tv Forensic Files CNN June 6, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
me into doing what i did. >> for everybody that had a part in this and every lead was tenaciously followed. every item of evidence was collected and tested. it's just nice when the puzzle fits together in the end. >> up next, is it a murder, suicide, or fraud. >> red flags were going up. >> investigators followed the money trail for clues. >> there was a $5 million policy. >> there were items not matching up at all. >> in the end, only science has the answers. >> i never have seen a case with so many turns and interruptions and really it was bizarre. >> diesel truck pulling is an obscure sport in the united states, but enjoys a loyal and
growing fan base. >> it actually involves pulling way more weight than they are designed to pull. so you have to be a good mechanic to be into it. >> for 39-year-old building contractor ari squire, preparing diesel trucks for the competitions was more than a hobby. it was his obsession. to accommodate this pastime, he built a 2300 square foot garage. >> he was a gear head and had his trucks and he was apparently always working on them. >> it wasn't answered dangerous until one february morning in 2008 when ari's wife called 911. >> 911, county sheriff. >> i think my garage is on fire. i heard noise and i opened the door and it's all black smoke. >> sorry there smoke coming from the garage. >> should i go outside or what should i do?
>> wait outside, okay? >> when the smoke cleared, firefighters found ari's lifeless body under a truck. >> it appeared the truck slipped off the front jack and crushed the victim. >> he suffered severe burns over most of his body. it looked like the truck fell off the jack while ari was underneath working on the fuel filter. fuel spilled from the filter on to ari's clothes. the truck broke a floresent lamp and a spark ignited the fuel. >> this was likely an accidental death. we have seen deaths of people working under their vehicles that slid off of jacks and fallen and crushed them to death. >> although the was unrecognizable, ari's driver's license was recovered from his back pocket. >> we rarely compare these things to a driver's license.
people lie on their driver's license and sometimes that information is not correct. >> the medical examiner wanted to make a positive identification using scientific methods. this proved to be harder than anyone expected. >> based on the extent of the burns on the face and the hands and the arms, we couldn't do fingerprints or facial recognition. our only choice was dna and dental. >> it turns out ari had not been to the dentist in almost a decade. >> investigators saw something suspicious on the garage circuit panel. >> checking out the circuits, i noticed they were all in the off position. >> in the circuit breakers were off, there would have been no electricity to power the light which theoretically had started the fire. >> i inquired whether the fire department had turned those off. they said no, they hadn't touched the circuit box at all.
>> ari had been working on a diesel fuel filter, but tests showed there was an excel rabac more flammable. >> there were red flags going off certainly. >> it was consistent with a gas line that was a lot lighter petroleum product. >> when they looked into his personal life, friends said there was no love lost in their 14-year marriage. >> i did see it was obvious both beds had been slept in that night. >> it was not a close-knit marriage. >> even more suspicious, ari had $5 million worth of insurance and his wife denise was the sole beneficiary. when questioned by police, denise claimed she knew nothing about it. >> we began to try to find out
why the wife would not know these details. >> ari's wife moved quickly to cremate his body before being stopped by police. >> the fire was on saturday and she wanted that body released and made phone calls by monday or tuesday that she needed the body for cremation. >> it became more and more obvious that this was a homicide that had been covered up. or a mouth breather. well, put on a breathe right strip and instantly open your nose up to 38% more than allergy medicines alone. so you can breathe and sleep. shut your mouth and sleep right. breathe right. gives you nexium level protection for frequent heartburn all day and all night. try nexium 24hr, the #1 prescribed acid-blocking brand, and get all day, all night protection. nexium level protection. meet thsuperpower.ewest energy surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one
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>> ari squire was working on a fuel filter at the time of his death. when investigators recreated the incident, they discovered it would have been easy for someone to release the jack holding up the truck and kill the person working beneath it. >> a lot of people showed surprise that ari would not have used safety equipment. >> as they tried to figure out what was going on, the detective was home watching television and saw an episode of forensic files that was early similar.
>> the madison rutherford case in new england. he took a dead body and there was a truck fire. he faked his death and came back and assumed another identity. there were so many similarities between the two cases. >> the life insurance amounts in both cases were virtually identical. >> madison rutherford had two insurance policies. for $5 million and for $2 million. that was similar to ari. >> the rutherford case unravelled when they proved it wasn't rutherford who died in the fire. that's precisely what happened to ari squire when investigators found his dentist from ten years earlier. the file was so old, there were no x-rays. >> you did get ahold of a debtal note about a certain tooth and a
certain filling. >> the dentist had seen him for a large cavity on a lower right molar. the dentist placed a large silver-type filling in the tooth. >> when they checked the victim's teeth, there was no such filling. >> the burned body was not ari squire's. >> if it's not ari squire, who is it and why are they under there? >> clue was through a missing person notification. a woman called police to report her 20-year-old son justin newman was missing. he worked at the local home depot store and had not been seen since the fire. >> he told me he met a man who comes into home depot quite often and he pulled justin aside and asked him if he had to make more money. he said yeah, that sounds good. >> he said the man was ari squire and he was going to do some work at ari's house.
>> he was supposed to be meeting with ari squire on february 23rd, the day ari squire was believed to have died. >> he said mom, he offered me $15 an hour and right now we could use that money. >> then the day after justin went missing, his mother got a text message from his cell phone. >> it said mom, gone to missouri to work. call you next week. >> justin's mother was very skeptical. >> justin doesn't text. that wasn't justin. he would pick up the phone and call me. there is no way he would text me. >> as police tried to trace the origin of that text message, they reexamined the burned body. justin was 5'6", 140 pounds, virtually the same height and weight as ari squire. scientists compared dna from
justin's tooth brush to dna from the victim and also took a dna sample from justin's mother. >> when we got the results back, we were able to positively identify the body as justin newman. >> police put out an all points bulletin for justin newman's car which was missing. they assumed if they found newman's car, they would also find ari squire. making a fist
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>> just one day after the arson fire that killed just up newman, denise squire received an e-mail from her husband, ari. >> my will and letters are in my file drawer to my left in my office. they are in a priority mail envelope addressed to you. >> days after the fire she received another e-mail from ari's e-mail account. >> when will my ashes be returned to you? where are you planning to disbursing them? is there anything you need? thank you, denise. with my love, ari. >> it appeared he was trying to find out where we were at with the investigation without coming out and say how they are doing? did they buy this?
>> denise denied any involvement in the murder and claimed she had no idea where ari was, but now another home depot employee told police a story that turned the investigation upside down. >> one of just up's coworkers comes up to the cops and said i know ari squire. he was in here all the time. this is the part that was weird. he was asking me to do work too. >> justin was not the primary target. he singled out another employee who better matched his age and physical description. >> that person was sandy lively. a remarkable physical match to ari squire. >> it's a creepy picture. he's the hunter and i'm the prey. that's how i thought about it. he was stalking. that's how i felt. >> he didn't know he was a possible victim. he had no idea until we brought
the pictures in. it was squary. that was really squary. >> strangely, ari who normally didn't wear a beard grew one in the weeks before the murder. >> ari starts to make himself look more like sandy lively. by growing a beard, the two almost looked like twins. >> when sandy agreed to do work for ari, he gave him this extraordinarily detailed job application. >> i have never seen an application that asked for tattoos and what they were of and piercings that i don't see how that would make a difference if i have a piercing if i want to be a carpenter. >> finally, sandy agreed to meet ari at his house, but fortunately for sandy, the meeting never took place. >> i was supposed to go to ari's on a saturday morning. the night before my daughter had a slumber party for her 10th
birthday party and kept me up all night and i overslept. >> a few hours later that same day, prosecutors believed ari grew impatient and called his fall back target, justin newman. justin thought he was there to do free lance construction work. prosecutors think ari used chloroform since there was no evidence of blunt force trauma. ari tripped justin down to his underwear and redressed him in his clothes and shoes. he placed justin under the truck. pumped up the hydraulic jack, and then let it fall, killing
justin instantly. in order to hide the identity of the body. he doused it with more fuel than the filter would have held and used a more flammable accellerant to propel the fire. he wanted it to look like the truck broke the light, creating the spark that ignited the fire, but that's not what caused the fire. the circuit breakers were off so there was no power going to the light. he most likely used a match and the amount of fuel on the body was inconsistent in amount and make up from the fuel held by a truck's fuel filter. ari clearly didn't realize that fire doesn't destroy everything. justin's teeth didn't resemble ari's. clearly proving ari was not the victim. but the case was far from over.
ari squire who tried fake his own death and defraud the insurance company of $5 million was still on the loose. you can now use freeze it to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds. and once you find it, you can switch it right on again. you're back! freeze it, only from discover. get it at discover.com. it begins from the the second we're born.er. after all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself.
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arson fire and faking his own death was money. he was about to turn 40 years old and he could no longer afford to pay his monthly premiums for his life insurance policy and the premiums were about to go up. >> the insurance premiums were $2,000 a year, but they were going to be jumping up to $13,000 a year and he was broke. he didn't have the money. >> investigators found evidence that ari squire's construction company was virtually bankrupt. >> at the time of this incident, the housing boom had crash and people were starting to retract and there was no work. his project down in florida was failing. he was having a lot of financial difficulties. >> to fake his own death, ari squire needed someone who looked like him in height, weight, and
physical appearance. >> he gave me his number and took my number and called me every day and stopped in every day. was pretty persistent. >> when sandy lively failed to show up for the appointment, ari turned to his second choice. dna positively identified that it was justin who perished in the arson fire. >> just the worst feeling i have had in my entire life. he was my best friend and nowadays, i look and i say i can't believe he is not here. >> police assumed ari fled to missouri because that's where he said he was in the text message he sent to justin's mother. police in missouri had been on the look out for justin newman's red sports car. and nine days after the fire, an
alert police officer found it in a motel parking lot. >> the motel is not your typical hotel, but a run down-type of motel. they identified ari squire as the man who rented the room. >> it was registered in the name of justin newman. >> the policeman decided to approach the room without back up and he knew most likely ari would be armed and ready. >> police officer! >> before he could get through the door, a loud gunshot. he walks in and there was a and a gun laying there. >> the victim had justin newman's identification. the same color hair and eyes. but despite the attempt at disguise, dna confirmed the dead man was ari squire.
>> he knew he was in deep, deep -- he took the easy way out because he knew he was going to jail for the rest of his life. >> the thought of being behind bars for the rest of his life, it was not going to happen. in his self-consumed mind he was too cowardly to come back and face the music. own up to what he did. >> donna filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against denise squire for the death of her son, justin and the jury awarded her $6 million. >> i just can't believe he's not here. that man and his wife always had money. it wasn't enough for them. they had to kill a young kid that had his whole going for him. >> a criminal investigation into his possible involvement continues. denise's attorney denies she was involved. >> she knew nothing about the
plan. she knew nothing about the design. she knew nothing about this newman man who is deceased. >> however the e-mails exchanged between ari and denise squire after the fire leave little doubt in the minds of investigators. >> he needed denise involved because they were not going to give the $5 million to him. who were they going to give it to? denise. in order for him to get anything, she would have to be involved. >> ari squire spent months planning the murder, but science had the upper hand in finding the truth. >> the power thcoward that tooky way out after he took the life of a 20-year-old kid. >> forensic dentistry worked. i never have seen a case that took so many turns and so many different directions and it was
the natural signs. you can't by definition, it's science and it works and it's repeatable. it's verifiable. it's accepted. >> up next, a suspicious house fire nearly kills an entire family. >> had she been in there longer, she wouldn't have survived. >> the husband is assaulted and the wife is dead. >> who did this? everyone was in lockdown mode. new lights and sensors had been performed and everyone was on edge. >> police had no witnesses and no motives and no suspects. >> this was a savage brutal attack. until science uncovers an elaborate plan. >> everybody was scratching their heads.