tv Dateline Extra MSNBC July 31, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PDT
>> a pair of church-going grandparents. >> there was no way it was supposed to end like this. >> she took me by the hand and said sugar and charlie having murdered. >> the former church deacon and his wife. >> they were loved by everyone. >> everyone maybe but their own daughter who admitted to a bitter simmering dispute. >> it has been a long family feud. >> she needed her father and mother dead so she could get her property back. >> you have the victim's blood on your shoe. >> no hair, no fingerprint, no dna. >> a family gripped by suspicion. zbli h >> i had a lot of people saying she did it. >> this cannot be happening.
welcome to dateline extra. . it because feud of epic proportions, a daughter battling her demons and her mother and father for control of a million-dollar property. police began to wonder how far bambi bennett would go to get what was hers. they followed evidence deep inside the family's dispute but unmasking the murder would prove far more complicated. here is dennis murphy with the deed. >> the old barn is in shambles now. fields so lush and productive gone to see.
the farmhouse empty. time was the farmland was some of south carolina's finest. bambi's created a legacy for generations to come. >> my granddaddy belt that. >> so it was tobacco property? >> uh-huh. he did farming and tobacco. >> it is as deep as the old oak tree draped in mass that still stands in the backyard. they say land is worth dying for because it's the only thing that lasts. in this case a beautiful piece of land turned out to be nothing but trouble. this is where bambi bennett's family was rip aid part by an act of cruel, unspeakable
violence. ba bambi was there. >> we had a huge yard. >> you're a country girl? >> uh-huh. >> she endured heart ache at a tender age. mom remarried and a few years later came the terrible day she'll never forget. >> my daddy and granddaddy passedpas passed away on the same day. >> it was a bewildering and sudden di. so much sudden loss that bambi paid no attention to her grandfather and father's wills. she had been left all of the homestead to be held in trust until she turned 18.
not long after bambi inherited the farm her stepdad moved the family onto the property. bambi called him daddy. >> we always had fish fries and oyster roast. >> you called him daddy? >> uh-huh. i always called him daddy. >> he was a deacon at church. he started a small business selling and installing glass, her mom worked as secretary in the public schools. they were a respected econom-- >> they loved their ain't die achb an. >> she would go and make sure
you were meal orlan warm. >> her biggest thing was she wanted to make sure her kids were protected and their hearts were protected. >> and her daughter bambi would need that. >> married to her high school sweetheart and divorced after a few months. by the time she was 24 she had another failed marriage and was struggling as single mom trying to raise two boys, cody and nathan. it had to be tough. >> yes. >> bambi started popping painkillers. >> the old story, huh? >> yes. i liked the way it made me feel. >> she was hooked on pills and sitting on a piece of land worth a small forchutune.
>> she decided to intervene before another husband got half the property. >> momma said if you put it in my name it will be protected. >> she signed the deed and she sent over her heart. sending her kids to be raised by their grandparents. >> she wanted to take care of them. she loved them. >> bambi agreed at the time the boys were better off. >> they were very loving. they spoiled us to death. >> how about you? >> they were the most loving individuals i ever met in my life. my grandmother is the most sweet woman and everybody says so. >> bambi tried to get her own life back on life. she metric, a new hire at
charlie's glass company. >> i have always liked the bad boy image, i guess. he had the goatee and shaved head. we had a good time together. >> was it a serious relationship? >> yes, it was. >> rick confronted bambi about her demons. >> i told her if she wanted to be in a relationship she had to do something about the bills. >> she and rick found a home in myrtle beach. after a long strulg sggle she w waed raed di to get on her feet. >> charlie and diane agreed reluctantly, to let the boys move in with bambi and rick. >> momma was concerned. >> did she want to hold onto the
boys? >> she said she would like for them to continue to stay with her. >> she thought bambi couldn't catch a break. >> everybody pretty much treated b bambi had. >> the issues were simmering into an angry family drama. a few weeks after the boys were turned over it happened. it was april 12th, a tuesday morning bambi called her mom, no answer. one of the barn plois went up to the house to look for him. >> 911. >> she is laying on the floor and there's blood ever where. >> blood everywhere? >> yes. >> an appalling site. the old farmhouse they loved so well was now a crime scene.
>> coming up, charlie and diane parker lying dead in their home own. an investigation begins. some small stray drops after blood might provide a huge clue. >> it appeared someone involved in the crime was a bleeder. >> it is great evidence. >> it is if you can match it up. using 60,000 points from my chase ink card i bought all the fruit... veggies... and herbs needed to create a pop-up pick-your-own juice bar in the middle of the city, so now everyone knows... we have some of the freshest juice in town. see what the power of points can do for your business. learn more at chase.com/ink see what the power of points can do for your business. every day is a chance to dop, something great.. and for the ones they love, they'd do anything. sears optical has glasses made for doing. right now, buy one pair and get another free.
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>> it confused the caller and the 911 operator. what happened to charlie and diane was too clear. big charlie small -- sprawled on the bathroom floor. both dead for hours. phillip thompson's cell phone eru erupted. charlie and diane were his best friends. >> they weren't just mine, they were everybody's friends. what we remember is how good they were, how kind they were and what good people they were. >> down at her house in myrtle beach, about 30 minutes from the crime scene. she was getting waed raready to
antiquing. >> he said bambi, your momma and daddy are dead. he said bambi, someone broke in her and shot them. i just dropped the phone and started crying. >> when she arrived at the house yellow caution tape arrived everywhere. >> my mom was freaking out. >> rick tried to comfort bambi. >> i remember rick was near my and i was crying on his shoulder. everybody was just kind of -- it was a mad house out there. >> in those moments it seemed the whole county had gone mad. the murders of charlie and diane came hard on two other vicious killings near by. >> they were looking for steven
stanko when they were discovered. >> she was the neighbor. she runs a flower shop near by. >> is this the kind of thing you could feel in the air? >> you could feel it in the air. >> probably not too thrilled. >> it was pretty bad that day. >> when i first arrived what i'm looking at is an opportunity to get oriented to the crime scene. >> fran hump fris, chief solicitor. >> had the house before tossed? >> it had. it appeared to be a home invasion burglary. >> first take? >> yes. >> the bathroom a wush in charlie's blood. several feet from diane there were a few small droplets. >> it appeared someone involved
in the crime, not the victims, was a bleeder. >> why was not the victims? >> it was apparent that diane lied where she laid. >> it looked like your intruder is bleeding? >> yes. >> that is great evidence. >> it is if you can match it up. >> investigators started taking statements. they had a large family and knew a lot of people. >> the list of people that we talked to is exhaustive. >> a parade of friends, employee and family was brought down to headquarters for interviews including bambi and her boyfriend. >> they did gunshot residue on all of us. >> including you? >> uh-huh. >> they took my shoes, took pictures of my shoes, tops,
bottoms. >> bambi and rick told police they shent the night at home. b bambi realized she left her phone and car keys. >> we didn't have any way to get in touch with anybody. i said see if you can find momma's purse or cell phone. >> police released the crime scene but it still looked like one. detectives told the family they would have to clean it up. when he went in to fetch car keys he found himself tiptoeing through a bloody mess. >> what were you seeing? >> one of the most horrible things i ever seen. >> rick approached the car keys. he noticed bambi pacing in the
backyard. >> she was calling out. i shut the blind. >> and you closed them because you didn't want her to see the blood and gore. >> i remember saying i think i stepped in some blood in the bathroom. i was wiping my shoe off on the sand. she was telling me to wash my shoe so i didn't get blood in her mom's truck. >> it must have been eerie. >> it haunted bambi and rick for years to come. >> coming up, bambi makes a stunning admission. viagra single packs... so guys with ed can... >> that's when dateline extra continues. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain
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than 30 miles down the road was on the run. were the slayings related or was this double homicide about money, family and the struggle to control both or maybe it was about something else entirely. continuing with the deed, here is dennis murphy. >> a great many people bolting their doors and locking their windows. >> had you had any trouble in that neighborhood with break-ins? >> not that i know of. it's always been a wonderful place. it just doesn't make any sense. >> was this more of the murder's rampage of steven stanko who was all over the knews? he had been sited 200 miles
away. >> you weren't associated that with stanko. >> even though in the public mind they may have made that connection. >> law enforcement knew he was physically in augusto. >> he quickly claim to believe this was more than just a bungled home invasion. >> it was apparent nothing was taken or at least nothing you would suspect to be taken in a burglary. >> they thought back to curious statements bambi had made. >> you're sure you're okay? >> yes. i want to help you. >> bambi began describing a feud within her family. the issue was the land bambi owned that her parents were
living on. >> it has been a long life family feud. >> over the land? >> far long time. >> bambi and diane argued over who should control that property. >> diane wanted to make sure that property was there for the kids. she had become convinced bambi was not going to be in a position to manage that property. >> i love this daughter but she is beyond hope? >> she just can't be trusted with it. >> she wanted the property back. >> i had a lot of anger about that. >> the land wasn't the only hot button. bambi admitted they argued over the raising of bambi's boys, nathan and cody.
>> diane wasn't comfortable with bambi having custody of the children. >> four months before the murder a mother-daughter shouting match got so out of hand that diane called 911. the responding officer arrived with his dash cam rolling moments after bambi stormed away. diane explained the argument to the officer. >> she usually does what she want to do. >> diane went onto say she was threatened. >> how telling is that? she was in fear, in grave fear.
>> humphreys suspected bambi was involved in her parents murders. the prosecutors turned the attention to rick. >> he is aligned with bambi. he is extremely faithful to bambi. >> and willing to do anything for her. >> the daughter and boyfriend that seem to be in conspiracy? >> well, in agreement. >> they say they were home in the hours leading up to the murders was difficult to prove. each gave the other as a witness. >> she said we were at home. rick was there, i was there. my boys were in the other room. >> they began to wonder, could the mysterious blood drop lots. >> dna results had not come back. >> it could have been richard. >> he obtained a search warrant
and took another look at some of rick and bambi's belongings. >> there is blood on his shoe. >> what did the lab analysis? >> it was rick's blood. >> they didn't buy that he stepped in blood looking for became's mother's car keys. >> and there is blood on a pair of boots. ten days after the murders humphreys asked rick and bambi to take polygraph tests. both agreed and both showed deception. police sat them down in separate rooms for another round of questioning. this time the gloves were off. >> you want to be charged with something? >> i didn't do anything. >> they hoped far confession or at the very least she would give up to rick.
>> you don't want to be charged? >> no. i'm not going to be charged. >> lock her up. >> the detectives weren't done. bambi said the hammer came down hard one more time. >> they surrounded me like a pack of wolves. they said go get those crime scene photos of her momma and daddy. i said no. no. no. i was trying to cover my face. he was pulling my hands off of my face. he said you did this. you. >> detectives said the same thing to rick. >> they arrested me and that was pretty much it. if bambi did it then i had to be a part of it. >> so there it was, a daughter
and her boyfriend, partners in love and suspected of murder. the alleged motive was basic, get the deed to the land and resolve the custody issue of the boys in one rampage. was it case closed but was it case solved? coming up a new family feud breaks out between bambi and her sons. >> i had a lot of people in my ear saying she did it. i resented her. i hated her. or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. find out how american express cards and services
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say the two incidents are unrelated. now it's back to dateline extra. >> welcome back to dateline extra. with a shaky alibi, clear motive and evidence mounting investigators charged bambi and her boyfriend. her sons didn't believe in her innocence but one man did and he planned to fight for her freedom. returning to the deed, here is dennis murphy. >> bambi bennett sat in a jail cell stunned. she had just been charged with two counts of murder. >> i thought i'm having a bad dream. this cannot be happening. not only were my parents murdered now i'm being accused of being the ones that killed
them. i said this doesn't make any sense. i didn't do anything wrong. >> but to fran humphrey's the motive is unavoidable. >> she needed her step father and mom gone so she could get her property back. >> the question is who benefitted? >> bambi. >> and for her boyfriend, they believe he persuade him to help her carry out the murderous deed. >> they insisted they would never do anything to harm diane or charlie and bambi down played the di put over the land. >> she wants the land. that is the most ludicris thing ever. even though it was in momma's name all i had to do was tell
momma that. >> she said also was the allegation she would kill her parents over disagreements over how to raise her boys. >> who does not have disagreements with their mother or father. >> we didn't always -- it doesn't mean i will kill my momma because we don't agree. >> even some om bambi's family believed she wasresponsible. >> you lost your grandparents in the most awful fashion and your mom is swept away from your life within minutes. >> you don't know who to turn to. >> when did you come to the idea that maybe she did this? >> i had a lot of people in my ear that she did it. i came to the conclusion she put it in rick's head for rick to do it. >> i only thought she had something to do with it because
of what i had been told. >> it seemed bambi -- >> everybody rushed to judgment in this case. >> the prosecution's case against bambi was a weak circumstantial one that hinged on a bunch of assumptions. >> there was none on bambi. >> he said one bit of hard evidence what they thought was blood on her boot turned out to be nogthing. >> he said the dna on this boot will belong to one of the two people. they couldn't even say it was dna. >> as to the polygraph, those results were suspicion. >> the last question they asked her, have you told me everything you know about this case. if i ask a detective that same
question he couldn't pass it either. it is too broad a question. >> bambi sat in jail for six months. >> they were hoping she would flip? >> that's exactly what they thought. >> prosecutor had to let bambi go. >> it became apparent and the evidence was not sufficient to bring her case to trial. >> didn't have the goods? >> it wasn't there. >> and she is the foundation? >> yes. >> by now bambi cut ties with her old boyfriend! sounds like she had your back and then she didn't. >> what happened? >> jail changed people. >> rick hoped it would be a matter of time before he too would be released. >> there was no hair, no fingerprint, no dna.
>> nothing. >> but he did have charlie's blood on his shoe. that evidence was part of a bloody trail from a crime scene that was supposed to lead them into a courtroom showdown. coming up, one of his fellow inmates comes forward. >> he has been given a fairly detail aid count of what occurred! stuff that hadn't been in the newspapers? >> no. >> when dateline extra continues. i'm terrible at golf.
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prosecutors believe that i had had enough evidence to bring rick down including a surprise witness. here is dennis murphy with more of our story, the deed. >> rick was in a world of pain, locked up in the county jail facing two murder charges. he shared his woes with another guy in a jump suit. >> we would walk around the pod and do laps. >> the jail yard buddy, a crook that seemed strangely interested in rick's troubles. >> was he grilling you? >> all of the time. >> it seemed everyone in that part of south carolina wanted to know more about this case and the two beloved victims. it took three years but in 2008 the state was ready to try rick for the murders of charlie and diane parker. a camera was rolling.
>> this is purely mode of evidence which accomplish as motive to end the lives of these two people. >> as humphreys it was always motivation strong, evidence weak. not much more than charlie parker's blood on a shoe. the blood put rick at the murder scene. >> he had a story about it. >> he said how he had gone into the parker house some time after they finished up. >> he looked to the right to the window and noticed the blood. >> rick said he worried bambi pacing outside might look in the window and freak out all over again. >> he went in and stepped through the window and closed
the blind. >> and oops, i stepped in the blood? >> yes. >> and it didn't hold up? >> no. because they were already closed. >> this was taken hours before rick supposedly stepped inside that house. notice the bathroom blinds are drawn. he argued rick could not have closed the blinds because they were already shut. the prosecutor said the defendant was lying though he believed he had told the truth to at lieast one other person. >> the person i call jailhouse snitch. >> he is a snitch. what we learned is that he has been given a fairly detailed account by rick of what occurred that evening and what the crime scene looked like. >> in fact he said mullens was
the first to tell this piece of news. he mentioned an accomplice in the killings. >> the only way you the have is that information is from someone that participated in the crime. the mystery blood drops had not been matched to rick but to an unidentified male. they believe it was enough to put the defendant away. >> what about bambi? she wasn't being tried in this courtroom? >> you thi >>. >> i think it's a travesty. >> her fingerprints are all over it? >> yes. >> he said this was a story about a spoiled come who manipulated her boyfriend into
doing her murderous dirty work, get back the deed, get her mother off her back. >> he heard from bambi that her family has her land. my parents are horrible people and they have taken advantage of me. >> to make things right argued the prosecutor the boyfriend entered the house and hunted down bambi's parents. they dripping with family greed and hatred. it was time for a different story. >> rick's defense team told the court that the state's case was heavy on fiction, light on facts. >> they had a puzzle. they had little pieces but they weren't exactly right. >> the state clung to the word of a jailhouse snitch and career criminal. >> a fellow that is there to cut
himself a deal and get himself assistance in his own case is not likely to be credible. >> not only was the snitch not to be believed but the state was also trying to confuse them about the mystery blood found at the crime scene. the bottom line, the dna from that blood cleared their clients of the murders. >> the dna didn't match. we knew it wasn't going to match. >> and they knew that because rick had been asleep in murder l beech with bambi. the most challenges part of the case was the blood on rick's shoe. to explain how it got there rick took the stand. he pointed out on the morning the bodies were discovered police examined them and found nothing. >> if there was blood on my shoes i would have been arrested. there was no blood on my shoes. >> it came later when he stepped into the blood soaked bathroom.
he insisted the window blinds were open and he worried she would see the horror inside. >> i went in and shut the blind. >> he insisted it got on his shoe that proemmoment. >> did you kill them? are you two in a conspiracy to kill those people? >> no, sir. >> so who did kill the couple? we don't know said the defense but it wasn't rick. with that the jurors full-timed out to deliberate. rick waited with his attorneys and the woman many felt to be at the heart of it all held her breath. >> coming up the jury renders its verdict. >> i didn't know what to think. i didn't know what to think anymore. >> finally investigators learned who left those mysterious blood drops at the crime scene. >> they said they identified the
killer. en they need it. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. ask your doctor about viagra single packs. foand millions moremericans lwho feel its effects.s, let's walk together to make an even bigger impact and end alzheimer's for good. find your walk near you at alz.org/walk. esuthey offer a claim-freece a smarter discount.h saves money. because safe drivers cost less to insure, which saves money. they let you pay your bill electronically, which saves postage, which saves money. they settle claims quickly, which saves time, which saves money.
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welcome back. the jury was about to decide rick's faite. it wouldn't be the end. and could the resolution finally put a bitter family feud to rest? here is the final chapter of the deed. >> jurors in rick's case deliberated for only a few hours. when they filed back into the courtroom he read their faces and knew they found him guilty. >> two counts of murder. received two life sentences. >> that's called a pine box. >> where you'll be out in a pine box when you're dead? >> yeah. >> her attorney called her with the news. >> here i am thinking oh, my
gosh, could he have done this and then i'm going in the back of my head, there's no way he could have did this. >> i believe if god saw fit to have me go home i would go home e. >> and that thought was about all he had left, faith in god and a good appellate lawyer. >> in my 22 or 23 years of being an appellate defense attorney rick was only one of about two or possibly three people that i genuinely believed was innocent. >> it would mean nothing to an appeals judge unless bob reasonand rick could come up. rick had an encounter with yet
another inmate. zb he was all excited about something. >> they say he had just arrested someone far home invasion there. >> he told me they identified the killer. >> that man's name was bruce hill. when tennessee authorities ran his dna through the database they had a mystery match to the blood found at the parker crime scene. a jury convicted him of the murder of big charlie and diane. his motive for the crime was never firmly established. >> do you know that name? >> no. >> did you ever see him on job sites? >> no, never. >> rick's lawyer needed proof. he paid hill a visit. >> bruce hill shown a picture of rick and his words were i have never seen that cracker
[ bleep ] before. bruce hill had been unambiguous and was very blunt he did not know rick. >> all he had to do was admit that in open court. hill flatly refused. once again, rick was out of luck. >> the first piece of good news i had in a long time. i was excited to see what god was ready to do. >> and there were developments? >> yes, sir. >> mainly the arrival of a new inmate. >> i was in the chapel at the time. he was brought into the chapel. >> one day the man opened up and stunned rick. he said he had known a guy in jail named robert mullens. he said mullens shared a secret. he lied about rick's involvement in the murders. >> i mean i already knew it but to hear somebody else say it --
>> that mullens had lied? >> yeah. >> he was proud of what he was able to do. >> now the snitch that had appeals judge's decision. >> the judge had to make a determination that the result of the trial would probably have been different. >> because mullens story was that important in getting the convicti conviction? >> they say the new county solicitor could refile charges if he wanted. the solicitor said he did not. so in 2013 after eight years inside rick walked out of prison. he settled on the carolina coast now married with children. >> just the smell of the ocean was freedom. it was a terrible thing i went to prison for something i didn't do. it changed my life. >> his old girlfriend believes her life was up ended too. she said she cut ties with most of the people she grew up with.
the tobacco fields she still owns are pretty much her own connection to the place. >> i didn't want to be there anymore. that was my home but my home that i had known just falsely accused me and destroyed everything. it destroyed me. >> there is something she would like from the people of south carolina. >> do you want an apology? >> i do. it won't fix what they took away. >> she would like nothing more than an apology for the heart ache you caused her. >> she is not getting that. >>. >> what should she expect if. >> i would like for her to received justice. >> meaning he would have liked her charged, tried and convicted. >> and i would have liked to be part of that justice.
>> her boys now believing her completely innocent. >> i don't think she had anything to do with it. >> as a testament they joined their mom in the place she now calls home, florida. for the first time in a long time they feel like family. >> it was a while before you were able to tell her you love her and mean it. >> you can be her sons. >> at least bambi is grateful even if every once in a while she looks back in anger. >> i lost my mom and dad. they are saying the case isn't completely solved. maybe if they took their time in the beginning we wouldn't be in this predicament today. >> maybe there are no more answers. just leave it rooted right where