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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  March 4, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PST

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they stole this money. >> reporter: reid then blurted it out. at this farmhouse, now apparently to her surprise, in nebraska, greg fester sneaked in through a window and let her in the back door. in the kitchen she said she sh found $500 in an envelope. and then left. and the ring, she admitted finding it in that stolen pickup and feeling it slide off her thumb inside that house. where was all this going? >> coming up, a letter from jessica reed, and what she wrote stunned investigatorinvestigato.
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jessica reed, one of the two
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teens from miwisconsin who admitted being there the night they were killed. >> the reason i ask you is the two people upstairs were shot to death. >> you're saying me and greg did it. >> i'm telling you is you're in this house. did you not tell -- >> oh, my god. i never killed anybody. i really didn't. >> this is why we're here. >> i took money. that's all i did. i call i did was take money. i don't want to go to jail for murder because i didn't do it. >> then who did? remember, matt had already confessed and named nick samson as his accomplice. >> tell us who you were with. >> i was with craig. >> wachit a minute. she must have known matt and nick. so the investigators showed pictures, no idea who they were, she said. never saw them before. >> if they did it, i swear to god, they are dumb people.
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>> and then, the visiting investigators from nebraska informed her that the electric chair stood ready for her if she didn't choose to cooperate and she reconsidered. >> this guy, i don't know why, but he does look kind of familiar. >> that's nick samson who liked kind of familiar. from there, as the hours wore on, her story shifted, as did the players, time and again until it einvolved eventually that began easter night at bulld bulldog's bar. >> all i remembering hearing was bangs, bang, bang, bang, so i was like that's nod good. so i freaked out and left because obviously that guys up there killing somebody. i don't want to stick around and have to do this. i don't know what happened up there. >> then, with that off her
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chest, jessica looked again at the 230e9 tphoto of nick. >> i know is sounds really dumb but i kish wish he wouldn't havn a murder. >> with that, her well planned day, in fact all of her plans evapora evaporated in a jail cell. while detectives focussed next on her partner in crime, craig fester. >> conned me into going with her. >> it was all jessica's idea, said fester, stealing the truck, the ridiculous trip across the country. as for the murder in the farm house, that was the guy they met outsi outside du outside bulldog's bar. >> he kind of ran into the room.
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and he -- i heard a scream. he shot again. we all run over the house. >> then, surprise, surprise, fester insisted the man who committed the murders was not nick samson. it wasn't even matt who already confessed he was the killer. no. it was some friend he communicated with via text message, a guy he called thomas. so, a little confusing, perhaps. but for the investigators from nebraska, it seemed to be starting to come together. >> what was their sense of things after that first day of questioning? is. >> i think sense of accomplishment. mainly because we could have confessions from greg and jessica for the mhomicides. >> it's a reason to pretty much do a high five. >> that's what these investigators did.
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now, with greg fest erand jessica lead in jail. they set about finding physical evidence to back up their claims. incredibly, once again, one little thing, no the a ring this time, was about to turn the whole business upside down all over again. detective jim roarer looked for evidence to support or refute the stories told by the teenagers. stories in a they had witnessed but did not commit the gruesome murders of wayne and sharmon on easter weekend. roarer went to reed's place, a sort of plop house for teens, as he called it. >> what we were looking for was anything at all that would tie them to nebraska or any other location that they were at during the crime sprees. >> and he found it all right. here, hiddenby hiepdbehind a pi
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frame was a shotgun shell. there was more in that little box, this letter apparently meant for greg fester that said quote, and this bullet, well bun bunny, it's the only thing left, and i loved it. but that's something we'll talk about one day. but it's here also because that's something i did for you. me and for you to love me as much as i love you. that's the end of the quote. >> when you read the material that you found, what did you think? >> this was so bizarre. that gives you the mindset of the type of person we were dealing with. >> then roarer found a notebook, incredibly with more words penned by jessica reed. i killed someone. he was older. i loved it. i wish i could do it all the time. if greg doesn't watch it i'm
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going to just leiave one day an do it myself. >> pretty scare why. >> what this was telling us is she truly was involved on pulling the trigger on at least one of the people there. >> time for another meeting with jess k jessica. >> you've got some explaining to do. i'm going to tell you now. i am at the end of my rope over this whole thing between you and young gregory. i'm giving you one opportunity and one alone to come completely clean with every bit of your involvement in this. so you quit dancing around with me. because i know the truth. >> craig blew a guy's head off and i shot a hole through the l lady's face. >> there, she said it. it was greg fester who killed the stocks. but why would they then write that note. >> i killed someone.
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he was older. i loved it. if greg doesn't watch it i'm going to leave one day and go to myself. you're in a lot of trouble, young lady. >> i didn't kill this guy though. i zrindidn't have a gun. i didn't kill anybody. i am not kidding. i did not kill anybody. i promise you guys this. >> you know what? 17 years old. and you just thrown the rest of your life away. >> she tried to explain the words, changed her storyagain, confessed to firing one gucnsho. then admitted something quite shocking. that she enjoyed it. i. >> i liked the adrenaline. >> i didn't like what caused the adrenaline rush, but i liked the adrenaline rush. >> must have been a little sholker for you. >> well, no. and you don't run into it with a
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young girl either. >> ballistics tests soon confirmed the shell matched the spent shells at scene. murder weapon stolen from the house where they stole the pickup truck. blood found on the shoes matched the victim. icing on the cake, dna found on the gold ring and marijuana pipe matched only fester and reed. both were charged, first-degree murder. of course, as all this was happening, back in nebraska, no one outside law enforcement knew a inc. thing. >> the stock children were in shock. >> we had just lost both our mom and dad. to lose one is horrible, but do lose both of them and not have those parent figures that kept
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this family going, where do we go? how do we help andy with the farm? this how do we let our children have a normal life? >> meanwhile, in their cells in the county jail, matt and nick knew not a whit about these developments. and well into june defense attorney heard the words that changed z everything. >> i got a call saying they arrested reed and fester up in wisconsin and we got no details at all. >> but when any did, the lawyers just knew their clients were innocent. >> everything clicked. you knew exactly what the case was at that point. >> or did they? if the attorneys for matt and nick thought their clients were suddenly in the clear, they had some more thinking to do. >> coming up, because now the question was were matt and nick in it together? with jessica and greg?
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>> talk to them. present them with do you know these people? >> and? >> not a clue. >> maybe he was lying to you. >> when dateline continues. you know what's awesome? gig-speed internet.
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you know what's not awesome? when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. summer, 2006. arrests 500 miles away in
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wisconsin of two teenagers in connection with the shotgun murders sowed seeds of doubt in the official version of events. that version had this an open and shut case against two local men, confessed killer matt and at the accomplice. now, these latest arrests announced so quietly had many wondering what was the connection among these four alleged killers. >> i called a newspaper reporter. i said you won't believe this but they arrested two other people. >> samson's defense attorney and the other attorney spread the word them sfssselves. >> he said i got the arrest warrant from wisconsin and he said do you want to read it. >> i said yeah.
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>> you got that from the newspaper reporter? i met him at the bar and for the price of a budweiser i ended up being able to read the affidavit. >> those affidavits slipped to attorneys by a the roer contained details called from the hours and hours of police interviewed. >> craig blew a guy's head off. >> and told the story of the 12 gauge shotgun, the shells, ring, marijuana pipe and most telling i ily the dna. >> suddenly, it was all begins to make sense to those public defenders. remember, they had been skeptical when their clients professed innocence. but since then they'd been asking the question where was the evidence. and in the six weeks are looking for it, they had found, well,
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none. after all, girlfriend insists matt was home with her 30 miles away. >> same with nick samson's girlfriend. and she passed a polygraph. >> if she would have thought that nick had done this, she would have thrown him under the bus in a heart beat. there was no doubt about that. >> then, the lawyers went looking for evidence of the phone calls matt described in his confession, calls in which and nick supposedly planned the murders and the records revealed there wasn't one call between matt and nick in the days before the murder. >> phone communication never took place. simply didn't occur. >> but couldn't they have used those kind of phones you can buy that you can't trace. >> that's possible but there's no evidence. >> add to that the ballistics
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test found the gun found under his bed was not the murder weapon. the spot on the jeans wasn't human blood at all. >> now the arrest of these teenagers, never mentioned at you will in the hours and hours of police interviews. >> all this led julie to head over to the jail to ask matt face-to-face about these alleged accomplices. >> present them with this is what's being said. do you know these people. >> and? >> not a clue. not seen them, never spoke to them. >> maybe he was lying to you. >> not a chance. >> it would take another month for copies of those confessions to inch their way over to the defense attorneys but when they finally did, more surprises, like this comment during the interrogation of jessica reed. >> i know there was nobody else
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there. it was just me and greg. that's what happened. i am not kidding. and if no one believes me i really want to go back to my cell. >> there were, she said, no other killers, just her, just greg. and that whole story about meeting ji meeting nick at bull do you go's bar, she made it up. for nick samson's lawyer, the case was now as good as done. >> that must be a good feeling. >> no it wasn't. that's a good feeling to know your client's innocent. it's a bad feeling to know he's still in jail. you can't get him out. cops are coming up with every other kind of theory they can think of to drag him in. >> oh, yes. there was, remember, that blood from victim wayne stock found in a car connected to nick samson and spotted near the murder scene. so the prosecutor wasn't about
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to drop charges against mr. some son, and he, sitting in jail had become suicidal. >> nick was in really bad shape. so at that point i'm trying to do mesh psychiatric, holding him together. >> the summer dragged by followed by a depressing september. and then, first week of october, the county attorney nathan cox met the press. murder case against nick samson was dropped. sort of. >> since there's no statute of limitations on murder, the state reserves the right to re-file the charges in the future. >> hardly the news the stock family expected, or wanted to hear. though they handled it with surprising grace. >> it's not for us to judge, or to make a statement on that, because we don't know. it was this and then it was that and then it was this and then it was that.
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>> but imagine being nick samson. on that amazing day. >> it was cloud 9. incredible feeling. >> after five months in iljail,e was free. >> it was incredible. i'm finally out. >> but nick samson, even free, was not carefree. not by any means. some things could never be the same again. >> i was constantly looking over my shoulder. seeing who was behind me. you know? . >> so there was a general itch in your back fear someone was going to come after uf. >> come after me, my family, revenge. >> because around this company, a great many people, perhaps a majority who were still quite certain of nick's guilt. after all, his own cousin matt admitted if you will out that they both killed those lovely people. >> i was upset.
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at a loss of why my own cousin could do this to me. >> why would he do it to you if it wasn't true? >> to make himself look better. just using me as a scapegoat. >> nick samson was now off the hook, but what about matt? coming up, true, he confessed to the murders. but was there more to the story? a tape surfaces of what he said to investigators. >> i've been just making things up to satisfy you guys. >> when dateline continues. i'me
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trump is threatening to impose more tariffs. in a tweet the president says if they go forward with the threats the u.s. will apply a tax on alcars made in europe. and a another death reported from the nor'easter. now, back to date line. the autumn moon in nebraska, that troubled year of 2006, watched over a crop of confusion. nick samson struggled with the bitterness, long jail-bound nightmare planted in his soul.
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while the children of wayne and sharmon stock tried to make sense of a release of a man they'd been told killed their parents. >> it's a difficult situation. none of us are attorneys or law enforcement. and you're just sitting there trying to take it all in, trying to figure out, okay, how does this work? why does this happen. >> hadn't their cousin confessed? is at least he was still in custody. as for those two teens in wisconsin, so it wasn't as if the whole case was falling apart. at least not yet. but if anyone did not feel confused in the october chill, it was defense attorneys who were as sure as the summer day that both nick and matt were innocent, despite what matt told police during the interrogation. >> it was just screaming to me, false confession. there was every indication in
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there that there was -- >> what made it look like a false confession? >> as reports start coming in, we start learning that none of the details that matt provides are accurate. >> there was something else investigators may not have understood but perhaps should have. matt, as his friends and family knew very well, was slow. he had a low iq, at least the sort people can measure. in a conversation with authority figures under pressure, he was prone to being led. he was gullible. >> there was a portion of the questioning where they won't let him finish his sentence. they're belittling him. >> and he believed them. >> yes, very much so. >> one moment stood out, they said, when detectives should have realized just how little matt understood what was happening to him. here it is.
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watch what happens when they ask them to be a man and take responsibility. >> you consider yourself a man? >> stand up. >> he takes them very literally and starts to rise up out of his chair. >> he's going to stand up. >> stand up and be a man. okay? >> were those detectives even paying attention to the sort of man they were talking to? >> maybe not. just after nick samson's release julie received a dvd she's never received before even though she asked months earlier, was was her right for all the available material. this is a tape of matt in a second interview the day after his confession. >> absolute truth is i was never on the scene. i don't know if nick is the actual person involved in this. i've been just making things up to satisfy you guys.
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>> how long was that second tape withheld? and by whom? is. >> a little over 5 months. >> months and months after because he said those things the day after his confession. >> right. >> i don't know that nick is involved in this, because we never--i mean you can check my phone records. we never talked on thursday or friday about this. and the only reason i picked him out of the crowd was i heard through the grape vine that his brother's car was used. >> what do you think is this is going to accomplish now? >> nothing. i'm just trying to come clean. >> now that was a bombshell. his own attorney had never been told buy authoritiy authorities recanted his confession. >> basically it simply disappeared. >> right. >> the sheriff's department declined dateline's request for
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interviews or explanations of how this happened. or, for that matter anything else about the case, but in december, 2006, seven months after the murders, prosecution experts finally agreed too. the confessions were deemed unreab. >> i went over to the jail, and matt was in the cell and we told him. it's over. you're going home. and i probably had the biggest hug from a man that i've ever had in my life. >> prosecutor nathan cox was once again left to make the announcement. >> it's not my intention to try to convict somebody that is not guilty. that's not why i'm in this business. winning isn't the issue, it's whether justice is being done. >> with that, after more than seven months in jail, matt was free. >> i'm innocent. i had absolutely nothing to do with this. >> and the doubters in the town
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all around him vanished for him in the joy of it all. >> i just went crazy. praised the lord, praise -- thank you, thank you, praise the lord type thing. >> sara was twhere to take him home. they are now, by the way, mr. and mrs. >> best day of my life. best day besides marrying my wife here, sorry. >> what was it like watching him come out of there? >> it was awesome. it was a relief. it was just great to be able to be with him again. and everything. >> it was a wonderful day. >> but why in heaven's name did he confess in the first place? finally, now that he was free, we could ask him. a lot of the audience watching will say, come on, nobody's going to confess to something they didn't do, especially something so horrible as the murder of your own relatives.
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>> they changed their tactics on me and my rear end was going to be in the frying pan. they were going to be going for the death penalty. >> you're scared. >> yeah. tremendously. i thought if i tell them what they wanted to hear that i could get to go home. >> how did nick's name come up? >> sthey asked me who else was involved. i started throwing out names. finally when i said nick's name they seemed to be happy and believed me. >> but the damage was done. although they've watched things up a bit, for years matt and his cousin nick barely spoke. >> i think he just wants to forget it ever happened. people give me -- about it all the time and try to make a joke about it but it hurts. >> what will it take to convince them you're an innocent man? >> i don't think anything will. >> you're going to have to live under this cloud for the rest of your life?
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probably. unless i move. i don't want to move. i love murdock. it's my home. >> but if it seems strange to you that an innocent man could remain so long under suspicion, imagine how bizarre it was about to become. we'll call this drama trading places. >> coming up, troubling accusations about one of the lead investigators. >> so, you wake up one morning and they say you're a criminal. >> when "dateline" continues. let's talk about haribo goldbears.
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"dateli and then, there were two in the county jail in nebraska. only those two teenagers from wisconsin remained behind bars.
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da had let matt and nick go, dropped the charges, which to a suspicious county and stock family was both upsetting and bu puzzling. after all, hadn't the head of csi found a blood sample that tied them to the crime? >> it must have seemed to be they were letting two murders back on the street. >> it did seem they were letting them go, but, guess nobody knew any different. >> in fact, some of the investigators remained convinced samson or livers or both had to be involved somehow. they didn't buy the notion that two drug addled teenagers happened to stumble upon it in the dark. after all they said the guy who led them to the farm was a local named thomas. >> but detectives could find no evidence whatsoever against this
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thomas or anyone else. and meanwhile, jessica reed kept trying to persuade investigators that nobody else was there besides her and fess ter, of course. >> i am not lying. if i was lying i would not still be going on about this. >> she'd been saying that for months. >> i know what happened, and no one will believe me. >> and though she was right about that. detectives did not believe her. they still suspected livers and samson of some involvement. why? remember way back in the beginning of our story that spec of evidence that csi chief found in a car connected to nick samson and spotted near the murder scene? here's the stain that he swiped under the dashboard of that car. a second search of the car, by the way, the first by an officer under him turned up nothing. this was blood from the murder
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victim, wayne stock. how would it get there? it was the fbi that started asking that question. not of livers or samson, it was aimed at the local investigators, in fact at the chief himself. after months of digging, the fbi concluded he must have planted that swipe of blood himself, phony evidence. that nailed out a shaky case. it was a bombshell. division commander of the csi unit was indicted on four federal charges including falsifying records and violating livers' and samson's civil rights. he pleaded not guilty to all charges. defiantly told report others he'd rather go to prison than resign. even passed a polygraph and was cleared in an internal sheriff's department investigation. >> so, you wake up one morning
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and they say you're a criminal. >> well, it kind of was like that but more of a long process, and i didn't do it. i just didn't. it doesn't make any sense. >> he blamed the stain on accidental contamination. somehow, he said, blood from the victim, wayne stock, ended up on that filter paper, probably out at the murder scene, and somehow, the kit containing that same filter paper was what he later used on the car. but he did admit he broke the rules, failed to log the evidence properly, even misstated the report. >> i did make a mistake. i didn't follow procedures, and that bothers me, there's no way around that. that was wrong because i'm a boss, because i'm supposed to set the example. >> it is disconcerting but also the reason why i say this is ridiculous to accuse me of planting evidence. why would i screw it up? why would i make mistakes that point the finger at me?
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>> federal jury in omaha heard the case and took just an hour to acquit him of all counts. but the state of nebraska wasn't satisfied. appointing a special cous cuter and charged him with evidence tampering. this time, after a week-long trial before a judge on what one head line called a dark day for law enforcement, he was found guilty. >> you understand what you were convicted of? >> yes your honor. >> at the sentencing he said the truth would eventually come out. >> i don't believe this is the last of this case for me. i want to continue on and that's nothing personal with you. >> but the judge acknowledging he was moved by letters written by livers and samson asking him to throw the book at him, did just that. >> the defendant has not acknowledged any wrongdoing. he's no the appeared to be particularly remorseful.
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>> he would serve two years in state prison. a federal judge would order him to pay $6.5 million to livers and samson for violating their civil rights. he maintains his innocence to this day says he's broke. they're trying to collect from douglas county's insurance carrier instead. >> you can talk about forgetting to write the report but he don't forget about logging in the evidence. he not only forgot, but he falsified a lot of stuff on the report. it's a bad thing to say it's okay to plant evidence just because the guy's guilty because how else do you know who's guilty on and not. >> now matter whom you believe there are two people who know in living technicolor exactly what happened that night. and one of them is about to tell us. >> coming up, jessica reed, on
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the emavil of easter night. >> i killed someone. he was older. i loved it. i wish i could do it all the time. if greg doesn't watch it, i'm going to leave one day and do it myself. >> i don't understand it. >> i hate hearing it. >> when "dateline" continues. hi, can i help you? yes. the moment you realize it's better to plan for spring than to pretend it's spring. ♪ at lowe's, we'll help you start planning for spring today. so, when it's time to get outside and enjoy your yard, you'll be ready. ♪ all projects have a starting point. start with lowe's. ♪
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it's a virtual given in legal circles when it comes to cuting cutting a deal for a lighter prison sentence first criminal to the courthouse wins. first to the courthouse was jessica reid. she agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder charges in exchange for testimony against her accomplice. when it came to him it seemed prosecutors were certain to seek the death penalty. wayne and sharmon stock were roused, terrified from their sleep, sanctity of their own bedroom, easter sunday night and shot to death in cold blood. if any case warranted that punishment this was it. a judge ruled the county attorney actually missed a deadline to announce his intention to seek the death penalty. so first degree murder for greg
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fester was off the table. before long a new deal was reached. both fester and reed pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree, and in march 2007 -- not yet a year since the killings -- they entered a courtroom. >> you went to the sentencing? >> we did. it was the first time we saw 'em. i didn't think i could feel so much anger and sorrow and saladness. >> i remember thinking i didn't know i could be this mad. >> yeah. >> in the courtroom, jessica reed and greg fester each apologized to the stock family and then the judge handled down their sentences. for fester, two consecutive life terms, plus another 10 to 20 for using a weapon. for reed, first to the courthouse remember, no break at all. the same sentence, two life terms, back-to-back, no parole ever. and for the stock family, ever
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graceful and remarkably for giving people, afterwards a rare flash of anger. >> i hope they live a miserable life because it has turned our lives upside down. they made the choice to go into that house. mom and dad didn't have a choice. my son, who will never know his grandma and grandpa, doesn't have a choice. >> what really happened that night? what led two wisconsin teenagers to throw away their lives by so cal usually killing a nebraska farm couple everyone loved? perhaps only two people in the world know what happened inside that farm house and why. and one is now speaking out. >> two people are dead because of me, you know. and i have a very hard time with
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that still. >> her demeanor, her presence could can easily have been that of a kindergarten teachers. instead, she knows she will die in prison and says she is haunted by what happened in that farm house. >> what was it like to watch those people die? >> hell. >> and when you see it in your head? >> it makes my heart drop. that's one thing in this world that i can't go back and fix. >> the truth about that night, here it is, says jessica. she and fester, days without sleep or real food, had been driving aimlessly through wisconsin, iowa, nebraska, breaking into homes along the way. in one, she too grabbed a shotgun, a .410. so easter night there they were both armed, drugged and wired, and they drove down another back road, completely at random, and greg said, "stop" and at what
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turned out to be the stock farm house and in they went. >> greg was like, follow me real quick. so i followed him. we went upstairs, and when i turned around greg had turned on the light in the room. i seen this guy laying in the bed and i said, "come on, let's go, let's do something," because there was people there. >> what was the feeling you had when you said that? >> it was like panic, like craziness, god, what if they wake up? >> but? >> he just turned and went into that room. the guy had rolled out of bed and they were wrestling with the gun and i just was like startled and my gun went off. and i have no idea where that shot went. >> sources close to the investigation though tell dateline there's reason to believe whether jessica knows it or not her wild shot may have been the fatal one, that it may
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have struck wayne stock in the head, with evidence of the blast obliterated by another shot from greg fester's .12-gauge. >> then greg shot the guy in the back of the head and then he went back in the room and shot the lady. he ran down the stairs and i ran after that, and that ring that they found, it flew off then. i didn't know until way, way later when they showed me a picture of it. because i knew i lost the ring but i had no idea where. >> what was it like in the truck on the way away? >> we didn't say anything. i started crying at one point and greg just looked at me and he was like, "don't do that." >> what about the letters found later in the house with reed's belongings, words she wrote, boldly admitting to her crimes? >> i killed someone, he was older. i loved it. i wish i could do it all the time. if greg doesn't watch it, i'm going to just leave one day and
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do it myself. i don't understand it. >> i hate hearing them because it is just kind of like how everything was portrayed. i -- i hate hearing it. >> because it was how everything was portrayed? >> because i'm not like that. >> were you like that at the time? >> no. that was my way of showing greg that i was okay with it, because when he told me not to cry it was like, what? i'm not supposed to feel bad about this? i mean how can you have no remorse for this at all? >> it is all a black hole of regret now, of course, except she says for one good thing she did. she refused to implicate two men who had nothing to do with the murders. turned down a golden chance to cut herself a better deal with prosecutors by lying and nailing nick and matt. >> do you kick yourself about that sometimes? >> no. >> why not? >> because when i wake up in the
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morning i can look at myself and be okay. they're where they should be, on the streets, because they didn't do anything, and i'm where i should be, you know. >> a lot of the members of their family believe that they got away with it. what would you say to those people with thaeir suspicions. >> because? >> they weren't there. they had nothing to do with it. >> for the stock family, it is not that simple. can you believe jessica? they're driven by common sense instilled from an early age by their parents and they keep asking who and why, who did this. >> i would like to know the honest truth about everything. i hope some day we can all sit down, look at each other and say, were these two involved, yes or no?
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definitely. >> was the blood planted, yes or no? definitely. i don't know we will ever know those answers. >> matt livers and nick sampson filed lawsuits against the state, claiming evidence was withhold. the government settled the cases for $2.6 million without admitting wrong doing. the citizen that went way beyond the call to find the critical evidence to save them shrugs as if it was no big deal. >> i heard whom sihomicide. if it was somebody in my family i would want the assistance. >> two marvel, even as the cops track the one piece of evidence that saved them and finally identified the real murderers, a simple gold ring. >> had they not been able to
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trace that ring to its owner in wisconsin, i'm really afraid we would have two guys sitting on death row for something they didn't do. ♪ i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> and this is dateline. it was tough. it was tough to think that anybody could do that to someone. to look at the pictures of what they did to her and hear details of how it was carried out, it's just, it's devastating. >> reporter: shauna tiaffay, loving mom by day, vegas cocktail waitress by night. >> i was at one of the bars and

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