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tv   Death Row Stories  CNN  July 4, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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what happens. >> ready? >> all right. >> thank you. >> thank you. y'all take care. -- captions by vitac -- on this episode of "death row stories" -- >> you'd like to think that upstanding citizens aren't going to suffer torture and murder in their own home. >> after a brutal murder, detectives accuse a woman with no criminal record. >> he said we will break you. >> until the mother of an american hero puts her all into a fight for freedom. >> i knew she wasn't guilty. i thought it should be obvious to anybody. >> when i saw that, my jaw dropped. >> this is one of the most egregious cases i have ever seen. >> there's a body in the water.
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>> he was butchered and murdered. >> many people proclaim their innocence. in this case, there are a number of things that stink. >> this man is remorseless. >> he needs to pay for it with his life. >> the electric chair flashed in front of my eyes. >> get a conviction at all costs. let the truth fall where it may. >> december 9th, 1981, little broke the afternoon quiet in the sacramento's rosemont neighborhood. then, at this modest home on rosewood avenue, there was a knock on the door. ann davies was in the kitchen. his wife grace checked out the window and opened the door for a repairman. >> he said ma'am, we've got some kind of report about your phone and we'd like to look into it, and she says okay, well, come on in. >> he went to the telephone and
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then turned around and pointed a gun at she and her husband. he then hogtied them, put blankets over their heads so they couldn't see. >> grace davies heard a second man enter her home. >> the perpetrators were screaming where's the silver? where's the gold? >> ed davies was an amateur coin collector, but he had never told his wife about the trove of precious metals he had hidden in their home. now, he refused to tell the robbers. >> and then one of the perpetrators put a knife to her neck and said, if you don't tell us where the gold is, we'll kill her. so mr. davies told them where the silver was and the gold. >> for hours grace listened as the strangers dug in the garage. >> then one of the men walked back into the kitchen and grace
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was confronted with an unfamiliar sound. >> she heard a ping and then she felt her husband's legs kind of like quivering on her legs. >> and then grace heard a similar sound and probably didn't realize it, but the sound was the bullet hitting her head. >> against all odds, the elderly woman regained consciousness hours later. >> someone had re-entered the house. >> grace didn't move. she was half in shock and half just lying still hoping they would go away. she could tell her husband was moving and then she heard another gunshot and then she didn't feel her husband moving at all. >> terrified and bleeding, grace eventually freed her hands and tried to dial 911. only to find the line had been cut. she dragged herself to the couch and collapsed.
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♪ >> in the morning early, all of a sudden the tv just comes blaring on. >> it woke her up. and so she crawled outside on her hands and knees. >> a shocked commuter found grace bloodied and unconscious. miraculously, the 76-year-old woman would survive. police arrived and discovered ed davies' lifeless body. >> you'd like to think that upstanding citizens aren't going to suffer that kind of torture and murder in their own home. >> detectives found no fingerprints at the scene but they did learn ed had recently bought two bags of silver at the allied coin shop owned by a man named virgil fletcher. estimated value, $27,000.
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>> who knew that? what's the connection? how did somebody know that this large cache of silver was in the home? >> during an unrelated arrest days later, a local criminal told detectives who might have done the davies job. >> that was gary masse and stephen desantis. they were well-known thieves, ne'er-do-wells, thugs. they'd been in and out of custody for various crimes. >> i don't think the police were at all surprised. >> stephen was an angry young guy that just didn't know how to make a living other than robbing people. gary is unstable. he was a regular drug addict who had more ins into the criminal element. and the first thing the police did was go after gary masse and stephen desantis. >> police launched a manhunt but for days came up empty-handed. meanwhile, grace davies recovered and told police that a
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suspicious woman had come to her door a week before the robbery. police now believed there was a third conspirator, and their suspicions were confirmed when joanne masse, wife of suspect gary masse, appeared one day at the sheriff's department. >> joanne was not a dumb woman. if you're the one to get the information, you're the one to get the better deal. the first thing she said was say my husband was involved. but stephen desantis fired the shots. >> sheriffs demanded to talk to gary and joanne promised she would bring him in. but detectives also wanted to know how gary and stephen had learned about ed davies' treasure. >> joanne came up with gloria. >> she said a woman named gloria helped plan the robbery. >> gary is completely innocent, and it is gloria and stephen desantis who are totally responsible. >> the new suspect was gloria killian, a 35-year-old divorcee and law student.
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gloria was renting a room from virgil fletcher, the owner of allied coin, when she saw the davies murder reported on tv. >> i said, oh, my god, that's horrible. that poor woman had actually lived and crawled out onto the street and all those horrible things happened to her. it was awful. >> a week later, gloria was helping out at her boyfriend's auto body shop when police came calling. >> we didn't happen to have a customer scheduled then. so we were going to close for lunch and have sex. we got everything locked up. you know, i'm busy taking my shirt off, and there comes a knock on the door. >> four sheriffs come to the door and they say we want to talk to gloria killian. >> i was mortified. >> they said, will you come down and talk to us? i said sure, no problem. >> they were taking gloria to be questioned as the robbery's alleged mastermind. >> as we're walking out the gate, little miss big mouth goes -- >> you have the worst timing. i always get caught.
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>> they fell into a kind of formation. they've got one guy behind me, one guy beside of me, and one guy kind of leading me. and i'm thinking, this is really strange. >> within days, gloria would be facing the death penalty. i'm reworking the menu. mayo, corn dogs... you are so out of here! ahh... the complete balanced nutrition of great tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein... and 26 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in. dominique wilkins,ople, likare taking charge of famer ...with non-insulin of their tvictoza.abetes... for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal.
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at by now, if you haven't heard about the latest sale ♪ music playing it's because you're willfully ignoring me. ♪ music playing book now and save during the fourth of july sale at on december 16th, 1981, sheriffs brought gloria killian in for questioning. >> we are investigating the death of ed davies. we want to talk to you in regard to that. >> gloria thought she would be asked about her landlord, virgil
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fletcher, owner of allied coin. >> the man that was murdered was a coin collector. gloria thought she was being brought down to give them information about virgil. >> but detectives suspected gloria of orchestrating the deadly home robbery. >> then they just started attacking me. >> you are 234 in trouble. >> we have been talking to a lot of people. your name has come up. >> in what regard? >> that's what i wanted you to tell me. >> we know you planned this. we know that you know everything that happened. and i just went, huh? >> detectives believed gloria had coaxed information from virgil about ed davies' hidden treasure. >> they asked her questions. do you know ed davies? and she says, i don't think so. well, have you been to his house? her response is, well, if i don't know him, i don't think i've been to his house. >> i have a tendency to be a little flip when i'm nervous. >> gloria also insisted she had never met alleged perpetrators
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gary masse or stephen desantis. >> i had no idea what they were talking about. i couldn't figure out why they thought i had set this up. >> there is a distinction between being cooperative and being honest. >> you aren't being honest. >> i can't tell you what i don't know. >> the more i said i didn't know, the angrier it made them. one of them spent the time just staring at me, staring in my eyes. but i still didn't have anything to tell them. >> after two hours, detectives had had enough. >> they stood up and said you're under arrest for the murder of edward davies. everything just started to narrow in front of me. and it was almost like, what i could hear were echos. but i couldn't really hear what they were saying. >> you don't want to take a polygraph. is that what you're saying? >> i'm saying am i being arrested? >> no, we asked you to give us a specific answer. >> i don't want to answer any more questions if i'm being arrested. >> whatever is wrong with these fools, i am not talking to them anymore. that made them really mad.
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>> a detective handcuffed gloria for the trip to county jail. >> he said, you are going someplace that no nice little white girl like you has ever been. and we will break you. >> gloria killian was not the usual suspect. a year earlier, gloria was on her way to becoming a lawyer. no mean feat for a 35-year-old wife and stepmother who never attended college. >> all her life, she had loved the law. she studied at home for the law boards and scored incredibly high. >> i was married at the time. i was bored out of my skull. i absolutely totally believed in the law. and they accepted me. >> but gloria's personal life disrupted her law school career. >> she got into a dreadfully difficult love affair. she was married. he was married. >> gloria divorced to be with her lover but the relationship soon turned ugly.
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>> i had to get away from him. it was screwing up my grades, it was screwing up every single thing. and i needed to just get out of there for a while. >> it has been said that she took a leave of absence. she didn't take a leave of absence. she dropped out. she didn't have a place to live. she didn't have a husband and she didn't have any money. >> i was literally looking for friends which is how i met the people that i shouldn't have met. >> one of gloria's new best friends was a 60-year-old woman named niva snyder. >> i really became very fond of niva. i probably was looking for a mother because she was that much older. what i d re i didn't realize, because i didn't have a scrap of street sense was that there was someone involved in the drug trade. >> neva snyder dealt methamphetamine. gloria succumbed to temptation. >> as someone who hadn't the faintest idea that it was okay to express her feelings, i think self-medication was the answer.
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a pill here, a pill there, some powder. i don't know know, fine. >> that was the criminal element where that little area hung out. neva snyder's house. gloria got herself involved with the wrong crowd. >> the regulars at the house included gary and joanne masse. the day after gloria was arrested, gary finally turned himself in. >> gary was known to use a lot of valium. and he mixed it with street drugs including heroin. and he was catatonic. >> gary refused to answer questions. but his wife had already confessed for him and implicated gloria. two days later with gunman stephen desantis still on the run, gary and gloria were arraigned together in a capital murder case. >> the electric chair flashed in front of my eyes. there is something about hearing the word death. that really does take you to another plain.
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>> gloria was held without bail for four months. when she finally got a hearing to determine if prosecutors could proceed to trial, she was shocked to see the judge. >> there's her former legal professor presiding over a case where she is facing the death penalty. >> judge sheldon grossfelt, my family law professor. it was just mortifying. >> but judge grossfelt soon lost patience with the prosecution. >> they couldn't proceed to trial. there was no evidence. and so, of course, it was dismissed. >> even as gloria stepped out into the street as a free woman, she felt uneasy. >> i had this weird feeling. i would say it was like some sort of internal dread. and i tried really hard to get rid of it but i couldn't. >> just one year later, gloria would be arrested for the murder of ed davies again.
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one year after the murder of ed davies, alleged gunman stephen desantis was still a fugitive. his partner gary masse went on trial for murder. >> gary's trial lasted very, very short time, and he was found guilty almost immediately. >> gary admitted that he was part of the scheme. and under the aiding and abetting laws in california, he was guilty. >> gary was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.
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he didn't see it coming. >> a lot of people feel that it went beyond where i wanted it to go. i didn't do the shooting. everyone will realize i'm not guilty of murder, and they have no clue that they are standing on that railroad track and a train of guilt is about to run them right over. >> when the reality of his sentence hit, gary quickly requested a meeting with police. >> gary tells the sheriff's department, i want to talk now if you're willing to listen. he wanted a reduced sentence, and he didn't want to be known as being a snitch. he thought he would get a knife in the back. and he wanted immunity for his wife. >> but why would gary masse's wife joann need immunity? the answer would only emerge months later in the halls of the local courthouse. a grandmother named elizabeth lee spotted joanne masse and rushed to find a court officer. >> she said, i just solved my case.
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they're the people right there, and she pointed to gary and his wife. >> lee had also been the victim of a home invasion, and just like grace davies, lee said a suspicious woman had come to her door. she was now certain it was joanne masse. the assistant d.a. was in the courthouse, but his reaction was not what lee expected. >> they hustled around the courthouse saying, we can't have this. that was the end of it. >> just as gary masse had requested, the prosecutor turned a blind eye to joanne's alleged crimes. he also moved gary to a new prison under an assumed name. and a reduced sentence? that would be decided at a later date. >> and then gary became the chief witness for the prosecution. >> gary masse says, gloria killian is the one who gave me the information. gloria killian told him about
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the davies and went with him to the house a week or so before. >> gary now painted gloria as the crime's mastermind. unfazed by the murder, gloria had called gary afterwards to demand her take. one year after she was released, sheriffs arrived at gloria's work again. >> now because of what gary is saying, they can arrest gloria again. >> when they start unsnapping their holsters, this is not the time to discuss it. >> again, gloria was locked away without bail. the death penalty looming over her. >> i had terrible nightmares. i'm in a prison and i can't get out. someone is chasing me. you don't know who. i was afraid. >> but in late 1983, a california supreme court ruling changed everything. people charged as accomplices to
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murder could no longer face execution. >> the death penalty is off the table. and that was that. >> and since she doesn't get the death penalty, she is allowed to be out on bail. >> gloria was eligible for bail, but there were objections from the new prosecutor on her case. an assistant d.a. named kit cleland. >> kit cleland was far more emotional than the first prosecutor. he was just angry and very sarcastic. you know, she's a murderer, she's a killer. she's going to run, and cleland seemed to feel he was the avenging angel of god. >> the judge didn't buy it. >> look. did you pull her off an international flight? did you catch her running down the road? and cleland went no, not exactly. and the judge said, you know what? she's out on $25,000 bail and you can leave her alone. >> gloria was free on bail for almost two years.
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but waiting for her day in court proved to be an emotional roller coaster. >> i would go from thinking they will never convict me of something i didn't do to thinking they're going to send me away for a million years. i did everything i could to avoid it. there was no way that i could even cope with the idea. >> shutting herself off, gloria missed some critical developments. the fbi discovered stephen desantis holed up in texas. he went on trial in 1985. >> i acted as if it had nothing to do with me at all. i should have been studying the daily transcript of it. i would have known that stephen desantis said he never heard of me, never saw me in my life. >> the star witness against stephen desantis was gary masse. the jury found desantis guilty of murder and sentenced him to death. gary would next testify at
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four years after ed davies was killed, gloria killian went on trial as the heist's
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mastermind. the prosecutor called coin dealer virgil fletcher who once told police that his tenant, gloria, plied him for information about davies. >> virgil didn't directly say that gloria killian was involved but she had talked to him about wanting to meet mr. davies and does he date younger women, will he go out on his wife, so she had an interest. >> virgil said i was asking about mr. davies. but i didn't know the davies. i didn't know they had money. i didn't know they shopped at allied coins. >> and under oath, virgil seemed hesitant to implicate gloria. prosecutor kit cleland also called grace davies to the stand wanting the widow to identify gloria as the suspicious woman who came to the door. >> grace davies was 80 years old with a bullet in her head. she had five or six times been
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unable to identify gloria as the woman who came to the door. and i think she finally said, well, it could be. >> despite these struggles, cleland did not call joanne masse to implicate gloria. joann was now suspected of committing similar robberies with her husband. so the case came down to cleland's star witness, gary masse. >> gloria is almost relieved. they're not going to take the word of a career criminal over me. that would make no sense. >> the jurors are instructed, they don't have to believe gary masse. and they listened and they found him to be credible. >> masse testified that he met gloria at niva snyder's house and she recruited him to rob the davies. >> gary masse says, we went here, we went there, and i did it with gloria killian. >> and masse was hard to cross-examine. >> because it was a conspiracy case, they didn't have to prove anything, gloria actually did
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which made it very hard for the defense to discredit him. >> gary masse was so loaded during this crime. so he got around an awful lot of it by saying, i don't remember, i don't recall. it is all very hazy. it was like trying to fight your way through a bunch of cobwebs. >> gloria took the stand still insisting she didn't know the robbers or the victims. cleland hammered away at gloria's credibility starting with her first statement to police, i always get caught. >> we were just about to lock up and make love. that's why i said that. you can believe that if you want. some of her explanations were pretty incredible. >> cleland also confronted gloria with suspicious notes discovered in her date book. >> they found three or four pages that really caught their attention. she always looking out window. grace davies testified, i never open that front door unless i
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would see who is there. and then don't approach at coin shop. okay. now it sounds like someone casing the davies themselves. and the question, where garage, that would be where the silver is that the perpetrators are looking for. that's frankly damning to miss killian. >> gloria explained that during law school she moonlighted serving subpoenas. >> i had a lot of one, two-word notes. i had descriptions of houses. 30 miles out of town in elk grove or next door. >> she had pages and pages of all kinds of information. the police pulled a few pages out as evidence, but it is evidence of nothing. >> cleland argued repeatedly that gloria was less credible than gary masse. masse could be believed, he insisted, because there had been no deal made for his testimony.
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>> there was no deal. he said it a dozen times. >> the prosecution said masse had not been promised that he would receive any benefit. but he hoped that he would get a benefit. >> mr. masse was hoping if i tell the truth, that judge has to give me something. but we never made any kind of deal with him. >> two days later, the jury returned its verdict. guilty of murder in the first degree. gloria was sentenced to 32 to life. >> i just wanted to scream at this jury. are you crazy? how could you do this? how can you possibly believe this? and then they took me away. i lost every single thing that i ever had. but i convinced myself that as long as i could do something to
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help somebody, that it wasn't just an entire waste of my life. >> in prison, gloria used her legal training to write appeals for fellow inmates and even an article that helped expand battered women's rights. but gloria had no luck on her own case. the state court summarily rejected her appeal. gloria lost all hope. >> i could not understand how i could be so betrayed by everything i believed in. by the law, by the judicial system. how could i have been so betrayed? i didn't think i was going to make it. >> but in 1992, after six years behind bars, gloria received a visit that would change her life.
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>> part of my training was, never ask an inmate why she is there. the best thing to do is to just sit and listen. they need someone to talk to usually. >> joyce is the mother of sally ride, the first american woman in space. joyce had devoted herself to women behind bars and started visiting gloria to discuss battered women. they never spoke about gloria's case. >> joyce is very reserved, and gloria is very reserved. they're both norwegian, so it is basically two trees talking to each other for a year. >> after a year of getting to know her, i finally said, why are you here? >> it was surprising to me that she would care. nobody -- nobody cared what happened to me. so i told her. i told her the whole thing. >> after all these years, i'm a pretty good judge of people.
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people generally believe if a person is in prison, she deserves to be there. that's not necessarily the case. >> joyce sent private investigator darryl carlson to visit gloria. >> she said i don't want you doing this. she said, i've had enough of this for the last few years. i don't want it anymore. i can't handle it. >> i think she didn't want to get her hopes up needlessly. and she didn't want to see me waste my money. i did have some inheritance money from my father which i went through rather quickly. i just thought it was worth the expense. >> over gloria's objections, joyce hired carlson who soon found a note in the case files revealing cleland's unorthodox relationship with his star witness, gary masse. >> you don't take a suspect in a murder case home for conjugal visits and chicken and dumpling dinners without handcuffs.
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it seemed like gary was being nudged into things. >> but in order to get a new trial for gloria, carlson would need clear evidence that cleland had struck a deal and he deceived the jury. >> it took a long time. they were closing doors and he had to make enemies in the sacramento courts before that letter showed up. >> what carlson found was a letter that had been sealed from the public, a letter to masse's sentencing judge. >> when i saw that, my jaw dropped.
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gloria killian had been languishing in prison for eight years when an investigator found evidence discrediting kit cleland and his star witness gary masse. >> he found a letter to masse's sentencing judge that asked for leniency in the sentence. it was concrete proof that there was a deal being made before gary got to testify in gloria's trial. >> with new evidence emerging, gloria became less reluctant to accept help. >> i said, is it all right if i hire a lawyer? and she said, it would be all right. the thought of getting out was in her dreams again. >> joyce brought the letter to bill genego, a top appeal lawyer. >> it was a quid pro quo from
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the beginning. gary doesn't implicate gloria, then they're not going to support a reduction in his sentence. simple as that. i was very excited but certainly no guarantee we were going to win. >> while it was clear prosecutor cleland had hidden the deal genego still had to prove gary masse had lied on the stand. he got help from an unexpected source. two lawyers appointed to appeal gunman stephen desantis' death sentence. >> it seemed to us that we should know as much about this as the district attorney knew, and there was resistance. >> after a protracted court battle, a judge required cleland to open his files. >> we sat there and went through the boxes. we were not allowed to take anything out of the room. i remember looking at this letter and thinking to myself, i can't believe they left this in the file for us to find. >> whoa! here we had it in writing. and it was so clearly
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exculpatory. >> i remember burying it in a pile of other things that we wanted them to copy for us. >> right in the middle. >> right. >> yeah. >> it was a letter from gary masse to kit cleveland. there was a verbal agreement, it read. i gave you desantis and killian. i even lied my ass off on the stand for you people. desantis' lawyers took the letter to gloria. >> we knew nothing of this. it was all concealed. from us. >> i lie my ass off in court for you. that was kind of a bombshell. >> they knew that they would have to give me a new trial. they would never let that stand. >> gloria's team presented their case to the california supreme court, but they received a one-word reply, denied. the next stop would be federal court and genego now knew he
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must do more than cast doubt on the prosecution's case. >> you've got to present an alternative explanation about how this could have occurred if gloria wasn't involved. >> cleland had argued that gloria pried information from coin shop operator virgil fletcher and used it to orchestrate the heist. >> they were able to make it seem as if gloria was the link between virgil fletcher and gary masse. and if it wasn't her, how else was this going to happen? >> well, gary lee smith was the missing piece. >> the people i dealt with, a few other folks and that sort of thing. >> small time sacramento criminal gary lee smith was recruited first to rob the davies. >> an individual approached me, had some information about the value of the things in the davies house. he told me where the gold and silver would be located. >> but smith wondered whether davies would resist. >> what happens if this guy doesn't agree to this?
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because i mean he's not going to want anybody coming in and taking his stuff. well, we'll just shoot him. i certainly knew that i didn't want to be involved in anything like that. the davies are innocent people. they could have been my grandparents. it just wasn't right. >> before gloria's trial, smith approached prosecutor cleland and told them he had been recruited by a man named bob hoard. hoard, a convicted felon was neva's son and had connections to virgil fletcher. but cleland never arrested bob hoard. instead he pressed smith to tell him about gloria killian. >> i told them i didn't know her. they said, what was her involvement? i said, none that i know of. >> it should have caused them to re-evaluate their case but they had already made up their minds about what happened here, and
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they were filtering out information that was inconsistent with that which happens all the time. >> they took the information and then that's the last i heard of it. >> for smith's story to help gloria, genego would need to find and convince him to testify in open court. all for a woman he had never met. >> gary lee smith had completely turned his life around and really had no reason to come forward and admit that he was a criminal 20 years ago. >> he asked me if i would come in and testify at her hearing. and i thought, my gosh. i certainly don't want any repercussions or anything. ♪ [ male announcer ] you wouldn't ignore signs of damage in your home. are you sure you're not ignoring them in your body? even if you're treating your crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, an occasional flare may be a sign of damaging inflammation. and if you ignore the signs,
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there has got to be a way to redeem our hotel points. i just want to take a vacation. this seems crazy. oh really? tell us something we don't know, captain obvious. ok. with, when you collect 10 nights you get one free. oh. so you only need to know how to count to 10 to earn a free night at places like that nudist resort. yeah i don't know how that got there. because you stayed there, took a selfie and hung it prominently on the wall. hm? they won't judge your life choices.
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after 13 years behind bars, gloria killian would get another day in court. federal judge gregory hallos agreed to hear new evidence and determine if she had received a fair trial. gary lee smith decided to come forward. he testified that bob hoard, not gloria, had recruited him for the robbery. >> i had to take off work. it seemed inconsequential really. because this gal's life is involved. >> he said somebody else did it. that was the first time i kind of got any complete picture of it.
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i was just amazed. >> but the star witness was gary masse. this time, he would testify for gloria. >> gary masse was very upset at the prosecution. because he felt as if he had been misled. >> gary masse said, they promised me no more than 12 years and it would be in a federal prison and i would get drug treatment. i got none of that stuff. >> now, gary masse was ready to come clean about perjuring himself at gloria's trial. >> i read passages of his testimony at the trial and i said, was that the truth or was that a lie? he said, that was a lie. that's exactly what i wanted to get from him. >> all of the sudden, the judge decides to question gary masse himself. >> that's almost a challenge the way masse saw it. is everything you said on the witness stand a lie? what's your response going to be? no, not everything. >> masse told the judge a whole new story. gloria was involved, but only as a pawn of the real master minds and eventually masse cut her out
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of the deal. but after masse was convicted he told cleland what he wanted to hear, that gloria planned the crime. >> the testimony completely changes. yeah, yeah, she might have been involved in the beginning but really, she had nothing to do with it. >> that's not unusual for witnesses to hedge but gary masse never came off the point that gloria killian told him about the davies and that she went with him to the house a week or so before. >> so he is trustworthy? gary masse says to the judge, i lied on the stand. straight up. the conviction is invalid but that's not the way the evidentiary hearing turned out. >> judge hollows ruled that gary's perjuries amounted to harmless error. masse's deal, he wrote, had not been concealed since the jury could have inferred it. he denied gloria's appeal.
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>> when he said he still thought she was guilty, i thought, you are not a good judge. why are you here? >> six judges had ruled against gloria. joyce was out of money. their last chance was the ninth circuit appeals court which had reversed just one such ruling in the past decade. >> this was the last step in the process. we had lost all along the way. but this was her life. that's a huge responsibility and one that anyone would take seriously. >> now, working without pay, genago submitted the appeal to the ninth circuit's three-judge panel led by judge michael hawkins. >> i was the united states attorney for four years. i prosecuted plenty of cases myself. they are not entitled to a perfect trial. they are entitled to a reasonably fair trial, the defendants in criminal proceedings are. >> a year after filing, genago made a 15-minute oral argument to the court.
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then they waited. on march 10th, 2000, gloria was busy advising other inmates. she had been behind bars for 14 years. >> somebody came running over and said, you're still here. i said, what are you talking about? she handed me the article from the "l.a. times." and that's how i knew. gloria, you're going home. that was the only time i cried. >> i was just glad to hear it finally. what i had known for a long time. >> finally the 9th circuit looks at what happens and says, this is one of the most egregious cases i have ever seen. >> judge hawkins overruled the district court. masse's perjury wasn't harmless.
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>> the make or break witness. if you have reason not to believe him, then you have some lack of confidence in the jury verdict. >> the testimony of a thoroughly discredited perjuror, that's what they said. we would say he is a [ bleep ] liar. >> cleveland also should have disclosed his deal with masse. >> gary masse should have been confronted with the fact that he really did have a deal with the prosecution. in a fair proceeding, a jury should hear it all. >> together, hawkins wrote, "these errors were devastating to confidence in the process." still, prosecutor cleland fought the ruling all the way to the supreme court without success. six months later, gloria was freed. in a rare step, the state bar eventually admonished cleland for hiding evidence. >> the state of california finally stood up and said, this is not right.
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>> the d.a.'s office chose not to retry gloria but cleland insisted that he had not a scintilla of doubt about her conviction. >> gloria likes to say, she is exonerated. she is factually innocent. no. there were some mistakes but gloria killian was involved and i would still suggest that the blood of ed davies is on her hands. i think she could do a lot better by saying, i was trying to make a quick buck like all the other people at neva's house and i would not do that again. that would make me respect her a little bit more than i do at this point. >> i have a short response to that. try the case. shut up and try the case. okay? if you've got proof, go to court. prove it. if you don't, move on to the next case. be a man. >> our legal system is constructed on the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty. so unless you've been proven
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guilty of something, you are innocent, whether you say that she is not guilty, innocent or exonerated, that's just the right way to think about it. >> gloria was finally free, but she had nowhere to go. all of her relatives had died while she was in prison. so i said, i have a three-bedroom house. she is easy to get along with. so am i. >> thirty years ago, gloria was vulnerable to unscrupulous criminals or zealous prosecutors, because she was alone. >> gloria didn't have people. she didn't have money. she was easy prey. now she's got people. she has devoted her life to helping the women that she left behind. >> i want to change the criminal justice system until it is fair. and i don't ever ever want anybody to go through what i went through. it is not right. it has to be fair.
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-- captions by vitac -- i want him dead. >> you didn't take the time to think their life was -- >> important to somebody else. i didn't have no association with them. to me their life wasn't nothing. >> in 1993, nathan dunlap killed four people at a chuck e. cheese's restaurant just outside of denver, colorado. he was sentenced to death. >> he is remorseless, as he talks about his murderous decision-making. >> does it bother you that they're dead, nathan? >> no. >> he killed four people.


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