this is "nightline." >> tonight, teacher murdered. pregnant and missing for days -- >> i haven't slept. we haven't eat.. we're just looking. we're praying that you're safe. >> her boyfriend's emotional plea as police zero in on him as their prime suspect. >> it was a very calculated decision to ask him to be a part of that press event. >> her parents in on the setup, her mother holding hands with the man now charged with killing her daughter. but many seeing so many parallels to the murder of laci peterson. could it be another deadly love triangle? and passion project. angelina jolie's journey inside the dark history of cambodian genocide. an emotional look at her new film "first they killed my father" that she directed with
the help of her adopted son from cambodia. >> that is him understanding who he is. that's the most important thing that came out of this experience. >> and how the superstar is dealing with her personal struggles. but first the "nightline 5." >> one laugh and hello sensitive bladder. i tried always discreet. i didn't think protection this thin could work. but the absorbent core turns liquid to gel. out of sight, out of mind. always discreet, for bladder leaks. trying to do too many things at the same time? just doesn't work very well. that's why trivago focuses on comparing hotels and works very hard at finding your ideal hotel for the best price. hotel trivago. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
good evening. thank you for joining us. a disturbing crime unfolding. a maryland teacher murdered in cold blood while four months pregnant. her week-long disappearance, agony for her family. tonight, new details about the surprising tactic used by police and her parents, led to the arrest of laura wallens' boyfriend. here's abc's linsey davis. >> haven't slept, we haven't eaten, we're just looking. we're praying that your safe. >> reporter: a boyfriend's tearful plea for the return of his girlfriend, four months pregnant with his child. >> i don't know where she is. that's all. i don't know. >> reporter: one week earlier, 31-year-old laura wallen, a beloved high school social studies teacher, had gone missing. >> laura, if you're listening, doesn't matter what type of trouble. there's nothing we can't fix together. >> reporter: what tissier didn't know is maryland police suspected laura was already dead and he might be the killer. police staged the press conference on monday hoping
tessier might give away revealing details. >> it was a very calculated decision to ask him to be a part of that press event. >> reporter: in on the setup, laura's own family. her mother even holding tessier's hand. >> he is a monster. he is a liar. it was absolutely the hardest thing that my wife could do, to sit next to him and hold his hand. >> reporter: two days later, police would find laura's body buried in a shallow grave in a field belonging to a friend of tessier's. >> autopsy was done on the victim's body and it was determined that she had, in fact, been shot in the back of the head. >> reporter: and just hours later -- >> at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, tyler tessier, mrs. wallen's boyfriend, was arrested for her murder. since ms. wallen was reported missing by her family nine days ago, we've determined that mr. tessier was the last person known to have been with the victim. >> reporter: according to the police investigation, laura was
last seen alive on september 2nd at a grocery store near her home with tessier. texts she sent helped police piece together other crucial details about just what happened on that day. tyler has me on an adventure in the country, don't know why i'm here but it's for something, i'm waiting in a field. laura's sister texted her to take a picture. two days later police say laura's sister got suspicious text messages from laura's home. i'm like 95% sure tyler is not the father, i'm going to try and get a hold of atoine. her sister says laura hadn't spoken with her ex-boyfriend antoine in two years. and that his name was spelled incorrectly. >> certainly laura knew how to spell the name. the text spelled the name wrong. >> jimmy: stranger still, laura's family says from the beginning of her pregnancy she said tessier think it was the father. police now think it was he who
sent those texts, not laura. >> it's pretty unlikely a woman is going to send out text messages describing the fact that she really doesn't have any idea who the baby's father is. and that's going to resonate with females on the jury. >> the fact that he was trying to text her to give the family some indication that she was okay, certainly was an indication to us that he was trying to take us off the track of this investigation. >> reporter: according to t eche tessier's arrest warrant, the same morning of those texts laura's driver's license turned up near the dumpster of an apartment complex parking lot. three days later the property manager contacted the police after recognizing the photo from a missing person post on facebook. police then found laura's 2011 ford escape in that same parking lot. this footage captured by cbs station w jay-z. but the front license plate was missing. >> somebody wanted her trail to go cold. someone did not want her car to be identified or found. someone wanted to hide evidence. >> reporter: throughout the
week, tessier was questioned several times, always sticking to his story he last saw her alive on september 4th. police say he provided conflicting statements about other details and during the last interview, police say he made several critical admissions. >> one was the fact that he, in fact, took the front license plate off of her car. he admitted that he threw her driver's license and her cell phone in a dumpster. he gave us an excuse that he was trying to help her because he said that she was going up to confront an ex-boyfriend, which was a lie. >> reporter: with suspicion growing, the police stage that press conference. >> there's so many people, so many people that miss you. >> you put the suspect in front of a camera because he's going to talk. and he may inadvertently say something or present something in a way that you know is not true. >> reporter: but it was laura's last text to her sister that helped lead police to this field. tessier also told police he
visited multiple times since laura went missing. >> our search team did search the perimeter of those entire woods and at some point noticed tire tracks that went into an area of the woods and follow -- and that's what led them to the area where we recovered her body. >> reporter: police say they still don't know tessier's motive but there may have been another woman in his life that laura may have known about. days before she went missing, she texted the alleged other woman saying, in part, i would imagine if you were in my position you'd want some answers as well. just looking for an explanation woman to woman. the story of a possible love triangle gone tragically wrong. strikingly similar to laci peterson's murder in 2002. the 27-year-old, 7 1/2 months pregnant, went missing on christmas eve and made national news headlines. >> a california man is anxiously waiting to hear word on the mysterious christmas eve disappearance of his pregnant wife. >> reporter: her husband scott quickly became a person of
interest, giving this interview to abc's diane sawyer. >> are you afraid police will arrest you? >> no. i know there is -- there's no basis. i mean, i had nothing to do with her disappearance. so there's no possible evidence or anything like that. >> reporter: soon scott's girlfriend, amber frey, comes forward. >> scott told me he was not married. we did vroman tick relationship. >> reporter: scott peterson was given the death penalty. and is currently appealing his sentence. tyler tessier is now also behind bars, arrested wednesday. he's charged with laura's murder, destruction of evidence, and providing false information. his bond has been denied. and he's not yet entered a plea. >> in this jurisdiction, it will all boil down to, was the baby viable? at the time of the homicide? if the baby was viable, this is a double murder.
if not, just one premeditated malice murder. >> reporter: tessier's public defender did not return requests for comment. as for laura's family, they're now left mourning the loss of two lives. >> god did not give us the miracle that i asked for. but he did give us a miracle nonetheless. we have our daughter back. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm linsey davis in new york. next, angelina jolie on working alongside her son in her new passion project, the film "first they killed my father." if you've been struggling with belly pain and constipation, and you're overwhelmed by everything you've tried-- all those laxatives, daily probiotics, endless fiber-- it could be wearing on you. tell your doctor what you've tried, and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation.
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she's one of hollywood's most intriguing leading ladies. brains, beauty. my coanchor juju chang sits down with angelina jolie to discuss her new film, "first they killed my father." inside details about what it was like working with her teenage son. >> reporter: it's been a tumu tumultuous year for actress and filmmaker angelina jolie. the star's personal life grabbing headlines. from her high-profile breakup with brad pitt after as do ye d years together, to health scares. yet the single working mom of six staying busy through it all. now one of hollywood's most famous faces stepping behind the camera once again, serving as director in her latest film "first they killed my father." >> i think for any country it's important to understand what --
your past, and cambodia has a beautiful, ancient, thousands year old glorious past, but also a past that has war and genocide. and so i felt that it was really important, this country i love so much, to discuss. >> reporter: the film a passion project nearly two decades in the making. she first visited cambodia while filming "lara croft: tomb raider." that's when she stumbled on a memoir by luang ang. 17 years later she's teaming up with a cambodian producer to bring the story to life. a heart-wrenching account of one of the darkest chapters of cambodia's history. over four years of terror under the khmer rouge. families forced into labor camps. millions displaced. one-quarter of the population died. the genocide considered one of the worst mass killings of the 20th century. the most vulnerable at the heart
of this film. >> why is it helpful to see this through the eyes of a child? through your eyes? >> i think people sometimes, when they talk about genocide and crimes against humanity and war, they forget that the most vulnerable victims in all of this are the children. >> reporter: the perils of war front and center. >> the level of sacrifice that a mother, a parent, is willing to make. i take it that speaks to you? >> so many people have experiences like that. they do thins for their kids, they sacrifice for their children, they sacrifice for those they love. those people may never understand the sacrifice. >> reporter: a mother's love also manifesting itself behind the cameras. i was blown away by maddox's role in this. i didn't realize he speaks multiple languages. >> he's learning all those
things. he's learning. yes, languages is something he's surprisingly good at. he speaks french with him, not with me. >> reporter: the 42-year-old actress and humanitarian adopted her oldest son maddox from cambodia. the 16-year-old also served as an executive producer on the project. >> when i see him on set working with everybody, when he says to me, well, mom, it's because i'm cambodian. i say, are you proud? he says, i'm very proud to be cambodian. >> you talk about adopting. it's more than adopting. angelina jolie did not come to see us, she come to be with us. >> you're getting emotional. >> yeah. it's enough. >> you began your family there. >> i met maddox, i felt connected to the country. when i saw his eyes are imy i met him. >> he's quoted as saying you're a wonder mom. >> he is. he's -- you know. you just love your children so much. and you're just happy that they think you're doing an okay job. >> reporter: and like most moms,
she's been juggling a lot. four years after going public about her voluntary mastectomy and hysterectomy, she recently reveal the she struggled with hypertension, early menopause, and bell's palsy. part of the reason why you have fans in so many sectors of the world is you're so approachable. you've been very open about your health issues. >> this is where you swing to the personal? this is a segue? >> just a little bit. it's also true, people are concerned about your health issues. how are you doing? how is the recovery? >> i'm fine right now. >> you are? >> yeah, i'm fine right now. my children are healthy, i'm healthy. and -- thank you. >> reporter: jolie refusing to go deeper. choosing instead to focus on the film. you've done a number of movies about war. >> am i a prisoner? >> "in the land of blood and honey." "unbroken." >> don't look at me. >> what have they taught you, if
anything, about the human cost of war? >> i think it's important to understand history. when you direct a film, you spend years understanding, analyzing. i want to know what happens. i want to know how people get to a place where they do such harm to each other. >> reporter: the human toll of those bloody conflicts, she says, now morrell than ever. >> this is not 40 years ago, this is today. we have 45 million people displaced today. we have so many ongoing wars. we're seeing ethnic cleansing. what is worse is then we could say, if we knew. if we knew, we would have done so much. we know. if anything, we see people more divided, see people encouraged to board up and roll up and divide more. we do not see people coming together. >> reporter: she's hoping this film will help remind us all to never forget those lessons of history or the resilience to move beyond. for "nightline" i'm juju chang in new york. and next, "the catcher in the rye" is an american classic.
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finally tonight, you may remember "the catcher in the rye" from your high school english class. there's a new movie with a star-studded cast giving an inside look at author j.d. salinger's tumultuous life. here's my "nightline" coanchor dan harris. >> can't stand all these phonies. >> reporter: j.d. salinger's formative years explored in the new bio-pic "rebel in the rye." >> i want my writing to be truthful. >> reporter: "the catcher in the rye," considered by so many to be an american masterpiece, has sold over 65 million copies. yet the man behind it is still an enigma. inspired by salinger's perseverance after world war ii, actor, writer, and cocreator of the hit show "empire," danny strong, making his directorial debut, found surprising revelations in his subject. >> i didn't know salinger had gone to war. i didn't know about his religious awakening.
>> reporter: the film chronicles salinger's struggle with ptsd after the war, leading him to discover meditation. >> that was a huge part of him being able to write again, also trying to find peace from all the horrors he saw in war. >> reporter: nicholas hoult, at 12 in "about a boy," ploys the tortured writer. >> i write short stories. >> really. have you been published? >> what surprised you the most? >> the war part of his life i knew nothing about. landing on d-day. him coming back and finding religion. >> the thing i found most inspiring was his dedication to his art and his willingness to write. >> are you willing to devote your life to telling the stories, knowing that you may get nothing in return? >> reporter: kevin spacey plays salinger's writing teacher here at columbia university in new york city where salinger found inspiration and stability.
did he have a good experience here? >> yeah, he had a great experience here. it was really transformative for him. he was a troubled student. dropped out of multiple colleges. then when he got here, his instructor after a semester started to transform him. >> holden caulfield deserves an entire book. all on his own. >> reporter: salinger's creation, holden caulfield, would go on to become one of the most iconic characters in literary history. but the intense public scrutiny brought on by the success of "the catcher in the rye" pushed salinger further into a reclusive state. after having inhabited this role, do you have a sense of why he took himself out of the mix so thoroughly for the last 50 years of his life? >> i mean, it's big speculation, again. i think to be able to walk away when you've reached a level of success like that is extremely
bold and noble thing in many ways. >> how do you think he's feel about this movie? >> he'd hate this movie. he'd never want to make a movie out of him and he'd have sued the hell out of me. but i think he's a major historical figure. his life is worthy to be explored. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm dan harris in new york. >> "rebel in the rye" is in theaters now. it was benjamin frankly who said, either write something worth read organize do something worth writing. thanks for watching abc news. as always wore online at abcnews.com and
tim & charlie, 4th graders. lazy 3rd graders. they even have those new easy open gogurt tubes. they've got no work ethic. pathetic. new ez open gogurt. kids never had it so easy. would you look at her. our mini old el paso taco boat's growing up so fast. hey sweety chicken or beef? dad you know i'm vegan. beets, chicken or beets? good save. anything goes in old el paso.