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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 16, 2017 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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good night. thanks for watching. this is "nightline." >> tonight, phone calls from death row. scott peterson, the man convicted of murdering his wife and unborn son in atashae t captivated this country, now breaking his silence in newly released recordings about the moment he was found guilty. >> i was staggered by it. i had no idea it was coming. >> joining the growing trend of convicted killers speaking out from behind bars. is peterson's pending appeal his motive for talking? plus, hollywood horrors. tom cruise injured after flying into a building in a stunt gone wrong. a stuntman following to his death on the set of "the walking dead." andow oth se action-packed "deadpool" sequel a motorcycle stuntwoman killed in a shocking crash.
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how these high-octane stunts can turn deadly in an instant. but first here are the "nightline" 5. and number 1 is coming up in just 60 seconds.
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good evening, and we start here with a developmentew in the n murder trial that mesmerid this country 15 years ago. scott peterson found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife
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lacy. now with peterson's appeal pending he is speaking out from prison. here's abc's diane macedo. >> i was staggered by it. i had no idea it was coming. >> reporter: you're listening to the voice of scott peterson in newly released audio talking from death row about the moment he was found guilty of murdering his wife, lacy peterson, and their unborn child. >> it was crazy here. it was like this amangzirrible i had. i couldn't feel my feet on the floor. i couldn't feel the chair i was sitting in. my vision was even a little blurry. >> reporter: scott peterson and the case against him is now back in the spotlight in a new seri y peterson" on a&e. >> there is a trend now of convicted killers speaking out from behind prison walls, always declaring their innocence. >> reporter: jailhouse phone interviews like the ones featured in "serial," "making a
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murderer" -- >> poor people lose all the time. >> reporter: and "20/20's" "menendez brothers" -- >> there's still a lot of purpose in life, even in confinement. >> reporter: are capturing the public's attention, causing many to re-examin decades-old crimes and in some cases presenting new insights. >> it's not a coincidence that "making a murderer" and the netflix series was successful and actually produced some measure of jtice years later, and i think, and i'm hopeful that the same thing will happen here. >> reporter: mark geragos was scott peterson's trial thou he n.atrnto longer reyepres peterson, he still visits him in prison. >> he looks good, and he's adjusted i suppose is the best way to put it. but you know, it's got to be tough, sitting there, having everybody assume that youe'r guilty, being declared by a jury to be guilty. >> and he hasn't spoken out about this since his ti. at me h wticco to speak outnv now? >> well, there's an appeals process that's ongoing. so it felt like a moment i think for him and for his lawyer to
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step up and say something about the case. >> reporter: john marks is the executive producer of the a&e series re-examining the case that gripped the country nearly 15 years ago. laci peterson, eight months pregnant, disappeared on christmas eve 2002. within days it turned into a media public appeals for help in finding her. >> any law enforcement in people's area, any hospitals, any birthing centers, just keep the word out there because she will be giving birth real soon. we need to bring them home. i think that's the best way we can do it all. >> reporter: scott told police he'd been fishing the day laci disappeared but investigators were skeptical and eventually searched peterson's home and the waters where he said he'd spent the day. then about a month after laci went missing a woman named amber frye comes forward with a bomb shell admission that changed everything. >> scott told me he was not married. we did have a romantic relationship. >> when she came forward, it turned the tide. because it proved everything he
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had been saying was a big fat lie. >> reporter: the image of peterson as the loving husband had been turned on its head. months passed, and still no signs of laci. and then finally, the remains of lass sxw laci and her unborn childashed ashore in san francisco bay. >> no parent should ever have to think about the way her child was murdered. in my mind i keep hearing laci please find me and con sxr bring or and bring m scared, please don't leave us out here all alone. >> reporter: scott peterson was arrested on two felony counts of murder. f i will nevert thosege big brown eyes. it seemed like in every picture she reminded me of the brown-eyed girl in the song. and she was like america's sweetheart. like your little sister or your next-door neighbor girl. and for her to bededust fore s'sur m about to give is almost sacrilegious.
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just wrong. >> reporter: his trial was a media circus outside, but cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom for most of the trial. >> biggest mistake i ever made was not having cameras in the courtroom. because what ended up happening is people just assumed by watching people commenting on the case who weren't in the courtroom t they heard or sawhat w washat true. >> reporter: scott peterson never took the witness stand, so the jury never had a chance to evaluate his story directly, though he did speak with abc before being arrested. >> did you murder your wife? >> no. no. i did not. >> reporter: that interview was played in court, including about his affair with amber aci frye. >> i told my wife. >> when? >> early december. >> reporter: and the world watched as the verdict came in. >> scott peterson murder trial. a jury has just convicted him of guilty. >> reporter: the jurors rejected the defense's argument that scott peterson had been framed, and the next month peterson was sentenced to death. >> you know that scott was a
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married man? >> reporter: the a&e series revisits some of the key players and moments, including never before released 2004 audio recordings where peterson tries to explain why he continued talking to his mistress after laci went missing. >> why did you talk to amber after laci had gone missing? >> throughout it all she starts giving media interviews during the search for laci and conner. i saw what happened with the search for command rah levy with gary condon when it was revealed he had sex with her. there was no more search for her. every hour i could keep the search going it would bring laci and conner home. >> scott petersson says he kept talking to his mistress because d thought boing that it woyuld help find laci and conne. i have never heard anything so outlandish in my life. he did not want amber frye to find out he was married.
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he did not want amber frye to find out he was married to a woman who was missing. >> reporter: in the a&e series ed wonrs by his iews with scott sister-in-law janie. squle knows he's being recorded. he knows he's being interviewed. and he knows he's being recorded for this series. so are you worried he tailored his answers at all? >> he did. i'm sure he was very careful about what he said. but we're not telling this from scott's point of view. how i would put it is scott's voice is a voice in this series. and that's auth entically what he wanted to say. >> peterson points to defense theories about his innocence. >> there are so many witnesses who saw here neighborhood after i left. >> the state contends that laci peterson was killed in the late night hours of december 23 into the morning hours of december 24. that is their theory. based on a lot of circumstantial evidence. the defense theory has varied. why? because it's not true. >> reporter: thests and turns owif the trial t captivat
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nation, with the day-to-day details sometimes shrouded in the media frenzy. >> people had a ton of information. so you'd think, wow, we knew everything we needed to know about this case. and yet what's strange is that with all that information flowing at peopleer vy known ab actual facts of the case. >> reporter: the second look at the peterson case follows other true crime sensations like "making a murderer." >> if you're not sorry, i can't help you. >> reporter: brendan dassey, a subject of "making a murderer," had his conviction overturned after the show focused attention on how investigators got his confession. he had spent nearly a decade behind bars. >> what do you think your mom would say if she knew you were sitting here lying to me? >> reporter: still a&e producers say this is not an exoneration piece and they look at all sides of the peterson case. >> we did not tell him we're setting out to exonerate you. the petersons understood ireallr team to tell this sprawling, incredibly complicated story at
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its greatest length and really fill in all the missing details. >> reporter: scott peterson's appeal to get off death row is pending. for "nightline" i'm diane macedo in new york. >> our thanks to diane macedo for that report. the documentary series "the murder of laci peterson" airs tuesday nights on a&e. next, hollywood stunts gone wrong. tom cruise slamming into the side of a building, and now on the set of "deadpool 2," a fatal accident. this idive into the classicster. crab lover's dream or new dueling crab legs with dungeness and snow crab.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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when you're watching a movie fight scene or a car chase or a helicopterosion, it's easy topl ex forget that there are r
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people performing those stunts and sometimes they're taking real risks. tonight we're going to explore the dangers involved in shooting these increasingly intense hollywood action sequences. after a week of stunts gone wrong. here's abc's gio benitez. >> reporter: from the high-speed chases of "mad max: fury road," to the heart-pounding hand-to-hand combat in "captain america: civil war." stunt performers work behind the scenes to make seemingly impossible feats into big-screen action sequences. but these larger-than-life stunts can turn deadly in an instant. >> lost control, went across the street over a curb and through a glass pane window into a building across the street. >> that audio obtained by tmz describes the fatal'll crash that took place earlier this week after stuntwoman joy harris lost control of her motorcycle. >> the stunt actor was airborne through the building. >> reporter: she was pronounced dead on the set in vancouver. she had reportedly performed the before something went wrong on
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the fifth take. harris, seen here in video from a 2015 competition, was the first female african-american professional road racer. her part in the sequel to the record-breaking 2016 hit "deadpool" was her first major movie role. the film's star ryan reynolds paid tribute to the stuntwoman on twitter saying, "we're heartbroken, shocked, and devastated but recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment." and this isn't the first on-set tragedy to rock hollywood this summer. in july stuntman john bernaker was killed on the set of amc's hit series "the walking dead." tmz also obtainingm io . audro >> f we had someone fall about feet off of a balcony straight onto concrete. we need an ambulance asap. >> reporter: bernaker reportedly bleeding and barely conscious after plunging to the ground. >> is he able to talk to y?odyb was transported
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to a level 1 trauma center but later died of his injuries. a seasoned veteran, he worked on "the hunger games" and in marvel's upcoming action movie "black panther." stewart wilson has worked in the industry for more than 2 1/2 decades. some of his most prominent roles have come a bwi's unoue in hits like "live free or die hard." >> i've been with bruce willis, doubling him. we just got back from doing our 21st film together over the past 11 years. i think we have a really good working relationship. we have such rapport now that i know what he expects me to do. i know how he'll move. >> spine pad. >> reporter: through his career wilson has racked up plenty of bumps and bruises. >> torn left quad, blown out right knee, compression injury on c-5, 6 and 7, 1/3 less sensory feeling in my right arm. and in march i don't know if you can see this lump in my shoulder, i tore all the ligaments in my shoulder going out a window onto the sidewalk in new york of all places. >> reporter: but he says he doesn't regret his career
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choice. >> there is that adrenaline rush. and when an entire cast and crew is watching and you've got to hit your mark and you have to have it done correctly, if you have to pull that off it is a big rush when you do that. for 30 seconds everybody loves you. then you, you know, walk off to craft service and nobody cares anymore. so till the next one. >> reporter: wilson teaches combat acting classes at a school in l.a. his sage safety advice for new students? >> if something doesn't look right, speak up. >> reporter: it's not only stunt performers who take risks. many performing their own stunts, like mission: imsshopoible was the set of the franchise's sixth installment this week. attempting to jump from one building to another, seen limping afterwards in this "sonta r s t wars: the force awakens" harrison ford broke a leg after being crushed by a door. >> stunts by their very
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definition carry risk, and risk is not something we eliminate. risk is something we manage and and we control. >> reporter: chris palmer has built a career out of trying to make high-flying, high risk stunts safer. >> the short version and i say it jokingly sometimes is i'm the adult supervision. my job is to try to identify the risks that are face the production. >> reporter: his resume includes work on more than 700 projects, including the james bond series and "olympus has fallen." and after the tragic helicopter accident that killed actor vic morrow and two children on the set of "twilight zone," palmer worked to reafety standards in horkllywoo sd. >> i think that what we've seen with each, you know, high-profile accident in this injury, there is a lot of discussion in the industry, well, we're going to change things. however, the commitment and the actual follow-through isn't always there. >> what is there, he says, is pressure to perform with bigger, better feats. >> people expect to be wowed.
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it'slso being driven by the distributors that if you're asking me to put up this kind of money for the rights to a film it's got to be something that's got a really good chance to be successful. and big action still sells. >> reporter: members of the crew not immune either. in 2015, 27-year-old sar jones ilwamisng "midnight rider" on an active train trestle. >> at first it was like a quiet. like people were in shock. i remember hearing somebody say oh, my gosh, she's dead. >> reporter: joyce gillard was on set that day. >> they wanted to get the shot. so whatever it took to get the shot is what they did. the entire crew was put in a situation where we didn't know what to do and we all had to basically run for our lives. >> reporter: the director of the film and two others eventually pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing. >> i used to tell people, you
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know, when i'd get called in to investigate accidents, no one 'm i intensive care orinkin i'm going to be in the morgue tonight. and i think sometimes in the industry weevse deopel of invul. we do amazing things every day. difficult things in difficult places under very difficult circumstances. and we do them vel wyeryl safel. but i think that everyone has to sometimes stop and think, well, what if. >> repor nr:teow and s t cautioy harris was killed a grim reminder that what if can turn into a tragic reality in a heartbeat. for "nightline" i'm gio benitez in new york. next here the inspiring comeback colorado rockies pitcher chad bettis throwing a seven-inning shutout in his first game since a battle with cancer. the incredible crowd reaction. one laugh, and hello sensitive bladder.
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finally tonight, if he could fight cancer, what chance dide h
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raves have? >> and again, i cannot imagine what's going through his mind right now. >> reporter: colorado rockies pitcher chad bettis is taking the mound again. his first time pitching since late last year. under the welcome signs bettis threw fastballs topping 93 miles per hour, making a remarkable comeback after battling his toughest opponent, cancer. >> that is see you later, strike 3. >> reporter: then a standing ovation. >> standing ovation for chad bettis. >> reporter: handshakes from his coach. and bear hugs from his teammates. a win not just for chad bettis, his team and family, but an inspiration to others also fighting cancer. >> surround yourself with people that are positive. it's never really done. you're always fighting for someone next to you. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm clayton sandell in denver. >> thanks for watching abc news. as always, we're online 24/7 at and on our "nightline" facebook page. thanks again for watching and thanks again for watching and good night.
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