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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  April 14, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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in payments to silence his accusers, we will look back at the history of the trump presidency and see the national enquirer as inadvertently one of the most influential media companies in the history of the united states of america. e united states of america xxxx we tried to solve this murder. we were going to set a trap for three people and i wasn't sure if it was going to work or not. it had to be perfect. >> he was a family man who didn't seem to have an enemy in the world. right up until the night he was murdered. >> there was evidence of a violent struggle between jack and his killer. >> someone was keeping secrets and police thought they knew
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who. >> their tone was just scary. >> they thought they knew the motive, too, but -- >> the matter of proving it was a different story. >> until someone found the perfect bait. >> it's me. you need to [bleep] call me asap. >> could they set the perfect trap. these people might literally get away with murder. >> "deadly conspiracy." hello and welcome to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. with doting grandfather jack jessie at the helm, his big and blended california family seemed like one happy bunch. then, jack was found stabbed to death in his living room and police wondered if the jessies weren't as close as they seemed. the case went unsolved for years until an ace detective hatched an unconventional plan to catch jack's killers. here's keith morrison.
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>> the game is called 80 mouse track," the little ball on its trap which unless every lever works in unison, will not be caught. how often things go wrong to allow thes my to get away. so odd that what really happened could so thoroughly mimic a children's game. >> how nice! >> these are the people that it happened to in orange county, california. they vacationed together. >> i'm tired and ready to go home. >> shared birthdays. >> this one is for bev. >> happy birthday! >> even got together information a monthly game of pins. what these grainy home videos don't show is what is yet to come, murder, conspiracy, one branch of the family against the other, a game so twisted,s my so clever crafting a trap to catch
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the plotters just might be impossible. to begin with, it was 1998. shakespeare and love won the oscar. monica lewinsky was freshly famous. it was sweltering august night, hottest of the year when cheryl got a strange call from her dad, jack jessie. >> i was getting ready for bed and my phone rings. it's my dad on the phone. >> what time was this? >> 20 after 9:00. >> he was worried about his wife, sandra. she was missing. >> what did he think had happened? >> he thought maybe she had gotten in an accident. >> she had run to this mall on an errand, cheryl said and was gone so long. would cheryl please find her? >> i went to the burger king, supposed to be at walmart and back 15 minutes later. when she went back into her dad's house she found --
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>> the worst sight i have ever seen in my life. he was laying face down on the floor in a pool of blood. it was horrible. >> what did you think happened? >> i thought he had fallen because he had a big garb in the back of his head. i went to a kitchen phone and called 911. >> when she rolled him over she could see wounds all across his chest. he had been stabbed many times. >> every time i did cpr to him, breathed into him i could hear bubbling and air escaping and feeling it on his chest. >> it's not often little placentia, california has a murder. >> 10:00 o'clock at night i got the call. >> reporter: at the time, daryl was the town's sole homicide detective. >> what did the crime look like? >> very bloody and a violent struggle between jack and his killer. >> a home invasion or robbery?
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>> or assault of people who knew each other. >> protocol was to look at the person who reported the crime. >> the daughter, we had to look at her as a suspect. she was the one that found him. >> she interviewed all suspects including cheryl and jack's buy, sandra, who hasn't been missing at all, on a shopping trip. >> she came to the station voluntarily and said she would cooperate and wanted to help solve the murder of her husband. >> she told him about life with jack. married 14 years, blended family, four kids between them. jack was a patriarch of a man, well liked and well-to-do. >> jack was a very loving person who doted on his children, doted on his step-children and doted on his grandchlidren. >> jack was ill, house-bound after colon cancer surgery and she said she had been running a
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mercy mission for jack and dawdled too long at the mall. >> i was only on the road 15 minutes. >> she was very specific where she had gone, what times and why she had gone there. >> as for cheryl, she said she would do anything to find out what happened to her dad in those 15 minutes away from the house. >> her actions are consistent with somebody who understands the police are looking at me right now, i know i didn't do anything, will do everything i can to give full disclosure. >> the day after the jack jessie murder, a guy walked into a bar, sat down on the barstool and told the bartend ear story how the murder happened, who did it, about what the motive was, the whole story. of course, that was just a story in a bar. detective wyatt didn't hear anything about it. as he continued to dig for clues he hit an unexpected wall.
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sandra announced she had now helped as much as she could and she was done. >> was referred to her attorney and she refused to meet with us again. >> reporte >> and the same thing with her kids and while his children practically begged to solve the case. what happened to the family? a mirage? living with them was like a fairytale. >> it's too late now. >> the kind written by brother's grim. >> she was mean to me and wanted me completely gone and did everything to get rid of me. when it came to her own children, sandra was indulgent, eerily to tom, her son. >> she was indulgent and it was strange. erie to watch. >> they were always walking into the other room and closing the door. >> jack seemed quite happy with
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sandra until the a spring of '98, a few months before the murder when jack was diagnosed with col don cancer, a shock an one of two shocks. to those around her, her beloved son, tom, up and moved to arizona. >> she was flipping out about it. she had to go there. >> she demanded jack move to arizona, too. >> that woman was off her rocker. >> her tone was just scary. it was like somebody else's voice coming out of her. >> surely, that wasn't motive enough for murder. with little suspicion and little else to go over, wyatt spent months pouring over sandra and jack's phone records and bank statement and credit card bills. he was searching for -- he didn't know what he was searching for but getting nowhere. >> we couldn't establish a
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pattern suspicious. >> as wyatt's investigation was sputtering, sandra left. sold the house in california and moved to arizona to be near her son, tom. soon, her daughter followed, too. they all lived within a couple of wloblocks of each other in hs sandra purchased with jack's insurance money and savings. >> all said and done she got close to $700,000. >> as months slipped past, leads and investigations hit one dead-end to another. wyatt was promoted out of homicide and the case bounds from the pd to the police department, and the case was toxic to career. then he met a man named tom dove who said he picked up the case. >> i said, really? that's great. let me ask you a question. what are you going to do, give
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the case three or four, five months, a year, a sergeant or something and move on? tom says to me, listen, buddy, nobody likes me in my department. he says, i'm not going nowhere. i've got five years to put in your brother's case. i retire and i'm out of here. he says, but i'll give it my all. i will give everything to this case that i have. i looked over at him, i said, you're the man. >> what david didn't know but clearly sensed was that detective tom was the real deal, a legendary law man, who seemed to have stepped out of his own primetime drama. >> there wasn't a lot to go on. there wasn't any physical evidence, there wasn't any eyewitnesses? >> the perfect challenge. >> after five years of dead ends, he quickly uncovered an
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intriguing new clue. coming up. >> that bartender with the customer who liked to talk, now, he's talking, too. >> this person had speck details unknown to the general public. >> not only that, he's naming names. >> how many times did you listen to that interview? >> at least 10 times. >> when "deadly conspiracy" continues. racy" continues. openturning 50 opens theuard. door to a lot of new things... like now your doctor may be talking to you about screening for colon cancer.
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a get your questions answered by awesome experts store. it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. pecker. pecker welcome back. much had changed for the jessie clan in the years since jack jessie had been stabbed to death. his wife, sandra, had moved to arizona to be near her son, tom. jack's murder investigation, once big news in the little town of placentia, had gone cold. now, there was a new detective on the case. as he began to dig, he uncovered what look like a clue, a single name crawled on a slip of paper. could this be the key to finding
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jack's killer? here is keith morrison. >> after five years and a string of homicide detectives, the jack jessie murder case had become a game to avoid. then, one day the whole impossible business was handed off to tom dove. >> i can't tell you how many times that i thought, just move on. give up. move on. >> there was no hope of any new evidence like fingerprints or dna, just the infuriating puzzle which had become more difficult with each passing year. >> after i reviewed the case, i had no feeling for the family. no feeling for jack jessie. >> to get his head in the game, he met with people closest to jack, like his brother, david. >> when i met with david, he inspired me. his determination not to let the love for his brother go was a big motivating factor. >> david also had some
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provocative information, something jack told him after arguing with sandra about moving to arizona. >> if anything ever happens to me, he says it's her. >> not the only time jack said such a thing, turned out. >> he told me, i wouldn't be surprised if the bitch killed me, he said that. >> and through all the files he was hoping he found something that might be overlooked. he found a simple two page report, apparently unread by any detective. remember the guy who walked into the bar and told the story about the jessie murder. years later when the case went unsolved the bartender decided to call the placentia cops. an officer took the call, signed up the report and stuck it in the file where it sat unseen until tom dove came along. two things caught in my mind when i read it, one, whoever the
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caller was knew how many stab wounds were involved and, two, the caller stated the person had used a back door or window to enter the residence that night. that was significant in that this person had specific details unknown to the general public about the murder of jack jessie. >> most of the tipster's information was frustratingly vague like a little with another game to be paid. there were two killers, no names. one had a knife and the other had a get away car. both worked at a big box department store. the man who had been the driver and with the blood money he bought a truck and seadoo. >> when the question of who was behind the plot, they named names, sandra's son, tom, the
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mama's boy she raised as her own and under the mastermind, jack's wife, sandra. with that new perspective, doug revisited sandra's interview, the hours of mostly useless chatter. >> how many times did you listen to that interview? >> at least 10 times. then it jumped out at him. sandra is going through slips of paper in her planner. >> this is my son's friend. >> listen to it again. this is my son's friend. >> this is my son's friend. one phrase in hours of material. it got doug's mind racing. if the bartender is right, the killer was a friend of the son's. hetor through the evidence. there it was, the day planner, seized five years earlier just after the murder. >> went through that day planner for probably a day or more. went through every scratch piece
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of notation, everything put in that day planner was looked at. there was a small piece of note paper with a name appeared to me at that time to say schreiber with no telephone number or significance. >> said schreiber? >> said, i thought, schreiber. >> but where would he find this schreiber? doug went back to sandra's interview and unearthed one more clue. sandra said the boys were once work buddies. the detective cris crossed california searching for the employment records of every target store for a guy named schreiber but nobody had ever heard of him. >> we were starting to come to the end of our rope. a dead-end there. >> reporter: that was about the time jack's daughter, sheree began getting strange packages in the mail, from sandra saying
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they were keepsakes jack wanted them to have. >> what were they? >> like an ash try or bowling ball. >> it provoked the reaction they feet. sandra seemed to be telling them she'd beaten them, won the game. >> i said, are we cursed? something with this case it's not going to be solved. >> it's frustrating for him to put all this work in and these people might get away with murder. >> reporter: tom's wife, known him since high school, knows him better than anyone. she was used to his compulsive perfectionism. >> it's comforting to me to know where things are and where we're going. >> his sense of nothing out of order. >> he's a very stubborn man. for him to take a case, he will do it and solve it.
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>> reporter: so detective decided to start over, take a different approach. immersed himself in sandra's old phone bills seized by detective wyatt years before. >> i went through every telephone call related to somebody to this case. there had to be some communication. >> get anywhere? >> yeah. >> what doug found overlooked before was a cluster of calls all found before the murder, short, within minutes of each other. >> one to a target store and to a pager and one was to a boarding house. he called that last number, asked if anybody there knew a guy named schreiber. and the landlady said, nope. but there was once a tenant neighborhood schrobin. could he be the man the detective was looking for? >> it was bret schrobin.
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doug tracked him down to a distant desert, and a 1999 truck and seadoo, just what the bartender said. >> we now have somebody's name involved in the murder. often people throw away valuable evidence. >> he finds treasure in trash. >> somebody is back on our side again. >> when "deadly conspiracy" continues. piracy" continues. no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on our car insurance with geico. we could have been doing this a long time ago. so, you guys staying at the hotel? yeah, we just got married. oh ho-ho! congratulations! thank you. yeah, i'm afraid of commitment... and being boiled alive. oh, shoot. believe it.
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[kno♪king] ♪ memories.
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what we deliver by delivering. welcome back. before he was killed, jack jessie hinted to family members sandra, his wife of 14 years, wanted him dead. by connecting the dots, the detective believed jack was the victim of a conspiracy. his theory, sandra and her son, tom, masterminded jack's murder with the help of a man named
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brett schrobin but his search for evidence was about to take him in an unexpected direction. here's keith morrison. >> the jack jessie investigation had been six years of dead ends, bad breaks, blind alleys. on the trail of a suspect, he was about to start a new game, one where he could write the rule book. it would be very complicated. he wanted more than just the get away driver, he wanted everyone connected to jack jessie's murder. >> the only way to tie them together in this conspiracy was do a wiretap. >> wiretaps are notoriously difficult to get. he needed permission from a judge and to do that he needed to show schrobin was still in contact with tom and tom's mother, sandra. time to get creative. >> it had been my experience working in the narcotics section
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of the sheriff's department, often people throw away valuable evidence. he asked his fellow detectives help him because he decided to check their garbage. >> what did they tell you? >> i'm really starting to lose it, i want to dig through somebody's trash. >> so faithfully, once a week, he made the journey to schrobin's trash and brought it to a nearby parking lot. >> we would dump it here, regardless of the size. >> right on the tarmac. >> right on the tarmac. and get on our hands and knees and slowly look for a document. that's how he found his phone
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bill showing call after call from schrobin and sandra's son, tom. >> how often would that pop up? >> about 24 times in a billing cycle every month. >> everyday. >> like going to a crime scene and finding a piece of evidence. excitement, this is going to work, we will find what we're looking for. >> there was yet again a problem, schrobin's phone was in somebody else's name. to get a wiretap, doug would have to prove he was the primary user. how would he do that? >> what we ended up having to do was literally follow bret schrobin around until we saw him on his telephone and took that further i went into the target store he was working that day. i noticed he was stocking shelves and i started randomly
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picking up items to look like i was interested and put a call to one of my investigators and say, put a call on the phone. i was able to say, that is his phone, he talks on it. we put the phone in his hand. >> but as they continued to go through trash week after week they found something unexpected, this day planner. from the years '96, 97 and 98. >> what were the chances of that? here, six years later the day planner from 1998, the day jack jessie was murdered. dollars to in the garbage. >> a treasure we didn't expect to find. what that day planner did was connect all people in 1998 associated to bret schrobin. >> what did you think? >> too good to be true. good things would happen. somebody back on our side again. >> with this evidence, he was
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able to get the judge to approve a wiretap on the phone. then, as he continued he kept going through his trash and thought he would find something more. indeed he did and it turned the case up side down. he found rental listings in arizona. bret schrobin was moving out of the state and gone before the wiretap took effect. in arizona the wiretap was worthless. >> this took all that work, talking six month of work and threw it out the window. >> the killers had slipped the track, game over. >> but the detective was not giving up. his team built a new and better mousetrap. guess who took the bait? coming up. >> it's me. you need to [bleep] call me sap. $329 a month for 36 months.
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our top stories. at least eight deaths being blamed on weekend storms that ravaged the south. tornado rated ef-3 and winds of 140 miles an hour hitting the region. that same storm system still moving north. two more official events for presidential candidates. mayor pete buttigieg and congressman opened his rally in california. back to "dateline." eric swalwell. welcome back to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. detective had just secured a warrant to wiretap schrabin's phone and then learned he was moving to arizona and a move that would derail the investigation.
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he didn't miss a beat. he engineered another plan, an elaborate trap requiring almost 100 officers across two states. could the detective pull it off or was he headed towards a dead-end. keith morrison. >> after two years of relentless police work, tom's investigation had generated enough evidence to fill this mail cart, all apparently for naught. the suspect and the key to cracking the case skipped the state and the detective's jurisdiction. >> we were so close. >> he sensed they had been beaten and gotten away with murder. >> i had to put his picture is a way. it was tough, he was so fantastic. >> put his pictures away? >> had to. >> couldn't look at them. >> at the dove home, tom's wife,
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patty worried about her husband's health. >> he tends to hold things in. you can't hold in that kind of frustration and emotion without it affecting you. with that kind of stress it takes a toll on them physically. >> that's what you worry about? >> uh-huh. that's what i worried about. >> she knew if he didn't solve the jessie case he might die trying. >> he's like a dog with a bone and take it and do it until it gets done. >> dough was not alone. there was a prosecutor who shared his dogged conviction, a man named michael murray who wanted sandra jessie and her group as bad as doug. >> this case seemed to be full of obstacles. >> it would have probably been forgivable to let it go at that stage, on some level. >> maybe to some people. >> so they called it a legal long shot, flew to phoenix and pleaded with the arizona attorney general and pleaded for a wiretap warrant, and they got
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it. the game was back on if they could make it work. >> we were going to try to set a trap for three people and keep track of those three people and i wasn't sure if it was going to work or not. >> if it didn't -- >> in the back of my mind, i gave it probably a 30% chance of success. >> you're giving yourself a 70% chance of being a goat the end of the day. >> it had to be perfect. we were only going get one try. >> tom compiled a team of investigators, even called david wyatt to see if the placentia p.d. wanted in. >> i said, let me fall at your feet. this is going to be good. >> the phoenix pd provided scores of officers. on game day he had more than 100
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cops. >> i remembered this mouse game as a kid, we had to go through a tremendous amount of obstacles thrown together in order to lower the trap and catch the mouse. anywhere along the line, there could be a snag. there could be something we hadn't planned for that could throw this ball completely off the board. >> what was the plan? what was the nature of your mousetrap? >> we believed if we did something to get these people up tight, if we were able to rattle the tree, put fear into them maybe the police were onto them they would talk about the murder of jack jessie. >> what was the piece of tree you put into that trap? >> we mailed a simple copy of the newspaper article when jack jessie was murdered anonymously to sandra, tom and bret.
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the sig was they didn't know we knew about bret, and they will know something's up. >> as soon as tom heard bret got an unanimous letter he called his mother, sandra. >> whoever sent out all that crap sent one to bret, too. >> give me a break. you're kidding? >> no. why would i kid about something like that. >> one to bret? >> yep. >> why would they send one to him? >> i have no clue. >> next, doug started poking bret's friends in california, who of course called bret. >> leave your name and number. i'll get back to you. >> hey, dude, this is me. you need to [bleep] call me asap. this is no joke. a guy from the sheriff's department, homicide division calling me about you.
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bret called tom. >> hello. >> tom? >> hey, what's up. >> i got a call from scott. the orange county homicide division called scott's answering machine and they want to talk to him about me. >> about you? >> what are you on right now? >> on my cell phone. >> are you comfortable or no? >> no. >> that little mousetrap call was making its way through the maze. after a few days of the game, they began to wonder if they were getting played, suspected if their phones were tapped or houses bugged. >> i want to talk to you a couple seconds. i'd rather pick you up and go to the church or something. just somewhere outside, away from your place or my place. >> okay. >> not on the cell phone. >> okay. >> when would you have time? >> now. >> so they started meeting in shopping centers. >> we decided to put surveillance teams on each of
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the individuals, sandra, jessie, tom mahler and bret schrobin, during the duration of the wiretap to capture some things they may not do that would not be normal while the wiretap was in place. they'd stand shoulder to shoulder in a parking lot, watching out in a parking lot, not looking at each other. >> there it was like the scene of a mafia movie, deep in conversation as they peered out into the parking lot. >> i think the photographs of tom ayler and sandra jessie was worth a million words to how far they would go to conceal what they had done. in their words they thought they had got away with the perfect crime. meanwhile, doug would hop back to pressure their friends.
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he was relentless and follow one tip to another until doug finally encountered the man he had been hunting for years, the bartender, who called in the anonymous tip years earlier. the first words out of my mouth went, hi, mike, i'm here about bret. his face went completely flush and said, i knew you would find me sooner or later. >> what did he say? >> that schrobin had confided in him about the murder of jack jessie and it was a huge quantum leap putting this case to rest. >> now the time to spring the trap. bret schrobin was arrested and sandra finally to be held accountable for jack jessie's murder. >> that was a pretty good day. >> didn't last.
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for one thing, tom was not arrested, insufficient evidence said the prosecutor. as he rolled out the case against the others, that little ball came off the track again, this time at sandra's preliminary hearing. the judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence to hold her. she was free to go. >> i sobbed all the way back. >> only bret schrobin was to face a murder trial, eight years after jack jessie's murder? justice, not yet, if ever. coming up, finally, the break detectives had been waiting for. >> she wanted jack dead and wanted it done at the house to look like a robbery. >> the information he provided would blow the case wide open. >> until something slammed it shut again when deadly conspiracy continues. nspiracy cs
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welcome back. av years of relentless police work, bret, sandra were arrested for the murder of jack jessie. in a devastating blow for their loved ones the judge released sandra citing lack of evidence. then the detectives got a lucky break. someone had a story to tell and it would send this case into overdrive. once again, keith morrison. >> sitting in a cell month after month can do a lot to alter a person's take on the world, even more so if the inmate is looking at a possible life sentence. that's when bret had an epiphany, just days before his murder trial was to begin. he said he was finally willing to testify against tom and sandra but he wanted out now. the deal had to be for time served or nothing at all.
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>> what did you think when you heard what he wanted? >> i thought it was outrageous. it's not a perfect world. the people likely to have some of the best most detailed information what takes place inside a conspiracy is a ko conspirator. we needed bret. >> what was the story? >> the story was a pretty detailed and amazing story. >> he described the whole affair on tape and laid it out in the chilling detail anatomy of a murder. it was launched with a phone call from tom. >> he said his mom would offer $50,000 do kill his dad. >> she wanted jack dead and for it to look like a robbery. she said she would leave for x amount of time and that's when it would need to be done. >> schrobin said he hired this
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is good friend, a drifter, to be the get away driver, while sandra was having her nails done, he claimed he and his friend drove to the jessie house to murder jack. >> i was having cold feet and by the time i got down the i was really having cold feet. i was in the garage and put on a rubber glove and reached inside the door and locked it, and shut it. i was chicken. i couldn't do it. i called tom and told tom, the door's locked, and he said he would call his mom and get back to me. >> according to him, tom called back within minutes with a backup plan. >> he told me his mom was going to go out that night and it needed to happen tonight because his mom can't take it any more. he said if we didn't do it his mom would do it. >> he said he dropped his friend
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off at the house and drove around the neighborhood while his friend snuck inside and stabbed jack jessie to death. >> they had walkie-talkies. afterwards he him up. he had a little blood on his legs, looked for a place for him to clean himself up. i believe it was a del taco we found with an outside place for him to clean himself up. >> the information that he provided, if we could corroborate what he said would blow the case wide open. police, police questioned his friend. he denied everything. he said he wasn't in the car, wasn't at the scene. he didn't call jack jesse, and there was no evidence to indicate he was involved at all. police let him go. investigators focused on building their case against tom and sandra by documenting money transfer, phone calls, air travel. so when you add all that together, what did you think? >> i thought we were starting to put together a pretty good case. >> good enough that murray had dom and sandra arrested.
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and in the summer of 2009, 11 years after the murder, the mother and son team went on trial for the murder of jack jesse. >> going to court was like going to my dad's funeral every day, it really was. >> you're around people that you know killed your dad, it was a ridiculous feeling. you can't even put it into words. just soul-wrenching. >> schrobyn testified against them. in court, it was argued sandra had a variety of motives for killing jack. she wanted his money before medical bills ate up their savings, and she couldn't bear being away from her son tom. >> do you think the case had gone well? >> i thought the case had gone extremely well. >> except once again that little ball came off the track. what happened? >> coming up -- >> that one juror. >> what did you say?
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>> i said she was an idiot. >> when "deadly conspiracy" continues. makes it beautiful.
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welcome back. it had been 11 years since jack jessee's death. his wife sandra and her son tom were on trial for his murder, but confessed conspirator brett schrauben had struck a deal with prosecutors. in exchange for his release, schrauben took the stand to detail how sandra and tom orchestrated the plot to kill jack. now the case was in the jury's hands, but the jessee family's fight for justice was far from over. with the conclusion of our story, here's keith morris. >> when the jury went into seclusion to deliberate, the jessee family thought justice was just hours away. but as the sunset on the courthouse, nothing, no word. same thing again next day and the day after that. the problem?
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there was a holdout. >> it got very heated. >> yes. >> in the deliberation room. >> these members of the jury told us 11 voted for conviction. but there was one lone juror who felt some level of compassion for sandra. >> she related to the sandra jessee's concern that jack jessee's illness would eat up their nest egg. >> i kind of felt like she was enjoying the control she had. >> there was nothing, nothing we could do or say. >> people were getting so heated and there was so much anger that she started to shut down even more. >> that scene played out for three and a half days until the judge said enough. and declared a mistrial. >> i was in tears. i was in tears. >> i was too. and thinking of the family and what they've gone through. that was heartache, just heartache. >> i thought i was going to pass out. >> yeah. >> it was horrible.
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>> it was just soul eating. >> like the whole night it happened all over again. >> that one juror, i saw her, wanted to talk to her. >> i said she was an idiot. >> it was certainly difficult for me. it was far more difficult for the family. >> murray promised the family justice, spent two years putting a new case together, and just weeks before trial, he got a call. it was from tom's attorney, saying his client was ready to cut the apron strings and testify against his mom. >> there is no way that we ever suspected that tom aelert would ever turn on his mother. he was known to be a mama's boy. >> but a mama's boy who decide he didn't want to die in prison. tom pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, got 15 to life. besides helping connect the crime to his mother, tom had someone else he wanted to give up, that friend of brett schrauben's, the one brett claim drove with him in the car and
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killed jack jessee. despite the fact there was no forensic evidence to indicate he was involved, his case went to trial. in february 2013, a jury found him not guilty. his defense attorney believes he had been set up to take the fall as part of the conspiracy. that friend is now a free man. as for sandra, her case went to court one month after her state went state's evidence. the question was, would a jury believe tom's story? and as the jury deliberated and the family waited, there was no euphoria. they knew from bitter experience that anything could happen. >> a lot harder this time. not knowing what's going to happen. >> on the second day, they got word, the jury had the verdict. >> my stomach is in knots. >> i'm shaking. >> we're really very nervous at this moment. >> 13 years after jack jessee's murder, sandra jessee was found guilty.
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finally, that little ball stayed on its track. the key mouse was caught. >> i hope that she rots in hell. i just really do. i'm glad it wasn't the death penalty. i want her to stay there and suffer with all the other miserable people that go to prison. >> what does it feel like to get justice finally? >> it feels good. it feels good. but not complete. not complete. >> not all the way there yet. >> lost a guy. the nicest guy i ever met. >> and for tom dove? he is now retired from the sheriff's department and at his going away party, his fellow detectives gave him this. it honors his commitment to the jessee case. >> it means more to me than any other plaque or award i've ever received in my life. >> in retirement, tom planned to set up shelter for stray dogs. the urge to rescue runs deep.
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>> that's all for this edition of "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons into a world of chaos and danger. now, the scenes you've never seen. "lockup: raw." >> what is it? what is it? >> a fight. >> when our crews go behind prison walls, we know always to expect the unexpected. we've seen bloody assaults. >> we got another cut up here, guys. >> inmate rage. >> we will not negotiate with terrorists! >> destruction in the cell block.


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