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tv   2020  ABC  April 5, 2019 9:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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jj! why are your pants on backwards?! . >> reporter: this young lady vanished into thin air. that was the piece of the puzzle we had to solve first. >> the last we see of her. >> someone dumpd her out there. >> to die? >> yes. >> i was in too much pain. my head was not working. >> this woman had a horrific assault. she has no clue what happened to her. >> were you thinking this case is unsolvable? >> i take you in a blind alley. i can take to the promised land nchth ken pistons up on this one ligs piece of information that everyone else missed.
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>> this was the defining moment in the whole case right here. >> this is a pretty bizarre theory. >> what kind of investigator are you? >> i tried to get myself back in the accident and see if i can remember something else. >> wow. >> wow is right. >> you grot ot to be kidding me. right now the temperature's as cool as homestead at 70 and as warm as 74. should be a very good beach day, sun's up a 6:51. >> this was one of those cases that just sorta grabs you by the throat. it's just a complete mystery. >> it's 8:15, 8:30 in the morning. the sun's starting to come up. you've got a florida power and light worker driving up the street, and he notices what he
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thinks is a body. >> a white female, blond hair, nude, battered up, unconscious, lying on the side of the road. she was dumped out and left for dead. >> this mystery woman who's just sort of turned up out of nowhere. clearly, a crime has happened. and they don't know what to make of this at this point in the game. >> the woman was airlifted to jackson memorial hospital's rider trauma center in critical condition. >> miami dade detective allen foote was the one who got this case. >> she had cuts on her face. she has a swollen jaw, bruises on her body. she was unconscious for almost 24 straight hours. >> i started out by going out and knocking door to door in the area. >> i didn't see anything or heard anything. >> there is no clothing or anything that would distinguish who she is. >> we've got no identification.
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>> i've got a jane doe on my hands. i'm running into nothing. >> and now the big question for investigators. who is this woman? and what happened to her? >> a day passed as investigators waited to see if she was gonna regain consciousness. >> i remember, voices around me, somebody asked me what was my name. i had a lot of pain. i was in pain. very, very, very painful, painful. >> at first it's almost impossible for her to speak but she can write. >> when she came to, i get a phone call, telling me that she's written some things down on a piece of paper. >> her name is inna budnytska. she's ukrainian. she wasn't particularly adept with english. inna had been working for a cruise ship line. >> i wanted to have an occupation in my life.
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i want to be someone but i guess this all change. >> one of the things she writes down is my attorney's name is this, and a phone number. >> why did she write "attorney"? did she need an attorney? had she done something? what was that all about? so that was kind of the mystery number one. >> i did not know whether she was involved in something civil, or something criminal. but, for someone to ask for an attorney as a victim right off the bat does throw a red flag. >> i didn't know nobody. i was alone up here. so the, the only one person who i knew, that was my attorney. >> she was trying to reconstruct the events of probably the most horrific thing that can happen to anybody, much less a visitor to a strange country. >> her attorney basically tells me she has a civil lawsuit from an injury she sustained while working for the cruise line. >> my finger was cut, and i was
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signed off of the ship for the medical treatment. >> she was recovering from this injury and the cruise ship line had put her up in the hotel where she was just biding her time until the wound healed. >> the first break detective foote has in this case is that the hotel where she is staying has a rather sophisticated extensive surveillance camera system. >> we have 16 cameras covering the whole perimeter of the hotel, including parking lot, the entrance, the exits, the lobby, the restaurant, the lobby bar, the front desk, the back exits. those cameras have a motion sensor detector. and then we have two security guards at night on duty. so we can see anybody or anything that happens in the -- in the perimeter of the hotel. >> so detective foote starts to look at the cameras. >> now, where's the guard shack. up here? it's here. >> frame by frame to see if he
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can capture his victim and also anybody else that might have interacted with her inside the hotel. >> there's no video cameras in the hallways. they don't do that for privacy of your guests. there's no video cam in the elevator, so all you have to rely on is the exterior and the interior lobby. >> in the hospital, slowly inna is beginning to fill in a few blanks about what happened to her on the night of the attack. >> i left the hotel. i went outside with my friend, for dinner. i had fun. we stayed there awhile. had some drinks. >> we were able to place her coming back to the hotel at approximately 11:30, midnight. there's no mistaking her. >> the security cameras catch her leaving again at 3:33 a.m. in a red jacket and returning at 3:40.
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>> did that strike you as odd that she's going and coming in the middle of the night? >> i mean, she could explain that. >> i went to the gas station to buy a phone card. i'm very close with my mother. i used to call her very often, back in ukraine. i love her and i miss her, she misses me. >> after running her errands, inna returns to the hotel lobby at about 3:41 a.m. and she's never seen by those cameras again. >> it's the last we see of her. so that's how we believe she was attacked in the hotel. >> the only chance that you have of sorting out what happened to her is when she starts talking. >> the memory was not clear, because i was in pain, too much pain. my head was not working, absolutely. i was in shock. i couldn't stand up. and i could not walk. it was very cold. if i remember it was like very, very cold.
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and dark -- and cold. >> the fragments of memory that she had didn't add up in any significant way. >> the biggest mystery, of course, is how did she get out of the hotel? do you come up with any theories? >> i was looking for anything. >> i'm looking in her room, over the balcony. i am looking in the bushes to see if a body was thrown over and there was a -- a -- a body imprint or if maybe if she was lowered, by rope. >> but all of the possible explanations didn't check out. the effort to find out who had done this to her was really hung up on the question of how had she ended up 8 miles away in the weeds. >> they just have questions here, very few answers. is she somehow involved in this? >> is there something in her life that wasn't revealed? somebody she knows. is it somehow tied to the hotel? ( ♪ ) man: you can do this! grab those command picture hanging strips
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♪ and i owe it all to you the most delicious union of all time, is back. kentucky fried chicken and waffles, for a limited time at kfc. this investition is yielding nothing. investigators are still trying
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to figure out who would have attacked this woman and left her for dead in a field. detective alan foote is becoming frustrated. >> i start following other leads, suspects in the case. >> investigators identify the person that she was out with the night she disappeared -- peter dimouleas, who's a greek national and he also works on a cruise ship. >> the police they ask me what happened with inna? >> he told me that they went out to the coconut grove area where they went bar hopping. they had quite a few drinks, and eventually about 10:00 that night they caught a cab back to his apartment, he gets out, and then she takes the cab to her, hotel room. >> why i have to worry? i don't worry. i know i am not on the crime. >> as police look into peter's background they realize that several months prior peter was
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actually arrested for a dispute between the two of them at a night club in miami. >> peter felt that there were some unsavory characters there, and wanted her to leave. so, she did not want to leave, and he kind of grabbed her by the arm, and they got into a little argument, and an officer working security arrested him for domestic violence. >> did that make him a suspect in your mind? >> partially. >> but then there are people in the hotel that they are also looking at. there is the night manager george perez what does he know? >> the very first time i met george perez, he looked at me and said, "oh my god, i hate cops." >> pretty blunt, pretty honest. >> oh, yeah, i'm used to it. >> was i nervous? absolutely, i would have every right to be. >> so they're taking a good look at george perez because, first of all, he has this hostile attitude, he doesn't like cops. he's made that very clear. but then there's videotape of
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him talking to inna. you can see her arm in this surveillance camera where clearly she's had conversations with him. >> he left the front desk, uh, unattended, and went into the elevator with the victim, and was gone for approximately 15 minutes, and then came back down alone. i asked him why he was going in the elevator with inna, and he told me she was a little intoxicated. >> george has a master key to every room in the hotel. and so it was important to sort of timeline him the night she disappeared. >> she had had a few drinks out with her friends. and i could tell that she was a little bit intoxicated. so i escorted her, made sure she got into the room safely, came back down to my post. >> does she look intoxicated on the tape to you? >> no, no. so with that, he became my second suspect. >> by now in the investigation
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the police realize that not only was she severely beaten but she was also raped, so now they believe they have the dna of a suspect. >> so now investigators go back to that friend and the hotel manager to get their dna to see if it was a match. >> they had asked me if i would be subject to a dna sample, which i voluntarily agreed to, without a problem. >> also i don't afraid about that. >> and then finally they think they may have a little bit of a break here. inna is beginning to remember. fragments of that night are starting to come into focus. >> i saw dreams, i saw nightmares. for me it was very difficult to realize what was the reality, what was not the reality. >> what had she said about who she thought had assaulted her? >> there were two white gentlemen, i don't think she could give me an age.
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they were either hispanic or european accents. >> i remember, i guess at least two other people. i don't remember the faces. i remember like a noise, and i remember a person, like, standing over you, putting like, a pillow, or something. and then it's dark, you know, it's just like a feeling that you cannot breathe. >> inna's memory was very iffy and she kept coming up with slightly different versions of what she thought might have happened so they did try hypnotism, they tried everything they could think of. >> one memory she has is of being taken down the back stairs of the hotel out the door and put into a car. >> and i remember that something is going down, down and down, like somebody carries you. and like, you're going down, down, down, down. and it's like a flash, it's small flashes of the memory.
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>> she also said that she had vague memories of being sexually assaulted in a car. >> i remember a laugh, somebody was laughing, at this point. >> the problem is there are surveillance cameras at this back door that doesn't capture any of this. >> and, the camera's working properly. so, we reached a dead end on that point. it just didn't fit. >> for every step forward they get a couple steps backward because her memory is all over the place, then she's certain she remembers something happening in her room. >> so, her story is changing. how much of a red flag was that to you? >> for me it wasn't a giant red flag. she had some head trauma, some serious head trauma, and i was giving the benefit of the doubt that that's pretty much what was causing the lack of memory. >> investigators obviously are wide open to look at any
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potential lead and search inna's room to see if there's any evidence of an attack there. >> i'm expecting furniture to be flipped. dressers to be knocked over, bed mattresses all over. i found it as a typical room, undisturbed. >> no sign of a fight or assault? >> no. bed's unmade. i found beer bottles, i found clothes hanging in the bathroom, but nothing to indicate that there had been any kind of a struggle. >> what's hard for the detectives is that inna is a victim, of course. but they're beginning to think that there is more to her story than she is willing to tell them or maybe can tell them. >> investigators are frustrated, and so they go back and look as much as they can at inna's movements. and it helps them that the hotel has a swipe key card system, so they'll be able to see exactly when she went into her room. >> they notice that inna is coming back into the hotel, getting on the elevator and it's
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3:41 a.m. but then when she gets back to her room, and she's got that key to swipe that tells what time, it's 3:58. that's 17 minutes. that's a big gap. what happened? police then have to look at a kind of unsavory theory. could she be a prostitute? could she have possibly gone to meet somebody? maybe a john at his room? >> they didn't told me exactly, are you prostitute? all right? but, the questions were like -- you know, if i ever had a sex for money, and this kind of question. it was emotionally difficult. very, very, very difficult. >> talking to employees at the hotel, security guards outside, even talking to her, i'm picking up absolutely zilch, nothing to indicate that she was as prostitute. >> on the contrary, everybody
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thought very highly of her. very quiet, very private girl. >> so that left you kind of at a dead end at that point. >> right. >> the case seems to be going nowhere. and then somebody else enters the picture. an unlikely character, who has a pretty unlikely theory. >> i can feel it. i knew this was the guy. (mom) i pay too much and this phone is terrible. (paul) you should really stop overpaying for wireless. (sprintern) and upgrade to the brilliant iphone xr with sprint. (sassbot) yup, both an unlimited plan and iphone xr for just $35 per month. (mom) wait, both for that price? (son) both? (dad) both? (baby) both? [gasp] (mom) her first word! (paul) and you get both on sprint's network built for unlimited. (vo) switch and get both an unlimited plan and iphone xr lease for just $35 a month no trade-in required. for people with hearing loss, visit
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ken brennan is a private eye who's kind of right out of central casting. i mean if you've ever met him, you remember ken brennan.
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>> he wears open collars and gold chains and rings on his fingers and he rides a motorcycle. he speaks with a new york long island accent filled with profanity. he is funny, blunt, smart. >> if he's on a case, he's going to solve it. what is it about this kind of work that attracts you? >> who doesn't like catching bad guys? i've always enjoyed doing, even when i was a youngster. i've been working in law enforcement since 1974. i was a police officer before as well as being a federal agent. >> is it true that you've never taken a sick day? >> no, i really haven't. when you enjoy what you're doing, it never seems like a job then. >> so when the miami case dropped into your lap, what did you think?
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>> the mere fact that nobody knew how she got out of the hotel. that she just kind of vanished. and especially because it involved a sexual assault. >> this is a guy who feels determined to get justice in cases that involve sexual predators. in fact, he told us that he carries around the arrest file of the very first sexual predator whom he interrogated. >> they're the worst crimes, i feel, of all of them. and there's too many of them out there that aren't solved. >> one of the big challenges in sexual assault cases is that it's typically not funded as much as robbery and homicide. and so, what has is that sexual assault investigators get overwhelmed. and these cases aren't easy to solve. >> as weeks turn to months, now nine months in the investigation and they still have no idea who attacked her. >> were you thinking at any point that this case is just unsolvable? >> i don't like to think that, and i really didn't think that.
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i always kept hope that something would eventually solve the case. i don't like to give up. >> by now, inna's filed a lawsuit against the hotel alleging negligence in the security that they had that allowed this to happen. >> we felt they could have had better security. they weren't monitoring the security cameras correctly. they let an assailant onto the grounds of the hotel. >> why and how somebody would get into your room without the key. how? >> the hotel is denying any wrongdoing so that's where ken brennan comes in. >> when a hotel gets sued in a big case like this, they will typically hire their own investigator to determine the facts as best they can.
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>> we have to clear the responsibility of the hotel. what happened in our hotel, it can happen in the best hotel in the world. >> the biggest glaring thing was is that nobody really knew how it occurred. everybody loves a good mystery. everybody wants to be the ability to solve something that somebody wasn't able to do before. so, of course that would be rewarding. >> what did you think of ken brennan when you first laid eyes on him? >> this guy is going to drive me nuts. >> most police officers don't like pis. >> how did you get him to accept and to trust you? >> i said, "hey, listen, allen, i'm not going to mess up your case, you know. i'm not going to screw it up." we're going to solve this thing. we're going to be a team, we're going to work it together. >> you don't like p.i.s, but yet you trusted him. why? >> there was just something about him that was honest. i really felt that he was going to do what he said. >> one of the first things that detective foote shares with private investigator ken brennan
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is that the dna doesn't match peter dimouleas or george perez. >> those two guys are eliminated, but now, ken brennan's trying to figure out what did happen. then he begins to share with the detectives suspicions about inna. could there be more to the story? could there be more about her? so he begins knocking on doors around the neighborhood where she was found. >> i bothered to take the time, and to surveil her activities while she was still in the neighborhood. there was nothing indicative of her being a prostitute. >> so you ruled that out. >> so i ruled that out pretty readily, in the very beginning of the investigation. >> i was very, very upset about this. very, very upset. i knew who i was. i know who i am. >> another mystery, the tape shows the victim entering the elevator at 3:41 a.m., and then her room key swipe is showing
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recording at 3:58. so, how did you explain those missing 17 minutes? >> there seemed to have been a problem, they thought that maybe she might have went to another room, went and saw somebody. i said, "well, listen, did anybody bother to take the time to find out if the time stamp on the security cameras, if that matched the time stamp on the card access system? which nobody ever did. and it turns out, when we did do that, there was a 17 minute lapse. >> so that mysterious gap in time wasn't really a mystery at all, just a clock that was 17 minutes off. >> i knew immediately that after she was on that elevator, she nt up directly to her room. >> one of the theories that occurred to ken was because inna had asked for a lawyer right in the beginning, there was some thought that this was sort of eastern european organized crime con. >> i thought that in this particular case that there might have been a possibility the
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whole purpose was to try to obtain money from either the insurance company or from the hotel itself. it happens all over the world. >> because she was filing the lawsuit against the hotel, a big lawsuit. >> exactly, and she didn't make a very good witness, because she flip flopped on a lot of statements that she'd given to police. >> it just make me to laugh. i mean, i don't know from where did they take this, and who came up with this idea. >> i believe that no matter what happened, it was going to be in video tape. >> how much footage were you going to have to comb through? because there were a lot of cameras in the hotel, right? >> hours upon hours upon hours upon hours. it was extensive. that's something that you have to go through almost frame by frame. >> frame by frame? >> it's a countless amount of hours. >> ken has a very deliberate way of looking at the cases that he takes. he knew she had to have left the hotel and he believed from everything that he understood about the way the camera systems worked that that had to have been recorded. >> you had to watch each and every frame, on every video,
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because we were originally looking for possibly an employee that might've moved one of the cameras out of the location it was originally at and maybe possibly snuck the victim past that way. >> slowly but surely, brennan has began to eliminate pretty much everybody they've looked at except one guy. >> she goes out, on the video, she goes out of the hotel early in the morning. when she returns, there's a big, large black man, standing with her and she just has a quick conversation with him, and they get onto the elevator together. >> i'm trying to look to see -- do they look like they know each other. because again, i'm thinking, this could still possibly be a scam or something like that, and after you keep reviewing it, it doesn't look like they have any kind of familiarity. he's just offering her to walk in front. she's not acknowledging him like she knows him. >> so brennan has kind of given up on this whole conspiracy theory idea.
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>> it eye peered in the video this was just a chance meeting. it didn't appear to be staged at all. >> now he's moved onto something else. he's looking at this one guy on the elevator but that seems like a stretch as well. >> later on during the video, he's seen exiting the elevator, so we follow him to another camera and he goes off the property. while i'm watching the video of this person coming off the elevator, i went through this frame at a time. >> sometimes the small details ultimately end up cracking a case. >> this was the defining moment in the whole case, right here. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost.
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this young lady vanished into thin air. that was the intriguing part. that was the piece of the puzzle that you had to solve first. >> ken brennan is now fixated on this guy he saw on the surveillance camera walking into the hotel. you first see him at that elevator, entering it with inna, at about 3:41 a.m. and then you see him leaving with a suitcase at 5:28. >> about an hour later, he comes back, and he re-enters the hotel but he doesn't have the suitcase with him. >> huh. does that register something right away in your mind? >> soon as he comes back without the suitcase, now he becomes a
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person of interest to me. >> he was the only one that had the time and the opportunity to commit the crime and come back to the scene. >> many people would look at this video and just think okay, a guy is wheeling a suitcase out of the elevator. brennan sees something that nobody else would see. >> ken observed that when this man pulled the suitcase out of the elevator, he had to give that little suitcase a tug to get it over the little lip between the elevator and the floor. >> the suspect has to reach back and grab the handles with both hands to pull that suitcase out of the crack. i do a lot of traveling, you do a lot of traveling, i'm sure you have a lot of your clothing items in there, was it ever so heavy you needed two hands to pull it out of the crack? no, probably not. >> as soon as -- soon as he made the tug, soon as he tugged that with both hands. like, a light bulb went off in my head, and i said, "she's in that suitcase." >> ken brennan is convinced that this suitcase may well have a body in it.
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and the problem is he's having trouble convincing the investigators, in particular detective foote, that this could be a plausible way that inna was taken out of the hotel. >> you know, where's this guy coming out of left field with this black, male suspect? >> alan foote's reaction was that this just was not possible. the suitcase was too small. it was just an outlandish theory. >> but this is a small suitcase, what would lead you to even think a woman could fit into a small suitcase? >> well, the reason why i thought a woman might be able to fit into the suitcase is because this is a large guy. so, our frame of reference on how large the suitcase is might be a little off. so, i decided to use a measurement of the suitcase in relationship with markings on the elevator itself. >> with that reference point, it's pretty incredible. brennan's able to determine that the bag is actually 29 inches high. and if you examine this image where we see the suitcase
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against the floor runner, he concludes the bag is 19 inches wide. just like this one. >> then i knew exactly how wide the suitcase was. >> ah. and then you were able to really theorize that someone could fit in there. >> that's correct. what i did was had a, one of the fellas that worked for me, had a girlfriend who was that size. so, we got a hold of a suitcase that was the same dimensions and see if she could fit in it. >> she did? >> yeah, she can, she fits fine. >> the theory seems so bizarre. i mean, a grown woman being stuffed into a suitcase? so we decided to conduct a little unscientific experiment just to see. we went to a gymnastics school and found a couple of women who were about inna's size, and if they would help us figure this out. our volunteer is about 5'3", inna's size, and to our shock and amazement, she was actually able to fit inside this suitcase, comfortably. we could zip it up and wheel her around.
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she was okay. but it proved brennan's theory. >> so i knew that she would fit. all's i was doing was basically validating what my hunch was. >> brennan's theory actually fits now. the evidence and even the timeline. he's able to conclude that this guy was able to go into the hotel, follow inna. we see him on the elevator, somehow assault her, put her in the suitcase. we see him leaving the hotel with a suitcase, get her in his car, drive her to a location and dump her body and then come right back to the hotel. >> all the puzzles started fitting together at that particular point. and i knew i had my guy then. and i just had to find out who the heck he was. >> the real dilemma at this point for ken brennan is he has a person pulling the suitcase. he has no idea who that person is. >> he's gotta find this guy. he's gotta identify this guy.
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>> actually he said that's a nice theory, good luck with it, let me know when you get any further. >> ken is persistent and, you know, he went after that lead. >> he is determined. >> he is determined. >> this is a pretty bizarre theory, how does this go over with the hotel? >> in fact, one of the owners said, what the hell kind of an investigator are you? he goes, you're telling me it's this big black guy, everybody else says it's two white, hispanic. where's this coming from? you know? and they all started laughing. and that's what really pissed me off. and i said, hell or high water, i'm going to find out. i'm going to prove to these people that i'm right. i knew this was the guy. and i was going to catch this guy. >> the case is pretty cold at this point, he's long gone. how do you even begin to try to find this guy? >> you know, i didn't know if he was somebody that was staying at the hotel, that was a visitor that was just visiting. if it's a guy just walked off the street.
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we didn't know, so that was the next part of the investigation. >> like so many hotels, this one actually photocopied ids of registered guests. but you can see the pictures are barely recognizable, and weren't even useful. >> so you go back to the tape? >> so i go back to the tape. >> and what do you find? >> i was looking to see if he had any interaction with any of the other people at the hotel. and he does. he ends up interacting with another fellow. >> the big question now is who is this second man that they see on the videotape? well, brennan, being the eagle eye that he is, notices right away that the man is wearing a lanyard around his neck. could that help them pinpoint where this guy might've worked? >> i'm trying to find out why he's wearing this name tag. >> problem is that they can't read it. the video simply isn't good enough to allow them to see what the name is on that lanyard. >> one of the problems with surveillance cameras are that they many times are not totally
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crystal clear. so, for example, if you have names on a nameplate, you may only capture part of it. and then fortunately, that's where brennan is at this point. he has partial words but he doesn't know exactly what they mean. >> he even went to nasa to see if they had ways of magnifying images that would tell him what was on that i.d. badge. >> i say, listen, you know, i know you guys look at digital photography from light years away, maybe you could help me out on this case that i'm working. >> so they couldn't, they couldn't do it? >> no. so, they informed me, listen, we tried, but we're not able to get that for you, so -- i said, "okay, fine, let's go back to the tape." >> later on in the video, when he's out by the hallway, you can clearly see that this says
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mercury. but it's -- >> what's -- what's mercury? >> that was the problem, i didn't know. could be anything. on the back of his shirt you could make out barely a v and an o. and for whatever reason, i don't know, i think that says verado. what the hell's a verado? i said, "i don't know, let's find out." so then i went online and did a search. and i got a hit. and it showed that mercury marine made a brand new outboard engine, by the name of verado. after i sathat, and i realized that was a boat engine, i said, these guys are working at the boat show. >> he discovered that in fact this big boat show had been going on at the same time that this crime occurred. >> and then they learned that mercury was a major exhibitor during the boat show. brennan is convinced that he's just about to close this case. he assumes that the guy he's looking at works with this other guy that he's seen on the tape at mercury. and so now the only thing he's gotta do is figure out who he is. >> ken would text me or send me emails of everything he is doing
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and he tells me about the t-shirt and the verado. and at this point, i am giving him the thumbs up, good job. >> mercury marine is actually, the parent company is a company by the name of brunswick. i ended up contacting brunswick, speaking to the head of security, and i said, listen, do you have any employees that stayed at the airport regency hotel. he said, "no, we didn't." >> so it's a dead end? >> so, it's a little bit of a set back. i said, well, trust me, one of the guys there is walking around with one of those mercury verado shirts, somebody was giving them out. so, he goes, "okay, let me get back to you." so i said, "okay, fine." couple days later he calls me back, he says, "far as we can tell, the only people that received any of the verado shirts were employees that worked at the food court." >> so another connection? >> so there's another connection. i said, well, let's find out who's the caterer for the miami boat show. so, it ends up becoming a company called center plate. so i end up contacting center plate. and they told me, "listen, we'd love to be able to help, but we hire people from all over the country.
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we wouldn't be able to tell you where these people stayed no matter what." >> they told him that they do reimburse people for housing. but they have no idea where they might stay. >> they simply don't have that kind of detail. these are people who are coming in, doing contract work. and when it comes to the hotel, it's up to them where they stay. >> they can't say who stayed at the regency airport hotel. so now, he's hit another dead end. >> but i've come a long way, and i said i'm not going to give up on this guy yet. i said, "listen, he's really distinctive. the guy's about 6'4". he's a black fella, and he wears glasses." so i said, "does anybody remember working with a guy that matches that description?" sure enough, about a week or so later, he says, nobody knows the guy's name, but one of the people that remembered seeing this fellow, remembers something about him being hired out of louisiana. he believes that's where he's
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from. >> so now you've gone from miami to louisiana? >> so now i'm over in louisiana. >> brennan's search is now taking a big turn to the big easy. trying to find somebody in new orleans is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. >> there's no way 50i78 going to let this guy go. i'm going to track this guy down. (vo) potluck. the communal feast.
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>> found miamis away in where she was. she had been badly beaten. >> you are fighting for your life and for someone, it was funny. >> someone was laser focussed on this case, determined to solve it. >> it comes down to one particular moment where he feels he pulls it together. >> a light bulb went off in my head and i said, she's in that suitcase. he stuffed her in that suitcase like she was a corpse. i'm so far in the investigation. no way i'm not going to find it. >> he is going in for the kill. >> he is like, i got the guy. this is going to be your guy. >> the person is so casual that he acts light a person who has done this sort of thing before. >> you will see. other cases will pop up. >> bingo. >> i screamed with everything i had. >> on that night, my whole life changed. >> it was like jekyll and hyde.
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i could just see the monster come over him. >> i knew i had the guy. i had to find out, where is he? >> it's new orleans, it's mardi gras. it is one of the biggest parties of the year. >> but mardi gras also can have a dark side. >> the wildness of mardi gras can be a problem for the police because people who are drinking that much in crowded situations, sometimes they're out of control. and it can be, it can cause real law enforcement problems. >> it was here in 2000 that captain ernest demma found himself in the middle of all this mayhem, trying to arrest a rowdy college kid, and it did not go well.
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>> this is 10:00, 11:00 at night, i was in the process of affecting arrest and during the course of the arrest a young college kid was able to get out of my grasp and start running down royal street and for all practical purposes once he gets in the crowd it's over. and out of nowhere, out of nowhere from the crowd comes this dark imposing figure just like you'd see in the batman comic book. i mean, he swooped down on this kid before the kid even knew what was going on. >> i happen to have been on vacation with my two boys and we were at mardi gras. there was a tussle and the guy broke away from him and started running through the crowd. and i witnessed it, and i ran the guy down. >> and boom. batman comes, swoops down on him, tackles him in the street, pins him down and by the time we
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got there it was over. i gave him the nickname batman just because of how the incident unfolded. >> yeah, he called me batman, because i had a black turtleneck -- >> and you swooped in -- >> -- black jeans on, so when i went and grabbed the guy, he said i looked like batman coming through the crowd. so -- >> it was almost like we bonded together immediately. >> so, we end up becoming friends because of that incident and he says, listen, you ever need any help in new orleans, give me a call. well, i needed help in new orleans. >> so that time is now. brennan reaches out to captain demma of the new orleans police department for help. >> he called me and he said ernie, this is ken brennan. i said who? he said batman and then i knew who he was. >> i call him up, and i say, listen, you know, i need help. >> well, like i said if he would've called me and asked me for anything, especially criminal activity, i would've found it. >> so he calls him and he tells him about this big investigation, about the guy
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with the suitcase. how he's trying to track down who this guy is and having a tough time doing it. and he tells him about this company, centerplate, that had employed a guy from louisiana who fits the description of the suspect he is looking for. >> ken knows that the man he's looking for was doing food concessions. and he needs somebody in new orleans to help him find out who this person was. >> centerplate handles a venue outside of new orleans at a semi pro baseball stadium. so i said listen, you know, i know it's not even in your city but do you mind sending a guy out and seeing if you can find a guy, a big 6'4" black guy wearing glasses? >> that kind of information wouldn't even really be in the computer because we're looking for someone who only fit the description of a large african american and we really didn't have any information on him per say that i know of.
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it was just talking with the other officers who worked at the zephyr field and see if they knew anybody that fit that description. >> this is a big deal for brennan because he at least now has the power and authority of the new orleans police to follow up on leads in that jurisdiction, which he wouldn't have had otherwise. >> so he's good enough to send the sergeant out to that locality. >> and, from the contacts at zephyr field, from the information we received, we were able to come up with a hard description on the person that he was looking for. >> trying to find somebody in new orleans is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack because since that attack had happened hurricane katrina has devastated the area. >> officialing estimate that 80% of new orleans is under water. >> all these levies had started to breach and that water was coming into the city, and there was no way to stop it.
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>> the community there had literally been scattered to the four winds. >> so, i said well, who knows if this guy is even -- if he's alive. who know if he's living there anymore, what he's doing, what's going on. i said i have no idea. i said, "i came this far, i'm not gonna give up yet." >> ken brennan's friend in new orleans actually helped him enormously by tracking down the person he looking for. >> it's a big city. there's a lot that they don't know, and yet somehow they're able to figure out that he worked at the superdome when katrina hit. and they get a name. >> it has been months and months. brennan trying to just get a name to this video image on tape and when he finally hears the name -- >> i go, you gotta be kidding me. >> unfortunately, it's a name we've all heard before.
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>> from miami to louisiana, this case was taking private investigator ken brennan on a multistate manhunt. >> as long as i had a gasping breath on this case, i was gonna make sure that i saw it to the end. >> this guy is exactly what you want. obsessed, taking it personally, and unwilling to give up, even if that involves some wacky theories that other people would say no way, no how. >> brennan's got a contact in new orleans. and incredibly they're actually able to find the name of the suspect. but that name isn't the break he was hoping for. >> they come back and tell me the guy's name is mike jones. i go, "you gotta be kidding me."
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mike jones, what is there 10 million of them? >> mike jones. >> mike jones, that's the guy's name. i said, geez, you know -- >> that's as generic as you can get? >> yeah, i mean, the guy's name was, like, miguel gorbachev or something, you know, it would be a hell of a lot easier to track down. but a guy named mike jones is pretty tough. >> the name mike jones, there's nothing worse than that, in terms of trying to figure out who it is. at least they've got a middle name. and that's lee. so now they have michael lee jones. and now they have to do more detective work. >> the combination of having the middle name leads them to potentially identifying and locating this person. >> what i did was i took that information, i went back to the hotel registry, and lo and behold, what do i find out? that there was a michael lee jones jr. that did stay at the airport regency hotel. >> that's a pretty big moment. >> yeah, well, that's an ah-ha moment where you say, hey listen, at least i know i was on the right track.
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and they notated on his card that he did work for center plate. the mike jones that i was looking for was the same mike jones that was in miami at the miami boat show on that day. and now i just gotta find out where the hell is he. >> brennan is on a pretty good winning streak at this point. now, it turns out michael jones no longer works for centerplate. but brennan is gonna roll the dice once more. >> one thing you have to do as an investigator is follow employment. and so now you have a suspect that works in food concessions. so the idea is, "well, let's see if we can find him." >> i said the likelihood is that even though he doesn't work for center plate anymore that he's probably going to work for one of their competitors, doing the same line of work. so, i asked the guy from center plate, i said, "listen, give me a list of your, like, ten top competitors in this business." >> this guy is not giving up. he makes a master list of all the catering companies in the country and calls them one by one asking if they have a
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michael jones working for them. >> and he gets varying levels of cooperation from various companies. >> at the bottom of the list is a company called ovations. it's based in tampa. >> i made an appointment to go and see him in person. i talked to the c.o.o. of the company. i said, "listen, do you have a michael lee jones working for you?" he says, "listen," he says, "i can't, can't help you with that." he says, "i can't give you any information about my employees. i'd require a subpoena to be able to release that." >> they want a subpoena. what does that tell you? >> so what it tells me, that the guy works there. you know, why else ask for a subpoena? you know, i talked to, you know, 35 other companies, and nobody had an objection to telling me that. no, no michael lee jones worked there. >> brennan's now gotta turn to detective alan foote. he's the miami dade detective who originally handled the case and let brennan just run with it. >> how urgent was it for you to get that subpoena right away? >> i wanted it right away.
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>> i obtain a subpoena for this guys' records, michael lee jones' records. and as soon as i received the information, i faxed the information to ken. >> it was very important, and fortunately he was able to obtain the subpoena for me and and get it faxed over to the company of ovation, to the c.o.o. over there while i was still present. >> ovations finally releases the information. and it's just as brennan suspected. he's working for them. and he's working, now at a minor league baseball park in frederick, maryland. >> it sometimes can make it really frustrating for investigators as the offenders just pass through that location. and so as a result, it makes them sometimes difficult to catch. so, i said, listen, you know, we gotta get some dna from this guy. either from voluntarily or without his knowledge. 'cause, i have a dna profile from the victim and we have to match it to somebody. >> it's the moment ken brennan has been waiting for. at long last he's about to come face-to-face with that mystery man with the suitcase.
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you take whatever clue you have wherever you can go, and you just keep working at it, and see where it takes ya. might take you to a dead end, might take you to a blind alley, but it might take you to the promised land! >> it's been more than a year since inna budnystka was attacked in that miami hotel. and ken brennan has located that mystery man he's been searching for, michael jones in frederick, maryland. >> frederick, maryland, is in the western part of the state, in the mountains. >> at this point are you elated? you've found the guy. >> yeah, i'm pretty excited, because i'm getting close to the end of the chase. >> he is telling me, "this is gonna be your guy." and i am thinking, "it's a theory, but i still have no indication that it's a black male." >> so you are not there yet. >> i am not there yet. i am not there.
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>> and i can understand his reluctance, however, i knew i had the guy. i had to get this guy up there to get him. >> so, what do you tell detective foote? what do you need next? >> so, i said, "listen, we gotta get some dna from this guy. either voluntarily, or without his knowledge." so he made arrangements with his departments to be able to fly up to frederick, maryland, and he was able to interview the suspect at the time. >> detective allen foote is the first to actually confront michael jones. >> he found him working at the food concession of a minor league baseball park in frederick. >> what was he like, when you first met him? >> a teddy bear. >> a teddy bear? a big -- >> a big -- >> a mild-mannered guy? >> a mild-mannered guy. he was soft spoken. he appeared to be educated. he was very, i thought, forthcoming. >> michael jones doesn't seem to be rattled at all. he is cool, calm and collected while he talks to the detective. >> oh, he is staying cool as a
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cucumber. oh, yeah, he is just very relaxed, leaned back in the chair. no hiding, or stuttering, looking for something. >> jones does confirm that he was in miami, he was working at the boat show and that he was indeed staying at that regency hotel when inna was attacked. >> so i am thinking, "hmm, okay." so i said, "do you have any sex with european women?" and he says, "yes, but it was with a german woman at the boat show." so i have to kinda throw out some more at him, "was it a russian girl? was it at the hotel?" and he is completely denying it. and he's being totally cooperative. >> that's exactly what you want to do if the police or authorities are asking some very serious questions. >> and so i came out. and i eventually flat out asked him, did you rape, beat, drop for dead? did you do it?" and he says, "well, no, of course not." so i -- >> and does he seem believable, at that point? >> yes, he does. and then, i asked him, "would
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you be willing to give a dna specimen? because i have specimens from the rape." and he said, "absolutely." >> jones readily gives up his dna, because he believes they can't link him to this crime. >> what did that tell you, that he was so willing and -- >> i figured the guy didn't do it. >> he says, "i don't know, ken. i don't think so. i talked to him." i said, "yeah, i know you talked to him. i'm telling you, it's the guy." >> it's gonna take a while for these dna samples to come back. >> so while brennan is waiting for the dna to come back, he contacts senior investigator tom chase with the frederick police department. >> i informed lieutenant chase that i believed that he might be a person of interest for him in case something happened in one of those neighborhoods that he could possibly be responsible for. >> i utilized my contacts to keep an eye on the fact that he was still in town because i want to make sure he's available for
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them when they're ready to come and get him. >> this is the ballpark where he was working at the time, and this is where he was living. >> if the authorities have a strong hunch that someone's responsible for a very serious crime, they can keep an eye on that person. >> i was more diligent in keeping track of the reports that were coming in for any type of suspicious person or any type of -- any type of sexual assaults. >> he had his officers going by to keep an eye on him. he was going by on his own time, on his way home from work. >> brennan can't stand just sitting around waiting, waiting, waiting, so he actually gets jones to meet him, at the ballpark, to talk to him. >> and i interviewed him for three successive days. >> basically, these interviews with offenders are sort of a cat-and-mouse game. the offender's trying to figure out what you know as the
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investigator, and the investigator is trying to better understand the offender. >> the guy is calm and collected. what does he tell you? >> he says, "listen, i don't know what you're talking about. yeah, i was at the boat show. yeah, you know, i hooked up with a couple girls while i was there, but i don't know anything about this russian girl." >> are you believing him? >> no. >> not at all? >> not for a minute. not for a second. because the first thing is, if he had nothing to do with it, why would he talk to me for three days? the reason why he talked to me for three days is because he knows that i know more about this case than anybody did. so, he's trying to find out from me, you know, how much he has to worry, how much of this case does this guy know? you know, how close is he to me? >> how could someone who's guilty of this horrible crime be so relaxed and friendly? i mean, who but an innocent man would willingly give up a dna sample to a cop who he knows is looking at him for a crime? >> he knows what evidence he's left and what he hasn't left and he's been, in his mind, very careful. >> it doesn't trouble you at all that he seems to be cooperative?
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>> not at all. i said, let me tell you something. i know you did this. i said, "this ain't like a bad dream where you're just going to wake up and it's going to be over." i said, "take a good look at my face." i said, "because you're going to see this face again." i said, "because i'm coming for you." >> the next time brennan sees jones, it will be in an interrogation room. and this will be a chance to determine is his hunch right on the money or is this just gonna blow up in his face? >> you better remember how that happened. something went bad. >> i did not hurt that girl. >> something went bad. you might not have thought you hurt her. >> i didn't [ bleep ] do that! >> somebody did it. i've always d by what's next. and still going for my best, even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin... i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin.
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the phone and network designed to do more. get $250 back on a new galaxy when you switch and save today. say "get a galaxy" to learn more. since inna was found assaulted and abandoned in that
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field, her memory has been foggy, all over the map. but suddenly, she's got a breakthrough. >> i tried to bring myself back in to the accident and see if i can remember something else, small details. >> she came to my office and said she didn't know if she was dreaming or if it was a reality. but she remembers being in the hotel room and sitting on the bed and across from her was a black male. >> wow. >> wow is right. >> so i put together a photo lineup with michael lee jones in it, and i just tell her, "tell me if you recognize any of them for any reason." >> and i chose a person from the lineup. this is the person who basically, who raped me, i said. >> she goes right for michael lee jones. >> finally, it all seems to be coming together. and the dna results have arrived.
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>> i called ken up, i says, "you are not gonna believe this." >> he goes, "it's him." i go, "no kidding." yeah, yeah, it's -- i knew it was him. >> what was that moment like? >> oh, it was total elation. i was happy. >> so the next step would be to make an arrest. >> yes. i get an arrest warrant. and then i go back to maryland. i meet up with ken and members of the frederick police department. and we go out to michael's apartment. we are caravaning like john wayne and the wagon train, where the cavalry is coming, 'cause we are gonna go get our guy. and we go to his apartment. >> we knock on the door, and he comes to the door and he answers, and we look at each other face to face, and i said, i told you i'd be back. >> you are being charged with rape, all right? >> she says i raped her? >> we already have the hit on the dna, okay? now it's just a question of
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interrogating him and seeing if i can get this guy to roll on it right. >> look at these. >> [ bleep ], i didn't do that. >> you were there. >> i did not do that. >> you show suspects pictures of victims, because what you're trying to do is humanize the victim in the eyes of the offender. the problem is, it doesn't tend to work, because they don't care. >> once we started to throw the fact that, you know, obviously he was under arrest for this kidnapping and rape, his story changed. >> just give us your version of what went down. now, you only get one chance at it. >> all right, i am gonna be straight up. >> i know the only thing he's going to come up with is, she was a prostitute, i paid for her, she was fine when i left her, i have no idea what happened to her, okay. >> jones says that he and a friend, that guy in the mercury t-shirt, went out to a strip club that night. that when he returned to the
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hotel, that he did see inna hanging out with some women in front of the hotel. >> obviously they were hookers or whatever. and you know, we were talking to her like, you know, "what to have some fun?" >> and then what happens next? did you go to her room? did she go to your room? >> we went to her room. >> you went to her room? >> uh-huh. and then, you know, she -- she whispers in my ear, "a hundred bucks." so we did it, and we gave her a hundred bucks and i left. >> the offender is trying to steer them in another direction. yes, i'll admit i had sex with her, but you can't prove anything beyond that. >> is easy victim, easy victim for everybody, easy to blame you. easy to blame. >> and then what happened after that, after you had sex with her? >> i went back to my room. >> so you don't know what happened to her. that's what you are telling me, right? >> yes, sir. >> unfortunately for jones, his story doesn't match the surveillance video. true, he's with his friend, they're talking to some other
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women. but the problem is, when you look at the surveillance video, when she leaves the hotel at 3:33 a.m., she walks out of the hotel and past these women and doesn't stop to talk to anybody. >> there wasn't any kind of an exchange between the two of them that would have been indicative at all of somebody soliciting a prostitute or a prostitute soliciting a john. >> and then he couldn't come up with explanations as to why'd you leave the hotel when you weren't supposed to? >> jones literally stayed at the hotel another full day after the attack. >> the question is why would he be leaving the hotel at 5:28 in the morning, without checking out, carrying a big suitcase, only to return about an hour later without it. >> so he put his suitcase in the trunk of the car. but he never came back to get the suitcase. >> i took my [ bleep ] downstairs and put it in the trunk. i think i went to 7-eleven or
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somethin' for a soda. >> in the middle of the night? not in the morning, when you are checking out? >> because i am not even sure if i am gonna go to sleep. >> despite the fact that they have his dna, and he's given inconsistent statements, there are still real challenges in this case. he has got a story, and that is that their sex was consensual. she doesn't remember exactly what happened. >> i did not hurt her in any [ bleep ] kind of way. >> the key for investigators is going to be poking holes in his story. >> even though he's calm and he's cool and he looks like he hasn't done a thing in the world, it was my job to be able to show that he's a liar. >> brennan is now going in for the kill. he is focusing on that key moment, that tug of the suitcase when jones was getting off the elevator. >> what stuff did you bring out to your car? >> well, i had my suitcase. >> i said well, what was in the suitcase? >> what did you have in your bag when you went out to your car? >> my clothes. >> how much clothes did you have?
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>> just a bunch of [ bleep }. i was there like three two weeks? i think? >> how much stuff? how big was your bag? >> when brennan drills down on what exactly is in the suitcase, jones actually pauses, which, the investigators know, they've now hit a nerve. >> you could just see the wheels turnin' and he's saying, oh, i gotta come up with a scenario. why is this heavier than it appears to be? >> how heavy was it? was it fairly light? >> no, it was heavy. i had a bunch -- i had my xbox in there, all kinds of [ bleep ]. >> your xbox was in there? all right, anything else? your clothes? >> clothes, books -- >> you had books? >> i said, you're an avid reader, you read all the time? he said, yeah. i said what kind of books do you like? >> what was the name of the books you were reading? >> i have no idea. i couldn't tell you what the name of the book was i just took out of my pocket. >> he reads all these books, but now this avid reader kind of has a case of amnesia. >> everything you are saying doesn't add up. it doesn't make sense. >> what doesn't make sense? >> your timeline stinks, your story stinks. the whole story stinks.
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>> there's no doubt in brennan's mind that jones is lying, and he's convinced that any jury that sees this video tape will believe the same thing. >> because any of the things he was talking about made absolutely no sense whatsoever. who goes and leaves, takes their clothes out to the car before they check out? nobody! who's 6'4" 380 pounds, has some underwear and an xbox in a suitcase and needs two hands to pull it out of a crack? nobody! it doesn't make sense. it doesn't make sense, because it's all [ bleep ]! what is true is that he already beat this girl, he's dragging her out. he's gone for an hour, because he's looking for a place to dump her, because he thinks she's dead. would you be willing to take a polygraph exam? >> sure. >> jones fails the polygraph test but he continues to
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maintain his innocence. >> so you don't know what happened to her, or how it happened to her? >> no. >> he played his role right to the very end. the bitter end. >> michael jones was charged with sexual battery and kidnapping. >> and before the case can even go to court, it almost falls apart. and the defense gets help from, of all people, the victim. >> it seemed like at this point, you have got a slam dunk case. but it wasn't. >> i was afraid this guy was just going to get let off, he was going to walk.
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ken brennan has spent months and months on this case trying to figure out who committed this brutal attack on inna budnytska in february 2005. the big problem for him is that she just can't remember anything.
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>> it was stressful, and many times, upset of myself. i said, why can't i just remember? >> but brennan finally thinks he knows what happened in that fateful meeting between inna budnytska and michael lee jones. >> somewhere, there's either an offer to come up to his room on the 5th floor and have a drink or something. >> talked to her. start telling me something about she was disabled, she got hurt on some cruise ship or something. >> so, they leave the elevator. she goes to her room. and i know she went there to leave her coat, because her coat was left at the scene. >> brennan doesn't know whether jones may have gone to inna's room that night, but he's convinced the attack did not happen there. >> the room was lived in, but it was disturbed, which would have been indicate of a crime of that nature. somehow or other they ended up in his room. and whatever happens, he ends up beating her to death there, he thinks she's dead, stuffs her in the suitcase, and then takes her down. >> but now, after almost a year
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of sleuthing, it looks like his investigation is about to unravel. inna just doesn't accept his theory, and she's sticking to her original story that the attack happened in her room. >> i didn't go nowhere. i didn't go to nobody's room. i remember myself going into my room. that's what i remember. >> but inna's memory is all over the map. she first told police that she was attacked by two white men with spanish accents and then she picks jones out of a lineup, but said there might have been two guys that raped her. >> they're concerned that there are inconsistencies, they're concerned she's not gonna be a good witness. and that's a real issue in a case like this. >> there has to be some physical evidence or corroboration to support the victim's claim that it was an attack as opposed to a consensual act.
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>> even with brennan's bombshell surveillance theory, the case against jones is coming up thin. >> i don't believe they ever found the suitcase that jones used. and of course hotels are cleaned every morning, so the chances of them finding any physical evidence are very small. >> jones' defense lawyer can smell the prosecution's weakness a mile away. >> we believe that they couldn't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. the miami dade police department, i think, the detectives there believed that since they had dna, and a suspect to match that he must have been the one who did the rape and the beating. but there's no evidence that he did that. >> michael lee jones never confessed to raping or beating inna. his claim was that he had consensual sex with her but that he had no part in beating her or dumping her body. >> for a potential jury, this isn't gonna be a slam dunk case. yes, they've got his dna. but he's now saying, "yeah, we
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had sex. i paid her for sex." >> the prosecutor's office was uncomfortable with the fact that inna's memory was in bits and pieces. >> prosecutors decided they had a case of he said/she said. >> they didn't feel they could win our case if it went to trial. you don't know the way that a jury would feel. so the prosecutor's office decided to offer him a plea. >> it turns out jones pleads guilty to a reduced charge. the case never even comes up before a jury and he gets two years. >> two years. >> two years. >> two years. >> i was upset. i just told them, you can't. you can't let this guy out. >> i was angry. i was angry. but, i couldn't do anything. i'm not familiar with the
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justice system. but, i was upset inside, yes, i was upset. >> in fact, everyone involved in the case is upset. everyone that is, except ken brennan. >> that didn't bother me either. i said, "hey, listen don't worry about it." >> the dogged investigator has yet another hunch. >> this wasn't his first time at the rodeo here. he's done this before. >> and the hotel security cameras are about to give up one final secret about michael
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now remember, michael jones works for a company that sends him all over the country, he's never in one place for very long. you could say it's kind of a serial rapist's ideal job. >> this is a perfect gig for this guy. they pay you to move around the country, stay for a couple weeks, you work there and then you move on, you're somewhere else. >> what better occupation for a serial rapist to have. >> so when detective foote tells brennan that jones copped a
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plea, a two-year sentence for his attack on inna, brennan is ready to play his final ace. >> ken brennan knew that he was dealing with a serial rapist and he was proved right. >> the fbi has a system called codis, which is a dna database it's a central repository of all the records that police submit to the fbi. >> i said make sure you put his dna into codis, and you'll see, there'll be other cases start popping up 'cause i'm sure this isn't this, you know, guy's first time. >> and once detectives enter jones's dna into that codis system, bingo. >> i was notified that they had dna that had matched my case. >> turns out detective terry thrumston had a cold case up in colorado springs. at that time, jones was working at the colorado springs world arena. >> he travelled all over the
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united states for his job, and he was good at being a rapist. >> the colorado victim 41-year-old jennifer roessler, is seen here just minutes before the attack leaving a local convenience store. >> on that night her whole life changed. >> she was a woman, alone, walking at 2:30, 3:00 in the morning. the man asked her if she wanted a ride. she said, yes, and got in his vehicle. got to her apartment, he asked for a drink of water. >> when i asked him, you know, you need to leave, you know, i was gonna go to bed, and he just, he was like, jekyll and hyde. he just, it just, i could just see the, the monster come over him. >> and then he, he sexually assaults her at that point. >> um, you know, he wasn't nervous. um, he was calm. it was like we was on a date. and i knew, terry, i knew this happened before. i've just, i had a feeling this
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has happened before, because he was too calm. >> she wanted to confront him. she wanted justice for what happened. >> i just want you to catch this guy. >> the dna is incredibly powerful. but it still doesn't make this an open and shut case. the defense focuses on the fact that jennifer let him into the house. and they claim that shows this was consensual. >> but thrumston refuses to let it go, and takes the case to trial anyway. >> i kept trying to get a hold of her, um, and couldn't get a hold of her. and i didn't find out 'til the beginning of december, that she had passed away. it was a shock. >> we had to figure out if we were even gonna be able to go forward without our victim being alive. i still wanted to go forward. >> detective thrumston actually
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might have a dna match to a case of another woman who might have been raped by jones. her story has a kind of familiar ring -- a stranger in a car, a ride -- and an attack. >> i screamed with everything i had. and the reality was, is just - there was nobody there. there was nobody there. >> this woman we're gonna call her rachel might have been jones's first victim. >> rachel was the key to putting michael lee jones in prison for the rest of his life. it was really rachel who made a very convincing witness in court. >> i'm a working professional and i'm a mom. >> rachel's been waiting years for this moment, to be able to tell her story as best she remembers it. most importantly, to try to get justice. >> she was able to describe exactly what had happened to her six years later, in full detail of what had happened, without a doubt. >> at the time of the attack, rachel helped create a composite
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sketch of the person who attacked her. and it looked a whole heck of a lot like michael lee jones. >> seeing that sketch next to his face, it was extremely satisfying. i just felt like, yes! >> but is that gonna be enough to sway a jury? >> within a couple hours the jury came back and said he's guilty. >> jones gets hit with a sentence of 24 years to life. and in 2015, a louisiana judge slams him with an even bigger sentence -- 45 years, for the brutal attacks in the new orleans area. you gave almost two years of your life to this case. how did it feel to finally see this guy brought to justice? >> i gave two years of my life investigatorial-wise. but, you know, the victims give a hell of a lot more. they're the ones that should be commended for this. i can only do the investigation
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and, you know, make an arrest, but they're the ones that put them in prison. the victims are the heroes here, they're the ones that have to get on the stand and say, this is what this guy did to me, this is when he did it, this is how he did it. >> and i feel happy that the criminal is where he's supposed to be, and he never gonna hurt nobody in the future. >> you need to go through this as painful and as traumatic and embarrassing as all of that might be, you have to do that because you just don't -- you never know how many other women may have been impacted by this person. >> detective foote has retired from the miami dade police department, and he's got a new opinion of private investigators, at least this one. >> you weren't that crazy about private eyes to begin with. did this case change your mind at all? >> in respect to ken brennan, it did, yes. >> but private eyes in general, not so much? >> i still have the same opinion about private investigators.
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but i respect ken brennan, as a person and as an investigator. and i could count on him. glad to know him. >> as for inna she settled her suit against the hotel. and even though she was the key to helping solve so many other crimes, she doesn't really feel like a hero. she says she's just a survivor. >> i wish it never happened to any woman, i wish it never happened to nobody. >> i've been a reporter and a journalist for almost a half-century. and i think this is the most remarkable piece of detective work that i've ever come across. the sheer doggedness, the creativity, the cleverness that ken brennan brought to this case, make it truly extraordinary. >> and as for the man himself, brennan -- with the case closed, he can treat himself to a
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celebratory cigar and a great sense of satisfaction. >> i've been doing this since 1975. and every one of the multitude of cases that i've done, this was by far the most rewarding.
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