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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  September 18, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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nick. >> uncle nickel baby. that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline. " >> how far would you go? how long would you wait to get justice for a friend? >> he killed her. he needed to pay for it. >> they had been college roommates, super close. until that terrible night. >> the wounds could suggest rage at the victim. >> absolutely. who could have done it, her boyfriend? her ex? >> he was very obsessed with
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angie. >> the trail went cold for more than two decades. but she was sure she knew who the killer was, even got a private detective license to help prove it. >> i said, i'm a private investigator, and i need you to tell me where is the evidence, all of that. it wasn't well received at all. >> finally, the break they needed. >> we got the match. >> leading to one of the greatest twists of all time. >> it could not have shocked me more.? >> hello and welcome to "dateline. " when angie samota walked into a room, people noticed. pretty, vivacious, and outgoing. the college student had her choice of dates. then late one friday night, angie was murdered. a
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crucial clue pointed to one man, but in this case, nothing was as it seemed. it would take decades, and a tenacious friend who uncover the truth. here's josh mankiewicz with "in the middle of the night. " >> it was a saturday morning in 1948 when sheila wysocki's phone rang. >> it was a girlfriend, and she said there's been an accident. >> an accident involving sheila's good friend, freshman roommate and fellow student at southern methodist university, angie samota. >> i initially thought that angie had been in a car accident. and of course, i went through the, is she in the hospital, where is she? and i wasn't getting any information from her. and my girlfriend was crying. >> that's because it wasn't an accident. that same morning, angie's sorority sister, evelyn, was given the news straight out
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by friends. >> they told me angie had been murdered. she had been found naked with a lot of stab wounds. it was -- it was absolutely a shock. >> angie samota had not only been killed, but butchered, repeatedly stabbed in her own bedroom. it was a bloody end to a life that had so much promise. >> she was the most amazing person. she was full of life. she could light up a room. she was very hard worker, and she knew where she was going. she was very, very driven. >> angie had grown up in amarillo, texas, and attended the exclusive all-girl school in dallas. she had just bought a condo near the smu campus. >> angie was this amazing, shining star to so many people that she knew. she was absolutely brilliant before her
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time. she was a double major in engineering and computer science at smu. at a time when girls were not doing that. she had this amazing joy, this absolute love of life. was really the life of the party. >> beautiful, intelligent, single, and 20 years old. it's a combination that attracts men of all kinds. >> she used to get notes on her car. she would get flowers. she would come in and show me who wrote her that day. she had a lot of attention, absolutely a lot of attention. >> am i right thinking she didn't have the best taste in guys? >> like any 18-year-old, she didn't choose wisely. >> some of those choices and men would figure predominantly in angie samota's life, and of her death. there was lance, whom angie dated back home in amarillo and through her freshman year in dallas.
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according to her friends, angie said she was afraid of lance because he had a temper, and had once pulled a knife on her. there was ben, angie's boyfriend at the time of her death. older and already out of school, he was a construction supervisor in dallas. sounds like he was kind of the opposite of lance. >> i would say he was the opposite of lance. >> and there was russell, a new friend of angie's who had gone out that evening with her and her friend, anita. another female engineering student at smu. you saw her that last night? >> yes. >> how was she? >> she was angie. i mean, she was fine. >> that night, anita accompanied angie and russell on an expedition to a series of bars and clubs. angie's boyfriend, ben, was not present. >> ben was aware of the fact that angie, russell, and i were
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all going out together. >> at least angie's friend, evelyn, ben didn't seem like the type to get jealous or violent. you could never imagine ben hurting angie? >> i could never imagine that. >> the evening ended at 1:00 a. m. angie dropped russell off from his apartment, which was walking distance from her own. and then took anita home. she thought about spending the night at angie's but decided against it. what was the last thing you said to each other? >> see you tomorrow at the football game. she doesn't meet me there, very strange. because she was a woman of her word. i remember saying, i wonder why angie is. i came home, and my roommate said, there's something i need to tell you. she said, umm, you might want to sit down. she goes, angie was murdered last night and the police want you to call them back. >> what did you think? >> i didn't want to believe it at first. beyond that, i
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started with the whole would have, could have, should have. could i have prevented it, should i have spent the night? would things have been different? >> but she was not the last person to see angie alive. it turns out angie's boyfriend, ben, was that person. she had stopped by his place on her way home after dropping off anita. later that night, it was ben who called police to angie's condo. and what got their attention was not just what ben said, but how he sounded when he said it. d it >> does he sound frantic, panicked? investigators didn't think so. coming up -- police start focusing on ben, but soon the list of suspects gets longer. >> he was a pretty scary guy. he was creepy. >> when "dateline" continues.
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college student angie samota had been found murdered. arriving officers walked in on a blood bath. >> they found one shoe in the den, another shoe somewhere else. then all her clothes stacked up all in one neat pile. and then angie laying on the bed, covered in blood. her chest area was pretty caved in with stab wounds. >> this was a vicious assault. >> 18 stab wounds, 10 punctured
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the heart. >> josh and patrick were assistant district attorney's in dallas at the time. they say whoever stabbed angie was intent on killing her. that many wounds could certainly suggest rage, anger at the victim. >> absolutely. >> from what you could tell, did angie samota have any enemies? >> it seemed like she had broken some hearts. but she was the type of person that did not have enemies. everyone seemed to like her a lot. the only people that seemed to be mad at her were ex-boyfriends or people that wanted to be her boyfriend. >> police immediately focused on the man in angie's life, starting with ben, her then boyfriend. ben told police a story that sounded a bit suspicious. he said that after dropping off anita after their night out, angie stopped by his place, waking up him for a brief visit, an then drove home. within minutes of reaching her condo, ben says
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angie called him at around 1:45 a. m. in that phone call, ben says angie told him she let a man she didn't know into her home in the middle of the night. a man who had asked to use her phone and bathroom. ben these angie hung up, promising to call him back a few minutes later. but she never did, ben said, and she didn't answer his calls. concerned, ben told police he drove to her condo. but angie wasn't answering her door either. and now ben was locked outside, calling police on the early generation mobile phone in his truck. and sounding to them, oddly calm. >> police weren't sure what to make of ben and his version of events. >> so there was no way to tell whether this story that ben had told police on the 911 tape actually happened? >> the only thing we had was ben's words. >> no cell phone records back
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then or records of local phone calls, so that phone call may have never happened? >> that is correct. >> i would expect someone to be, i can't find her, i don't know where she is, she's not answering. it was a very mellow, feelingless phone call. it was somebody who didn't seem too concerned. >> ben waited in the living room while they went into the bedroom. they came out and told him angie was dead. >> the first responding officer, what he remembered most was even after he had discovered the body and said so, ben didn't even ask what condition, how she was or anything like that.
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>> and sometimes people who don't ask that question don't ask it because they already know the answer. >> exactly. >> didn't ask how she was killed, whether it was gun, stab wounds. >> that's unusual. >> very. >> and there was something else. ben's story may have been suspicious, but ben himself was squeaky clean. >> this was approximately 2:00 in the morning. he had been awakened from sleep, and he arrived at the location in a clean, pressed shirt and he smelled of soap as if he had just cleaned up. that tended to raise some suspicions with the first responding officers that something just didn't seem right. >> while police were trying to process the story ben was telling, they widened their investigation to include angie's ex-boyfriend, lance. the boy next door in amarillo. the boy angie had trouble with. it was something angie's friend,
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sheila, knew all about. >> he was very obsessed with angie. he was so obsessed with her, he would come down all the time to school to see her. >> they had dated through angie's freshman year. >> one night i got a call from angie. she was crying and said that lance had gone crazy and i needed to get over there. she was screaming. lance had take an knife and shredded all of her clothes. >> did he threaten her? >> yes. yes, he did. >> physically, verbally? >> verbally. and you have a weapon, whether it's a knife, scissors, he threatened her. he was a pretty scary guy. he was creepy. >> suddenly, lance was at the top of the investigator's list. >> prime suspect. absolutely. >> especially when we have an 18-wound stabbing. >> there was no forced entry? >> that's right. >> suggesting whoever had gotten into her apartment had either figured out some way of
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getting in undetected or angie knew them and let them in? >> yes. >> all of that pointed either to the ex-boyfriend, lance. or to angie's current boyfriend, ben. or maybe to a new man in her life, the man she had been out with the last night of her life, russell. soon, police would ask sheila, then a college student, to help narrow down that list of suspects, and solve the crime. >> he killed her. he needed to pay for it. coming up -- >> sheila's nerve-racking night with suspect number one. >> here i am sitting across from this man eating dip we are a murderer. >> and then investigators get a break. >> they had their guy now. >> when "dateline" continues. it again. verizon has been named america's most reliable network by rootmetrics.
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an autopsy determined she had also been sexually assaulted just before she was stabbed to death. her friend, sheila. >> i find out she had been raped, and i can't think of anything else. it was overwhelming emotionally. >> it was hard for angie's friends to hear, but the rape did help law enforcement. because they now had the perpetrator's dna profile. but
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back in the mid'80s, that wasn't the help it would be today. >> back in 1984, that could do a type of blood testing to determine whether or not an individual is a secreter or non-secreter. >> roughly 80% of americans are secreter, meaning they have markers for their blood type. the killer was a non-secreter? >> that's correct. >> blood tests revealed dance was a secreter. in addition, lance had an alibi, putting him 370 mile ace way. >> he was staying with his parents in amarillo, working with at the gym there. >> so he was eliminated based
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on that. >> what about ben, angie's oddly unemotional boyfriend, who officers thought acted strangely the night of the murder? >> the police check to see if there was scratches or bruises on him? >> they checked that, his vehicle, his apartment for any type of blood, bloody clothes, anything like that. >> nothing? >> nothing. >> and tests showed ben was also a secreter. whoever raped and killed angie was not. so cross ben off the list. >> which leaves russell. >> and he was a nonsecreter. >> his ally, he was at home in bed, not the strongest. >> there was no witness that could confirm where he was after he was dropped off by angie and anita. >> no one could confirm he went to bed or where he was after that. >> did he ever move off that
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story? >> no. >> and russell said, there was nothing romantic about the evening. it was just a night out for three young people. >> he continued to insist that he didn't have any feelings for angie, he didn't perceive that evening as a date and he wasn't interested in her. >> correct. >> and i get the feeling no one believed that. >> nobody did. a lot of things weren't adding up. >> soon, police were questioning anita and russell buchanan. was there some specific thing they wanted to know. >> was he romantically interested in angie? since he loved within walking distance, that he had committed the crime. >> what anita didn't know is the day after the crime, russell left town for about 24 hours. it seemed sussuspicious. when he returned, police paid him a visit. he said he didn't know anything about angie's
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murder, even though it was all over the news. it seemed hard to believe. police saw motive and opportunity. and while there was no witness placing russell at the crime scene, there was no one to back up his alibi. angie's friend, sheila, met with the lead detective who laid out for her the theory. >> russell snapped is the word he used. and then he grabbed a knife, took her into the room and proceeded to rape her. this is probably the one and only murder he will do, that it was just a passionate moment, and he snapped and he's going to be back to his old calm self. >> investigators asked sheila to have dinner with russell and asked him about his whereabouts the night of the murder. she agreed. >> you're so uncomfortable. here i am sitting across from this man eating din we are a murderer. i'm getting into a
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car with a murderer. this guy murdered my roommate. >> but even to sheila, russell stuck to his story, just as he did when police asked him to take a lie detector test. in fact, russell was found to be truthful when he was asked questions about angie's murder. but about three months later dallas police took a second look. >> they looked at the polygraph again and same to the conclusion he was deceptive. >> that's a big difference. >> huge. they had their guy now. >> i did not want to believe it was somebody close to her. it was more than i could handle. >> did you think police were going to charge russell? >> oh, yes, absolutely. >> but they didn't. russell hired an attorney and stopped talking with police. >> they told me that he had lawyered up and they couldn't touch him. they also said that russell was leaving the country. so, of course, he was leaving the country, he lawyered up. he's hiding. it's
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done. he's going to get away with murder. >> not so fast. russell buchanan is about to tell us a story that will make you re-evaluate everything you just heard. coming up -- russell answers the tough questions. >> the police theory was that you attacked her, you had sex with her, and then you stabbed her to death. and then, will investigators finally have a way to know if he's telling the truth? >> they did have a sample that in today's technology could be tested to try and find a dna standard. >> when "dateline" continues. if dupixent has your moderate-to-severe eczema or atopic dermatitis under control? hide my skin? not me. by hitting eczema where it counts, dupixent helps heal your skin from within, keeping you one step ahead of eczema. and that means long-lasting clearer skin...
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and fast itch relief for adults. hide my skin? not me. by helping to control eczema with dupixent, you can show more with less eczema. 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. when you help heal your skin from within, you can change how your skin looks and feels. and that's the kind of change you notice. talk to your eczema specialist about dupixent, a breakthrough eczema treatment. growing up in a little red house, talk to your eczema specialist about dupixent, on the edge of a forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world
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i'm craig melvin. detectives were convinced they knew who killed angie samota. russell buchanan had the means and the possible motive. but the evidence against him was circumstantial, and soon the case against cold. russell had his own story to tell. but the truth would lay dormant for decades, only to be uncovered by an amateur sleuth obsessed with the case. back to josh.
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>> several months after angie samota was raped and murdered, the prime minister suspect, russell buchanan, hired an attorney and refused to speak with police. several months after that, he left the country. it seemed suspicious, but without enough evidence to arrest him, police could not stop him. russell was not arrested or charged in angie's murder. he went on to become a successful architect. it had been nearly 30 years when russell decided to talk once again about what happened that night and about angie. her friends describe her as the type of girl guys get crush on her. >> maybe so. >> you had a crush on her? >> i hardly knew her. >> but after questioning anita about that shared night out, investigators wrote that she told them that the evening centered around russell and
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angie, and anita felt she was along for appearances sake only. >> it didn't occur to me that it was angie and russ event. it was the three of us. i remember anita and i sitting at the table, visiting while angie was out on the dance floor dancing. >> russell told police angie and anita dropped him off around 1:00 a. m. and he went to sleep. for him, that was the end of the night. >> your alibi was you were home in bed. >> yeah. there was no way to prove it, unfortunately. >> the police theory was that you, after you were dropped off, walked back to angie's house, knocked on the door. she let you in, because she knew you. you already had a thing for her. something went wrong. you attacked her. you had sex with her, you raped her. and then since she knew you and she could identify you, you stabbed
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her to death. >> that's what they thought. >> and so in the days after the murder, police started picking up russell after work and bringing him down to the station for questioning. >> it seemed like two or three times a month for six months. as they got towards the five to six-month time period, there was a significant shift in the tone and tenor of the questioning. outright accusatory. i recall in detail the detective leaning back in his chair with an envelope, photographs of the crime scene, that they were absolutely horrific. he would hold them up in front of me and his questions were, russell, this looks familiar, doesn't it? you remember this, don't you can? because you did this. >> we think you did this. >> no! it wasn't, "we think. "
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it is "you did this. " you had sex with her, you killed her. you stabbed her 18 times. >> but russell continued to deny it. that steady drumbeat of accusation and denial ended only when russell hired the attorney and refused any further free trips downtown. and the murder of angie samota then went cold, for years. then in 2004, 20 years after the crime, angie's friend, sheila, by then living in nashville, decided to act on something she had thought about for a while. >> i actually had felt angie around me for a while, and then i was doing homework for a bible study class, and all of a sudden i look up and as you're sitting there, there was angie. and then i thought, it's time. and i called the police.
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>> and said? >> i wanted to know about the angie samota case, who was working on it, if they were working on it, and if they weren't, would they reopen it. and at that point told me nobody in 20 years had called, not one single phone call. >> that prompted sheila to take a big step. she decided to get a private investigator's license, to see if she could learn enough about crime and criminals to actually help solve angie's murder. at the very at least, she wanted dallas police to take her seriously. she earned her license in 2006. and called the police again. >> i said, i'm a private investigator. you need to send me all of the information on angela samota's case, and i need to talk to the detective and i need you to tell me, you know, what has been done, what hasn't been done, where there's the information, where there's the evidence, all of that. it wasn't well received at all.
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>> but they met with you to talk about the case. >> no, no. >> they gave you the evidence. >> no, no. >> they gave you regular updates? >> no, no, no, no, no. none of it. >> doesn't sound like it helped to be a private eye. >> it did not. so i started making phone calls to them. the first 50 phone calls went to the lead detective, who had been moved to traffic. got nowhere with him. and finally one day, six months into it, i talked to a receptionist who said he's in retirement, he's not working traffic. >> you left 50 messages in one month? >> yes. i'm a little obsessive. >> she eventually was put in touch with the investigator looking at cold cases. a woman who dusted off the old angie
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samota files, took a look inside and found some promising evidence. >> in'06 when she decided to reopen the case, she went over to the lab and realized they did have a rape kit. they did have a sample that in today's technology could be tested to try and find a dna standard. >> by 2006, of course, dna testing had evolved. some of angie's other friends also approached police about reopening the investigation, but it was sheila who eventually made more than 700 phone calls over the years. trying to move angie's case forward. she even offered to pay for the dna testing herself. >> i said, okay, i'll send you a check, who do i make it out to? she said i can't do that. >> that's something police departments pay for, not p. i. s. >> right. >> finally in 2008, the dna sample from angie samota's cold case was entered into the national data base. to sheila
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wysocki, the frightened coed turned mom, turned private i, the pieces were about to finally fall into place. you still focused on the theory that russell buchanan did it and got away with murder? >> absolutely. found out that he was still in dallas, he was a professional. i kept thinking why is this man having a good life after he murdered angie? russell was going to go to jail. >> well, just a minute. >> sheila's persistence breathed new life into a case that sat cold for nearly 24 years. now, the investigation was about to take a stunning turn. coming up -- >> the detective said we've got him. my mind immediately went to russell. who else could have done it? >> good question. but the last thing she was prepared for was the answer. when "dateline" continues.
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angie samota's killer was entered codis, and finally, police had the answer that eluded them for 23 1/2 years. >> we got the break we were looking for. we got the match. >> i received a call and it was the detective, and she said, we got him. my mind immediately
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went to russell. who else could have done it? >> and then she says to you? >> it's not russell. >> it's not russell? >> it's not russell. you could not have shocked me any more. everything i had known my whole life was just gone. this whole time i thought this guy had done it and it wasn't him. it wasn't him. >> dna, as we now know, does not lie. the sample taken from angie samota's body did not match russell buchanan. did you feel guilty for having done everything -- >> to put somebody behind bars, well, yeah. >> done everything you could to convict russell and send him to death row? >> of course i did. i thought this guy was it, and i was going to get him. and he wasn't the guy. so everything that i thought was truth was not truth
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any more. and, yes, i felt very guilty. still do. >> she felt guilty. russell felt anything but. all those years he had been unaware how hard sheila had worked to convict him. all he had known was the intense heat police had applied. but even now, russell just can't seem to get the words "i told you so" out of his mouth. >> it doesn't change anything. angie's life hasn't been resurrected. but my role or lack of role in this case was put to rest. i no longer had to wonder any more about who perpetrated this horrible crime. i know longer had to live with the idea that there were people in the police department that thought i had
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perpetrated this crime. >> the dallas police called him on the phone to apologize. >> the police sergeant was very thoughtful. he said on behalf of the dallas department, i want to tell you we apologize for anything that we may have done to have accused you of a crime in this case, and we wish you well. >> wait a minute -- >> they made me feel great. >> you were okay with that? >> sure. >> that's all it took? >> you bet. >> how many interrogations? >> i have no idea. >> holding the crime scene photos up in front of you. >> yeah, not a happy experience. >> and then they apologize and you're like, that's fine? >> yeah, that's fine. i refuse to allow this to define who i am. i harbor no ill feelings towards the dallas police department. never have. i happen to be an innocent bystander, falsely accused. but
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life goes on. in fact, i was thrilled that they called me to offer an apology. >> but he does think about what might have happened. >> what if i had said i could not go out that friday evening? i wouldn't be here. i would not have even been considered a suspect. so the fate of that one decision to go out one evening cast a very long shadow, not only for angie, but for everyone else involved. >> there's an even bigger question for russell, what if he hadn't been able to hire a lawyer. he was, prosecutors say, an eye lash away from being arrested for angie's rape and murder. >> if you believe he was attracted to angie, he had
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motive, he had opportunity. he didn't have an alibi. now you add failing a polygraph. >> all the evidence pointed towards him. >> it was all circumstantial. >> correct. >> in the mid'80s, that was the kind of thing that got you locked up. >> got a lot of people locked up. >> so who was the man behind the dna match? and what story would he tell? >> angie's friends faced the accused killer in court. will they get the justice they have fought so hard to win? coming up -- >> i remember the air being sucked out of the room and the feeling that i'm in the presence of pure evil. >> but what would a jury see? when "dateline" continues. feel ♪ ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel ♪ [man: coughing] ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day... ♪
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our r inry a attneysys wk hahard i could've made. atat t bararnefirmrm, to get you the best result possible. call us now and find out what your case could be worth. you u mit bebe sprisised >> welcome back. 20-year-old ♪ the barnes firm injury attorneys ♪ ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ angie samota had her whole life ahead of her when it was cut tragically short. by 2008, she had been dead longer than she had lived, and still her case had been unsolved. but with advances in dna technology, police were now ready to reveal a promising new suspect. for years, angie's friend, sheila wysocki, wanted nothing more than the truth. what she learned was as stunning as the murder itself. here's josh mankiewicz with the conclusion of "in the middle of
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the night." >> more than 23 years after the rape and murder of angie samota, the man with that dna was identified. it was not, as we now know, russell buchanan. it was not lance, the ex-boyfriend. and it was not ben, the boyfriend who never asked police how angie died. the man whose dna was found in angie samota's body is donald andrew bess. not a name you had heard before? >> never. never hit the radar of the dallas police department. >> not someone she knew? >> never crossed paths. >> was was his dna on file in the national database. >> he had been arrested and convicted previously of two different rapes. >> donald bess had been out on patrol only seven months on a
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rape charge when angie was raped and killed. prosecutors say she clearly had no idea of his try. when he came knocking on her door. and angie let him in the house. why would she do that? >> a different time, a little more innocent, 1984. they said hey, can i use the bathroom, can you give me directions, she was the type of individual that would help. >> he they have admitted to it? >> has not. >> he has still yet to admit he had sexual relations with her. >> in may 2008, donald bess was charged with angie's rape and murder. the trial took place two years later. his dna was fresh, but everything else in the case was more than 20 years old. and the murder weapon was never found. by now, donald bess was 61. angie would have been 45. her college friend, sheila, walked in the courtroom on the first day of trial. >> and i just remember feeling
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shaky all over. >> she got a close look for the first time at the man accused of robbing angie of most of her life. >> and he walks in the door, and i remember the air being sucked out of the room, and the -- the feeling that i'm in the presence of pure evil. >> anita and russell, the friends with whom angie spent her last night, both testified. both found it emotional. >> just keep reliving a situation that is just difficult. it was just a flood of emotion, of how could you do something like that? >> it was tough, very tough. >> did you look at the defendant while you were there? >> yeah, that was scary. >> and think to yourself, you tier reason i was under suspicion? >> no, that was not what was going through my mind at all. what was going through my mind was, dude, do not come after
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me. >> prosecutors had dna on their side, which sounds like a slam dunk. but nothing ever is in a jury trial. >> the mere fact that his dna is found in her doesn't necessarily put him at the crime scene, doesn't necessarily make him a murderer. >> the defense team went on the attack. >> all you can assume from dna is that he had sex with her. it's up to the facts in the evidence to determine wlfs it was consensual or not. >> you're going to tell me she chose to have sex with him? >> no one was there but angie samota and donald bess. >> and the defense did the same thing police did in the first hours after angie's murder. make her boyfriend, ben, a suspect. the man who made that calm 911 call that police found suspicious. >> to assume that a very intelligence young lady is going to throw the door open to
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a stranger at 1:30 in the morning to use the bathroom, but is so afraid of this person, that she picks up the phone and calls her boyfriend. and then hangs up the phone willingly, and yet this is supposed to be the one that kills her? it doesn't make sense. >> you find ben's actions suspicious? >> extremely suspicious. >> she and the others on the defense team didn't point their fingers only at ben. but also at ex-boyfriend lance, at russell, and at any other man who could have been invited by angie into her home. >> it almost seems as if she was overcome by someone she knew. >> or someone holding a knife. >> it could still be someone other than donald bess. >> someone like ben, the defense suggested. >> a bouncer at the club where she had been that night talked
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about the way she was dressed, the way she was acting, that she was extremely flirtatious with him. just the tenor of her behavior. >> you're kind of making her out to be -- >> i know, it sounds that way. >> sort of trampy. >> that's a harsh word. what i would say is that things weren't exactly as they seemed. that there may be had been some reckless behavior, maybe a little bit more fun and flirtatious than certain people would have liked. and maybe someone found out about it. >> you think ben was angrier than he let on? >> much angrier. >> even though he appeared calm. >> there are a lot of suspects that can appear calm when they need to be calm. >> they put on a defense of anything they could that would stick. the best way is to attack the victim, and the victim's reputation and
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credibility. and she wasn't there because he had murdered her to defend herself. and so that's what they did. and shame on them. >> it didn't work? >> it didn't work. >> despite the defense's attack on angie and suggestions about the men in her life, the jury deliberated for less than an hour. the verdict was guilty. the same jury sentenced donald bess to the death penalty. his appeal to the texas supreme court was denied in 2013. for angie's friends, this was the end of a very long and very sad trail. i can only guess that angie would have been probably overwhelmed to know that so many of you were still thinking about her all those years later. >> angie was really special, and she they have left our hearts and minds. >> you still think about her? >> i do.
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>> you fought pretty hard to find out who killed her. >> i did. >> you should feel some accomplishment at that. >> i feel that maybe she can rest in peace. she died such a horrific death, that she deserved to rest in peace. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline. " >> we used to have a debate about who loved each other more. i love you more. no, i love you more. and sometimes i even go to sleep and i still say it, like, mom, i love you more. that's the kind of stuff you can't never forget. >> she was the single mom who kept him safe. she was also keeping a secret. >> she was really working for the cia. >> that's my understanding, yes. >> an undercover job handling classified documents but the real i

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