this is "nightline." >> tonight, murder for hire? a college professor gunned down by alleged hitmen. >> he's got blood all over his head. >> who were they working for? policesy it could be his ex-wife's family. >> they're very angry with him. >> undercover video from a sting operation. >> she has the paper, they're walking away. >> are police closing in? >> sometimes it just feels like it's flown by. >> ellen pompeo takes us into the "grey." after 12 seasons her character's life is as racy as ever. are her days off-camera as steamy and dreamy? the leading lady talks motherhood and why she chose to extend her stay at seattle grey's hospital. be our guest!
>> and be our guest as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of "beauty and the beast" along with broadway's biggest stars. don't believe me? ask the dishes. ♪ but first the "nightline 5." ♪ ♪ >> take on any road with intuitive all-wheel drive. the nissan rogue, morano, and pathfinder. get 0% apr for 72 months plus $500 bonus cash. >> num
good evening. thanks for joining us. it's the stuff of hollywood film noir, the suspicious murder of a college professor unraveling to reveal what police say could be a conspiracy involving hitmen. who paid them? could it be the victim's ex in-laws? abc's matt gutman at the scene of the crime. >> reporter: even by florida standards the shooting of law professor dan marquel is a shocker. >> murdered execution-style, shot and killed inside his home -- >> reporter: the intense and driven professor is superstar. a renowned scholar who commanded attention at prestigious legal seminars around the country. >> the sensing issue is distinct from the criminalization question -- >> reporter: after coming back from the gym on the morning of july 18, 2014, gunned down in his garage in this upscale neighborhood. his next-door neighbor calling 911. >> his driver's side window is
shattered. he's spattered and can't answer. he's inside, the car is running, he's got blood all over his head. he's not responding to me. >> reporter: about 15 hours after he is shot, dan markel is pronounced dead. somebody for some reason wanted dan markel did, but who? police didn't have much to go on but one lead. the neighbor who called 911 told them he saw a light-colored car that looked like a prius back out of the driveway and head down the road. >> in tallahassee, a prius and subarus are a dime a dozen. >> reporter: while investigators hunt for that eco-friendly vehicle of interest, they are also digging into every aspect of markel's life. the first person they interview, his ex-wife, wendy adelson. >> who would do this? >> i don't know. >> reporter: like markel, wendy was also a law professor at
florida state. the two had what seemed to be a loving marriage with two beautiful boys. wendy tells police she's innocent. >> my exhusband cause med a lot of grief, but i would never do something like this. >> reporter: in the podcast she recorded after the murder, wendy says her overachieving husband belittled her. >> our marriage dissolved after the children arrived. as the loneliness of being married to someone that didn't view me as an equal crept in. >> reporter: wendy and dan divorced but the conflicts continued. especially over wendy's desire to move with the kids to south florida to be closer to her mother, father, and brother who all work together in their successful cosmetic dentistry practice. markel successfully thwarted that move, further straining his already tense relationship with wendy's family. >> they're very angry with him. but even my family, who felt like i had been mistreated, would never do something like this. never. >> reporter: the cops are
laser-focused on tracking down that mysterious green hybrid, and for many months the case goes cold. finally, after ten months, a break in the case when an enterprising investigator scours videotapes from city buses, and bingo, finds that same green prius on a city bus cam. and look closely. it has a troll transponder inside which led police here to a rental agency that rents mostly hybrids. the rental agreement leads police to these two men. using garcia and rivera's cell phone numbers and that video from the city bus cameras police trace their steps from miami to tallahassee at the time of the murder. and on the morning of markel's murder, the green prius is seen following him from the gym back to his home. police charge rivera and garcia with dan markel's murder.
>> one of the men accused of killing law professor dan markel is behind bars -- >> reporter: it still leaves the obvious question, why would these two men travel 400 miles from miami to tallahassee to kill a man they didn't know? in a stunning twist police say they've linked the two alleged killers to this woman, katherine venua, who was on the adelson family payroll and is the mother of garcia's two children. >> a heck of a coincidence. >> it is a heck of a coincide e coincidence. >> reporter: get this, she's also the girlfriend of charlie adelson, wendy's brother. >> the working theory of the case is that the reason for this homicide was due to the bitter divorce that was ongoing. >> but murdering over a divorce dispute? >> i mean, what's a good reason to commit murder? >> reporter: wendy even mentioned to police that her brother, charlie, had joked about having markel killed. >> it was always his joke, he said, i looked into hiring a hit
man, it was cheaper to get you this tv. it was my divorce present. such a horrible thing to say. >> reporter: the cops are setting up an elaborate sting on wendy adelson's mother, donna, who police suspect could have been in on the plot to kill markel. >> excuse me. mrs. adelson? >> reporter: the bearded man is an undercover agent wearing a body camera. >> you scared me. >> don't be scared. >> reporter: he's posing as the brother of luis rivera, one of those alleged hitmen, pressing donna for payment for services rendered. >> i want to let you know that my brother, he helped your family with this problem you guys had up north, he's going through some rough times and we want to make sure you take care of what he's going through. >> reporter: the response is barely audible. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> this will explain it. thank you. >> she has the paper, they're walking away. >> reporter: inside that envelope, police say is a press
release about dan markel's murder, a phone number, and a demand for $5,000. >> you see the contact, she's heading away, she's crossing the street. >> reporter: to the attorney for garcia, the video proves only that the investigation has become a fishing expedition. >> why else would they do something like this? because they want to catch lightning in a bottle, because they don't have that yet. >> reporter: police counter the ruse worked, the sidewalk squeeze sets off a flurry of jittery phone calls and conversations between adelsons, magbuva, and garcia. they discuss paying the money but never do. they consider something else, getting the mysterious messenger out of the picture permanently, allegedly telling katherine, you better kill him because he's going to be a big problem, if you can't do it, i'll have someone else do it. while police believe they have the goods to prove adelson and
magbenua are responsible for the murder of daniel markel, the prosecutor says it's not good enough. >> i don't have evidence to charge the ed adelsons. i can't go on tv and accuse them of murder without that evidence. >> reporter: at the very least there's probable cause for abc news to ask charlie adelson a few questions. >> dr. adelson? were you involved in a plot to kill dan markel? before the shooting did you ever discuss hiring a hit man? >> reporter: adelson let the back of his mercedes do the talking. lawyers for charlie and his parents have denied any involvement in markel's killing calling the accusations nothing more than fanciful fiction. as for the rest of his family, they declined all of our interview requests. for "nightline," i'm matt gutman in tallahassee, florida. >> our thanks tonight to matt gutman. coming up, ellen pompeo takes us behind the scenes of "grey's anatomy." and later -- ♪ a tale as old as time >> the tale as old as time turns
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it's awesome. amazing! what if i told you, you are eating a jack's brewhouse bacon burger from jack in the box. not this one. absolutely lying. and what if i told you... that i'm jack. whaaaat?!! no way! no! didn't see that coming, did you? porter ale cheese sauce, grilled onions, and bacon on a artisan potato bun. jack's new brewhouse bacon burger, new from jack in the box. hey, where did jack go? he was just here. listen, i'm sure there are plenty of women who fantasize about playing doctor with a dreamy cast of "grey's anatomy." this woman actually gets paid to do it. ellen pompeo has been giving us a healthy dose of drama for 12 seasons. tonight the fictional head of surgery opens up. >> look at this, this is the
emergency entrance. >> yes, this is the emergency entrance, this is the emergency room. over there is where i think the denny dukeette memorial clinic is -- >> reporter: ellen pompeii know's character meredith grey is living a life as racy as ever. her new lover, dr. nathan riggs. >> the end of the last season there was perhaps a new love interest. is meredith ready? is the audience ready? does this sort of put into question, do we get more than one soul mate in life? >> you can have a soul mate in your 20s and you thought he was the greatest guy ever. when you're 40 you're someone completely different and that person is your soul mate for that chapter in your life. >> sometimes it feels like it's flown by. >> reporter: over the years we've watched dr. grey grow from a love-struck intern -- >> that was amazing. >> reporter: to the confident head of general surgery. >> i get to be smart. i get to be funny. i get to driverry story.
>> reporter: fans have seen grey through love and loss. from near-death experiences -- to that shocking car crash that took the life of her romantic soul mate on the show, neurosurgeon dr. derek shepherd. >> it's okay. you go. >> reporter: mcdreamy's demise left many thinking the show would tank but it's hotter than ever, attracting a new generation of fans, making it abc's most popular drama. >> what do you think the secret to the success is? >> i think that social media and digital streaming and all of that has helped it tremendously. also the older viewers who have been with us since the beginning, i think the change is precisely what makes them stay with the show. >> reporter: there's no change in store for pompeo, who decided years ago that staying put was a smart career move. she was headed to movie stardom, snagging roles in "catch me if
you can" and "old school." she didn't land her big tv breakthrough in "grey's" until she was 33. three years later her contract was up for renegotiation. >> if i go, i'm 36. i have to go out into the landscape and try to get jobs. and deal with am i good enough, am i pretty enough, am i smart enough, am i talented enough, all this -- >> am i young enough? >> yeah, am i young enough. at that point you have to delineate your ego from everything. >> it seems as though there aren't as many media role forth women of a certain age. >> we're starting to see that change now. but not dramatically enough. >> when you age on television, what makes it so hard? >> your ego. to see your skin doesn't look the same. >> but you are the sort of poster child for aging gracefully. you don't want to cover up every flaw or wrinkle that cops your way. >> i think as an actor, flaws ar necessity. nobody's perfect. and i'm not and i'm okay with
that. >> there's something glorious about aging too. >> yeah, there's something -- the wisdom that you get. really all you have in your youth is your look when looks fade what are you left with? >> hopefully a fantastic character, an integrity, a soul and compassion. you still have all the things that whoever put us on this planet intended us to be. >> reporter: pompeo grew up in the working-class suburb of everett, massachusetts. she tragically lost her mother at the aim of 4. how has that informed the way you play meredith and the way you parent? >> it's informed my whole life. i am incredibly in touch with my emotions. i have a level of compassion and empathy that's debilitating sometimes. >> reporter: she draws on that experience when she portrays meredith gray, who also lost her mother. >> you're anything but ordinary, meredith. >> reporter: and it even shapes the way she parents. >> i'm probably a little
overprotective, a little overbearing. i tell my daughter how amazing she is probably a little too much. >> reporter: she and her husband, music producer chris ivory, are raising two children. >> i'm raising biracial kids. >> as am i. >> as are you. what, if any, special lesson do you impart to your children? >> i don't necessarily speak to my children about race. i just make sure that they have friends of all ethnicities. >> mommy? why did aunt meggy stop having sex? >> how does your parenting differ from meredith's parenting? >> i don't think meredith is really a parent, i think meredith is like, i don't know, the kids are in the basement or something, i don't know where they are. couldn't be more different. >> in what way? i don't drink. very rarely. i might have a margarita once in a while. but yeah, i don't drink the way meredith --fy drank, i wouldn't drink out of the bottle. i think i'd pour it in a glass.
i don't have sex in cars. >> you mind moving this tail wagon? >> if i were not married and i met -- i'd probably find a bed somewhere. >> reporter: the one thing she and her character do have in common is the fact that they're both working moms. >> we lean on each other. that's not a sign of weakness or bad parenting if that's where you're going with this. it takes a village and we have a village. >> at some point there is a world for ellen pompeo beyond "grey's." >> personally i'd rather conquer something i haven't, like producing, which is very challenging. really, really challenging. but i got to beat it, i got to get it. >> reporter: if she's at all like meredith grey, you can't count her out. and the drama continues on "grey's anatomy" season 13 which premieres this thursday. up next, that beauty belle turns 25. time flies, huh? ♪
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finally, every candlestick's favorite movie celebrating a beautiful mile stone. >> bonjour! >> reporter: a tale as old as time that's turned out to be timeless. "beauty and the beast" released 25 years ago. to celebrate, our corporate cousins at disney brought together their best. robert lopez. kristen anderson lopez. steven schwartz. lin-manuel irmiranda. all gathered around the piano with the master. >> "beauty and the beast" is a master class in musical theater. >> a musical theater on steroids. >> reporter: an animated movie that looked totally different.
>> the scene in the bat room where they're dancing, the camera shoots through the shand lower and we thought, oh, that's in "frozen." >> reporter: and it sounded different too. alan mankin and howard ashman reimagined animated movies as musical theater. >> howard and i were writing belle. and it was morphing into this six-minute opening number. howard said, we want send this. we sent and it the reaction was, oh my god! >> reporter: with all of the classic songs in the film, we were surprised this group could agree on a favorite. >> the most impressive thing in the movie was the song "gaston." ♪ yes i'm intimidating ♪ as you see i've got biceps to spare ♪ >> what do you think is the legacy of "beauty and the beast"? >> it's so fully about love and
to prove how authentic my new brewhouse bacon burger is i'm going undercover, at an actual brewhouse. it's awesome. amazing! what if i told you, you are eating a jack's brewhouse bacon burger from jack in the box. not this one. absolutely lying. and what if i told you... that i'm jack. whaaaat?!! no way! no! didn't see that coming, did you? porter ale cheese sauce, grilled onions, and bacon on a artisan potato bun. jack's new brewhouse bacon burger, new from jack in the box.