tv The Hunt With John Walsh CNN August 23, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
i still have the heartache. still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over the years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a man hunter. i'm out there looking for bad guys. ♪ life is priceless. no one deserves to die for no reason, especially over differences of the way of life. anything can be worked out, made better. instead of running away from the problem. somebody has to pay the price. somebody has to serve the punishment for the life taken of another man. if margaret lorrain smith is here right now, i would -- i probably would ask her why. why me. ♪
they were very quirky and fun. they raised us in a very different lifestyle than most children are raised in a ten acre ranch at the beach. we had all the animals and waves we could handle. >> they're very close. they did everything together. every time you saw george, usually you would see lorrain with the kids. >> if you talked to that knows them, they would say the same thing. they were old hippies. they were different. a little bit off the grid, but they were happy.
>> me and george grew up together, surfed together. eventually george opened a place down the beach called burger smith. >> my father built it from the ground up. >> it was always a work in progress. george was always adding on without permits. most of our encounters were related to me being mayor and people complaining about what he was up to and me having to intervene in the middle. >> i drove by one day exit was closed. i guess he just made the decision he was tired of fighting city hall. >> in '94, after our shop was shut down, we moved to the country. it was definitely a change for all of us. in '95.
my little sister, saffron was born. and in '96, my little brother sequoia was born. my dad worked a lot of odd and end jobs. he did his best to support his family, but money was a lot tighter than it was before we had the restaurant closed down. the property at the beach was worth about $3 million, $4 million. she wanted him to sell the property to make more money, but he didn't want to sell it. he kept the property because he wanted to pass it down to his kids. >> lorrain was lorrain. george was george. two different people. she wanted to do it her way. he wanted it do it his way. two rocks in a tumbler and knock each other's rocks off. >> i met my husband, i got married in 2003, so i didn't see a lot of stuff that happened. in 2004, my mom met a man that lived down the road from her.
kind of started, i guess dating per se, but at that time we didn't know how involved they were. >> george, he was going, what are you doing. >> i'm leaving him. i guess she got another boyfriend. >> she kind of just really changed her personality. direction for herself. probably not clothes that were appropriate for a mother at her age. >> she got to a point where my parents were actually going to
get a divorce. i remember that. she moved out of the house, and i was devastated. >> when my mom tried to file for divorce, my dad, he did everything he could to try to prevent that. >> george was willing to forgive lorrain for everything that she had done. he wanted his life partner back. and he was willing to forgive every transgression. >> in 2005, he wrote a will that stated that when he died, my mom got everything. >> i mean. sometimes love is blind. and other people have to see for you. he said i don't know what to do with her. i love her so much. and i said george, i think she's a little crazy, myself. you need to get rid of her before she kills you. >> she got into some bad stuff and changed who she was. she was tired of being a mom. she didn't want the burden of having kids.
i found her wandering miles from home. when the phone rang at 5am, i knew it was about mom. i see how hard it's been on her at work and i want to help. lorrain had definitely changed. >> i feel like she kind of lost herself mentally, that she went off the deep end and changed who she was. she was tired of being a mom. even bigger impact and end ern alzheimer's for good. find your walk near you at alz.org/walk. it takes a lot of work... but i really love it.s. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. stay strong. stay active with boost®.
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lorrain had definitely changed. >> i feel like she kind of lost herself mentally, that she went off the deep end and changed who she was. she was tired of being a mom. she didn't want the burden of having kids. >> i certainly think that the crowd she started to hang around with was part of that process. she flipped that switch that said i am going to become the party girl, the promiscuous, the worst mother of the year.
>> my dad just seemed a lot more depressed. it's not like he cared, he didn't fight my mom about it too much. my dad started trying to fix up the beach house. he'd stay there sometimes. my mother was getting neglectful, letting my little sister saffron and my little brother sequoia stay with me more often or taking them to my dad's. he'd be doing his own thing, they'd pretty much take care of themselves a lot. >> my mom told people that we were being home schooled. but she didn't home school us at all. i taught myself how to read and write. and saffron, my sister, had trouble with it. when my sister scarlett found out about that, she was very upset. >> i actually started home
schooling them. ♪ >> my mom got into some bad stuff. >> i really think my mom's boyfriend was pushing her to get the beach property sold. >> george let me personally hunt 13 acres that he had. and then one day, he said well, can't hunt it no more, she sold it, signed my name and took the money and spent it. and i went, what? oh, yeah. said, i'm mad. they had a big fight. he went next door and had his friends made up a will, and he changed his will, left everything to the kids, got her out of it, had them sign it and said here, something happens to me, give it to them.
>> it may or may not have been the trigger. i think, in her deluded mind, that she would figure out a way to get that property back. that she's the mom, and those kids, even though she didn't give one damn about those kids, somehow she'd get back onto that will. >> on the night of august 6, 2007, lorrain made contact with george. lorrain indicated that she wanted to talk with george, possibly get back with the relationship. ♪ lorrain met him at their favorite mexican restaurant. they ate supper. he had several drinks, margaritas. he loved her, and he wanted to get back with lorrain.
he would do anything for her. on august 7, 2007, i received a phone call from the county dispatch, notifying me of a death investigation. i was dispatched to follett's beach in surf side. i observed a deceased male. it was hard to recognize him, due to severe trauma to his face. we had checked the pockets and found the wallet. we were able to identify the deceased as george smith. >> she asked if i could make someone disappear. >> he knew how george was killed and what he was killed with. on august 7, 2007.
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beach, which is the county beach. the scene was real hard. the deceased had a rain coat laid out to the side of him. with the blood in the sand and the water coming up and down, it makes it very difficult. his head was bashed in. there was blood splatter for many feet from the place where his body was laying. his face was unrecognizable. >> with the trauma to his face, we were unsure if he was hit by a vehicle or not. but we were able to identify the deceased as george smith. by his driver's license. we had learned that he had a residence in surf side. went to the residence. margaret lorrain smith was at the house. i notified her that her husband
had passed away. >> at 9:00 in the morning, my mom phone called me and said let me talk to your husband. and i was, like, no, i know my dad's dead, just tell me he's dead. and he said no, i need to talk to cortland, let he talk to cortland. and i knew he was dead. and i told her, i said just tell me he's dead. i said, just tell me that he's not alive, because i know he's not. and she was like, yeah, he died, you know, like they found him dead, kind of, you know, the whole time i'm talking to her on the phone, you know, she sounded like she's crying, and i later find out from the investigator that not one tear shed out of her eyes when she was telling me that my father had died. >> no tears. she just went off into how everything happened.
it was almost as she was wanting to tell me her side. she said george had drank a lot margaritas. he was too intoxicated to drive home. she would drive him home to surfside. lorrain stated that she stopped at a local convenience store, got him some more beer to drink, and then driving on the way home, george became very upset. screaming and yelling. and kicked her out of the vehicle. a couple of days later, lorrain called me back at the office and stated that she wanted to revise her statement. that everything she told me
wasn't true. >> when she voluntarily came to the police department and said oh, excuse me, by the way, i know i'm a person of interest, but i got to tell you a different version of the story, because you're not buying the first one. really dumb. really dumb. >> she was walking me through pretty much her statement. then she became quiet. she made a statement, i didn't mean to do it. you know, it was an accident.
and asking her what it was, she never explained later, she told her kids that she was on the beach with their father. so we have lorrain out there on the beach with george. >> but she said she was not there during the time of the murder, that she left prior to anything happening to george. >> we still didn't know the whole story. what helped piece it all together, i received some information that there was an inmate at the brazoria county jail. he pretty much said he knew how george was killed and what he was killed with and who killed george. dylan lowry. >> lorrain met dylan through a
group of young adults that lived in the apartment behind where lorrain's boyfriend lived at the time. >> first time i met her, she asked if i could make someone disappear. asked, what do you mean disappear? i mean, do you want someone dead or want someone to take them on a trip or what? and she said i just want them to disappear. >> didn't anybody think she was going to run?
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contacted dylan lowry. >> she said that she needed somebody to disappear. she then proceeded to tell me the person in question was her sister's husband, who was abusing her sister and her sister's children for years now. she said that she wanted, she wanted something done about it. and her sister was too afraid to do anything. so she was taking it into her own hands and trying to find a solution. she had counted out some money and handed it to me. i told her, well, i didn't want anything to do with whatever it was she had going on. and i tried to give her the money back. she refused to take the money. told me just to hold onto it. >> the inmate that contacted me
told me that another friend of his was approached by dylan and asked if he had a weapon. he then basically said we don't have anything but a leaf spring. a leaf spring is a flat piece of metal, heavy. it's a long bar, flat bar, probably a quarter of an inch thick. they set up their plan. ♪ lorrain spent a lot of money getting george drunk on margaritas. he was too intoxicated to drive home. she would drive him home.
lorrain stated that she stopped at the local convenience store. we went there and pulled the video. you could see her talking on the phone, looking out the windows. pulling out the cell phone records, we found out that the number that she had received a call from belonged to a female. i identified the female, took a statement from her, and later she stated that dylan laughrey used her cell phone. lorrain drove george out to the beach. no houses around. no lights. it would be dark. they get out to the beach. and they would be together, and that's what i figured the rain
coat was for, was for lorrain. and she would make a reason that she needed to go back to the vehicle. she forgot something, and that's when dylan would come up and kill george. the medical examiner's office was able to prove a leaf spring was what was used to kill george smith. >> yeah. i mean, she knew what she was doing. show planned it out for god knows who long. because the property she started selling off. we found out she used that money to pay the man to kill my dad. >> dylan and lorrain were both charged with the murder of george smith.
>> i drove to the apartment complex, arrested dylan and put him in the brazoria county jail. me and a partner drove to boyd where margaret was staying with her daughter and arrested her for capital murder. >> her bail was set at $500,000, and they lowered it immediately. the judge actually said that since she wasn't the one that actually was the murderer that her bail shouldn't have been set so high. the bail bonds company needed collateral, so she actually signed the deed to the surf side property away. >> i will never get it. she was the instigator, the perpetrator, up to the point and was the brains behind the whole deal, didn't anybody think she
was going to run? >> dylan laughrey maintained his innocence at trial and pleaded not guilty. >> it sounds to me as if she did it herself. margaret lorrain planned everything and followed through with the plan and executed and killed her husband, george smith, at the beach. because it was just all too, too sloppy for somebody who supposedly was a hit man. >> dylan laughrey was convicted and serving life parole. almost two years later, lorrain is called to go to court where she does not show up. >> weeks before her trial was set to start in 2009, lorrain cut her ankle monitor off, told
her probation officer that she would be at a doctor's appointment. lorrain got a ride from ingleton to houston. >> we collected video that does show lorrain was dropped off at the hospital. and then she just walks straight out of the hospital. and she has some large baggage later. it was a few days later she was seen for the last time picking up money from western union in san antonio, and she's been on the run ever since. >> the land she used so she could get out of jail on bond. she ended up losing it when she ran. >> unfortunately, there's nothing left from the property. the bail bonds company sold it for a very small amount of what it was worth. we couldn't fight for it. we couldn't afford to fight for it.
>> after all of her horrible planning, after arranging george's brutal murder, she lost it, because she skipped her bond. it went to nobody in that family, the main purpose of killing george, so she would get a wind fall of money, she blew it all. >> i miss him. i miss that quirky laugh. and that crazy kid. george is up in heaven doing the holy ghost shuffle. he's dancing and looking at the sea of glass, thinking, i can surf this. i can surf this. god, give me a board. >> margaret lorrain smith has a mole on her bottom right eyelid. she often dyes her naturally dark curly hair or wears wigs. she has a thyroid condition that requires medication.
she may be moving back and forth between mexico and the u.s. if you've seen more get lorrain smith or have any information regarding her whereabouts, call us at 1-866-the hunt, or go to our website, cnn.com/the hunt. can you remain anonymous. we'll pass your tip to the proper authorities, and if requested will not reveal your name. >> i have nightmares. he's laying next to me, standing over me a lot. forcing me to go somewhere. most of them end up with a ton of torture. and then i wake up before i die. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived.
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so many pedophiles aren't violent. they're the groomers. paul winklebreck on the other hand, if the opportunity presents itself, he's going to strike. he's the predator. >> so it had been the weekend. and i got the okay from my grandmother to spend the night at my best friend's. her mom had a new boyfriend, so we went to visit him at a house he was working on. i got kind of a weird feeling
when i met him. we went back to the house, we did the normal girl stuff, what 11-year-olds did, played makeup, dressup and, you know, went to bed. ♪ i recall being asleep for hours. and then waking up to an older man next to me. it was her mom's new boyfriend. he was cuddled around me, and he was awake. he got up and grabbed my hand and forced me to walk with him and go into the sun room with him. i remember just being a small
room. he proceeded, asking me questions about my family. your address, your name, your, your phone number, your mom's name. then he said that he knew my mother. that she would be the first to be killed if i said anything. and then it would be me. being tortured and killed. he put lotion all over his
i didn't do much sleeping. about 7:30, he told me that i could go. when i got home, i ran straight to the bathroom. my grandma initially knew something was wrong right away. >> this is what's so darn brave about megan is she went right away and told her grandmother, and her grandmother did the right thing. >> she immediately took me to the e.r. they did a rape kit. i told the story. and, you know, when it had happened. all i could stare at was that alarm clock. so i knew minute for minute what he had done to me. >> winklebreck was convicted of first-degree sodomy. he was sentenced to 8 years and four months in prison and given 20 years of post-prison supervision, which is known as parole. when he got out, he was ordered not to have any contact with minors because of that '98
offense. >> but his nature is such that that opportunity presented itself. and he took advantage of it and he harmed someone again. >> when he got out from prison, paul winklebreck started dating several other women at the time. one of these was a woman who was a single mom. she's in her mid-40s. and she had a teenaged daughter. >> on february 26, 2010, a mother and daughter came in to our police office in wilsonville and wanted a report that an individual had touched her. the mother was awakened by her daughter's screams. >> paul winklebreck leaves the residence. >> a guy like paul winklebreck. he doesn't think what are the consequences, how am i going to get away with this? a guy like him is ready to roll all the dice. >> he's looking at going back to
prison for this. that puts a person like winklebreck on the run. >> the incident that i ended up investigating, ashley and jessica go to the snoop dogg concert downtown in portland. happening scene, everything's going on. and they make their way back to their car. this man walks up to them, introduces himself as paul and says that he is working with the portland police, that he is a spotter for the portland police on a dui mission. he says that their whole mission is to make it so that people don't drive drunk. he says how about i just, i'll drive you home. there's plenty of us out tonight. i'll get one of my buddies to pick me up. she said she didn't live far. so they talk about it like, yeah, okay.
and he gets in the car. and they leave. and the girls think this is wonderful. they're just so excited that they have a police officer in their car. and, as they're driving along, paul winklebreck looks at jessica in the back. can i borrow your phone? i want to call my friends so that i can get a ride when i get to your house. jessica says sure. he sort of acts for a second like he's trying to do something. then he puts it under his leg. he says, it's not working. then he says to ashley, hey, can i borrow yours? same thing. i need to call my friend. but ashley's noticing they're getting close to where they need to turn. she gives him the cell phone. he just puts it under his leg. he goes through the light and
heads out on the highway. she now starts yelling at him, give me my phone back. and jessica's in the back saying, yeah, give her her phone back. he pulls out the knife and puts it right into ashley's stomach. >> way better to fight, fight, yell, scream, than be compliant, because the last several hours will be horrible. i don't want to live with
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paul winklebreck pulls out the knife on ashley, whenever he would get heightened, they would pass a semi. or she want doing what he wanted, he was pressing, just pressing the point on what he was willing to do to her. >> this is probably the fifth pedophile i've been involved with who has waited outside of concerts and has said i will drive you home or get your car,
i'm a parking lot security guard, an off-duty cop, and you're tipsy, you're going to get a dui, it's become a standard with these kidnapping predators. >> they're on the highway. ashley starts trying to bargain with him. i'll give you money, i have $50. they start telling him about their family and that they need to be at work the next day. he said, don't worry about it, you're not going to be at work. as he's holding the knife to ashley in the car, jessica started going in the back, i have to pee, i have to pee. he pulls out into a dark area and tells them, all right, go out and go pee. and he watches them like a hawk. jessica starts yelling, look away, look away, i can't do this when you're looking at me, look
away. she rushes him, dives into the car. no keys. she runs. ends up seeing a house and pounds on it so hard that the couple inside felt like it was an earthquake. >> 911. >> we've got a gal at our door saying someone's out to kill her. >> and she just came to your door? >> yeah. >> in the meantime, ashley is now fighting with paul winklebreck. another car comes down the highway. ashley runs toward the car. paul winklebreck thought this guy was going to help, so he took off in their car. the guy in the car, you know, he thinks something's fixin' to happen to him. he takes off, so she start running in the same direction that jessica went. they find each other again.
>> and does he have a gun? >> we do have an officer dispatched. >> years ago, a cop told me, said, tell your daughter, it's way better to fight, fight, yell, scream, than to be compliant, because the last several hours of her life will be horrible. so take that shot of these guys are cowards. they were lucky, it easily could have gone the other way. >> the next day we found the car, about 10 miles away from where the incident happened where the girls had gotten free. paul winklebreck fancies himself a survivalist. he liked to go out in the area where the car had been found. >> having this happen to me has traumatized me and caused me to switch states i don't feel safe exposing my identity and what i look like. i just want him captured and put away forever. >> i've been hunting bad guys for over three decades, and i'm always glad and greatly relieved
to share that their reign of terror is over. remains found are believed to be paul winklebreck. investigators are awaiting dna results to confirm identity. it's a very good thing to talk to your kids, teens and tweens, the world is their oyster. i wish they were a little more cynical. it's not to ruin the wonder of investigators are awaiting dna results to confirm identity. it's a very good thing to talk to your kids, teens and tweens, they are very vulnerable because they're not adolescents. the world is their oyster. i wish they were a little more cynical.
a little bit more aware. the idea is not to create paranoi ya. it's not to ruin the wonder of the world, it's just to be a little bit more street smart. back in 1981, i had the american dream the beautiful wife, a house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. in two weeks i became the parent of a murdered child. and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over the years i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice.