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tv   The Seduction  MSNBC  December 11, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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it may be one of the most twisted murder stories you'll ever see. >> i was telling myself you're doing this because you love her. >> certainly one of the most twisted love affairs. >> she said, is there a dead body in the house? and i said, well, no. >> but somebody was dead. that was obvious. >> in between the couch and the wood stove is a spray of blood. >> it was supposed to look like an accident. >> i'm so sorry. i'm just so sorry. i'm thinking, why are you sorry? >> and police were supposed to believe it was jealousy that caused it. >> he looked at her with such
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lust. >> but it was all a lie, except for the lust and the murder. >> my viewpoint of her is she's a reptile. >> while the cops track down the truth -- >> this was the road he was on at the time he was murdered. >> she tracked down her lover. >> he was dead, we would have had a hard time proving this case. >> but love was the last thing on her mind. why didn't you just run? >> i kept feeling the love. >> the love? she just tried to shoot you to death. the strange story of "the seduction." thanks for joining us. i'm ann curry. something happens when love turns to obsession. and it is rarely good. in the story you're about to see, an obsessed lover was willing to do almost anything to keep the woman he loved, even if it cost a life. even if that life was his. here's keith morrison. >> did you just shoot me?
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did you just really shoot me? >> he didn't feel them, 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 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
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started. and it ended about somewhere between 15 and 17. >> ten years? >> yes. >> he barely knew his imprisoned father, not even a memory of mother. >> i lost my mother at 2 years old. she committed suicide. >> 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. >> how do you feel when you're with older women? >> i just feel like i'm secure. >> 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.
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and i was with her until 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, severing the relationship. and when the heart-sick boy ran to her house to plead with her not to leave him, she locked him out. >> 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
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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 juvie, no job waiting on the outside, and it was ironically in the spirit of kindness that some 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
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the name of patty presba. >> i saw all the other young men and women there calling her mother, mom. >> and so, of course, jaime did too. >> how did she respond? >> with pure kindness and understanding. >> jaime felt he had finally found someone he could confide in about his years of abuse. >> i gave her my whole life story, from beginning to end. i've given her things that my family doesn't even know about. she made me feel like a man again. >> 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. but jaime was a baby-faced 21, younger than any of patty's four children. but who can understand the mysteries of love? within weeks, romance bloomed.
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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 mountaintop, cap of the fated gold rush town with a population smaller than most high schools. hard to keep a secret up here. so they were careful, mostly. she would 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. 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,
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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. jaime would learn soon enough that patty expected repayment. coming up, she had his heart. next on patty's list, jaime's soul and her husband. >> she's, like, well, you want me to leave him, right? yes. well, then, what if he accidentally dies? >> when "the seduction" continues. sports photographer,
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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, perhaps it wasn't so hard to understand. but his love now for patty, a woman twice his age, her son twice the age of jaime and he was more impassioned than ever. he would do anything for this woman, anything. oh, and he would. you liked to please her, huh? >> yes. >> did you ever try not pleasing her, disagreeing with her? >> yes. and she would get angry with me. and it hurt me. i went back to feeling insignificant.
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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, 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. 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.
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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. >> and then one secret weekend, they managed to get away. patty said she 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. 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 she promised me that the only way we would break up ever would be death, death do us apart, literally. >> and a few weeks later, patty arranged another trip, another weekend tryst.
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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 believed i was on the enterprise. i got to talk to commander riker and data and geordi la forge. 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 pier were as binding to jaime as if they had 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
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his cell phone rang. it was an ex-girlfriend and patty, listening to jaime 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. 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 purposefully 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
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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. 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. >> 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
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out of "body heat." >> i wish he would 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? >> coming up, if only jaime had known patty's real plans, and the real patty. >> i have not liked her since day one. she just rubbed me the wrong way. she was very fake. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents: the cold truth.
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life in the mountains could be dangerous. accidents do happen here. now patty came to spirit jaime away from his dormitory, 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. >> but to him, says jaime, all that talk was just that, talk. no more real than some plot line 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
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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. >> 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 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. >> well, you sometimes wish he was dead? >> perhaps i do. >> and you wish it was an accident. and you had that policy for $50,000. is that it? >> perhaps that too. >> but that was long before jaime's time. and for all the movies he watched, this was a plot line he knew nothing about. even if in this new and real life version the starring role
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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, as long as she was happy. >> jaime had, he told her, only one condition. >> i told her if you want me to kill the 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.
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he was not at all the man that she portrayed him to be. >> no, not at all. in fact, leave the love birds briefly and spend a couple of 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 had all kinds of jobs. 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 in 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
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afternoon and have tea. ron's mother lois says her son was devoted to his two adoring daughters, april and misty, and they to him. >> oh, my gosh. he was like a father and a mother. they didn't have a mother, so he cooked, took care of their laundry and cleaned the house. >> he would do our hair and -- >> french braid our hair. >> french braid our hair. >> grizzly adams french braided your hair? >> he was like a mother/father, and knew how to take care of us and 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 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 had those vibes of false from her.
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she just -- nothing she said seemed to be true. >> ron's mother got the same impression as well. >> there was 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 you go along with his wishes. >> sound familiar? ron would do anything to make patty happy. >> he was trying to please her. he was always trying to please her. >> and when she lied to him, told him she had been sexually assaulted by her own father, ron believed it, took it to heart, 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 just, like, i need to help her. >> but was it pity patty was after or was it the kind of control ron seemed unaware of?
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the daughters had caught patty in an affair once before. >> i was so close to dad and, you know, there were some decisions that she had made that morally i couldn't accept. and it went against my values, and she had had an affair on my dad and that's unacceptable to me. >> they had radar for these things. seemed pretty obvious to them that patty was straying again. >> 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. >> laying out in the sun. you know, i think that my dad was an intelligent man. i think he did know, but i think that he, again, was just finding the good. and, you know, he always wanted to please. and so it was, maybe if i do more, she'll recognize that.
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>> desperately trying to win over a woman who had only murder on her mind. coming up, 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? when "the seduction" continues. s peggy... hi, i'm cashing in my points... peggy? no more points - coupons now. coupons? coupons. coupons? next, you convert coupons to tokens. tokens? then you trade tokens for credits. and then i get the cash? then you call back. bye bye. peggy? hello? what just happened? want rewards that make sense? switch to discover. america's #1 cash rewards program. it pays to discover. the best approach to food is to keep it whole for better nutrition. that's what they do with great grains cereal. they steam and bake the actual whole grain while the other guy's flake is more processed.
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hi, everyone. i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. the pakistani military says islamabad ordered the military out after nato air strikes accidentally killed 24 pakistani soldiers last month. and a fuel tanker exploded at a gas station in melbourne, australia today. hundreds were evacuated from the area. the cause of the explosion is still under investigation. more news later. now back to "the seduction."
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it was a modest little place up here in the mountains. the house, rundown, ticky tack, always needed something, but it was the home they had grown up in and loved. and misty and april, mothers themselves now, popped around 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. misty 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? he introduced me to him, and i asked him a ton of questions because here is this person on my dad's property and i don't know him. and he says, i'm just here for a few weeks before i go to texas. well, so then i start asking more questions. and we go in the house and he goes straight into one of the bedrooms. 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? >> the sisters knew right away something wasn't right. how could their father be so
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naive about patty? >> i thought she was having an affair with jaime. >> imagine, when you thought about her having an affair with him -- >> it was disgusting. he was younger than her youngest child. >> yeah. gross. >> there is something seriously wrong with that. >> their father, when it came to patty, he only saw goodness. >> i think dad just bottom line is he truly wholeheartedly loved her and believed in her. he would cater to her every need. he would wake up in the morning and make her breakfast, and coffee, and dad always went out of his way for her. always. >> 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?
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>> not once did i hear him raise his voice. >> not at all? >> not at all. >> this is the ogre who was raping and beating her? >> yes. >> did it make any sense? is >> didn't make any sense. >> so jaime dropped 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 at ron presba's farm yard. always has 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 rather 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
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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 winding road around ron's little farm, this was the perfect spot to stage an accident. you see that s curve where the truck is coming around the hill over there? there is 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 with jaime for shoes and coveralls in case the killing got messy. that afternoon patti took jaime to a use d ought 0 owe lot and bought him a used getaway car, a 2003 green hyundai. afterwards, patti went to dinner with family as jaime returned to ron's place. >> her alibi was being with her daughter and granddaughter all day. >> how did you communicate with each other all that day?
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>> 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. >> jaime and ron were now alone at the house. the murder was supposed to take place just before nightfall, out by the pig pen. but as the hours ticked down, jaime wavered. >> if there is any definition of doubt, that's what i was feeling. >> 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. >> 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 i'm about to kill him.
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>> 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 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 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. >> so as the summer sun set and the two watched television,
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jaime told ron who was hard of hearing that the pigs were making noise and maybe they should investigate. it was out by the pig pen, you'll recall, where ron was to be murdered. >> because that way it would be easier to hide, clean up, if 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 sat it beside a tree on the way. >> couldn't do it? >> i couldn't do it. >> a few minutes later, jaime stepped away, phoned patty, begged her to accept what he now 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.
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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. >> oh, patty was not finished with jaime. and not with her husband either. coming up, once these two got involved, well, what they had to do was just plain -- weird. >> very. >> when "the seduction" continues. gives you a 50% annual bonus! so you earn 50% more cash. according to research, everybody likes more cash. well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no! but it's more money. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? woah! [ giggles ]
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it was the morning after the night at ron presba's pig pen. the morning after jaime lost his
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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 misty's house. she was winding along chili bar road when she came across a brushfire. 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. 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. i talked to him on the phone that night. >> 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
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odd. fresh stains, a series of dots leading right off the edge of the cliff. word spread fast then. ron's brother ken and his wife got word from a firefighter. >> we heard he came around the corner, hit a deer and went over the bank. >> hardly a surprise that a car would fall below. this is deer habitat, plenty of them scamper across the but there are no barriers to prevent a car from careening off the edge. standing on the highway, ron's daughter saw the commotion, the fire down below, but understanding came slow, like a wound that takes a minute to start hurting. >> dad does not like to drive chili bar and dad does not drive at night. >> i didn't believe it and you step out of the role of being a
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daughter and into the role of we got to find out what's wrong and what happened. >> pretty soon, april and misty and misty's husband were all up here on chili bar, watching the policemen and firemen at the gorge, and then misty caught sight of the splotches on the surface of the road itself. >> 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. >> 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 a call that something wasn't right with this accident. >> detectives paul hagis and mike lensing of the eldorado county sheriff's office were on call that morning. >> there was a pool of blood, pretty good sized, and then droplets and the drops kind of followed the path of the vehicle
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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. >> as the detectives made their way into the gorge, they found hanging from a bush this singed plastic bag. >> we went down there, the
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embankment a little bit and got a closer look. and my partner opened up the bag. >> 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. coming up, the bag was only one of many surprises that day. >> and she -- >> i'm so sorry. i'm just so sorry. and i'm thinking, why are you sorry? >> when "the seduction" continues. can i help you? yeah, can i get a full-sized car? for full-sized cars, please listen to the following menu. for convertibles, press star one. i didn't catch that. to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service, and neither do we. that's why, unlike other cards, no matter when you call chase sapphire preferred, you immediately get a person not a prompt. chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color. (phone ringing)
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the accident up here on the narrow winding highway they call chili bar didn't look right at all, not to the fire department, and not to the two homicide detectives who followed a suspicious looking trail of blood down the highway to the place the suburban went off the edge. that's why they found a stomach-turning clue inside a plastic bag. >> i found a partial human brain or a partial brain. that was the last thing i expected to find in there. >> down in the gorge, the suburban was a smoldering metal carcass. >> there was an occupant in the vehicle, but it was burned, you know, so far beyond recognition, you couldn't tell if it was a male or a female.
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>> yet there was little doubt who the victim was. >> we kind of had an idea of where to begin our investigation at that point. >> by now, ron's family, in shock and grieving, gathered at his mother's house. and just across the road, keeping vigil outside ron's house were patty and her children. april and misty 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 emotions. it was like false emotions, like she was trying to force it out. and she said i'm going to miss him so much. he's my whole life and she's shaking the fence and she's got this -- >> right around here? >> in the garden. >> just down here. >> and i'm so sorry, i'm just so sorry. and she went over and shaking the trees and going into this hysterics but not one tear is coming out of her eyes. >> no genuine emotion. >> none. none. >> almost as strange, they said, was the behavior of patty's children.
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>> they were out laughing and having fun and drinking and blaring music, like nothing was going on because she had them believe that dad had hit a deer. >> in the midst of this bizarre gathering, detectives pulled up to question patty, the one who reported ron was missing. >> when we arrived there, she was surrounded by her family and she hooked to be distraught. >> so they took her into the house where they could talk to her privately. and that's when they saw it. >> while i was standing in the living room, speaking to her, i look over to my left, and in between the couch and the wood stove is a spray of blood. >> 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. >> that's when they found out patty had an alibi. she had been out with her daughter and granddaughter all
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evening, was still out, she said, when ron called her cell phone around 9:00 p.m. >> and he said, well, i'm going to run and get propane for the barbecue tomorrow and some gas so he could mow the lawn tomorrow. >> and that was the last thing she had heard from him. >> and when he didn't show up in the middle of the night, she called the police. >> correct. >> 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 almost speechless because it's like who could have wanted to hurt him? >> when the detectives returned to the house a few hours later, the csi team was about to begin its search for clues. >> used a chemical called blue star. and anything that shows up positive for blood glows. and the entire living room,
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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. >> ron's brother ken 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. >> 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. >> 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 is getting bizarre. >> 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
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not only allowed patty to return, it gave ron's family members the first horrifying look inside. >> you could see blood spatter on the stove, on the ceiling. it looked like somebody just took a spatter gun and spattered it all over the ceiling. >> and i'm looking up and i look down and there was brain matter and skull and tissue, and i about just fell down. i -- like my whole body just 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? >> there was so much to take in that first day. it was all such a shock that no one thought to ask.
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where is that young man who was staying here? where is jaime? coming up. and soon jaime was not the only one missing. patty was gone too. had her prediction to police come true? >> i don't think i'll be around for long. i'm telling you, he'll come for me. >> when "the seduction" continues. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria
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the sierra nevada mountains, a strange place one would think to find a pair of homicide detectives. but for mike lensing and paul hagis, these quirky old gold mining towns are their beat. they devoted their careers investigating the sudden and violent deaths of loopy 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
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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. >> 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. >> due in no small part to patty, who they discovered, was rather hard to pin down. >> do either one of you have boyfriends or girlfriends that you're currently seeing? >> no. >> 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? >> when the detectives confronted patty about jaime -- >> we were told that you do have a boyfriend. >> by whom? >> i can't disclose that.
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>> that i have a boyfriend? >> yes. >> no. we have a 21-year-old man who was staying with us for three weeks until he could get his stuff together to move to texas. >> okay. what is his name? >> jaime ramos. >> what is that? >> jaime. >> jaime. >> j-a-i-m-e r-a-m-o-s. >> does he have a cell phone? >> no. not that i'm aware of. >> 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 would have murdered ron. >> we all knew, i mean in our hearts what had -- that she killed -- she killed him. >> 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.
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>> exactly the plot line of that old film classic "double indemnity," the husband's murder staged to look like an accident. >> okay, baby, that's it. >> that's what it looked like we had, a staged accident scene. >> 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 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 have a hidden relationship. >> brought in for further questioning, patty suddenly and dramatically changed her story. >> she finally stated that her and jaime ramos were having a sexual relationship.
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>> 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. >> it scares the hell out of me that i brought someone into my home that may have killed him. that scares the living crap out of me. >> with plenty of suspicions but little hard evidence, the detectives let patty go. 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. >> 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.
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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. she was devastated. and within 24 hours i had a phone call from jaime ramos. >> 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 hagis received an urgent phone call. >> patricia had gone missing. >> a month to the day after ron's murder, the two detectives were back at the presba house, investigating another strange and violent crime.
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>> 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 cutout pieces or cutout letters from a magazine, glued to it, stating that i have taken her. >> did it occur to either one of you that maybe ramos himself had kidnapped patricia, that he was behind this 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 he had been back in town. >> during the second investigation in their family home, april and misty 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? i said, no, not that the detectives had said.
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and she said my mom called last night and asked us to help her get rid of a body. coming up, 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 me. i've been shot already. >> when "the seduction" continues. ebooks, photo center prints and... two htc sensations from t-mobile. hey dad! hey son! i'm at study hall. that's great, you make me so proud. thanks dad. [ clatter, scream ] what's that? nothing... [ man ] game on! ♪ i gotta go! was that a chicken? [ male announcer ] get low prices on the latest 4g phones starting at $28.88. save money. live better. walmart. that's why i recommend crest pro-health clinical gum protection. it helps eliminate plaque at the gum line, helping prevent gingivitis. it's even clinically proven to help reverse it in just 4 weeks.
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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 of 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.
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>> 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. i had grabbed her and i says, are you patricia presba? 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." >> 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, you know. i put my arms up and i just -- like, wow, what's going on? and they helped me out of bed. they handcuffed me.
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>> patty, police discovered, had been stabbed in the arm, and jaime? shot, three bleeding holes in him. >> i was told that i was 30 minutes or so away from bleeding out. >> a medic attended to jaime's wounds. a policeman searched the hotel room, found gauze, medicine, hair dye, a handgun, and movies, "rambo" and "diehard." 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 saw her there talking to a police officer. and then i started to think she gave me up, saying that she was kidnapped. >> 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.
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it was dark and i shot him. i was scared he was going to kill me. >> you fired that gun from in here. >> patty said he overpowered her, grabbed the gun, told her it was a kidnapping. >> he said we're leaving. get in the car. he put me in the car. >> she blamed it on mr. ramos. she blamed the whole thing on mr. ramos, stating 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. but for some reason, the bullets didn't expand and they went right through him. >> he was lucky. >> jaime was taken away for medical treatment. as he recovered, he thought about the fake kidnapping, the shooting, the choice of salt lake, even though he was 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.
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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 mad man. but then a faint thought of my family came through, saying, oh, 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. >> 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 had to actually 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.
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>> 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. >> coming up, what he did for love. >> i put on the gloves, i wiped down the hammer. >> when "the seduction" continues. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift
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jaime ramos described ron presba as the kindest man he ever met, the sort of father figure he had 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 lost his nerve out by the pig pen, 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
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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, just leave. >> 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 inside 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? is it done? not yet. well, hurry up. click. and i finally took my last drink of water.
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i put on the gloves. i wiped down the hammer. >> ron was in his easy chair watching tv. jaime, a few feet behind, seated at the kitchen table. >> i looked myself in the reflection by the window, and i was telling myself once again, if you do this, there is 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. >> they must be true. >> and that they must be true. this has to be true. if she tells me it's true, she won't lie to me. she's never lied to me.
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>> 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 adrenaline rush because i started to feel the anger. i jumped out of my seat and i hit him on the head three times, quickly. he put his arms up, and i -- sounded like a what and a why at the same time. and he -- 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?
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and i hit him on the head about three, four more times. and it just ended up where i knew for a fact he was dead. >> broke his skull. >> 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'll be happy now. >> 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?
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>> 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. >> so jaime made a ramp out of a ladder and a sheet 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 though 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 exhausting. >> sitting right beside this man
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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? >> i thought of a movie. >> 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. >> 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
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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 ron's easy chair. then at the curb 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 up the propane tank, i lit the lighter while i put his foot on the gas pedal. it was on park, so it was just revved. i lit it and 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 flea southeast to
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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 if i didn't see her that she was going to abandon me. >> 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 looks 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, can i at least get a last good-bye hug and kiss? she gave me this hug and this
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kiss that was empty. >> and now alone at night on the open road -- >> when i started to feel dirty. i started to feel ashamed. i wanted to throw up. i felt like i had 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. >> 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. coming up, a date with patty, a very bad date. >> i'm like, patty, what are you doing right now? did you just shoot me? >> when "the seduction" continues. whoa.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. gop presidential candidate newt gingrich has a commanding lead in the polls today and new nbc news/marist poll shows him winning in florida and south carolina. and former dictator manuel noriega is heading home to panama. after 20 years behind bars for drug trafficking and money launders he'll be back in jail for the killing of two political rivals. now back to "the seduction. " 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, stayed with a favorite uncle and, once there, he couldn't stop himself from talking about his greatest passion, patty.
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>> i told him, 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. >> but within a week, jaime's grandmother called, said police in california wanted to talk to him. and 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 that wanted to talk to you. >> i felt 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. >> 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. >> i started to feel the loneliness again. i started to feel that i needed my nourishment again. >> so he called and begged patty to let him return.
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but that was not part of patty's plan. >> she told me no, go -- don't come -- just 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. >> 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 san francisco again, just everything was just happy and nothing mattered anymore. >> all those worries fell away. >> all those worries fell away. >> until reality had found him. >> my family called me and said, 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.
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tomorrow? promise us, tomorrow. yes. okay. >> 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. >> and so the day before jaime was to see the police, patty launched her new production. she told jaime he would be the hero, the leading man. >> that's when patty told me about this plan of a false
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kidnapping. >> 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 that 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. >> the killer of her husband. >> that evening, patty told jaime put on overalls and gloves and a mask. >> she gave me a stocking to put over my head. >> wait a minute. who is going to be seeing you with a stocking over your head except her? >> she was telling me it was so that no sweat or hair can come off. >> next, patty told jaime to craft this note using words and phrases cut from a newspaper. they got the idea from -- well, where else? >> just from movies of seeing
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ransom letters from people, how -- >> they always do it that way. >> they always do it that way. no penmanship can be traced. she's like, yeah, yeah, just make sure this is what it says. >> the note was nonsensical except for some phrases patty insisted on, like she's mine, too jealous and real pain. >> it was giving me the chills. because when i looked at it, i felt that it was real. i was like, wow, this is -- this is crazy. this is something that a crazy person would write, you know. i don't remember the specifics, but it was definitely something about now that he's gone, i can have her to myself. it will be all over soon. we'll be together forever. coming up -- >> she starts running outside the house screaming for help. i get up and i run outside to
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get her. i'm like, patty, what are you doing right now? did you just shoot me? >> when "the seduction" continues. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50 percent annual bonus. so you earn 50 percent more cash. if you're not satisfied with 50% more cash, send it back! i'll be right here, waiting for it. who wouldn't want more cash? [ insects chirping ] i'll take it. i'll make it rain up in here. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? sorry i'll clean this up. shouldn't have made it rain.
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>> jaime had been played for a fool for so long, had 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. 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 slams my arm down to -- and i just end up slicing her. >> deep cut?
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>> pretty deep cut. she started moving her arm around, making sure there was blood splatters. i go and get the car, i back it up. i can't find her. but i see that her bathroom door for the master bedroom is closed. and that's when i realize, okay, she just wants the door kicked down. when i kicked that door down, i see her silhouette with a gun. i said, patty! 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. 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.
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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 and 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? >> why? patty's only response, said jaime, was to reach into a 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 to kill me?
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it's me, jaime. she very calmly says, i'm not reloading the gun. i don't know what you're talking about. >> now he was confused. he ran into the bathroom, tried to hide. >> i don'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 totally a different woman. i was looking her in the eyes and it 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 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
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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 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. 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?
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>> yes. she told me how sorry she was, how she doesn't remember shooting me. >> at the time you really believed that, huh? >> yes. >> 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 wounds and went on an 18-hour drive as the kid's life slowly oozed away. after the night in the 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 went and i bashed him in the head. >> where was he? >> he was just watching tv. >> he told them how he murdered that good man, ron presba, as if to free his conscience of its sinful burdens.
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>> and i remember the last things he just said was, like, he asked -- he asked why. and i was so furious with him at the time, and i told him, you raped patty. you beat her. >> and yet, still willing at 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 loved her very much. you know that i would have done anything for her. i know this is going to sound weird. >> what's that? >> but as much as she's done to
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me, if she's here, would there be any chance i can just see her? >> not at this point. not at this point. >> i feel for her. you know, she really -- she really made me feel like i was her husband. she was my wife. >> the question now, would he be willing to take the fall before a judge and jury? coming up, 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. >> when "the seduction" continues. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day
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hang town, the old gold rush name for the seat of el dorado county. this is where jaime and patty
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were held during the trial, a rural community with a single jail for both men and in our story that matters. and women. 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. it's very clear. it's incredible. >> 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 again that she was telling me about the man. >> what did you say to each other through that tube?
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>> a bunch of i love yous and sorries and we'll get through this together. i promised patty that i'll make you walk, you'll get away with this. >> an empty promise? well, perhaps not. much of the case against patty would be based on jaime's confession. >> she said, okay, you have to make it look like an accident. >> she purchased the life insurance with the purpose of cashing in on it -- >> cashing in on it. >> by him being murdered and you guys making it look like an accident? >> correct. >> 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 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.
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>> and then came and kidnapped her. >> exactly. to get rid of the only other witness he had. 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. >> the d.a. of el dorado county, vern pierson, says without jaime's testimony, convicting patty would be troublesome. >> there is a big difference between knowing and believing that somebody is 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 that? >> i was prepared to go along. >> spend the rest of your life
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in prison. >> spend the rest of my life in prison. >> to be visited by patty. >> to be visited by patty. >> his 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. >> james clark, jaime's court appointed attorney, says he's never had a case like this in 30 years of practicing law. >> i like the kid. i like the kid. but you know what? i also liked the victim. he seemed to be a good guy. >> what's your assess meant of her? >> my viewpoint of her is she's -- she's a reptile. she has no heart, no feelings, no emotions. there's only one person she's interested in. that's her. >> ever seen this kind of manipulation before? >> never to the extent that i saw it here. >> what did you say to him about that? >> what can you say to anybody
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who's in love with anybody? i mean it's irrational. >> 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. >> evidence of guilt was overwhelming. the issue was how he was going to be punished. that was the issue. >> 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. >> being in here has brought me closer to god. it's where it helped me see the truchlkt my family told me, when have we ever lied to you? when have we ever hurt you. i couldn't thinking of anything. so why then do you not believe
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us, the police, everybody,'ve her own children are saying how evil this woman is. how can you not believe this? it made me realize this is the are you still talking to her yes. >> you need to stop. >> okay. i ended up getting a contact visit, thanks to my attorney, that was able to work that out in a room like this i got a contact visit with my three moms and an uncle. and they woke me up for the first time in a long time and this was the truth. i have to stop lying.
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i can't stop denying this. and that's when that moment forward i stopped contacting her in every way >> and instead gave a truthful account of ron's murder before a grand jury. >> one of the grand juror said i don't think that young man would have harmed a fly in its life, but for the fact that he ran into patty. >> here's where the car went over? >> yes. >> then he showed the detectives 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. >> 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 glade along chilly bar road. >> where he's at back there, that's the area, shouldn't be further than that. >> and there, buried in the leaves, detective lensing found something.
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>> 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. >> now, jaime had to prepare himself for the day when he would have to take the witness stand, face patty, the woman he still loved, and condemn her. >> i was telling myself i was good 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, that can you please point to, you know, the defendant, and then -- >> couldn't imagine doing that. >> i couldn't imagine doing that, but i felt like, okay, i have to do that real quick and
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then i can look at my family. >> 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. >> why patty pleaded guilty is a mystery. >> i think at some point she probably had 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. >> when we got the call from the d.a. and i had time to think about it the night before, i myself knew, i had the gut feeling that she was going to make a plea just because i knew -- i didn't think she realized that she wasn't getting
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anywhere. she was not getting out and she was at the end of her road, that she's got a lot of time to serve. >> and it was so against her character as a person, i was shocked. i -- 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. >> 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 cold-hearted 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. >> and jaime? he, too, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and while casting shamed pen i tent looks at his family was sentenced to 25 years to life.
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but before being led off to prison, he agreed to meet with ron's daughters, april and misty. >> he explained that the little amount of time that he knew my dad, he was also growing to love 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. >> the forest home where their father cared for them is a dark place now, an ugly place. >> my dad lost his life in here, it's horrible. i want the house to be burned down. there is so much evil that took place in here that it is just not comfortable. >> 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. >> what do you think about her now? >> i think about her as a psychopath.
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she is a psychopath. she can manipulate everybody around her and has no feelings whatsoever toward what she does to people. she can actually control her body into making you think that that's true. and that's what psychopaths do, they make themselves sick so you can believe them. >> do you love her still at times moments in the dark in the night? >> there's moments where i feel what i did was right. >> because you wanted her so much. >> because i wanted her so much. >> and you still do. and i still do. did. >> do maybe sometimes? >> sometimes, but it is going away. it's going away. >> for more on this story, logon to our website at dateline.msnbc.com.

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