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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  December 21, 2015 12:40am-1:40am CST

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paul tried to renegotiate his end. i'd say the negotiations didn't go his way. - maybe. i still don't understand how these two wind up in bed together. monty might have had the hookup to the supplier, and romano the client base, but neither of them had the money to bankroll it. - so they had a silent partner. - i don't know, but i got an address to the bar where monty and his pals like to spend some time in. figured we'd go and ask him in person. - thanks, carter. [classical music playing] - isn't that your daughter? - sofia, where have you been? is everything okay? - it's okay. i just-- - come. [phone rings] an old friend from brazil wants to say hello. this is my daughter, sofia. - hi. [phone rings] - you know, you don't write. you don't call. i mean, i'm a big guy, but i am sensitive. - it's good to talk to you too, detective.
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- a target-rich environment. lots of people. - that's why i've accessed the museum's security cameras, and having seen the kitchen, i'd advise you to stay away from the shrimp puffs. - y don't you wait in the car? - why don't you wait in the car? - give me 3 1/2 minutes. - oh, please. there are at least ten guys in there. - okay, four minutes. [car door shuts] [indistinct chatter] [glass shatters] - [groans] - thank you for the fine hospitality you have shown my country's distinguished president.
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that i will be running for the brazilian presidency this year. [indistinct chatter] - you okay? - i just want a moment alone. - i'll be right on the other side of this door. [phone rings] - sorry, i'm at the party. - come meet me. - uh, i don't know. - you promised me tonight. - i-i don't know if i can get out. - you don't have to. i'm right outside.
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[gunshot] - i got bored sitting in the car, and it took you longer than four minutes. - well, this guy hit me over the head with a neon sign. not very sportsmanlike, and none of them want to tell me where to find their pal monty. - yeah, that's why you should ask them before you knock them out, john. - mr. reese, there was another man at paul romano's penthouse that night, sofia's boyfriend jack hughes. he's the bankroller. - fusco's with sofia. let him know. - detective fusco? where is sofia? - powdering her nose. - no, she isn't. i'm afraid you're in the wrong place, mr. reese. [indistinct chatter]
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- give me your phone, now. - say it in russian. - [speaking russian] - [chuckles] now italian. - did you send or show this to anyone? good. - [gasps] - okay, bozo, show's over. come on, darling. get out of the car. - i'm just gonna find her again after i shoot you. [grunting] [gunshot] - are you kidding? look at you.
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- let me mull that over a sec. yep, i'm pretty sure i can outrun ya. thanks, carter. - are you hurt? - [groans] - i'm fine. did you find jack? - not yet. - the 11:00 flight. to the caymans, that's right. [shrieking] oh, god! ahh! okay, it was monty. i swear. he's unleashed, okay? he was the one who wanted to tie up the loose ends, not me. paul was never even supposed to die. oh! please. what do you want from me? is this a shakedown? - no. this is a breakup. sofia, should i drop him?
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- oh, my god! - not yet. you killed my only friend. - that was so not my idea, baby. - just like selling me out to monty wasn't your idea? - i told you he gave me a choice, you or me. you have him. i knew you'd be okay. - i will be okay. - she was made to blow you away she don't care what any man say - get in. - that was fulfilling. thank you. - no problem. have you thought about what you'll do next? - i will be returning to brazil with my father for the election. guess i can't talk you into relocating? - new york's my home... for now.
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- night. - detective carter, did you call the cia regarding mark snow? - i called his cell, yes. - you had contact with mark snow. - last i checked, snow was yours to keep tabs on, not mine. you lose him? i'd say talk to his partner evans, except the guy was found dead in a hotel five weeks ago. think i've done enough of your job for you. now, if you'll excuse me. - her eyes they're rubies and pearls she's not made - dropped by the morgue. got something off corwin's body. - is it what we thought?
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i think we have a big problem. - how soon can you get here? [door opens] - she was made to blow you away she don't care - corwin's dead. - not sure you're the best judge of that, mark. i mean, you thought i was dead too. - always been a bit of an optimist. you wanna know who told her to send you and your pal reese to china, you'll have to ask her really loudly. - shame. guess you'll have to run a few more errands for me. - [clears throat] i gotta tell ya, our line of work,
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but you, kara? you were always in a class all by yourself. - [chuckles] be careful. wouldn't wanna hurt my feelings. i might forget you down here. - her lashes flap and they smack men back like springs bouncing off of her curls oh, yeah she's long long gone - it's time we went for that beer. - i need to wrap things up here.
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could do this. i didn't know why anybody would want to kill him. you watch it on tv. you see it all the time. you just don't think it can happen to you. >> they were a young couple in a hurry to make their fortune. >> 50's, 100's, 20's. piles of money. >> building a life. until one life ended. all too soon. >> what happened to your husband, ma'am? >> i believe he's -- he's dead. he was laying on the floor, and i got scared, and i ran out of the house. >> a young father murdered in broad daylight. didn't look like a robbery. lots of valuables left behind. lots of secrets too. >> it just kind of sent chills up my back. >> something was tearing a family apart. >> i don't even know where to start. >> or was it -- someone? >> the most cold-blooded, evil person. >> a family feud, and an innocent man, caught in the middle. >> you know these shows you watch that people see the ghosts of their loved ones? i wanted that so bad, so bad. >> i'm lester holt, and this is "dateline." here's keith morrison with "the
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reporter: the hunting is good here in the arkansas delta. twice a year, a horde of migrating mallards descends on flooded rice fields. deer stare out through thickets of hardwood. you have to be quiet, sure-footed, your aim true. that's what marc despain's dad taught him. that's what marc taught his own son. before hatred wormed its way in. sometimes it's overwhelming that anger, isn't it? >> it is. it is. >> reporter: the anger that pitted father against son. >> it almost got physical. it just -- it breaks my heart. >> reporter: and husband against wife. >> i just wanted to go into protective mode and protect us all. >> reporter: and brought the hunting to town on a deathly quiet summer afternoon. >> can you please hurry? >> okay. i'm going to get them out there.
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>> reporter: what could be left but the bitter taste of recrimination. >> he is evil. he is not the kind person that he's got the public convinced that he is. >> reporter: jonesboro is both a college town and a farm town. tends to the needs of young minds and rice farmers on the vast plain of sticky, fertile clay west of the mississippi river. it's where marc despain breezed through school with his easy charm. tana is his mother. >> he was the only freshman that we know of that was chosen by a senior to go to the senior prom. >> reporter: marc became a high school football star and his sister jacque watched him bring his trophies home to lay at the feet of his father, jack. >> he really did look up to dad. and he -- you know, he always wanted to, you know, impress him
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>> reporter: and then -- well, its an old story, really. >> when i was 18 and he was 19, we just bumped into each other. >> reporter: pretty michelle. she was sitting on top of a car when marc spotted her one night. tiny, doe-eyed, and, before long, pregnant. >> the way i was brought up, you know, if you got a girl pregnant, you married her. that's just -- that was just what you did. >> reporter: so there was a shotgun wedding. two families thrown together, marc and his parents, jack and tana. michelle and her long divorced parents, her mom kathy and her dad carl. michelle also brought along a baby from an earlier relationship. >> and he never treated her like she was not his. never. >> reporter: together they had two boys. >> he loved his kids. i mean, just anything they ever dreamed of, he would do his
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anything. >> reporter: the little family moved into a trailer marc's parents bought them. and marc studied hard to become a real estate appraiser, like his mom, and went into business with his parents, which, said michelle, is about when things began to go wrong. >> marc didn't like to be pushed around by his dad. he was an independent person. >> reporter: the growing tension spilled over at the kitchen table. marc demanded a bigger share of the money. they argued. and then michelle chimed in. oh boy. >> oh my goodness, when she opened her mouth, dad just flipped off the handle. and, of course, marc just, i don't know, stepped in as a husband, like a husband should do. >> reporter: that's how it began, the trouble between father and son. the trouble that was going to get so much worse. marc split away from the family business. michelle helped with the
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>> i was just amazed at what they were able to accomplish. >> reporter: and they were a good team, said michelle's mom, kathy. >> they both just had the ability to work together to -- and make money. >> reporter: marc got into real estate investment. his first, a trailer park no one else would touch. >> i couldn't believe he bought that. i was just, what are you thinking? have you lost your mind? he flipped it. made him about $100,000 profit. >> reporter: and so having done it once, he figured he'd do it again. >> absolutely. >> reporter: and again and again. >> absolutely. >> reporter: and the money seemed to roll in. marc moved his family to an upscale neighborhood in the southern part of town. adrift from his own parents, he spent more and more time with michelle's, taking them on family trips. even hired michelle's dad, carl, to be his rent collector. >> i remember a lot of times walking in and carl would be sitting at the dining room table. and must be 50's, 100's, 20's. he was counting them like a drug dealer. >> reporter: just piles of
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>> piles of money. >> reporter: and then, one august afternoon, michelle came home from work early. >> when i walked in, there weren't any lights on. everything was knocked onto the floor. >> reporter: and then she got to the kitchen. and there he was. >> and he's laying in the floor, and there was blood coming all out from behind him. and i shook his leg and said his and i looked around, and there was stuff in the floor everywhere. and i got scared. >> repter: she ran outde, terrifd, and cald 91 >>11, at'sour emgenc >> my -- my -- my husband. i just came home -- >> ma'am, i need you to take a deep breath. okay? and tell me what's going on. >> don know. >> reporter: michelle ran across the street to a neighbor's house, desperate to hide. okay? >> do u wante to staon the
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>> n i ne to call my mom. >>kay. ll youmom. i'm ing to get tm en rou. >>t was a ice thatcare . u knowouick the pne. you he onef yo kidon the one,nd you heacrying >>eporter: kathyacedver there,oundichellsobbing the rb. >> a she's "i got toet t him. got toet to him." i st kd of grabb my daughter bthe ould. and m li, "michee, hs go. he's gone." >> reporter: so he was. dead on his own kitchen floor. a young wife is now a widow and the horror of what she witnessed is unforgettable. >> reporter: is it a sight that lives in your mind a lot? >> a lot. >> her family's good life suddenly gone -- or maybe it hadn't been so good. >> he was kind of embarrassed to have to come and get money from
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>>eporter: they are burned into michelle despain's brain. the images of that awful afternoon. shadows in the hallway. her husband. his blood. >> him laying on the floor. >> reporter: is it a sight that lives in your mind a lot? >> a lot. oh yeah. >> reporter: outside, a crowd of police, and friends and family, and curious neighbors, gathered
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house. among them, in an awful state, was marc's sister jacque. >> you know, everything was wrapped in tape. and police officers, "you can't cross here. you can't do this, you can't do that." i don't know. i just wanted to hold his hand or something. >> reporter: detective vic brooks was on the other side of that police tape. >> when i first walked in, i noticed that were some papers that appeared to be knocked on the ground. and there was some broken glass and stuff like that on the floor. >> reporter: investigators snapped photos of the chaos. drawers pulled out in a bedroom. clothes thrown into the bathtub. a jewelry case toppled over. like somebody was looking for something? >> possibly. >> reporter: they asked around the neighborhood, did anyone see any strangers that afternoon? and yes, someone did, investigators told prosecutor, scott ellington. >> an african american was seen in the neighborhood wearing a certain colored shirt. >> reporter: it wasn't just that. later somebody said they saw an
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circling the neighborhood. so, thieves casing the house? maybe. and yet, as detective brooks looked around the house, he could see this just didn't have the hallmarks of a robbery the valuable stuff -- tv sets, guns, computers -- were untouched. and look at this photo. sitting next to marc's keys and a cell phone on the kitchen island, is a container of ice cream. >> it appeared that he had just walked in and set these items down, and then was caught totally off guard. >> reporter: all of that seemed to shriek of a planned ambush dressed up a little to look like robbery. the way investigators pieced it together, somebody was waiting for marc to get home, then crept up from behind, shot him twice. >> he had suffered two gunshot wounds, one that appeared to have entered on his left side, and then another shot that he had sustained to his face. >> reporter: that was a kind of -- what is a kill shot or something? >> yes, sir.
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sure. >> it appeared so, yes. >> reporter: why would someone want to kill marc despain? >> i was so confused. i just -- i didn't think marc had any enemies. and i didn't know why anybody would want to kill him. >> reporter: detective brooks soon discovered a possible reason. even though they'd been living lavishly, marc had serious money trouble. >> he was kind of embarrassed to have to come and get money from me. >> reporter: it was a couple of months before the murder, said michelle's mother kathy. marc asked her for cash to help pay for michelle's birthday present. >> you know, that's very unusual. because usually they just go out and buy whatever they want. >> reporter: not anymore. that summer, 2011, jonesboro real estate was far from recovered. many of marc's rental properties were underwater. the bank was closing in. tenants were being forced out of their homes. so -- >> you know, was anybody upset with marc? was this any of his tenants?
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like that? >> reporter: and then, an ugly little surprise crawled out of marc's own troubled family. marc and his parents were lobbing lawsuits at each other over some shared property. the prosecutor heard that marc's dad, jack, was a hothead. >> jack was very, very angry at marc for mishandling this property that they co-owned together. >> reporter: yes. but it went deeper than that, went to a very dark place, as you will see. and because of it, marc hadn't spoken to his parents in years. so when jack showed up at the crime scene, the suspicion was, well, audible. michelle's dad, carl, started yelling at him. >> cursing very loudly. calling him all kinds of names. >> reporter: but what was he saying? >> there's that son of a bitch, jack despain. >> reporter: did you think jack was somehow responsible? >> oh, yeah.
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y'all look at my dad." >> reporter: so, of course, detective brooks invited jack down to the police station. just maybe this mystery would have a quick, if very disturbing, solution. coming up -- a young girl makes a troubling accusation that defines a family -- >> oh my god. could this have possibly happened? >> but was that the motive for murder?
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when "dateline" continues. >> reporter: it's an unpleasant thing to think about. parents murdering their own children. but it happens. is an old story, frankly. some awful glitch, perhaps, in the human recipe. had it happened here, in jonesboro? suspicion fell quickly on marc's dad, jack despain. michelle's mom heard about it when she called to tell a relative that marc was dead. >> somebody's murdered marc. and he was like, "oh my god." he said, "have they found jack despain?" >> reporter: he thought right away it was jack.
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close to jack and his family knew, a poison far more potent than money had come between father and son. >> i never saw it coming. i don't think marc ever saw it coming. >> reporter: it began, said michelle, when her 13-year-old daughter told them an ugly story, that her grandpa jack asked her to take nude photos of herself on his phone. marc called a family meeting. >> marc told his dad, there's a problem. we want to help you. you know, we're not here to point fingers at you or judge you. >> reporter: jack swore he did nothing wrong. marc called in the police. tana, jack's wife of more than 30 years, left him. moved in with marc and michelle. well, how do you prepare for a thing like that? >> you don't. you don't prepare -- >> reporter: well, what is that like? >> you just -- your mind is -- is in overdrive, you know, trying to think, you know, "oh my god, could this have possibly
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>> reporter: but after the police interviewed the girl, and then jack, and then the girl again, and heard her story change, become more elaborate, the investigation was dropped. and tana, driven with guilt for ever suspecting jack abused his granddaughter, went back to him and begged forgiveness. >> the man i've been married to for over 30 years and went to high school with, and then doubting him, and knowing i shouldn't have. >> reporter: but marc and michelle, believing the girl, never spoke to his mom or dad again. cut them off from their grandkids. disowned marc's sister when she took jack's side. >> i believe dad 100%. i don't believe he had anything to do with it. >> reporter: so that was the ugly backdrop to the murder investigation. and detective brooks would have to figure out if this years-old unproven allegation had so eaten away at marc's dad that it pushed him over the edge.
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number one. mr. despain. >> reporter: detective brooks sat down with jack in an interrogation room and watched the man fall apart. >> i can't. >> reporter: was this true grief the detective was witnessing? or regret? or guilt over something jack had done? or hadn't done. >> reporter: too late. what did he mean? jack didn't shy away from discussing those abuse allegations. here's how it happened, he said. >> she had taken some nude photos of herself and sent them to her boyfriends. >> reporter: jack said he found out the girl was sexting, confronted her, said he was going to tell her parents. but she got to them before he did, jack said, and invented the story to get out of trouble. >> so they took her side, i guess.
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was the bad person. >> reporter: jack told us the same story, eager, he said, to finally set the record straight. you didn't ever ask her to take pictures of herself and give them to you? >> no, no. >> reporter: but the accusation, said jack, almost destroyed him. >> i was at home. i could have opened up my own whiskey store, i think, with how much whiskey i drunk for two months. and typically i don't drink. but that was just to kill the pain. >> reporter: because everybody assumed that you were abusing your own granddaughter. >> yes, yes, yes. >> reporter: the detective wondered, did jack's pain drive him to seek revenge on his own son? no, said jack, no. he wanted to reconcile with marc, not kill him. >> i know i ain't talked to my son in four, five years but i loved him dearly. >> reporter: anyway, when marc
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miles away at his own house. >> i was on the roof trying to put some shingles on. >> reporter: that alibi would have to be checked out, of course. but even before detective brooks had a chance to do that, other members of the family came down to the police station and told him, don't be fooled by jack's tears. he was an angry, possibly violent man. >> he said, "i will ruin you and your family." he said, "for you all accusing me of this." he said, "i will see you ruined." >> reporter: this is michelle's dad, carl. the man who'd been cursing jack out on the street right there at the murder scene. >> if i was going to point a finger at anybody, if that's what you're asking, i'd point it at jack despain. >> reporter: detective brooks could plainly see this was a family with a troubling history. so he made a decision to attend marc despain's visitation, take a look around, see what his gut would tell him. i saw a note where you, in your case file, you wrote, "this has to be one of the strangest visitations i have ever attended?"
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it was just a cold feeling. it just did not feel right. >> reporter: was the killer sitting among the mourners, planning a next move? coming up -- a family feud at the funeral. >> she calls the police on us. >> and somebody else calls the police with a tip that could crack the case. >> reporter: that's a nice little gift. >> it was. this is the time the time for harmony let love be the song that everybody sings fill the air with joyful noise ring the bells and raise your voice let there be peace on earth
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back to our story. a young father has been murdered and the search for his killer is focussed on those closest to him, for good reason. his family, and his wife's family, are divided by a bitter feud. that fight has gotten so ugly that even his funeral is about to be turned into a battleground. here again is keith morrison. >> reporter: michelle and marc,
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got married.own in the family kitchen. and michelle had to plan his funeral. she was barely functioning, she said. >> i couldn't even tell you who was at the -- you know, who was there. it was just a blur. it all still just feels like a blur. >> reporter: but there was one thing she was clear about. marc's parents and sister were not welcome at his funeral. what was the funeral like for you? >> oh, it was awful. we couldn't sit down on the main level with family. >> reporter: why? >> michelle wouldn't let us. she barred us. >> reporter: it was the same at the cemetery. >> she's literally trying to get him in the ground before we can even walk up. >> reporter: you mean get them to fill in the grave? >> yes. so, we just immediately jump out of our car and we start rushing to the graveside. and she calls the police on us.
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brother's funeral. >> reporter: yet, for all the chatter about jack, that he might have killed his own son, detective brook's instincts said no. jack's alibi checked out. he was fixing his roof afternoon of the murder. and those tears in the interrogation room -- >> i did not feel anything as being fake from mr. despain. he appeared to be a broken man at that time. >> reporter: so what to make of the fractured family and all the bad blood now tangled up with so much grief? detective brooks thought back to his interview with michelle's dad, carl, the man who pointed a finger at jack on day one. >> he told him he didn't want to have nothing to do with him. >> reporter: carl said he'd been in marc's house not too long before the murder, dropped off some rent money. >> why didn't they shoot me
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i had the money in my hand. >> reporter: interesting timing? coincidence? or, as detective brooks wondered, did carl have something to do with the murder? maybe not. carl's alibi checked out. surveillance cameras, in fact, caught carl right where he said he was around the time marc was gunned down, meeting his daughter at the bank where she worked. he could not have shot marc. while the investigation continued, marc's parents spent time at the cemetery, finally able to do what they couldn't when their son was still alive. >> we'd talk to him. talk to marc. >> and rainy days were the worst. i didn't like rainy days. >> reporter: what do you mean rainy days? >> i didn't like him getting wet. i knew he was in heaven. but i just didn't like the rain on him. >> reporter: and then? pure luck, really. remember how neighbors reported seeing an african american stranger in the neighborhood?
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with a tip. somebody who matched that description was actually boasting about shooting marc despain. that was a nice, little gift? >> it was. >> reporter: didn't take them long to find the guy. street name, qualow. real name, terrance barker. and he was nervous. >> i can see your heart beating through that shirt right now. i know you're scared. >> reporter: he denied everything. >> i don't know what to tell you, man. i didn't do this. >> reporter: detective brooks wasn't buying it. because by then, the police also tracked down the driver of that beat up blue mercedes seen near the house before the murder. and he told the cops he took qualow to meet a man in a church parking lot. and that man wanted a job done. was that job murder? >> i didn't do that. i did not do that, sir. >> reporter: by now detective brooks had been working night
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his store of patience ran out. >> this is serious [ bleep ] to me. i've got three kids that are laying over there crying. >> reporter: was it that angry speech or another long night in his cell? the next day, qualow, came clean. for a promise of 7 to $10 thousand, still unpaid, he said, he took the job to shoot and kill marc despain. >> you fired the first round and that round hits him where? >> it hits in the chest area. >> reporter: he didn't know marc from adam, he said. it was the man from the parking lot who took him to marc's house, told him where to lie in wait for marc, gave him a gun. and then qualow said something rather surprising. >> i've been thinking, like, man, what the -- what -- what -- what in the hell kind of people do [ bleep ] like that? >> reporter: the shooter who executed a stranger for the mere promise of a few grand, said he was appalled. not at himself, at the man who
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man. you know, it's -- especially people that you think care about you and love you. they're supposed to be -- these are the same [ bleep ] that be in your face plotting on you. >> reporter: if the hitman was telling the truth, detective brooks' hunch had been right. someone who claimed to love marc, also plotted his death. but who? coming up -- michelle confesses to an affair. >> my dad didn't know that. marc didn't -- i mean, nobody knew that. and there was another surprise. >> there were two insurance policies, each for the amount of $500,000. >> when "dateline" continues. phil! oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? jingle jingle. if you're peter pan,
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oh yeah, baby. geico's as fast and friendly as it gets. woo! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. >> reporter: it's shocking what some people will do for the mere promise of a few thousands dollars. like lie in wait for marc despain, then put a bullet in his head. but revealing his paymaster? that the hit man did for free. and the name? >> somebody called me and said, "have you heard? carl's just got arrested." i'm like, "oh, my god, he did this." >> reporter: carl, kathy's ex-husband, michelle's dad. but marc gave him a house and a job and took him on family vacations.
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she was stunned. >> i thought that he cared for marc, you know. the father of my kids. >> reporter: but michelle's mom, kathy, was not so surprised. she knew what carl was capable of. she divorced him years earlier, she said, to escape his explosions of temper. >> he never would hit me because he didn't want to leave a mark. >> reporter: what would he do? >> he would hold a gun to my head. >> reporter: hold a gun to your head? >> yes. >> reporter: threaten you? >> yes. >> reporter: still, what would make him mad enough to have marc killed? confronted, carl's face turned to stone. >> i'm not going to say anything without a lawyer, vic. >> reporter: but, as investigators discovered, carl had been talking to other people, told them marc had been physically abusing michelle, that he was tired of it. did you investigate whether or not any abuse actually occurred in that marriage? >> there was not any abuse ever found to have been -- to have
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>> reporter: so if the abuse
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