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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  December 23, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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♪ this is something that you watch "dateline" for, about somebody else. not about your friend. not about someone you love. >> she was completely defenseless. she reached out her arms and simply said "help me." >> my heart dropped. i want to know why. why. >> it's a baffling case of murder, millions and a mystifying piece of tape. at the center, husband and wife, self-made millionaires. >> he was very caring and loving.
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>> she had a personality that just sucked you in. >> together they made a killing in the gold business. then, someone else made a killing too. >> the only purpose of the crime was to make sure she was dead. >> his wife, ambushed by a shadowy man in black. was someone after their fortune? >> i called her to warn her. >> was the answer on this tape? >> his wife was being killed at that exact moment? >> a crime of grief and gold. would detectives hunting for a killer strike gold too? >> he wasn't someone that i would think could ever be involved in something like this. >> the "goldfinger mystery." >> welcome to "dateline: extra." i'm craig melvin. this is a story about a couple who made it big in a way you almost never hear about these days. they made a fortune in gold. but as the saying goes, money did not buy them happiness. in fact, it just might have been a motive for a murder. now, pay close attention to the security camera video that
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starts our report because you just may see the key to this mystery. here's josh mankiewicz. >> take a look at this security video, and tell me what you see. a woman walks alone to her car in a parking garage in century city, california. is she in danger? same building complex. different angle. a man focuses on his cellphone. oblivious to those around him. who is he calling? you are, in fact, watching scenes from a marriage, the final scenes, as it turns out. the woman is pamela fayed, and the man is her husband, jim. at the time this video was
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recorded, one of them had just minutes to live. rewind the video to just a few minutes earlier. the fayeds have just had a meeting with their lawyers. they're in the midst of a bitter divorce. it's 6:30 p.m. the meeting is over. pamela hurries to catch the elevator and gets off at the third floor. she walks to her car and reaches for the keys inside her purse. >> that's when she was attacked. >> los angeles prosecutor alan jackson would spend many hours scrutinizing that video. >> tell me about the attack. >> brutal. vicious. heart-stopping. pamela was completely defenseless. she was attacked, i believe, from behind first, with a knife. somebody much larger than her, somebody much stronger than her, who had an absolute mission, and
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that was to cut her throat, to kill her. >> on the video you can see people in the complex starting to walk toward the sound of pam fayed screaming. one man ran to the scene and saw a tall man in a black hooded sweatshirt jump into the back seat of a red suv that was parked behind pam's car and be driven away. that witness then tried to help pam fayed. >> and then, as he walked around to where the attack took place, that's when he first saw pamela. he said that when she looked at him he went into a little shock because the only thing that was not covered in blood was the whites of her eyes. she stood, and she walked toward him, even after having suffered these horrible, mortal wounds, and she reached out her arms and simply said "help me." >> it was too late for anyone to help pam. paramedics pronounced her dead
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at the scene. century city is only 176 acres. its gleaming office towers and high-dollar townhomes lying entirely within the city of los angeles. and what makes this place run is money, because century city is home to agents, film producers and attorneys. usually around here when someone talks about bloody murder, they're talking about a deal that went south. this time it was the real thing. the lead detective for the lapd investigating pam fayed's murder was salaam abdul-rahman. >> mrs. fayed wasn't robbed. >> no she wasn't. >> mrs. fayed wasn't sexually assaulted. >> no, she was not. >> so the purpose of that crime was to kill her. >> it was to kill her. that was the only purpose of the crime, to get rid of her and make sure she was dead. >> abdul rahman says the murder was carefully planned. >> mrs. fayed comes out at about 6:30 at night. >> that's correct. >> and she's walking to her car, what, alone?
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>> by herself. >> at some point, what, the killer comes up behind her? >> well, the killer pulled up in the burgundy suv behind mrs. fayed's vehicle. >> so blocking her. >> blocking her so she can't move her car from the parking spot. the killer gets out of the back passenger seat and approaches mrs. fayed from behind. >> how long did the attack take start to finish? >> from start to finish i would say anywhere from one to three minutes. >> police found no eyewitnesses to the actual stabbing but there were people close by. >> there was an individual in a building across the street from where mrs. fayed was killed. that individual observed her grab the railing and then observed an arm come around mrs. fayed and bring her back into the parking structure. and at that time he didn't see mrs. fayed any longer. >> that was the killer. >> that was the killer. >> police combed the crime scene looking for answers and they also started looking at the victim, pam fayed, and her husband, jim. the couple had been married nine
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years. together they ran a gold trading business called goldfinger and together it had made them rich. but what had been a good marriage had deteriorated even as the money came in. now it was no secret that pam fayed and her husband were involved in a nasty, high stakes divorce. it was also no secret that jim fayed could not have committed the murder. >> when mrs. fayed was killed, it was impossible that he was holding a knife because he was with his attorneys at that moment. >> in the same building. >> in the same building. >> he couldn't have gotten away from them long enough to get down to the parking garage and kill his wife. >> no. and also, after mrs. fayed was murdered there was video footage that put mr. fayed in the courtyard. so it was impossible for him to be in two places at one time. >> that security video shows jim fayed trying to make a cell phone call at exactly the moment you see people reacting to pam's screams. not only that, but a tall man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt clearly was not a
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description of jim fayed. a woman murdered, a bitter divorce. but certainly the husband wasn't the killer. so who was? a very rich mystery was under way. coming up, the hunt is on for a motive and a suspect. did the secret to this killing lay hidden in the rush for gold? >> she wanted to make sure her friends were happy and taken care of, no matter what it took. >> when "the goldfinger mystery" continues.
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returning to "the goldfinger mystery." after the brutal attack on pamela fayed, investigators began to look very closely at her life and marriage, hoping to
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find any clues which would lead to her murderer and a motive. here again is josh mankiewicz. pam fayed was dead. stabbed to death in a century city parking garage. lapd detective salaam abdul-rahman has seen enough cases to know that, in his line of work, murder and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. the ongoing fayed divorce, therefore, got his attention. >> acrimonious, nasty, bitter. mr. fayed was really upset with his wife, mrs. fayed. >> so that marriage would bear much more scrutiny. investigators set about talking to friends and family to solve the mystery of pam's death. they needed to start with the story of her life. >> pamela had a spirit that was infectious. >> carol neve was pam's best friend. >> she was always happy. she had a personality that just sucked you in and kept you
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there. >> carol met pam 22 years ago. >> we were neighbors and we did become best friends, to the tune of every day we talked. every single day. >> that was long before jim came into the picture, of course. >> good morning, baby desiree. first christmas. >> pam was a single mom. she and carol babysat for each other's kids, walked their babies together, went shopping, shared recipes and hung out during the holidays. >> pamela was very much family to me. >> pam was the most caring, loving, giving person you would ever meet. life was about other people. >> tina holland is another friend. she and pam met when their youngest children started attending the same school. they planned family vacations together and trips to disneyland. one year pamela bought her daughter jeanette and tina's sons costumes just for the sake of creating happy memories.
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her daughter was a princess. tina's sons, a pirate and peter pan. >> she wanted to make sure her friends were happy and taken care of, no matter what it took. and i realized that when i first met her. that, you know, she was one of the people that i was going to have as a lifetime friend. >> pam made and sold jewelry, and she worked hard at it. but she wanted more than that. >> she wanted happiness and not to be alone. her dreams were to have a family life and find a mate to share her life with who would love her children. >> which is why it seemed so perfect when, in 1989, an electrician named jim fayed came into her life. he was single, no children. >> they seemed to get along very well. pammy always smiled when she would look at him. they sat close and snuggled and
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after dinner sat on the couch next to each other. it seemed to be a very good fit. >> but more important to pam was that jim treated pam's young daughter desiree as if she were his own. >> he came into our lives when i was about 6 years old. they started dating. and slowly, you know, she started introducing this man to me, and i actually -- i grew attached to him. i looked at him as that father figure that i needed in my life. >> i kind of get the feeling that he sort of seemed to step up to the job of stepfather, which a lot of guys don't do. >> he did. he actually did want to take on that responsibility. i think he was proud to do it. we actually got really close to each other. he was very caring and loving towards me. >> what did you like most about him? >> he was funny. i just liked being around him.
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>> funny but not nearly as social and outgoing as pam. >> jim was a gentle soul. very quiet kind of soul. very private back then. she saw jim as someone who would provide for the family, had a good, honest job, doing electrical work. >> when they learned pam was pregnant, they decided to make it official. jim and pam were married in vegas in 1999. now they were the parents of two girls. young desiree and even younger jeanette. with more mouths to feed, the couple began to experience some rough patches financially. jim often worked as an electrical contractor for the government, a job that would take him on the road for weeks at a time. then there were times when the work would run out and he would have to scramble to find more. >> it was a struggle. they argued. pam felt abandoned a lot. >> at one point pam went on public assistance. it was something she had promised herself would never happen, but now pam had to go down that path. it's possible she blamed jim for that reversal of fortune.
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>> it was a point to where they would argue and she wasn't sure she wanted to still be there. she would call me and ask me for help. and ask me to send money. i sent her money twice or three times to start divorce proceedings. and then they would always make back up and move on. and that was fine. i just wanted my friend to be happy. >> wracking her brain, trying to think of ways to provide for her husband and daughters, pam came up with the idea of mixing her love of working with precious metals with jim's interest in coin collecting. together the couple started buying and selling gold and silver coins. soon that grew into an internet-based company they
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could manage from their home, and it started bringing in money. they called their business goldfinger coin and bullion. the year was 2001. and there was a new gold rush in america. the fayeds had found their way to an online sutter's creek. a get-rich-quick scheme that worked. but as investigators would discover, what tripped them up were many of the same human frailties that so bedeviled those 49ers who panned for gold instead of clicking on it. lawlessness, pride, and simple greed. and so here's another question. if money is the root of all evil, then what is gold? coming up, someone else had a close eye on this lucrative business, and the color of money was about to turn very dark indeed. >> i called her to warn her. >> when "the goldfinger mystery" continues. to everyone else, i look like everyone else. but on the inside, i feel chronic, widespread pain. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real. fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves.
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lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica. for some, lyrica delivers effective relief for moderate to even severe fibromyalgia pain. and improves function. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions, suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worse depression, unusual changes in mood or behavior, swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects: dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who've had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can do more with my family. talk to your doctor today. see if lyrica can help.
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pamela and jim fayed's financial woes eased with their growing business success, but their relationship began to crumble under the weight of newfound wealth. here again is josh mankiewicz. >> jim and pam fayed had staked their claim in the online gold trading business. they began by buying old gold coins and selling them at a profit. then they expanded, setting up what was essentially a small bank, storing gold for customers, and allowing them to borrow against it. the market grew. and so did the bottom line. pam's best friend, carol neve. >> they went to gold shows,
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trade shows in las vegas, san diego, l.a., do all the meet and greet kind of thing. pam was very good at that. she was very charming. jim was more the laid-back, stay away, sit in the booth. >> the timing was good. in 2001 gold was hovering around $250 an ounce. then it started to take off like a rocket. by 2008, gold was listed at $800 an ounce. soon the fayeds were getting rich just off the fees they charged for selling the gold online. >> it doesn't take much to be able to turn a profit. every transaction, whether it's $100 or $2,000 or $100,000, if you are making anywhere from 3% to 5% per transaction, you've got money coming in. >> very quickly the fayeds started making a lot of money. they moved their home business into this building in camarillo outside l.a. and hired employees to staff it.
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they bought a 2,800-square-foot home. a 200-acre-plus second home nearby which they called happy camp ranch complete with horses for pam and jeanette. they were nouveau riche perhaps but they were determined not to flaunt it too much. even their oldest daughter desiree, who started working port company as a teenager, did not realize how much her parents were raking in. >> so when you hear figures of tens of millions of dollars coming in, that's news to you? >> it is, yeah. >> did they live that way? >> we had an average house, a two-story home. we weren't living in a mansion. we had extra money to do things we wanted but it wasn't enough to show they were millionaires, to be honest. >> you never felt like you were rich or living lavishly. >> i knew that we were well off, but not to the millionaire status. >> one thing the fayeds' income did mean was that pam could be a full-time mom.
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something she always dreamed of. >> she'd always wanted to stay home, raise her kids, work if she wanted to, when she wanted to, which is part of owning your own company. >> and jim liked it that way too. he may have liked that a little too much. though pam was the vice president of goldfinger coin and bullion, jim fayed was the president. he seemed to like the sound of that, and he apparently loved controlling just about every aspect of the business. >> he originally was a really humble guy, and i feel like, as the business grew, so do his ego and basically changed the person he was into thinking almost as if he was someone who was invincible. >> and then one day jim discovered that he wasn't. his health started to slip. he developed rheumatoid arthritis and started taking a lot of pills to dull the pain from that. and perhaps a different side of jim fayed began to emerge. >> there became a point where jim was addicted to pain medications.
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and it wasn't the same jim that pam knew. by this point jim wanted total control of her and the company and her job was to stay home and be a wife. >> as controlling as jim was, he couldn't control the arthritis in his joints. it forced him to give up going to the office. >> was he in the hospital or bedridden or -- >> he was bedridden, yes. >> for how long? >> for a couple of years. >> really. so he barely got out of bed for a couple of years? >> yes. i felt that as he became bedridden he wasn't as social with us anymore. he kind of stayed in his bedroom. he basically -- i feel like he kind of left us as a family. we didn't really see much of him at that point. it kind of angered me seeing the kind of person he was turning into. >> the year was 2006. desiree says as jim became harder to get along with it started to push away pam's
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attempts to be more involved with the company while her husband was ill. >> i heard them bickering about the business on a daily basis. >> specifically? >> nothing specific but just little things here and there that needed to be changed. >> the disagreements grew daily and festered. to the point where the couple separated. jim started spending more and more time at the ranch home in moorpark. and while the fayed marriage was crumbling, federal prosecutors were taking a look at the booming online gold trading business. they were looking for evidence of fraud, of tax evasion, and of the transferring of money without the proper government license. pam's friend carol did not want to see pam caught in a federal net. >> i called her to warn her. i told her she needed to get the money transmitter's licenses. and you have to start that process. once you start that process, the feds can't touch you. >> carol says pam agreed. >> all she ever wanted was for a legitimate company. that's all.
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she just wanted to be on the up and up. she was going to tell jim, even though they were separated. >> pam urged jim to apply for the licenses. he appears to have been adamantly opposed to a move that would have essentially opened goldfinger's books to scrutiny by the federal government. pam decided she was not going to allow jim to roll the dice on their business. the business that had let pam live the life she had always wanted. >> pamela was a girl scout. she wanted to do it right. pamela knew that they were making plenty of money. they as a family, the fayed family, were flush. they didn't need to worry about nickels and dimes here and there. she was also aware, i believe, that at some point the federal government was going to start looking very closely at them. they couldn't continue building this business on this international scale without someone taking a look. and so pamela's idea was, let's do it right. let's cross our ts, let's dot our is.
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let's get the money licensing. >> her husband said absolutely not. >> he said absolutely not. >> but pam moved forward anyway and withdrew a large sum of cash to apply for the licenses. and for jim fayed that may have been the last straw. >> he called her names that i cannot and will not repeat on your camera. horrible, horrible accusations about pamela fayed, the mother of his own child. and he was doing this in order to set the stage for what i believe was his ultimate goal, was to take all the money and to crush her during the divorce proceeding. >> in california it's pretty hard to crush somebody and take all the money in a divorce proceeding. >> i would say so. she helped build the company. she was an officer in the company. she held half of the company's proceeds. i mean, she was half owner. it's as simple as that. >> and soon there would be another problem. what pam fayed had worried about would come true. federal investigators would come after goldfinger, indicting both jim and pam fayed because their
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company didn't have those money transmitter licenses. >> when the indictment came down, pamela fayed was in contact with her lawyer very quickly. she immediately indicated that she wanted to cooperate with the authorities. that was the position that she was taking. i want to cooperate. i want to do whatever i can to help out the investigation. i didn't do anything wrong, according to pam. what can i do to help? >> did james fayed know that his wife was going to cooperate? >> that's the $64,000 question. coming up, a suspect in the case and soon an arrest. >> he wasn't someone that i would ever think could be involved in something like this. >> but police had only just begun to solve the puzzle. when "the goldfinger mystery" continues.
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i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. we're following a developing story out of california.
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the lapd bomb squad spent some of tonight investigating a suspicious package apparently addressed to treasury secretary steven mnuchin. the lapd says someone else in the bel air neighborhood received the box which was wrapped in christmas paper. the package was cleared, and multiple law enforcement sources tell nbc it contained manure. the secret service is also involved in the investigation. now back to "dateline extra." welcome back to "dateline: extra." i'm craig melvin. pamela fayed seemed ready to expose her husband's questionable business practices. could that have led to her murder? here again is josh mankiewicz. lapd detective salaam abdul-rahman was investigating the murder of a woman in a parking garage.
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then he learned that not only was pam fayed locked in a bitter divorce with her husband jim but that the gold trading company that had generated all the money they were fighting over was now under federal investigation and that pam was going to turn on her husband and cooperate with prosecutors. >> she was probably going to be a witness against him. he was pretty pissed off about that. >> what potentially were the penalties for mr. and mrs. fayed in that federal case? >> potentially they could have had their assets seized. that was huge. if they have their assets seized mr. fayed wouldn't be able to conduct business. >> after a long investigation, federal agents took jim into custody days after pam was killed. he was charged with operating a money transfer business without a license, and he pleaded not guilty. at the same time, detective abdul rahman continued his investigation into pam's murder, starting not just with the videotape of jim fayed at the
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time of the murder but also with some security video of the parking garage exit. >> what we did was that we narrowed it down to the time around when mrs. fayed was killed and the vehicles that were leaving the parking structure. >> in the minutes after the attack, this red suzuki pulls up to the garage exit, the wrong exit. a man holding what seems to be a black hooded sweatshirt gets out of the back seat to check the exit gate before jumping back in. >> we ran the vehicle license check and found that one of the vehicles leaving the garage was associated with mr. fayed and goldfinger. >> mr. fayed's business. >> yes. >> detectives traced that red suzuki suv to an avis rental car center. the car was leased by goldfinger. jim fayed's company. one of jim's nephews had recently relocated to california and had driven the car for about a month until just a few days before the murder.
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after that, the car was in the care of the fayeds' ranch hand, a man named josé moya. >> investigators say it was moya who was behind the wheel, but on the tape there seemed to be three people in the vehicle. who were they? a month later josé moya was arrested and charged with pam's murder. he pleaded not guilty. it turns out josé moya knew pam. not only did he work on their ranch, he even had his own living quarters on the property. moya knew about the fayeds' gold. he knew where they stored it. he was trusted to transport the gold back and forth from the business to the home in moorpark. >> how well did you know josé moya? >> i knew him pretty well. he was actually -- he was a really nice guy to me. he was a character. every time he'd come into the office we would joke around with each other. he wasn't someone i would ever
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think could be involved in something like this. >> you liked him. >> i did. >> your mom liked him. >> she was very fond of joey. >> had moya charmed his way into the fayeds' life as a way to gain their trust? was this all part of a bigger plot to kill each of the owners and steal their gold? >> pam's best friend carol recalls how pam talked during the divorce. >> i was on the phone with pamela, and she was really upset. she felt like someone was following her in a truck she did not recognize. i said, are you sure? she says, it's been following me for quite some time. i said, who is it? she goes, i don't know, it's a guy. she kept looking and watching, and they turned off into a parking lot. at that point she could see that it was josé. she says, why is josé following me? and i said, i don't know, pam. what the hell is going on? you need to call the cops and tell the cops. >> tina holland's last visit with pam was a week and a half
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before she was killed. >> and i just walked in, and she was out in the back yard, and she was smoking like a train. and she honestly looked like she had lost 15 pounds since two weeks prior. she was in her pajamas. it was 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. her hair was all crumpled up. she looked horrible. and she said, tina, jim is going to do it. i said, what are you talking about, pam? and she said, jim is going to have me murdered. >> coming up, could her suspicions be true? detectives take one more look at the tape, the exact moment of the murder. is the answer right in front of them? when "the goldfinger mystery" continues. ♪
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as the los angeles detective digs deeper into the death of pamela fayed, he is about to get a break he did not expect. here is josh mankiewicz. jim fayed was in a federal lockup facing white collar charges, operating an internet gold business without a money transmitter license. but lapd detective salaam abdul-rahman was investigating whether jim had killed his wife to keep her from cooperating in that federal case. the detective focused on that security video and realized that those grainy pictures were so telling not because of what jim fayed is doing but because of what jim isn't doing. it's the moment of pam's murder in the parking garage next door, and everyone in the frame starts to react, to move toward the sound of pam fayed's screams.
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everyone, that is, except jim fayed. he doesn't seem interested. >> is it your belief that at the time surveillance cameras capture mr. fayed sort of walking around the cort court yard area that he knew his wife was being killed at that exact moment? >> yes. the reason i base my belief on that is mr. fayed, when he walks out of the building everyone is interested in what's going on in the parking structure except mr. fayed, because he knows what just transpired. >> but that apparent disinterest in pam's screams wasn't enough to charge jim with murder. in fact, there was little evidence he had anything to do with it. then detective abdul-rahman's phone rang. >> the assistant u.s. attorney tells us that mr. fayed's cellmate wants to talk to whoever is handling the investigation of mrs. fayed's death. >> and what does the cellmate tell you? >> the cellmate tells us that mr. fayed had confessed to him that he had hired someone to kill his wife.
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>> detectives believe that someone was josé moya, the ranch hand. the cellmate also had other information that had not been reported in the news. >> mr. fayed's cellmate had told us that mr. fayed had tried to set his wife up to be killed four different times. and what was interesting about that was that on one of these occasions he said that mr. fayed had set up a time when she was at a party in malibu on the 4th of july. >> was pam fayed at a party in malibu on july 4th? >> yes, she was. and that led to his credibility. so at that time we decided to try to get this conversation on tape. >> so they wired the cellmate for sound, and they heard jim fayed talking about how he had tried to kill his wife but how it just hadn't worked out that time. prosecutor alan jackson. >> james fayed describes in detail how he told the killers about a party that pamela was
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going to be attending in malibu. according to him, they were simply supposed to carjack her and kill her. and everybody would think that it was just a random act of violence. nobody would know anything the better. >> now, with a confession on tape, both jim fayed and josé moya were charged with pam's murder. but there was more work to be done in order to track down the others involved. >> it seems like you pretty quickly fixed on mr. fayed as the only suspect here. and the only question was, since it wasn't his hand on the knife, whose hand was it and how do you connect that person to him? >> correct. and the first thing we noticed was that there was three individuals in the vehicle that was registered to mr. fayed's company. so we knew we had three additional suspects besides mr. fayed. now the only question was how do we tie those three to mr. fayed? that was done through cell phone
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searches and also cell site coordination. >> it would take more than a year to identify and charge two more suspects with murder. in june 2010 steven simmons and gabriel marquez were arrested. prosecutors say jim didn't know them, that moya hired them. investigators say steven was the alleged stabber and gabriel was the lookout. both pleaded not guilty. but amazingly, jim wasn't done with the idea of murder. he apparently believed his cellmate had connections and wanted to hire a new hitman from jail. >> he wants the ranch hands taken care of. he actually drew out a map that was never found depicting where he can find the ranch hand to actually carry out this murder. and what he wanted to do was have the ranch hand tortured so he could actually tell his cellmate -- or tell the hit man where the other two individuals were.
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>> prosecutors say the price tag for pam fayed's killing was $25,000. >> he was bankrolling it. >> no question. he commissioned this crime. and that's where the investigation began to lead us. that's where the evidence began to lead us. we knew clearly that he had an alibi for the actual stabbing. he is not the stabber. he is not the actual killer. >> you also knew he had probably a bigger motive than anybody else. >> there were always in my mind dual motives for james fayed to contract the murder of his wife. one was the divorce. but one was to silence who he thought was going to be a witness against him. pamela fayed. >> did he just give this hit man that he hired the money and say go kill my wife? >> james fayed is a control freak. if he's anything, he wants to be in control at all times. which is why he didn't want his wife, pamela, having anything to do with transfer licenses. the same m.o. is what drove this contract killing.
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>> and investigators believe that jim fayed exhibited that need for control as he planned his wife's murder. he focused, they believe, on a particular fear of pam's. >> it was discovered that she had a phobia about knives. and she had believed that she -- if she was killed, that she was going to be killed by someone with a knife. >> who expresses a belief that if they're killed they're going to be killed with a knife? that sounds like somebody who almost is foretelling their own death. >> it's also my belief that mr. fayed knew that -- knew of his wife's phobia with knives and that was one of the reasons that a knife was used. >> you think it's no accident that pamela fayed was killed with a knife. you think her husband deliberately not just had her killed but had her killed in the way she was most frightened of? >> that's my belief. >> jim fayed was to go on trial for murder and conspiracy to convict murder. if convicted he was facing the death penalty.
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the jury would learn about all the evidence that was collected. they would hear from witnesses and, of course, from jim fayed himself, in his own words, in what his attorney would claim was simply a performance for an audience of one. and now you're about to hear the tapes too. >> she ran her mouth too much. she ran out of control. she started running her mouth. she should have kept her mouth shut. yeah. >> coming up, terrific performance or terrific con job? >> he was conned into playing along with this cellmate in order to survive. >> when would a jury think about the tale of the tape?
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when "the goldfinger mystery" continues.
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and now with the conclusion of "the goldfinger mystery," here again is josh mankiewicz. >> on may 4th, 2011, jim fayed found himself in a los angeles courtroom, accused of being the mastermind behind the plot to kill his wife. his federal charges involving financial crimes were dropped when the state of california decided to try him for capital murder. prosecutors alan jackson and eric harman laid out their case.
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>> it's not your typical love story or boy meets girl, but instead it's a love story where boy meets gold. it's that greed, that love of gold, that caused this man, james michael fayed, to have his wife murdered for financial gain. >> prosecutors offered this snapshot of the fayeds' riches during the short time they ran their business. >> so mr. fayed found a niche, which is transferring money for only a 2% fee, which was highly, highly competitive and lucrat e lucrative. so those of you who are good at math, you'll know that that's approximately $20 million in fees that went to goldfinger between 2001 and 2008. making a lot of money. >> but the good times didn't last. the company was under indictment. pam was cooperating with federal investigators. and the couple were getting divorced. >> they were going to be divorced. so the marriage was over no matter what. and the relationship was over. >> jim fayed's attorney, mark
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worksman, says none of that was a motive for murder. >> but they did have a business that was a viable lucrative business, and it was worth maintaining, and if she hadn't been murdered presumably they would have come to some settlement over the assets and some division of the property involved in the business. >> jim fayed did not testify. and he didn't make worksman's defense any easier. the prosecution's smoking gun was that tape, made by police and a cooperative cellmate. >> i told you, she news her boundaries. she -- she -- she ran her mouth too much. she -- she ran out of control. she started running her mouth. >> about your business. >> if she'd kept her mouth shut -- yeah. >> on the tape jim describes how he hired someone to kill pam and set up several scenarios to make that happen. but he says it was one missed opportunity after another. >> there was four different other opportunities where i had
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it so it was perfectly clean. >> such as? >> yeah. such as walking out of a july 4th party down in malibu at a friend's house. >> they [ bleep ] -- >> yeah. it was a rural area. i even had the times, the dates, everything. the location p all he had to do was get in the car and the jacket. and everybody at the party would say oh, yeah, she went home. >> jim's attorney says that conversation is all just play acting. >> jim would contend he was conned into playing along with this cellmate in order to avoid appearing weak or vulnerable and that he was simply trying to make a favorable impression on this tough guy in this tough environment where he had to appear tough in order to survive. >> but on the tape jim told his cellmate how he wished he could have done the deed himself.
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>> i was waiting and waiting and waiting to figure something out. i wanted -- i just wanted to do it myself, but i knew i'd never [ bleep ] be able to. never. you know wanoknow what i mean? >> and prosecutors played the tape of what they said was jim trying to hire the second hit man to kill the first one and anyone else that would have been in on the plot for what they said would have been another $25,000. >> it should get done by next week or so. he'd go on out there and get that fool and put him -- take him down and [ bleep ] ask him some questions p he'll be more than obliged to tell they r them everything he wants to know. >> it took the jury less than three days to find jim fayed guilty. he also received the death penalty. left behind are two daughters,
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struggling, essentially orphaned by the greed of a man they once loved and trusted. >> i almost feel as if he doesn't feel bad or maybe he's embarrassed. i'm not sure. i can't -- i can't say that. i honestly feel like he lost himself as a human being. he's a shell. he has no moral compass. he's completely off. he's not a person anymore. he's not a human being. >> anything you want to say to him if he's watching this? >> i just want to ask why. why? what was he thinking? did he not think this would affect me and jeanette? i mean, i want to know why he thought it was okay for him to do this. i feel like money and power is what got to him. >> and he cared more about money and power than he did about -- >> his own family.
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>> that's all for this edition of "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. thanks for watching. this doesn't happen in our happy little world. >> their world shattered. a young mother strangled. >> nancy, i love you. >> who could have killed her? >> we had a homicide. we had no suspects. >> also, no evidence. but police found a dark side behind that bright suburban facade. >> she slept with the children and the door locked. >> and finally, a vital clue. what happened to nancy?

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