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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  November 25, 2021 11:00pm-1:00am PST

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"dateline." the child's worst nightmare to lose a mom, every day i was told it was unknown. people don't just die. >> she was a loving mother, he was a crime fighting prosecutor. >> you are pillar of that community,. i >> did my thought was right. >> then one day the law was at his door.
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>> her eyes were open, she was pale. >> i just remember crying and not believing it. >> sudden, suspicious, but no evidence of a crime. >> any signs of a struggle? . >> no it was case close. >> years past, new lives, two new wives. >> he was extremely charming,. >> we just had the most amazing time. >> then, i knew detective just off the old case. >> most definitely her arms were gonna naturally raise position. >> i first thought was she knew something. >> what's really happened in that bedroom? >> i wanted to answer all their questions. we did know all about that they. >> the young mother's death was a mystery, but wasn't a murder? >> then we would happen to her to my face. don't give me excuses.
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>> it runs through the heart of america, a long meandering lifeline, feeding industry, towns, and imaginations. the mississippi river gave us tom sawyer and huckleberry finn samuel climb as mark twain grew up in hannibal missouri, and just across the river in quincy illinois, lived another larger than life character. curtis lovelace, a small town katie wanted to be a star. and for a time he was, i football champion for the university of illinois. he's an all american? this was what kids dream about, he's living that life. >> it was looking like he would go to the nfl, that was kind of a dream of his. then he realized grander ambitions, fighting crime as a prosecutor, serving his country in the national guard, and a community in politics. >> i'm someone who wants meaningful work and, it's going to make the difference in the lives of people. >> but it was what happened in
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this little house in quincy to one person in particular, that made curtis really stand up for all the world to see. >> continuing coverage in the curtis lovelace murder case. >> why was a key today to stand. >> presented closing arguments in the case. >> big dreams on a mighty river can carry you far, or they can drive you under. >> this is the very strange journey of curtis lovelace, all american to criminal offender. let's roll back the years to high school, and to the woman who became the focus of so much speculation. >> cory and i went to high school together, we really didn't run in the same crowd, we had some mutual friends, and we didn't date in high school. >> back then, curtis was more focused on football and dating. it wasn't until he went off to the university of illinois, 200 miles away, and became a star
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athlete, that he truly noticed a girl from back home for the first time. it was during a college play, former classmates bumped into each other at quincy, and quickly became an item. cory wasted no time spreading the good news. >> we'll never forget the day i was playing tennis with a friend of mine, and cory came over, and neil met us and that's when she told us that kurt was it. >> she went to high school with a new couple. >> surprised? >> not really. no. they seemed a great fit together. and she was very, very much spin. >> it wasn't long before corey was also telling her mother marty, she found the one. >> she comes home and were sitting there and she said i met the man i'm gonna marry. >> whoa. back up. >> and she kept her promise, in 1991 just after college korean curtis married, he studied law, she worked a small job to
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support them both, after graduation they decided to buy a home in quincy. >> they wanted to be in the neighborhood they, wanted to be close by and it just made it all the better so. >> virtually over the fans have? >> two houses up and won over, yeah. >> curtis's ambitions drove the young couple, he became a prosecutor in the adams county state attorney's office, and dabbled in school board politics, winning a seat and serving as president. he even found time to teach a business law class in quincy university. in between the business milestone, as a lovelace of started a family, first girl lindsey than three boys, cory juggle that part of the lives. >> fantastic, there wasn't anything she didn't do for those kids. >> cory's days were filled with diapers, play dates and tantrums but even then this mom
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never forgot how to be a good daughter, dad, john, was dying of cancer. it that was a major -- all of you? four years he followed it, in the last six months of his life she came every night at 5:00 and sat for like half an hour and visit. that was her time with him. >> we're down with the stress of caregiving, raising four kids, was it any wonder when cory herself fell ill. it was the weekend before valentine's day, 2006. >> she was feeling poorly. >> feeling poorly how? what was she ailing from? >> just flu like symptoms, throwing up, we thought she had the flu. >> but on monday, the night before valentine's day, cory still managed to get the kids valentine's cards ready for school the next day. her daughter lindsey, then 12, remembers cuddling up with her mom, watching the winter
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olympics, and snowboarder sean white. >> i remember watching him with her insane, mom he's so cute. >> it wasn't that she was bedridden? just feeling crummy. >> she was feeling sick, and even for my mom that was not common. because even if she was sick she did what she thought was expected of her, and to care of us, and made us dinner, did laundry in everything. because that was her role. >> but when tuesday valentine's day curtis says he urged her to take it easy. >> we decided i would cancel my morning class to get the kids to school and so -- >> so dad is on deck? >> right. so i cancelled my class. helped the kids get ready for school. she did come downstairs to help out with that. >> he says cory was so ulrr he had to
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help her back to bed before driving the three eldest kids off to school. backpacks stuff would valentine's cards. within minutes he was back, only the home still cluttered with clothes and toys was now filled with something else, silence. quiet enough to break a family's heart. coming up what had happened in that house? >> as i got closer i i immediately knew something was really really wrong. >> so wrong, it would tear apart a family, and puzzle police for years to come. >> every detective needs to keep in mind that there could be a bigger picture. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues. stery on the mississippi continues. skin. hydrates better than the $400 cream. ♪ ♪ 'tis the season to break tradition in a cadillac.
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with cory second bed, it had been up to curtis to get the
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three oldest kids off to school. now, he was back. >> when i arrived home, everything was quiet, i assumed that cory was sleeping, resting, she hadn't slept most of the night, i was just going to leave her alone in order to sleep. >> before looking in on her, he said, he went over his emails in the kitchen. then he headed upstairs. >> and you just take a shower, and i walked up the steps, i look to the left, i could see the door to her bedroom was as i left it, open. i could see her lying in bed, and i could see something from the distance, didn't seem right. >> what made you say that, looking back? >> i'm really not sure. as i got closer, i could see she was pale and motionless. i immediately knew something was wrong. >> did you think, she is dead?
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>> i shook her. i called out her name, and at that point i knew that she was dead. >> at that moment, he said, his thoughts turn to his four year old boy, larson, who is still in the house. >> i needed to get larson out of the house. >> and what did you do? >> i grabbed larsson, i believe he was in bed, and i took him immediately over to his grandparents house. >> cory's mom marty answered the door, she remembers her son-in-law standing there with a young boy, and saying something nonsensical about her daughter being dead. >> it was just kind of good morning. >> there is. >> and areas, he opens the door and hands me larson, and he said something about people are coming or something. i often regretted not just putting larson down and running over there. >> stunned, she called her son,
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cory's mother peter at his practice. >> got a phone call from my mom, it was kind of out of the blue, i didn't think anything. doug i said she's 38 years old, there's no way, as our couple of weeks ago. >> jeff barry, that a detective with the police department, was assigned to have the investigation. when he arrived at the scene, he went straight upstairs. >> now who all has been in the dead bedroom at this point, emts have been there, firefighters, arriving officers. >> and they've left the bedroom at the time you come in? >> so the emts are finished and declared dead? >> detective barr was in the bedroom. -- >> he has to abdomen, i followed suit. >> it was a body warmer cold? >> the abdomen was worn to the touch. >> what did that tell the corner? >> he knew at the time of death, was narrowed then for the body to still be warm. >> it seemed clear that cory's death had been recent, within
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the past hour or so. not at all certain why or how the woman died. the detective couldn't rule out any possibility, including foul play. >> around the room itself, any overturned glasses or signs of a struggle? >> no. >> so as i hear you, you're telling me you're seeing a woman who apparently died in her bed, and not that long before authorities arrive? >> that's right. >> if i can stress, there is not a single mark on her, it's up for what appeared to be a skin blemish under her nose. >> and yet, there is something about the position of cory's body that did strike him assad. he thought depth and gravity would've caused her arms to drop. instead, they were both fixed in midair hovering above her chest. >> i was looking for an explanation for that. i even addressed it to curtis lovelace, i asked him if there is a possibility that blankets had been under her arms when he
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discovered her. >> where did you say? >> no. >> so he said the scene that you are seeing, was when he came in and saw his wife. by his account. >> yes. >> but the detective was careful not to get hung up on one strange detail. not this early in the case. >> everybody detective used to keep in mind that there could be a bigger picture. >> and oh yes there was. >> a portrait of a woman, a portrait of marriage, filled with details, painted in a most unflattering light. coming up, a peek behind closed doors. >> you are drinking too much? >> i drink too much. >> cory was drinking to? much >> kaori was drinking too much. >> and a daughter mourns her mom. >> i just remember crying and not believing it. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues. mystery on the mississippi continues.
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the quincy, illinois, detective was trying to understand why a 38-year-old woman had died suddenly. as we look for clues inside cory lovelace's home, filled with the clutter of young family life. jeff beard not as one item in particular. a white cup by her bedside. >> i collected an unknown liquid, that smelled faintly of alcohol, from a styrofoam cup. >> detective asked her husband curtis what it was. >> did she tell you that you like to have a vodka tonic? >> yes.
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>> that's likely what was in the styrofoam? the big 21 as glass. >> as curtis told it, alcohol have been a constant in the home. >> there is alcoholism in our family, so there was the ugly side of that. >> you are drinking too much? >> looking back, yes, i drink too much. >> cory was drinking too much? >> cory was drinking too much. it was impacting her ability to take care of things at home. >> he also told the detective that cory had been taking false, sometimes out of bed. what's more, the detective later found out that cory had been battling believe media. >> it was something that we wanted her to get help for, but she never did. >> the picture quickly emerging, corey had not been a healthy woman. >> i know you guys are listening to the words the subject is telling you, but you're also looking at them. why is eaton's this, or how does he faces. >> it's very important, and i
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saw a man who is answering my questions, nothing of aces, solemn, upset. >> did you see any bruising on him? scratches? >> no. no. no. >> he's behaving normally, not manifesting any signs of history with his wife. >> right. >> curtis also retraced family steps that morning. >> he last saw his wife are on a 15, took the kids to school, he returned, and found her deceased. >> with that, the detective finish the interview and left. >> but curtis knew his awful day was about to get worse, not least he had four children ranging in ages from 4 to 12 to look after. how do you tell the children? >> that was i think, to this day, the most difficult thing that i've ever had to do. i believe i called the schools, and let them know that i would be on my way.
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>> lindsey, the only girl, was the eldest of the lovelace kids. >> i remember being at school, i remember getting a call from the office that i was getting picked up. and in my mind i thought, maybe my mom went to the hospitals, she didn't feel good in the days prior maybe she had to go to the hospital it's fine. >> but once inside the principles office, his father broke the news. >> told me my mother died, i just remember from then on my life crashing down. >> i'm sure i asked what had happened i just remember crying and not believing it, so we left and went to my grandma's house. and i was like i want to go back to school, and i went back to school. >> you did, on the day you lost your mom. >> it was a normalcy thing. >> and, in hindsight she said, maybe the best thing she could've done. her favorite teacher had something for her. >> she actually had wolf pups. she had a friend who is caring
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for wolf pups, i remember -- they were orphaned. >> what a jumble of things going on over here. >> and that was the most comforting thing i could've dumb, is hold those wolves. >> by then, news of her death was a rippling across town. students from the law class where the first outside the family in authorities to suspect that something happened. >> this cause was all inside of his car's farm waiting for him to come. >> one of criticize to dance, erica, was surprised to learn professor lovely says guys have been canceled. later, she learned why. >> everyone is just in shock because she was very young 38 year old, she seemed healthy from wet everybody understood. so, it was a huge shock. >> so that's very sad your professor's wife has died. you didn't know her. >> i didn't know her. and i didn't really know him at that time either. >> soon, everyone in town was wondering what had caused
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quarries death. the pathologist who performed the autopsy a day later, noted some trauma. a small abrasion on quarries upper lip, and another mark inside that appear to be a cut. curtis mentioned that cory had fallen in the days before her death. >> those false as you describe them could've counted for those injuries. >> i wish i knew, but yes. a fall could account for an injury. >> the pathologist also noted, cory had what is called fatty liver. often caused by heavy drinking. >> still, the doctor labeled the cause of death undetermined. she doesn't know would kill this woman, that was frustrating. >> she does find a disease of the liver, which can be associated with sudden death. >> so it looked as though this is a sickly woman who went upstairs and just died. >> and that's what we discussed. and that's the decision we arrived on pawn. >> unusual for a young woman to die of unknown causes, but it
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does happen. without more to go on, the detective closed the case. cory's mother marty, still in shock, could barely bring herself to read the autopsy report. >> cory was drinking we, don't deny that. she was believe nick, and we tried to talk curtis but that one time. you told us it was all okay and was gonna be fine. >> now, as she mourn cory, marty knew her suffering would only deepen. her husband john was dying. >> we had a visitation for cory, and jon sat next to me, and it was like he was saying he was goodbye to friends too. >> he didn't come home from the hospital. >> so both those losses, one right after another. >> within the span of a month, marty lost a daughter and a husband. she purchased two burial plots at the local cemetery, including cory's remains were committed. that was a choice, criticize,
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the entire family made together. but the decision to cremate, will be one that would how this river town for years to come. coming up. >> she was different than anyone i had ever data before, maybe in some ways, the difference intrigues me. curtis moves on, much too fast for some. >> she arrived as their girlfriend. >> when mr. on the mississippi continues. when mr. on the mississippi continues. continues. hritis. here. new aspercreme arthritis. full prescription-strength? reduces inflammation? thank the gods. don't thank them too soon. kick pain in the aspercreme. i've been telling everyone... the secret to great teeth is having healthy gums.o soon. crest advanced gum restore. detoxifies below the gumline... and restores by helping heal gums in as little as 7 days. crest. the #1 toothpaste brand in america.
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now back to dateline extra. for so many years, he had been dying to help people he looked up to an admired. curtis lovelace, football star school board president a pitiable whether we're who needed help. >> overwhelming people did come forward family friends helping get kids to school in the morning so i could go to work, then picking up from school. >> it's a lot. >> it's a law but we came together as a family, and did what we needed to do. >> the longtime friend, curtis was stoic in the weeks after coy's death, but one time she noticed a mask slip just a little. >> it was a high school reunion later that summer. >> they were doing a video montage, and cory's picture came up, we turned around he goes hey, that's my wife. and it was just times like that that made me really think a
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grieving husband. >> that's why few months later she and other friends were surprised to hear that curtis had met someone new, that was fast. >> she was different than anyone i had ever dated before. maybe in some ways that difference and treat me. >> she was erica, as in the former students who showed up to professor lovelace canceled classes that faithful van and finds day. >> he's extremely charming. anything that i needed or wanted he could take care of, and he did. >> at the time this interview took place, erica asked us to alternate her appearance to protect her privacy. she began her story by recounting how she has a 34 year old single woman had bumped into a -- 30 year old professor not long after his wife that. >> i felt very bad for him so i gave him my number and told him
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that there is places that he could go in town that there are people more his age, because he looked a lot older than what he was. >> he stood out at that club have? >> he did. quite a bit. but >> not long after, pity blossomed into friendship, and love. he started dating about six months after cory's death. erica and her daughter of from a previous laura lane ship eventually moved in with curtis and his four children. >> it was nice that my child tucked in there with the rest of them. all of us just fell into place. >> that is not the way curtis's daughter lindsey side, what do you think of her? >> we did not get along. >> from the get-go? >> from the get-go. she arrived as a girlfriend, and that's how it was. and i think it was too quickly? yes. but adults make their own decisions. >> in fact, lindsey was so unhappy with her dad's girlfriend, she picked up and
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moved in with her -- grandmother just a few doors down. after nearly two years of living together, curtis and eric a married. she admired how he coached lee kids and sports, and a voter threat time to his community. eventually they both served together in the national guard. >> he had an outstanding resume? >> he did. >> all american boy. >> i love the fact that that was where my profession was leaning, and i loved that he worked with children. he was great with the children. >> they even bought a new place in town together and moved from the house where cory had died. there was domestic tranquility at first, but eventually, erica says she saw changing her husband. >> he detach once in a while, from the whole family, and i was left all to myself. he would hide in the basement and -- >> he'd get out of the household or hide in the basement? >> the basement was this hiding
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place. he stayed there sometimes days on and. >> did you think that was odd? >> i accepted it. >> she says their mutual silence separated them. then resentment exploded and loud confrontations. it just was not working. >> it was two people that matt and started dating and develop the relationship and decided to get married. looking back, those were all bad decisions, and that was a rebound relationship. and a relationship that i should not, that not only for me but more importantly for my children -- >> in 2013 after five years of marriage, curtis filed for divorce. now you might think that he would've been shy about jumping into love again, but not curtis. >> it was just surreal, and lovely. >> this is christine, she had known him since high school.
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even took her to her homecoming dance. marriages and career separated them for time. >> it was odd because i wasn't prepared for any kind of a relationship, and i was not looking for anything. >> were you single? >> i was single. >> after reconnecting on facebook, the former classmates decided to catch up face to face for the first time nearly three decades. >> there he is at the door? >> darius. >> what do you see? >> i see kurt lovelace, my senior high school homecoming day there. then we spent that evening with friends, and before we knew everyone else had gone and we just had the most amazing time. >> i was meeting in many ways that the same person who i took to homecoming, just more beautiful, more interesting, and more kind than i had ever remembered. >> it just worked. >> the reunion sparked romance, then a union either one of them expected. >> how did he propose? >> it wasn't a one-year
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proposal, we sat together near a place that we called our date place near the river, and we started talking about marriage. i said to him let's get married, and he said let's do it. we need to do this. so i guess in hindsight was more me who proposed, then him. >> more than six months later, the day after christmas 2013, curtis was once again standing at the altar. only this time, the -- seem to have approval from everyone, even 20 year old daughter lindsey who -- last flame. >> she seemed very genuine. i like that she cared a lot about the boys. >> did you think this could be a restoration of the family? >> i did. >> the nightmare of erika, christine seemed okay to you, she certainly making an effort to reach out to you? >> yeah. and i felt like our family deserved happiness at that point after everything we had
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been through, so i was hoping that it would all pan out okay. >> and it did go okay. christine kept all the love laces running like a swiss train schedule. kids off the school, while curtis walked out his own law practice downtown. christine meanwhile, put down her baker center. >> i opened a pie shop. i was making 100 plays a week. i was selling out of pies before 9:00 in the morning. >> so this wasn't just a hobby to keep you busy? >> this was a growing business. >> absolutely. >> what is your go-to? pie >> i love blueberry. i make mean gooseberry, you name it i could probably do it. >> it seemed the love laces were reborn. lindsay was back in the family fold. christine had even adopted curtis's sons as her own. everything was working. but darker souls wait for the train wreck when things are looking all hunky dory, turned out that training was hurdling down the track.
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>> coming up, a new detective -- leads to new suspicion. most definitely [inaudible] and the start of a new investigation. >> particular opt up see, there were [inaudible] suspicious the findings. >> my first thought is we're missing something here. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues. ssissippi continues. and fermentation. fermentation? yes, formulated to help your body really truly absorb the natural goodness. new chapter. wellness well done
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rolled,, the the barges slid by, barge is sloughed by and corey lovelace's death slipped and corey lovelace this death further into the slipped further into past. her mom, marty. >> the past. >> august it in the cemetery by myself for a little by myself for a little while. while. and of course valentine's day now, i don't do that's that nothing, i don't to >> cory's valentine's day. >> has been meanwhile cory's husband, had remarried, meanwhile, had divorced, and remarried, married again. divorced, and remarried and in all that again. time, no and it all the one really time no one really question how or question the how or why of corey's death. why -- all that changed but all of that one day when a man in changed when a man in a windowless room a windowless room a few have a few blocks blocks off the in mississippi found mississippi, found himself with brett himself with spare time on time on his hands his hands. >> i, i was sitting in my was sitting in my office, office, and all of our files are on the computer. the air >> it was late 2013, almost eight years after cory's death. adam gibson, a newly minted detective with the quincy police department began idly pulling up old files. >> not looking for anything in
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particular, just reading old cases. cory lovelace popped into my head, and i read the report. >> to the naming a thing to? >> i think critical of us have been one of our assistant states attorney's left in the file. >> a statement from her, the husband police she had passed away on valentine's day of 2006, what was the medical examiner's findings on the death of that woman. >> it was undetermined was the original autopsy. >> why did that mean to you, i know you've encountered that? before >> it could mean a lot of things. in this particular autopsy, they were listed as suspicious of traumatic findings. for instance, the report mentioned the abrasion on coy's face just under her nose. something we they should have
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being observed that. the pathologist also noted the cut, which she called a laceration on the -- detectives kept strolling and saw something that knocked him called. an electrifying image. the police photos of the dead wife and mother actually in her bed >> naturally raised, position. >> the hands in an unnatural way. >> defied gravity. >> not supported? just out there like a? statue >> yes. >> using police photos from the scene, we created this graphic of corey's bedroom. you can see coy's arms frozen and death above her body. not final post that caught detective attention years before. a curiosity, but he didn't see any significance. now, adam gibbs them did. >> in my opinion. >> the mechanics of go like this, upon death, a humans
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muscles start to step in, but to the detective, it looked at those cory's arms and hands were in an and vance state of rigor. meaning she likely died many hours before this photo was taken. remember, curtis that he took her to bed only an hour before finding her dad. it didn't make sense to the officer. detective gibson went straight to his bosses with the old file. >> my first thought is we missed something here. >> if he had been in charge in 2006 when everybody assumed cory had died in natural death, but he says he never saw the photos that detective was now holding before him. >> that's when i saw the pictures for the first time. >> why did you? think >> i thought this is odd. this is not natural. >> this posture of the? arms >> the posture of the arms. it appeared to me that -- had said. and i look at those pictures and i can't believe that we accepted an undetermined cause of death and the natural death. >> detective gibson agreed, but they had a thought.
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very thin what you're working with? notes from a medical examiner from eight years before? >> yes. >> few photos very few? >> only two photos, two slides were taken by the pathologist and passed on an evidence. very thin file. >> so police went back to the doctor who did that autopsy, and asked her to review the case, she did, but she would not alter her original findings. the next step might have been to order a new autopsy, but that was not possible since corey's family had her remains cremated. the only option, was to work with what they had. detective gibson had a suggestion, he wanted to have the autopsy reviewed by someone else. basically a review of the original autopsy done, could into a new autopsy because the body had been cream in it. >> the chief oked the request to hire new pathologist to review all the autopsy notes. the detective also had something else in mind to reach --
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this case talk to everyone and anyone who had known cory. his first call was to her mom, he told her he wanted to me but without why. >> he said well, can we set up a time, i said scratch what i'm doing and just come now. it was the thing that struck me first was the position of loveless's arms a different medical examiner a different medical examiner reaches a conclusion reaches a different conclusion. the manner of death would be homicide. >> and a detective has a question for criticize daughter. >> tuesday morning, before you went to school. >> what did you think was happening? >> i didn't know. >> when mr. on the mississippi continues. >> when mr. on the mississippi continues.
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mom had mom had tried a hard tried hard to move on to move on after after her daughter's sudden her father's sudden death in death in 2006. 2006. but after a phone but after a phone call and a visit call and visit from from detective adam detective adam gibson in gibson in early early 2014, 2014, she started to she started to wonder wonder. >>. >> a lot of things i shoved a lot of things i away, shoved away, really really shoved away shoved away,, and one of them one of them was was really why cory why cory had had died. died. >> >> did you ever did you ever suspect that there might be suspected might be foul play filed play involved in her involved in her death? death. >> >> no. >> no. >> friends of friends of both curtis and both curtis inquiry cory also started, also started getting getting calls from the detective, calls from the detective. -- he >> remembers his remembers his message message asking her asking her to call to call asap. asap so when i. so >> when i called detective called detective gibson, he said we gibson and said we are reopening the case are reopening the of cory case of lovelace, i was's shocked, i was shaking. >> so the detective seemed to be interested in what you can tell him about the marriage. >> which she admitted wasn't much, that another close friends that cory didn't really talk about our marriage. >> so the detective did something no one else had done
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on this case. he started knocking on doors. talking to cory's former neighbors. >> all the neighbors talked about all the talking and fighting. . the detective went as a step further, you've got an's car and drove more than 100 miles in the university of iowa, to talk to someone who had been eyewitness to the lovely's marriage. >> i hadn't gives than, i detective with quincy. >> lindsay lovelace, curtis and cory's oldest, was in college there -- through the campus police department to talk with detective gibson. >> i was very confused by someone from quincy had driven their. the >> questions that followed in clear things up. at least not up first, the detective started talking about her late mom, and asking about her parents marriage. >> how was your parents relationship, do you remember? >> they would fight. it was an interesting relationship.
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there were times that we were like, the perfect family, we do find family stuff. and then there were times i do remember being woken up and i've appearance fighting. >> for the first time, someone inside the lovelace family, was revealing the turmoil before cory's death. but then the detective asked lindsey to describe that tuesday in 2006, when her mother's family was found. >> tuesday morning before you went to school -- >> the answer seem to take the air out of his theory of the case. >> she was up and walking around. she had made breakfast. i don't remember what we had for breakfast. but she had like made us breakfast, and she was like helping us get ready to school, because we all had our little valentine's day boxes. >> the one young woman -- of her father's account. cory had died minutes after seeing her children off to school, not hours earlier, as the detective suspected. if you've been disappointed in lindsey's answer, he didn't show it. but he did make a request that
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caught her off guard. >> if you do to talk to your dad, though i think that i would ask is that you not discuss the fact that they came and talk to you yet. >> what did you think was happening? >> i didn't know, especially when he said don't tell your father i was here. >> so it is happening? >> and i went back to where i was living, and just not, there and thought what is going on. and then it slowly hit me. >> she realized the detective, for whatever reason, suspected her father had something to do with her mother's sudden death. even so, she kept her promise, and did not tell her father about the visit. in the meantime, detective gibson was waiting to hear from dr. jane turner. then, assistant medical examiner for the city of st. louis. he had hired her to review that old autopsy report. >> the thing that struck me first, just looking at the scene photographs, was the position of mrs. lovelace's arms. >> she says the photo shows cory's body in full rigor more dust, like the detective, the
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m.a. believes the pictures in criticize tory were out of sync. >> i estimate that the time of death was 10 to 12 hours prior to her photograph being taken that morning so, somewhere around nine or ten, or 11 pm. the night before. >> in other words, the night of february 13th, not the morning of february 14th, as curtis claimed. something else but bothered her, turner thought the scene appeared altered, as if something other cory's arms were removed. >> why hurt were her hands not resting on a surface? and that surface, whatever that object was that our hands have been resting on. why wasn't there anymore? >> turner noted the abrasion on correa's face, and the cut insider upper lip. to her, that suggested that something had been pressed against a woman's mouth. >> and then, seen the marks around the mouth, and inside the mouth. all suggests that suffocation
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current. >> suffocation, and abrasion, an accepted timeline that no longer fit. turner was convinced, corey had not died a natural death. she concluded, someone had used an object, likely a pillow to suffocate the woman, left it under her arms, and removed it many hours later. >> the manner of death would be a homicide. >> for the detective, corey lovelace's death, gave birth to competing narratives. one relied on science to explain the murder the other relied on memory to describe an ailing mother just before she passed away. in the end, detective believe the science, he believed the crime had indeed been committed. -- there were two officers who conducted very different destinations in the same case. >> detective gibson, you believe this is a homicide. >> i do believe it. >> do you think this was a
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death of natural causes? are you divide on that fundamental issue? >> i'm now uncertain, from what i've heard, and been told under the new investigation. much more uncertain than i was in 2006. >> their boss, chief co-plea, still wanted both men, he said if there's blame to be had in this case, he'll have it. >> you hate admitted mistakes are made, and i want to take that i take full responsibility, i was chief in 2006. i had detectives, and their supervisors working on the case. >> but did he get a pass because he was pillar of the community? he was a big shot guy? >> i don't know that he got a pass, i think he may have gotten the benefit of the doubt. >> but, on a warm august morning, that benefit would evaporate along with a peaceful feelings of a lazy summer day. christine lovelace had been a print up in a new shop baking pies all morning. curtis was meant to stop by with lunch. >> i just knew that he was going to be there, and i really
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kind of had a notion that he was going to bring me fried chicken that day. and lunch came, and went. >> and no current? >> and no current. >> a few blocks away, curtis had just stepped out of his law office. he was, in fact, on his way to the pie shot. >> as i was walking to my car, there is a gentleman in a suit, waiting for me. >> it was detective gibson. he was armed with an indictment from the grand jury. he was there to arrest careers for the murder of cory lovelace. >> i got out of the car, called his name, he walked over and shake my hand, grabbed his arm in turn told him he was under arrest on an indictment for her first degree murder. >> he'd only thing you said was my wife died in 2006. >> what did you think of that? >> that's not the reaction that i was expecting it all. >> then again, curtis lovelace never saw it coming. >> tell me to put my hands my man back, and put me in handcuffs. >> what was going on? >> i didn't know. i remember hearing murder.
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i remember hearing him use the word wife. i was not aware that there was an investigation. >> you are totally blindsided? >> i was totally blindsided. >> blindsided, because no one had really question cory's death before. even the police concluded she died of natural causes. >> back at the pie shop, and increasingly anxious christine got a phone call, with someone from a local tv station. >> he said, i'm holding a piece of paper in my hand, and it's an indictment for the first degree murder of corey lovelace. and i immediately said, wet? cory was murdered. >> give me a word, that day in your life. >> horrifying. >> a replaced an interrogation room, immediately. >> curtis lovelace had a crucial choice to make, either talk to the detective and try to clear this up right then and there. or, with the attorney interrupt.
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>> coming up. >> i don't remember anything significant about the night before. >> he said the two of you went to bed together. >> yeah, i believe we did. >> i have a problem with you not remembering all these things. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues. ppi continues.
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mysterious death of corey lovelace, >> i just remember crying and not believing. >> police have reopened the case. >> we missed something here. >> her husband curtis, who has remarried twice as the prime suspect. >> but she doubted you? >> most definitely. her arms are in a race position. had the mystery been finally solved? >> the manner of death would be homicide. >> the suspect and his wife got some very bad news. >> i said why. cory was murdered? >> totally blindsided. >> totally blindsided. >> now the hometown hero was headed to jail. could his children help set him free? >> i saw the mother that day, -- wow >> curtis lovely if had seen plenty of interrogation videos during his career as a former prosecutor, but in the summer of 2013, for the first time in
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his life, curtis was the one in the hot seat. >> you have the right to remain silent, do you understand that? >> yes. >> anything you say can be used against in the court of law. you are a lawyer, you know the number one rule is you do not talk to the police without a lawyer present. >> but you talk. >> but i talk. >> i want to answer all the question, i thought they wanted to know the truth. she didn't feel well. >> on that valentines morning, curtis that cory was still nursing that bad cold. i walked back upstairs with her, she climbed into bed -- >> he described leaving the house, then coming home only to find his wife dead in their bedroom. >> she was cold, and stiff, i just recall her and her hands being out. >> yet many other details
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surrounding his wife's death seemed to allude curtis. >> i don't remember anything significant about -- >> you said the two of you went to bed together? >> yeah. i believe we did. it was a long time, so i guess it's possible that -- i slept on the couch or something. >> you said you took the kids to school? >> again, i believe i did. it has been so long. >> ironically, i don't remember a whole lot about that day. >> right, i just would've thought that finding your wife dead in bed would have left more of an impression on you. >> to the detective, curtis was trying to look helpful without really being so. gibson cut to the chase. >> did you smother cory with a pillow? >> no i did not. >> okay. >> did you inquiry have a bad argument, did you snap, and
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then put a pillow over her nose and mouth and suffocate her? no. >> there were no bad arguments before. it's exactly what i have told detective bared in 2006, and what i told detective gibson in 2014, and what i am telling you now. that is what happened. she was sick, i came home, i found her that morning, and she was dead in bed. >> it was clear that detective strategy had not yielded what he wanted, a confession. >> i have a problem with you not remembering all these things. >> the lawyer school of talking his way out of trouble had not work either. even after he agreed, curtis said, to take eli tech to test. in a short time, he was swapping on his buttoned down shirt and leather loafers, for a very different courthouse look. jailhouse black and white stripes. coming up, are his kids the key
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to his freedom. >> so you went to your mom's room? >> yeah. >> to see if she is in bed? >> we wake up in the morning -- >> do you know what time that was? >> no. >> when mystery on mississippi continues. ippi continues. and its temperature balancing so you both sleep just right. save 50% on the new sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus 0% interest for 60 months.. ends cyber monday.
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quincy's fair hero boy, the next he was being interrogated by police for killing his first wife cory. >> my side of the bed, when i found her dead. >> meanwhile, christine was -- her husband had just been arrested, and now she was looking for his sons. >> i found out that all three boys were at the police station. >> the boys were down? there >> they have been taken out of school and held an isolation earlier in the day. >> they were just 17, 15, and 12 years old at the time. all alone at the police headquarters. once christine found out they were there, she rushed to the station. >> where the kids told? what did they think what's going on? >> they thought something had happened to me. they all were very scared, and they had to be. i told them everything would be okay we would figure this out. then adam gibson walked into
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this room. >> the police detective? >> yes. yes. he walked in and i had no idea who he was. he looked at the boys and said, your father has been charged with the first decree for her of your mother. >> as one thing is? that >> yes. and i said did you need to tell them like that? and he said. yes >> detective gibson had rounded up the voice because he was looking for more information. >> looking into the death of your mom from 2006, okay -- >> detective started to question them about the last days of their mother's life. >> so you went into your mom's room? for >> yeah. >> and she was in bed? >> yeah. >> we wake up every morning. >> you know what i'm? that >> was no. >> the youngest son was not interviewed by police back in 2006 because he was only four years old, now, he was telling detective gibson he was not
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sure if his mother was alive that morning. he said he only remembered getting out of that, i'm going to his mom's room, but she did not answer him. >> i just remember going to her room, and she would not wake up, i think it's valentine's day. >> ha. >> yeah, that was gone. i told him that yeah. not waking up. >> but the two older boys said they did remember seeing their mom that morning. this is lincoln the middle boy. >> i just remember, waking up -- i remember her not feeling good and -- then i went to school. i remember her saying i love you before we left. but pretty much it. >> logan, the eldest son, said he knew for certain that his mom was alive that february 14th. >> she was sitting on the steps, like, ready for us to leave the house. >> christine was still trying
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to find her husband. she did not know he had been transferred to a different jail. eventually, he called. >> he told me everything would be okay. that we were going to have to fight some things. >> christine was a wreck. her husband was in jail. she was dumbfounded as to why the police had taken the boys out of school, and then interviewed them without parental permission. she felt better about this though, the two oldest boys back their story. they had seen their mom alive valentine's day morning, just as curtis said. >> they saw their mother live that day. >> that's the gist of the story, yes i saw her like that morning when that took us to school? >> yes. it's valentine's day. >> so she couldn't have been upstairs and dying, because we saw her live? >> yes. >> the boy sister lindsey had also told -- police to separate times her mom was alive that morning. , send her off to school on valentine's day.
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>> standing in front of the hall -- >> on the day of her father's arrest, lindsay was aware college when she had an emotional talk with her brothers. >> i talk to them on the phone the day they got arrested, they passed the phone around and they were sobbing because they were scared. hold on. they asked me to come home. that was the last thing i ever said, ever talk to them. >> that is one another tragedy -- unfolded within the family. around the time of curtis's arrest, his relationship with his daughter once again deteriorated. the family does not want to get into details, but soon lindsey found herself cut off from her brothers to. >> i had been shut out. completely shut out. >> you know the charge against your father? and the crime that he had put over pillow over your mother's nose and smothered her? >> that is a stark image to deal with? >> it is something i did not ponder, and i chose not to
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ponder. >> though a jury would soon be pondering his guilt or innocence. in august 2014, the 45-year-old former assistant states attorney found himself standing in a courtroom, this time as a defendant at his own arraignment. >> having to appear in a courtroom that i had served as a prosecutor and dressed, and stripes, having my hands and feet shackled, those were some really low chimes. >> mary just eight months, wife number three's commitment for better or worse, was immediately put to test. >> my husband, who is kind, carrying, and compassionate, is charged with something so heinous that it makes no sense when this all. started on rolling for you, would had to pin and nightmare. you are asked a flat question, did you we kill her.
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>> no, i know he didn't kill her. there is no anger in that man. >> if do need convicted, curtis lovelace could spend the rest of his life in prison, for the murder of his wife cory. as if that weren't enough stress, his daughter lindsey was about to drop a bomb show. >> coming up, a daughters difficult decision. >> i don't know what's happening in our heart, when day she was happy and then everything changed. >> and a mother recounts which she says was curtis's bizarre behavior the day her daughter died. >> and says? >> by the way cory is dead. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues.
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hello i'm melissa ray burger, amid a south african scientists have detected a new covid variant, without least 30 mutations to the spike protein. the world health organization is expected to me today to discuss but this may need for vaccines and treatments. president biden spent thanksgiving in nantucket, he spoke with all six branches of the military, and in a video message of president and first lady paid tribute to the lives lost during the pandemic. back to dateline. >> curtis lovelace was the hometown hero. now, his case was plastered on the front pages of quincy's newspapers as an accused
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murderer. >> we are relying on scientific -- >> the media, including nbc's quincy affiliate, were all over the story. covering every moment of his fall from grace. >> he's accused of killing his first wife. >> the former prosecutor would himself be prosecuted by ed parkinson. >> you can't get around rigor mortise, in my opinion, and make sense of this case, and the timeline didn't make sense with curtis. >> in january of 2016, nearly a decked caid after cory lovelace's death, curtis arrived for the first day of his trial, he faced 20 to 60 years in prison upon conviction for a first degree murder, he pleaded not guilty. cameras were not allowed in the courtroom. >> it was clear to me, it didn't matter what i did, as far as the prosecution was concerned. their only concern was that they needed to create a crime, and they needed for me to look bad in order to do that. >> curtis didn't necessarily prosecutors help to make him
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look bad. some of his own actions a day cory died, where at the very least unusual. including, never calling 9-1-1. >> he called who? >> his boss. >> his wife is dead in the bed, and he calls his boss. >> he says my wife is dead. >> so his boss said, well would you like me to call the ambulance people. >> yes, would you do that. >> cory's mom, already deede eriksen who, lived a few blocks away, testified that curtis broke the news of his daughter's death, in what he thought was the most callous way. >> i opened the door by the way cory is dead. >> i've gotta say, i think it's very strange, take your grandson, and by the way, your daughter is dead. >> he was a motionless. let's put it that way. people who saw him, that day, claiming that he was without emotion. >> curtis also knew cpr.
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and yet, he never tried to revive his wife. >> on a day, why didn't you do cpr? >> i don't know. i don't know why i didn't do cpr, i don't know why i didn't call 9-1-1. in looking back, i saw my wife cory dead, and i didn't know how to react. >> prosecutor parkinson next went after the first investigation, pushing hard against detective bear who handled the case. he questioned whether bear gave curtis, then and assistant states attorney, preferential attorney. >> he was a prosecutor, they were the police. he gave them a story of how it happened, they bought into it. after all, he's one of us. >> so maybe tougher questions didn't get asked? >> i think so. >> neighbors testified that the lovelace household was sometimes a stormy one. and that, parkinson suggested to jurors, is the backdrop of cory's death. >> they fought all the time, it was a rocky marriage with lots
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of arguments going both ways. and it got out of control. maybe the evidence in the case, that placing a pillow over one's face to make them stop yelling at me, maybe in her weekend state if she was had flu like symptoms, maybe went too far. >> the state's theory, remember, is that the force of that pillow cause that coach and abrasion on the outside inside of queries lit. prosecutor then implied that the pillow is placed under her arms after she died, and was later removed. >> you leave it there through the night, and we'll trigger more doses setting in, and then if the person is thinking, oh my god, what did i do. where is that pillow. >> i'm gonna get rid of that pillow, then the arms already up. >> and you think that's what happened? >> yes. >> but then came perhaps the most anticipated testimony for the prosecution.
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lindsay lovelace, criticize own daughter, took the stand. two times over the span of eight years she told prosecutors that mother was alive that morning. but on the stand, with her dad's life on the line, she changed her story. telling jurors, she was no longer sure her mom is alive that day. >> don't remember any of it. >> it doesn't stick in your mind. >> no. >> in doctor bears notes you do telling the story about senior mother. in the videotape interview with detective gibson you seem quite clear about that morning, guess who sarin, went off to school. >> what went on in the interim, between statement and going to trial on the stand, and stepping back from all of. that >> is the fact that no one had actually asked me sincerely that day, and i never taken time to actually think about it. >> detective gibson did a couple years before when he took the statement. >> i didn't know why he asked me, i don't know what was going on, i gave the story. i'd be honest with myself, and it wasn't the answer i wanted,
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i really wish i could say yes i remember her, or no i had no i didn't see her. >> but you cannot say that. >> i cannot say that. >> this is not you getting back your dad, who are very sideways with -- he needs a story, and you're not gonna give it to him. it hurts my brothers, to not to honestly say yes i saw her. but i'm going to say what i remember, which is nothing. it's a black hole, it's a traumatizing event, and when kids go through traumatizing events they block things out. and losing my mother was the worst day of my life. >> how are we to understand what's going on with lindsey, christine? because she's told the story that she, like her brothers, remember senior mama live. but then she backs away from it, and says i think, i can remember really. >> i don't know what's in lindsey's head, and in your heart. she one day she's happy, and then everything changed. >> the prosecution still had to explain why the two oldest boys are adamant that their mom was
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alive that morning. >> parkinson told jurors there was a two day gap between korea's death, and the first police interviews with the kids. ample time, he suggested, for the boys to be influenced by their dad. i think the children were confused as to which day. >> how about coach? do you think he told him a story? >> he had the children from the moment of her discovery, until thursday afternoon. so from tuesday till thursday afternoon, i don't know what was said. >> doctor jane turner, the pathologist, detective gibson hired to review the case. took the stand, and said science is where the truth lies. she concluded, the most reasonable explanation for quarries arms appearing to levitate, is of course dead up to 12 hours before police arrived on the scene. >> i view this material, and reviewed it, with the eye of a scientist, and what we know about the development of rigor mortise. >> would it jury believe? >> science, or the words from
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two of cory's own sons? >> cory's brother and dentist found himself struggling over the conflicted facts. >> i have to believe in that, i would have to believe in the family at the same time. so i'm completely torn. >> i've never seen a more difficult case more closely argued. there doesn't seem to be middle ground, there is nothing. >> parkinson urged the jury to focus on the science, and one image, corey in her bed, her body, rigor mortise. she says it is proof that she died hours before -- cordes claims, it proves, he argues, that curtis killed her. >> coming up, the defense gets its turn, and christine is feeling optimistic. >> i knew in my heart he was going home. >> christine came in and explain to her what was about to happen. >> when mr. on the mississippi continues. when mr. on the mississippi continues. continues. and it works fast. in as little as 7 days
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message for jurors, curtis should not be on trial. that is because there was no crime. and this was not a murder. i said the state's case was built on faulty science. >> i've said it repeatedly in this manner, there is no physical at vince to prove that he murdered his wife. >> veteran pathologist doctor george nichols created the office the medical examiner for the state of kentucky back in the 1970s. now, as a defense expert, he told jurors -- is not an accurate indicator of time of death. he added, where is the evidence that cory fought for her life. there were no signs of struggle, and only the cut and abrasion on her lip. >> the thought that somehow you can suffocate, someone with a pillow, and there would only be one dental mars, is ludicrous. >> detective testified that when he first arrived on the
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scene, corey stomach area was still warm. how is that possible the defense asked, if she had died up to 12 hours earlier? >> so if the body's warmth to the touch, my common sense tells me, it's not science, that this is the one recently deceased. >> absolutely. >> is there an errand that absorption? >> no. >> as far as -- the killed cory after a heated argument, the couples testified that he did not hear anything like that this on before. he should know, because his room was right next to his parents, it was even connected by an extra door that was usually left slightly open. >> she is safe. i will stay home with you. -- >> the two older boys, unlike their sister, stuck to the story they told police. >> yes, i think she did. >> if jurors believe them, it blew apart the prosecutions timeline that cory was murdered the night before. >> they said the same thing they had told in 2006, and
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detective gibson in 2014. >> and the defense had insights on detective gibson. they claimed in 2013 he was an overly eager newly promoted detective, assigned to crimes against seniors, this was his first murder case. >> he transferred from canine officer to elder service officers, and around the same time he went to a one-week course on being a lead detective in the homicide case. he embarked on this investigation that led to my indictment. >> finally the defense's medical expert concluded, there was only one possible explanation for cory's death. she had a history of drinking and falling. and that caused that abrasion and cut. the bottom line, she was an alcoholic and billy mick suffering from a liver disease. someone who unfortunately died of natural causes. >> she is not a normal 30 year old woman. she has a significant disease
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of a major organ, that is associated with sudden death, and with liver failure. >> in the end curtis decided not to take the stand. ten women and two men would decide his fate. the deliberations went on for two full days. then christine got the call to come back to the courthouse. >> i knew in my heart, he is -- he's coming home. >> but when she arrived, bailiffs sent her to a small library. >> she came in and they explained to her for the first time what was about to happen, that the judge will declare a mistrial. >> her was sitting across, he said, i'm not going to be able to come home tonight, and key
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and -- i lost all my air -- it was terrible. >> the jury was hopelessly deadlocked. six guilty, six not. curtis would face another trial. since he couldn't make bail, he would remain in jail unless, a deal, a plea gill? >> they offered a second degree murder plea. but i knew it was a decision, not only that i had to make, but we had to make as a family. i did not know whether i could put them through another year of what we had already gone through. >> that is when one of curtis's lawyers turned to christine. >> he said that this can all and right now, if kur agrees to take this deal. he said, it would keep him from dying in prison. >> but he would have to admit responsibility, that is the
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condition right? >> correct. and he wouldn't have to spend probably any more than 13 years in prison. >> the two said no thanks to the states offer, and geared up for a second trial. but that force them to face another dire reality. they were totally broke, unable to afford another lawyer. >> what are we going to do? at that point there didn't appear to be on the option. >> this could be a moment for christine to say, i am out of here, i did not sign on to police -- i'm gone. >> yeah. and who could blame her? if she would've done? but that's not who she is. >> it looked as though curtis would have to use a public defender. but christine would not asks have that option. she worked her connections, and eventually ended up here in chicago. >> she came to our office, told us her story, and i remember finding a compelling and worth
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exploring further. >> john is not a criminal lawyer, he is a civil rights attorney for malpractice who also does pro bono work with the exoneration project. its aim, to overturn wrongful convictions. but curtis had not been convicted, at least not yet. still, he decided to take the case. their services would be free. >> the main concern i had in this case from the onset was, the lack of evidence, this didn't feel like a murder case from the beginning. >> with a new defense team in place, christine got working on her next goal, making bail to get her husband out of jail. >> friends eventually put up the cash. almost two years after his arrest, curtis was released to his wife and sons. they greeted me at hancock county jail. i came home to a dog never met.
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for the first time, i got to be back in my house and back in my home. >> but it would not be home sweet home for a long. while curtis and mrs. lovelace -- waited for the next trial in the alleged murder of mrs. lovely's number one, the judge ruled mrs. lovelace number two could testify against her former husband. and what a story she had to tell. coming up, erica out of the skies and on the stand. we counting what she says was a marriage from hell. >> he rift my sure. he let me go and he tried to -- again and i tried to bite him. >> when mystery on the mississippi continues. issippi continues. [♪♪]
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celebrity. so infamous according to his new defense team, that he couldn't get a fair trial in his hometown. a judge agreed. so trial number two was moved to springfield illinois, about two hours away. >> the defense is going to come up here and try to portray the defendant as a pillar of the community. that's a facade. >> david robinson would join -- in the prosecution. this time cameras were allowed in the courtroom, when the trial started in march 2017.
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>> a house over 15 feet apart from each other. >> as in the first trial, neighbors testified they often heard arguing from the lovelace home. this woman lived next door and said she heard shouting almost every day. >> essentially for the entire time that we lived there. so -- six years -- >> as i walked by the house i heard an argument about a loud argument. >> another neighbor testified she heard them really going at it, and on a specific date that night before valentine's day 2006, she happened to be out for a stroll. >> it actually did cause me to pause, i guess i was listening to see if somebody was in distress. >> the prosecution theory this time around, remained the same. after a heated argument the night before valentine's day, curtis suffocated his wife with a pillow in a fit of rage. he then waited up to 12 hours before police were called.
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once again, science would play a leading role in the prosecution's case. but prosecutors had a new witness, a star forensic expert. >> i have testified before the house of representatives. >> and a 64 year career, dr. -- has consulted on the jfk and martin luther king assassinations, as well as other high profile cases including those of casey anthony. >> the appearance of the injury was -- not a -- >> in a darkened courtroom, photos and talked about that cut inside cory's mouth. curtis told his wife had fall in the days before she died, his explanation for that injury. but this expert said, he saw no signs the -- >> there is no evidence of healing. so this looks like at the time it was -- >> the aberration on the
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outside of the, lit and the inside, it became like an object had been placed on corey's face shortly before she died. >> this is not an accident, this is not a natural death, this is not a suicide. this is a homicide. >> then came testimony the first jury never got to hear. it was explosive. for this trial, the judge allowed -- wife number two to testify. remember, when we interviewed her she wanted to protect her identity, but now on the witness stand, she could no longer be shielded by the skies. >> he attacked me. >> prosecutors called the ex-wife to the stand to show that curtis had a history of violence. she recounted one incident she says that have been at home during their marriage. >> he started probably drinking around 9 am, and we have been arguing about kids and he came rushing at me and tried to grab
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me and try to hurt me. he grabs my shirt and he yanked it really hard, hard enough to ensure my house. he ripped my shirt. and then he let me go and he tried to grab me again, and kept on trying to fight him off. >> then erica told the jury, another shocking story, she said curtis had been drinking out of party. later that night, he blurted out something she found disturbing. >> he is rarely honest except for when he has been shrinking. he was upset about something. i asked him why he was upset about, and he still said something about she was riding underneath me. and then he said oh the black cat. >> i strangers that story sounded, the prosecutor took it to mean this. curtis was not talking about a cat, but about cory's last minutes of life as she struggled while curtis mothered her. >> erica had a story to tell, i
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could hear i could hear her arriving beneath me. >> yes, that was evidence. >> it sounds like he's talking about killing his wife at that moment. >> she testified under oath on the stand. i could feel her riding beneath me. and that is pretty much what would've happened, if suffocation was occurring. >> the prosecution believed it's evidence against curtis was overwhelming. not so fast, said the defense. that's because, it had some things up its sleeve. a new piece of last-minute evidence, and what's an interesting nugget they had found. >> coming up. tough questions for erica. >> someone made that up, someone put my words in there, my signatures would be there, we need to redo this. >> and bombshell testimony. >> did you know when you decided to pursue this investigation that the arms had been moved? >> i did not.
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gonna talk. >> curtis lovelace was putting his hands in the hands of john would. his new attorney to come the defense for free, had more than 20 years of experience, just not a criminal law. >> was this your first murder trial? >> it was. i did a battery colonel defense case right at a lot of school, other than that this case when i first criminal defense case. >> curtis was taken a huge gamble. on the other hand, since he was broke, he didn't have a lot of options. >> cory died of massive liver disease. >> it is opening remarks, he said the state hadn't presented every evidence of murder for a reason, there was no murder. >> all the medical evidence in this case is going to prove to you that she thought of his -- >> one of the defenses key goals was to debunk that
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damaging testimony of curtis's ex, erica, that he had violently attacked her and ripped her shirt. >> when we finish talking, and i take my notes. and one of the first defense witnesses was major larry folk of the illinois national guard. i >> asked if she wanted to make a sworn statement, a formal sworn statement in writing, she said yes she would. erica had filed a domestic violence charge with the guard, because curtis at the time is still active. the major was pointed to look into the charges. he testified as to when erica told him. >> she started backing up, then she went to pick up, and when he did she said he accidentally struck. are >> now slow down here, you said accidentally, where did you get accidentally. >> those were her words. >> the major added she initially didn't mention anything about preserving your shirt, after conducting an investigation, he concluded her charges were unfounded. >> there was nothing there to actually lead to a domestic violence claim.
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>> armed with that information, the defense confronted erica in cross-examination with her own statement. >> but erica said the document used in court was a fake. someone made that up, someone put those words in their, my signature should be there, my signature is not there. this is typed, this isn't written, anybody can redo this. >> then the defense did something unusual. they asked erica about other accusations she's made against curtis. and she had a laundry list of complaints. >> he knows how to forge paperwork, he used my social security number to try and steal money out of my account. he knows how to get rid of evidence. he stole my daughters bicycle out of the garage. >> at one point, an overwhelmed erica, ask for a timeout. >> can i get a break police. >> but erica was unfolding, she blurted out another allegation in court against her ex. >> he was poisoning me. my hair was falling out, there were white lines on my fingers, i was extremely sick.
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>> erica claimed curtis had tried to poison her and her daughter. she told police he likely put something in there or issues. >> according to the defense, there is a problem with that charge. erica had never sought medical care. >> isn't it true, ma'am, that you never went to a doctor and said i think i'm being poisoned? >> it wouldn't have mattered. >> when erica left the stand, when you think the jury made of her. >> i think they were struck with the state called her. the state thought that they couldn't score a point, when she was subjected to cross-examination she wasn't a credible person. >> there was another theme that you want to drill into this journey, and it concerns the lead detective. adam gibson, he argued, had gone pathologist shopping. that is, he had found pathologist given the as where he was looking for. yes, cory's death was in fact a murder. >> if my opinion is not what he wants, he's going to be going looking for somebody else. doctor shark 80s was one of the pathologist gibson approached.
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her opinion, dr. gifting, one of this call this a homicide. when that was not her conclusion. >> he had a theory, and he's looking hard to substantiate that theory. >> the original technology, the original coroner, said there was insufficient evidence to find a homicide. there's nothing unusual here, you're barking at the wrong tree. >> then came even more damaging accusations against that detective gibson. the defense said it obtained at the last minute, important emails and other documents it was supposed to have received from the police, but never did. potentially, exculpatory evidence. >> you understood this email, should've interview did you? >> it's not something i thought of, no. >> one emails from a medical expert. he warned detective gibson, that is the first pathologist left the cause of death is under president, that opinion would trump anyone else is. and he implied that would give plenty of reasonable doubt to a jury. >> -- it should yes. >> you didn't turn it over, to?
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>> i did not. >> the prosecution's case of her to be teetering. then came another blow. >> william bauer, was one of the first emts on the scene. when he arrived, he wanted to place you gauge-y stickers on corey's body to check for a heartbeat. so, he moved her arms. >> her arms were down against her chest, i had to hold them up to check for a pulse. check for any rigor mortise, and to also move her arms up to where i can place my sneakers grimes was to place them. >> he moved cory's arms before the police photos were taken. that means her arms were not in the same position i've seen in the photographs. the ones that started this entire second investigation. the defense seized on that fact. >> did you know, when you decided to pursue the zip investigation, that the arms had been moved? >> i did not. >> is the first time you're hearing that, as you sit here today? >> the arms had been moved
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prior to the pictures? yes. >> because, basically, your investigation took off because you believed the arms were suspicious. >> yes. >> a final surprise, for the first time, the defendant, curtis lovelace, took the stand. he insisted he wasn't a violent man. he never harmed his second wife erica, and certainly did not kill cory. >> i did love cory. and i know the kids loved her, and it's been difficult. >> the defense wrapped up its questioning, with an emotional courage is telling jurors of the enormous told the two trials have taken on him and his family. >> how long have you and your family had to live with this process? >> it's been two and a half years. >> whenever you're ready. >> on cross examination, the prosecution pointed out that a whole bunch of witnesses and
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facts in this trial, we have to be wrong, for curtis to be innocent. >> it sounds to me like you're saying, erik is lying, detective gibson is lying, marty is lying, and the sciences lying. >> it's up to them to decide who is lying. >> after seven days of testimony, curtis lovelace's trial had come to an end. the jury began to deliberate. remember, the first panel was deadlocked 6 to 6. >> let me ask you this, have you read it and a unanimous verdict? >> but this go round, the jury was out in about two hours before came back with the decision. >> we the jury, find the defendant, not guilty. >> 11 years after cory's death, two and a half years after curtis's arrest, and to jury trials later, not guilty. >> to our verdict, murder
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trial. what does that tell you. >> that tells me that they were absolutely convinced he was innocent. >> that's not how prosecutor ed parkinson sees it. >> so does this some work, or does a guy get away with murder? >> sometimes it works, i think the partner in the prosecution said you're looking at a guy who you think might have got away with murder. i feel bad because i think we were right. >> a pivotal figure here is detective gibson. understand what is motivation, is when you're about. when you make of this man? >> i still don't know what is motivation is, i just nobody did. and what we had discovered was that his investigation had turned over a lot of evidence as to my innocence that he had made his mind up early that i was guilty of a crime, and that he wasn't going to stop until he found someone to agree with him. >> how do you feel right now? >> while the legal consequences for critters are over. the fallout from cory's death paralyzed the extended family.
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>> i don't know what to believe anymore. >> lindsey, now a teacher, remains a strange for her father. but she hopes to salvage something despite all that's happened. a relationship with her brothers. >> i just hope you get a call, a text, a message, an email. something, from one of them. >> cory's mom, marty. >> did you come to an opinion about what role, if any, he had inquiries death? curtis. >> those are kept here. i've kept my mouth shut for a long time, and i'm going to keep that way. >> criticize the state offered increasingly attractive plea deals, before the start of the second trial. but he turn them all down. he has since filed an 11 count lawsuit against several police officers, the city of quincy, and adams county. the suit alleges malicious prosecution, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. it also claims curtis's kids
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were falsely imprisoned during those police interviews. a federal court said that -- in regard of emotional defense claim, but allow the case to move forward on all other counts. the lovelace family has moved out of quincy, and curtis has opened a new law office in champagne, illinois. >> i would request we go ahead and -- >> he and christine started an exoneration organization. they said they wanted to help others, wrongfully accused, or convicted. >> christine, what happened you guys in this whole thing. >> i don't know what happened to us, dennis. we're still figure not oust. these kinds of things happen across our country every day. and now, i think, we have an obligation to stare the story, and to help other people. >> your goal was to leave that house an innocent man. >> i believe, looking in the eyes that jury, seeing the tears from some of them, how quickly they came back, but they were declaring to me and
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the world's that i'm innocent. >> curtis lovelace, a life interrupted. interrupted. she was brave. she was incredibly brave. why didn't i know that she needed me and that she was alone and that she was hurt? nothing was the same after that. nothing. >> they found her at the soccer field, the straight arrow student killed by a single bullet. >> i just hit the floor. >> i remember the pain. every time


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