tv Dateline Extra MSNBC December 25, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
of "dateline extra," i am craig melvin, thank you for watching. ♪ this is a tragedy on top of a tragedy now. >> it happened so quickly. their parents spot their mom, in trouble. >> a sudden slip? a fatal fall? >> you watch her go right in front of you. >> someone else was watching her, too. >> a curious neighbor moments before witnessed something astonishing. >> the look on his face was almost undescribable. >> what had she seen, was this drowning really an accident?
>> she's got a huge gash on her head. a husband and father suddenly under suspicion. >> we are crying. three daughters standby their dad and when prosecutors stand firm. >> he's holding his wife under the water. was it murder? ♪ hello, welcome to "dateline extra," i am craig melvin. in this story, straight out of an alfred hitchcock's film. a young woman pearcsees somethir a few seconds of a man and woman of something unsettling, was it a crime or even a murder? what she saw and what she did would set a motion a chain of
events that would divide the family and the jurors. here is keith moore. >> we know the truth and everything that happened. >> it is mostly unsatisfying to not have that answer. >> even if we have seen something or if we think we have and that's the question of the ha heart of the whole puzzle. is this woman right? >> i know what i saw. i know the conclusion of the story. >> of course, she does. of course, she does. why does this other woman think this? >> she's not sure. >> why don't we begin here, california, riverside county, historic missions, suburbs creeping out to the green of mountains around los angeles.
here is where chris and christie hall have come out to live their golden years. they are experiencing with life and each other. >> as far back as i can remember. it is always chris and christie. they were never thought as a subject. these are the three daughters. briana is a personal trainer and kourtney is a teacher and ashton just returned from playing professional volleyball in europe. >> all of them have heard scores of times of the stories of how their parents met. >> it was 1978, christie gone to see a relative at the airport at san bernardino. right there she encountered a security guard looked just like elvis. it was christopher hall. chris to his friends. >> apparently she was a little
flirty at the gate. >> chris and christie got married. she was 17 and he was 20. >> and as the girls were up, they never doubted a single moment of the powerful bond of love their parents with them and each other. >> we are closer to our parents than most children. they're the parents that i hope to one day be. >> christie, the vibration glue of the family. >> my dad is kicked back and quiet. >> he went off to become a police chief in idaho. then in 2005, anticipating a retirement, the halls bought this place back in kalamesa which they love for the spa and life of the 2007 seems have hit
a sweet spot as ashton and briana remembered their mother talking. >> i am so happy that i have you girls and dad. >> it was one of those conversations that you don't have everyday. >> still, there was work to be done. it was not a new house and could use some remodelling, particularly out of the bathroom. kourtney was still living with her parents as the work get began. >> they're going to do the tile work so we won't have a shower for that day. >> they decided to wake up early and put on their bathing suits and rinse out before the contractor arrived at 7:45 a.m. >> chris got up first and turned on the spa and warm it up and called briana. >> i am going go out on that
run. >> kourtney dosed through her first wake up and chris and christie met their way outside to the spa. chris looked in on kourtney again and headed back to the spa. normal moments. 6:37 a.m.. >> i got up out of bed and i was putting on my robe and i heard this panic, this panic scream from my dad yelling for me and i ran to the back porch and i saw him. trying to pull my mom out of the spa. it was she that called 911. that was the first moment of the worst day of our lives. >> is it possible for people to understand what it is like to be in that situation? s i don't think so. to see both of your parents at
the worst is -- obviously my mom is unconscious and my dad just panic and for the first time in my life seeing him just that way and not knowing what to do. he was a cop and he was not used to dealing those types of things. >> he's a cop dealing with those kinds of things with people that's not his wife. >> kourtney took charge. after calling 911, she started cpr with her mother and father. >> help my wife, help my wife. >> chris hall was kneeling on his wife's side. it was hard for the emt to help, he was so hysterical. >> it took him a little bit to get her out of the way. >> the paramedics worked on christie for more than 20 minutes, no vital signs. none. >> no words to describe the fear
and anxiety. >> you are losing her mother, watching her go right in front of you. >> i am staying to stay together: >> the balance rushed her off to the hospital where she was declared dead. she had drowned in the family spa, private family tragedy, except, maybe not so private after all. someone was watching. ♪ (dad) got it? (boy) got it. (dad) it's slippery. (boy) nooooooo... (grandma) nooooooo... (dad) nooooooo... (dog) yessssss.... (vo) quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is two times more absorbent than the leading ordinary brand. (boy) hey look, i got it. bounty, the quicker picker upper.
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>> it was kourtney that broke the news to ashton and briana. their mother and father, close to 30 years was dead. neither kourtney or chris waited at the house to tell the sisters what happened or comfort them or nor did they linger over the body at the hospital. they could not. father and daughters were escorted separately and driven to the police station to talk about the accident. >> how was the ride? >> quiet. i remember crying the whole time. >> he said that my dad would be just a few more minutes. >> chris so frenzy to the scene had calmed down by then. they was a cop among cop after all and he understood what was necessary to help him sort out what happened. >> i can't start to imagine what you are going through.
just know this is a death investigation and we have to do this. >> happy to help. whatever to get him back home to comfort his daughter as quickly as possible. >> chris told investigators what happened. >> kourtney slept and he and christie in the spa bathing. sm >> she got out and i went in and i ran to the bathroom and got more coffee and tried to wake up the girls. she came back out. >> as christie returned to the spa, they passed each other in the patio, he went into the house. he went right back outside and saw his wife floating faced down in the spa. he called kourtney and they began a frantic effort to revive her. >> i came out and she's gone. >> from what? a fall? >> must have been.
>> i think she slipped in or something. >> i don't know -- >> but, chris, did not notice the three inch laceration, here the point of the police interview was revealed. >> the gash she had on her head -- >> she's got a gash? >> she's got a huge gash on my head. it is not consistent of just falling down. >> not just consistent with falling down? why would the police think that? >> i mean you have been around for a while. >> i know where you are going. >> why was this ex police chief being questioned at all about the apparently accident that killed the love of his life? the answer was right next door when chris and christy hall took here outdoor bath that morning, someone was watching. her.
>> i got up at 6:00 and got my coffee. >> lindsey patterson was on leave from her i.t. job visiting her mom. she was just in the backward and lindsey was inside in the bathroom that faced away from the hall house and out on the street when she heard a noise. >> it was a horrible scream. something was wrong kind of scream. >> a woman's you thought? >> she went outside to tell her mom. i said did you hear that scream? and she said yeah, but i think it is just kids playing in the pool. >> kids at 6:00 in the morning? lindsey walked over to the six-foot wall between their yard and the hall, she stepped on the planter and looked over the wall. >> i saw a man with his hand on top of the woman's head and one hand on her back and she was faced down in the water. >> like something is going on?
>> that's what i am assuming. >> that's what she thought she was looking at a sex act in progress. >> i don't know why it did not seem right but something made me want to look again. >> 90 seconds between her first and second looks. this time she only saw the man. >> he was leaning back and just relaxed in the hot tub. he's kind of looking around. >> where did the woman go? lindsey told her mom something seems strange. >> she's been telling me stop being nosey and don't worry about it. it just did not seem right. it was not enough time for her to gotten out and gone inside the house. so lindsey went to the wall again, her third and final look. >> at that point, he was getting out of the jacuzzi and he was in a big rush and she's nowhere to be seen. the look on his face was almost
undescribable, it is almost as if he's gone to another world. it was scary. >> it was instinct that told her something was wrong says lindsey. she called 911. >> 911 emergency. >> so now hours and hours later, the detective confronted chris with lindsey's story. why didn't her story matched his? >> am i supposed to believe the witness is lying? >> i am not saying she's lying. >> i don't know -- i can't explain what she thinks she saw. >> now the question, did lindsey patterson really know what she saw? ♪ here we go. discover. i like your card, but i'm absolutely not paying an annual fee.
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after his wife's drowning death in a backyard spa, police asked chris hall to explain what happened that morning. what chris did not know that his neighbor had also talked to police and she told a different story than the one chris was telling. here is keith morrison. the three daughters clung together all through the ooe ooerchiooercevening
hours. they're waiting for their father to return from the police station, they wondered why did it take so long? >> broken up words and he's t crying. that's when he said they think i hurt mom and he was very upset. >> he did not sound surprise. >> no, he was crying. >> he was very upset. >> but, by the time police were questioning chris, they heard from lindsey patterson and at the station, chris's version of events is different from lindsey the first time she looked at the wall. >> that specifically me holding her down in there. there is nothing that took place. there was no sex, there was -- i don't think we had any contact while we were in the jacuzzi.
>> investigators saw wounds from christie's body, more than one nasty blow to the head. police had to choose which version, chris hall's or lindsey patterson's. tom douglas is a senior investigator for the riverside d.a. >> i think they felt there was enough to say this was not accidental drowning. it was suspicious. >> chris hall was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. the girls could stop waiting. he was not coming home. >> obviously it was a tragedy losing our mother that day and this is a tragedy on top of a tragedy now. >> knowing our parents -- >> one that felt infected by some kind of madness of the girls. christie was the love of their father's life and center for
everything for him. how they want anybody so happy in their marriage to be accused of harming her. she was happy, too. they said as happy as she ever been. they knew what they said based on the mother-daughter talk they had. >> she kept on saying how happy she was. and me and bri -- we did not think much of it at that time. but that was the last time we saw her. >> kind of burnt in your memory. >> yes, right or wrong. chris hall spent two months in jail until his daughters received the pay out from christ christie's life insurance policy and used the money for bail. he went back to his retreat to prepare for a murder trial. >> that's very surprising to have a client in a murder case out on bail but he was a special man and this was a special
situation. >> these are attorneys who were defendants. at first they only heard about the case. >> two things, special man and special situation. >> both of us can say this is a man that we like and know and we don't feel he could have done anything like this. >> chris hall and his daughter prepare for a child that hopes to make clear to everybody, the police and neighbor and the world that chris could not and did not harm the love of his life >> there was no never in 30 years of marriage, never one moment of violence. there was no motive for this man to kill his wife. >> harmon and grech had to look at lindsey patterson's eye witness account and suggesting it is incomplete. >> she saw three snapshots and what is missed is the wife getting into the jacuzzi,
slipping and hitting her head and going unconscious and drowning. >> see this sharp corner sticking out into the spa? hitting your head on this would certainly open a gash and knock christie out. >> she did not see what was really happening during the time when she was not looking. >> that scream that made patterson looked over the wall, lindsey pointed out it was in the bathroom, facing the streets. she was not in the backyard when she heard it. it could have been anybody. kourtney who was inside her house did not hear a thing. >> i don't think she's lying. i think she misinterpreted what she saw. >> lindsey concede she did not know what she was seeing in her glimpses that morning. >> something was wrong. >> and yet you have not seen it -- >> no. i knew something was wrong. i don't know if i am putting things together but from between
the screen and the position that he was pulling her and just not having enough time for her to have gone inside. you kind of got three different snapshots, something is going on. >> right. >> and how did that work out? >> yeah, i was not thinking at that point oh, this man is murdering his wife. >> chris hall would go on trial for murder and it was a trial for his daughters, too. >> he loved her. they were each other's best friends and this is not fair to him because he truly loved her more than anyone. >> and yet the prosecute everor to prove that this family man and retired cop murdered his wife. could it be done? be done
here is what's happening, search crews are desperately looking for shoourvivors after tsunami in indonesia. 1400 people are hurt and thousands are left homeless and 429 people are dead. james mattis is thanking troop for keeping the faith. secretary mattis will believing his post next week. that's the latest from "msnbc," now back to "dateline." chris hall was charged in the drowning death of his wife, christie. as prosecutors prepare to lay out their case, hall's daughters stood by him proclaiming his innocence. would anything change their minds about their dad? here again is keith morrison.
>> a good mand sta standing at d.a.'s office. persuasive power, stressed he would need them. chris hall. >> mr. hall on the surface looks like a loving family and a good father, somebody that had the support of his family. >> so he did. >> hwhen he heard about chris hall, the phrase across his mind was it is an act and i think it was it is a wonderful performance by the defendant acting like a good husband. when you look at his action, how little he did to help his wife. >> his daughter, she called 911. she helped him get the body out.
she was the only one that did chest compressing. >> he had no interest in helping his wife. >> what did he find? >> this man had an uncanning ability to fabricate story. >> seven years earlier while hall was chief of police, he was charged of misused of public money, embezzled $19 and spent ten months in jail. what struck the prosecutors is that hall tried to cover it up and lied about it. >> that tells us who we are dealing with. >> suddenly, the prosecutors looking back at the trial, he made patterson his witness. it was her story that got the
whole thing started. >> those lacerations in christie's head could not be in his opinion of an accidental fall. the particular type of bruising on christie's face and body was a hallmark of homicide. >> the fatalities of injuries were not consistent with somebody slipping and falling and a rescue attempt. there was a clump of hair in the body of the spa still in twined with a broken hair clip. that could have come from a violent struggle. when you lose that amount of hair, it is not explained by any kind of fall. >> there were some minor hiccups in the case. lindsey patterson was inconsistent about how long she looked over the backyard wall the first time she saw something going on. was it just a few seconds or as long as a minute? but, either way said the prosecutors, lindsey saw
physical contact, that was the important thing. >> she's giving us the opportunity to explain any physical contact in any way what patterson just saw. were they washing each other or a sex act? was there anything that she could misinterpreted? >> at the end of the day, lindsey patterson made a mistake, you have to believe that lindsey patterson hall l hallucinated everything she saw. >> she dialled 911 a full minute and a half before anyone from the hall house did. before lindsey had any idea how it would end. here is what the jury heard her say in that call. >> i saw some man pushing her into the water. >> she was still on the phone with 911 when chris hall came outside and found his wife body floating in the spa and calling
out for kourtney. >> the investigators -- >> i heard it best described during the trial as a cosmic coincidence that someone could see something that they perceived to be more than just some kind of kinky action in the morning. that's true. a woman was drowned. that was not a coincidence. that was what she saw. >> somehow sitting in the spa that morning, chris was over come by some private fury, who knows what? then killed his spouse when he thought nobody was looking. >> chris hall ambushed his wife and grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head twice into the concrete edge. he's holding his wife almost three decades under the water showing no mercy, no remorse and
absolute d absolute desire to end her life at that point. >> he gets out of the spa and walks into the house where his plan is to wake up his 22 years old daughter who he can use as a alibi witness. >> why? in fact, as convince as he was, he can see the why was a problem. didn't we have to know? you just didn't. there it was, it is unsatisfying not of that answer and not know the entire narrative of what happened. >> but, you want to know why this guy married to many woman for 30 years happily would suddenly turn on her. and drowning her in the pool? >> i am not sure we got the answer to that specific question. >> kind of an important question, is it? >> it is an important question,
a question that we ask in all spousal homicides. >> proof enough or reasonable doubt? almost three years after christie hall's death, a riverside jury would have to decide. cide ♪ she's doing it again no cover up spray here... it's the irresistibly fresh scent of febreze air effects. cheaper aerosols can cover up odors, burying the smell in a flowery fog. switch to febreze air effects! febreze eliminates even the toughest odors from the air. and it uses an all-natural propellant to leave behind a pleasant scent you'll love. use anywhere odors can spread. freshen up, don't cover up. febreze air effects.
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that chris hall loved his wife and would never hurt her. here is keith morrison. >> their review of the prosecutor's portrait of their father. it was a lie. >> as hurtful for us to hear that he knows better than we do. he knows there were hidden violence in our parents' marriage that we did not see it. you are telling us basically we didn't know our whole lives. >> there is no proof of that. >> chris hall had never been fired and had no motive and reason to suddenly turn on his wife. it had to be a freak accident. lindsey patterson did not really know what she saw. in fact, did she really witness
chris hall drowning his wife, why didn't she claim to see christie's body in the spa when she looked again. did not make sense. >> the highlight was the all daughters testimonies, emotion and quite powerful. >> it was so clear. if we had any on this, believe me we would have said something. >> i think we would have seen it. >> i think that's what i truly believe. it weighs on me greatly. took to justice for christie hall. >> it was up to a jury to decide. after six days of testimonies and two days of deliberations, they could not. it was a deadlock. the judge declared a mistrial. chris hall walked out of court with his family and free but not quite in the clear and nothing at all like a victory for the hall's daughters. >> what was it like with a hung
jury? >> that was devastating to us. >> you expected a not guilty verdict. >> deputy d.a. was disappointed, too. he was also determined to retry the case. first, he sent his investigators on a mission to explore the life and marriage of chris hall. what do you know? in idaho where hall had been a disgraced police chief. >> chris was a great con man. >> jerry winkle, a county commissioner up in idaho now. once upon a time he was chris hall's friend. that was before a night of poker. he shot himself in the leg when he was a cop in order to get medical retirement benefits. >> chris had been drinking beer
and he came right out and told me that, he had shot himself. >> but, there was more. >> d.a. investigators, tom doug, discovered a secret in christie. >> christie's affair was relatively years earlier. she had been in phone contact with the man just days before she died. did chris find out? impossible to know. when investigators talked to co-workers, several of them said they known a sudden change in her vibrant personality. one co-worker offered more. she contemplated a divorce. >> if true and if only an if, i may persuade a jury.
>> why didn't she see christie's drowning body when she peaked over the wall for the second time. >> we were not able to explain to the jury why she did not see christie at that point. i think that allowed defense to make the argument that christie hall was inside. >> andrea ferrias has been assisting with law enforcement for the past 20 years. she got in the spa. >> from the center of the pool and towards where lindsey was standing, anywhere i was laying you can't be seen from lindsey's viewpoint. once i hit that bottom, you can't see me at all from lindsey's viewpoint. >> the prosecutors was ready. >> one year after the first jury
deadlock. he went back to court armed with new evidence for a brand new panel. once again, jurors heard lindsey's 911 call. >> christie's co-worker testified for the prosecution. >> i was ashamed to admit that he was once a police officer. >> if the prosecution - prosecution -- well-known attorney, they came out swinging. that story of christie's affair, for example, there is a shadow hanging overall of this stuff. very humans sort of shadow which is she was having a little affair, huh? a boyfriend. >> yes, if the husband knew about it, but the wife never
mentions it and no one tells the husband. >> quite right says the judge. there was no evidence that chris knew about his wife's affair. he ruled it out at the time of the trial. the story of shooting himself for an insurancebenefits. >> that was a lie and wrong. there was not a moment's breath that he shot himself. >> as for what lindsey patterson says she saw, chris hall holding his wife's head under the water. the defense prepared their demonstration, taken pictures of her angle to show that it could look like two people were touching at the spa or everyone if they were not. >> this is what she's describing
in the picture. >> they're not actually touching. >> that's different than actually touching. >> the hall daughters were there every minute. this time more family members came to court. two of christie's older siblings testified for chris. >> i said the same thing, we have not had a doubt that this was not a moment of violence, this was not a murder. the victim's own sister and brother, that's an amazing thing to see. >> perhaps it was. listen to this. the defense said one more very significant witness. a witness who ooze credibility. >> he stuck his neck way out to disagree publicly in a court of law with the medical examiner from riverside. he found it to be accidental
death. >> this was a public official who said straight out christie's head injury could be explained by an accidental fall. >> he did not rule out homicide but he said he preponderance of the evidence was accidental drowning. >> i was been astounded by this. the whole family lives so close to the san bernardino border, if christie slipped as and fell fo five blocks, the authority in that county would not file charges. >> a second jury has to sort through these two sets of allegations and decide whether chris hall would turn and embrace home and his daughters or a pair of handcuffs of a life in prison. in prison.
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making a life decision about chris hall. did he murder his wife? which of the medical examiner should they believe? who's to count of the defendant character and what did lindsey patterson see when she peeked three times into the hall backya backyard. >> do you ever have dark moments? i may have misinterpreted or misremembered. >> that's something i thought about everyday whether i misinterpreted or think i saw something that was not there. i did not see everything, i saw what i saw. i know the conclusion of my story. i know it. right hooere, i know it. >> chris hall's daughters say they know the truth, too. the real thing in their hearts. >> i think we were the three most critical jurors in that
courtroom. believe me, if we had heard anything or had any incline that our father could have done us, as much as it would hurt him and love our father, we would want that for just our mother. things can only go so wrong for so long before something has to actually go right for us. >> we just did a lot of talking about the future and you know being over, this is being finished and honestly, i was concerned about dad and how he was finally going to be able to grief for the loss of his wife. >> it was tuesday, 8:45 in morning. minutes later, a signal, they were ready. chris hall and his daughter rushed to court.
in the end, it was very quick, guilty of first degree murder. their father would not be coming home, probably ever. >> he's being cuffed and potentially put away for life. and, yeah, it hurts. we are angry about that. >> you can still hear those daughters, unnfairly committing their father. >> it weighs on them but at the same time i know who i am dealing with when it comes to chris hall. he's the one that stole their mother from them. >> but what no one knew was the truth was more complicated. after the verdict of chris hall's sentencing a letter was introduced, it was another from christie hall's brother.
billy carlson. who have not said one public word about the case. >> we would like to ask his honor for the maximum sentence wrote billy. the pain my family have suffered through this tragedy is unforgivable. >> i didn't want to hurt the girls. >> there was a deep divide in christie's family said billy. some of her relatives believe chris was innocent. but he says others including christie's uncle urged on the prosecutors. >> half of the family members convinced he was innocent and half of the family is convinced he was not. that's hard to do. we all have to be together every once in a while. >> that involves members -- >> does that explain why this group of people in a family decided to let justice takes its course. >> we talked about it quite a
bit. you got to know when to show up and keep what's left of the family. that's together as you can have it. >> thank you so much for coming. >> when it was over, hall convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. some of christie's relatives met with the prosecutor and thanked him. >> thank you for putting it our way because he's a murderer. >> the hall daughters having lost their beloved mother and the father they adored and having lost that fight are not quite sure what they'll do now. >> it is a devastating reality. it really is. >> especially for a family that, to say we were close is an under statement, to go from that and not being there for each other and so -- it is the greatest heartbreak that anyone can experience.
that's all for this edition of " "dateline extra," i am craig melvin, thank you for watching. ♪ we were in love. >> they were so happy at first, sharing a lover's perch high atop a cliff. but romance turned to danger. she fell from the edge. >> i would call this an accidental death. >> but was it? >> she said that if anything happens to me you'll know who did it. >> a mystery of nearly 20 years heads into court, and the husband is on the precipice. >> did you kill your wife, jody? >> i did not hurt jody. >> what happened on the cliff's edge? >> hello and welcome to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin.