A look at women who made bad decision in their love life forming relationships with drug runners. The episode also looks at tough drug laws that hurt everyone involved in the drug business.
An examination of the case of Victor Brancaccio, who was convicted in 1999 of killing an elderly neighbor after she criticized him for singing a rap song. The defense alleged that Brancaccio was legally insane at the time of the killing due to his depression and use of Zoloft. The jury disagreed, and found him guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping; the was then sentenced him to life in prison.
A look at a daring 1984 escape from Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Boydton, Va., by six death-row prisoners---all of whom were recaptured. The account features accounts from escapee Lem Tuggle (via a tape recording made before his 1996 execution); and escape architect Dennis Stockton, who stayed behind (and was executed in 1995). Included: comments from guards; FBI officials; and citizens who came face-to-face with the felons on the outside.
Former counterculture leader Ira Einhorn, who was convicted of murdering girlfriend Holly Maddux, is profiled. Included: comments from the victim's family, Einhorn's friends, investigators and attorneys.
Catherine Crier hosts this look at the investigation of the terrorist networks that are believed to have carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The history of crime photography is examined through a look at famous cases and the figures involved. Included: Jack Ruby, O.J. Simpson and Rodney King.
The case of Michael Saltz, who at the age of 17 was convicted in 1997 of murdering an 11-year-old boy, is detailed. Included: interviews with the victim's mother; Saltz's parents; the prosecutor; and the defense attorney.
The case of Linda Stangel is related. Although she confessed to pushing her boyfriend off of an Oregon cliff, she later recanted, claiming the confession was coerced. She eventually was convicted of second-degree manslaughter.
The disappearance of Ann Marie Fahey, an employee of the governor of Delaware, is examined.
Profiled: Brandon Wilson, who was convicted of killing a 9-year-old boy in California in 1998.
A look at a 1970 fire at a Tucson hotel that killed 29 people. In 1972, 16-year-old Louis Taylor, believed to have set the fire, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 1982, an appeals court overturned the conviction, but it was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case of Jeffrey Wade Walker, who in 1997 opened fire in a Key West bar, killing the bartender and injuring four others, is examined. Walker, who holds a degree in psychology, claimed that he was insane at the time of the shooting; the jury, however, found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.
A murdered woman's family meets her convicted killer to find out the details of her last moments, and what drove him to commit such an act.
A case of a missing 2-week-old child is related. As the investigation unfolds, detectives question whether the infant was abducted, as the mother claims, or was the victim of a Susan Smith-type scenario.
The prosecutorial strategies and possible defenses that might be used if Osama Bin Laden was to be tried for the Sept. 11th attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon are detailed by host Catherine Crier, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and Eric Holder Jr., a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General. Also included: segments focusing on each aspect of the trial, with comments from lawyers F. Lee Bailey, Ron Kuby, Ronald Goldstock and Matthew Fishbein; and interviews with ABC News reporters Brian Ross and John Miller, both of whom have done extensive research on Bin Laden and his terrorist activities.
The 1998 murder of a high-school student by a fellow classmate is detailed. When he learned that his girlfriend was seeing a former boyfriend, Jacob Davis shot and killed the young man.
A profile of John Orr, a former fire-department captain who was convicted of arson and murder.
The use of video cameras in combating crime is detailed. Among the crimes caught on camera are a teenage girl stealing a police cruiser; gang members murdering a rival; and a lawyer attempting to hire a hit man to kill a business associate.
The operation of the Riker's Island prison facility is chronicled from the viewpoint of the correctional officers who work there.
The seamy story of the Atlanta Gold Club and its owner Steve Kaplan is related. In 2001, Kaplan pleaded guilty to racketeering after he was alleged to have ties to organized crime. The Federal Government took ownership of his popular strip club, which was frequented by celebrities and athletes.
Correction officers are followed on their rounds as they patrol New York City's jail facilities on Riker's Island, which house about 15,000 inmates. Also: training exercises designed to quell riots are spotlighted; and the experiences of female corrections officers who work “the Bing,” which houses the most dangerous inmates, are chronicled.
A report on a Cleveland firefighter who stalked and raped women over an 11-year period. Included: the audiotape of his confession; the video of his sentencing; and comments from some of his victims.
The case of Melvin Ignatow is detailed. After Ignatow was accused of murdering his girlfriend, a jury found him “not guilty.” Later, new evidence indicated otherwise. Prohibited from subjecting him to another murder trial, prosecutors charged him with perjury; he was found guilty and sentenced to 8 years.
The case of Lewis Joyner is related. After his wife Ruby and her best friend Halema Jones disappeared, suspicion centered on him. Two days later, their bodies were discovered in the back of Jones' van. Although he admitted to killing his spouse, he claimed that she had murdered Jones, with whom he was having an affair.
A look at the case of Eric Bechler, convicted in March 2001 for the 1997 murder of his wife. He claimed she died in a tragic boat accident; but a girlfriend tape-recorded him admitting to the deed.
An examination of the case of Jennifer Tombs, who at the age of 16 in 1996 murdered the 23-year-old daughter of her parents' closest friends. According to police, Tombs killed the young woman when she derailed Tombs' plan for a party.
The stories of innocent people arrested and convicted of various crimes. Included: how DNA evidence cleared a man convicted in a vicious rape-murder case.
The case of Scott Falater, an Arizona man accused of killing his wife. He confessed to the act, claiming an unusual defense: that he was sleepwalking at the time.
How officers catch criminals on the run is detailed. Included: spike strips; the “pit maneuver”; and police helicopters.
A detective's efforts to solve a case are chronicled. Private investigator Rick Morton picked up the gauntlet when California police deemed a case “unsolvable.”
The use of “stings” to catch criminals is spotlighted. Included: an undercover cop on a drug buy; and a “reverse sting,” in which petty criminals show up to pick up their prizes after receiving false “contest” certificates.
The case of teacher Joseph Prewitt is related. His Tennessee community was shocked when a fiery car accident left Prewitt dead---or so it seemed. A week after his death his son received a call from someone who sounded like Prewitt. Police eventually uncovered an elaborate insurance fraud and a murder.
The case of “Richardson v. Missouri” is detailed. In 1991, at the age of 16, mentally deficient Tony Richardson was sentenced to death for his role in a double homicide. Richardson's attorney, Gino Battisti, navigates the legal system in an attempt to win a stay of execution or clemency from the governor.
The rise of methamphetamine use is detailed, as is the response of law enforcement to this burgeoning crisis.
An examination of the 1997 murder of 64-year-old auto mechanic Thurman Martin, a Georgia man who allegedly terrorized his family for two generations, including raping his daughter and violently abusing her children. Fed up with the abuse, Martin's grandson Billy Crowder, his stepfather and a friend killed the older man and buried his body in the backyard, planting tomatoes atop it.
The use of deadly force by police officers is examined, including several cases when it was employed. Also spotlighted: the training officers undergo in preparation for dangerous situations; and the role race plays in such incidents.
Cameras accompany vice-squad officers on “John patrol”---setting up stings to snare customers of prostitutes (female officers). Also chronicled: undercover operations in a park restroom.
An examination of the serial-killer phenomenon and one case that has been reopened.
Part 1 of two. A visit to California's Valley State Prison, a facility for women, to examine the issues female prisoners face on a day-to-day basis. Included: a look at how incarcerated mothers deal with raising their children from a distance; and rules that force pregnant women to give up their child (to a relative or foster care) within 48 hours of giving birth.
The conclusion of a two-part look at women behind bars focuses on the rate of recidivism among inmates at California's Valley State Prison. Eight percent of released inmates find themselves returned to prison.
The 1996 case of three teens charged with first-degree manslaughter is detailed. The three allegedly pulled down a stop sign at an intersection where three young men died in a collision with an 8-ton truck.
The case against Edmund Kemper is made. He was convicted of killing his grandmother at the age of 16, but a judge released him on his 21st birthday. Kemper went onto kill eight women, including his mother and a friend of his mother's. After murdering his mother, he picked up the phone and called the police, turning himself in.
A look at the case of Diane Zamora, a U.S. Midshipman charged with murdering a 16-year-old girl with whom she believed her boyfriend, David Graham, had had a sexual encounter.
The dangerous work of “decoy cops” is spotlighted. Each day, male and female police officers pose as ordinary people, from tourists to bums, in order to catch muggers, pickpockets and other criminals.
A look back at the grisly crimes of Willie Steelman and Douglas Gretzler, who admitted killing 17 people during a two-month crime spree in Arizona and California during 1973. Included: audiotape interviews with both men and the impact they had on the nephew of one of their victims.
Part 1 of three. The inner-workings of the Memphis Homicide Squad are chronicled. The cases include the murder of a drifter, which is stymied by the inability to identify the deceased. Also: Sgt. Rick Barrom is assigned to a case involving the shooting death of a man driving through a bad part of town.
Part 2 of three. Sgt. Vennes Owens investigates the death of a 3-year-old boy; Sgts. W.D. Merritt and Rick Barrom dig for clues in a dumpster near where the drifter's body was discovered. Also: a witness identifies a suspect in a shooting.
Conclusion. Sgt. W.D. Merritt's investigation into the drifter's death receives a boost when a prison inmate offers information about a possible suspect. Meanwhile, Sgt. James Fitzpatrick leads the investigation into a case of carjacking and murder.
The murder of a young father leaves the police stumped until, a year later, the murder weapon is recovered.
The case against Linda Jones is detailed. In 1997, the Florida woman was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation in the death of her husband. Testimony during the trial indicated that she was angry that he had cheated on her with an 18-year-old high-school student.
The case against Vincent Doan is related. In 1997, the Ohio resident was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, 22-year-old Carrie Culberson, despite her body never being recovered.
An examination of the Maurice Cassotta case. The Florida policeman was accused of killing his girlfriend and their 2-year-old son; a jury, however, acquitted him.
The Stephen Beckham case is examined. In 1994, his estranged wife, Vickie, the daughter of a South Carolina state senator, was found dead in a car that had crashed. The police soon ruled it a homicide, however, and in time charged Beckham---the son of a pastor---with hiring a local club's bouncer to kill her.
The bizarre case of Brandon Wilson is related. The 20-year-old drifter confessed to killing a 9-year-old boy in 1998, claiming that God had ordered him to take the life of an innocent. During his trial, he took the stand---and urged the jury to sentence him to death.
The story of Diana Dial is related. In 1997, the Texas woman was convicted of murdering her landlord. In her defense, it was revealed that she suffers from schizophrenia and delusions; she believed that he was attempting to poison her.
The case of two brothers who allegedly hired people to work for their company, took out life insurance policies---and then collected on them when the workers turned up dead.
An overview of “murder for hire”, including alleged Mafia-related slayings. Also: a look at average people who have allegedly hired hit men.
The Police Academy of Somerset, N.J., which trains aspiring police officers, is featured. The cameras chronicle a “boot camp”-like class for its six-month duration, detailing the physical and mental toll placed on the students. Included: a test which requires the would-be officers to get sprayed in the face with pepper spray; and the insights of the instructors and students.
An investigation into a mysterious woman expands into a worldwide hunt for an alleged con artist.
A tour of California's Pelican Bay maximum-security prison spotlights the facility's elite security unit and its efforts to maintain order among the inmates.
The world of criminal profilers is explored. The investigators analyze crime scenes to pinpoint the perpetrator's psychopathology and personality. While they once worked primarily on serial murders, their skills are now employed in a variety of other cases.
An inside look at the ATF, which keeps four National Response Teams prepared to respond if and when arson and other human-instigated disasters occur. The documentary includes insights of special agents who investigated the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.; and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
The case of Stuart Heaton is detailed. In 1992, he was convicted of the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl, but questions linger about his guilt. Although DNA linked him to the crime, his lawyers maintain the DNA test was improperly performed and should have been excluded from trial.
Men who allegedly killed their wives and lovers are spotlighted.
The case against Edmund Kemper is detailed. He was convicted of killing his grandmother at the age of 16, but a judge released him on his 21st birthday. Kemper went onto kill eight women, including his mother and a friend of his mother's. After murdering his mother, he picked up the phone and called the police, turning himself in.
The dangerous work of L.A.'s vice squad is related through the eyes of its female officers. Included: a veteran prepares two rookies for their first assignment: posing as prostitutes.
The case of Jeffrey Wade Walker, who, in 1997, opened fire in a Key West bar, killing the bartender and injuring four others. Walker, who holds a degree in psychology, claimed that he was insane at the time of the shooting; the jury, however, found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.
The dangerous work of “decoy cops” is spotlighted. Each day, male and female police officers pose as ordinary people, from tourists to bums, to catch muggers, pickpockets and other criminals.
The investigation into the slaying of Michigan resident Dawn Magyar is related. She disappeared on Jan. 27, 1973, and her body was discovered in a wooded area; an autopsy revealed she had been raped and shot. The case quickly hit a dead end that remained until the 1990s, when investigators used DNA evidence, and a truck driver's recollections, to catch the suspect.
The investigation into the murder of a tourist and her two children in Florida is related. The case consumed three years and involved multiple law-enforcement agencies before a suspect was arrested.
Susan Sarandon hosts this look back at the infamous 1971 riot at Attica Correctional Facility in New York. Included: insights of prisoners and guards.
The case of Florida medical examiner William Sybers who, 10 years after his wife Kay passed away, is charged with her death. Throughout the trial, he has the support of his and Kay's children and her family. The prosecution attempts to use forensic science to prove his complicity; his defense attorney questions whether the evidence was contaminated during the testing process.
An 11-member team of guards who work in the maximum-security unit at Massachusetts Walpole Penitentiary is profiled.
A look at the case against Hadden Clark, who confessed to killing a woman in 1992 and was convicted in 1999 of a 1986 murder in which the victim was a little girl.
An examination of the case against Dr. Richard Sharpe, a Boston dermatologist who admitted that he shot and killed his wife of 27 years on July 14, 2000, but claimed he was insane at the time. The prosecution disputed that argument, however, noting that Sharpe had a long history of abusing his wife, that she had a restraining order against him, and that he was capable of distinguishing right from wrong.
An examination of an alleged contract killing. At first, the police are stumped---until the discovery of the murder weapon a year later leads to the suspected murderer and unveils an alleged conspiracy that also involved a beauty-shop owner and a grandmother.
Gene Simmons hosts this look at rock music's unsavory side. Included: Charles Manson's failed rock dreams and how they may have played a part in the infamous 1969 slayings of Sharon Tate and others; singer Ronnie Spector's battle to recoup royalties from her ex-husband, producer Phil Spector; former Guns n' Roses drummer Steven Adler's lawsuit against his old bandmates; and controversial rap impresario Suge Knight.
The 1997 murder of Sheila Bellush in Sarasota, Fla., is recalled. Bellush's 13-year-old daughter Stevie discovered her mother in the laundry room, where Bellush was killed in front of her 23-month-old quadruplets. The case was the basis for author Ann Rule's bestseller, “Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder.”
The case against William Sybers, a Florida medical examiner who allegedly murdered his wife Kay, is detailed. The prosecution claimed that Sybers orchestrated the 1991 death by injecting her with a muscle relaxant; and then, in his role as medical examiner, ordering no autopsy. His motive allegedly centered around his desire to marry his mistress without losing half of his fortune, an estimated $6 million.
Unsolved murders are reinvestigated.
A look at the 1997 disappearance of 12-year-old Joseph Barefoot in Columbia, S.C. At first the boy was presumed to have run away; but, in time, his body was discovered in the woods not far from his home. The police soon zeroed in on a possible suspect: 17-year-old neighbor Michael Saltz, who was convicted of murder in 1999. Included in the overview: Catherine Crier interviews Barefoot's mother; and Saltz's parents, who maintain that their son is innocent and that the police coerced a confession from him.
A profile of Robert Ressler, a former FBI profiler who inspired “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Profiler Dayle Hinman hosts this examination of two of her cases: the rape and murder of an unidentified woman and the murder of a teen in her own home.
The Patty Hearst/SLA saga is recounted. In 1974, the newspaper heiress was kidnapped by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army, which was dedicated to overthrowing the U.S. Government.
The operation of the Rikers Island prison facility in New York is detailed.
An overview of the security precautions used by casinos, which include security personnel and in-house surveillance cameras. Also detailed is the casinos' relationships with the state gaming control boards and local police.
A look at the savage 1996 murders of Richard and Ruth Wendorf in their Eustis, Fla., home. A Kentucky based “vampire cult” led by 16-year-old Rod Ferrell were soon arrested for the crime, which was committed after Ferrell and his followers arrived in Florida to help the Wendorfs' 15-year-old daughter run away.
An overview of the security precautions used by casinos, which include security personnel and in-house surveillance cameras.
From November 2002: An overview of the 1996 murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. Spotlighted is homicide detective Lou Smits, who broke ranks with the Boulder, Colo., DA's office over the direction of the investigation. Here, he details what he believes transpired the night of JonBenet's death.
A look back at the infamous “Jenny Jones case,” in which one guest murdered another guest. The documentary focuses on the wrongful-death suit filed by the victim's family.
A look at the negative influence professional wrestling may have on children. Included: incidents in which children, while mimicking the moves they saw on TV, injured---and killed---others. Also featured is an interview with Linda McMahon, the CEO of the WWE; and a visit to a wrestling school.
The director of an insurance fraud bureau demonstrates how stings are set up to catch false disability claims. Also: how hidden cameras have captured dishonest auto mechanics and contractors who do shoddy work.
A look at a 1977 Newark, N.J., case in which a man was convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer. Twelve years later, an appeals court ordered a new trial because of withheld evidence. In 1998, the defendant again stood trial---and the jury acquitted him of all charges.
Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”) hosts this look at the evolution of forensic science from the natural sciences. Included: how scientists use the same method to identify prehistoric bones and remains at a crime site.
Part 1 of two. A visit to the L.A. County Coroner's laboratories and research rooms spotlights the state-of-the-art technology the coroner's team utilizes to solve cases.
Conclusion. A visit to the L.A. County Coroner's laboratories and research rooms spotlights the state-of-the-art technology the coroner's team utilizes to solve cases.
The murder of a wealthy Virginia couple is spotlighted. Although the culprits flee across the country, the investigators get a lucky break and bring the two criminals to justice.
An examination of the brutal 1985 murders of retired South African steel magnate Derek Haysom and his wife, Nancy, in their Lynchburg, Va., home. Police soon honed in on the couple's daughter Elizabeth and her boyfriend Jens Soering, the son of a German diplomat. The two fled the country, but were arrested in England in 1986; Haysom pled guilty to planning the murders, but claimed Soering actually committed them. Soering was convicted of the crimes despite denying any part in the deaths.
An overview of a 1992 incident in which Harris County, Texas, sheriff's deputy Kent McGowen shot and killed Susan White, whose son he had previously arrested on a gun-related charge. McGowen claimed that he reacted after she pointed a gun at him. A Houston jury believed otherwise, however, and convicted him of murdering White in a 1994 trial. That verdict was thrown out on a technicality; a second trial in 2002 arrived at the same outcome.
The case against former prosecutor Fred Tokars, a “devoted” family man accused of masterminding the 1992 murder-for-hire of his wife, Sara, is related. Prosecutors theorize that he feared she would divorce him; and expose a plot in which he helped drug dealers launder their money.
A profile of Beth Carpenter, who in April 2002 was convicted of capital felony, murder and conspiracy charges in the 1994 murder-for-hire of her brother-in-law Anson “Buzz” Clinton. The prosecution attributed the motive to a family feud that erupted during a fierce custody battle for Carpenter's niece.
A look at the grisly 1988 murders of Seymour and Arlene Tankleff inside their Long Island home. Police zeroed in on the couple's 16-year-old son, Marty, who was eventually convicted of the double homicides in 1990. Tankleff, however, maintains he's innocent, as do some friends and family members.
Forensic detectives identify criminals based on voice analysis and handwriting samples.
An examination of the role played by hostage negotiators, spotlighting the work of former FBI agent Clint Van Zandt, who was the chief hostage negotiator for the FBI's Special Operations Unit.
A marriage gone wrong is detailed. After several years together, a woman notices that her husband is displaying disturbing behavior, so she files for divorce and a restraining order. A later 911 call from her husband gives the police pause and leaves many questions unanswered.
The case against former prosecutor Fred Tokars, a “devoted” family man accused of masterminding the 1992 murder-for-hire of his wife, Sara, is related. Prosecutors theorize that he feared she would divorce him and expose a plot in which he helped drug dealers launder their money.
The world of criminal profilers is explored. The investigators analyze crime scenes to pinpoint the perpetrator's psychopathology and personality. While they once worked primarily on serial murders, their skills are now employed in a variety of other cases.
An examination of the controversial case of Terri Gilbert, a New Mexico woman who was accused of murdering her husband in 1996. She claimed that she mistook him for an intruder. The police and prosecutors believed otherwise, alleging that she also tampered with evidence at the crime scene. In June 1998, a jury acquitted her of all charges.
A look at the case of Edward Lee Elmore, who has maintained his innocence despite being convicted twice of a 1982 murder (the first conviction was overturned on a technicality); Elmore currently resides on South Carolina's death row. PI Jerry Palance investigates the case, interviewing Elmore's lawyers, family members and lawyer Barry Scheck. He also talks with the 75-year-old victim's daughter and granddaughter, who believe Elmore is guilty.
Former FBI profiler Robert Ressler, who inspired the movie “The Silence of the Lambs.”
An overview of an infamous theft in Charlotte, N.C., in which $17 million was stolen from Loomis, Fargo & Co. (an armored car company). The employee who perpetrated the theft took off for Mexico, believing that his compadres would join him with the cash. They, however, remained in the area---and went on a wild spending spree that enabled the authorities to easily locate and catch them.
The women who work as corrections officers at the Manhattan House of Detention (often referred to as “the Tombs”) are spotlighted.
A profile of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, the admitted mob underboss who testified against John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family in New York City, in the early 1990s. Although he admitted to taking part in 19 murders, Gravano was sentenced to five years and, in 1996, entered the Federal Witness Protection program. Given a new identity, he moved to Arizona and soon reverted to his old ways. He was arrested in 2000 for running a large-scale Ecstasy ring.
The case of Florida middle-school teacher Beth Friedman is explored. In 1999, she was accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her students. In 2001, a jury acquitted her of of five felony counts; but convicted her on a misdemeanor charge of furnishing the boy with drugs and alcohol.
The investigation into the 1990 disappearance of a Maryville, Mo., ATF informant, who was relaying information about a drug ring, leads investigators to suspect foul play. It would take ATF agents Mark James and Mike Schmitz and Maryville police officer Randy Strong seven years to make their case against their prime suspect, a drug dealer. In addition to the officers, also lending insight is Matthew Schofield of the Kansas City Star; assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Green; and Clark Davenport, who heads a non-profit company that helps locate bodies.
An in-depth examination of the “Trenchcoat Robbers,” a pair of polite criminals who robbed at least 27 banks from 1982 until their arrest in 1997. Included in their travails was one heist in Washington state that netted more than $4 million. Lending their insights: retired FBI agents Bob Harvey and Mike Goergen; IRS agent Bill Waters; ATF agent Paul Marquardt; Tom Jackman of the Washington Post; Jenny Delamotte, the girlfriend of one of the robbers; and Dan Bowman, the brother of the same robber.
A police shooting in Detroit is examined. The 2000 incident, in which a deaf man brandishing a rake was killed, led to Officer David Krupinski being prosecuted on a manslaughter charge. In August 2001, a jury acquitted him.
The battle that erupted between baseball fans over Barry Bonds' 73rd home-run ball is chronicled. Two men, Alex Popov and Patrick Hayashi, both claimed ownership; and took their dispute to San Francisco Superior Court to settle the matter.
A shooting during a robbery attempt at a local bodega is believed to be the work of a gang of drug dealers, prompting the Brooklyn detectives to patrol the streets of the gang's neighborhood to look for the suspects.
The increased use of surveillance cameras by businesses seeking to stop employee theft and create a safer work environment is detailed.
The investigation into the murder of a crack-addicted panhandler is chronicled.
An incident between two Florida police officers, which began as a routine traffic stop, is captured on videotape.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service probes the discovery of a body near Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base north of San Diego.
An examination of the 1998 murder of casino owner Ted Binion. Binion's lover, Sandy Murphy, and her beau, Rick Tabish, were both charged with his death and, in 2000, they were convicted. However, their convictions were overturned in 2003.
The case of Chad Austin is related. In 1998, he robbed a New Hampshire bank; while fleeing the police, he invaded a home in Salem, Mass., and took a man and his two sons hostage.
The extraordinary story of MIT student Kevin Lewis, who in the early '90s put together a team of fellow students to take on Las Vegas casinos at the blackjack tables, is told. The group worked in teams that employed an advanced form of card-counting to ensure that they'd walk away richer than when they sat down. Included: the insights of Lewis, and author Ben Mezrich (“Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions”).
An examination of a 1999 Tulia, Texas, case in which a white undercover cop allegedly framed 46 people, 39 of whom were black, for drug trafficking. In August 2003, Texas governor Rick Perry granted pardons to 35 of the people.
The case of Henry Chichester is related. In January 1989, the West Babylon, N.Y., resident allegedly murdered a neighbor, Maryann Meola. He was convicted of murder in 1991, but the conviction was overturned on appeal. In his 1994 retrial, he was convicted again. New evidence, however, may indicate that the wrong man was arrested and convicted.
An examination of scams and schemes, focusing on sting operations in New York and Florida that captured fraudulent repairmen and home contractors on tape. The report also spotlights identity theft and insurance fraud. Insights are provided by Bob Emmons, a Nassau County, N.Y., assistant DA who orchestrated one of the stings.
Retired L.A. police detective Steve Hodel's investigation into the infamous 1947 murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short---aka, the infamous “Black Dahlia” case---leads him to an unlikely suspect: his father.
The work of the FBI's elite ERTs---Evidence Response Teams, which are responsible for collecting evidence from crime scenes---is spotlighted.
Las Vegas police investigators are accompanied as they work cases.
A look at ordinary citizens who capture crimes on videotape in order to help the police. Included: the fine line between being in the right and breaking the law. Interviewees include Hartford mayor Eddie Perez and former FBI agent Joe O'Brien.
An overview of the case against Robert Durst, the eccentric heir to a real-estate fortune who faced capital-murder charges in the grisly death of his Galveston, Texas, neighbor. Durst claimed that he killed the victim, 71-year-old Morris Black, in self-defense.
A chilling account of a couple who lured people into their home, toyed with them---and killed them.
Three cases from the files of L.A. deputy district attorney Rhonda Saunders, who specializes in stalking crimes, are spotlighted. Included: the case against Jonathan Norman, whose obsession with Steven Spielberg led him to plot an assault against the director; the case against Marlon Pagtakhan, who harassed and threatened actress Jeri Ryan over the Internet; and the case against Richard Poynton, who stalked, harassed and eventually murdered his estranged wife shortly after she filed for divorce.
A profile of Cary Stayner, who was convicted and sentenced to death in October 2002 for the 1999 murders of three tourists at Yosemite National Park. He also confessed to killing a naturalist near her Yosemite cabin four months later.
The murder of a young man is investigated. The case spotlights a coven of witches located in the Louisiana bayou.
The case of Teresa Fargason is spotlighted. In 1993, she was convicted in the 1991 murder of her 6-year-old daughter.
The harrowing story of Anne Sluti is related via interviews with her, her parents and law-enforcement officers. In April 2001, the 17-year-old honor student was abducted from a mall parking lot in Kearny, Neb. Over the next six days, she was transported against her will to Montana. However, she kept a calm head and managed to phone the authorities on several occasions in efforts to help rescue herself. She eventually found herself in the unlikely position of helping the authorities negotiate the surrender of the kidnapper.
The Darlie Routier case is spotlighted. In 1997, the Texas woman was convicted of murdering her 5-year-old son and was sentenced to death. (Although not prosecuted for it, she was also alleged to have killed her 6-year-old son in the same incident.) She maintains that an intruder killed the children and continues to pursue an appeal.
The case of Clara Harris is related. The Texas woman made national headlines when, in July 2002, she ran over and killed her philandering husband in a hotel parking lot. In Feb. 2003, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The investigation into the deaths of a young couple who drowned in a creek is chronicled.
The murder of a Sacramento lawyer leads the police to suspect his wife, who they learn has a past filled with lies, aliases and convictions for fraud.
Examining the case of Wayne Williams, who was convicted in 1982 of two murders and was alleged to be responsible for the deaths of 29 black men and boys in and around Atlanta from 1979 to 1981. The documentary includes interviews with Williams and other key players, many of whom contend that the KKK, not Williams, played a central role in the killings.
A 1988 case in which a Florida woman died and her family became ill from thallium poisoning is chronicled. The police honed in on a suspect---a computer programmer who was a member of Mensa and organized the group's “Murder Mystery Weekends.” Without evidence to arrest him, the police turned to undercover officer Susan Goreck, who befriended the suspect and his wife.
The saga of Shelley Shannon, an Oregon homemaker convicted of attempting to murder an abortion doctor and of firebombing a clinic. Included: interviews with Shannon, her family and friends.
The story of Raffi Kodikian, who received a two-year sentence for what he termed the “mercy” killing of his best friend, David Coughlin, after the two became lost in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park and went without water for five days.
The case of Girly Chew Hossencofft is related. When the Albuquerque bank teller vanished in 1999, the police zeroed in on her husband, with whom she was involved in an acrimonious divorce, and the husband's girlfriend.
An alleged suicide is investigated. A woman claims that she woke to find her husband dead by his own hand. The police, however, suspect foul play.
A 14-year-old is convicted of first-degree murder and reveals a sinister plan three years into her sentence that puts the whole case in doubt.
A look at the 1999 murder of Williamsport, Pa., resident Miriam Illes, who was shot in the back as she talked to a friend on a telephone.
The murders of two doctors, Kenneth and Carolyn Stahl, are linked to an affair with a medical secretary.
After a car plunges off a cliff in North Carolina, the police discover the body of a woman who was killed before the crash. Her husband hires a private eye, who soon suspects a neighbor couple, but they die under mysterious circumstances, sending the investigator in another direction.
A look at law-enforcement efforts to find the BTK killer, who is allegedly responsible for murders in Kansas over several decades.
A dispute over farmland in Iowa leads to an assault that costs a man his life. The accused claims self defense.
A couple are left behind on a scuba-diving excursion to shark-infested waters.
A bank manager is suspected of masterminding a robbery of her own establishment.
The case of jewelry thieves Mitch Shaw and Jennifer Dolan, who stole from wealthy Dallas residents, is examined.
The case of Dennis Dechaine, who was convicted of the 1988 murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in Maine, is examined.
The 1983 murder of Navy Petty Officer Mervin “Sonny” Grotton, who was gunned down outside his home, is recalled.
The 1989 murder of Jean Marie Tahan, who was beaten to death before her body was set on fire, is recalled. Her ex-boyfriend Michael Palaan, a Navy officer, confessed to the crime.
The murders of a Navy officer and her boyfriend are investigated.
A report on the Scott Peterson murder case, based on Catherine Crier's book “A Deadly Game,” includes interviews with detectives and family members. Also: trial transcripts of the case.
The remains of a Naval employee are found on a Navy base, and NCIS agents are assigned to lead the investigation.
A disturbing look at stalking features reports on cases involving victims Anna Nicole Smith and California resident Marianoel Sulgatti. Los Angeles prosecutor Rhonda Saunders hosts.
A report on an oilman who exposed the environmental effects of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The 1993 murder of punk-rock singer Mia Zapata is recalled. Included: various theories about her killing.
New Orleans police search for a murder victim after a drifter is allegedly killed, and their investigation leads them to fans of a 1970s cult film.
The 1964 murders of a husband and wife in a store are recalled.
A report on bank robberies plaguing the Midwest.
A look at Paula Gutierrez's involvement in a bank robbery in Tampa that led to the death of a police officer when Gutierrez's boyfriend, Nestor DeJesus, shot and killed the officer after the couple was cornered by the police. DeJesus then killed himself before Gutierrez surrendered. She was convicted of murder.
A look at the case of Fernando Bermudez, who was convicted of killing a man outside of a New York nightclub in 1991. Several witnesses who identified Bermudez as the shooter later recanted their testimonies.
The 1994 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Lisa Rene of Arlington, Texas is recalled. Two men were convicted in the case and were sentenced to death.
A look at the case of Coral Watts, who confessed to 13 murders and is a suspect in two more. Included: efforts by authorities to keep him in prison past a slated 2006 release date.
The Coast Guard searches for a yacht in Alaskan waters after receiving a distress call from the boat's owner, but the vessel can't be found immediately.
The case of John Patrick McCreary, who was convicted of killing his cousin, Jessica Hawkins, and her boyfriend, Joel Blevins, is recalled. McCreary is serving a 25-year sentence.
The case of Sandra Anderson, the Michigan woman who was a handler of a dog that sniffed out human remains, and who was convicted of planting evidence at a crime scene.
Challenges faced by American military special-forces units are highlighted, along with preparations for various missions.
The case of Glenn and Justin Helzer, who were sentenced to death for murdering five people in an extortion plot. Bluesman Elvin Bishop's daughter, Selina, and her mother, Jennifer Villarin, were among the victims.
The case of University of Wisconsin-Madison student Audrey Seiler is recalled. Seiler was found four days after she disappeared, claiming that she had been kidnapped, but she later recanted her story.
A look at stalkers who prey on celebrities includes comments from Los Angeles prosecutor Rhonda Saunders.
A 1998 murder case in San Diego, in which the police discovered a dating-service supervisor's body inside a burning car, with two head wounds. Although the investigators followed all leads, the case grew cold---until a phone call three years later.
The murder of Carmin Ross in Kansas is recalled. The victim's ex-husband, Kansas State University professor Thomas Murray, was convicted of the crime.
The death of a woman leads to a hunt for a suspect who claimed to be her father. The investigation includes work by the FBI, U.S. Marshals and local police.
Two shooting victims are found in a river, and one of them gives the police a description of their attacker.
The case of Sarah Cherry, a 12-year-old girl who was killed in Maine in 1988, is discussed. Included: the man convicted of her murder and his efforts to seek exoneration.
The JonBenet Ramsey case is examined.
A man is suspected of having hired a hit man to kill his wife after their marriage sours.
Unusual felony cases are featured.
Former Philadelphia police officer Mike Chitwood's experiences as police chief in Shawnee, Okla., are examined.
The case of Michael Blagg, a Colorado man convicted of murdering his wife, Jennifer, whose body was found in a landfill.
The case of Michael Chapel, a former Gwinnett County, Ga., police officer who was convicted of robbing and murdering a woman. Chapel claims he was framed by members of his former police department and by the victim's son, all of whom allegedly feared that Chapel would expose a drug ring involving police officers.
The case of scientist Alan Chmurny, who was convicted of attempted murder in 2001 for plotting to kill coworker Marta Bradley by placing mercury in her car's air ducts. The crime followed years of alleged stalking of Bradley and her husband by the scientist, who denied the allegations. Chmurny swallowed a cyanide capsule in open court shortly after the jury delivered its verdict. He died the next day.
The case of Cody Posey, a boy who killed his father, stepmother and stepsister (on a ranch owned by newsman Sam Donaldson) amid claims that he was abused by his family at home. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to a juvenile center until his 21st birthday.
The murder of a teacher's aide in Alaska is investigated.
The case of Darlie Routier, who was tried for the 1996 stabbing deaths of her two children and convicted of one count of murder in 1997. She was sentenced to death.
The story of Michael Roper, who, after four trials, was convicted of murder in the 2000 shooting death of an Akron, Ohio, convenience-store owner.
The case of Hector Rivas, who was convicted of murdering Syracuse nurse Valerie Hill in 1987. Hill's body was discovered in her home and evidence showed that she had been strangled with the belt from her bathrobe.
The case of Tony E. Ford, a death-row inmate in Texas, is examined. He was convicted in 1993 of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder for a 1991 house assault in El Paso that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old man and injuries to the man's mother and sister.
The case of convicted murderer William Bradford, who was found guilty in 1987 of killing two aspiring fashion models.
The case of convicted killer Robert Spangler, who admitted to murdering two of his wives and his two children, is recalled. After learning that he had terminal cancer, Spangler confessed to killing his first wife, Nancy, and their two children in 1978 and making it look like she had murdered the children before shooting herself. Spangler also admitted to killing his third wife, Donna, by pushing her off a cliff during a visit to the Grand Canyon in 1993.
A shooting is investigated after it leaves a man injured and his wife dead.
The death of a woman from Cottonwood, Cal., is investigated.
The 2002 abduction of Salt Lake City teen Elizabeth Smart is recalled. Brian David Mitchell and his estranged wife, Wanda Barzee, were arrested for their alleged roles.
The 1991 disappearance of Lubbock, Texas, resident Roger Scott Dunn is recalled. Though Dunn's body was never found, his girlfriend, Leisha Hamilton, was convicted of Dunn's murder after evidence of foul play was found at the victim's home.
Police investigate the case of a man killed by a robber.
The disappearance of gay men from suburbia Indianapolis leads Private Investigator Virgil Vandagriff to suspect a serial killer. Millionaire Herb Baumeister seems to be the prime suspect, leading to the discovery of a disturbing secret.
The investigation into a man who killed four people in a shooting spree at an Erie Manufacturing plant in Bartow, Fla. in 1997. Nelson Serrano was suspected of murdering his business partner George Gonsalves and three family members of Phil Dosso, another partner. Serrano received four sentences of death in 2007 for the crimes.
The case of former polka-band leader Jan Lewandowski, who was convicted of defrauding investors by selling unregistered securities, is recalled.
An investigation of a man who disappeared just after having a job interview.
A report on Texan Clayton Daniels, who faked his own death in an attempt to collect insurance money and avoid a prison sentence for sexual assault. Clayton's wife, Molly, helped him with the plan, which included digging up a corpse and placing it in the driver's seat of Clayton's car, which was set on fire after a staged accident.
The case of convicted murderer Michael Koblan is recalled. In 1998, Koblan killed his brother-in-law, Christopher Benedetto, aboard a fishing boat, and then killed Benedetto's wife, Janette Piro, at the couple's home.
A look at the 2004 death of Fredric Jablin, a professor at the University of Richmond who was shot in his driveway while grabbing his newspaper. Piper Roundtree, the victims ex-wife, was convicted of first degree murder and was given a life sentence after she was found to have disguised herself as her sister while traveling from Virginia to Texas after the crime.
A look back at the 2004 murder case where the body parts of New Jersey's Bill McGuire were found floating in Chesapeake Bay inside three suitcases. His wife Melanie was convicted of the shooting and dismemberment.
The case of a preacher in Tennessee, Mathew Winkler, who was shot and killed by his wife Mary. She was convicted of manslaughter and released after only seven months of prison time.
Detectives investigate a murder of a woman in Florida who was shot while at a stoplight in her car.