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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  April 21, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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said now they would know what to do if the situation had happened in real life. lesson learned. we hope you and your kids will walk away with some valuable information too. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales. thanks for watching. i'm craig melvin. >> i'm new mexico. this is "dateline." the first time i saw her, i thought she was beautiful. we just loved being together. >> it was him who found her. >> i wish i could have been there to protect her. >> a wife murdered. later, a husband under suspicion. >> he was such a nice guy. you would never have guessed he
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would have done something like that. >> do you think he faked this murder and killed his wife? >> yes. >> we wanted her house and money. if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> in court, a stunning verdict. >> this cannot be happening. i did not kill my wife. >> more stunning, still, is what came after. a mysterious witness with a secret. >> this is a woman who says, i saw the murderer and it wasn't tom foley. >> would this be the ultimate twist? hello and welcome to "dateline." the murder of a well-loved teacher in a close-knit town. within hours, police were on the scene, an arrest and trial. case closed? not on your life.
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in this story, a bombshell came in after the verdict. here is josh. >> 911. >> i need an ambulance now. >> reporter: february 2009, coldwater, michigan. >> what's the problem? >> my wife! >> your wife? >> yes! >> reporter: in one day, one moment -- >> is she breathing? >> no! she's gone! she's gone. >> reporter: the innocent simple life tom foley and his family once lived was gone forever. >> oh, my god! no! oh, my god! >> 27 seconds. gives it off to foley. >> reporter: it was a moment tom foley never would have imagined 23 years earlier. back then, number 30 -- >> going to be 15 seconds left exactly. >> reporter: -- scored the winning basket giving coldwater high school the regional title. >> it's good! he hit it with five seconds to play.
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>> reporter: and earning young tom a place in coldwater's basketball hall of fame. >> i get goose bumps talking about it. >> like victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat, and he came through with it. >> to what extent were you sort of known around here for being the kid who hit the game-winning shot? >> that went on for a long time. maybe someone might come up, hey, tom, remember when you hit that shot? i say, of course i remember. >> in 1991, the hometown hero started dating another local standout named darlene weber. dar, as she was known, had a personality as big as her smile. >> the first time i saw her, she was playing softball, of course, and she had on these lime green rec specs, so she looked a little funny. but when she took them off, i thought she was beautiful. >> it was a classic case of opposites attracting. >> i think wbo went to the relationship knowing that we
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really loved spending time with one another. >> tom was the laid-back, easy-going type. dar an elementary school teacher was more type a, and she didn't hide what she was thinking. >> she had opinions, and she'd let those be known. it's one of the reasons i loved her. i still love her today. >> still, when dar's sisters, la donna, lynn and marla learned that dar and tom intended to marry, they were left scratching their heads. >> my famous saying was, there's got to be something wrong with tom for him to stay with dar. >> because you couldn't do it. >> no. >> no. >> you couldn't be around somebody who was, what, that much the center of attention? >> no. >> telling you what to do. >> that controlling. >> dar was not a domesticated person either. >> the foleys were married in 1994, and right from the start, dar took the lead. fair to say she wore the pants in that house?
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>> i'd say probably 75%, 80% of the time she did. >> she was the breadwinner? >> yes. >> you stayed home and took care of your son? >> i did. >> heath was tom and dar's only child and the center of their lives. >> and we just loved being together. we were always together. >> and so the three foleys lived on the outskirts of coldwater in an old farmhouse they called the heath bar farm. a picture perfect family until that winter day back in 2009. what was the last thing you said to her? >> i said, i love you, and i'll see you later. >> on that day, the foleys were preparing to celebrate heath's tenth birthday at a friend's house just down the road. dar still needed to shower, so tom, heath and a friend of heath's left without her. the plan was for dar to follow in her own car and meet them all at the party later that afternoon. but dar never arrived. that gave you some sort of sixth sense that something was wrong. >> yes. she was always on time or early
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to events. >> so tom left the party and headed back home in search of his wife. >> our kitchen back door was open, and i noticed that the glass was broken and there was glass all over our kitchen floor. so i looked through the rest of the house for her and ended up finding her in our bathroom. >> it was a gruesome scene, dar lying in the shower stall. she'd been shot in the head with a shotgun, at point-blank range. tom immediately called for help. >> what's the problem? >> my wife is in the shower. she's just laying there in the blood. >> first responders rushed to the foley farm. when michigan state police detective james carbon arrived on the scene, he knew he was in for a long night. >> we don't have a lot of homicides that happen in and around branch county. because of her position as a school teacher, just for the
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number of people that knew her, that put it in a much more serious type investigation. >> detective carbon and his team of state troopers scoured the crime scene, taking pictures and seizing evidence of what appeared to be a home burglary gone wrong. the first clue? the broken glass coming from the kitchen door window. >> it appeared that a beer bottle was used to break that particular window. >> according to tom, jewelry and credit cards were missing. the family desk had also been disturbed and financial documents inside were gone. and then there was the medicine cabinet. >> looked like somebody had gone in and basically scooped a shelf off the medicine cabinet and its contents. >> like maybe they were looking for prescription drugs? >> potentially. >> but to detective carbon, the items missing weren't nearly as telling as what was left behind. expensive electronics were left untouched as was dar's purse
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sitting on a hallway chair. >> it just didn't make a lot of sense. >> neither did the use of a shotgun. >> it's large, potentially bulky. if you're going in to break into something, you have to carry whatever you steal out with this shotgun that you brought also. >> it wasn't until the next day that police found their first significant piece of evidence, evidence that led the investigation in a whole new direction. down in the foleys' dusty basement was a suspiciously dust-free yellow plastic bag. coming up -- >> i think they did a lot of things together, however, i don't consider them the picture perfect couple. >> when "dateline" continues. feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin 24 hour relief when allergies occur. day after day, after day. because life should have more wishes and less worries. feel the clarity and live claritin clear.
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was held on the 13th, friday the 13th. those unlucky enough to be sharing their grief over the woman they'd loved and lost poured into union city high school auditorium. no church, it turned out, was big enough to accommodate the more than 500 people who came to honor and remember dar. >> she was so full of life, and she he had a lot more to give. >> we can't bring her back. >> your wife's been killed and you've got a 10-year-old son. >> yeah. >> what did you tell him? >> i told him that someone had hurt mommy. and he goes, is she in heaven? and i said yes. >> it seemed that no one in coldwater could comprehend what had happened, including steve and joanie pierce, close friends of both tom and dar who learned of the murder from tom himself. >> i said, the three of you were always together, and he was crying, and he said, i know, i
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know. i should have been there for her. and then i said, if you would have been, the three of you would be dead now instead of just dar. >> but just 24 hours into the investigation, detective jim carbon had almost abandoned the theory that this was a random act of violence. >> it appeared to me that this was a staged break and entering to hide a homicide that took place. >> but according to detective carbon, whoever staged the burglary didn't factor in the weather that day. >> it got really warm. we had a huge snow meltoff. >> the ground around the farmhouse was unusually wet and muddy. so you would expect that there would be muddy footprints from inside the residence where somebody would come through that door? >> absolutely. >> was there any footprints, anything? >> there was nothing. >> but it was the yellow bag found in the basement, the bag containing shotgun shells, that interested carbon the most.
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>> downstairs in the basement we found a dunham's bag that had in shotgun shells in it. >> okay. >> did you ever see that before? >> no. >> the foleys didn't own a shotgun as far as we know? >> that's correct. >> carbon sent the bag to the lab for analysis. what technicians found on the bag surprised even this veteran detective. tom's fingerprint was on the bag. >> yes. >> suddenly detective carbon felt he needed to take a closer look at tom foley and his seemingly picture-perfect marriage. >> i think they did a lot of things together, however, i don't consider them the picture-perfect couple. >> neither did dar's sister lynn, in whom dar once confided. >> she said, tom doesn't love me anymore. he's leaving me. he's going through his change of life, you know. >> his midlife crisis. >> yes. >> dar's sisters were becoming
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increasingly suspicious, especially, they said, after watching tom's behavior at dar's funeral. >> it was almost like he was relieved. >> there were a number of people that came up to me after t rvice that were really offended by his demeanor, his joyfulness. >> these are things that i've heard. and it's ridiculous. i mean, taking care of heath was on my mind. wondering who killed my wife was on my mind. they don't know the things that i've been through. >> maybe so, but detective carbon was keeping a very watchful eye on tom foley. he decided to interview the other foley who was at the farm the day dar was killed, tom and dar's son, heath. >> heath, like i told you, i'm detective sergeant carbon. >> on that day, heath and his friend skyler watty were inside the house playing video games, waiting to be driven to heath's birthday celebration.
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>> did you see anything different or out of the ordinary or anybody walking around, anybody come up to the door, anything that you could think of? >> not really. >> okay. >> the detective also interviewed skyler watty who said right before leaving for the party tom sent the two boys outside to go start up the truck. >> he said that he'll be out there in a little bit. >> okay. >> i don't know what he was doing in there, taking a shower or what. >> like heath, skyler couldn't recall anything unusual about that day either. and then suddenly -- >> yeah. when we were outside during across the barn there was like a big crash, like way in the back of the house. >> like what did it sound like? >> it sounded like breaking glass and a bunch of things falling. like a vase just -- >> it was a loud sound. >> yeah. >> detective carbon showed skyler a drawing of the foley
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farm and ask skyler to place an "x" where he believed the sound originated. >> like somewhere around here? >> skyler placed the "x" just outside the first floor bathroom, the same room where dar foley had been shot. >> it appeared to us that skyler watty may have heard the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. >> detective carbon was also thinking this. the one other person in that house at that time was tom foley. coming up -- >> he wanted the house. he wanted her money. and if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> was that a motive? and was tom foley the killer? when "datene" continues.
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dray, when he was younger, he loved to smile; and we knew he would need braces because his teeth were coming in funny. this is the picture that was on the front page of the newspaper. all you can notice is the braces! then, once he got to michigan state, he broke the retainer! my bottom teeth, they were really crooked, and i just wasn't getting braces again. then i discovered smiledirectclub. it's easy to just grab it and go and i can change it on the road. i did photoshoots with my aligners in and you can't see them. a
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smile is a first impression, that's why i think having a great smile is so important. welcome back to "dateline."
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here is josh. from the mouths of babes. or in this case one articulate 10-year-old boy, came what seemed like a case-breaking revelation. >> it was like a loud, loud sound. >> detective carbon believed 10-year-old skyler watty was an earwitness to the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. if true, it meant dar was murdered earlier than originally thought. more significantly, it meant tom foley was still in the house when the murder occurred. >> that lead was huge. it was very, very important. >> but if tom foley was in that house and pulled the trigger, the question remained why. the answer, said carbon, is quite simple. murder for money. >> potentially, yes. >> money, in the form of an insurance policy. >> i think that he wanted out of the marriage and did whatever he needed to do to make sure that that happened.
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>> and if he got $310,000 in insurance money and got out of the marriage, so much the better? >> yes. >> the evidence against tom foley was circumstantial but compelling. you think he faked that burglary? >> yes. >> and killed his wife? >> yes. >> they never found the murder weapon. what do you think happened to the gun? >> i wish i knew. >> but even without it, in march of 2009, one month after dar foley was gunned down in her shower, state police arrested tom foley and charged him with his wife's murder. >> and i was like, this cannot be happening. why do you think i did this? i did not kill my wife. >> to tom and dar's close friends, the pierces, news of tom's arrest was almost as stunning as the news of dar's death. could you conceive of tom either hating his wife so much that he wanted to kill her -- >> absolutely not. >> -- or killing her for the insurance money?
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>> absolutely not. >> that would be stupid. she made good money, but why kill the golden goose? >> he's never been one to put on airs. money is not that valuable to him. >> do you think they had a good marriage? >> i do. everything seemed to be going really good for them. >> it seemed sadistic, shooting your wife at point-blank range, killing the mother of your son on the very day he was celebrating his tenth birthday. >> he never would have done that to his son. >> police continued gathering evidence. ten days after tom's arrest, police brought heath foley in for a second interview. and this time heath did recall hearing a noise that day. >> skyler talks about hearing this unusual sound. do you remember anything like that? >> our neighbors, like, shoot guns. like maybe a gunshot or maybe like glass broke. i don't know. it was one of those two things maybe.
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>> according to tom, the sound he heard was nothing more than glass breaking. >> they're old barn windows that i was trying to clean up and i went to grab them and one of them slipped out of my grip and it smashed on our back porch steps. >> and made a lot of noise. >> yeah, it did. yep. >> but detective carbon wasn't buying tom's explanation. the boys were playing over by this barn? >> yes. >> and how far is that to the house? >> it's approximately 75 yards. >> mr. foley claimed he with was dropping a window. would that sound have penetrated that far? >> in my opinion, that couldn't have happened. >> police also say they carefully searched that area around the back porch. >> there was no glass that we could see when we looked at the scene on that particular night as well as the next day. >> for dar's sisters, the writing was by now on the wall.
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they were certain of their brother-in-law's guilt. >> we went over every case we could come up with to not make it tom. >> i think tom resented dar and that he couldn't be a man. i think it kind of ate at him, and he couldn't take it anymore. >> people get divorced for that reason. >> he didn't divorce her because he's a selfish coward. he wanted heath. he wanted the house. he wanted her money. and if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> in november 2009, tom foley's trial began. the prosecution argued that only tom had a motive to kill dar. but the defense claimed police had rushed to judgment. defense attorney tom schafer and defense investigator ken kobersteen. >> in their mind, it's always the boyfriend or the husband. >> or the person who finds the body. >> which in this case -- >> was the husband and tom. >> they wanted me bad because what's easier for them, to go
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after someone that they can actually physically see or go after someone they cannot physically see? >> what's wrong with the idea that the money was a motive? >> absolutely not. i mean, we had a mortgage. to move on after all of this, it was going to take a hell of a lot more than that. >> after two weeks of testimony, the jury had its verdict. >> i felt that the evidence was going to prove that there's absolutely no way i had anything to do with this. >> 12 jurors didn't share that feeling. >> we, the jury, find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder. >> i was just -- what? i was just shocked. >> what was wrong with the jury? what do they know that i don't know? how could they convict a man on what they had? >> i knew what a conviction was meant for me, and for life without the possibility of parole. >> my sister was still dead. still didn't bring her back.
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but you had a little bit of faith in the justice system. >> in the hours following the verdict, it seemed everyone in coldwater was relying on faith. >> i said to myself, god isn't going to let me go to prison for the rest of my life. something had to turn around. >> then, less than 24 hours after the verdict, tom foley's defense team got a phone call from a woman. >> this is a woman who essentially says, i saw the murderer, and it wasn't tom foley. >> coming up -- >> there's the killer right there. she saw him. >> a bombshell from out of the blue. was there hope for a newly convicted husband? when "dateline" continues. or suffer excess mucus? left untreated mucus can build up causing further problems. treat mucus buildup early with #1 doctor recommended mucinex 12 hour. the bi-layer tablet immediately releases to thin and loosen excess mucus
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i'm dara brown. the cdc is looking into a e. coli outbreak in romaine let
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sus. if you don't know where the lettuce came from, throw it away. it spread to 16 states and made at least 60 people sick. in houston today, 1500 people are expected to attend the private funeral for former first lady, barbara bush. now, back to "dateline." welcome back to "dateline," i'm craig melvin. after the jury delivered a guilty verdict, tom foley faced life behind bars. in a stunning turn, a witness emerged to possibly set him free. once again, josh. foley, baseline jumper, 18. he hits it with five seconds. >> 24 years after the one-time hometown hero named tom foley made coldwater history, the now-convicted murderer of the same name sat behind bars awaiting his sentence. you ready to spend the rest of your life if prison? >> no, absolutely not.
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>> to tom foley's attorney tom schaeffer and his private eye ken kobersteen, the guilty verdict landed like a crushing blow. >> this is a grassroot who done it, and we thought we had shown that it wasn't this person who had done it. >> i was devastated. when this ended i could have walked into a wall. >> but just one day after tom foley's conviction, a woman stepped forward. she had new information that suddenly gave new life to tom's defense. >> she came forward and said, i saw this white car storming out of the driveway, almost hit me. it looked like somebody was either high or running away from something. >> the woman was certain the driver was coming out of the heath bar farm right around the time dar was murdered. and she was equally certain the driver looked nothing like tom foley. >> there's the killer, right there. she saw a person leaving our property.
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>> and then, like a dam breaking, two other witnesses came forward, each having seen a mysterious car of their own either parked on the foley property or speeding away from it. all the sightings were within two hours of dar's murder. >> it's just like one after another, and i was saying, what is going on? where were these people, you know, before? >> the judge who was about to sentence tom foley to life wanted to hear what these new witnesses had to say. and after a year of appeals that went all the way to the state supreme court, tom foley was granted something most people convicted of murder never receive -- a second chance. >> i was walking through the chow hall in prison, and somebody said, hey, tom, i saw you on the news. i said, really? what for? they gave you a new trial. i said, what? >> news of a new trial didn't change the minds of dar's family. they remained convinced not only
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did tom kill dar, he did so on the day of his son's tenth birthday celebration. you think tom's cold-blooded enough to do something like that to his kid? >> yes. >> yes. >> i think there's evil in him. >> prosecutor terri norris agreed. who killed dar foley? >> tom foley. there is nobody else. >> a year and a half after tom foley's conviction, both sides filed back into the courthouse to once again determine tom's fate. >> circuit court is again in session. >> thank you. >> as before, the state opened its case with the crime scene analysts. >> what is it that you found in the basement? >> a yellow dunham's bag, located inside the bag was three shotgun shells. these are phone records -- >> norris also showed the jury the foleys' home phone records from around the time dar was killed. >> there were no phone calls that either came in or left. >> your wife doesn't show up
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somewhere, why not call and say, have you left yet? where are you, you're waiting for you? >> that's what i would do. >> according to detective carbon, tom didn't bother calling dar at home because he knew dar was already dead. then members of dar's family stepped forward to testify that tom and dar's marriage was troubled and that tom wanted out. >> he told me that his wife is very controlling and that that was wearing on him and he did not necessarily want to stay in the marriage anymore. >> and there was more evidence of an unhappy marriage. according to this woman, back in 2006, tom had a wandering eye. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> caroline zuk. >> carrie zuk taught at the same school as dar and was known at school as dee dee. that's how carrie met tom.
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>> he told me that he was thinking about leaving dee dee. >> according to carrie, tom also revealed he had feelings for her and later he tried to kiss her. >> what was your reaction to that? >> i didn't want anything to do with it. >> the prosecution wasn't done. this woman took the stand. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> marianne victorian crandall. >> out of the presence of the jury, marianne crandall told the court that, like carrie zuk, she met tom through dar, and a couple of weeks after dar's murder, marianne stopped by the farm to offer tom support. >> i don't mean to embarrass you, but you had sex with tom in his living room? >> he tried to. and it was stopped. >> who tried and who stopped? >> he tried, and we both stopped. >> you don't have a sexual relationship with somebody within two weeks after your
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wife's been murdered in that house. >> but the jury never heard marianne crandall's testimony because there was no indication of a romantic relationship prior to dar's murder, the judge ruled, just as he did in first trial, that her testimony was prejudicial and, therefore, inadmissible. it was a huge blow to the prosecution's case. >> it supports the position that they weren't this deeply in love couple that he kept trying to present. i mean, that would have proven that. >> but norris still had her two key witnesses, tom's own son heath and heath's friend skyler watty, both two years older and now more certain than ever about what they saw and heard the day dar was killed. >> last year at church camp i went for one of our activities. we fired shotguns, and it most resembled that sound. >> then it was time for heath to take the stand. the last time tom had seen his boy was at a hearing, also in
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court, almost a year earlier. >> while you're in the barn, do you hear something? >> yes. i thought it was maybe skyler kind of ran into a wall, either that or a gunshot. >> you think the boys actually were, if not eyewitnesses then earwitnesses to murder. >> earwitnesses to what happened. >> you may step down. >> tom schafer knew if he had any hope of getting tom foley acquitted, he'd need to prove the sound those boys heard was anything other than a gunshot. just two weeks before trial began, while inspecting crime scene photos, schafer found what may be the key to his client's freedom. >> has a tiny piece of evidence given tom's defense team a glimmer of hope? coming up -- >> ken, is that what i think it is? it was one of these, holy crap! >> it was to us just a perry mason moment. >> when "dateline" continues.
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the defense began sprenting its case in hopes of convincing the jury -- >> mid way through the trial, the talk around coldwater heatened. >> what did you think was the strongest part of your case? >> the boys.
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the testimony of the boys. they heard the gunshot. >> but the defense was about to argue that over time both boys' testimony had changed and in significant ways. >> heath is now stating that it sounds like a gunshot? it's something that he didn't say in the first interview. the same thing with skyler. >> heath's courtroom testimony left tom furious, not at his son but at his accusers, the people who had cared for heath while tom was incarcerated. that's somebody coaching him or encouraging him? >> i believe so. >> coached or not, tom foley's defense team knew from day one that they needed to prove the sound those boys heard was tom dropping a window frame on the back porch and not the fatal gun blast. four days after tom foley's arrest, schaeffer and cuberstein took a trip to the farm to try and do just that. >> couple of perry mason moments. don't come very often. >> this is the frame that we found. >> right where tom said he dropped the frame, they found this tiny shard of glass.
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immediately they tried to match the shard with the frame tom said he dropped. >> if you take the shard and set it in one of the few remaining, intact areas of the frame, you can see it fits perfectly. >> it was compelling evidence that tom may have been telling the truth, but schaeffer would need more than a shard of evidence. he next called this woman, janette moore, the woman who came forward immediately following tom's guilty verdict and the reason he was ultimately granted a new trial. >> i do. >> moore said she was driving past the foley house right around the time dar had been murdered. >> as i approached, this white car come racing out forward, and if i hadn't braked, i would have hit him. >> janette moore said she got a good look at the driver. >> it was a young 18 to 20-year-old kid, had real black hair and his face was real white. he was clenching the wheel just
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like this. and i thought, he's crazy, he's going to kill somebody. >> why didn't you call the police? >> i didn't because i was afraid. >> but when janette moore learned about tom foley's guilty verdict, she said she could no longer keep her silence. >> god forgive me, and i truly mean that in my heart, that i didn't come forward sooner. if i hadn't been so darn scared. >> what followed was a succession of other witnesses, each claiming they too saw mysterious cars either on or leaving the heath bar farm right around the time of the murder. >> i caught the glance of a black ford suv crossover vehicle. >> it could have been a white car, green car, it was light colored. >> whoever killed dar foley was either in one of those cars or all three of them participated in this murder in some fashion.
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>> but tom foley knew if he had any hope of acquittal, the jury would need to hear from one more witness. >> i call tom foley to the stand, your honor. >> i just didn't want to convince the 12 jurors. i wanted to convince the prosecutor. i wanted to convince the police. i wanted to convince my wife's family. i wanted them to know and look at me and hear me. >> tom started by answering some still-nagging questions, like, how did a yellow plastic bag with shotgun shells in it get into tom's basement? >> did you have dunham's bags in your home? >> yes. >> how do you explain the bag in the basement with the shotgun shells in it? >> they weren't ours. the bag is probably ours. i mean, my fingerprint is on the bag. but for three clean shotgun shells to be in my basement? it just doesn't make sense. >> you have no idea where those came from? >> absolutely not. >> tom said he's never owned or used a shotgun. >> never. wouldn't know how to operate it.
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wouldn't know the first thing about it. >> tom schafer then asked why tom failed to call his home when dar didn't show up at the birthday celebration. >> something just wasn't right so that's why i went home. if we had cell phones i would have called her on the cell phone. i had to find her. i had to go see where she was at. >> then it was time for tom to describe his relationship with dar. it didn't take tom long to lose his composure. >> we were very close. and we were -- >> go ahead. >> we were together all the time. >> tom admitted to the jury he did once flirt with carrie zuk, but he said that happened three years prior to the murder during a brief time when he and dar were arguing more than they were
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communicating. >> that put quite a bit of distance between us, and it also led to intimacy problems between her and i. >> tom says he eventually told dar about his feelings for carrie. he also says he went to counseling to work on their communication problems. >> after those sessions, did things get better? >> absolutely. >> then why was it so easy for tom to become intimate with marianne crandall so soon after dar's death? it was like three weeks after dar died. >> yes. >> and you're in the house where dar died. >> yeah. >> what am i to think of that? >> think that i don't care about what had just happened to my wife. that's not true. if i could go back and change it, i would. but i can't. >> this was an event that involved grief and a reaching out, and it happened. >> do you love your wife?
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>> i love her very much. >> did you love her on. february 7, 2009? >> very much so. >> did you have anything to do with her death? >> not at all. >> before closing arguments, the prosecutor had one more card to play in the form of a surprise t that one week before dar was murdered she went to the farm to baby sit. >> she told us not to go out on the back porch without shoes because tom had dropped a frame and there might be still some glass out there. >> but the judge ruled that amber's testimony was hearsay and therefore, inadmissible. the jury never heard her challenge tom's claim, but what the boys heard the day she was murdered was him dropping a
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window frame. >> that should have been included and was not. >> now for the evidence admitted and for the second time in two years a jury was about to decide tom foley's fate. >> coming up -- >> he collapsed to the floor and went for 20 minutes. unbelievable. >> when dateline continues. ♪ i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease.
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. >> as he did in the first trial, attorney tom schafer prepared to address the jury for what he and his client tom foley hoped would be the last time. when your defense rested, were you comfortable? >> yes. >> you thought you were going to win? >> very much, yeah. >> you thought that once before. >> yes, i did. >> apparently the theory the prosecution is that if a marriage ever has a bump in the road then that is a motive for murder. is it reasonable? i suggest not. >> tom foley, he says had nothing to do with dar's death but those mysterious cars, did. those cars should not have been there and the prosecution has not given you any explanation why they were there. because there is no other explanation other than that they had some connection with the
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death of dar foley. ladies and gentlemen of the jury, i submit to you there's more than reasonable doubt. i respectfully ask you to find tom foley not guilty. >> then came the prosecutor's turn and she started by attacking the credibility of those witnesses who say they saw the cars. >> if you were to believe that all of these vehicles were there, there was a party at the foley home that day with a buchblg of white cars and a black suv, that makes no sense whatsoever. none. >> norris wanted this jury thinking only one thing. >> who had the motive? it's tom foley. whose fingerprint was on the bag of shells in the basement? tom foley. >> tom foley is guilty and i'm asking you to bring back that verdict. >> the outcome of tom's second trial was far from certain. >> what worried you the most? >> just that he was such a nice guy, that you would have never guessed he would have done something like that.
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>> he didn't seem a murderer. >> right. >> and then at the fabled 11th hour, it was time. the jury filed in. >> were they k look at you, the jurors? >> no, they weren't. i took a couple deep breaths and i just -- >> your honor, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> the waiting had paid off. >> as to count 2? >> not guilty. >> your reaction of tom at the time of the verdict. >> absolutely incredible. he collapsed to the floor and wept for 20 minutes. unbelievable. >> he got away with murder, but he almost didn't. we had it. we had him convicted. and to actually have to go back and talk with that family and try and give them some consoling, how do you do that? >> you're just angry and you're angry at the jurors, the judge,
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when there's nothing you can do about it. >> i was more concerned about heath at that point because i knew that he knew his father killed his mother. and i couldn't imagine having to go back and live with a man that killed your mother. >> get it. >> tom regained custody of heath and said he treads very carefully when discussing that tragic day with his boy. >> from him i at least want to know why do you think i did this? i deserve that answer and all he could say is i don't know who else it could have been. >> tom says he will never forget dar. >> i still think she's beside me. i'm going to continue to raise our son the way that we wanted him to be raised. >> you harbor any grudge because of this? >> all i can say is they made a mistake and that's all i'm
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asking is that they search and search and search until they find dd's killer. >> according to prosecutor norris at the time, there would be no point to that search. >> you're not investigating anymore. >> there's no one to investigate. and there's been no new evidence of anybody else ever having committed this crime. >> this boyhood hero wrote a whole new set of headlines as an adult. and cold water may never be the same. as for those who remain convinced of tom's guilt, they cling to the memory of the one they lost and loved so much. they gather to release balloons in dar's honor. >> she loved to be the center of attention so this is her center of attention. >> it rises closer to where she's at and hopefully she sees that we're thinking about her.
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>> we love you, dar! >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." thank you for watching. >> this is "dateline." >> she was crying and ng.cryi i said, what's wrong? and she says debbie's dead. we all wanted to believe that it was an accident. there's no possible way he could do this on purpose. >> a dark house, a husband with a gun, a wife dead on the floor. >> make sure sha she is still breathing. >> i don't think she is, damn it. >> there is no question who killed her. the mystery was


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