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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  June 14, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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♪ i went inside the house. i put on the gloves. i wiped down the hammer. if you do this, there's no turning back. >> a twisted tale of murder, triggered by a twisted love affair. >> i was telling myself you're doing this because you love her. >> it was frightening just how far he'd go for love. >> he looked at her with such lust. >> the lust led to lies. and the lies led right to a dead body. >> she was saying i'm so sorry, i'm just so sorry.
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and i'm thinking why are you sorry? >> and while the cops tracked down the killer -- >> this is the rug that he was on at the time he was murdered. >> she tracked down her lover. but love was the last thing on her mind. >> why the hell didn't you just run? >> i kept feeling the love. >> the love? she just tried to shoot you to death.3 f2 asesinar teme acabas de the .44 magnum slugs that ripped through his body. blew holes in the wall behind him. >> and i'm on the ground, and i'm crying, why are you killing me? >> and she answered with a bullet to the chest. so of course it's a love story, in its own weird perverted way. a story about a kid and a dame. about people who act like
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they're living in movies. like "double indemnity." or "body heat." or "sin city." but the star would be the simple trusting guy who gets played for a chump. if you can imagine a chump's worst nightmare. >> i had an uncle by marriage. and he was sexually molesting me. >> but then, life had never been a box of chocolates for jaime ramos. >> i was about 6, 7 when it started. and tended about somewhere between 15 and 17. i -- >> ten years. >> yes. >> reporter: he barely knew his imprisoned father. not even a memory of mother. >> i lost my mother at 2 years old. she committed suicide. >> reporter: is that why young jaime turned out the way he did? >> i think in reality is what has always caused me to seek for a mother figure in my life.
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>> how do you feel when you're with older women? >> i just feel like -- secure. >> reporter: needy was our jaime. and then he was in ninth grade, hormones in overdrive, and a woman who offered herself as a substitute mother of sorts. was one of his teachers. >> we became friends. and then it started to become an intimate relationship. and i was with her till i was about 17. >> outrageous? of course. illegal. immoral. just plain wrong. and like all the forbidden loves in the movies, it was destined to end badly. the teacher finally sent him a message, jaime tells us, several the relationship. and when the heartsick boy ran to her house to plead with her not to leave him, she locked him out.
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>> i ended up smashing the sliding door open with a chair outside that she had, a patio chair. >> police were called, of course, and jaime arrested. >> and the last words i ever heard from her were "don't dare you say you know me, you psycho." >> that's when he was overcome by the strangest feeling. it would happen a lot. like he was living in a movie. in this case the film noir thriller "body heat." in which a lover is wildly obsessed by his woman. jaime wasn't thinking about the part where the lover is set up to take the fall for a husband's murder. but then, why would he? that would be like remembering something that hadn't happened. not yet anyway. for now jaime's life out in california's mojave desert was quite a mess. a stretch in jufy, no job waiting on the outside.
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and it was ironically in the spirit of kindness that some we well-meaning soul directed jaime up here. up here to the sierra nevada mountains, where jaime joined the california conservation corps, a work camp where a kid can grow and learn in the great outdoors. naturally such places require supervisors to watch over the young people, look out for them. one of jaime's minders was a married middle-aged mother by the name of patty presba. >> i saw all the other young men and women there calling her mother. or mom. >> reporter: and so of course jaime did too. >> how did she respond? >> with pure kindness and understanding. >> reporter: jaime felt he had finally found someone he could confide in about his years of abu abuse. >> i gave her my whole life
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story, from beginning to end. i'd given her things that my family doesn't even know about. she made me feel like a man again. >> you never felt like a man before? >> never felt like a real man before until i talked to her. >> mind you, patty was every bit of 47. years that had lumped themselves unkindly around her face and frame. and jaime was a babyfaced 21, younger than any of patty's four children. but who can understand the mysteries of love? within weeks romance bloomed. their flirtatious encounters were even occasionally caught on store surveillance tapes, all playing out in a country place where everybody knows everybody pretty much. they call it the divide, this isolated mountain top, faded gold rush town with a population smaller than most high schools. hard to keep a secret up here. so they were careful, mostly. she'd sneak in late at night when the others were asleep. >> didn't it seem odd to you to be with an older woman? >> it never felt odd.
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it always felt right for me. just to have that comfort. >> twisted? well, perhaps, yes, to you or me. but jaime was a lover one day, a son the next, and all along showered with gifts and attention. she even took him shooting with her brand new revolver, a .44 magnum. >> i was shooting bullets for like half an hour straight. just having the time of my life. >> what did that feel like? >> powerful. and i felt like a kid. you know, like -- that's the thing about those experiences. i always ended up feeling like a kid again. >> and how did that make you feel about her? >> it made me feel indebted. >> indebted indeed.
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jaime would learn soon enough that patty expected repayment. she had his heart. next on patty's list, jaime's soul, and her husband. >> she was like you want me to leave him, right? yes. well, what if he accidental ly dies? you get sharper, clearer vision, and unlike ordinary lenses, nikon eyes lenses resist scratches and reduce glare. plus, walmart offers a twelve-month replacement guarantee. break or damage them, and we repair or replace them at no charge. and we now have nikon eyes sun lenses, so you can enjoy nikon eyes sharpness and clarity outside. ask about our second pair savings. nikon eyes lenses available at walmart. hey. you said in a focus group that eliminates odors andave doesn't just mask them." could you give us access to maybe the smelliest room in your house? yeah. the trash is bad... oh yeah. ...and we just took it out. it smells really nice.
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life had been an awful struggle for jaime ramos, out here on the sun-blistered sandy streets of his boyhood. no mother, no father. sexually abused by an uncle. so if once a childhood teacher awakened his desire, well, perhaps it wasn't so hard to understand. but his love now for patty?
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a woman twice his age. her youngest son was older happen jaime. and he was more impassioned than ever. he'd do anything for this woman. anything. oh, and he would. you liked to please her. >> yes. >> did i ever try not pleasing her, disadwreeg wigreeing with ? >> yes. and she would get angry with me. and it hurt me. i went back to feeling insignificant. i went back to feeling alone. >> and not a man. >> and not a man. it always brings me back to the void of losing my mother. it's unbearable. your bones want to come out of your skin from anxiety. i start thinking these suicidal thoughts. >> and once, when patty was making up with jaime after putting him through one of those awful black and needy days, she revealed a terrible secret.
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her husband, ron presba, she said, had been beating her. >> i just kept telling her, well, get a divorce. leave. find an apartment. do something. live with your kids. but it was never that simple. there was always some complication for her. >> like what, for example? >> even her children didn't believe her. i felt bad. but she's one of the most honest people i've ever met, and yet she's telling me how her kids don't even believe her. it made me feel even more in love with her. like wow, i guess it really is only you and me against them. >> yeah. the two of you against the world. >> yes. >> reporter: and then one secret weekend they managed to get away. patty said she'd told her husband she was attending a conference in san francisco. but really she was attending to jaime. and she had a special surprise in mind. to be unveiled along this pier near fisherman's wharf.
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it was valentine's day. >> she bought two matching engagement rings. and she gave her private ceremony of a wedding with me. and i felt that i was her husband. during this wedding she said that she'd promised me that the only way we'd break up ever would be death. death do us part, literally. >> and a few weeks later patty arranged another trip, another weekend tryst. this time it was las vegas. and she told him it was to be their honeymoon. >> she took me to the place that i always wanted to go to, and that was the star trek experience. it was the greatest time of my life. until this day i honestly believe that i was on the enterprise. i got to talk to commander riker and data and geordi la forge.
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i mean, it was great. >> to jaime patty was a rainmaker, a magical person who could transform him from boy to man to husband. and his love, his obsession, was real. it was spiritual. those secret wedding vows they exchanged on this san francisco pier? were as binding to jaime as if they'd been made in a holy cathedral before god. a promise he made terrifyingly real a few weeks later. it was during one of their weekend getaways. they were on the freeway, jaime driving. when his cell phone rang. it was an ex-girlfriend. and patty, listening to jaime's slightly embarrassed attempts to politely get the girl off the phone, became suddenly violently angry. >> she throws this water bottle at my head, and that gets me flustered. like what did you do that for? just pull the car over. turn it around. we're over. we're through. i started yelling at her telling her, so you're telling me that we're through? she said yes.
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and i said, well, then that means we need to die if that's what you're saying. i pushed the car to like 95 and i purposely ran myself under a semi truck. somehow we spun out from the tires instead of getting sucked in and landed in the median, rolling. and not a scratch on us. and i told her, "i told you till death do us apart." >> so what else would jaime do for patty's love? after the accident she offered her forgiving embraces. she brought jaime out of his misery. and then she began sobbing and trembling and told him she had a terrible secret, more terrible than any secret she had told him before. her husband, she said, had become even more violent and now he had crossed a dreadful threshold.
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now he had raped her. >> i felt like this man did it to me. and i promised myself that this will never happen to me again. and since it happened to me again, i'm going to hurt this man. >> reporter: and that's the moment when a strange, dark, and curious little idea wormed its way into jaime's all-consuming story of love. it was patty's idea, of course. she was a movie buff, too. and she fed jaime a line right out of "body heat." >> i wish he'd die. that's really what i want. it's horrible, and it's ugly. and it's what i most want. >> she's like, well, you want me to leave him, right? yes. and you don't want him to hurt me no more, right? yes. well, then what if he accidentally dies? >> reporter: if only jaime had
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known patty's real plans and the real patty. >> i had not liked her since day one. she just rubbed me the wrong way. she was very fake. unlimited. as in, no limi on your hard-earned cash back. as in no more dealing with those rotating categories. the quicksilver card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase, every day. don't settle for anything less. i'll keep asking. what's in your wallet? actually it can. neutrogena® ultra sheer. its superior uva uvb protection helps prevent early skin aging and skin cancer, all with the cleanest feel. it's the best for your skin. neutrogena® ultra sheer. ♪
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♪ life in the mountains can be dangerous. accidents do happen here. so now when patty came to spirit jaime away from his dormitory
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she filled his head with ideas about all the dreadful things that could well happen to that abusive husband of hers. >> she starts coming up with these ideas of, you know, him going off a cliff. >> reporter: but to him, says jaime, all that talk was just that. talk. no more real than some plotline from one of the movies he liked to watch. what was patty planning? jaime began to understand. when his lover brought some paperwork to their next secret tryst. >> it came one day to where she presented me an envelope with this life insurance policy. and that's when i realized that everything we were talking about was really for real. >> reporter: the life insurance policy would pay the beneficiary twice as much if the insured person died an accidental death. that kind of policy is known in the business as double
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indemnity. "double indemnity" is also the name of a '40s film classic about a woman who seduces a man and sets him up to kill her husband. >> he keeps me shut up. he's always been mean to me. >> sometimes you wish he was dead. >> i do. >> and you wish it was an accident. and you had that policy for $50,000. is that it? >> perhaps that too. >> reporter: but that was long before jaime's time. and for all the movies he watched, this was a plotline he knew nothing about. even if in this new and real-life version the starring role would be his. >> if it makes her happy, then that's what i'll do. >> because unhappy? >> because unhappy is not -- >> not an option. >> not an option. and whatever happened to me didn't matter along as she was happy.
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>> jaime had, he told her, only one condition. >> i told her, if you want me to kill a man, i need to see what he's like. >> so patty concocted one of her stories. she told ron that jaime had just quit his job with the conservation corps and needed a place to stay for a few weeks before moving on to texas. and now jaime finally had a chance to face patty's monster. >> right away he wasn't the man i expected. he was very enjoyable. he taught me things about using hand tools. he was funny. he had a lot of jokes. he told me about his life and his kids. he was not at all the man that she portrayed him to be. >> no. not at all. in fact, we'll leave the lovebirds briefly and spend a couple minutes with their intended victim. ron presba was a bear of a man, born and raised right here on the divide. never lived anywhere else. he'd had all kinds of jobs.
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ranch hand, backhoe operator. you name it. but mostly he was a father and a son, and people around here liked him. >> ron loved his simple life up here on the divide. he was a real mountain man, an original. raised his two daughters on his modest acreage up there among the pine trees. tried marriage three times. but the one constant in his life year after year was the short stroll across the street to his mother's house, where the two of them would sit together every afternoon and have tea. ron's mother, lois, says his son was devoted to his two adoring daughters, april and misti, and they to him. >> oh, my gosh. he was like a father and a mother. they didn't have a mother. so i mean he, you know, cooked and took care of their laundry and cleaned the house. >> he'd do our air and -- >> french braid our hair. >> yeah, french braid our hair.
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>> grizzly adams who french braids your hair? >> yeah. >> whoa. >> and he knew he was like a mother-father. and he really knew huh to take care of us. and he did a really good job and taught us a lot. >> and even though by the time ron took up with patty his two daughters were moving off into lives of their own, they were confused about his infatuation and then quite deeply hurt when their father, not a word to them, eloped. >> i have not liked her since day one. she just rubbed me the wrong way. she was very fake, very -- >> fake? >> i just had those vibes of false from her. she just -- nothing that she said seemed to be true. >> ron's mother got the same impression as well. >> there was just something that just wasn't real about her. i just really couldn't put my finger on it. but ron seemed to be totally in love with her. and you know, so when you go along with his wishes. >> sound familiar? ron would do anything to make patty happy.
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>> he was trying to please her. he was always trying to please her. >> and when she lied to him, told him she'd been sexually assaulted by her own father, ron believed, it took it to herart. even if his daughters didn't believe her for a minute. >> she had told my dad that she was molested by her dad. and my dad, raising two daughters of his own, i think that he felt sorry for her and was like, i need to help her. >> but was it pity patty was after? or was it the kind of control ron seemed unaware of? the daughters had caught patty in an affair once before. and now? they had radar for these things. it seemed pretty obvious to them patty was straying again. >> and we knew because she started wearing makeup and she lost almost 60 pounds and she was dressing all cutesy and -- >> short shorts and tighter pants and -- >> laying out in the sun.
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you know, i think that -- my dad was an intelligent man. so i think that he did know. but i think that he, again, was just finding the good. >> mm-hmm. >> and you know, he always wanted to please. and so this -- maybe if i do more then she'll recognize that. >> desperately trying to win over a woman who had only murder on her mind. now she had a man willing to do the dirty work. >> i was going to use a falling ax. >> would he go through with it? . but do you know what else it keeps at their peak? the just crafted, just baked meals you'll find in your freezer aisle. take a fresh look at frozen. it's how delicious stays delicious. frozen. how fresh stays fresh. hungry for more? go to
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it was a modest little place up here in the mountains. the house of run-down ticky tack. always needed something. but it was the home they'd grown up in and loved.
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and misti and april, mothers themselves now, popped round all the time to see their dad, talked to him most every day. so they couldn't understand why their father didn't tell them a young man had moved into the house. misti found out quite by accident during one of her visits. >> and that was really odd. i'm like, what's this kid doing here, dad? who is this? and he introduced me to him, and i asked him a ton of questions because here's this person on my dad's property and i don't know him. and he says, oh, i'm just here for a few weeks before i go to texas. so then i start asking more questions and we go in the house and he goes straight into one of the bedrooms and i look at my dad and i'm like, this kid has been living here for two weeks and you haven't said anything to me? >> reporter: the sisters knew right away something wasn't right. how could their father be so naive about patty? >> i thought she was having an affair with jaime. >> imagine, when you thought about her having an affair with him. i mean, what was -- >> it's disgusting.
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he was younger than her youngest child. >> yeah, gross. >> there's something seriously wrong with that. >> reporter: but their father? when it came to patty, he only saw goodness. >> i think dad's just bottom line is he truly wholeheartedly loved her and believed in her. he would indicate her to her every need. he would make up in the morning and -- >> make her breakfast and coffee. >> make her breakfast and cof e coffee. and dad always just went out of his way for her, always. >> reporter: jaime, remember, had come here to witness the behavior of an abusing brute. but he too saw only devotion. >> he did anything to please her. >> in fact, jaime, doesn't it sound a little bit as if he had a relationship with her which was in some ways like yours? in other words, he was always trying to please her. >> yes. >> was he ever mean to her? >> not once did i hear him raise his voice. >> not at all? >> not at all. >> this is the ogre who's been raping and beating her? >> yes. >> it didn't make any sense. >> it didn't make any sense. >> reporter: so jaime dropped
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the whole idea of murder. couldn't possibly kill this lovely man. right? well, no. because patty had made her decision about what was going to happen here in ron presba's farm yard. there's always been an air of tragedy about the place. the first settler put in this old stone foundation more than 100 years ago as part of a house he intended to build for his bride. abandoned the project when she died. ron had been using it ratherly ideally as a pig pen. but now patty told jaime this old stone foundation was to be the location of her husband's murder. the plan? jaime was to lure ron to the pig pen, hit him from behind, load his body into his old suburban, and roll it off the side of this mountain road, known by the locals as chili bar. of all the miles of windy road around ron's little farm, this was the perfect spot to stage an accident. you see that s-curve where the
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truck is coming around the hill over there? there's no protective barrier. a car can go right down into the valley, hundreds of feet below. and just over here, behind that berm, is the only place along this road which is perfect for hiding a getaway car. on june 24th, 2008 patty went shopping for shoes with coveralls, in case the killing got messy. that afternoon patty took jaime to a use the auto lot and bought him i getaway car, a 2003 green hyundai. afterwards patty went to dinner with family while jaime returned to ron's place. >> her alibi was being with her daughter and granddaughter all day. >> how did you communicate with each other over that day? >> by phone. we had prepaid phones for them not to be traceable. >> you thought about that in advance? >> yes. >> who went and bought them? >> she did. >> reporter: jaime and ron were now alone at the house. the murder was supposed to take place just before nightfall, out
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by the pigpen. but as the hours ticked down, jaime wavered. >> if there's any definition of doubt, that's what i was feeling. >> reporter: in the movie that was jaime's life ron presba was a monster. but this man in front of him now just wasn't. but patty could never have lied. jaime was sure. she never lied. it was all so confusing. >> what she tells me, i'm supposed to believe. i'm supposed to say that it's real. but what i experience i know is real. and i saw it firsthand. and they do not meet up in any way or form. >> and you're about to kill him. >> and item about to kill him. >> based just on what you've been telling me here, it sounds as if this man was one of the very few good men you'd ever experienced living with in your life. would that be fair and accurate? >> that would be fair and accurate. if none of this came about and i
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lived there, i can definitely embrace him as a father figure. teaching me trades, giving me advice, and just being kind. >> could he accept the truth his own eyes saw? or was it only patty's version he could allow himself to believe? >> i thought of the rape. i thought of my rape. >> to get yourself angry? >> to get myself angry. to justify myself. to blind what i felt was the truth. >> reporter: so as the summer sun set and the two watched television, jaime told ron, who was hard of hearing, that the pigs were making noise and maybe they should investigate. it was out by the pigpen, you'll recall, where ron was to be murdered. >> because that way it would be easier to hide and clean up, if
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you want to say. i was going to use a falling ax. and i had it here by my waist, ready to swing. but the adrenaline that i felt that should have surged through went in and out in a split second. and i went and i set it beside a tree on the way. >> you couldn't do it? >> i couldn't do it. >> reporter: a few minutes later jaime slipped away, phoned patty, begged her to accept what he knew knew in his heart, that she was mistaken about her husband. >> i said patty, i don't believe this. i don't believe this, i told her. this is wrong. this is wrong. >> she said what? >> you're telling me you don't love me right now. if you're going to do it do it. and if not, just leave. >> reporter: oh, patty was not finished with jaime. and not with her husband,
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either. and once these two got involved, well, what they had to do was just plain weird. >> very. have saved with progressive, so i get invited to quite a few family gatherings. heck, i saved judith here a fortune with discounts like safe driver, multi-car, paperless. you make a mighty fine missus, m'lady. i'm not saying mark's thrifty. let's just say, i saved him $519, and it certainly didn't go toward that ring. am i right? [ laughs ] [ dance music playing ] so visit today. i call this one "the robox." at a moment like this, i'm glad i use new tampax pearl active!
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♪ it was the morning after the night at ron presba's pigpen, the morning after jaime lost his nerve and put aside the ax with which he was going to kill patty's husband. it was about 8:00 a.m. ron's daughter april was heading to her sister misti's house. she was winding along chili bar road when she came across a brush fire. there was a roadblock, a line of cars. >> patty and her friend was parked and sitting out of their cars leaned up against the hood of the car. so i pulled in there and turned around, and patty approached me. she said, honey, april, dad didn't come home last night. and i said back to her a couple of times, yes, he did.
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i talked to him on the phone that night. >> reporter: as april was talking with patty up on the road, down at the base of the gorge firefighters were making their way to the cause of the blaze, a still-smoldering chevy suburban, registered to ron presba. the vehicle was still hot. they couldn't get too close. but it appeared the charred remains of a body were inside. then as they followed the vehicle's trail back up to the road they found something quite odd. fresh stains. a series of dots leading right off the edge of the cliff. word spread pretty fast then. ron's brother ken and ken's wife kris got the news from friends on the fire department. >> what we had heard was that he had come around a corner and hit a deer and that he'd gone over the bank. >> reporter: standing on the highway, ron's daughters saw the commotion, the fire down below, but understanding came slow, like a wound that takes a minute to start hurting.
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>> dad does not like to drive chili bar and dad does not drive at night. >> and i didn't really believe it. and then you kind of step out of the role of being a daughter and into a role of we've got to find out what's wrong. and what happened. >> reporter: pretty soon april and misti and misti's husband were all up here on chili bar, watching the policemen and firemen down on the gorge. and then misti caught sight of those splotches on the surface of the road itself. >> and it actually even came to this area, but there was some very large amounts up on the road. and then it would go smaller amounts up higher above it and around the corner. >> reporter: that's about the time the accident investigator thought maybe a couple of homicide detectives should check things out, just to be on the safe side. >> we received the call that something wasn't right with this accidental. >> reporter: detectives paul hadjes and mike lensing of the el dorado county sheriff's office were on call that morning. >> there was a pool of blood,
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pretty good size, and then droplets. and the drops kind of followed the path of the vehicle over the edge of the roadway. >> but why would there be a pool of blood? if the car was traveling on the highway, would it leave a pool of blood like that? >> something sat there long enough and dripped long enough to create that pool. in addition to that, right next to the pooling of the blood, the staining, there was also an impression. it looked like a plastic bag type of impression on the roadway next to it. >> hang on a second. a plastic bag kind of impression? what does that mean? >> say you take a small grocery bag, the plastic grocery bags, dip it in blood, and then touch that to the ground. you can see the crinkle marks of the plastic within the impressions of the dried blood. >> weird. >> very. >> reporter: and as the detectives made their way into
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the gorge, they foundi hanging from a m. nzanita bush this singed plastic bag. >> of course we went down there, the embankment a little bit, and got a closer look. and my partner opened up the bag. >> reporter: a clue? well, yes, it certainly was. but what was in that bag? what could it possibly mean? >> that was the last thing i expected to find in there. >> reporter: that was only one of many surprises that day. >> she said i'm sorry. i'm just so sorry. i'm thinking, why are you sorry? i'm l-i-s-a and i have copd, but i don't want my breathing problems to get in the way of hosting my book club. that's why i asked my doctor about b-r-e-o. once-daily breo ellipta helps increase airflow from the lungs for a full 24 hours. and breo helps reduce symptom flare-ups that last several days
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not to the fire department. and not to the two homicide detectives who followed the suspicious-looking trail of blood down the highway to the place the suburban went off the edge. that's where they found a stomach-turning clue inside a plastic bag. >> i found a partial human brain, or a partial brain. and that was the last thing i expected to find in there. >> reporter: down in the gorge the suburban was a smoldering metal carcass. >> there was a occupant in the vehicle, but it was burned, you know, so far beyond recognition you couldn't tell if it was a male or female. >> reporter: yet there was little doubt who the victim was. >> we kind of had an idea of where to begin our investigation at that point. >> reporter: by now ron's
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family, in shock and grieving, gathered at his mother's house, and just across the road, keeping vigil outside of ron's house, were patty and her children. april and misti walked across the road to the house they grew up in. >> and we went to the garden because that was our sacred place for dad. and she had no emotion. it was like false emotions. like she was trying to force it out. and she just, "i'm going to miss him so much. he's my whole life." and she's shaking the fence, and she's just got these -- >> she's just right around here. >> in the garden. >> just down here. >> and she -- she kept saying i'm so sorry, i'm just so sorry. and she went over and shaking the trees and going into these hysterics but not one tear is coming out of her eyes. >> no genuine emotion. >> no. >> none. >> reporter: almost as strange was the behavior of patty's children. >> they were out laughing and having fun and drinking and blaring their music.
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>> like nothing was going on. >> because she had they will believe dad had hit a deer. he. >> reporter: in the midst of this bizarre gathering detectives lensing and hadjes pulled up to question patty, the one who had reported ron missing. >> we arrived there she was surrounded by her family and she looked to be distraught. >> reporter: so they took her into the house where they could talk to her privately. and that's when they saw it. >> i was standing in the living room speaking to her and i look over to my left and in between the couch and the wood stove is a spray of blood. >> reporter: something must have happened inside this house. the detectives invited patty down to the station for an interview they could get on tape. >> you know, i loved him very, very much, and he loved me very, very much. >> reporter: that's when they found out patty had an alibi. she'd been out with her daughter and granddaughter all evening. was still out, she said, when ron called her cell phone around 9:00 p.m. >> he said, well, i'm going to run to placerville and get propane for the barbecue
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tomorrow and some gas so you can mow the lawn tomorrow. >> and that was the last thing she'd heard from him. >> and when he didn't show up in the middle of the night she called the police. >> correct. >> reporter: all the while as patty told the sad story of her husband's disappearance the two detectives noticed a very unsettling trait. >> her emotions were just very fake. >> how could you tell they were fake? >> no tears. >> i'm sorry. i'm a little speechless. it's like who could have wanted to hurt him? >> reporter: when the detectives returned to the house a few hours later, the csi team was about to begin its search for clues. >> we used a chemical called blue star. and anything that shows up positive for blood glows. and the entire living room, kitchen, and hallway glowed in this home. you could see swipes where the blood had been wiped up. you can see footprints. you can see drag marks. >> reporter: ron's brother ken
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had arrived by then to watch and wonder what in the world was going on. >> something bad had happened. something really bad had happened. you don't have a crime scene investigation of that magnitude if something hadn't happened. >> reporter: and as the investigation dragged on inside, ken says, the mood among patty's children waiting outside started to get ugly. they were convinced ron's death was a simple accident, and that the police seemed to be implying otherwise to them was an insult. >> i mean, it was nasty what they were saying. who the f -- what are they doing in our house? and they don't belong in our house. i mean, now it's getting bizarre. >> reporter: eventually patty's family drifted away. then the police went too. and having collected what they needed, they unsealed the house, blood spatters and all. which not only allowed patty to return, it gave ron's family members their first horrifying look inside. >> you could see blood surpapat on the stove, on the ceiling.
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it looked just like somebody took a spatter gun and spattered it all over the ceiling. >> and i'm looking up and i looked down and there was brain matter and skull and tissue. and i about just fell down. i -- like my whole body just within went limp. and i just wanted to scoop up what was left and take it. thinking that this is -- i know it sounds so gross. but that's all i was going to have left. you know? i think we all were just like going what the hell happened? >> reporter: there was so much to take in that first day. it was all such a shock that no one thought to ask, where is that young man who was staying here? where is jaime? and soon jaime was not the only one missing.
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patty was gone too. had her prediction to police come true? >> i don't think i'll be alive. i'm telling you he'll come for me. kerri: kerri the sparkle® fairy here. are you about to spend that on paper towels? mom: well, i use bounty... kerri: ooo! use sparkle®... it's just right for cleaning up everyday little messes without cleaning out your piggy bank. sparkle®. the bright way to clean. ♪ ♪all day and all of the night - the kinks♪
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they've devoted their careers to investigating the sudden and violent deaths of3 f2 ellos dedicaron su carrera a characters who could have stepped out of the pages of a mark twain novel. ron presba, for instance, spent his whole life up here, never left the mountain, was as constant as the wind. >> with ronald presba i can honestly say i didn't meet one person or talk to one person that didn't hold him in the highest regard. everybody said that he would have given his shirt off of his back to anybody. >> reporter: and that was the problem about the presba case. nothing added up. >> this by far is one of the most interesting murder cases that i have worked.
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>> reporter: due in no small part to patty, who they discovered was rather hard to pin down. >> do either one of you have any boyfriends or girlfriends that you're currently seeing? >> no. >> reporter: not a word about jaime. that relationship would be disclosed by ron's daughters. >> when i mentioned jaime, they didn't even know who he was. they're like, who's jaime? >> reporter: and when the detectives confronted patty about jaime. >> because we were told that you did have a boyfriend. >> by whom? >> i can't divulge. >> that i have a boyfriend? >> yes. >> no. we had a young man, 21-year-old man, that was staying with us for three weeks till he could get his stuff together to move to texas. >> okay. what's his name? >> jaime. >> what is that? >> jaime. >> how do you -- >> j-a-i-m-e r-a-m-o-s. >> does he have a cell phone? does he have -- i mean -- >> no.
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not that i'm aware of. >> reporter: jaime's sudden disappearance certainly raised suspicions, but as far as the presba family was concerned the kid was a distraction. there was no doubt in their minds as to who had murdered ron. >> we all knew, i mean, in our hearts, what had -- you know, that she killed -- she killed him. >> reporter: ron's brother ken says he became convinced of patty's guilt when he began trying to sort out the estate and found a life insurance policy with a special clause. >> a double indemnity insurance policy, if he died by accident. >> reporter: exactly the plotline of that old film classic "double indemnity." the husband's murder staged to look like an accident. >> okay, baby, that's it. >> and that's what it looked like we had, a staged accident scene. >> reporter: and while no one else was buying, it patty continued to insist that it was an accident. and so the detectives went about checking her story. retracing her steps in the days
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before ron's death. and that's when they struck gold. surveillance video of patty and jaime in a sporting goods store and used car lot. >> you could tell that they were in a relationship just by the video. that there was more going on than just her trying to help him out. >> what were your impressions? >> she lied to us. and we now had a hidden relationship. >> hi. >> reporter: brought in for further questioning, patty suddenly and dramatically changed her story. >> she finally had stated that her and jaime ramos were having a sexual relationship. >> did she indicate at that point that maybe ramos had something to do with it? >> she had been leaning more towards she thinks maybe he did this out of jealousy, to have her all to himself. >> and it scares the hell out of me that i brought someone into my home that may have killed him. that scares the living crap right out of me. >> reporter: with plenty of suspicions but little hard evidence, the detectives let
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patty go. but before she left she began to shake with something that looked like real fear. what did she know about that young man? what sort of story was she spinning now? >> i don't think i'll be alive for long. i'm telling you he'll come for me. he'll tell you he's coming here, but he'll kill me first. >> reporter: it was clear now that jaime ramos was the leading man, the key to solving the case. even if he wasn't involved, well, he surely would have known who was. but how could they get to him? he could be anywhere by now. as the detectives dug into jaime's background, they found he was devoted to his grandmother, the woman who raised him. maybe she would know where he was. >> and i explained to her the situation he was in and the reasoning for me needing to talk to him. because to be honest with you we knew nothing at that point. >> she must have been pretty shocked. >> she was.
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she was devastated. and within 24 hours i had a phone call from jaime ramos. >> reporter: who, after stalling for a few weeks, finally agreed to return and answer questions in person. but on the day jaime was to meet with them he was a no-show. instead detectives lensing and hadjes received an urgent phone call. >> patricia had gone missing. >> reporter: a month to the day after ron's murder the two detectives were back at the presba house investigating another strange and violence crime. >> there was forced entry into the house. there was blood. a kidnap note found at the house. >> what did the note say? >> it was a white piece of paper, printer paper, with cut out pieces or cut out letters from a magazine glued to it stating that i have taken her. >> did it occur to either one of
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you that maybe ramos himself had kidnapped patricia, that he was behind us from the get-go? >> we really didn't know. we didn't know if mr. ramos had anything to do with this, because we had no indication that he'd been back in town. >> reporter: during this second investigation in their family home april and misti once again waited outside. and here, they said, they were quietly approached by one of patty's daughters, who asked a very strange question. >> she said, is there a dead body in the house? and i said, well, no. not that the detectives had said. and she said, my mom called last night and asked us to help her get rid of a body. >> reporter: and guess whose body that was supposed to be. >> as we opened the door and walked into the room, he yelled out to us, "don't shoot. i've been shoot already." check out the low end on this thing! somebody call a doctor 'cause i got a bad case of boogie fever! ♪
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♪ a motel 6 parking lot, within screaming distance of the salt lake city airport. it was the morning after patty's sudden disappearance. officer mike paletta of the utah department of motor vehicles was on a routine search for stolen cars. he noticed the california plate on the green 2003 hyundai. called it in and got a hit. >> i found that it came back with an ncic hit out of california, wanted in a homicide. >> reporter: officer paletta was calling for backup when a woman left this room, 109. >> she looked at me and she turned right around and went right back into the room. my sergeant and i approached the room, and as we got closer to the room she had walked back out of the room and started walking towards me. and i had grabbed her, and i
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says, are you patricia presba? and she said yes. >> and then she said something quite bizarre. >> he's in the room. he's been shot. and my sergeant and i made entry into the room. as we opened the door and walked into the room, he yelled out to us, "don't shoot me. i've been shot already. >> reporter: it was jaime ramos. and just barely alive. >> i see these two guns coming in with arms, and then i see that it's the police, and they're telling me to freeze. i put my arms up, and i just -- like wow, what's going on? and they helped me out of bed. they handcuffed me. >> reporter: patty, police discovered, had been stabbed in the arm. and jaime? shot. three bleeding homes in him. >> i was told that i was 30 minutes or so away from bleeding out. >> reporter: a medic attended to jaime's wounds. a policeman searched the motel
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room, found gauze, medicine, hair dye, a handgun, and movies. "rambo" and "die hard." then as they led him across the parking lot to a waiting ambulance, jaime watched patty in animated conversation with a cop. >> i didn't see her handcuffed. i just saw her there talking to a police officer. then i started to think she gave me up, saying that she was kidnapped. >> reporter: jaime for once guessed right. that's exactly the story patty told later that day to detective lensing. >> it was dark. the lights were off. and i shot him. he was coming and i shot him. i was so scared he was going to kill me. >> and you fired that gun from in here? >> reporter: patty claimed that jaime, wounded, overpowered her, grabbed the gun, and told her it was a kidnapping. >> he said we're leaving, get in the car, and he put me in the car. >> she blamed it on mr. ramos. she blamed the whole thing on
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mr. ramos, stating that she had shot mr. ramos three times because he was attacking her. >> what caliber of a weapon was this? >> we later found out it was a .44 magnum. >> wouldn't that do a whole lot of damage? >> i would imagine so. of but for some reason the bullets didn't expand and they went right through him. >> he was lucky. >> reporter: jaime was taken away for medical treatment. and as he recovered, he thought about the fake kidnapping, the shooting, the choice of salt lake, even though he'd been begging patty to drive south to mexico. and he decided that patty probably was trying to set him up to take the fall for ron's murder. but he also decided that maybe, for the love of patty, he would do just that. he went over in his head the story he would tell when detectives came to see him. >> that i did it. that i'm a madman. but then a faint thought of my family came through saying oh,
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yeah, my family. what is my grandmother going to think? so that's when i started to just say the truth the way it really happened. >> reporter: and what really happened? the truth? so much stranger than even one of patty's convoluted lies. the truth was more like fantasy. like the plot from one of jaime's movies. >> there were times during the interview where we actually had to slow him down because he was -- he was putting this information out there so quickly we couldn't even digest it. >> that never happens. >> no, it doesn't. >> reporter: jaime's story? like none you've ever heard. >> all this i kept telling to myself this is for her. this is to make her happy. >> reporter: what he did for love. >> i put on the gloves. i wiped down the hammer. i had this chronic, deep ache all over.
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jaime ramos described ron presba as the kindest man he'd jay e me me describe a ron ever met, the sort of father figure he always wanted. but jaime, just 21 years old, was in love with ron's 47-year-old wife patty. and this is his story of what he did for her. the last night of ron's life. it was after he'd lost his nerve out by the pigpen, after ron went back into the house. jaime called patty, told her he couldn't go through with it. and patty was furious. hadn't he heard what she told him about the rape? was he like all those others? did he not believe her either? >> she would say, you're telling me you don't love me right now. no, i'm not saying that. well, that's what you're meaning by saying that this is wrong, that you don't believe me. then she would say if you're going to do it do it, and if not
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just leave. >> reporter: chastened and confused, jaime walked back to the house and on the way spotted a small sledgehammer. >> and i told myself, well, if one hit on the head even just makes him go unconscious, that's enough for me. so when i went inside the house, i went and sat behind him. and i started to drink a lot of water for my nerves. i was really nervous. and once again, a couple more calls from patty. is it done? not yet. well, hurry up. click. and i finally took my last drink of water. i put on the gloves. i wiped down the hammer. >> ron was in his easy chair watching tv as jaime, a few feet
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behind, seated at the kitchen table. >> i looked myself in the reflection by a -- by the window, and i was telling myself once again, if you do this there's no turning back. you're doing this because it's right. you're doing this because you love her. >> so you were sitting behind him trying to get up your nerve. what did you think about? >> i was thinking about all the things that she told me. >> and they must be true. >> and that they must be true. there is -- this has to be true. if she tells me it's true, it's true. she won't lie to me. she's never lied to me. >> reporter: and that's how sitting there in the kitchen he talked himself into believing patty's tale of abuse and rape, the one that triggered his own childhood memories. >> immediately i got the
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adrenaline rush because i started to feel anger. i jumped out of my seat and i hit him on the head three times quick quickly. he put his arms up, and i -- it sounded like a "what" and a "why" at the same time. and as he threw his arms up, they automatically fell down. and i was yelling at him, telling him how you raped my wife, you beat my wife, you're getting what you deserve. that's right, patty's my wife. i married her. how dare you touch my wife that way? and i'd hit him on the head about three, four more times, and it just ended up where i knew for a fact he was dead. >> you broke his skull.
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>> i broke his skull. and i dropped the hammer, and i felt a relief and i felt exhausted. >> relief? >> relief that i finally got this over with. that i finally did justice for this woman. she'd be happy now. >> reporter: but to fully please patty jaime still had much to do. he needed to stage ron's death to make it look like an accident. >> it took me about an hour and a half to put him in the car. >> how did you do it? >> i drug him all the way to the vehicle outside. and the problem was to lift him and put him in the driver's seat. >> reporter: so jaime made a ramp out of a ladder and a sheet
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of plywood. >> i set that up. the ladder and the plywood on top. and i was dragging him up, and it was working. i had him -- i got him all the way into the seat. and i belted him in as he was driving. >> how did you get the suv to the place where you knocked it off the cliff? >> i sat in the middle seat, and i was using my left leg the whole time for brake and gas. and my right hand to steer. >> that can't have been easy. >> no. it was -- it was exhausting. >> sitting -- >> sitting and the middle -- >> -- right beside this man you just murdered. his head is open and bleeding and you've killed him. and he's right beside you. how did you keep your sanity?
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>> i thought of a movie. >> reporter: the movie jaime was thinking about is "sin city." this is the scene. a killer assigned to dump a body is driving through the countryside with the corpse sitting beside him. >> i started to tell myself, wow, three years ago when i watched this movie never did i feel that i was going to be doing something similar to this. >> reporter: reality inside that suburban was horrific. but jaime transformed it to fantasy. now it was nothing more than a scene from a favorite movie. >> and i just kept replaying that part in my head and enjoying that -- enjoying the feeling of being in a theater with my cousin watching that movie was what helped me. >> along the way jaime dumped the hammer, a bloody rug, and
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ron's easy chair. then at the curve over the gorge he put all the props in place for the climax. the accident scene. >> i started to douse the car with gasoline. and i opened a propane tank. i hit the lighter while i put his foot on the gas pedal. it was on park. so it was just revved. i lit it, and then i put it on drive. everything went in flames. i shut the door, and i saw the car go down. >> and ran to the getaway car he parked earlier behind the earthen berm. patty's plan called for jaime to flee southeast to texas. but instead he went west. >> i actually ended up driving back to her house. >> you weren't supposed to do that. >> i wasn't supposed to do that. >> why did you do that? >> i had to see her. >> why? >> i felt that if i didn't see
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her that she was going to abandon me. >> reporter: when jaime returned to the house, he found patty here in the living room, cleaning up the blood and gore he had left behind. and sitting right in the middle of it, right here on the very spot where ron was murdered sat her 3-year-old granddaughter, watching cartoons on television. >> as i go there, she looked at me and she's like, what are you doing here? are you serious right now? you know, get out of here. as i reached for a hug and a kiss, she withdrew from me and said, you need to leave now. i'm like, well, can't i at least get a last good-bye hug and kiss? and she gave me this hug and this kiss that was empty. >> reporter: and now alone, at night, on the open road -- >> is when i started to feel dirty. i started to feel ashamed.
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i wanted to throw up. i felt like i just desecrated a man for what i started to see now as a selfish reason. and on top of everything i just damned my soul. >> reporter: jaime fled california that night, leaving behind the woman at whose behest he committed murder. perhaps it wasn't so surprising that he didn't realize he was next. a date with patty. a very bad date. >> i'm like, patty, what are you doing right now? did you just shoot me? ♪
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♪ how far must you go to escape the guilt of having committed the brutal murder of a gentle man? for jaime ramos it was never far enough. he went to texas first.
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stayed with a favorite uncle. and once there he couldn't stop himself from talking to about his greatest passion. patty. >> i told everybody that i'm married to this woman and that i'm happy. that i even went as far as describing her as an angel. >> reporter: but within a week jaime's grandmother called, said police in california wanted to talk to him. jaime, unable to defy his grandmother, obediently called detective lensing. >> tell me what that was like when you realized it was a policeman at the other end, he wanted to talk to you. >> i felt that i got caught. it's over. the detective even went as far as asking me if i killed him. and i lied to him and i said no. >> reporter: feeling the pressure, jaime went back out on the road. and drove to new york, stayed with an old girlfriend. but there was always that craving.
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>> i started to feel the loneliness again. i started to feel that i needed my nourishment again. >> sew called and begged patty to let him return. but that was not part of patty's plan. >> she told me no, go -- don't come. stay away for a while because they're not after you. they're after me. if you stay away it's going to be okay for a while. just -- if you come here they'll just probably arrest you. >> reporter: unable to control himself, jaime disobeyed and began the long road trip back to california. >> i went straight to patty because i missed her so much. >> what was it like to get back with patty again? >> it felt like -- like san francisco again. just everything was just happy and nothing mattered anymore. >> all those worries fell away? >> all those worries fell away. >> reporter: until reality found him. >> my family called me and said
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where are you? i couldn't lie to them. so i told them that i'm here with patty. are you going to talk to the police? yes. tomorrow? promise us tomorrow. yes. okay. >> reporter: it was a promise jaime fully intended to keep. except patty had another idea and jaime wasn't in on that script. he was the only one she knew who could connect her to ron's murder. she had known that full well when she sat in that interrogation room and quaked in fear as she predicted for detectives her own demise. >> i don't think i'll be alive for long. i'm telling you he'll come for me. he'll tell you he's coming here, but he'll kill me first. >> reporter: and so the day before jaime was to see the police patty launched her new production.
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she told jaime he would be the hero, the leading man. >> that's when patty told me about this plan of a false kidnapping. >> reporter: the idea, patty said, was for jaime to call detective lensing, say he was in nevada but would be in california the following day, ready to talk. >> what was supposed to happen? >> what was supposed to happen was the detectives think i'm in reno, she gets apprehended by a party that nobody knows about, which would supposedly be the -- >> killer of her husband. >> killer of her husband. >> reporter: that evening patty told jaime put on overalls and gloves and a mask. >> she gave me a stocking to put over my head. >> but wait a minute. who's going to be seeing you with the stocking over your head exempt her? >> she was telling me it was so that no sweat or hair could come off. >> reporter: next patty told jaime to craft this note using
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words and phrases cut from a newspaper. they got the idea from -- well, where else? >> just from movies, seeing ransom letters from people how -- >> they always do it that way. >> they always do it that way. that way no penmanship can be traced. and she was like oh, yeah, yeah, just make sure this is what it says. >> reporter: the note was nonsensical except for a patchwork of phrases patty insisted on like "she is mine," "too jealous," and "real pain." >> it was giving me the chills because when i looked at it i felt that it was real. >> reporter: jaime, who had been played for a fool for so long, who'd murdered a good man for a bad woman, was still so blinded by obsession he had no idea that once again patty was setting him up. but this time he was to play the role of both stooge and victim.
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patty next grabbed this kitchen knife, the one you see on the tv cabinet, and told jaime to cut her. >> i'm hesitating. so she slaps my arm down to -- and then i just end up slicing her. >> deep cut? >> it's a pretty deep cut. she started moving her arm around, making sure there was blood splatters. i go and get the car and back it up. i can't find her. but i see that her bathroom door for the master bedroom is closed. that's when i realized, okay, she just wants the door kicked down. when i kicked that door down, i see her silhouette with a gun. i said, patty. and she goes boom one time. and i guess the first shot went through my arm, which i didn't know because of the shock. she fires again, and it hits me here in the collarbone area, and it knocks me to the ground.
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and i'm on the ground and i'm crying, patty, patty, what are you doing? it's me. stop this. why are you killing me? stop this. it's me. and she was still firing. she fired another one. and that one hit my leg. and after that she drops the gun, she starts running outside the house screaming for help. i get up and i run outside and get her. i'm like, patty, what are you doing right now? did you just shoot me? did you just really shoot me? and as we get back in the house that's when i start to feel my aches and i start to feel woozy. i start to feel the blood trickling down my leg, my arm, my chest. and i start to tell her, patty, we need to leave, you really did shoot me. why? why did you shoot me? >> reporter: why? patty's only response, said jaime, was to reach into a
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drawer and pull out a handful of bullets. >> and a whole bunch of bullets are falling from her hand. and she's reloading the gun. i yell to her, patty, why are you reloading the gun? what are you doing? why are you trying kill me? it's me, jaime. she very calmly says, "i'm not reloading the gun. i don't know what you're talking about." >> reporter: so now he was confused. he ran into the bathroom, tried to hide. >> i didn't know where else to go. i was just -- you know, i was panicked. i'm shivering, crying, bleeding. and she comes in and she's pointing the gun at me again and she's telling me ron was such a good man, he didn't deserve to die. what you did was evil. >> sounded like a different woman. >> it was a totally different woman. i was looking her in the eyes and it just didn't look like the patty i knew anymore. she cocked the gun and told me to get on my knees. i told her, why do you want to
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execute me right now? she said just get on your knees. started yelling at me. and i told her, no. what is going on right now? if you're going to kill me, just kill me now. i can't remember the other babble she was saying, but she started pointing the gun at herself. and i said no, stop, that don't do that either. what are you doing right now? if you want to be with me, you need to stop this. and let's go right now. >> didn't it occur to you, jaime, at that point to leave yourself? you managed to prevent her from shooting you. why the hell didn't you just run? >> i kept feeling the love that i had for her. >> the love? she just tried to shoot you to death. >> i'm asking myself that same question. >> good question. >> i was scared. there was fear in me. there was much fear in me. but i still felt so much love for her that this had to -- it was going to be okay.
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she's coming back to her senses. she gave me water. she gave me some food. that's what made me continue going with her, is because she was taking care of me again. >> did she tell you she loved you? >> yes. she told me how sorry she was, how she doesn't remember shooting me. >> at the time you really believed that, huh? >> yes. >> reporter: and so they headed out on the road eastbound on interstate 80, patty behind the wheel, jaime riding shotgun. they stopped for some gauze to stuff into jaime's bullet holes, then went on an 18-hour drive as the kid's life slowly oozed away. but after a night in the utah motel this murderous odd couple was in custody. and jaime, so close to death, was in a confessional mood. >> i just lost -- i just lost all sense. and i bashed him on the head.
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>> where was he? >> he was just watching tv. >> reporter: he told them how he murdered that good man, ron presba, as if to free his conscience of its sinful burdens. >> he was just -- like he asked be -- he asked, why? and i was so furious with him at the time, and i told him, you raped patty, you bastard. you beat her. >> and yet still willing by the end of his 2 1/2-hour confession to play the chump for patty. because even after the murder, the shooting, the betrayal, he still loved her. >> i don't know what else i can tell you. i just -- i loved her very much, mike.
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you know that i would have done anything for her. i know this is going to sound weird. >> what's that? >> but much as she's done to me, if she's here, would there be any chance that i could just see her? >> not at this point. not at this point. >> i feel for her. you know, she really made me feel like i was her husband. and that she was my wife. >> reporter: the question now. would he be willing to take the fall before a judge and jury? if jaime's mood in court was any guide, patty didn't have a worry in the world. >> he looked at her with such lust. if they see that dinner's gonna be good they'll wanna eat it right away.
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♪ hangtown.
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the old gold rush name for the seat of el dorado county. this is where jaime and patty were held while awaiting trial. a rural community with a single jail for both men and women. and in our story that matters. why? because of a certain feature of the building's plumbing system, which gave patty the opportunity to crawl right back into jaime's pliable mind. and of course his heart. >> if both you and the person that are parallel with the toilet empty out the water enough, you can speak through it as though you're right in the same room. very clearly. it's incredible. >> reporter: separated by both brick and bar, jaime and patty were now ironically closer than ever. >> the communication with her was intoxicating me so much that i started to believe everything
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again that she was telling me about the man. >> what did you say to each other through that tube? >> a bunch of i love yous and sorrys and we'll get through this together. i promised patty that i'll make you walk, you'll get away with this. >> reporter: an empty promise? well, perhaps not. much of the case against patty would be based on jaime's confession. >> she just said, okay, you have to make it look like an accident. >> so she purchased the life insurance with the purpose of cashing in on it? >> cashing in on it. >> by him being murlded and you guys making it look like an accident. >> correct. >> reporter: but now patty was telling jaime just what he should say in court. to provide a match for the tale patty told detective lensing back in salt lake city. >> she admitted she was involved in the whole thing. but at the very last moment she called it off because she
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couldn't do that to her husband. and then from that point on jaime ramos was the one that continued with the plan and killed her husband. so she was not involved. >> and then came and kidnapped her? >> exactly. to get rid of the only other witness that he had. and she was defending herself by shooting him. >> she would be the hero. that she killed the person who killed her husband. >> reporter: the d.a. of el dorado county, vern pierson, says without jaime's testimony convicting patty would be troublesome. >> there's a big difference between knowing and believing that somebody's criminally responsible and being able to prove it. >> and so night after night patty's disembodied instructions and her sweet nothings echoed down the plumbing and into jaime's cell. >> she promised if she walks she'll marry me in the prison, she'll visit me every day, she'll put money in my books. >> you were prepared to go along with it? >> i was prepared to go along with it.
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>> spend the rest of your life in prison? >> spend the rest of my life in prison. >> and be visit bid patty? >> and be visited by patty. >> reporter: jaime's robotic devotion was obvious to all who saw the two in court. >> and the way that he looked at her, i wanted to throw up. he looked at her with such lust. and to sit there and look at this woman the way that he did was -- it was gut-wrenching for us as a family. that she had that much control over somebody and still did after she tried to kill him. >> you couldn't see a movie like this. >> reporter: james clark, jaime's court-appointed attorney, says he's never had a case like this in 30 years of practicing law. >> i mean, i like the kid. but you know what? i also liked the victim. he seemed to be a good guy. >> what's your assessment of her? >> my viewpoint of her is she is a -- she's a reptile. she has no heart, no feelings, no emotions. there's only one person she's interested in. that's her. >> have you ever seen this kind of manipulation before?
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>> never to the extent that i saw it here. >> what did you say to him about that? >> what can you say to anybody who's in love with somebody? it's irrational. >> reporter: if there was to be any hope for his client, clark says, jaime would need to tell the truth, to take the stand at trial and actually testify against patty. >> the evidence of his guilt was overwhelming. the issue was just how was he going to be punished? that was the issue. >> reporter: so clark made a call. to the one person who had the power to break patty's spell. jaime's grandmother. >> i brought the grandmother up here, along with the two aunts, and they told him to tell the truth and do the right thing. >> my family told me when have we ever lied to you? when have we ever hurt you? i couldn't think of anything. so then why then do you not believe us, the police, everybody, even her own children are saying how evil this woman is. how can you not believe this? it made me realize, this is the
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truth. it is the truth. i have to tell the truth. i can't stop lying. i can't stop denying this. and that's when that moment forward i stopped contacting her in every way. >> reporter: and instead gave a truthful account of ron's murder before a grand jury. >> one of the grand jurors said i don't think that young man would have ever harmed a fly in his life but for the fact that he ran into patty. >> reporter: then jaime showed detectives lensing and hadjes the 14-mile route he took with ron presba's corpse pressed against him in the suburban. >> a little further ahead is where i got rid of the ladder and such. >> reporter: and next they searched for a chair, ladder, rug, bloody evidence jaime said he jettisoned along the roadside. they came up empty. until they stopped at a small
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glade along chili bar road. >> where he's at back there, that's the area. it shouldn't be further than that. >> reporter: and there buried in the leaves detective lensing found something. >> looks like a blue rug hidden underneath, like somebody intentionally put leaves over the top of it. this is the rug that ron presba was on at the time he was murdered. and you can see some of the remnants of his blood in those moldy spots there. >> reporter: now jaime had to prepare himself for the day when he'd have to take the witness stand, face patty, the woman he still loved, and condemn her. >> i was telling myself i was going to do my best not to look at her. that if the only time i had to look at her was when they told me if i had to point, which usually i see in movies, can you
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please point to, you know, the defendant? and then -- >> you couldn't imagine doing that. >> i couldn't imagine doing that. but i felt like, okay, i have to do that real quick. and then i can look at my family. >> reporter: but three days before the trial patty suddenly and without explanation pleaded guilty to all charges. first-degree murder of ron, attempted murder of jaime. >> when i found out that it was true, this weight just went off my shoulders. and i thank god for that. >> reporter: why patty pleaded guilty is a mystery. >> they think at some point she'd probably been lying to her own family all these months about what actually happened. and she knew this goes to trial, they would learn the truth and what her real responsibility was in this case. >> and it was so against her character as a person.
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i was shocked. i -- and it was good to hear her say guilty. i don't care if it was for her own reasons, whatever she had to do for herself. to hear that out of her mouth was good. >> reporter: a month later in a packed courtroom patty, aloof and alone, was sentenced. 40 years to life. detective mike lensing was there to watch. >> this woman is the most evil and coldhearted murderer that i've dealt with. >> why did she hate him so much? >> i don't know that she hated him. she just loved herself more. >> reporter: and jaime? he too pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and while casting shamed, penitent looks at his family, was sentenced to 25 years to life. but before being led off to prison he agreed to meet with ron's daughters, april and misti. >> he explained that the little amount of time that he knew my dad he was also growing to love
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him and it's hard to hear that from somebody that brutally murdered him. >> that's the hardest part for me, that he would still do this and still take him away knowing the type of person he was and to follow through with it. >> reporter: the forest home where their father cared for them is a dark place now. an ugly place. >> to know that my dad lost his life in here, it's horrible. i want the house to be burned down. there's so much evil that took place in here that it's just not comfortable. >> reporter: how did she do it? how did this woman exert such a magical hold over any man? let alone this one. and yet she did. maybe still does. >> do you love her sometimes still? some moments in the dark at night? >> there's moments where i feel that what i did was right. >> because you wanted her so much? >> because i wanted her so much. >> and you still do?
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>> and i still do. >> did -- do maybe sometimes -- >> sometimes. but it's going away. . tom: i just want to be a normal, boring couple. i applied for a job in lincoln. you're leaving? well, the interview's tomorrow. i'm flying out this afternoon. someone with far greater access supplied all the knowledge required for the incursion to take place. someone on the inside. my house is clean. but yours... is not. audrey? hey. what are you doing here? [ keyboard clacking ] did you bring me anything? yes. the next name on the blacklist. there's someone i think you should find. he's a man who protects the guilty by preying on the innocent. he's killed women, children, infants if need be -- whatever the particular job calls for.


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