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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  April 25, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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this is dateline. >> that night it's absolutely pitch dark. it was abandoned and it was secluded. this was his playground. this was the place we had been searching for. >> it was the still of the night when the killings started. >> i have been shot me and my mother have been shot. >> you can feel in here the fear in her voice. >> a single mother and her teenage daughter, ambushed in their bedrooms. >> here comes a monster into your house. >> i just broke down.
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i just couldn't imagine who wanted to do this. >> then it happened again to another mother and another daughter. >> somebody is killing mothers and daughters. that is about as scary as it. gets >> who is out there. and who would be next. >> something you would never imagined would happen. >> the clues lie here, in abandon mansion, erie, haunting. where was this killer? hiding >> cold calculating eyes, lifeless. he was almost a ghost. >> could they catch him? could they stop him? >> i get chills all over. i'm kind of on the edge of my. seat >> he truly thought he could outsmart us. >> hello and welcome to dateline. would you recognize danger, if it was lurking nearby? this story that you are about to hear, is a tale of true
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terror. a killer was stalking victims in a quiet neighborhood, leaving residents panicked that they would be next. police were determined to catch him, unaware he was hiding in plain sight. but soon, a stolen set of keys would help investigators unlock a mystery and unmask a murderer. here is dennis murphy, with the unusual suspect. >> consider for a moment that cozy word home, and all it evokes. warren. family, shelter, security. got it? and now reflect on what happens when those four walls are breached, when nightmare stuff crawls through the window, kicks in the doors, when a haven becomes a house of horrors. so how does that feel? just ask floyd irving. >> i'm laying on the couch. i wake up in there's two gunmen over top of me holding guns,
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pointing them at me like hold it down, you're being robbed, don't move. >> here's a past that night in august 2000, a outside the nation's capital, in a nice neighborhood in prince georges county maryland. but lloyd and vicky ervin and their son, just four years at the time, are still haunted by the image of gunman. two masked intruders. >> talk about your worst nightmares. this is. it >> yes it's something you would never imagine would happen. >> what the robbers didn't count on was that lloyd is a nationally renowned martial arts expert. and when one of the gunman walked away to school but the rest of the house, lloyd was suddenly one-on-one with his accomplice. >> the gunman is over here in the corner right. >> or in the corner over. there i know it doesn't have any room to back up at all. i just go. i'm coming over. and i got the gun. and i give it cartridge out. once the car chases out a. drop so i hit the. ground >> where the intruder go. he ran out of the room. he was running like low like, he has the.
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gun >> by the time lloyd managed to reload, the wrestled away gun and give chase. both invaders had escaped. >> i'm calling 9-1-1 my sons on top of me and he's just shaking, not saying a word, not crying just shaping. and i often think you know where they're going to kill us that night? >> the ervin family would not be the first or the last asked that awful question. >> i'd like to report a robbery. >> 9-1-1 how can i help you? >> in the months that followed, the area was hit with a wave of home invasions. each time to masked men, meticulous ball not leaving fingerprints or evidence behind. the prince georges county police were baffled. the community was understandably on edge. and then on january 26th, 2009, on a quiet street in upper marlborough, the county see anxiety turn to full on, both the doors panic. >> print georges county 9-1-1 center. what is your emergency? >> ma'am i've been shot. me and my mother have been
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shot. i'm bleeding to death. >> where are you? >> it was a desperate plea for help from a dying girl. on the phone 16-year-old student, clarissa law often. >> sweetie slowdown. what's the. address >> police rushed to the scene, but it was too late. they found caressing and her mom karen in their bedroom, each killed execution style and shot straight to the head. >> crimes quickly become statistics. but this just stands, out doesn't it? >> it stands. out it makes the hair on the back of your head stand up also. >> veteran prince george is county have inside detective bernie nelson was in charge of the case. the first arriving officers told him they found the main door locks shot from the inside. the killer they thought, head likely enter the house through an unlocked side window. >> this bedroom on the second floor that's facing us, that is where caruso was found. detective nelson wondered, did the murders of anything to do
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with the plague of recent home invasion robberies? if so, why was nothing stolen from the house? >> her vehicle was still in the driveway, nothing appeared disturbed. >> investigators did not find any useful forensic evidence. just sixpence shell casings from the bullets that had carried karen and clarissa. fired from a glut 17 handgun. >> we did find out that just two doors down, across the street, someone had seen a blue vehicle parked right on the right side of the road. in that, right now, at this point that is all i have. >> so detective nelson set out to find more about his victims. >> karen loft in turned out to be a devoted mother and nurse with no apparent enemies. she was divorced from caresses father kirkland, who now lived in atlanta the daughter, charisma was in private school had good grades and was still a very attached to her father. >> chris it was a special girl for me, because at a young age she had open heart surgery, and she bounced right back from. it kirkland said he had watched
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karissa blossom into a gregarious teenager. a fashionista and inspiring model with a knack for selfies. >> i sing the song by bob carlile, it's called butterfly kisses. it told the story of him and a daughter, and i used to sing that song to her. and she would just look at me and she loved me singing a song to her. she was my butterfly. that's what i called her. >> now kirkland's butterfly was dead, and detective nelson recruited some of pg county's finest to help him solve the case. including detective anthony shirt near. >> this is a mother, hardworking, and her daughter. and they both think that there safely inside their home. >> and here comes a monster into your house with a glut. it shocked us all >> as a hunt for this brutal killer, detective started with the
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usual suspects. >> since there's no rhyme or reason behind that you can come up with, you have to look at family members. >> one family member in particular. karissa 20 year old brother, but he wasn't there when cops arrive. police spotted him near the crime scene several hours after the murders. could his son, a brother, have done such a monstrous thing? >> the investigation begins with some tough questions for kion. coming up. >> would you have hurt your mom and sister? >> one of the tech simply in the said everybody in that room thinks it's. you? >> was it? why happen next would launch a whole new wave of fear, when dateline continues. continues continues
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daughter and her daughter executed. executed. . detective bernie detective nelson investigated bernie hundreds of murders nelson had investigated hundreds of murders. and had learned to and learn keep the recurring images of death at arms length. but this case was different. he was the father to a teenager around karissa lofton age. >> ma'am i've been shot. me and my mother have been shot. i'm bleeding to death. >> that poor little girl in her bedroom. she has the gumption to get on the phone and call you. >> it hurts to listen to the 9-1-1 call because you can feel and hear the fear the fear in her voice.
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>> even though nothing was taken it seemed clear the killer broke into the house. in fact the burglar alarm had gone off, but it was disabled in under one minute. and that put karen's thing kion loft and at the top of police is persons of interest. list he lived in the house. he knew the code. police brought him in for questioning. >> does your mom set the alarm for the? house all the time? >> one of the detectives plainly said, everybody in that room things it's you, you're the only one that had access to the code. >> would you have hurt your mom and sister? >> you would've never hurt your moment sister. >> i was upset, i don't have anything to do with it. whatever you need to do. it's not going to be me. >> keyon told investigators he was spending the night as fiancée's house. her mom woke him and told him she had heard on the news that two women on history had been murdered. >> i just ran out of the house. my heart was racing. i just hopped the gate, hopped the car, i'm running late, some
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speeding, i'm still calling at the same time. and when i got there they asked me for my name. and the police officer just turned his head thing anyone said ok we got the sun. here and i just broke down you know. >> keyon's alibi checked out. it wasn't him. investigators also interviewed kirkland, karen's ex husband and caresses father. he too had an airtight alibi. he'd been in atlanta at the time of the murders. >> did you go a lot of places? together >> next on detectives list was karen's former boyfriend, michael lacey. he refused to take a lighted tech to test so police interviewed him three separate times. >> did you all have keys to each other's? house >> definitely. not >> you could just walk over and walk in? >> we would. call >> he is someone that we had to rule out completely and we did. that >> so if you're thinking in your line of work, the usual suspects, the usual suspects were not going to figure in this one. >> not the media. family >> defective is nelson
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ensured or realize they had on their hands, while homicide cops, he obtrusively. the first 48 hours of a case, usually you get a break. and there's something that says chase this, right? >> yes. normally you would get something within the first 48. hours >> so this is as baffling as it was. cruel >> exactly. it did make any sense. >> then came march 16th, 2009. six weeks after the lofted killings went to unsolved murders became four. >> and begin with a report of a stolen nissan maximal, just a couple of blocks away from where the law often's had been killed. >> what is the nature of? emergency >> i just left my house about an hour ago and came back in my car was missing out of the port. detective shatner was on call that. night >> she's on the phone with the 9-1-1 call take, or she notices that her car comes zooming up from up here on the street, and comes by her at a fast rate of speed. that's my car. okay it just seems past me.
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wow. she sees it while she's on the phone. there comes, there goes. absolutely. >> police swarmed the neighborhood hoping to nab the car thief. he was nowhere to be found but police soon discovered the stolen car captured here on a cruisers dash camera. it was parked in the driveway with vacant houses engulfed in flames. firefighters called to the scene to extinguish the fire made agreeably discovery. two bodies burned beyond recognition. and the victims, another mother and her teenage daughter. >> dental records confirmed the identities of the bodies found monday in the trunk of the stolen car. 42 year old dolores do it and her daughter, 19 year old ebony to it. >> she worked at a nursing home and she love taking care of the elderly population. i mean, she loved those people. and they loved her. >> patricia smith remembers her sister dolores as a mother and nurse who worked hard to
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provide a good life for her two daughters, but always saved a little time for herself. >> she liked to go places. every year she would treat herself on vacation. she felt like she worked hard, she would play hard. >> and i've been? she was the livewire at family get togethers. >> we made everybody laugh. she just acted crazy until the end of the day. i mean, she loved life. >> the last person known to have seen ebony alive was her boyfriend. he told detectives that the previous night they have a late dinner, she was wearing her favorite blue sweater. then he drove her home, watched her go inside her house. the killer may have been waiting. and now, when police once again made no arrests within 48 hours of the murders, waiting to was a devastating patricia. >> i started going back to my sister's house. late at night, i would go and sit in the yard and just hoping that he would come back. i would sit there with a knife and my hand. and i will hold, i will hold it.
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like real tight just in case he came up on me or something. because it would be him or me. either him or may. and i told the detectives what i did. >> she couldn't sit still and do nothing. she wanted to be involved in the investigation from day one. she would actually go door to door in the neighborhood and talk to neighbors, try to ask them questions but i had to repeatedly explain to her that we can't have her interrupting our case. >> she's a thorn in your side. >> she is. but i understood because if my sister were killed, it would be hard for me to sit still to. >> so detective shot near made patricia a promise. >> we were sitting in the car and i remembered just crying and crying and crying. and then he promised me, he said i'm gonna get him. he said if it's the last thing i do. he said i'm gonna get. him >> to do that, detective shot near and nelson had to
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confront a terrifying question. >> you've got to murdered mother daughters within, across the fence, virtually. >> right. >> same neighborhood. so you're thinking are these things related? right? >> you'd have to think that if they are related, you have a serial murderer on your hands and you don't know when he's going to hit next. and you don't know who he's going to hit next. >> coming up. >> a neighborhood on edge. police under pressure, and the question everyone feared, would there be another victim? >> it was wide open. we had nothing. that's when it gets scary. >> when dateline continues. that works to turn down acid production, blocking heartburn at the source. with just one pill a day, you get 24-hour heartburn protection. take the prilosec otc two-week challenge. and see the difference for yourself. prilosec otc, 1 pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn.
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detectives bernie nelson and tony sharpton or hope that their collective experience would help crack two of the most horrific murder cases they had ever encountered. >> when you back up and look at what you've got, the scary fact is somebody is killing mothers and daughters, right? that's the commonality. >> yes and within close proximity of where the duets were found burned in the vehicle it was just two blocks away from where the often's were shot in their house. . >> the detective suspected they were dealing with the same murder and both cases, especially when they realized dolores the wit was a single mom and a nurse, just like karen loft in. but first, they exhausted the usual suspects. dolores had an ex husband and an ex girlfriend, but both had solid alibis. >> we had given them polygraph tests. they passed.
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we did bound ground checks on them. we found out where they were and there was nothing that would lead us to say that they were involved. >> as in the lawton case, when detectives shirts the towards home, they found no sign of a forced entry just an unlocked side window. and inside the house, once again, no forensic evidence. but a different pattern. the killer had taken his victims with him. >> we don't know if they were killed inside the house and transported away, or if they were just transported away and killed elsewhere. >> the burned out nissan maxima that carried the mother and daughters bodies didn't yield any significant clues either. the fire had destroyed everything but a tiny piece of jeans on dolores his body. and attached to the jeans, some leaves foliage experts identified as coming from a beach tree. odd because there were no trees like that in the neighborhood. and the mystery only deepened when the autopsy results came back. >> ebony and dolores were actually killed 24 hours prior to them being burns in the car.
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that was another hiccup in the case. where were these two bodies kept for a full day? >> it seemed the debates killer took immense risks to get rid of the bodies. >> you're talking about taking two women out of their house and transporting them to another location and then stealing a car, putting those dead bodies in the car, driving past the house that you just stole the car from, and then parking in a driveway of a vacant house, that setting that car on fire and walking away. >> and the autopsy also revealed that tillerson ebony were strangled, not shot as the lofted's had been. it was a puzzle. were they dealing with a serial killer are not? >> did you think one guy was responsible for both these crimes? >> i would go back and forth. one day i would -- it was all in that it was the same person. the next day, i thought it wasn't. because both crimes are so different. >> then finally the detectives
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caught a break. they learned that a month before the dewitt murders, the owner of the stolen we saw maxima had been the victim of a break in. she reported it but at the time, told the police that nothing had been taken. now she noticed that her spare set of car keys was missing. >> so tony, as i understand your detective logic goes something like this. if i can find the person who broken who stole the key but then use the vehicle to transport the bodies i'm getting close to my killer. >> exactly. it gives me direction to where i can find the killer. >> 200 police officers blanketed the area and brought in more than 80 people for questioning, all to no avail. for many prince george county residents, home invasion victims vicky and lloyd urban that man only one thing, panic. >> it was crazy. i couldn't sleep at night. any sound, i had alarms put up throughout the entire house and plus we got the dog, -- >> and bars on the windows. >> yes. >> the house was turned into
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four knocks. a barking crazy dog who closet the windows if he hears a doorbell ring. there was no peace in the house. i was like, we have to turn some of this stuff down. i can't live like this because he's, like i don't care if this is going to save our, life you know? >> just the fear that spread was absolutely amazing. >> by july 2009, four months after the debate murders and six months after the lofted murders, detectives were stumped. >> we kept calling them and they weren't giving us no answers so that pisses me off because i felt like we deserved to know something. >> it was wild. we had nothing. >> we were out of the investigative playbook and that's when it got scary. >> the detective had made a promise to patricia that he would take down her sister's killer. with that turnout now to be an empty promise? at this point, what he needed was luck. and luck was about to come his way from the most unexpected source. coming up, an unassuming
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neighbor comes forward with some unbelievable information. >> at that point we realize that our investigation just took a drastic turn. >> when dateline continues. you get fast, 24-hour relief in one drop. make it a pataday with the drop that's right for you. now without a prescription. everywhere. with less moderate-to-severe eczema, you can roll up those sleeves. with dupixent, adults saw clearer skin and significantly less itch. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines, don't change or stop them without talking to your doctor. so help heal your skin from within and talk to your eczema specialist about dupixent. ♪ ♪
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join us, the defenders, in our mission. cybereason. end cyber attacks. hello i'm darren brown. from endpoints to everywhere. here's what's happening new cdc data shows over 5 million americans get their second covid dose. cdc warns that this may not include americans who received shots from two different reporting entities. states are now reaching out of the half vaccinated to remind them to get their second shots. crews across the southeast are cleaning up debris after a storm brought powerful thunderstorms. 56,000 people in alabama and georgia are without power as of saturday night. now back to dateline. >> welcome back to dateline. to double murders in one maryland neighborhood, send the community into a full blown
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panic. investigators had cleared the usual suspects, and that's where both cases seem to stall. then, detectives linked to nearby break into one of the crimes. all roads to find the thief led them nowhere but a big break was just around the bend. here again is dennis murphy with, the unusual suspect. >> prince george is county detectives tony shatner and bernie nelson theorize the house theft burglars stole a spare key to a nissan maximum, might lead them to a serial killer. by how to find them? >> we chased down all those leads, it took us several weeks, we came up with nothing. >> then, in july 2000, nine shirt near got an unexpected tip. federal agents from the atf, the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms, had arrested two men for selling stolen weapons.
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keith they suspected one of them had also been involved in several burglaries in the area and his name was jason scott. >> jason scott lived two or three blocks away from the dewitts dewitts house, -- the subject was quick to deny he had anything to do with any of the burglaries, look to shirt near like a pipsqueak. >> he was a small guy. he was meek. his voice was very low. he would not speak to me as you and i are speaking. he would only whisper. he would actually come up and only whisper in my ear. >> did you think i, have a suspect? here >> now. >> atf agents led the festering vegetation into the weapons theft, and they to how having a tough time trying to re-jason. scott >> unusually were pursuing the most violent
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criminals in the united states. for lack of a better word, you know, this guy was not a. thug >> in fact, jason turned out to be a college graduate and a valued employee at ups. >> we did a background check on him and really he had no criminal history. >> jason and his accomplice were charged with weapons theft and possession. given that neither had a criminal record, the judge released them pending trial. >> she had to basically make a decision, all right, you're not a flight risk, you're not a danger to the community, so both were released to home monitoring. >> so they could come and go. court is telling to the go and say no more, don't be stupid, don't be about. guy >> yes. >> but the atf agents were not about to lead jason scott walk away so easily. they suspected he had other coconspirators in the weapons theft, an instinct suggested he might be the kind of petty criminal that might be happy to throw others under the bus for a lenient deal. so the feds offer him a proffer session. sometimes called king for a day. in monopoly it's called get out of jail free card. it's an agreement between the
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prosecutor and suspect that essentially says, you tell us everything you know and we'll go easy on you. and the stuff to they spilled out, you will not come after me? that's the agreement? >> if we can't prove that any other way besides him telling, us than there is nothing you can't do. you can't use his statements against him when that statement is given in that proffer session. >> agents chuck black and company had been on the job for a long time. but will happen next them even them. >> we come into the room to conduct the session with jason scott. myself and dave chapped like around the side of the table. jason in his defense to turn air sitting across. for us we see jason is three pieces of paper in front of him on the table. david i look at the table, and see 40 different addresses. suddenly jason admits to breaking into all of these houses. not only that, nine of the houses he tells us he breaks and do, wakes people up, points guns at their heads and rob them of their valuables. >> at that point we realize they were not just dealing with a guy selling in stealing guns, our investigation took a
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drastic turn. >> jason had rocked the federal agents off their script. the king for a day deal was about copping to firearms charge, and here he was telling them instead that he and his accomplice marcus hunter, made a living by pointing guns that many people's heads, including during the botched home invasion of the ervin family. but he's cut this deal john. you can't go after him on those burglaries. the home invasions. >> at that point, your. correct >> he's home. he's off scot-free. >> home. free >> even better for jason, he believed his accomplice marcus hunter alone, would be left to take the fall for their crime spree. he figures, if i'm the one who's willing to testify against marcus, that will be his opportunity to lessen his sentence. smart. cunning. how good was this guy? >> he certainly had a plan any at an idea of what he was trying to get away with. it really was a life cat and mouse game for him. >> back at the county, detective shirt near was floored when he heard from a
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colleague that the pipsqueak eaton been interviewed and dismissed the week before, had fest up to the majority of unsolved home invasions and burglaries of the neighborhoods of prince george is county. including one of his colleague had been investigating. >> and i thought, oh good for. you you've got your kids. close but i'm still here with four dead women that we have not solved. and i said, hey. just out of curiosity. can you give me that list. >> when the detective plotted the addresses jason had pushed across the table on a map, he could not believe the picture that emerge. >> this is in awe moment in your investigation. >> this is the assam omit. this is our first break in the case. >> coming up. we don't know if we have our guy, but we certainly have something to investigate. >> the investigation was about to lead them here, something called the spooky house. and federal officer on this case would soon be spooked himself, when dateline
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(vo) ideas exist inside you, electrify you. i'll do it. they grow from our imagination, but they can't be held back. they want to be set free. to make the world more responsible, and even more incredible. ideas start the future, just like that. this is ground zero. this is where responded to, was this location, in this was where though dewitt's were found. >> thinking he made the deal of a lifetime, mild, meek, jason scott had confessed to a wave of home invasions and burglaries in prince george is county maryland. but by doing so, he had unwittingly provided homicide
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investigators with the first lead in the lofton and dewitts murder investigations. >> why happens up here as you continue to go? up >> these other various dots along the map other locations where jason's got admitted to breaking into the houses here on woodland. >> here is what the detective found strange. jason had admitted to every unsolved burglar on the block. all but one, the house where those nissan spare cues were stolen. >> for me the most important part of this puzzle, was to find out who broke into this house, right here, where the vehicle cues were stolen. >> in the interrogation he did not give you that. adjusts >> he did. not >> in anonymously, or to jason know-how import in the car cues were deliberately keep the house office. list >> we don't see guys they break into houses and steal a tv, then morph into a serial killer. we don't know if we have our guy. but we certainly have something to investigate. >> detectives sharpen are and
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nelson teamed up with detective agents to create a task force to solve the riddle of jason scott. >> when you guys talk to friends and family, trying to figure out who he was, did anybody tell you, he was a nice guy, i can't believe you've got him in the frame for? this >> nobody had anything like that to say about him. as a matter of fact, most people knew nothing about him. he was almost a ghost. >> a ghost indeed. when investigators sam and item seized at jason's home, they found. this videos he apparently shot as he snuck around the neighborhood. turns out jason scott was a scary a peeping tom as investigators had ever seen. >> video of someone walking through the woods, videotaping people through their homes in various states of dress and undress. getting ready for work, or getting ready to go to bed. this is deeply creepy stuff. >> absolutely. >> the person who knew him best, was marcus hunter, the accomplice first arrested with jason scott. but marcus wasn't talking. investigators wondered, was he
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afraid of jason? >> another former coconspirator was telling investigators jason was no one to cross. >> he's sensitive. you gotta watch how you talk to him. >> these guys would say, if i ever got into a fight with jason, jason you know one fight me, back two years later he be the type of guy to come back and burn my house down. >> that's the type of duty, was he's. crazy >> three weeks after is king for a day deal, jason scott was still walking the streets. investigators knew an off about him to worry for their own safety. >> his mo was, he would specifically go and cut the power to these homes, caught the fire alarm so one night sleeping, and i kind of become aware that all the sudden the power is off in my house. so knowing that jason knew my name and thinking he could figure out where i live, i actually grabbed my gun and proceeded to tactically clear my house. just to make sure that he wasn't the reason for the power being out. as i worked my way through the
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house and into the kitchen, i finally came up and i noticed that in the backyard, the entire neighborhood is dark. at that point, i take a sigh of relief and i realize it's not him. but that's how concerned i was. he is that dangerous of a guy, that i recognize he needed to be in jail. >> if jason scott was smart, the task force simply had to be smarter. and investigators notice jason did not seem to understand an important legal nuance. his proffer did not guarantee him complete immunity. the cops could not use his own words against him, but they could use the words of others. so one investigators found that other accomplices of jason's, they grilled him. >> do you know of him to break into a house and just take carcass? >> yeah he talked about one job, a couple of jobs going in and take the keys and just have just in case he needed the car. >> these details eerily mirrored what happened in the
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dewitt murders. >> he likes to steal car keys, spare keys. he likes to come back later and get that car. >> that was exactly the case with the nissan, right. >> first. check he likes to park carson vacant houses, preferably houses that were for sale. >> again the torched car with the bodies, was a vacant house that was up for. sale >> detective nelson nail down several connections between jason's got in the first mother daughter murder. the law often. 's most important of those, jason's car, a dark blue toyota kammuri. it matched the description of the mysterious car one of the law often's neighbors had seen. >> that could very well have been the vehicle the neighbor had seen the night of the killing. >> then investigators discovered another sticking piece of evidence, a video jason made of the victims of one of his home invasions. a mother and her teenage daughter. >> he brought her into her bedroom instead of a video camera. and in the process of setting up the camera in which he was going to, basically film him self sexually assaulting her,
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the kim and happen to pan right to his face and the screenshot showed us this. wow. >> this is what a lot of justin's victims. saw it's cold, calculating eyes, lifeless. >> investigators were shocked. even more so when they dug up the old police report and notice with the perpetrator they now new to be jason, ed blurted out to the mother and daughter just before he left. >> okay. here it is. >> he said he didn't to hurt us, but he said he was supposed to kill us. >> yet all the evidence was purely circumstantial, not enough to charge, let alone convicted jason with murder. that was about to change. and it had to do with the one case police had plenty of evidence for, the weapons theft. when the agents talked to jason's about it, he mentioned the spooky house, an abandoned building off to be in path and
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upper marlborough. he said he is a complicated sweat to divvy up dilute. detective shark never had a spooky feeling he'd bought more than guns there. >> we're still trying to find the place or house or whatever where the do its were stored or kept for those 20 someone hours. >> so this spooky, house whatever it, is could be the place. >> absolutely. >> and according to jason's proffer, if his statements led to new evidence, that evidence could be used to prosecute him. >> mice thirst thaw and impressions were that this is going to be like, and old rickety alice, maybe even falling apart. >> it doesn't feel like we're heading to spooky house, guys. >> it wasn't until we came here, that we realize there is a long driveway here that maybe made sense. >> there it, is when? >> the spooky house was a georgian mansion up for sale, like the property where the nissan was set on fire, vacant.
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what a hideaway to do whatever you want to do from prying eyes, have? >> absolutely. and at night this is absolutely pitch. dark this is just a playground the jason sky had. >> the task force called in the forensic team. >> we walk down here through these rocks here and that's when i first initially saw the sweater, which was right down here in the rocks. >> it was the charred remains of a blue sweater, the kind ebony dewitts had worn the last time she was seen alive. >> once we saw, that we said hey this is it this is finally, something you were talking about a high five moment. you walk further down these rocks here, and gathered in these leaves where the other two pieces. >> jeans that seem to match the gene fragments covered from dolores dewitt body.
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-- detective sharpen are brought in expert to the spooky, house to identify the foliage. >> and he pulled up here and he said, this is the jackpot of beach trees. >> poor ebony and her mom were here. no question. >> without a. doubt >> but to arrest jason, vest gaiters needed more. so the heat they eliminated is complicit as a murder suspect, so they hear him up again into jason is talking, if you don't, you'll be the want to take the fall. that did it. marcus hunter finally agreed to cooperate. right away he dropped a bombshell about jason. the specter of him becoming a monster grows with each and every stone we overturn. >> coming up. >> i think he truly thought he could outsmart us. >> could? he >> wouldn't take to put jason behind bars? when dateline continues. when dateline continues. when dateline continues.
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scott walked out of the prosecutors office with the potential stay out of jail deal in hand, they persuaded him his accomplice to cooperate. the king for a day was about to be dethroned. >> so marcus tells us a month earlier, prior to the dewitt family being killed, jason and here running through the backyard on a job. and jason stops and looks into
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the do its house and notices ebony, and he starts to stare at her. marcus gets uncomfortable and says, hey we can't stay here all. night we need to go. >> much more damaging, the accomplice told the task force that after yet another robbery, and approximately an hour before dolores and of any were killed, he'd given jason a ride to his car, parked just a block or so from the dewitt house. in the accomplice had more. >> he said there was at one point and it was during the time that the law often's were murdered, that he had seen jason scott for a short timeframe, with a glut 17. >> a glut 17. the very weapon used to murder karen and carris. >> i had one of our investigators try to find out who purchased glut 17's of the last two years, and then contact those people and find out if they can account for their handgun.
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any found out that a home was broken into 13 days before the law often's were killed, and during that break in, they're glut 17 handgun was stolen. >> and here is where detective nelson got lucky. the state of maryland requires handguns to be test fire before they are sold so it can archive eats gun shell casings to help identify, or trace the weapon should it be later used in a crime. >> we immediately took out the shell casings and had them compared to the known shell casings from that known handgun. and during that testing, they were able to verify that all six shell casings came from that one particular glut 17. that was the weapon that was used to kill both of my victims. once we found out where the murder weapon came from, that was used to kill the lofton we need to find out of jason's guy ever had that gun in his hands. we asked his accomplice marcus
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hunter if they ever broke into a house in this one particular neighborhood. he said they did, it was only one house. we never told him which when it was and he looked took us directly to it. the house that the glut was stolen from that killed the law often's. >> this far as the handgun goes, i think that was the nail in jason's coffin. we know he stole that weapon. >> did that solve the lofton murders? >> it got us as close as we are going to. get >> detective schatner and melted arrested jason's at his home in 2009. >> i remember telling him jason take a look at your house, this is last time you will see. it >> he didn't have a response, he just gave some type of noise. smacking his lips of if i'll be back. >> i think he truly thought he could outsmart. us and fortunately for bernie and i and the two agents from the atf we outsmarted him. >> and personally, the takedown
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of jason scott made the detective a promise keeper. >> he said i am going to get him. if it's the last thing i do. he said i am going to get him. and he got him. >> in exchange for his cooperation, marcus hunter got a reduced seven year sentence for weapons possession. it would be another three years before the atf and county police analyzed all the evidence against jason scott. when all was said and done he was sentenced to 185 years in prison. >> one of the things that the judge said, and i'll never forget this, he said you're not even a crime wave year a tsunami of crime. >> the satisfaction take down a guy like? this >> extreme. >> it was the proudest moment in my career. >> but just did cut one final deal. in exchange for acknowledging the prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him for the dewitt, the state agreed not to prosecute him for the lofton. that did not sit well with the lofton family.
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but that's the best investigators thought they could do. >> the bottom line is we know jason is gone forever. he only has one life to give. we cannot punish him anymore than what he is already being punished. >> this serial killer, the master robber and burglar, will likely die behind bars. the neighbors he terrorized are safe again. but under some roofs, there's been damage to the concept of home as a sanctuary. take vicky in lloyd ervin. they've kept their burglar bars their home alarm system, they didn't know how much they needed that stuff until we fill them in. >> let me tell you something that, will probably freak you out in this comes from a guy number two in your house. he said, after the home invasion they came back. >> are you serious? >> he wanted another round, they parked in front of your place, did a little surveillance, sculpted out, and jason scott wanted to come back in and even the score. >> i didn't know that, that's scary. >> could've been your picture on the 11:00 news.
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>> that's. right >> how does one person cause so much damage and so much her in so much loss for so many people? it still blows my mind. >> that's all for this edition of dateline thank you for watchingk you fo watching we had talked about, how would you kill somebody and get away with it? i have dark thoughts and i shared them with a serial killer. >> it was supposed to be a movie. , a frightening film about a serial killer. >> he'd say listen, when you're turning blade grit your teeth and really really show that you're enjoying it. >> but was it really just pretend? >> he else, get down on the ground. he took out ducked a. life flash before my eyes. >> i have never in my life felt fear like that. >> a rising young director filming a murder, or actually committing one? >>te


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