tv Dateline MSNBC January 6, 2018 3:00am-4:00am PST
have nothing afterwards. left behind family. left behind a disaster. if i'm the only one to remind him of that, then that's what i'm there for. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin, thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> this is "dateline." she was there. >> she walked into the room and it just kind of brightened. >> and then she wasn't. >> translator: my initial reaction is oh, what has happened. >> the mother they adored, missing. in her place, a trail of blood. >> my biggest fear is we were going to find her. >> what police found instead was a puzzle. >> in my 28 years, i've never seen that before. >> a missing woman. a mystery with few clues. >> did you find any fingerprints
sgls . >> no. >> hairs. >> anything. >> no. >> you steel 300,000 and you're about to be exposed for it. >> except without proof, how can anyone convince a jury. >> you don't think they had any useful evidence against you at all. >> could anybody name anything. >> could anyone solve the mystery. >> we the jury find the defendant, david martin hawk. hello and welcome to "dateline." when someone goes missing, one of the hardest things for those left behind is not knowing the truth. was it voluntary or foul play. the three children in this story arrived home one evening to discover their mother was missing, but for them, the truth about what really happened may have been the hardest thing of all. here's keith morrison.
>> the key was waiting for them under the matt. that evening in june 2006, outside their mom's house, silence: no one home. where was she. she was always on time to pick them up from their dad's place, but tonight, he had to drive them. this just wasn't like her. where was she? conrad t te conrad, the eldest, put the key in the door. stopped whach stopped. what was this? once we took a few more steps in. we realized there was something wrong. sg >> this was the moment. the defining one. nothing the same after this. >> there was a lot of blood. everywhere. >> then the adrenaline kicked in. instinct took over. >> we dropped our stuff and split throughout the house. >> panic rising now. conrad was 15 then.
little sister 14 and 10. three kids trying to make sense of a horribly frightening scene. >> my mom normally keeps it speck and span. hardly any dust anywhere let alone anything out of order. >> now things were anything, but. >> where the desk was, you could see papers scattered around. drawers ripped open. >> you went into the broom. >> i think that was the first place my sister ran into. so she quickly called us in and we followed her. >> what did you see there. >> there was blood on the ground. >> a lot. >> yes. her mom's bed. it was made, but. >> it was kind of hazardly thrown together. not smoothed out. >> she would have done it a different way. >> right. >> at that point. you were pretty upset i imagine. >> my biggest fear is we were going to find her. that's what scared me most. find her somewhere in the house.
>> they did not: no debby hawk. no anywhere. >> there was some drag marks, some kind of smear marks leading out to the garage where they stopped. and debbie's van was gone too. >> my initial reaction is oh, my god. what has happened. who could have done this. >> the girls ran to a neighbor's house. conrad called 911. >> we went in my mom's room and bathroom and there's blood on the carpet. >> after the initial shock of it. i kind of start to be reasonable and think, wait a minute. let's not overreact here. clearly she cut her hand with a knife or something and she was bleed and raced out to the car to go to the mrnl roomemergency this is all just a big misunderstanding. >> but it wasn't. though there were plenty of misunderstandings to come and questions that refused to be answered.
where was debbie hawk, what happened to her? and what happened to the sacred bond that once held three children together. back in the beginning, eventually the police were confused. >> this case seemed very unusual from the start. >> assigned to the case at the time, a police investigate darin mattson. both had worked other cases here in hanford. out among the suburbs and almond orch orchids. this one did not smell right at all, thought maddieson. >> it appeared she was drug out of the house obviously against her will. in my 25 years, i've never seen that before. >> whatever happened here, must have been planned. thought out.
it looked like a staged crime scene. nothing was missing, but her and her van. >> was someone trying to make it look like debbie hawk had been kidnapped. or was the intention, failed intention, to show that she just left home. >> i believe it was designed to look like a missing person's case. the bed was made. most of your crooks don't do that. >> had the perpetrator been looking for something. >> there was paperwork that normally would have been put away at least stacked up. it wasn't. it was scattered and this financial document was on top. >> significant? maybe, but certainly significant with the sounds neighbors reported hearing in the middle of the night. the night before debbie's kids arrived at the doorstep and discovered she was missing. >> several neighbors actually heard a loud scream. it was a blood curdling type. >> why did nobody call 911. >> that is not the type of neighborhood that bad things happen in. >> no one, not the type of person to whom things happen.
debbie was an accomplished woman. sales rep for a pharmaceutical firm and immensely popular. >> very regal. and to us royalty. she fits the bill as the prince success. >> she should have been a kennedy. >> uh-huh. >> which is why the ribbons that suddenly bloomed everywhere were royal purple. p people who put the ribbons on and up, also joined a search to find her. walked the river banked. peered among the trees. not a trace. by then, as you can imagine, the whole town knew about the disappearance of debabie hawk. they knew something else too. two days after she vanished. there was a find and it wasn't good, but it wasn't debbie. instead police found her van. it was parked on the street in a high crime district of fresno, 40 miles from home. the drug samples debbie had kept in the van medications for nasal
and asthma were missing, this was weird. the windows we're down t. keys in the ignition t. license plate has been replaced with a stolen one. >> it appears whoever left it there wanted someone to get in and drive off. >> one more thing, the van's back seat was covered instead blood. >> at that point whoever was driving the van would immediately become a suspect in debbie hawk's disappearance. >> police were pretty sure that was exactly what the killer wanted. it was a ruiz. an attempt to plant blame somewhere else. around town people had already begun directing blame at one individual they thought they knew who did it. >> she had said to me, you know, if anything ever happens to me, you know where to look. >> but suspicion runs fast. the truth doddles along.
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that summer of 2006 without seeing those purple ribbons. vivid reminder of debbie hawk. mother of three who vanished from her home. leaving only traces of blood. before long in her absence, board memb debbie was famous as if everyone in town knew the woman. >> she would walk in the room and it just brightened. >> all for her family and children. >> she's will her parents. angie and bud. >> hard worker. to me, she was perfect. she was perfect daughter. and i dearly love her and miss her. >> there was a lot of lives that have been shattered because of her demise. sdpi demise, yes, no getting around it now. in july of 2006, the case was reclassified from missing person to homicide. a formality, really. they knew from the moment they
aide arriv arrived at the house, somebody killed debbie. >> we kept up hopes obviously for the family's sake. it was clear that she was not alive based on the crime scene. >> investigators poked around debbie's life history looking for clues. >> she was very talkative. friendly. likable. always was kind of the life of the party. >> this is debbie's sister diane. who recalled how friends set her up on that blind date years ago. >> firecracker. >> he was the date. dave hawk. >> she was short. and attractive. and a lot of fun. and pretty good sense of humor. you know, you say something and, man, she would pop back with something you didn't quite expect. >> they were married within a year.
they built a home among his family's almond grove. >> i think they both wanted to have a family. i think that was the impetuous for the acceleration, i guess, you say of the relationship. >> though debbie's big sister wasn't sure what she saw in him. >> he seemed very quiet. very opposite of my sister. >> then before long, conrad arrived. and chill is a and savannah. >> i still remember christmass where my brother and i would run around and deliver all the gifts to irving aeverybody and everyb getting along. definitely happy memories there. >> sadly, a lot of unhappy one to too. >> pretty much from when i can remember, fighting and arguing were pretty routine. >> after nearly nine years, this marriage like so many others fell apart. >> we might have been a little more different than we were
willing to admit early on. >> even at that age, i could definitely see, the water was about to boil over. >> the wizards were nine, eight and four when the divorce was finalize instead 2000. the young children liearned how to navigate the choppy waters known all too well by children of divorce. >> couldn't talk to each other, really. i tried to step in and help resolve that. >> you were kind of the mediator in a way. >> you know. >> tough role for a kid to play, isn't it. >> it was easier to be the mediator than to have them yelling at each other on the phone. >> and living apart, said conrad. >> my mom was happier than ever. i think all of our lives improved. >> debbie did well enough as a pharmaceutical representative. able to buy her own home. >> she could finally start living her life the way she wanted to. >> except, there were issues. once after they separated during the squabbles over divorce, she
claimed he tried to choke her. she said, he just looked like a crazed animal. and i thought he was going to kill me. and not too long after that, she had said to me, you know, if anything ever happens to me, you know where to look. >> dave said that choking thing just never happened. that he was never violent with her. >> i've never dhochoked anybody >> things settled down eventually. there was always some dispute. the things conrad said he heard his dad say about his mom, awful. >> things like she needs a taste of her own medicine. she's going to get hers. she is going to get what she has coming to her. >> in fact, the very night he discovered debbie had vanished conrad told police his dad might have done this. >> anything that would disqualify him from being able to carry that out.
which is why just hours after they discovered debbie missing. they called dave and woke him up and asked him to drive to police headquarters for a talk. the phone call was curious. dave didn't ask why. >> i've received calls in the middle of the night. my first thought for me is family. what's going on? especially if it's the police department. he didn't. when he arrived in the interview room. >> what's going on? >> dave didn't seem to have much of a reaction at all to learning his ex-wife, mother of his three kids, was missing. >> at this point, i have no clue as to where she might be. >> i can tell you what's been going on the last week. >> what did you expect? more surprise. any surprise. i didn't see that at all. >> people react in different ways to traumatic news.
besides, dave them he was at home asleep in the early morning hours when police believe debbie must have been killed. kids said they didn't hear him leave the house. they were too at the time. there was no evidence that dave was ever at the crime scene. >> did you find any dna. >> no. >> did you find any fingerprints no. >> no hair. >> no they just begun to uncover the troubling secrets of dave and debbie hawk. coming up, a family divided: >> i don't believe he would even be capable of doing something like this. >> my suspicion was going stronger and stronger. >> when "dateline" continues. i'm mark and i quit smoking with chantix. my friends and family never thought i'd be the one to quit smoking, i was such a heavy smoker. but i was able to do it with chantix. i did not know that chantix would reduce my urges so significantly. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. when you try to quit smoking,
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it was a frustrating summer back in 2006. here in the farm lands of california central valley. those purple ribbon search teams came up empty. though they looked everywhere for weeks. police named dave hawk a person of interest, but he seemed to have an alibi. all three kids were with him in his house the night debbie vanished and besides there wasn't a sled of physical evidence to tie dave to the scene of an apparently violent on duction. her own daughter, who spent the day after the abduction with
dave. told the police it couldn't be him. >> i don't believe he could be capable of doing something like this. >> then they started poking around in the relationship between debbie and ex-husband. there curious things began to emerge. for example, in the month before deb disappeared. he took debbie to court and she was fighting back. >> the issues were custody and support. >> dave had asked the court for reduction in $553 a month support payment. why? because he claimed he only earned $6,000 a year. his salary, came from his dad. who paid him 500 a month to work on almond farm. only income apparently, but debbie's found that a little hard to believe. >> he lived in what i understood to be a very nice home. drove a late model suburban. that's hard to do on 6,000 a year. >> so debbie asked the court for
more time with the children. his response was to ask for half custody. the percentages were something like 65 with debbie and 35 with dave. and he wanted to make it an even 50/50. >> and that's when the battle moved to these, trust funds set up for the children's future. the money came from dave's father. dave controlled the funds. and debbie was sure dave was stealing from them to support his own lifestyle. why would she think that? well, this was actually the second set of trust established for the children. several years before, a judge caught dave's hand in the cookie jar of the first trust. which listed both dave and debbie as trustee. dave was removed as trustee of those funds. during the divorce, dave's father gave him soul control of a second quite generous trust fund. when the investigators ran the
numbers of that fund, there were supposed to be several hundred,0hundred thousand and instead just a couple of thousand. he had been living off it. something like $300,000 was missing. though dave cried poverty. he bought his girlfriend a 26,000 lexus. and paid off divorce costs and what he owed his kids from the first set of trust. >> here was the heart of the murder. debbie, if she hadn't disappeared. was about to expose all that in court. >> he steyou steal 300,000. >> certainly one more piece of the puzzle. >> yet another strange piece to the puzzle. the mess around debbie's desk.
documents scattered everywhere. sitting on top of the file were the records from the children's first set of trusts. the one only debbie controlled. >> there was $166,000 in those accounts. >> the investigators in hanford now focused hard on dave. searched his home several times. carted off lots of stuff. including a stun gun, which turned out he bought a month before debbie disappeared. told investigators it was for home protection for his daughters and girlfriend, mary. >> however he had never discussed it with mary, he never discussed it with the kmichildr at all. they did not know it existed. >> they couldn't find anything to connect the stun gun to the crime. it was odd. they also took his computers of course. and since dave did volunteer work at a local church, they seized the church computer too: even cuffed him outside his house in full view of local
television cameras. which were now buzzing around endlessly asking, did do you it? >> for the last time, no. i'm getting tired of answering that question. no means no, but the fools at the hanford police department don't seem to understand that. they're on a witch hunt is what's going on. they're on a witch hunt. >> whatever they were on, they couldn't find the evidence to arrest him. dave remained a free man. something that made his own son, conrad, very nervous. >> my suspicion was growing stronger and stronger. >> conrad had already told police about the night after he discovered his mom was missing when he saw his dad sharing a bottle of wine with his girlfriend. >> they opened it and toasted and had wine out in the patio with cheese and crackers. i didn't want to jump to conclusions, but at the time i thought my father and his girlfriend have really poor taste. >> spent the summer on the outs. after quite some time of not getting along terribly well. in august, 2006.
two months after his mother's disappearance. child protective services took 16-year-old conrad to a foster home. >> they were just a few altercations that we had. kind of like what my mom had gone through. >> investigations talked many times to dave's girlfriend, mary. and eventually this exchange occurred. >> has he ever verbalized to you at all how much he hated debbie. >> what did he say. it's not going to stop until she's dead. >> how many times. >> numerous times. >> did you take him serious. >> no, early on i thought it's never going to stop until she's dead meant it's going to go on his whole life. never in my life had i thought he would kill her, never. >> most people in town seemed to have made up their mind about dave hawk, but one of them was not the da.
>> they kept pushing and pushing. and we kept setting back. >> did the cops have it wrong? dave hawk's long time pastor thought so. >> this person who is portrayed as such a monster just simply isn't. >> another side of an accused killer. when "dateline" continues. ke s. yup, he's gone noseblind. he thinks it smells fine, but his mom smells this... luckily there's febreze fabric refresher for all the things you can't wash. it finds odors trapped in fabrics and washes them away as it dries. and try pluggable febreze to continuously eliminate odors for up to 45 days of freshness. pluggable febreze and fabric refresher. two more ways to breathe happy.
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welcome back to dateline, i'm craig melvin. even though investigators looking into the homicide of debbie hawk had no physical evidence tieing her husband, dave, to the crime. they did uncover information about possible financial wrongdoing on his part. considered it enough to warrant an arrest. could they get the prosecutor to agree. here with more of our story is keith morrison. >> they kept pushing and pushing and we kept setting back. >> the prosecutor at the time, larry crouch, told his investigators he would not charge dave hawk with the murder of his ex-wife debbie. even after it was obvious this popular single mother had been murdered. even after months of searching around california turned up no sign of her anywhere. after police had convinced themselves dave was responsible.
prosecutor crouch would not budge. not yet anyway. >> we're going to wait until we find the body or give the body a more time to come up. >> instead, a year after debbie vanished. dave was charged with embezzling. stealing more than $300,000 from his own children's trust funds. he pleaded not guilty. was released on bail. >> dave, how does it feel to be out of jail. >> and waited for the other shoe to drop. now, imagine this, the police not to mention most of the town, believed their father killed their mother. leaving three children caught in the middle. conrad had no doubt his dad killed his mom. a dad he began referring to as dave. >> i tried to cut all ties that i had with him. as much i could. he was nothing to me now. >> but chelsea has been and is
her father's defender. why do you think your siblings have chosen the other path. >> i think they're just very upset by what happened and their relationship was not as close to my dad. they were either not home or not awake when i was awake. and they were not around him the next day like i was around him. >> chelsea says dave was acting perfectly normal the day after whatever happened happened. no odd behavior. nothing whatever to suggest he had been up all night committing a terrible crime. >> so the things that convinced me about his innocence aren't there to convince them. i think they are defending my mom so much so that it's like they're going to point to the most obvious suspect. >> but chelsea was not the only one in this small town who believed dave was innocent. >> i believe what he says. that he had nothing to do with
her disappearance and presumed de death. >> sandy brown is dave's long time pastor and friend. >> this person portrayed as a monster just simply isn't. he's a man who worked hard in the church. he's a good father. >> as their son prepared to face serious financial charges, dave's parents dan and louis. took over custody of chelsea and savannah. not the way they expected to spend their 80s any more they expected to defend their son. >> he's made mistakes. nothing of the scope is generally accepted in the community. >> stan established those trusts for his grandchildren. and says dave had the right to use the money how he saw fit to benefit the children. >> were you surprised to discover how it was used. >> yes. apparently financial situation was worse than i knew. >> a year passed in this gossipy
limbo. now may, 2008. two years after debbie's disappearance. her body hadn't been found. no new evidence tieing dave to her murder. prosecutor larry crouch heard disquiting reports from his investigators. >> they start surveilling our office. police offices. eventually starts driving by investigators home. it was getting pretty concerning out there. >> time to move. on may 29, 2008. dave hawk was arrested. and charged with first degree murder and a special circumstances. murder for financial gain. he pleaded not guilty. when the trial finally began more than a year later. dave faced murder and the earlier embezzlement charges together. prosecutor larry crouch offered the jury this theory. that dave smunuck out of his hoe in the middle of the night without waking sleeping children.
maybe used a ladder to get out of the window. got someone to give him a ride to debbie's house. tried the stun gun on her and she screamed very loudly and he struck her with something. more than once. at that point i assume he suffocated her. >> then said the prosecutor. he must have dragged the body to the garage, put her into her own van. disposed of her somewhere and drove the van to fresno. left it in a high crime zone. how did he get back home? the accomplice must have picked him up and driven him the 40 miles back to his farm. really, there was no body. there was no dna. no forensic evidence to show dave had even been at the murder scene. everybody in town seemed to have a theory. apparently the prosecutor did too, but was that proof? so the state tried to build a bridge from dave's alleged financial crimes to the murder. painting him as evil man who decided to eliminate his ex-wife
when he knew his misuse of the trust funds was about to be exposed? enough? well, we shall see. >> there's a number of other explanations for what could have happened other than dave. dave was the convenient ex-husband. coming up, one of his children is convinced he's not guilty, but could dave hawk convince a jury? >> i told them i wanted to testify. >> when "dateline" continues. '. you'd see how often you cough all day. and so would everyone else. robitussin delivers fast, powerful relief to fight your cough in 12 hour shifts. robitussin 12 hour cough relief, because it's never just a cough.
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the alignment of the stars in this case was just stacked against us. stacked against dave hawk. >> at least in the harsh court of public opinion it looked bad for dave hawk as murder trial approached. >> we had this guy allegedly stealing from his kids. saying bad things about the victim. all these things being wildly played in the press. >> if there ever was a case for change of venue, this must be it, said the defense. after all, almost everybody seemed to have heard the accusations about dave. and every time he had a court appearance, purple plaid friends of debbie came in. during jury selection, he actually heard some jurors tell
the judge, they had already decided dave hawk was guilty. >> the judge asked them, well if i order you to set those opinions aside, can you do it. well, i guess so. >> still, the defense application for a change of venue was denied. as was the defense request to separate the financial charges from the murder charge. defense had arked the embezzlement accusations were unfairly prejudicial. >> they wanted to make him look like a bad person. a person who would take money from his kids would be likely to murder his ex-wife. >> in fact the prosecution would say that dave's fear that debbie was about to reveal in open court his theft of the kid's trust fund was a powerful motive for murder. >> the fact of the matter was that was already exposed. it had already been filed in open declarations in court. >> you would have gained nothing by getting rid of her at that stage. >> no. >> we also have great old american saying. if it walks like a duck, kwaux
li crosswalks like a duck. probably like a duck. you're saying it's a turkey. >> the burden is to prove it's a duck. in this case, they didn't. >> the defense argued the prosecution had absolutely no evidence that dave even left his house the night debbie was abducted and presumably murdered. in fact, his daughter insisted he could not have left the house without her having heard him. >> that just doesn't seem at all possible. >> even though investigators would tell the court that the kids slept so soundly it was hard to wake them up when they went to see them one morning, the defense claimed the prosecutions theory of what happened just didn't add up. >> that's just beyond belief that somebody would take that kind of a risk. that he would sneak down the hallway, open the door, drive the ten or 12 miles to the house. subdue her, bludgeon her. load her into the van. drive it to fresno.
and then get back to his house without getting any blood on him. without being discovered. >> so what did happen to debbie hawk? the defense floated this theory. debbie worked in pharmaceutical sales. perhaps a drug addict had gone after the samples she kept in her van. >> all of the pharmaceuticals in her van were missing. >> somebody took them. >> that was a ludicrous idea. countered the prosecution. debbie carried very few samples and anyway if drug theft was behind it. why didn't the thief take any jewelry or electronics. no at all seemed to come down to dave. his behavior, his character. his own words. like the conversation with a friend, police recorded. in which dave speculated on what might have happened to debbie. the defense played it in court as an unguarded indication that dave had no idea what happened. >>
>> he basically offered that you know, i don't think she's ever going to be found. >> did it work? >> listen to prosecutor larry crouch. >> you're going, oh, why are they putting that in. i thought it was harmful. >> what the jury thought, no one could say. then there was inevitably a conversation about whether or not dave would testify. >> i told them i wanted to testify. >> and an idea that dave's attorneys did not like one bit. >> dave is a combative individual. he's very prideful. he's offended easily. >> he thinks he's smart and hates for anybody to think he's not smart. he'd be perfect for a trained prosecutor. >> so dave held his tongue in court. >> he saved his story for us. >> so you don't think they had any useful evidence against you at all. >> can you -- can anybody name
anything? coming up, dave hawk speaks out. and so does the jury. >> we the jury, find the defendant, david martin hawk -- when "dateline" continues. i'm so frustrated. i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. you could start your search at the all-new carfax.com that might help. show me the carfax. now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool. [laughs] ah... ahem... show me the carfax. start your used car search and get free carfax reports at the all-new carfax.com. this is charlie not coughing because he took delsym. this is charlie not coughing while not to waking zeus. and this is charlie not coughing while getting really into nana's party. nothing lasts longer than delsym for powerful cough relief. my healthy routine helps me feel my best.
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purely ccumstantial case. would this be enough to sway the jury? here with the conclusion of our story is keith morrison. >> dave hawk on trial for the murder of his ex-wife debbie did not testify, didn't tell the members of the jury what he was thinking, but he had a sinking feeling he knew what they were thinking. >> always blame the ex-husband first. >> it was an awful problem, as he saw it, had been from the day his ex-wife, debbie, disappeared through a trail of her own blood. the number one suspect was him. that's what the police had been saying all along. and that's apparently what a great many people thought in hanford, california. even as he sat here as a defendant in a murder case. even though -- >> i didn't have the motive, and i didn't have the capacity. >> you know how it could be, said dave. once people get it in their heads you did something, they'll tend to misinterpret everything
to make you look guilty. >> i was home with my children in another town all night, but i'm being accused of being in another place, committing a terrible crime, based on financial shenanigans that didn't exist in the first place. >> shenanigans like, for example, that trust fund for his kids. his father made the terms very broad, said dave, so he could spend the money as he saw fit. any way that would benefit the children. >> the money is to be used for the health, education, support, and maintenance of the children, and that's exactly what it was used for. and i acted legally in that respect. >> and then, sense thince they have any evidence against him, said dave, prosecutors made a case upon misinterpreting things he said, like the time he said
to a friend, if i was a bad guy, i'd throw somebody off a bridge. >> my point was, they haven't looked for her. if someone had thrown her off a bridge, it would have floated downstream. they didn't look anywhere. >> so did you throw her off the bridge? >> no, i didn't throw anybody off a bridge. >> they also made a huge deal about something he supposedly said to his girlfriend about debbie. >> dave said, you know, we won't be rid of that [ bleep ] until she's dead. >> i might have, but i don't remember that. and that certainly does not mean i'm going to go kill somebody. >> and then there was his own son conr, who after all, believed he was ilty and told police he saw dave and girlfriend mary share a celebratory toast after debbie's disappearance. conrad said dave just didn't get it. >> whenever we open a bottle of
wine, we always raise our glasses and say cheers. it's just a tradition. we were not toasting anybody's anything. >> why have you never been able to persuade conrad of your innocence? >> i don't know. he knows that i was at home the whole time, never left, didn't have any involvement in anything illegal, but he's perhaps angry and needs to fill in the blanks with something. >> well, maybe he's angry at his dad because his dad killed his mom. >> his dad didn't kill his mom. >> he thinks so though. >> he could be wrong. >> so who did kill debbie? dave has an opinion about that too. >> who else wanted her dead? >> maybe the boyfriend that was stalking her. >> stalking her? >> this is somebody who was reported to the police, and the
police swept it under the rug, apparently. it was an ex-boyfriend. >> of course, investigators say they did look into that and other leads too, but they all came back to dave. and one primary motive. so some cross-examination. prosecutors said you killed your ex-wife because she was going to expose your embezzlement of the children's trust fund. were you afraid your father was going to find out what you were doing with that money from the trust fund? your father who lovingly put the money into the trust fund before you kind of siphoned it out. >> i really don't like the way you're characterizing these things. i really don't like the way the prosecutor has accused me of -- >> whether you like it or not, those are the accusations. >> yeah, and they're not right. they're wrong. they're false. which part did you not understand? >> what part did i not understand? what i understand is you bought
a $27,000 car using trust fund money. you took a trip to hawaii with your girlfriend. you paid off your divorce attorney fees and money you took from the first set of trust by taking $60,000 out of the kids' second trust fund. >> the money was used for the children. >> which child drove the lexus? >> all three children were driven in the lexus. >> which child went to hawaii on vacation? >> perhaps that money was my own money. prosecutor never bothered to figureut wha dollar went where, did they? >> well, you made it kind of hard for them because you were mixing up the trust fund money and your money all the time. and frankly, that's what scam artists do. >> i'm not a scam artist. >> why didn't you go get a job? >> i had a job. >> i'm talking about a job that actually paid enough to support your family, which is what a dad does. >> you're reading from a script that the prosecutor has given you apparently because none of these things are true.
>> a guilty man or not? the jury did not take very long to decide. >> we, the jury, find the defendant david martin hawk guilty of the murder of debbie hawk. >> guilty of murder and nine financial crimes. dave hawk was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. but was that the end of this story? not in the least. his defense attorney appealed the case as high as he could, even trying the supreme court, th which declined review. then in march 2016, ten years after debbie hawk disappeared, a farm hand found her remains in a field in the neighboring town where dave grew up. debbie's father had a dying wish that she be found before he passed away. he left this earth just a week after that discovery. and the children who held opposing views about their father's innocence -- >> it's complicated, huh?
>> yep. >> has this created a rift between the two of you? >> yes. >> surely not easy going for the children of dave and debbie hawk. >> we did the best we can. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." thanks for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west, and here's what's happening. republicans on the offensive, targeting a former british spy and reigniting the probe into the clinton foundation. what a week from the explosive book about his administration to his twitter storm about north korea and the big fight with steve bannon. how the president handled the first few days of 2018. one winner. some lucky soul won the mega millions jackpot. we'll tell you where. plus, so,o
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