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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  March 31, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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what people want right now. >> what a contrast that would be from someone like donald trump and someone like beto o'rourke. it would be incredible. >> history calls for us to come together, to show ourselves, fellow americans and generations that follow what we are made of and what we can do. the only way to get that done is to get it done together. thank you all for having me out here today. u all for having me here today he said, nicole's gone missing. we are frantic, calling, all her friends are calling, they said that sort of thing happens to other people. it's the most frightening thing in the world. >> a young wife. >> she always saw the good in people. >> she had a way to make you smile. >> missing for nine days. >> it's so wrong. nicole is somewhere where she
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shouldn't be. >> it was hard enough when they didn't know. much worse when they did. it came over the tv a body had been found. i'll never forget that as long as i live. this could go down any number of paths. >> and it did. >> had her troubled past finally caught up with her? or was it something much darker? >> he told me he would put it in her red bull. >> how did she change? >> she became more sexual with people. >> who wanted her dead. >> he thought he was somewhat of a player. does it make him a killer? >> secrets in seattle. hello and welcome to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. she was a vivacious young woman, a fitness executive, adored by friends and married to the man of her dreams. but when she disappeared, investigators wondered was nicky's charmed life as perfect as it seemed?
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they soon discovered a dark secret iniki nikki's past but t truth would hide in plain sight. here's dennis murphy. >> seattle was long after a week of relentless rain, a woman was found in the tangle of blackberries, a naked body, small tattoo on the back, necklace and signs of strange gulation. the detective sent to a patch of trees mere the seattle's runways guessed it was her. they would soon be proved correct. nine days to find her. the answer, where, another seven years still ahead to answer the question of all homicides, who and why? but we have to go back, before the crime scene photos and the
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medical examiner's findings before she became those chilly words, "the victim," to find the dearly loved person, nicky, wife and daughter, sister and friend see. she seemed to be able to uplift people in ways none of us knew how to do. >> she had a way to make you smile. she had way to let you know everything was going be okay. >> gayle was her mother. >>. >> nicky was shine. when she walked in a room, the room lit up. she raised her and her sister at the lake. >> was she an annoying kid sister or your friend? >> she was a very annoying kid sister. mom insisted on dressing us alike. >> in high school, maya says she was a friend to everyone.
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>> she never sat. she would walk around and visit with people. she always saw the good in people. she didn't see the bad in people. >> after graduation, nicky brought that winning spirit into the workplace eventually landing a plum position in the head offices of valley total fitness. kimberly thomas was on her team. >> nicky was great. she cared about how your day was, cared about how you were feeling, cared about your birthday. >> valley's is where nicky mitt another employee, david, six feet tall, four years younger and exuded a smooth confidence. his co-workers recalled he seemed to be going places. >> a very nice man, easy to talk to and laugh a lot, a very compassionate person. >> he was very confident. spoke well, he had a presence that demanded attention. >> he was set on selling more
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gym memberships than anyone else and he wouldn't have denied what everyone saw in him. he was ambitious with his eyes on bigger management prizes. >> it didn't matter what his pitch was, he had you convinced whatever it was, you had to have it. >> so there was dave hustling on the sales floor and there was nicky, the buttoned up blonde from corporate and the boss' favorite hire was acknowledged. before long, nicky and dave became an item. >> she definitely would get a little bit of bounce in her step when she got an incoming message from dave. >> out of everybody, he chose her. >> pretty soon, nicky and dave moved in together and gayle had re-married. she could tell from her daughter's voice on the phone nicky had found the one. >> he was her dream man. >> really. he was the man she wanted, she
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was so in love with him. >> and he apparently with her. evidenced to her friends and family by the piece of jewelry she was rarely seen without. >> david sent her a real tennis bracelet. >> diamonds on it? >> little peony diamonds and white gold. >> was it sentimental? >> she loved it. she wore it everywhere. >> another piece of jewelry from him would follow, a wedding ring. after dating for two years, nicky and dave married. >> tell me about the wedding. hawaii was the place. >> she looked so beautiful and happy. they both had leis and beautiful flowers in her hair and waves and beach crashing in the sunset. it was beautiful. >> was your sister a happy young woman that day? >> yes. i think she found her prince charming. nicole seems to be on top of the world and stepping confidently into her grownup life.
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>> she seemed confident getting married. she loved her ring and bracelet and excited about getting her new condo and having her own little family. >> january 28th, 2006 was a saturday. after a hectic work week at their different jobs, nicky and dave would chill with a dinner party that night over at their friend's place. that afternoon, dave called nicky to hash out the details. they would drive there separately. >> hey, babe, give me a squall, i need to know whether i need to get food for ellen and jason. stuff like that. i love you, bye. >> but when he showed up at their apartment that evening, nicky wasn't there. one hour, two hours, still no nicky. dave's wife of almost four years was gone into the night, into the rain. what on earth had happened to nicky? >> turns out, nicky had a troubled past. did those troubles finally catch up with her or was it something
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else? coming up. >> she's not somebody who wouldn't come home. she's somebody if she's 10 minutes late she calls you. >> you think something was wrong, something more was wrong? >> yes. nicky wouldn't have gone away without calling and telling me. >> when secrets in seattle continues. ets in seattle continues. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase. ♪ so, recently my son's band was signed by a record label. a record deal? unbelievable. whenever we're about to get on a stage for a huge audience, i always give my dad, like, a facetime kinda moment. you see the crowd, you see the emotion. you know, he has that experience for the first time with me, and that's really important to me. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (announcer) the best network is even better when you share it. buy the latest iphone for you, and get iphone 10r on us for someone else. and get apple music on us, too. only on verizon. shouldn't mean going back to the doctoro
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welcome back. where was nicky pietz? she and her husband, dave, planned to meet up for dinner at their friend's apartment. but, nicky failed to show up. several hours passed and still no sign of her. soon, worry turned to panic as friends and family began to frantic search, many haunted by the memory of troubles that almost took nicky from them before. here again is dennis murphy. >> nicole pietz, a woman just shy of her 33rd birthday, reported missing by her husband. >> we just want to know if she's
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safe. >> reporter: david pietz told reporters how he waited for her at a saturday night dinner party and she was a no show. >> i hadn't been able to contact her. >> david appealed for people to keep an eye out for her. >> her mother was at his side. >> she's not somebody not to come home. if she's 10 minutes late she calls you. >> did you think something was wrong from the beginning? >> yes. because nicky wouldn't have gone away without calling and telling me. >> if nicky could have called somebody she would have called gayle. >> nicole's mother and stepfather had reason to be worried. they along with other family and friends remembered when they had almost lost her years before. she had been in her teens and suffering from abdominal problems from the onset of puberty and left her in
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agonizing pain and heavily medicated. >> she had painful cramps and prescribed lots of medicine for them. by the time she was 21 she had had three surgeries and pain pills thrown at her right and left. >> at some point, it seemed all those pills took away not only the pain but the person, zombiefied. >> how cass she different? >> spacey. couldn't keep wake up the conversation. i felt like i had lost her. she wasn't really there. before nicky could crawl out of her hole she would need to check into a local rehab center to treat her addiction. >> when she finally got clean i felt like i had my sister back. >> that's when she started working at the bali gym office. her co-workers thought she was in terrific emotional shape. >> the nicky i knew wasn't in her dark day, on top of her game. >> friends like michelle knew she took her sobriety a day at a
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time and was terrified of making even one little slip and losing it all. >> she would have a headache and trying to get the girl to taken an advil you would think you were trying to inject her with heroin. >> her alcoholic anonymous meetings an hour from her home were the rock for her. she was supposed to attend a special meeting, a celebration of eight years of sobriety. >> every year was your birthday. it was her eighth birthday. >> a clean and sober woman. >> she was so proud of it. everyone was proud of her. >> hi, nick, it's mom. i don't know where you are, darling. >> reporter: nicky never showed up to that important meeting and never received that award. friends and family desperately tried to reach her by phone. >> nicky, this is rod calling. we don't know what's going on.
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>> reporter: their pleas went to silence invoice mail and concern went off the chart. >> we want you to know we love you. >> had nicky in fact fallen back into addiction. >> started hoping that because then she would have been alive. >> the alternative nicky may be dead was too much to bear. a bulletin look-out for a 5'3" woman with a toot too on her back. friends knew she was likely wearing a cross necklace and diamond tennis bracelet. nine days later, seattle detective was dispatched south of the city. >> the call came in from my sergeant requesting i respond to this location regarding a woman's body found by a passerby in the blackberry bushes. this is kind of off the grid, isn't it? >> yes, it is.
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>> a woman's body found in a patch of scrub at the end of a runway near an abandoned trailer park. what did you notice? >> she was nude and arms crossed over her chest. >> not just dumped here? >> yes. >> the detective had a special set of skills she called on now. she had been trained in tracking and reading disturbed vegetation like the old west. the pattern of broken branches and tamped down leaves and soil told her the body had lain out here about a week. >> is there anything that suggested to you why this woman would have been abandoned here? >> no. that was part of the complexity of this investigation. we had avenues to investigate. transient population may have targeted the trailer park and a health facility maybe within
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walking distance. >> but she had a hunch who this victim was, cross necklace and tattoo, it checked out as that local woman, nicole pietz missing a week. the diamond tennis bracelet she always wore was on her wrist. but they were confident enough to pay a visit to her husband, david pietz. and the information he would share with detectives when she was last seen and what she left behind would be critical to the case. coming up. >> it was something that was missing that turned out to be even more important and puzzling. >> a police officer spotted nicole pietz' car overnight. >> there was no indication anyone else was behind the wheel in nicole's car. >> when "secrets in seattle" continues. rets in seattle" continues. do you think i need a mahogany dashboard? hey mercedes, can you make it a little cooler in here? [ a-class ] i am setting the temperature
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flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase. wambach. the 7 for nicky pietz was over. her body found near the airport. they had a homicide on their hands and with the help of
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nicky's husband they were about to uncover a disturbing clue. it was in her car and what they did not find inside that would point them to a possible suspect. here is dennis murphy. >> a great many bad day, one of the worst ones had to be the day she was found. >> i'll never forget that as long as i live. it came over the tv a body had been found. we just knew it had to be her. >> had to be your nicky. >> nicole pietz strangled to death, her nude body left for a week beneath blackberry brushes by the airport. her killer unknown, still missing. her family's deep sorrow now hardened into resolve to get justice for her. >> find out who did it and punish him. punish him. >> captain jessie anderson of the king county sheriff's office
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was the lead detective assigned to the murder case. he set out to learn more about the victim paying a visit to the condo of david pietz of the condo where they shared. >> how long have you been married? >> almost four years. >> he told them she struggled with chemical dependency in the past and most disturbing she started taking pills. >> she hurt her back right before thanksgiving and slipped a disc. >> because of a severe painful back injury, nicky reluctantly agreed let her doctor put her on a carefully medication for percocet, potentially addictive na narcotic drug. >> she had me give her the pills at the beginning.
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they delved into nicky's last known movements. >> when's the last time you saw her? friday night, when i got home from work. >> david pietz told detectives nicky was sleeping when he arrived home late friday night and by the morning she was already gone off to her special aa celebration, he assumed. >> i figured that's where she must be when i woke un. >> when she didn't show up to the dinner party that night he returned to their condo to look for her. he described how her purse, car keys and gray jetta were gone. something else caught his eye and it would turn out to be a big clue for detectives. nicky's percocet was sitting on the counter. bottle was empty. the 56 pill prescription filled just two days before, gone. >> i freaked out. i was scared she relapsed. that's a lot of pills. od'd or something. >> as detectives wrapped up the
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interview with the husband, a narrative was starting to come together about the victim, a former addict possibly readiktsd. >> how does that change the complexion of the investigation early on, the woman whose body was found was a recovering addict and maybe fell off the wagon. >> it makes it more complex because we have to consider the possibility she met the wrong person at the wrong time and somehow led to her demise or maybe to her aa affiliation she was very much into and readily attended those meetings. >> doors are opening to possibilities rather than closing. >> yes. >> some old detective work was next tracking down records, credit card statements, anything to pinpoint where nicky may have headed after leaving the condo saturday morning. only one more blip on nicky's timeline surfaced, a single call
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from her phone saturday to the gym's front desk where dave pietz was working. >> we were considering whoever killed her may have had her phone and still using it. >> the cops began checking pawn shop records in case someone tried to hawk it. nothing. a police car spotted nicole pietz's car overnight. >> the last part of the puzzle turned up two weeks after she disappeared. her car, a gray jetta, was found abandoned in seattle's university district. frisk hungry for clues crawled through the car. they noticed the driver's seat had been pushed back. it's what they didn't find inside it that intrigued investigators most. >> what they found in the car was david's dna along with nicole's dna. there was no indication no one else had been behind the wheel
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in nicole's car. detectives were now wondering about the husband. coming up. >> he was definitely player. dave would chase women inside the club, outside the club, on top of the club. >> but did that make him a killer? when "secrets in seattle" continued. killer when "secrets in seattle" continued. yeah, you just go online, or give them a call anytime. you don't say. yep. now what will it take to get 24/7 access to that lemon meringue pie? pie! pie's coming! that's what it takes, baby. geico®. great service from licensed agents, 24/7.
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our top stories. today, former nevada assemblyman says she hopes joe biden will acknowledge he inappropriately touches women. she said he touched her and kids her on the back of her head in 2014. bind says he doesn't believe her acted inappropriately. a fire burns 500 acres in florida in a swampy area difficult to navigate and it was due to downed trees from hurricane michael. back to "dateline."
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welcome back to "dateline extra." item number craig melvin. it was the break detectives had been hoping for. just days after nicky pietz was found murdered her car was discovered. searching the vehicle for any trace of the killer, investigators uncovered both nicky's and david's dna but did not find evidence anyone else had been inside the car. it was time to take a look at nicky's dream husband. here again is dennis murphy. >> at the latest gym where david pietz worked co-workers, like troy wagner understood why david pietz looked so rough. >> he looked very bad. looked like he hadn't slept and lost weight and dark circles under his eyes and looked more sad. >> reporter: while david pietz slowly got back to work after taking time off to mourn his
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wife, detectives interviewed people at the gym world who knew the couple starting at the facility they first met. >> most of the rumors weren't really rumor, they were true. >> they agreed the fail dog of the sales department and nicky, was a mismatch. >> the more nicky liked him the more she shouldn't. >> what some said he saw was a cynical way to climb the ladder. she was everyone's favorite and the boss loved her like family like c.j. brady saw it. >> nicky and our supervisor were very close, almost like a father-daughter relationship and that is why i think he dated nicky from the start. i don't think there was ever an attraction there. >> if he was chilly about his wife, he was super heated about some of the female gym members and his co-workers. >> dave chased women inside the
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club, outside the club, on top of the club. >> detectives found his roving eye intriguing but hardly damning. >> to describe current terminology, he thought he was player. >> did it make him a killer? >> it didn't make him a killer, no. >> but his behavior at the gym did get him fired. several ko workers filed sexual harassment with the management including jackie morales. >> david was very verbal when it kaims to comments. what looks better on jackie today? her legs, butt or breasts. i finally got the courage to go to his boss. >> after getting booted from bali's he went to a 24 hour fitness where he talked about he and his wife, nicky wanted to invite others into their sex life. >> more than once he asked me about three way relationships
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and swinger's clubs. >> nicky's friends knew it differently. >> she was very appalled by that idea. >> she was like, absolutely not. >> a wobbly marriage, hound dog husband straining at the leash, circumstantial smoke was getting thicker for the detectives. i was parent he was leading an alternate lifestyle. >> it was a concern for motivation and us. >> maybe the husband did it, then again maybe he didn't. as weeks became months, solid proof and evidence the investigation needed didn't fall into place. an investigation hitting into a brick wall devastating news for nicky's family now convinced of david's guilt. >> when you were in the emotional wilderness, '07, '08, '09, what was your feelings?
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>> i didn't want to live. i cried my head off every day i just didn't want to live. >> nicky's mother marked the passage of time for making public pleas for the killer? >> it has been 891 days since my beloved nicky was murdered. >> reporter: david quietly left the fitness industry for a bank. he started attending church. kim adams said she got to know a dave different from the heartless philanderer described by the family. he was a forlorn widower who spoke fondly about his late wife. >> when he would speak about her, we would have conversations about he was struggling because he missed her. >> meanwhile at the county sheriff's office, the three ring binders that made up the pietz file moved desk to desk until
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2010 they were picked up by two cold case cops, each determined to apply heat. >> i called and said, i have this case now and it's my intent to be the last detective to have this case. >> they laid out the entire investigation and honed in on day one, that saturday morning nicky pae nic ni nicky pietz left the condo for the aa meeting. a few things jumped out, like nicky's wedding ring. a photo taken in 2006 showed it in nicky's bathroom near the jewelry cleaner she kept it overnight. she was proud of the ring according to all the family and here she's going to this big meeting and she wouldn't take her rings with her? >> another red flag, nicky's body had been recovered with her
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retainer still in her mouth. >> why did it seem odd you had a body with a retainer? >> it is something people typically wear to bed and no place else. >> the ring left on the bathroom counter and clunky retainer still in her mouth add up to a wife whether never left the condo that saturday morning and never made it through the night alive. the only person known to be with nicole pietz in the condo that night, her husband, david pietz. >> you look at each piece of evidence and how does it relate to everything else, you have our picture at the end. >> six years after nicole pietz was reported missing her husband, david, was arrested and charged with second degree murder in connection with her death. coming up, a husband on trial. his lifestyle under the microscope. >> he was trying to loosen her up. >> you were assisting katie.
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katie was assisting you? >> all three at the same time. >> when "secrets in seattle" continues. ecrets in seattle" continues. while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans, now cleans itself.
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welcome back. david pietz was about to face trial for the strangling death of his young wife, nicky. no dna or eyewitness connecting him to her murder the prosecution would rely on circumstantial evidence, tale tell clues that showed nicky never made it out of the couple's condo alive. to bolster their case, prosecutors said they had proof he not only killed nicky, he made a desperate attempt to cover up the crime. here again is dennis murphy. >> it had been 7 1/2 excruciating years of waiting. then, in 2013, nicky's family and friends piled into a packed
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seattle courtroom to watch david pietz stand trial for his wife's murder. he pleaded not guilty. >> when nicole married the defendant, she thought she had married the man of her dreams. but on january 28th, 2006, that dream would turn into a nightmare. >> kristen richardson and carla carson were the prosecutors handling the case and they showed a puzzle of a hateful husband whose frustrations had boiled over. >> i hate the phrase but it was a crime of passion. >> david was a sexist philanderer who viewed his goody two shoes wife as a weight around him and then turned to nicky's problem with pills as his cover-up. >> why kill her? >> it wasn't planned murder. something he planned to do and
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could divorce her. this was not a plan, something done in the middle of the night in a fit of rage. >> because they thought there was no premeditation he was charged with second, not first degree murder. proving he snapped in the condo wasn't easy. this was a highly circumstantial case. >> in terms of the bedroom or house, no physical evidence left behind. >> a handicap for you guys, to tell a story for a jury that wants csi. they want dna on everything. >> prosecutors started by calling a string of other women in david's life, a cheating spouse with little regard of the woman in his life. a three-way kiss at the bar. >> who did it involve? >> me and katie and dave. >> you were kissing katie and katie was kissing you? yes? >> all three at the same time. >> stories of a one night stand.
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>> and what happened at your place? >> we had sex. >> and is that the only time that it happened? >> yes. >> and of a romance that started while david and nicky were engaged. >> asked him why he was getting married. and he said that at that point it was too late to back out of it. >> the romance lasted on and off for two years. >> what did he tell you about how he felt about you? >> he told me he cared about me. >> his lifestyle became the trial here. >> it did because it showed he was dissatisfied with her. >> dissatisfied with nicky and prosecutors say, determined to change her. david went so far as to spike nicky's drink with a drug ecstasy hope she would agree to a three assume. >> he told me he would put it in her red bull like when she went to get a drink, trying to get
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her to loosen up to to do a three assumsome. >> did you notice a change in her after she drank that red bull? >> she became more sexual with people. >> this is a guy who knows she has addiction problems and puts ecstasy in her red bull? >> and she fought so hard for sobriety and put it in the red bull. >> now her sister gets to stare him in the eyes and how indifferent he was following her disappearance. >> did the defendant ever help you look for her? did you ever see him make any phone calls related to her appearance? >> no. >> did you ever see him join searches with people from aa or her workplace? >> prosecutors fear evidence of
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suspicious behavior wouldn't be enough so they rolled out their theory nicky never left the condo alive. >> the best evidence we have is she never left that condominium. >> evidence of his mistakes. her cherished wedding ring left on the bathroom counter, then her retainer. >> he forgot she wears a retainer/night guard and forgot to check her mouth before he dumped her. >> something he would overlook, the food found in her stomach by the medical examiner. based on the analysis, they said she was killed between midnight and 2:00 a.m. that friday night sometime after which he said he found her in bed. it's what scientists didn't find in her system prosecutors said was even more damning, evidence they said that proved once and for all nicky had not relapsed. >> did the me found evidence of prescription painkillers.
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no. she had less than one therapeutic dose of percocet in her system. she had not been using it for a few days prior to her death. >> then that bracelet, her source of her joy. david told police it vanished along with his wife. >> who knows? the killer took it. >> soon after his arrest, they learned from his co-workers he had the bracelet all along. >> david said he had a bracelet he had taken to a pawn shop and he thought that the guy was trying to rip him off. >> trying to hawk it and make a few bucks. >> trying to make money. >> that spoke to his cover-up and involvement. >> absolutely. and that he lied to police in the beginning he didn't know where that bracelet was. >> still, one piece of the puzzle didn't fit the prosecution's theory, that saturday phone call made from nicky's cell phone to the 24 hour fitness gym where she worked. it proved she was alive.
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>> prosecutors said the origin of the call could be placed within a few blocks of the gym where it was received. >> there's a 90-95% probability the phone was in this reddish orangish sector when it was placed. snoonkts that is correct. >> it became very clear that call was placed from the 24 hour fitness gym when david dietz was working there. >> hardly conclusive evidence on its own but they found something else on the security video that made that call a jaw dropper. at about the same time the call is made from nicky's cell phone, david can be seen stepping away from the work area out of the camera's site. that was david, prosecutors say, placing the call to the gym. >> he left the area as though nothing was happening to convince police she hasn't left the house that night. if she left, she was the killer.
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>> that was the prosecution's final puzzle. >> we needed one more thing to put us over the top. that call, that put it over. >> but the jury had yet to hear from the defense, which wasn't about to let such a circumstantial argument go unanswered. coming up, who really had something to hide? the accused killer or nicky, who certainly had a lot of pills around. >> on january 12th, she got 56. on january -- >> when "secrets in seattle" continues. inues.rtburn as ♪ as ♪ tum tum tum tums tums chewy bites with gas relief frstill, we never stoppedss wamaking it stronger.. faster. smarter. because to be the best, is to never ever stop making it better.
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welcome back. prosecutors in the david pietz murder trial had called more than 40 witnesses, trying to fit a pile of circumstantial puzzle pieces into one clear picture, that david was the only one who could have killed his wife. but now it was the defense's attorney, and they had a very different story to tell. remember the empty pain pill
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bottle? they said it was the key to the case. not for the reasons you might think. here with the conclusion of our story is dennis murphy. rows of nicole pietz's family and friends listened to the prosecution describe the accused as an oversexed, run-around louse of a husband. a guy who strangled his inconvenient wife and left her to rot in a scrubby bog. >> we know how she died. we know how he lied. >> each day, david pietz remained emotionless in court. and, trial-watchers noted, alone. and few if any family or friends showed up in the rows behind him to have his back. but he did have supporters, like kim adams, a friend from church. >> he does have a very strong network of friends and people who care about him and love him. >> she says team dave chose to back him quietly from outside the courthouse, hoping to avoid the many cameras both in and outside the courtroom.
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>> i have a lot of respect for those people that didn't go. he knows who loves him. >> she watched the news in disbelief, not recognizing the man prosecutors described as a cold-hearted killer. surely, this wasn't the dave she had known for almost seven years. her trusted confidante. >> i kept thinking to myself, they're talking about my friend, but that's not my friend. that's not the friend that i know. >> but in court, his defense team would not call on kim and the silent friends as character witnesses. the defense was mounting a stripped down argument. jurors, there's nothing here. nici left the condo that morning, and dave had no idea where she ended up. >> nicole pietz was missing. and her husband, david pietz, never saw her again. what happened to nicole is a mystery. >> after ten days of trial, with more than 40 witnesses, the state, the defense lawyers argued, had failed to produce a smoking gun or even a plausible
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motivation for murder. >> in this case, there are many reasonable doubts. >> could anyone say with absolute certainty that she always wore her wedding ring? that she never went out in public with her retainer? the picture of the defense portrayed was of a david pietz open and honest with detectives right from the start. a husband hoping the police would locate his wife. detective kathleen decker took the stand. >> when you first saw david at his residence, i believe you described him as very anxious and upset. >> yes. >> the defense willingly conceded that david pietz was a crummy husband. but skirt-chasing didn't give him a motive for murder. >> dave pietz isn't the first guy to step out on his spouse. all of you, certainly, know of people that have done that. have they killed their wives or husbands or anything like that? >> and, the defense countered, that if anyone had secrets to hide, it wasn't dave. it was nici.
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>> there's another side to all this. >> the defense now turned the focus to nicole pietz, and the last few weeks of her life. >> raise your right hand. >> the lawyers called to the stand their main witness, nici's doctor, carol waymac, nici's primary physician for five years. >> you knew nici's history, that she had trouble has a young woman. >> i did. >> and had actually been in rehab at one point. >> and we had talked about it throughout her care with me. >> so when nici came into the office complaining of severe back pain at the end of 2005, doctor waymac said she had nici's past addiction in mind. the doctor testified that she did put nici on pain medication. but said she tightly monitored nici's weekly prescription, right down to counting the number of pills. >> on january 12th, she got 56. on january 18th, she got 56. and on january 26th, she got 56. >> nici was getting hundreds of pills, but the defense reminded the jurors that nici's
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toxicology report had shown something unusual. despite being prescribed all those pills, the forensic scientists said she apparently hadn't been taking many of them. >> is it your opinion that this just reflects like a one-time use? >> i believe so. it's such a small amount. >> almost no drugs in her system meant something was very fishy, said the defense. >> nicole was lying to her doctor. >> she was doing something with those drugs other than taking them. >> so what was she doing with them? >> inferentially, circumstantially, you could find she was out giving these drugs away, giving them away to old friends of hers, coming into contact with drug users and dealers, pretty tough people, pretty dangerous. >> the lurid story may never be known, argued the defense. they said it was clear that nici and not dave had something to hide. >> something went terribly,
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terribly wrong, and she died as a result. that it wasn't david, but it was somebody else. >> now it would be up to a jury to decide. a husband who never loved his wife, who lost it on one very bad night. or a woman with an addiction she never beat, and some final hour, doling out narcotic pain killers to the wrong person. at the courthouse, the jury retired to deliberate. kim adams waited at home for news. >> kind of made a promise to myself to support him, no matter what the verdict was. because i feel he would do the same for me. >> as the hours went by, nici's family prayed. and the prosecutors replayed the case in their heads. >> i felt like there was absolutely nothing we missed in closing or in presentation. >> but that's not to say when they're out deliberating you're not wondering every second what's going on, and whether you're going to succeed. >> please be seated, with the exception of the presiding juror.
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>> and then, more than seven and a half years since nici's body had been found, the jury was coming back with a verdict. >> we, the jury, find the defendant, martin david pietz, guilty of the crime of murder in the second degree, as charged. signed by the presiding juror. is this the verdict of the jury? >> yes, it is. >> david pietz, guilty of second degree murder for strangling nici, his wife of almost four years. >> oh. absolute elation. i just wanted justice for my daughter. and we got it. >> what do you want to say to david pietz now? >> david, i hope -- i hope you find it in your heart to be sorry. because if you don't, you'll burn in hell forever. >> three weeks later, david pietz returned to court for his sentencing. presiding judge michael haden expressed disgust that david had strangled his wife, who trusted him. >> i don't know what was going through her head as she looked into the face of the man she thought she loved as he took her life away.
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accordingly, the sentence will be -- >> judge haden sentenced david pietz to 18 years in prison, the maximum time allowed in this second-degree murder case. before her daughter's convicted killer was led away, nicole's mother had this to say. >> i've let david take my life for the last seven and a half years. but i'm not going to anymore. david, i forgive you. i'm not going to allow myself to let you rule my life anymore. >> but gayle says she would still like to ask her former son-in-law a final question. >> why and how could he ever harm such a nice person? i mean nici was such a good person. >> the hardest question always the why. the coldest fact, the young woman gone too soon. that's all for now.
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i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> man, oh, man. my [ bleep ] bill is too damn high. it feels like i can't afford it, man. >> jail takes a dark turn for a light hearted teenager. >> it's a little more dangerous in here because people are fighting life so people snap easily. >> it provides a new beginning for an old bank robber. >> i've been writing "bank robber blues, the tales of the mummy bandit." it's a page-turner. >>


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