tv Dateline MSNBC May 15, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PDT
make her proud of me. i'm never going to give up. never going to give up on anything that i feel is important. and -- >> and that's her. >> and that's her. that's living for her. that's honoring her and honoring her name. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline. " >> i couldn't believe it. the first thing out of my mouth was there's no way he did this. there's no way. they have the wrong guy. >> her mother was nearly killed by a bomb. >> i remember coming out to the truck, put in the key and then kaboom. the police told me this bomb was meant for you. >> they say to you who does not like you enough to try to kill
you? >> i could think of no one. >> but police could. and if the target was a surprise, so was the suspect. >> whoa. it's you. >> but he claimed he was framed and a man named indian joe could prove it. even he admitted his story sounded crazy. >> if i was a guy out there watching "dateline, " i wouldn't believe this. this is like watching a tv show. >> you're telling us to go search for the one-armed man. >> yes. >> well, we found indian joe. >> that's all true? >> oh, yeah, that's all true. >> what else would we find? >> there's a maniac out there. >> hello and welcome to "dateline. " family and faith were everything to connie hoagland. a devoted mother of 3 and wife of a church leader. so when a car bomb shattered life as she knew it, investigators were baffled. the motive
remained a mystery until a stunning twist led detectives in a direction that was hard to believe, even for connie herself. here is josh mankiewicz with "deadly intent. " >> you're looking at the life of the hoagland family of san diego played out in brief. moments stretching across the years from the prosaic to the profound. that's the mom, connie. just after she gave birth to son jonathan. >> look over here, guys, one, two, three. good one. >> here he is, six years later, after losing a tooth. >> hey, jonathan, that's a great smile you have there. >> this is oldest daughter, jill, learning to play golf. >> that's a nice one, jill.
>> and this is her little sister jaclyn. today the kids are grown. when we met them jill has a child of her own. jaclyn is married and jonathan has graduated high school. looking back, the childhood they described was one of stability and routine. >> just normal happy family, i'd say it would be. >> mm-hmm. we go to church on sundays. we'd have movie nights or family vacation that we had taken, usually disneyland, which is our favorite. everything was just as a family. everything was perfect. >> they loved each other and they had a great marriage. >> exactly. >> the patriarch of the hoagland family, larry, was a leader in their church and a professional photographer who can be heard off camera gently directing his children through these precious kodak moments. >> dad! >> that was good. keep going. >> i always remember getting sick of it because i just
wanted to have fun and we always had to pause and take a picture, which kind of got annoying after a while, but looking back, it's nice to see the picture, i guess. >> the mom, connie, loved being with her kids so much, that as they grew older, she found a job taking care of toddlers at this day care home. but on september the 23rd, 2010, as connie was leaving her job for the day, her life and family were quite literally blown apart. >> a thunderous explosion rocks an east county neighborhood. >> the first thing i said to myself when i heard the explosion was oh, my goodness, what was that? >> teddy williams is the owner of the day care home. >> so i ran out the gate. i come to this point and i stopped because connie's car is rolling at full speed and smacked into my van. i ran around her truck, and this is where i found connie, right here, on her side, in the
street. >> connie hoagland was her best friend. >> connie was laying on her side, curled up in a ball. i rolled her over. there was glass, there was shrapnel, there was shards of metal everywhere. everywhere. >> teddy knew all the hoagland family's cell phone numbers and she was the one who broke the news. >> i was driving, and she said that there was an explosion and my mom's truck blew up. so i immediately pulled over, stopped, and called my dad, asked him what's going on. what do we do? >> what did he say? >> he said, i just heard, too. i don't really know all the details. >> the hoagland family gathered at uc san diego medical center where connie had been taken for emergency surgery. >> we got to quickly see her
rushed from the hallway into surgery. it was probably ten seconds. and i just remember telling her, i love you, and her being awake but kind of being out of it. and then that was it. >> seeing her like that and all the wires coming out of her and the bags hanging and the blood and all that, it was very, very shocking, taken back, i almost felt sick. >> what did you think had happened? >> i thought her truck malfunctioned. we didn't know was it an accident, was it the gas tank, what's going on? i didn't know what exactly had happened. >> by now though, investigators knew this explosion was no accident, because they found bomb fragments embedded inside
connie's truck, making it clear this was an intentional act, a car bomb, which got investigators wondering if it was the work of terrorists. >> almost immediately when we came on scene, we made a plan of how we wanted to sweep the area. and what we were doing was looking for secondary devices, so we didn't walk into an area and actually get hit by another device of some sort. >> robert luke of the san diego county sheriff's bomb squad and atf agent matt beals were the lead investigators. they quickly learned that something about the day care may have made it a target. >> on that particular day care center, we were aware that there were other law enforcement officials who had their children in that particular home during the day. >> was it possible someone was out to kill cops and their kids? if so, connie, who always parked in front of the day care home, could have been the perfect yet unwitting delivery system for the bomb. >> they were looking for any known or suspected domestic terrorists or possible watchlist type people that may be in the area. >> no question that this was an
ied, an improvised explosive device? >> no. >> and suddenly, they had more questions after they ran connie's address and discovered that, in her neighborhood, two weeks earlier, police had found another bomb. >> two bombs with one explosive connection. investigators discovered this attack was personal. coming up -- had connie or her family been targeted before? >> we were like, wow, this is for real. >> when "dateline" continues. making a connection... a train connection. that's how you du more with dupixent, which helps prevent asthma attacks. dupixent is not for sudden breathing problems. it's an add-on-treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma that can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as two weeks. and can reduce, or even eliminate, oral steroids. and here's something important. dupixent can cause allergic reactions that can be severe. get help right away if you have rash, chest pain,
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exploded outside a san diego day care center, investigators suspected terrorism. a suspicion that only grew stronger when they realized that this bomb might well be related to another unexploded bomb found two weeks earlier lying in the street just blocks from the hoagland's house. >> this is a device we had not seen in the united states. >> detective chris evert and bomb squad commander john wood had taken that earlier call. between them, they've investigated and disarmed hundreds of explosive devices. but this one was a first. >> these particular devices had only been seen in war countries, afghanistan and iraq. >> the small but powerful device was hidden in a fed-ex envelope, but what really got
everyone's attention was the detonator linked to a cell phone. and that to you says what? >> this is somebody that can build a bomb and it can sit there from anywhere in the world and set it off. >> we have breaking news. a bomb squad investigates a suspicious object in rolando. >> taking no chances they sent in a robot to disarm the bomb. >> fire in the hole! >> a firefighter was then put in one of those famous suits to make a final safety check and found the cell phone detonator had 18 missed calls. only a broken wire had prevented the bomb from going off. >> we're like, wow, this is for real. >> police ran the phone numbers, of course, but they belonged to untraceable throwaway phones, available almost anywhere. the bomber or bombers had left no
trace of themselves. >> no fingerprints, no dna. >> the only real clues were found on the fed-ex envelope, duct tape and soot, suggesting the bomb might have fallen off of the underside of a car. and so, two weeks later, when connie's truck blew up at the day care home, investigators immediately wondered were these two sophisticated bombs really the work of terrorists? or was all this personal? >> we went through all those gamuts and we had a lot of people just going out chasing every lead there was trying to get this stuff done. >> and while he was still at the crime scene, detective luke had what seemed to be an odd visit from an old colleague, eric stellmacher. the former commander of the san diego fire department bomb squad. that's luke to the left of your screen and stellmacher on the far right. >> he was the first one to contact me as soon as i got on the scene. i says, what are you doing here? he tells me he had retired to colorado, came back to visit some friends here in town and he heard about the
bomb and he came over to try to assist us. >> and there was one more thing. >> he turns out to be an acquaintance of the hoagland family, so he knew the victim and the husband. first thing that popped into my mind is we have a bombing here, we have a bomb guy on the scene that's retired and now he's also has some nexus to do with the family. >> that was definitely a curveball. >> john wood was bomb squad commander then and he also had the same unsettling concerns. >> one of our own sitting there going, wow, why did he show up? now he just became a suspect. >> this guy used to have your job before you. >> exactly. he's the one that appointed me before i left. >> everybody here knows him, trusts him, likes him. >> yep. >> and he's a friend of the family and he'd know how to make that device. >> exactly. >> stellmacher had a tip offering up a potential suspect,
connie hoagland's ex-son-in-law who stellmacher claimed may have had it in for the family. >> that was absolutely a lead we needed to follow up on immediately. >> because he's the only person you could think of that didn't like connie and larry. >> exactly. or so we were told and led to believe. >> so beals hit the road found for vegas and a meeting with connie's son-in-law. >> he didn't have a negative thing to say about connie in any way, shape or form. >> just as important, the son-in-law had a solid alibi. >> corroborated his story as to where he was and he had received the backup that he was at a store at one time and clearly not in san diego, not in california and his alibi all checked out. >> all of which put the guy who fingered him, stellmacher, under more suspicion. meanwhile, investigators put connie's truck up on a lift for a closer inspection. and in the soot dust on the floor pan, they saw an outline the size of a fed-ex envelope framed in traces of duct tape. the imprint of the
earlier unexploded bomb. hardening their suspicion that whoever built the bombs was targeting connie or her family. >> this appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be directed at one person. whoever the driver of that truck was. in this case, connie. >> back at the hospital, the hoagland family, holding a vigil by connie's bedside, was unaware there was a criminal investigation under way until luke and beals paid them a visit. >> then they asked if she had any enemies, if anyone would want to hurt her, if we could think of anybody. and i couldn't think of anybody. there wasn't anybody. >> i'm guessing that the only thing stranger than hearing that your mom's been the victim of an explosion is hearing that it was not an accident and that it was directed at her specifically. >> i said, what? i couldn't -- i didn't believe it. i didn't understand it. and i just started crying, because i didn't know who could do that, who would want to do that. >> what made a strange case all the more baffling occurred four days after the bombing, when a
large fed-ex box was delivered to this san diego area high school addressed to one of their students. his name? jonathan hoagland. that got san diego's bomb squad scrambling. and it got the town's attention. >> coming up -- connie hoagland, wife, mother and survivor. >> i remember coming out to the truck, put in the key and then, kaboom. and the police told me, "this bomb was meant to kill you." >> but who was trying to kill her? when "dateline" continues.
>> september 2010 may well be remembered as hoagland month, for san diego's busy bomb squad. this picture perfect family suddenly seemed to be the target of a relentless campaign of terror. first there was the cell phone device placed inside a fed-ex pack found just down the street from the hoagland home. then there was the pipe bomb that detonated inside connie hoagland's pickup. and now there was a mysterious fed-ex box addressed to jonathan hoagland but delivered to his high school. >> i guess it had something to
do with the car bomb tha happened last week. it may be from the same person, so we're not sure. >> immediately the school was shut down because now we still wasn't sure who was going to be involved. >> the box was removed and destroyed. inside investigators were hoping to find some evidence that could lead them to the bomber. instead they found party favors that jonathan had forgotten he'd ordered for a high school dance. >> something that he was in charge of getting and he didn't remember it. >> but it shows the state of mind at the time. >> it was pretty rough, school was closed down, bomb squad coming out, everything. >> while this particular event turned out to be a bust in terms of finding any workable evidence, luke and beals believed the bomber had to be somebody who knew the hoaglands. knew where they worked, where they lived, knew their routines and had access to their cars. the only problem was that connie, a devout
christian and mother of three, had no known enemies. but luke and beals had one witness who might be able to shed some light on that part of their investigation. a witness they had yet to question. connie hoagland. >> always i had a sense that she was going to live. i don't know why, but i always knew that she was going to live. i just didn't know how. >> sedated and in icu, after having gone through seven different surgeries to save her right foot and left leg, and yet somehow, still alive. >> i remember coming out to the truck, put in the key and then kaboom, just a huge explosion. it scared me. first i thought maybe the air bag went off. >> smoke, flames? >> smoke started filling up and i looked out the door and i noticed the truck started to move. and my feet and legs hurt really bad. i could tell, oh,
that hurts.but i thought i have to get out of the truck. so i pushed the door open, started to get out. i did not want to see my injuries. it felt so bad, it felt like my feet were blown off. >> what did you think had happened? >> i don't know. i really just laying there, i thought it was a random act. >> and so she says she was stunned when investigators first spoke with her in the hospital. >> and the police told me, this bomb was meant for you. and that was weird. i couldn't even digest that. like you're kidding me. >> and they say to you, "who does not like you enough to try to kill you? " >> they did ask that. i could think of no one. i really don't have any enemies. they said it's somebody who knows the code on your truck. it's somebody who knows where you
work. >> who knows your routine? >> yes. but it's still nothing. >> that's not too many people. >> no, but -- >> that's like what? your husband, your kids and a couple close friends? >> that's true. but who would do that? not them. >> and standard police procedure is to say after that, so how's your marriage? how's everything in your marriage? >> i said everything's fine. >> but in her heart, she knew that wasn't quite true. after 25 years of marriage, larry seemed to have grown tired of her. >> the last few years weren't that good, but i thought we were still committed and just hanging on to the commitment at that time. >> did he act like he didn't care about you any more? >> yes. >> that has to be heartbreaking. >> yeah, it was. >> you ever think about leaving larry? >> it never crossed my mind. in the church, divorce is really frowned upon. if you can work it out, work it out. >> how was larry at the
hospital? >> pretty stand-offish, which was normal for us at that time. >> the truth is there are a lot of bored husbands out there in suburbia, but few ever go on to try to assassinate their wives. and connie certainly didn't believe that was the case here. neither did detectives. when you first meet larry, was he a suspect? >> no, he was not. he was the victim's husband. we didn't really focus on larry that much. >> and so, eric stellmacher, the former bomb squad commander, remained on everyone's radar screen. he was constantly by larry's side at the hospital, and still wanting to pitch in on the investigation. >> i called an investigator friend of mine and said, hey, -- >> coming up -- a new direction, a new suspect, and finally, an arrest. >> you've got this whole package right there, so it's all right in a nutshell. that's what says, hook him. >> when "dateline continues."
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suspect in the mass shooting in buffalo has been rain and charged with murder in the first degree. he is believed to have killed ten people and injured three people in a racially motivated attack. the justice department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime. for cadets at the air force academy might not graduate this month after refusing to take a covid-19 vaccine. vaccinations are mandatory for service members, but 98% of the air force has at least gotten one shot. back to dateline. shot back to dateline >> welcome back to "dateline. " i'm craig melvin. somebody wanted connie hoagland dead. detectives were convinced the would-be killer was a person close to the married mother of three. and they even had
someone in mind, but connie told them she was at a loss. now investigators were about to get a tip that would turn the case and connie's world upside down. here again is josh mankiewicz with "deadly intent. " >> detectives trying to figure out who would want to kill mild mannered connie hoagland were hitting nothing but dead ends until they got a call from the business partner of connie's husband, larry. >> i says, hey, i found bombmaking instructional videos and internet searches on our office computer. and i didn't make the searches. >> it seems larry had been looking for some unusual things on the internet. >> we looked at the stuff that he had looked at, and then it was like, wow, this is the exact same bomb that we found. >> but they found more than just a list of incriminating websites. >> during the search we find love letters between him, larry
hoagland, and a woman by the name of lee ann. >> the highly moral, god-fearing church leader had been cheating on his wife with a woman who lived across the country. lee ann. what did she tell you? >> that she and larry had been in a relationship for several years. >> larry and lee ann, it turned out, were once high school sweethearts. in 2007 lee ann, recently divorced and living in pennsylvania, wondered if it was too late for larry and her to take another crack at love. >> she was able to track him down on the internet and placed a call to him one day while he was at work at his photography shop and, boom, just like a spark rekindled into a fire. >> according to lee ann, larry told her he, too, was getting a divorce. and soon the two were texting like hormonal teens. "you've been my dream girl for as long as i can remember ", larry wrote. "life is like dry brown toast without you." lee ann was equally smitten. "i
lost you once and do not want to lose you again, " she wrote. >> she was preparing for him to come be her husband and be a part of her life for the rest of her life. >> while he carried on with lee ann in pennsylvania, back home in san diego, larry was growing distant from connie but never mentioned getting a divorce or separating. in fact, he still kept up his family routines, even going to church with them every sunday. >> my dad was a church board member. my mom was really involved with bible studies and women's groups. it was a big part of our life. we didn't know anything was wrong. i always thought that everything was fine and great. >> so, larry was leading a double life and lying to both of the women? >> exactly. >> yeah. he had two complete lives and lived them as one. it was really weird. >> connie remembers that time well but for different reasons. larry told her and the kids that he'd gotten a big photo
contract in pittsburgh and for the next three years, larry split his time between california and pennsylvania. >> he said he had a friend out in pennsylvania named bob and he would go out there and do work for him. we had no reason not to trust him and believe him. >> but here's what connie and the kids didn't know. larry was financing his secret life with extra mortgages on their san diego home. >> i thought we were doing fine. i thought it was going to be a good time in our life. >> but then suddenly there was no money. >> suddenly it's like what? bankruptcy? >> you had to declare bankruptcy? >> i didn't want to declare bankruptcy but larry said, " no, we need to do this." so i just went ahead with it. >> you went along? >> yep. yeah. i trusted him. i thought he maybe knew better than i knew. >> and detectives learned,
while larry was deceiving connie and bleeding his own family dry, he was also playing lee ann, telling her the timing wasn't right for them to get married, because he couldn't afford to go through with his divorce. as proof, larry even sent lee ann this secretly recorded meeting with his lawyer. >> spousal support at $900. >> and child support at? >> $1,000. >> 1900 total. why is that so high? >> why is it so high? that's the guideline figure. >> lee ann's response to this video? text after text basically telling larry to put up or shut up. "i have heard it all so many times, " she wrote. "i am tired of it all. if you love me like you say, we still wouldn't be doing this. i am ready to move on." two weeks after that text larry was in pennsylvania trying to patch things up with lee ann when the cell phone bomb was discovered in the hoagland neighborhood. >> i'm telling matt, matt, we got him with a girlfriend in pittsburgh. we've got all this stuff going on. because this is
all that we're finding, love cards in the business. so all this is building in one day. so you've got this whole package right there, right in a nutshell. that's what says hook him. >> larry was arrested that night, but at that point the hoagland family had no idea he was even being investigated. so when jaclyn got a 2:00 a. m. call from her sister jill with news about their dad, she was blindsided. >> my sister said he's been arrested. he's in jail and i couldn't believe it. and i think the first thing out of my mouth was there's no way he did this. there's no way. they have the wrong guy. >> the evidence against larry was circumstantial. no fingerprints, no dna, nothing to physically connect him to either bomb. and that made investigators take another look at eric stellmacher, who was asked to come down to his old fire station for an interview. this was not going to be a
friendly chat with his old work buddies. >> when they asked me if i'd be willing to take a polygraph. i was like, wait a minute. you guys know me, you should know better than that. and i realized the best way to make sure that i'm clear in their eyes is to take a polygraph. right after it was finished, they said, well, you passed. >> stellmacher was nothing more than the right guy in the wrong place. >> everything came up clean. he was just coincidence. >> luke and beals were now convinced larry was the bomber and that he was in it alone, but larry hoagland, the husband, father of three and man of god, had a ready explanation when he sat down with me. he'd been framed. >> i did not try to kill my wife. there is somebody out there who is responsible for this. there's a maniac out there. >> larry hoagland tells his side of the story and even he admits it sounds crazy. is it?
coming up -- >> if i was a guy out there watching "dateline, " i wouldn't believe this. i would be the first person to say, oh, this guy is full of baloney. >> when "dateline" continues. it's a new dawn, it's a new day,... ♪ ...it's time to make a stand. start a new day with trelegy. ♪...and i'm feelin' good. ♪ no once-daily copd medicine... has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed. trelegy may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur.
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george bailey detention facility. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas, george! >> a different george bailey, you may recall, was jimmy stewart's character in "it's a wonderful life. " which actually described larry hoagland's life at one point. good friends, a loving family, the respect of his community. by the time i sat down across from larry, much of that had evaporated. he stood accused of trying to kill his wife with a pipe bomb. and his first words to me were that police had the wrong man. >> i did not try to kill my wife. i'm adamant about this. >> the only thing larry said was true was that he did have an affair. >> i was cheating on my wife. i was cheating on my family.
>> you were in love with somebody else? >> yeah, i was. yes, i was. perfectly framed, yes. >> and you were what, going to ask your wife for a divorce? >> yes. >> and walk out? >> that was pretty much it, yes. i let a lot of people down, i deceived a lot of people. i forsook a lot of people, i did. >> is that the worst sin you committed? >> yes. besides adultery, yeah. >> because what you're in here for -- >> oh, yes. >> pretty much tops all of that. >> i did not try to kill my wife. i did not. i have nothing to do with what happened to connie. there is somebody out there who is responsible for the whole thing and there's a maniac out there. >> the whole thing, meaning trying to kill your wife and framing you for it? >> yes. >> larry, who has motive to do that? you wanted out of your marriage. you had a girlfriend. you were planning to leave your wife and your family. and you didn't want to pay the alimony and you tried to kill her. >> alimony was nothing. you
know, and i tell you all these things because it's the truth. i'm not going to stand behind and start explaining to you details after details. i just have to tell you that it's the truth. and that's all there is to it. >> briefly tell me -- and i always say briefly because i don't know how much time we have. who framed you and why would they do that? larry wasn't able to explain it briefly, so i'll do it for him. his story goes like this. larry claimed there were a number of transients who park their motor homes in the industrial park around his photo studio. and that he, larry, living out his christian faith, let those transients piggyback off his wifi at night, and that one of those transients, a guy named jerry, did the bombmaking internet searches. not larry. you believe that jerry, with his wifi internet access, is responsible for the computer
searches that were found in the investigation? >> i believe so. >> and in truth, when cops arrested larry, they knew there was no physical proof connecting him to those internet searches and so they continued to dig. >> larry had a lot of stuff in his wallet, a lot of pocket trash, business cards, pieces of paper, receipts. i wouldn't want to sit on his wallet, let's put it that way. >> while going through that wallet, beals found this phone number written on a little slip of paper. >> i said, "holy cow, this first number is the bomb phone number." i keep going through the contents of the wallet and here's the second number. >> that's right. larry hoagland had, in his wallet, the numbers of both cell phones used as detonators on the first bomb, the one that didn't explode. that's an unbelievable piece of luck. >> i'd like to call it investigative genius, but, yeah, it was fantastic. really good to find that. >> and that tied larry to the unexploded bomb. >> exactly. >> if you're thinking it would
be hard to explain away that evidence, then you don't know larry hoagland. how did those numbers get into your wallet? >> jerry gave them to me. that man gave them to me. that's why i say he had everything to do with this. >> he gave you those phone numbers and said this is how you reach me? >> yes. >> and then what? gave you another one because he had a second phone? >> yes. he said here's my wife's phone number. i said, okay, fine, so i grabbed the piece of paper and wrote it down. >> all of it to frame you for murder to what possible end? for what conceivable reason? how does that benefit him? >> it's obvious we've got a maniacal person on our hands here. >> tell me what you know about jerry. >> i know very little about jerry. i know what he looks like. >> what does he look like? >> about six feet tall, dark hair, wavy like yours, no salt and pepper. i would guess that he's late 20s, early 30s. always needed a shave. >> larry said there was one transient who could back up his story. and his name is? >> that's joe, indian joe. and he's been out there and he's been there for some time.
>> if we find joe, he'll be able to lead us to jerry? >> i certainly hope so, because joe, to my knowledge, knows everybody in that neighborhood. >> it sounded like a crazy story and larry well knew it. >> if i were a guy out there watching "dateline, " i wouldn't believe this. i would be the first person to say, oh, this guy is full of baloney. it's like watching a tv show. >> it is like watching a tv show. and you're telling us to go search for the one-armed man. >> yes. that's a good analogy, yes. >> and so, we went to try to check out larry's story. was he telling the truth this time? or was it a lie just like the ones he told his family? we combed the area around his old photo studio, an industrial area near the freeway full of warehouses
and alleys in search of an injun joe who might lead us to jerry. we found this old rv and inside? >> joe, indian joe. >> coming up -- larry hoagland's wild story seems to be checking out. >> he left them on all night for us. we could do our e-mails, surf the net, whatever. it was kind of nice. >> nice guy? >> really a nice guy. >> when "dateline continues." facing expensive vitamin c creams with dull results? olay brightens it up with olay vitamin c. gives you two times brighter skin. hydrates better than the $400 cream. where does your almondmilk come from? almond breeze starts here, with our almond trees and our blue diamond orchards in california. my parents job is to look after them, and it's my job to test the product. try new almond breeze extra creamy,
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allegedly trying to kill his life with a pipe bomb, had an alibi that sounded like a movie plot. that he had been framed by a mystery man using larry's wi-fi. larry told us, a man named indian joe could confirm his story. >> hey. how's it going? >> you're joe? >> yes. >> and much to our surprise, indian joe turned out to be real. >> and he left it on all night for us. we could do our e-mails, surf the net, whatever. it was kind of nice. >> nice guy? >> nice guy. really, a nice guy. kind of, a -- kind of, larry milk toast. kind of, really, quiet. >> so far, this part of larry's strange story checked out. but what about the crucial part that larry promised would exonerate him and prove he had been framed? >> larry tells us about a guy named jerry who was like you. somebody who came up, parked nearby, used the wi-fi signal. a guy who was about-6-feet
tall. dark hair like mine but maybe darker than mine. wavy hair. slender build. ringing a bell? >> somebody fitting that description? no. i have known everybody that comes around. and there was nobody -- there was nobody fitting that description. >> do you know anybody named jerry? >> no. no, there was nobody -- there was nobody with that name, during that time period that he was here. >> because that's fairly important to larry, who is now behind bars. >> i know. after i heard the situation come down, i actually, asked the other people. did you get on the internet? did you look up how to build a pipe bomb? did you try any of these things? and everybody said, no, why the heck -- why would i do that, you know? and -- and it was like, this is just -- i'm afraid, it's just fantasy. >> that was not the news larry was expecting to hear. or was it? >> we found joe. >> wonderful.
>> we talked to joe. >> great! >> he's never heard of jerry. >> anybody that resembles my description of jerry? anybody, at all? >> so now, you're not sure of the guy's name? >> i've never been completely sure of his name. i called him jerry. anybody that resembles jerry. i wasn't positive his name was jerry. >> joe says he doesn't know anyone like that. can't help us. and he wasn't unhelpful. he was, actually, quite willing to talk with us. he says he doesn't know anything about it. >> yes, that's very disheartening. >> is there really a jerry? >> yes, there is. yes, there is, there is a man out there who is responsible for this. and i'm not him. >> i got to ask you, i mean, did you think about just getting divorced? >> yes. >> i mean, if you had just gotten divorced, none of this
would've happened. you wouldn't be in there. i wouldn't be here, talking to you. you would be in pennsylvania with your girlfriend and your wife would be angry at you. >> which -- which would not be -- been -- would not have been the right thing to do, to leave my family, in hindsight, yes. >> but it beats murder. >> our interview finally ended and as he was being led away, larry conceded to his guard that we weren't buying his story. >> they think i am a lying scumbag. >> while larry admitted to being a liar, he never admitted to the bombing attempts. and even connie didn't believe her husband of 25 years would try to kill her. not until larry called her, shortly after he was arrested. while connie was still in the hospital. >> he said, i want you to know i have been having an affair, before it gets out. and then, he said, and since -- since the accident, i've been dedicated to you. and then, he said i didn't do it. and when he said he was dedicated to me. it's, like, a light bulb went off, like, he's lying. you know, and i knew, you know what? he did it.
>> just from that? just from that one phrase that he was dedicated to you? >> right. weird. because i knew he wasn't. it's like my mind was open, at that time. like, whoa. it's you. >> 19-months later, connie painfully pulled herself into court. and testified against the man, who had once promised to love, honor, and cherish her. as long as they, both, shall live. >> my ears were ringing. it was so loud. >> larry's defense? the same story he shared with us. he had been framed by the mysterious jerry. >> would you hand the verdict forms to the bailiff, please? >> to no one's surprise, the jury didn't buy it. >> we, the jury, in the above-entitled cause find the defendant, lawrence gerald hoagland guilty of the crime of attempted murder.
>> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. >> a month later, at his sentencing, connie and the kids read victim-impact statements. it was the first time any of them had spoken to their dad, since his arrest. >> larry is no longer my father. and i am no longer his daughter. i haven't spoken to larry, in almost-two years. and after today, i will never see or speak to him, again. >> larry, you disgust me. he does not deserve or have the right to -- to refer to us as his family, anymore. when larry dies in prison, no one will shed a tear. >> i exercise my divine right to wash my hands of you. your soul is of no concern or consequence to me. and now, you. you will live your hell. >> words that some dads might consider a punishment, harsher than a life in prison. which is, in fact, the sentence larry
received. life, plus 13 years. do you guys feel like you are better off now? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, yeah. a lot better. >> i know, it's weird to think that, after all of this and -- but we are. we're closer. and we know each other, better. and we've seen each other at our lowest but we are closer, and we're all stronger, as a family. >> two and a half years after the bombing, connie was up and walking, unassisted. on this night, heading to the podium to receive the citizens of courage award from the san diego county d. a.'s office. >> hey, i can walk. yes! >> for having the guts to face her husband. her attempted killer. in court. >> when you went into court and stared him down, what was larry thinking? you tell me. >> i think he just, still, thought that i didn't think he did it. >> i sort of get the feeling
that, maybe, larry thought that you were the kind of person who wouldn't have the strength to testify against him. >> i think you're right. i think he just didn't know me, as well as he thought he did. >> boy, was he wrong? >> he was. he didn't know me, at all. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline. " >> out of the blue one day, you have a collect call from an inmate at sing sing correctional facility. like okay. >> do you think the system works? and we're going to beat this. we didn't. >> he's become my brother. i want to see him out. >> life was cheap that night in new york. two brutal murders just a half mile apart. >> here for a homicide
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