter, liela, and her husband, pete, were on their way out of town for a shopping trip. - we left cranbrook quite early that morning, and it was actually pete that said, "that's your dad's car." - isn't that your dad's car? - i wonder what he's doing here? - let's stop and see what he's doing. - my dad and i were so close, pete would have known that if, if we didn't stop and say hello i was just going to sulk all day anyway, so we did. - ok. we just walked right by the car, didn't really pay it any attention.
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we just assumed that he was fishing. - dad! - at the water, i was curious. when i got back to the car, i started to get a little bit, that feeling in your stomach like, this is really unusual, past curious now. - liela was worried, so she called her mother. margaret cooper hadn't seen her husband in more than 24 hours. - i ielt a great deal of fear. liela had said that she'd check out the hotel which was close, the uh, hospitals, and then if she couldn't find him that she would go to the police. - did you know where he was headed to? - he was on a regular sales trip as far as we know, uh, on his way through the vallele to sell some supupies. - there was no footprints, or any other physical evidence that may be around the vehicle. the vehicle was locked. he had a set of clothes that were left in the vehicle
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nothing that we found around the vehicle would suggest that foul play was involved in this. - the police launched an tensive air and land search, t alex cooper had vanished. - investigators learned that on the day that he disappeared, alex ate lunch at a restaurant less than a mile from where his car was found. - alex had a very bad habit in that he carried his money in a roll in his front pocket. and if he was going to pay for anything, out came the roll. he took off what he needed, popped it back in and, and uh, that worried me a great deal. - excuse me, sir? - yeah? - heading up the road this way? - yeah. - i was wondering, could i catch a ride with you? - i'm just going up a little ways. sure, climb in. - margaret was afraid that someone had robbed and killed her husband, and then dumped his body in the wilderness. liela thought that something else mighthtave happened.
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i could see him maybe going down to the creek, and being a fisherman, seeing what the possibility was of maybe, trying to catch something, or drop a line in, and he fell in, or he had a heart attack and fell in. - newspaper and television coverage triggered yet another theory. - people come to our office, reporting that they had seen seen a fellow matching a similar description as alex cooper, for height, weight, same type of clothing, they'd seen hitchhiking in the area of the vehicle. the investigators' theory was he just left the area on his own, for, what reasons we have no idea. - but alex hadn't taken his heart medication or credit cards. he took no clothinin except what he was wearing. - it was suggested that maybe he had staged a disappearance.
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alex wasn't the kind of man who would be capable of creating that kind of pain for his family. - he was the best father anybody could ever want, and he loved us all. and he was, he was funny and he was sincere and he was honest. and, you know, if i'm proven wrong, like, i guess i'll have to eat my words, but i believed everything he ever told me. - a year passed with no word from alex. margaret petitioned to have e r husband declared "legally dead." her request was granted. - i'm calling in regards to alex cooper, birth certificate. - but when she tried to get his birth certificate, she made a surprising discovery. - no information at all? - a birth certificate was never issued in alex's name.
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- four years after his disappearance, the mystery finally began to unravel when another man was reported missing in toronto. he was also a traveling salesman. and he looked an awful lot like alex cooper. the man called himself "david cooper." he had been living in a boarding house for about a year. every week he would venture out to a new town, selling meat products. - yeah, that's right. half a cow. we take the shell off it, though. - during one of david cooper's business trips,
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when police later searched his room for clues, they found this photograph. david cooper and alex cooper were the same person. - when mr. cooper returned home, and when he went into his room, or his flat, he noticed that there was uh, evidence of police presence. the dust that's used to take fingerprints was on the wall, and it was on a couple of other places. - what happened to my room? - and at that time his landlady advised him that he'd been reported missing, and the police were trying to find out where he was. - by the time the police returned to the boarding house, alex had disappeared once again. - we have a person who has something to hide, to a point, where he would walk away and leave the family
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so it has to be something that's very serious, or at least he believes it's very serious. - shortly after this story aired, a viewer in hamilton, canada, recognized alex cooper and called authorities. - when they took him in for questioning, alex told them that his real name was alban arceneau. he explained that when he was 26, he was accused of robbing an office of the canadian pacific railroad, where he was working at the time. - i was young, and i panicked. and i said to self, there was nonoay i'm going to be, tata the fall for this because i didn't do it. took off at that timim and i becaca alexander cooper at that point. - when he married margaret, he didn't know that any criminal charges against him had probably been dropped.
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but with his 65th birthday coming up, alex had a problem. - i was due for pension, and you're required to submit a birth certificate. i knew i couldn't produce one. for several months prior to this, i knew this was coming up. i couldn't bring myself about to tell my family. so i walked away. it was a snap decision, and it was a wrong one. - two days after he was questioned by authorities, alex returned home to his family. he had been gone for nearly five years. - we were a very close family, and this has been very devastating for all of us, including alex. i'm really hoping that we can work through this and uh, put it back together, if not the way it is,
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we can't pick up where left off, because things have changed.d. but we''re going to start fresh, take it a dadaat a time. - the way i feel, i don't deserve for anybody to accept my apology. what i'd done... abandonment of your family, to me, is one hell of a crime. the biggest job for me at this point will be to make amends and i would say, it would probably take me the rest of my life. - next, sheldon weinberg is successful and wealthy, but he has not made an honest living. he's stolen more than 15 million dollars from new york's medicaid program. olay regenerist renews from within, plumping surface cells
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was addicted to the good life. most mornings he left his fashionable manhattan apartment and was driven to work in a limousi. - take us to the clinic. - yes, sir. - he was making millions in the health care field. his son, jay, was the company's co-administrator. his other son, ronald, helped supervise its day-to-day operations. - the weinbergs equated money with power, with a sense of worth. the more money that they made, the better human beings they were. they were successful. they had the power, they had the money. - the weinbergs' morning commute did not take them to an elite manhattan medical complex. their offices were located in a warehouse in one of brooklyn's poorest neighborhoods. - sheldon weinberg and his two sons stole
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on medical care for the poor. investigators made it their mission to prove that white collar crime does not pay. - weinberg and his two sons came to health care from the garment industry after a mysterious fire destroyed their warehouse. the new family business was called "the bed-sty health care clinic." it employed over 25 physicians, and catered primarily to medicaid recipients. - we have a lot of patients scheduled. - that's very good. they're coming through. - yeah. - the weinbergs began the scam by talking one of their doctors into submitting false billings to the government. - they began small, manually writing up phony records and phony bills. but once they started getting away with it, they realized the scam was working. - the clinic was submitting up to $30,000 a week in phony claims.
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- this has got the dress business beat all to hell... - sheldon weinberg, the father, was the general and jay weinberg was lieutenant. he was the person who implemented these directions at the center and ronald weinberg was like a player at the center, closer to the emploes. but it was a team effort, and everyone participated, everyone profited and everyone moved this conspiracy forward. - august. 375,000. - what happened? - i don't know. jay, can we bring these numbers up? - why not? - to increase their income, they started billing for patients who didn't even exist. their profits jumped from thousands to millions. - where'd you get these names? - what the program did was enable phony medical records to be produced for these phony billings. - they used medicaid like it was a private bank account for them.
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on theacks of poor people.e. - it was the largest medicaid fraud in history. - dad, i think we need to hire more doctors. - i wouldn't say no. - jay used his money to fund his own commodities exchange, and even p/sed for the advertrsing with theamily's gold rolls royce. sheldon bought a lavish estate in boca raran, florida. - everything in that mansion was gold leaf. you had gold leaf mirrors. you had gold leaf chairs. you had gold leaf bar stools. i think their appetite for conspicuous living, for fancy clothes and especially shoes, was only outdone by imelda marcos. - for seven years, the money rolled in. and then, a former clinic dentist, dr. david beldengreen, was brought in for questioning by a state investigator. - we got a tip from a new jersey banker who told us
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were being deposited into an account in his little bank by david beldengreen, a dentist. we made the case on beldengreen in fairly short order. he was facing significant jail time and he agreed to cooperate with us and revealed the weinbergs' scheme. - we had a team of about six auditors who painstakingly, day after day would go through each billing, line after line after line and it took weeks and weeks and weeks to trace these medicaid billings. and we were able to show that on holidays such as july 4, the clinic was closed. but the paperwork showed that they billed for 1600 visits on that particular day. you look at the medical charts, you'll see that a 4-year old boy was uh, shown as having smoked four packs of cigarettes a day and having drank a quart of booze a day. you found men with gynecological problems. that's the type of things that jumped out off the paper at you.
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of jay weinberg's trtrp tower apartment. by now, he was using 4 different aliases, and he hadn't paid his state income tax for 3 years. jay's brother ronald was also arrested the same day. sheleln, the father ananthe mastermind of the scheme, was arrested at his florida estate and was quickly shipped back to new york. all 3 men were booked on suspicion of medical fraud. bail for sheldon was set at a quarter million dollars. he quickly paid up and was released pending trial. - from the evidence that was produced at trial, over 7 years, this clinic made $32 million from medicaid. we were able totohow at trial 28 million went to the weinberg accounts. - ronald weinberg was found guilty and received a 5- to 15-year sentence.
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plus additional terms for his tax evasion. they served their time and have been released. sheldon received a 7- to 21-year term. but 3 days before his sentencing, sheldon weinberg, accompanied by his wife roslyn, jumped bail. - - e immediate feelinggthat i had is that he may have taken off, but it's just a matter of time before they find him. - hey, roslyn, let's go. - these are people who are very ostentatious. i think there'll be a lot of jewelry on roslyn weinberg. i think they'll be very loud. and i think they may change their identities, they may change their names. but they're gonna be spotted, and it's just a matter of time before someone picks up on it. - within three hours of our broadcast,
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where he and his wife were living under assumed names. - right after the show aired, we got specific information from callers who had seen them all over the scottsdale area. and one of the callers uh, told us that the weinbergs were using the alias devita and this corresponded with information we previously had back here in new york that they were traveling under that name. so when the caller told us that he had seen people at looked like the weinbergs using the name devita in scottsdale, we knew we had our man. - shshdon weinberg was brought back to new yoyo. he was sentenced to 21 years for fraud, and two to six years for jumping bail. he served 16 years and has since been released. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have.
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- when s s was 7 years old, kristle merzlock was invited to a birthday party at a local swimming pool. she had just learned how to swim and she felt comfortable in the water. - i don't know why, but for some reason,
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and i just started swallowing water, gasping for air, trying to grab up to the top of the water. i couldn't get any air. and so, and so i just fell unconscious. and then i was just in dararess. - can we get some breath sounds here, please? how are the breath sounds? - kristle was rushed to the hospital, whererdoctors desperatelyytried to save her r fe. - go ahead and draw up a gas. - when she came in, her pupils were fixed and dilated. she probably had no brain activity. she had none of the normal reflexes that we associate with surviving. she had what's called a glasgow coma score of 3, which very few people survive if they have such a profound coma. - she's not coming around. she's not coming around.
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- dr. morse said that she was so close to death that to prepare yourself for her demise, that she could expire at any time. - could you check her blood pressure, please? - 4, 5. - at 3:30 pm, kristle was clinically dead. but 20 minutes later, she was revived. she recalls going to a land of beautiful light, and being filled with a great sense of peace. did kristle experience life after death? [machines beeping] - kristle sensed that she was floating over her body, observing the medical team as they attempted to save her life. - when i was up there, i saw the doctors, they were working on me. they were sticking things up my arm and up my nose
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that was one of the reasons i wanted to stay up there. [beeps] [flatline] - as kristle lay near death, she felt herself moving into darkness. d then, her eyes opeped. - i looked up and i saw this bright light at the end of a tunnel and there were colored bricks on the walls of the tunnel. the light kind of pulled me toward it.t. it was just the most loving light i've ever seen. and then i saw this lady. and she took my hand. she just led me into the light and through the light and into heaven. i just felt that this was the place i wanted to be. [flatline] but whwh i got to thinkiki about how i wouldn't be able to really hug my mom again
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and then i was back in my body. i wasn't dead. like my soul, my spirit was still alive. i wasn't dead at all. - but, for at least 20 minutes, kristle was dead. and she remained in a coma for three days. eventually, she recovered completely. - kristle had never met the doctor who saved her life. but when they were introduced, he seemed familiar to her. - the last time i had seen herer she was profoundly comatose, she could not have been in a deeper coma and still be alive. and then i saw her in follow up 2 weeks later. i said, hi, i'm dr. morse, you probably don't remember me. but i sure know you kristle, because i spent, you know, a grueling 4 hours trying to bring you back to life.
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"well no, i have seen him before." she stated that she remembered seeing me from the emergency room. - i saw his face, and i knew him. it was just like i'd never seen him before, and i knew him. - she also described other elements of her resuscitatio - was kristle's memory of dr. morse evidence io of a metaphysical experience? or was he fafaliar because krisise watched him try to save her? - when you carefully look at the reports, i think we've all concluded that something very different is going on. the patients are able to tell us things about the resuscitation attempt that they wouldn't have any way of knowing. i have no doubt whatsoever that they had a glimpse of the life hereafter. [doctors yelling] - the near-death experience can be understood as deriving from a fundamental psychological need to deny the reality of death, because it's too horrible to face the prospect that
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-i have remembered this. i cannototorget it. it's always there. it's always been very real to me. and it's always very clear to me. - kristle had been to a place where most people have never gone. she is certain that her near death experience will stay with her the rest of her life. coming up, another provocative case-- a man's life is transformed by his near death experience.
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i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww! this is deep couch sitting. [jerry bell iii] deep couch sitting! mmmm. when you add liquid gold velveeta to rotel tomatoes and zesty chilies, you got a queso so good... it'll blow 'em away. man, that's good. velveeta and rotel. frustrated with your overactive bladder medicine not working? can't handle the side effects? botox treats symptoms of leaking, going too often, and the strong sudden need to go. ask your urologist if botox can help calm your bladder
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- one of the strangest stories of a near death experience is told by a man named tom sawyer. his life was transformed by a frightening accident
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today, tom sawyer is literally a new man. for 33 years, tom lived a normal, uneventful life. - i'd have to describe myself as pretty much an all american boy. you know, with a name like tom sawyer, you have one of two choices. you can become a comedian and outgoing or end up being an introvert. - tom was a talented high school athlete. he raced bicycles, and he qualified for the olympic team. he married elaine, and they had two sons. tom was a family man and a blue-collar worker. he described himself as an agnostic. - i had thought about such things as religion and so on and i thought that it was just a bunch of foolishness. what i had figured out was that when you die, you die,
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- hand me the needle-nosed pliers. - when i had this experience, i was repairing my pick-up truck. i had the front wheels off it and was lying on my back and the truck suddenly started to move. - oh, my god! dad! - when todd ran in and made the phone call, i heard it very clearly and vividly. - my name is todd sawyer. - there were other things that i was able to hear that were impossible for me to hear with my ears, such as the conversation of the paramedics getting into the ambulance 3 and a half miles away. [commotion] - tom's wife and neighbors worked desperately to free him. - 1, 2, 3!! - as i went unconscious, i then experienced a sensation or a feeling of absolutely waking up. the only problem with this feeling of waking up,
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that darkness gradually took the shape of a tunnel and way off, absolutely positively to infinity, appeared this little speck of white light. this was the most beautiful thing that i'd ever experienced in my life. it was just extraordinary. all the pressure of a truck being on me and the horrendous pain, that was gone, and i felt very comfortable. the next thing that i realized was that i was motionless. i then experienced a complete total life review. every day, every event, every minute and second. in other words, i relieved the olympic trials, my marriage, all of these things at the same time. i was then given a choice to return to normal life or stay and become part of this light. i chose to stay and become part of that light.
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through the tunnel and slamming back into my body. - the truck was lifted off, and tom was rushed to the hospital. [radio chatter] tom lost oxygen for 15 minutes. - it'll be alright, tom! while i'm probably the only one you'll ever - surprisingly he was able to leave the hospital r the same day of his accident. he had no broken bones. - when i was riding home, all of a sudden i blurted out and said, oh, it was so beautiful. - and elaine turned and said, "what was so beautiful, what are you talking about?" well, i didn't answer her at all. and i just continued to moan and groan for the rest of the ride home. elaine said to me, "don't you know what you've had?" that's called a near death experience, where upon my response was, well, i don't believe in any of that hocus-pocus baloney. but shortly after i recuperated from this accident,
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and my wife elaine didn't understand. - max plank. - who? who's that? - so of course i asked my family if they knew who that was. and then she asked me, "do you know who it is?" and my answer was, well, no, but you'll be hearing more about him in the near future. - tom began to jot down complex equations, formulas that could only have been understood by a master of quantum physics, and he also drew symbols, like the greek letter "psi." - to find out the meaning of these symbols, tom went to the library. the librarian suggested a textbook on quantum physics. - yeah, i think possibly you might find this one interesting. - thank you. - you're welcome. - when i opened it, there were two things that stood out on that page, there was the symbol psi.
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and it said max plank. - tom says that he knew little about physics before the accident. yet somehow, he had suddenly become familiar with the subject. but that wasn't the only change. - he started being a more loving person. he started caring about myself and a lot of strangers, a lot people he helped a lot. anybody that needed help, he would help. - these people have undergone profound and dramatic changes in their personality, in their lifestyle and their values. all of them talk about the importance of wisdom and understanding and certainly a renewed appreciation of life. - i think the way that these people respond to the experience and the degree of change that they experienced after it, points to a tremendously powerful force. our usual explanations of the way the brain, the way the mind works in terms of physiology just don't explain what's going on.
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[captioning made possible by cosgrove-meurer production - next on "unsolved mysteries..." dreams of stardom turn fatal when a small-town girl tries to make it big in hollywood. a chicago man is sent to prison for fatally shooting a security guard. he says he was framed by members of a notorious street gang. in cimarron, new mexico, if you check into the st. james hotel, do not ask for room 18. it's already occupied... by a ghost. and a police chief dies during an attempted robbery. then his killer escapes from prison. perhaps there's someone watching who can help solve one of these cases, and maybe it's you. i'm dennis farina. so stick around.
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- it's close to midnight on chicago's notorious south side, and garrison hester, a security guard, is on his way to work. [gunshots] he is shot twice at close range and dies almost instantly. 4 days later, 20-year-old steve shores, who lives in the neighborhood, is arrested for the murder. he is later convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. - i've been here for 10 years, and for me, the free world has been a dream
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i've never killed anybody in my life, and i did not kill garrison hester. - i do know he received a fair trial. - wayne meyer represented the state during the clemency phase of steve's appeal process. - i know he's lied about almost every part of his life that i could look into. all those things i know. so knowing all those, without having been there, i'd say yes, he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. [gunshot] - steve shores claims that he was framed for the murder by the person who actually committed the crime, a man who belonged to a chicago street gang known as the el rukns. he says that he ended up behind bars because he wanted to protect his family from gang retaliation. at the time that garrison hester was murdered, the south side of chicago was an urban war zone,
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the el rukns was one of the most powerful. - they are very bad guys. everyone in the neighborhood was scared of them, because if you opened your mouth or you said too much or if you seen something that you wasn't supposed to see, you would either end up in the morgue or in jail, like my brother steve. - steve shores grew up on the south side. he admits that he had at least one run-in with the police. but at 18, he joined the army and was later honorably discharged. he returned to chicago, got a job, and says that he did his best to stay out of trouble. - i was dealing with the gang because i was living in the neighborhood, and what i mean by "dealing with the gang" is that you went by the codes of the street, you know. if you saw something that didn't have nothing to do with you, then you didn't say nothing about it.
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he and a friend were on their way home from the beach at lake michigan. around midnight, they turned onto a street close to the el rukn headquarters. 2 gang members known as bo and blood were standing outside. at the same moment, garrison hester walked down the street from the opposite direction. what you are about to see is steve's version of what happened next. - ...bring a gun on our turf. - we hear a shot, and i see a guy standing over a car, and i see him bend down, and when he comes up, i hear another pop. the guy recognized me. he pointed at me, you know, like pointed at me, hollering to the other guy on the other side of the street,
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- get him. check him out. check him out. - i actually didn't see him kill anybody because i actually didn't see the body, but i don't think they knew that. - the next day, steve says he was confronted by blood and another gang member. - how are you, steve? cops up there? - so this guy, he grabs me in the collar, you know, and he starts roughing me up a bit. they're trying to make me know the seriousness of the issue. - you remember what you saw yesterday? - yesterday? - yeah. - nah, i didn't see nothing yesterday. - i don't believe you. i'm gonna ask you one more time. - i didn't see nothing. - i don't believe you. - he tells me that if i say anything about what i saw, i'm gonna find myself in the morgue. - how are you doing? - acting on a tip, police picked up steve 3 days later. initially he was told that he was brought in for failure to pay his child support.
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and was questioned repeatedly about the murder of garrison hester. it was then that he made what he believes was a crucial mistake. he lied about being on drexel at the time of the killing. - i told the police i didn't tell anybody what i knew e because i was afraid of telling anybody. i was afraid for my family. i was afraid for my life. - while steve was being questioned, bo and blood were also being interrogated as suspects in garrison's murder. both admitted that they had been at the scene, and both claimed that steve shores was the killer. the court assigned steve a public defender named andrea lyon. - i'm going to be your attorney. have a seat. - he told me essentially what he had told the police, that he was at home, that he wasn't there, and that he didn't do it. he always told me he didn't do it, which i believed. - - steve was charged with the murder
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but there was another witness, someone without gang ties and with no connection to steve. before any charges were filed, the witness was brought in to view a lineup of possible suspects. - sir, if you could, just take your time. do you see anyone up here that you recognize? - the witness, who gave a height and a weight, and also described the person as a dark-skinned person. steve is not dark-skinned. he's medium-complected. - i don't recognize anybody up there. - i think it's very significant that the independent eyewitness did not pick out steve and that his description did not match steve, either. i mean, i think those are very important. because he had no ax to grind at all. he was a good samaritan. he stopped to try to help. that's all. - the description he gave did fit steve shores. and that's one of the reasons why the police picked him up.
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in the dark and only his profile. i think that explains why he didn't identify steve. - 4 months later, steve shores went on trial. his fate hinged on the prosecution's 3 primary witnesses--bo, blood, and one of their friends, a woman named myra sexton. - mr. shores, your attorney has indicated that you want a bench trial. do you understand that? - yes, sir. - on the advice of his attorney, steve requested a bench trial rather than a jury trial. that meant only the judge would hear the evidence and decide steve's guilt or innocence. - we took a bench trial because it was such an obvious winner for the defense it seemed and because the wisdom at the time was you took a case that was really good for the defense to a bench because you could skip some of the steps, some of the fluff that the prosecution would put on for a jury to impress them
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- all right, mr. prosecutor, let's begin. - steve was so terrified of the gang members that even as the trial got underway, he still had not told his lawyer what really happened. she still believed that he had been at home recovering from dental work when the murder occurred. - i felt that it would be all over with once everybody got on the stand and said their stuff. you know, it would be all over with, and i would go home. i always felt that. everybody told me that as well, you know. - now, did you see the security guard? - yes. - on the first day of the trial, bo was called to the stand. - after you saw the security guard, what happened? - the security guard was walking. steve said, "i'm fittin' to kill this chump." - the testimony of the 2 eyewitnesses consisted of saying they were out on the scene that evening with steve shore. they were drinking liquor, smoking marijuana, when steve decided to run across the street
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- i'm getting tired of this cat. - what are you going to do about it? - 2 shots went off. - did you see the 2 shots go off? - yeah, i heard them. - who fired the shots? - steve fired the shots. - steve fired the shot? did you see steve fire the shots? - yes. - bo was an extremely biased witness. he admitted that he'd been told he'd get charged if he didn't name steve as having done this. so he had an ax to grind. he didn't want to get charged with murder. - now, what happened when steve ran up behind the security guard? - he fired twice. [gunshot] - when the other gang member, named blood, testified, it appeared steve was one step closer
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i'm jerry bell the second. and i'm jerry bell the third. i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww! this is deep couch sitting. [jerry bell iii] deep couch sitting! soup and sandwich and clean and real, and feeling good, sort of. and 500 calories or less. the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be. nivea in-shower body lotion. first i wash... then i apply it to my wet skin. it moisturizes with no sticky feel. i quickly rinse off. and i'm ready to go.
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so you have 10 years of experience? i do but no phd... first kid here's all the numbers, foods in the fridge, oh and lucas likes to pull on jewelry, so you might want to lose the nose ring by their second kid, every mom is an expert, and more likely to choose luvs than first time moms live, learn and get luvs but grandma, mommy says we don't have to wad to get clean. cause we use charmin ultra soft. charmin ultra soft gets you clean without the wasteful wadding. it has comfort cushions you can see that are softer and more absorbent, and you can use up to 4 times less. enjoy the go with charmin. mmmm. when you add liquid gold velveeta to rotel tomatoes and zesty chilies, you got a queso so good... it'll blow 'em away. man, that's good. velveeta and rotel. (politely) wait, wait, wait! you can't put it in like that... ...you have to rinse it first. that's baked-on alfredo. baked-on? it's never gonna work. dish issues? trust your dishwasher with cascade platinum. through... your toughest stuck-on food. better than finish.
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when it came to dinner, i used to try anything to make my family happy. now, i just serve tyson crispy chicken strips. they love the crispy homestyle breading. i love the juicy, all-white meat, from chicken raised with no added hormones or steroids. tyson crispy chicken strips.
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- did steve shores murder garrison hester? at steve's trial, 2 members of the el rukn street gang said yes. when the prosecution called a third witness, steve's prospects got even worse. - now, calling your attention to that night, do you remember where you were? - yes. - after the murder, myra sexton, a friend of bo and blood's, was also brought in for questioning. in court, sexton claimed that she saw steve 3 hours beforehe killing holding a gun in an angry mood. - did anything happen as you were standing there that night? - well, steve and this dude got into a little argument and words, whatever. well, this guyuyays something to steve, and it made him mad, and the next thing i know, he had a gun out. - who had a gun out? - steve. - she called down to steve and told him to come up to her apartment.
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she talked to him. she tried to get him to give her the gun. he refused, but he did calm down, and he went back out there. - she did not claim to have seen the murder itself, but she was the only corroboration for this incredible tale that these gang members told. - steve's family claims that bo and another gang member came to their home and threatened them. - - y, listen. be quiet. - get out of here! - now listen! shut up! shut up. listen. now, you tell steve to keep his mouth shut, or else i'm gonna kill all y'all! - bo said, "tell your brother steve "if he tells what he's seen, we'd kill all you mother-f'ers." - now it's our turn. - steve says that he was feeling intense pressure both from inside and outside the courtroom.
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- they're all lying, all of them. they're all lying. - i know they're lying, and we're going to prove they're lying. - you don't understand, though, see. i know they're lying because i saw what happened. - i finally understood why bo and blood were lying. steve was framed for a crime he saw. - we've got to put you on the stand. - no, look, look. i don't want to testify. all right? i told you before. i don't want to testify. - he was afraid that they'd come after his family again. so i said, "don't testify. "you don't have to testify. "the state's case will fall of its own weight. "they're contradicting each other all over the place. "that guy bo, , mean, he might asasell confess to murder, "the way he looked and acted on the stand. "you don't have to testify, and you don't have to put your family at risk." i didn't push him to testify. - after 2 weeks, the judge delivered his verdict. - the court heard the evidence in the matter. there is a finding of guilty. [voices murmuring] - i think i was more so angry than i was shocked.
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of something that he had to know i didn't do. - sentencing is scheduled for february 15th. - i lost because i made a mistake. i lost because i waived jury, and i didn't think steve needed to testify. but i can't blame anyone but myself. steve listened to meme he relied on my y vice. he relied on my expertise. and i told him to do the wrong thing. - it was something silver, big, and it w in his hand. - within a few weeks, andrea asked the judge to allow steve to testify under oath, even though the trial was over. the judge agreed. - would you tell the judge who he was? steve, you have to do it. - it was bo. [gunshot] - did you shoot garrison hester?
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- after he realized that he was found guilty and he'd better do something, steve finally did testify. the "i was at home with a toothache" story wasn't going to fly because he knew independent witnesses, a female, put him on that scene at some time during the day. i think he realized he'd have had to put himsmsf at least on the scene, but instead of being the shooter, he said that he was just a witness. and also, from what i learned about steve, it's highly doubtful steve spends his leisure time bicycling around the neighborhood. i think anybody would be a little cynical that someone would sit there through a whole trial, see the real killer testify and name him, and just say nothing. - i want the record to reflect that i believe the state's eyewitnesses. i still believe them. - the judge refused to reconsider r s verdict, despititsupporting testimony from the friend who had been with steve that night.
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- the conviction stands. - your honors... - andrea lyon appealed immediately. steve's request for a new trial was rejected by a 2-to-1 vote. however, he did find an advocate, the dissenting judge, eugene pincham. - the big hole i suggest is the fact that there was an eyewitneses viewed him in a lineup. "i've never seen the man before in my life." and the description he gave of the assailant did not fit steve shore. that's the bibihole. the real hole is that all 3 of them-- the 2 eyewitnesses and this person who was supposed thave seen steve eith a gun-- were in the police station, interrogated for 7, 8 hours, had an adequate opportunity to concoct their story to fit the facts as they knew them. they simply substituted steve shores for themselves. - would you say there are a lot of gang members in your neighborhood? - 2 years later, hope emerged.
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that she saw steve with a gun on the night of the murder, admitted that she had lied on the stand. - we spoke to myra, and her testimony did an about-face. all of a sudden, there was no confrontation. all of a sudden, there was no attempt to get a gun from steve. all of a sudden, steve never had a gun. all of a sudden, it wasn't at night, it was in the morning. all of a sudden, the whole thing she'said was a lie. - it's not asking too much to say to a trial judge and to the prosecutor, "try the case again, "and let 12 people hear this case from beginning to end, "from the date of the commission of the offense "up until this moment, all the material and pertinent evidence," and there's no question, in my judgment that a jury would acquit him. - if we were to retry him, other prisoners would say, well, why don't i get a retrial?" there's nothing special about this case. there's really not. the only thing special is the publicity.
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less than a year after steve went to prison, one of his sisters was murdered. he believes that she was killele by the el rukns street gang. while steve spent the next 13 years behind bars, andrea, at her own expense, looked for evidence that would get steve a new trial. - i'm hoping that someone who saw this, and i know people saw it, that someone will feel safe enough to say that they saw it and that it wasn't steve. and i'm hoping to crack the silence and find some piece of evidence, because i can't bear the thought that an innocent person is going to spend another decade in jail. - andrea lyon's hard work paid off. steve shore's third appeal produced further evidence of his innocence. the defense found one witness
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steve entered an "alford plea," which means that he pleaded guilty but denied committing the crime. steve shoreseswas finally releasas
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i lost 26 pods and i have eaten bread every single day. - for most of us, halloween comes only once a year. but at the st. james hotel in new mexico, halloween happens nearly every day. according to many, this old hotel is haunted by spirits of the wild west. - when i bought the hotel, i didn't believe in ghosts at all. now, after the convincing evidence of the last 5 years, i'm certain that there are ghosts here. - in its heyday, the st. james hotel offered good food, attractive dancing girls, and comfortable beds for such wild-west guests
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nie oakley, doc holliday, and wyatt earp. but as the glory days of the old west faded, the hotel started to fall apart. - one more wall left. - ed sitzberger and his wife pat bought the st. james and started to bring it back to life. [thunder] but thth soon discovered that the hotel had a lifefef its own. - i wanted to see how many leaks were in the old hotel, and so i got my friend to come with me and to go through the hotel with her flashlight. we finished doing all the checking and put out some buckets here and there because we did have some leaks. and then we turned the chandelier off and then went downstairs and out of the hotel, and for some reason, i turned back up and looked back up to the second story. and the chandelier was on.
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i'm sure i turned%this off. - after the light came back on 2 more times, pat tried to reason with the spirit. - - don't know who y are or why you're here, but i'm tired, and i really don't want to play tonight. i'm glad you're here, but could we please play another day? - and at that point, i pulled the cord on the chandelier and heard it click, and we turned around and went back down the stairs, and i looked up, and indeed the light had stayed off. - all right. - according to the sitzbergers, the hotel is haunted top to bottom. guests in room 17 have reported hearing a constant eerie tapping noise whenever the window is open. [tapping] and charlie varela, a local high-school student, discovered that he was not alone while cleaning the bar early one morning.
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and i was going to the back to get some liners for the trash, and as i was going back there, i just glanced over to the bar, and i seen a little boy sitting on the bar and spinning a glass. at first, you know, i thought it was a little boy from upstairs and he was just down messing around, you know. i was going to tell him, you know, "excuse me. you're not supposed to be in here." t when i went to mak the move to tell him, he turned around... his face was hideous, and he just jumped off, and it just scared me, and i just took off. i quit that morning. juststwhen i seen that, it scared me, and i didn't want to work here anymore. [thunder] - dr. kenneth wright, a surgeon and amateur ghost hunter, heard about the spirits at the st. james and decided to investigate. - let's go inside. - the room was cold, and when i looked up in the upper left-hand corner, there was a whirling
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you couldn't see the corner of the room. it was like a white swirl. - there was this anger and hatred, and instantly i wawafilled with terror. i was gasping for breath because i had not expected it, did not encounter it. i've never been that terrified in my life. and as this was happening to me, i heard pat saying... - you can go. you're free to go. you can go. - i couldn't believe what was happening to me. i don't know what the swirling presence was. it didn't want me there. thth was very obvious. - ed then contntted jackie littlejohn, a psychic from albuquerque. - i was able to sense physical violence, a gunshot. it was so strong, i stepped backwards. i could see and feel and smell,
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- during her tour, jackie claims that she had a vision a deadly poker game. - the poker game had been going on for a long time, and it was a feeling that either the hotel was at stake or a very large herd. - according to jackie, one of the card players was the man whose ghost now haunts room 18. [gunshot] - jackie says thth the dead man's name s t.j. wright, ananthat he probably wonon the hotel in a pokok game just before he was killed. - we wanted to look back in the records and corroborate the story, so we went back and looked at the hotel register in 1881 and found t.j. wright registered 3 different days in 1881. it is reasonable to me that he believes
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there is, of course, no way to prove that the ghost of t.j. wright is now haunting room 18, but ed is not taking any chances. - there's no construction activity in that room or renovation work that's going to be done. that's his room, as far as i'm concerned, as a permanent resident for as long as i have the hotel. - is it possible that the st. james hotel is haunted by the spiritsof the old west? the firsthand accounts you haveveust heard are defifitely difficult to believe. but if you have a better explanation for what goes on in the old hotel, the owners of the st. james would certainly like to hear about it. mornings. they're bad breath, bad hair and a bad case of the mondays. and organized wardrobes that lp you pull it togetr. thth're showering, shaving, and shuffling. and bathrooms that get big families out the door. they're number ones,
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and a number of ideas for three. life's morning madness. and comfortable, organized bed and bathrooms that make them better. mmmm. when you add liquid gold velveeta to rotel tomatoes and zesty chilies, you got a queso so good... it'll blow 'em away. man, that's good. velveeta and rotel. (politely) wait, wait, wait! you can't put it in like that... ...you have to rinse it first. that's baked-on alfredo. baked-on? it's never gonna work. dish issues? trust your dishwasher with cascade platinum. it powers... through... your toughest stuck-on food. better than finish. cascade. whatcha doin? just prepping for my boss' party in a couple weeks. what are those? crest whitestrips. they whiten way better than paste. crest 3d white whitestrips... whiten 25 times better than the leading whitening toothpaste. i'd say... ...someone's making quite an impression. creses3d white whitestripsps
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you owned your car for four years, you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... u're like nothing g n replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement , we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. - for as long as she could remember, crystal spencer pictured herself a famous hollywood star, and yet her search for fame and fortune
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in a manner that has never been fully explained. crystal lene spencer was raised in a small northern california town. at 17, she dropped out of high school and took a job to help support the family. a short time later, she moved to los angeles to chase her dream. her early years were a struggle, and crystal quickly realized that stardom was not easy to come by. crystal reluctantly took a job as an exotic dancer to pay her bills. on a good night, she took home up to $400 in tips, but she never fully accepted the fact that she was basically a stripper. - sometimes she would just start crying, like she felt degraded about herself, of what she'd done. - one spring day, friends invited crystal to a barbecue.
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who might help her with her acting career. - i'm anton. - nice to meet you. - it's nice to meet you. - oh, this is your place, then? - there was something very alluring and compelling about crystal that would readily catch your eye. she knew that she would become not only an actress, but she would become a very famous actress, ananit was just a matter of time. - anann kline was an a airing screenwriter and ph.d. candidate. he and crystal came from totally different backgrounds, but they soon fell in love. anton took it upon himself to help crystal broaden her horizons. he introduced her to art galleries, museums, and concerts. - she loved classical music. she loved fine art. she wanted to know more about these other wonderfufuthings of life that she had never beeee exposed to before. - anton had absolutely no idea that crystal worked as a stripper.
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discovering art and culture by day and working hollywood's dark side by night. - crystal loved anton very much. she was very scared about him finding out. she says, "well, i'd better change. "i'd better quit dancing, then, before he finds out." [music playing] - finally, 4 monthssafter they met, anton found out about crystal's other life. - a neighbor saw her dancing at the club by the airport where she worked, and he said, "i saw that girl on ste." i said, "no, you couldn't have." he said, "that was her. of course it was her." and i was shocked. - he was very upset, but he said it was ok. he accepted it, which shocked her, and she didn't know what to say. - you can put it right down here. oh, no, anton. you'll catch my cold. - one day, crystal was home sick with the flu.
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and they talked about an offer she had received to work k japan. - so, what's happening with japan? - i don't know. they haven't called yet. - when are you leaving? - i'm not even sure if i have the job or not...yet. [telephone rings] - the next night, crystal d anton spoke on the phone, and crystal said that she was feeling better. - and the conversation lasted about 15 minutes, i said, "i'll be in touch." and she said, "ok." i hung up the phone, and that was the last time i ever spoke with her. - 3 days later, anton tried to reach crystal by phone but kept getting a busy signal. an operator told him the receiver was off the hook. - oh. hey. hey. hey.y. - can i help you? - yeah. i'm looking for crystal spencer. - she's not working tonight. - did she work here last night? - she didn't punch in. - anton just assumed that crystal had left for japan
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- i was expecting any day to receive a very excited phone call from crystal saying, "it's wonderful here." and instead i got a phone call from the burbank police department. - police discovered crystal's decomposed body in her apartment. she appeared to have been dead for almost a week. - they at first just said she was found dead in her apartment, and they wanted to know when i'd last seen her. i said i last saw her wednesday. "and how was she?" i said, "well, she had a cold." and they said they believed she died of natural causes. - ananutopsy revealed no traces of drugs or alcohol in crystal's system. there were no obvious signs of foul play or suicide. the coroner ruled that her death was ththresult of undetermined causes. - the body of miss spencer was in such an advanced state of decomposition,
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so they have no finding. - i was suspicious because i did not believe that crystal spencer died of illness. when i last saw her, she was a young woman with a cold. i was suspicious because the way i was told the body was found, in an obscure corner of her apartment, nude from ththwaist down, and i learned that neighbors had heard terrible screams coming from her apartment that some had described as t my son and i used to watch the red carpet shows on tv now, i'm walking them. life is unpredictable one thing i need to be predictable is to be flake free. because i have used head and shoulders for 20 years. used regularly, it removes up to 100% of flakes keeping you protected every week, every month, every year you ready ma? always life is unpredictable, so embrace it!
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- for as long as she could remember, ming] - 3 days after crystal had been home sick, 2 of her neighbors were woken up around 4 a.m. by a strange crying sound. - listen. do you hear that? - but even before i even woke him up, i laid there thinking, "someone's being tortured. someone's being hurt. something's going on." - susan was very adamant about calling the police, but out of my fear of what i heard, i didn't want to get involved. - i don't think i'll ever be able to live with the fact that i didn't call the police.
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- crystal's body was discovered a week after her neighbors heard the screams. they finally told their story to the police. - about a week ago... - he just took my statement, took my name, asked me for my driver's license. that was it. he was just very nonchalant about it. - crystal's family requested to view the body several times, but the coroner's office continually refused, claiming the body was in no condition to be seen. anton was denied access to the police reports. however, 4 months after crystal's death, he was able to obtain the autopsy report. he was shocked by what he found. - crystal spencer was barely 5-foot tall. the autopsy report claimed that she's an amazing 5'7". crystal weighed approximately 105 pounds. the autopsy claims the body is a well-nourished 140 pounds. i was stunned.
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and where is the real body of crystal spencer? - we do have the remains identified by fingerprints from 2 different agencies, and those really eliminate any possibility of the coroner's autopsying the wrong remains. - i was told by one law-enforcement official, "bad things happen to bad girls." and i said, "you mean bad girls die of natural causes?" and he said, "you know what i mean" and hung up on me on the phone. - 2 weeks after crystal's body was found, family and friends gathered for a private memorial service. crystal's ashes were scattered beneath the famous hollywood sign. - i am angered that they are attempting to suppress the police reports in this case forever. we need to know what happened to her.
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to learn the truth. that's all we want, is the truth. - the truth about how crystal spencer died remains as elusive as her dreams of stardom. if you have any information about this case, please log on to our website at unsolved.com. if unsightly tartar buildup is giving your dog bad breath... try doggie dentures.
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- just after 8 a.m. one september morning, 2 men pull up in front of a tag agency, a popular target for thieves who deal in stolen cars. - this is a robbery. get down on the ground, lady. don't - 10-4. - the only police officer in town t was chief j.b. hamby, a 24-year veteran whose devotion to his work was well-known. - j.b. was on call all hours.
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for those people that was on the wrong side of the law, he could become probably their worst nightmare. he was relentless. - freeze! - get out of here! - 20 rounds flew through that small store in just a few seconds. one robber was killed, shot in the head by his own ricocheting bullet. the other was hit twice but somehow managed to escape. miraculously, both women were unharmed. but chief hamby was not so lucky. he staggered outside, bleeding profusely. - and j.b. attempted to reload his gun, and at that point, he probably sensed that he was, you know, gravely injured. and from there, went right on into the laundry to get him help. he needed help.
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it's all right. call the ambulance. repeat after me, j.b. stay with me. our father, who art in heaven... - j.b. hamby died before he could finish reciting the lord's prayer. the robber who escaped, 25-year-old david gordon smith, was captured only 2 hours later while being treated for gunshot wounds at a nearby hospital. at first, smith thought he was being arrested for armed robbery, but instead, he was booked on charges of first-degree murder. ballistics proved that the bullet that killed chief hamby had been fired from smith's gun. david gordon smith was convicted of murder and began serving a life sentence in an oklahoma prison. smith was the classic "good boy gone bad," the son of a respected university professor. this was his first and only brush with the law,
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- smith was well liked by the staff that had to deal with him. he was also well liked by the other inmates. and as he served his time and as his years grew and his behavior was excellent, he was, according to oklahoma law, classified to a trustee status, and his job, at the time, was to monitor equipment at our lake. - smith was assigned to live and work all alone at a small water-pumping station. a prison guard checked up on him every hour. on 3 separate occasions, he was allowed unsupervised visits to his doctor's office. smith even got married. - i don't think there's any way, by any stretch of the imagination, that he deserved any sort of lenient treatment. i think it's unheard of. i think he should have got the death penalty.
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i could have lived with that. - for more than a year, smith remained a model prisoner. bubuone day, when a prisis guard stopped byby for his regular 1 a.m. check, he discovered that smith was missing. - he probably walked from the room at the lake out to the nearest highway a mile or so away, were jo beth, his wife, picked him up. they went into mcallister, which is a mile or so from the prison, and mailed 2 letters. we know that. - auththities learned thth one week before thehescape, smith's wife closed her bank account, sold her furniture, and borrowed $1,000 from friends. she told the travel agent that she was going to mexico. she never mentioned her husband. 4 months later, david gordon smith was seen with a woman in arkansas,
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thorities were alerted, but by the time they arrived, smith had vanished. - i want to see david gordon smith serve his time. i just think it's one of the most unjust things that could ever happen. j.b. lived his job as a police officer 24 hours a day, a very intense person that took his job extremely serious. that loss can never be filled, and i just don't think it's fair. after we aired this story, authorities received a tip that smith was working at a car dealership in spearfish, soututdakota. he was using the name gary johnston, and he admitted that he had seen his story on "unsolved mysteriri."
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captioning made possible by cosgrove-meurer production next on "unsolved mysteries"... a reclusive millionaire vanishes, then years later, her skull is found in a septic tank on her own property. who murdered camilla lyman? a a dio reporter's s fe is threatened and his home is vandalized after he goes public with a story about ufo's. a mother's dying wish is that her two children separated by war, will be reunited. three-day-old marlene santana is taken from her mother's arms at gun point. she is still missing. five compelling cases. some just waiting to be solved and maybe you hold the key.
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dog breeder greg siner is cleaning out the kennels of his new estate when he makes a shocking discovery. - i was hosing down the kennel and i smelled a foul odor and thought that maybe the septic system wasn't working properly. i decided to look inside to see if it needed to be pumped. and when i did, , ere was a skull staring straight back up at me.
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and just knew that this was camilla. - dental recds confirm that it was indeed the skull of camilla lyman, the estate's previous owner. she had mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. this missing persons case was now a murder investigation. however, the clues would not be found in the bizarre nature of her death, but in the strange and mysterious nature of camilla's life. - camilla lyman was the daughter of old money, boston aristocrats. camilla shared her father's passion for show dogs and he soon discovered that his youngest daughter had quite a gift. - in the dog world, she was very successful. she was a good handler and she was a good breeder and she showed her dogs extremely well. she was very proficient. - camilla never dated and never married. her dogs were her life.
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but when they died, the life camilla knew was over. 40 years old and alone, her behavior became re and more bizarre. - my babies, my swswties. camilla became a recluse. she spent more time with her dogs than she did with people. her appearance also began to change. she bougug animal steroids d then took them herself. her voice deepened, she developed facial hair and she began wearing men's clothing. camilla basically transformed herself into a middle aged man. - my sister in california called me up and said, "hey, camilla's on the tv, dressed as a man. what do you think?" and i said, "well, i had heard that she did sometimes do that." - in this rare video, camilla is dressed as a woman. but seven years later,
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- it was shocking in a way and very surprising. but because of your respect for people's privacy, unless camilla was to explain why she was doing this, we didn't ask any questions about it. we just accepted it the way it was. - i remember people talkingabout camilla and the changing of her clothing and her appearance. but you have to remember, you are at dog shows. you are judging gs, not people. i think camilla felt very comfortable amongst her dog friends. - cam isolated herself from her family and became close friends with fellow dog lover, george o'neil. - george o'neil became the sole confidant, advisor, accountant... and representative of camilla. - cam, we don't have the money to do this right now. - he took care of paying her bills. he took care of arranging for her to get to dog shows
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he was a friend who she socialized with and had great confidence in his abilities to help her conduct her affairs. - in the car. let's go. in the car. - as george o'neil took over more and more duties and chores for camilla, he became her sole confidant. she associated with no one other than george o'neil. camilla became more and more eccentric. she would often carry a briefcase with hundreds of thousands of dollars and large amounts of jewelry in it. she would go out to the store and have $10,000 in her pocket to buy a quart of milk. - no, i don't know what to think. i really don't know becasue she is... - one christmas, camilla's friends didn't receive their usual christmas card. no one had heard from her in months. concerned, the family hired a private investigator named charles allen. - they were very concerned because checks that had been sent to camilla had rather than being endorsed with her signature,
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- allen was surpsed to discover that george o'neil had been depositing camilla's trust fund checks into his own bank account. even more alarming was that he also held camilla's power of attorney and was camilla's sole beneficiary. he stood to o herit her entire estate. - mr. o'neil, my name is charles allen. i am here to enquire about camilla lyman. - i haven't seen her. - mr. o'neil did not express any concern for her safety. he felt that she had done this before and that she had just gone off on a trip. - i understand all of that. - o'neil claimed he had last spoken with camilla a full year earlier. he said that she had hung up on him during an argument on the phone. - he told me that on the following day, he went to camilla's house,
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and found her dogs unattended, unfed... and found the kennel somewhat in disarray. - camilla? - mr. o'neil indicated that he felt that camilla may have gone off to europe to have a sex change operation. - camilla had been missing for over a year. but no police reportas filed and no one in the family was notified. yet, o'neil continued to cash camilla's checks. - i found it very hard to believe that a woman who didn't like going to the dentist, who didn't like going to the doctor would go off to europe and have a sex change operation. this woman dididt like leaving her home. - hereren the main kennel, we have room for 50 dogs. - george o'neil even hired full-time caretakersrsfor camilla's dog kennels. and began showing her champion spaniel as his own.
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and he was now campaigned under the ownership of george and june o'neil. - charles allen claims that much of camilla's $4 million estate, her bank account and family treasures simply disappeared. - we are talking about between $3 and $5 million here. and it's whereabouts are unknown at this time. - anthen there was the question of camilla's beloved dogs. - when i first heard george o'neil's story, it absolutely never crossed my mind that it was a true story because she ner ever would have left her dogs. it was totally out of character. - about seven years after she disappeared, cam lyman was decled legally dead. three years later, her body was found in the septic tank. she had been shot, and her skull had been fractured. - the fact that we could bury camilla
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was a wonderful sense of closure for us. on the other hand there is still more that we need to pursue. we need to bring the person who committed this... unbelievable crime to justice. - update, 16 years after camilla lyman disappeared, a grand jury i iicted george o''neil on the charge of embezzling $15,000 from her trust. after a plea bargain, he was sentenced to just one year of probation and fined only $450 in court costs. when o'neil was recently asked about camilla, he said "she's dead. i don't know anything about it." next, when a reporter investigates ufo sightings in this small town,
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- we have broadcasted a number of stories about ufo's and now we have another to add to that list. but this one is different. it involves a robbery, late night phone calls, and even death threats. wytheville, virginia. it's a small town nestled in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains. country music station wyve calls itself, "the voice of wytheville." on most days, life here is usually quiet and uneventful. but that was not the case one october morning. - morning sheriff, danny gordon. - radio reporter danny gordon checked in as usual. what he heard was not usual at all.
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- over near austenville. right. got anything else? you're kidding me. - three sheriff's deputies, all formal military men claimed that they had seen a ufo. - when was that? - okay, danny. you're on in 3, 2, 1. - unidentified flying objects have been sighted over wythe county on monday and tuesday evenings. - it was a filler piece that came on at the end of the news, which i usually relegate to something that's maybe, an unusual, like we had one police officer had killed five chickens once with two shots. and that was a story that ran. it was kind of a ha-ha piece. and this was another ha-ha piece and there had been a very sceptical news man. he was definitely in my lead part of my news. - danny's ha-ha piece caused some unbelievable listener responses. reports of ufo sightings poured into the station.
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- hello, this is danny gordon, you're on the air. go ahead please. - these are the exact t rds of some of ththe calls. - okay. i appreciate that. thanks a lot. being a brass-tax journalist, i've always believev there is a plaususle, logical explanation. and i felt at that time that it was military some nature and that we would find the reason in a short period of time. - danny thought the ufo's were most likely experimental aircraft being tested at a nearby airforce base. but he was repeatedly told by the military that there was no testing going on.
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- everybody had been telling us that what people were seeing were planes refueling. and so i said, "well, i didn't know that's how did that." and then i thought, "well, why are they doing that down over my house? you know, isn't this something they should be doing away from populated areas?" - i called the pentagon and talked to the airforce general there who told me if they were refueling under 13,000 feet, then somebody's butt's in the sling. and to this day, we don't know if they were refueling at 5,000 feet. but at the same time, i have asked, if it is military, then i will back off the story and leave it alone if you tell me because i am a patriot. and each time i am told, "it's not us. we are not doing it. and we haven't been doing it." - just t t weeks after the first sighting, daday and his friend rogog hall, drove to the area where most of the sightings had occurred.
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- we were headed home after two hours of fruitless searching, about a quarter to nine, on route 21 south coming into wytheville. and just happened to look to my left and saw a very unusual object coming across the horizon. - what's that? - what? - over there. it's lights or something. i am going t tpull over. i pulled off to the side of the road a hurry, jumped out, he got out of the right side and as he got out, i noticed the craft was coming at me. it was very large. it had a dome shape at the top of it and no wings and had what appeared to be a strobe, putting out multi-colored lights on the right side of the craft. - what the hell is that? - i don't know.
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we guessss it would be at l lst 2 football fieldsdsin diameter. you could see three huge, looked like picture windows in the back of it that were lit from the inside out as i watched the sky from the left, came a red ball. as the big mother ship went into a small skiff of clouds, the red ball docked with the craft. - it was like you were watching a computer game and watching these things develop on the video screen. - did you get a picture of that? - no. didn't you? - i left the camera on the truck. - we looked at each other and realized, no pictures. the camera was not in my hand. the camera was not in his hand and weweoth knew we blew it. - the only thing i can say is we were justtawe struck by it or just dumb, whichever one. i am not sure which. but we sure didn't get any pictures of it. - the next night, the two went out again. this time they did get photographs.
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- the night before the press conference i received a phone call from somebody who refused to identify himself and they said that i need to be aware that the cia and the federal government were very much interested in the wythe county ufo's. i started to wonder why i had stepped into it, and my wife was urging me to back off, to leave it alone and i also was receiving some anonymous phone calls saying you know, "it's something you need to leave it alone because it's not your place to be messing in defense matters." - becky? - then after the press conference, danny discovered that someone had broken into his house. - becky? - strangely nothing was stolen, but danny was convinced that someone was looking for his photographs. but when they were developed, they revealed only vague streaks of light in the sky.
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they were not just one or two isolated sightings. hundreds of people reported seeing ufo's in the sky above wythville, virginia. one of those was radio journalist, danny gordon and he was about to get evidence to prove it. about six weeks after his press conference, danny and his wife and daughter were leaving the local mall when yet another ufo appeared. - we looked very quickly and saw what i thought was one large object which later appeared to be four flying disc shapes. as soon as the objects were photographed they disappeared from view.
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within a three month period there had been more than 1,500 sightings. - three months ler, danny was packing for a broadcaster's conference in virginia beach, where he was to talk about his ufo coverage. - i received a phone call at home from a retired military intelligence officer and first he told me to make sure that i taped the conversation so he could put the date and everyone to be aware and i said, "why do you want to tape this?" and he said, "i want your friends to know if something happens to you that i forewarned you." - he told me that because of his investigation into the ufo field, that they had hit his son and caused his son to die with some kind of virus connected to leukemia. - danny, who is it? - it's nothing, honey. - he said that he had information.
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and they felt like i was too loud of a voice to quiet by just killing me, which made me very happy. and he said, "they want to quiet you in a different fashion." - you know it's one thing for someone to threaten myself, when you threaten my family you are treading on very thin water. - well, i am going to virginia beach. no, i appreciate it. i appreciate that. thank you for calling. - what was that about? - nothing, honey. - oddly enough it was the same weekend that there was an hepatitis epidemic in virginia beach.
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and everyone would have believed they had gotten to me. but i came back with no problems and the children were in good shape. - less than one month later danny had two surprise visitors at his house. - my name is don and this is my associate michael. we are with the richmond gazette. - we want to ask you a few questions if you don't mind about these recent ufo sightings. - no, that will be fine. it will be fine. - okay. great. - they stayed for about 45 minutes. one interviewing danny and the other walking around the house taking pictures. - they had told me when they left they would send me a copy of the article so i could peruse it and when i didn't receive one i called the newspaper and they said, "well, these two guys are not on our payroll. they don't work for us." so who they were i don't know but they were in my house. they saw all of my pictures. saw all of my negatives, talked to my family, took pictures and then left, but they were not with the newspaper.
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- and when i got to the canister which had the ufo negatives, i quickly opened it up and found some ufo negatives, but the one negative with the shots from the shopping mall was missing. i felt like maybe there was something in those photographs that was not seeing. so i took the photographs to some other people to look at. we used magnifying glasses. we measured angles trying to find out why these photographs were so important and we have yet to discover why anyone would want to steal that one specific set of four in a series of photographs of the ufo's. - two months later, the stress of the late night phone calls, the home break-in, the strange visitors and now the missing negatives finally took its toll on danny. later doctors determined that the heart attack was brought on not by heart problems, but by severe exhaustion.
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- if i had a choice, i would not report the ufo story again. it's just been too hard on my life and created too many problems. don't look up. because once you look up and you tell somebody what you saw, your life has changed forever. - danny gordon says wytheville has moved on from its days as a ufo town and is now enjoying its booming arts and business communities. but if history tells us anything, some time soon in another small town, someone else will look up and his or her life will be changed forever. a wealthy recluse destroys all traces of her past. she remains as mysterious in death as she was in life.
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on a dreary january y y in tiny english village, a mysterious woman was laid to rest. - heavenly father, we commit the body of our dear sister dorothea to be consumed by fire. - it was rumored that dorothea allen, the wealthiest person in the county had once danced with fred astaire and dined with gary cooper. but when she died at the age of 89, only five people came to her funeral. in her day, dorothea was considered beautiful. everyone agreed, she was a dedeted wife to her sband robert until his death. the couple had no children and when dorothea died, she left no will. only a complicated mystery. - when the day of judgement... dorothea allen was a study in contrast.
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but on the other, she hoarded her millions and mistreated those who worked for her. and no one knows why. in her final days, dorothea did everything that she could to erase her past. after dorothea's death, the british government asked investigators to search her estate in an effort to identify her heirs. - we found her passport, which had pages ripped from it. of course these were the pages that gave us all the information we might havavneeded. we looked through photograph albums. and all the pictures had been pulled out of the albums and someone had taken a pair of scissors to them and cut off the heads. and so we couldn't identify anyone. - dorothea and her husband robert were intensely private. they kept their backckound secret even from their closest t iends. the allens made their fortune manufacturing fancy corsets for women.
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and dorothea oversaw every detail of their production. she had an eye for beauty and she certrtnly used it. yeah, she made that factory a great success. she was an absolute perfectionist. she would count the stitches to the edge on everything that was done. - there should be 12 stitches till the end, you've o oy done 11. - dorothea was a very nasty piece of work. she ran her servants ragged from what i can gather. i also think she didn't pay very well to her employees and ran quite a strict regime. she demanded people walk out of her office backwards. - at christmas the allens always had a party, but invited only those employees who had done an outstanding job and only a select few were actually allowed to even speak to the allens.
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and people used used to go up and talk. they were a bt like royalty, really, sort of very well performed. - robert dieieafter a long illllss. because dorothea's whole life was built around her business and her husband, she fell to pieces. - oh, she was very, very upset. they absolutely thought the world of one another and she wawavery much affected.. - after the death of mr allen one of her habits was to get his cigars and light them and leave them burning in the hall and in the library so that she got the atmosphere of him still being there. - dorothea began to neglect her business and the american parent company finally forced her out. she spent more and more time alone. after an accident in her rolls royce, dorothea never left her estate again.
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in one room in the kitchen. - as her health began to fail, dorothea became obsessed with eliminating her r st. she mutilated family photos and destroyed the passport page that listed her place and date of birth. then one cold wintry day, dorothea allen died in bed. she had been a recluse for more than 20 years and had adamantly refused to write a will. - well, she told some people that she thought people had too much money anyway and therefore they didn't need to be left money in a will. but thenenhe would have knownnthat the state wouou come in and take the money. i wouldn't have thought anyone would want to leave money to the government. so, she had to have something to hide and she wanted -- she mistakenly thought that by not leaving a will, she will be able t tdisguise her life after she died.
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or even what her maiden name was. and then a small pox vaccination certificate surfaced, on it dorothea's birth date was listed as january 21st, 1901. and her last name was farquharson. finally, there seemed to be some clue to dorothea's true identity. - she told me her name was farquharson and several times she told me that and that she was born in scotland. - well, i'd like to know where the name farquharson comes from. i think that this is some red herring that's been put forward fairly early on. there is no dorothea farquharson that fits in either 10 years either side of the alleged date of birth. - my own personal theory is that dorothea was a woman of lowly birth,
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if it is true that she did come from humble background, then i thinknkt's probably something she would want to keep quiet. - i think the true story is that she met in the 1920's, robert langwell allen in the north of england. he wasasarried and i think they fell in love. he left his wife and child and set up home with dorothea allen. they then had to carry on the charade of being a married couple. and as she got older she became more convinced that the infidelity would come out and wanted more and more to protect it. - there are theories that robert and dorothea were brother and sister. that is something you want to keep very quiet because obviously incest is punishable by law. - so who was this mystery woman? clearly, she wanted her identity to remain a secret and it seems as though she nearly got away with it.
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a war time private recognized her in a newspaper photo and identified her as his childhood sweetheart, dora brammer. it was learned that she was the daughter of a steel worker and had built her corset business with money her father made in real estate. after analyzing a single gray hair that was taken from the elegant hair brush l lt at her manor, investigators found more than 70 of her relatives. each received roughly $40,000 from her estate. and finally, it was learned that dorothea and her husband robert were never legally married because robert had failed to divorce his first wife. next, after more than 40 years, a woman is reunited with her long lost brother,
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- we recently told you the story about a brother and a sister who were separated right after world war ii. it involved a search that spanned two continents, two generations and almost half a century. helena carowski, helped her five-year-old son prepare for a long journey. christopher was going to the united states but with another family. - i will miss you, mamma. - i will miss you too, christopher. - my mother didn't really want to send him with somebody else, but my father kept saying, you know, "education, education." he's going to get a good education. he's going to be able to start school. so it was easier for him.
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- it was only seven years after world war ii and refugees like helena and her husband apollinairy, desperately wanted a better life. in america, christopher would live with friends until the carowskis and their daughter michelle could follow. a few months later, however, christopher's family decided to stay in england. they wrote to their friends in the us and asked them to send christopher home. - helena. - yeah. - i have received a letter from america. - america? - yes. they don't send christopher back. - what? - they don't send christopher back. - christopher. - they say he is better off in america. - the family tried everything they could think of to get christopher back. but there was nothing they could do.
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christopher's parents died in england. his sister michelle moved to america. their mother's dying wish was that christopher and michelle would someday be reunited. - i want to be able to tell him... how much my mother loved him. how she never forgot him. how till the day she died... that she loved him. - when we entered this story, christopher's adoptive sister, rose ruker was watching. she told him and he contacted us. a short time later, christopher was on his way to michelle's home outside of houston. - as i was waiting for chirstopher to come and i was looking out the window, i was wanting my mum to be here and wishing that she was here,
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- hi. been a long time. you did it. - i can't believe this. - i really can't describe how i felt. i can't describe it. it's too much for words. all these years, wondering, hoping... and it's finally come true. - christopher, introduced his wife, ellen and then met michelle's husband, daughter and granddaughters. - this is my granddaughter, kaile right here. - hi. - i am just happy that i have him now. it is just so hard to describe. something i have dreamt about -- god, for, yeah over 30 odd years. and it's here. it's, you know, still keep looking at him
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every october 18th, francesca and tomas santana commemorate their daughter marlene's birthday. but october 18th is also a time of sorrow. marlena was abducted when she was only three days old and has been missing ever since. but in the beginning,
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- when my baby was born she was pretty. she was very beautiful. she was the most beautiful baby in the nursery. - three days later on the 21st of october, francesca was preparing to take her baby home, when she met a woman outside her nursery. - is that your baby? - yeah. - he is so beautiful. - thank you. - when i was looking at my baby in the nursery, i saw a woman in the window that she told me that my baby was the most quiet one, the prettiest one, and i was glad that she told me that. because i thought she liked my baby. - a few hours later at 9 pm, francesca checked out of the hospital. her two sisters-in-law came to take her home. - when we going downstairs, a woman come to me. the same woman that i saw in the nursery.
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- she told me she was waiting for me all day. - i am going home now. goodbye. - this isn't a game. i am not joking around. walk or i will blow her head off. walk. - so, she told us to come and she told us to walk or she going to blow up the head and we walked. - keep going. - they walked over six blocks at gun point. - walk. - finally, they stopped near a deserted junkyard. - stop. i said, "stop." - at first francesca thought they were being robbed. - give me the baby. i said, "give me the baby." keep walking. walk. - the woman got in a car, driven by an accomplice and drove off.
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- when she took the baby, i was in shock. i didn't know what to do. i was crying. i tried to stop the car there and nobody help us. - francesca went to the police and detectives were assigned to the case. she was able to describe the car that had driven away with marlene. it was a white 1976 chevy malibu with red lettering on it's door. at the hospital, police tried to get a description of the mysterious woman. some believe that she was not a professional criminal, but rather an emotionally unstable woman, unable to have a child of her own. this composite of the abductor is based on eyewitness descriptions. she is white with hispanic features and h h no accent. her hair was dyed reddish blond and at the time she appeared to be in her late 20's.
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an artist sketched this composite of what marlene santana would look like when she was a child. she has brown hair and brown eyes. this is a composite of how she might look as a young woman. marlene was born with a medical condition that makes her feet appear somewhat c shaped when viewed from the bottom. she may celebrate her birthday around halloween and she may have been put up for an illegal adoption in late 1985 or 1986. - maybe one day, the person who knows where is my baby, they going to say something. they must do it. i don't think i'm going to die without seeing my baby again. - if you have any information about marlene's disappearancppearance or whereabouts,
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