It's never happened in 48 HOURS MYSTERY history -- and maybe not ever -- but a serial killer's presumed victim shows up at the killer's trial .
In the early morning hours of March 21, 2003, Ramona "Mona" Krotine left an office party just outside Cleveland, Ohio and was never seen alive again. Nearly 24 hours later, she was found in the trunk of her car, beaten and shot to death. At first, police suspected a botched robbery because Mona was carrying the cash receipts from working at a concession earlier that day. But then, Mona's husband, Jeffrey, started behaving suspiciously, according to police, and the focus of the investigation shifted from a carjacking and robbery to a domestic murder.
For nearly 17 years, sisters Kim and Beth Jones of Snohomish, Wash., have been trying to prove that their father, Jerry Jones, Jr., is innocent of charges that he stabbed their mother, Lee, to death. 48 HOURS has followed this story since 1999 when Jones was released from prison after an appeals court overturned his murder conviction. But that release was only the beginning of an extraordinary legal drama that would include two more trials. At his third trial, for which Jones will represent himself, will the jury find him guilty, or will they set him free?
A successful real estate agent, David Nixon of Grapevine, Texas, lived what friends say was a life on the edge. According to his live-in girlfriend, Tracy Frame, he spent money extravagantly, gambled, hired prostitutes and owed the IRS and others large sums of money. In April 2002, his brutally murdered body was discovered in a storm drain in a nearby town. He had been shot in the heart and his remains burned beyond recognition. So, who wanted Nixon dead?
Jim and Vickie Barton seemed to be living out their dreams just outside Springboro, Ohio. The couple owned and lived on a horse farm. Jim was a lieutenant with the Springboro police department, with aspirations of becoming police chief, and Vickie was a head nurse at the local hospital. In April 1995, however, Jim came home from work and found Vickie had been shot to death. Vickie was well-liked by everyone, so who wanted her dead? For three years there were virtually no leads in the case and no arrests, but then in 1998 came a stunning confession from an unlikely source.
When a prominent doctor's wife is murdered, is it a crime of passion or a murder for hire? Correspondent is Erin Moriarty.
It's a real-life Halloween shocker in idyllic Napa, Calif. when two young women are brutally murdered in 2004. Just hours after the last trick-or-treater left their home, former beauty queen Leslie Mazzara and her roommate, Adriane Insogna, were found stabbed to death in their upstairs bedrooms. A third roommate, sleeping downstairs, was not harmed and was the only witness. Who wanted these young women dead? After almost a year of heavy investigating, one clue turns this case inside out and leads to an unlikely suspect who was overlooked by investigators.
Jane Mixer had it all. One of a handful of female students at the University of Michigan Law School in 1969, she was also in love. She had just agreed to get married and had arranged a ride home to tell her parents the happy news. But she never made it home. Her body was found in a small, rural cemetery just miles from her dorm. Mixer had been shot twice in the head and strangled. Thirty-six years later, the police believe they have finally solved the case. But do they have the right man?
Correspondent Maureen Maher journeys to the Holy Land to investigate one of the most powerful and controversial stories ever -- the birth of Jesus. 48 HOURS searches for archaeological proof of the Biblical accounts, decodes the messages hidden in the scriptures and examines starkly different versions of Christmas, including some that never made it into the New Testament. The questions about what really happened, Maher explains, are explored with curiosity and respect.
On the night of May 1, 2003, a teenage girl's body is found in a trash bag left behind a restaurant in peaceful Castro Valley, Calif. The gruesome discovery became one detective's obsession and touched the entire community, which came to call the young girl "Castro Valley's Jane Doe." When no one claimed Jane, the chances of tracking down her killer were very slim. But can modern-day forensic reconstruction help solve this mystery and bring a killer to justice?
When Shannon Melendi, an ambitious 19-year-old sophomore at Emory University in Atlanta, disappeared in March 1994, authorities believed she had run away. Police even thought it might be a college prank. Nearly two weeks later, a mysterious phone call changed the course of the investigation.
Once the golden child of his Ft. Myers, Fla. high school, David Bieber -- with his good looks, athletic abilities and nice car -- developed a love for bodybuilding and, with it, an appetite for steroids. A combination of steroids and a love triangle involving Bieber would lead to murder and ultimately turn Bieber into a wanted man on two continents.
Ashley Howes loves kids and she was excited about her first real babysitting job. But what happened that led the 13-year-old to be charged with second-degree murder for the death of 19-month-old Freya Garden?
Kent Heitholt, the popular sports editor of The Daily Tribune in Columbia, Mo., was found bludgeoned and strangled near his car on Halloween night 2001. Two years later, police received the tip they longed for in the notorious unsolved case: 19-year-old Charles "Chuck" Erickson was overheard admitting that he and his friend committed the crime. A close friend says Erickson told him he had a dream about the crime and his involvement. Did they really do it, or did Erickson just have a bad dream?
In 1994, 25-year-old Toni Dykstra of Los Angeles thought she had met Prince Charming in Carlo Ventre, a successful 46-year-old Italian who treated Toni and her young daughters as though they were his family. But, after Toni gave birth to their child, Santina, the relationship soured. Despite a court custody order, Carlo fled to Italy with Santina in January 1998. Even though Carlo had threatened her life, Toni went to Italy to get her baby. An Italian court ordered the baby returned to the U.S., but the day before she was to return home, Toni ended up dead in Carlo's apartment. Carlo claims he acted in self-defense when Toni attacked him, but did he kill her to keep his daughter?
By all appearances, Bob and Doris Angleton led a charmed life with their beautiful 12-year-old twin daughters in one of Houston's most affluent neighborhoods. Bob was a multi-millionaire and Doris a beloved, doting mother. But on an April evening in 1997, Bob and his daughters came home from a softball game and discovered Doris dead on the kitchen floor: shot 12 times in the head and chest. Police would soon learn that this was a family full of secrets -- illegal gambling, love affairs, incriminating tapes and a violent feud between brothers.
Gerold Dompig, deputy chief of police in Aruba and the man leading the investigation into the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, says he feels strongly that Holloway was not murdered, but probably died from complications involving alcohol and, possibly, drugs as well. D
Ever since honeymooner George Smith vanished under mysterious circumstances from the cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas, suspicion has been focused on four young men seen with Smith in the hours before he disappeared. Now, the father of one of those men -- Dr. Jerry Askin, father of Josh Askin, a college student from California -- is breaking his silence on the case in an exclusive interview with 48 HOURS MYSTERY. Dr. Askin was an eyewitness as his son and the others were interrogated by Turkish authorities. He shares details of his family's strange and frightening ordeal in an interview on 48 HOURS MYSTERY.
When Louisiana Tech University professor Stephanie Pepper Sims vanished in early January 2003, what did her husband David and her lover, Wayne Guidry, Jr., know about her disappearance?
A young dancer dreams of fame on Broadway. She becomes front page news when she's murdered. Correspondent is Erin Moriarty.
Randy Hardison was on the road to country music stardom, writing hit songs for big names such as Lee Ann Womack, Garth Brooks and Darryl Worley. But, as Hardison's star was rising, he was found lying in a pool of blood outside his Nashville apartment on June 1, 2002. Hardison had been assaulted and his skull had been fractured; three days later, he died. Who wanted to hurt or even kill Hardison?
Twenty-five-year-old Army Specialist Richard Davis survived the war in Iraq, only to vanish the day after he returned to the U.S. The Army listed Davis as absent without leave -- or AWOL -- but his father refused to believe it.
Carl "Charlie" Brandt was a mild-mannered man who lived what seemed to be a normal life in Big Pine Key, Fla. He was devoted to his wife of 17 years, Teri, and close to her family. So, when Hurricane Ivan threatened the Florida Keys in September 2004, the Brandts headed to the Orlando home of Teri's niece, Michelle Jones, a successful television executive at the Golf Channel. But, a few days after the Brandt's arrival, police made a horrific discovery at Michelle's home: Teri, stabbed repeatedly, was dead; Michelle was also dead and brutally dismembered; and Charlie had hanged himself in the garage.