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loved. >> she's in heaven. and she's in our hearts. >> their laci. >> oh, how pretty. i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." >> i texted him. he wasn't answering. i arrived at the office. i could see that something was really, really wrong. i called somebody that steve worked with, and he said, steve's been shot. and i said, did he survive? and he said, no. >> steve pitt was unforgettable. >> i think he's one of a kind. he just completely broke the mold. >> he was the first to die that week. hunted down by a man with a gun and a grudge.
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>> i felt that, when this shooter crossed steve off, that he was moving down a list. >> a long list. >> she came running towards my vehicle. there was blood dripping from her face. >> six murders -- >> my guts just absolutely dropped. >> -- in four days. >> this was a homicide investigation kind of in overdrive, wasn't it? >> it was. >> a city under siege. >> there was a lot of fear. there was a lot of unrest in the community, people were desperate for a suspect. >> who else could have been on that list? >> i had my own personal terrorist. >> and why? >> people don't get gunned down in their offices. there had to be a link. >> the most haunting question of all -- could those six lives have been saved? >> steve always said that these things never happen in a vacuum. there are always warning signs. so losing him the way that we did was stunning to me. hello and welcome to
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"dateline." forensic psychiatrist steve pitt was well known for his work on high-profile criminal cases. when he was shot outside his phoenix office, it was a big story. nobody knew it yet, but his death was just the beginning of a terrifying murder spree. the victims all had something in common, but what? one man knew but could he connect the dots before more lives were lost? here's josh mankiewicz with "unraveled." for an agonizing stretch of nearly four days, the fear was palpable and paralyzing. >> the twists and turns don't end there. >> a killer was on the loose in and around phoenix, arizona, systematically shooting innocent victims. >> a massive manhunt under way -- >> police worked around the clock, desperate for leads. >> we're asking the public to remain vigilant. >> a long weekend of terror that
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would lead to a hard question. did any of it have to happen? because this was a tragedy that many people saw coming. including the first and most high-profile victim. >> he was like nobody else i'd ever met. and that's true to this day. >> back in 2002, natalie collins was a young lawyer defending a medical malpractice case when she met a forensic psychiatrist named dr. steven pitt. >> he was very intellectually honest. whether you wanted his opinion or not, you got it. but he was formidable and he was fair. >> pitt was nationally known for his work on cases like the columbine massacre and the murder of jonbenet ramsey. his interest in natalie was personal as well as professional. when they met again a few years later, he asked her to lunch. >> i took him up on the offer, and i had the longest lunch i have ever had. it was hours. and it was fabulous. i loved every minute of it. >> hours turned into years.
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they got engaged. >> he was a brilliant forensic psychiatrist, but he was, in my biased opinion, an even better human being. >> steve had two sons with his ex-wife, and they were the center of his world. >> he would say to the boys, work hard, don't say can't, be nice and have fun. >> steve was a master at delving into someone's mind and understanding what made them tick. >> no matter who retained him or what they wanted him to say, he would always tell you what he really thought. i'm sure you noticed that about him. >> i did. >> my name is dr. steven, s-t-e-v-e-n, pitt, p-i-t-t. >> i interviewed steve pitt in 2016 for a report on the 20th anniversary of the jonbenet ramsey case. >> dude, i gave you some good answers, come on. >> of them. >> a sharp guy with a big personality and a sense of humor to match. >> god, that was so good the way you did that.
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>> thank you. through that, we got to know one another. when i met him, and he sort of said to me, hey, let's be friends. like i'll come to los angeles and we'll hang out. i thought, absolutely. >> right. he could get anybody's story, but, more importantly than that, he was interested in everybody and their story. >> he was also unabashedly interested in crime and criminals. >> he read a lot of history about serial killers. and i think he felt that his skills were really well suited to that area. and he didn't scare easy. >> steve was aware some criminals he dealt with might pose a threat. >> i can recall a couple of specific instances where he showed me a photograph, and he said, if you see this person anywhere near you, you are to call the police. >> still, he always tried to calm natalie's nerves. >> i remember a dinner where he said to me, babe, relax. in these situations there are bigger fish to fry than me.
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they will always go after a judge or an attorney before they ever come to me, so you don't need to worry, because we'll always have a warning. i will always have a warning, and i will know what to do. so the circumstance, losing him the way that we did, was stunning to me. >> one of the rare times he was ever wrong? >> yeah. >> thursday, may 31st, 2018, i'd seen steve about a week before. natalie, of course, saw him that morning. they made plans to meet after work. >> at 5:18 i texted him, and i said, are you on your way? are you coming? and he said, ten-minute max, and i'll see you there. >> half an hour went by, then an hour, and still no steve. >> that was unlike him. and so i drove to his office,
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and as i arrived at the office, i could see that something was really, really wrong. >> she saw the police and the yellow tape. >> i could see his range rover in the parking lot, and i could see there were things strewn on the ground that i was hoping was maybe medical supplies. and i thought maybe they're working on him or somebody. but i just knew, you know, that there was something wrong with him. >> cops weren't telling her anything, and natalie was getting desperate. >> i called somebody that steve worked with who was a police officer, and asked him like, what is happening? and he -- i could hear from his voice. sorry. and he said, something really bad's happened. steve's been shot. and i said nothing for a second, and then i said, did he survive? and he said, no. and i don't really remember much after that. >> a man had confronted steve as he left work to meet natalie.
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witnesses reported hearing shouts and then gunfire. based on witness descriptions, phoenix pd developed this sketch of the suspect. a white male, bald, wearing a dark hat with a short brim. that look like anybody you knew? >> no. >> and it didn't look like any of the people that steve had shown you photos of over the years saying, if you ever see this person? >> absolutely not. >> natalie stayed at the scene until around 4:00 a.m. when her fiance's body was removed. as she prepared to leave, something occurred to her. >> because the shooter was still not in custody, i did ask several officers whether it was safe for me to go home. one of them said, we don't know the answer to that, ma'am. >> they also didn't know just how much worse it was going to get. or how quickly a city is gripped by fear as the
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death toll climbs higher with two new shootings. coming up -- >> she came running towards my vehicle. there was blood dripping from her face. >> about ten minutes after midnight this morning, we received a call of a shooting at the business complex behind me. >> and natalie has a hunch. >> i knew there would be a link. between steve's murder and those murders because people don't get gunned down in their offices in scottsdale. it doesn't happen. >> when "dateline" continues. next up, carvana. oh, boy. carvana just doesn't seem to understand how the test drive works. they give their customers seven days. and if they don't like it, they give 'em their money back. wait, they take the car back? that's crazy! what if it was driven by like a zookeeper? or a mud wrestler? or a guy who's on the outs with the missus and he just needs a place to sleep for seven days? yeah. (vo) buy your car online. love it or return it. with carvana. gordan ramsey this is a cold call!
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♪♪ friday, june 1st, 2018, less than 24 hours after nationally known forensic psychiatrist steve pitt was murdered outside his office in phoenix, reporter bianca buono of nbc affiliate kpnx got a call. there'd been another shooting in nearby scottsdale. >> we booked it to old town, and it was something like i've never seen in that area before. we have a very active police presence right behind us. >> paralegal veleria sharp had been at work at this family law practice when someone walked in and shot her in the head. veleria somehow managed to get outside. a passing driver saw her and called 911. >> oh, my god, she came running towards my vehicle. there was blood coming, dripping from her face. >> okay. >> she just lay down on the ground.
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>> emts rushed her to the hospital but could not save her life. scottsdale police followed the trail of veleria's blood back to the law office and discovered a second victim. paralegal laura anderson. she'd been shot in the chest and was already dead. two women murdered in broad daylight. another unlikely crime scene about ten miles from the spot where steve pitt was killed. >> veleria's husband, saber sharp. >> she wasn't the type of person that had any enemies. i can remember the officer asking me a question like that. i'm like, no. no, no, no. >> natalie collins was at home, still in shock over steve's murder, when she heard the news. >> i knew there would be a link between steve's murder and those murders because people don't get gunned down in their offices in scottsdale. it doesn't happen. >> natalie's hunch was right.
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>> scottsdale police were able to confirm for us that the murder scene on thursday and the murder scene on friday was connected. >> firearms analysis showed a .40 caliber weapon had been used in the homicide of dr. steve pitt. the same caliber gun killed paralegals veleria sharp and laura anderson. and then, about ten hours after the paralegals were killed -- >> about ten minutes after midnight this morning, we received a call of a shooting at the business complex behind me. >> an adult male shot twice in the head at an office seven miles from the law firm. >> the doorbell rang. wanted to ignore it because it's the middle of the night. >> it was 3:00 a.m. psychotherapist karen kolbe's husband answered the door. >> he came back in to get me and said, you need to get up. police are here. marshall has been found dead in the office. >> the latest victim,
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72-year-old marshall levine, was a counselor and life coach. he was subletting his office from karen. >> we sat down with the officers. and they wanted to know what kind of clients was he seeing, and, you know, what was his practice like. >> because the assumption was this was about marshall? >> yeah. >> i'm wondering whether you felt more of a threat after the second and third murder scenes are sort of announced. >> honestly, i was scared. but i also knew, or believed, that this was personal. and i felt in my heart of hearts that when this shooter crossed steve off his list, that he was moving down a list. >> if the killer did have a list, police were racing to find out why were these people on it? what did they have in common? investigators collected shell casings at karen's office and discovered they were .40 caliber. same as at the other two crime scenes. four murders now in less than 31 hours.
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all possibly committed by the same person. there was one promising clue. dna on a shell casing recovered at the scene of steve pitt's murder. investigators ran it through their system, but there was no match. by 10:00 a.m. saturday morning, police opened an emergency center. and tips were pouring in. >> there was a lot of fear, there was a lot of unrest in the community, and people were desperate for a suspect. >> no one yet knew about this man. 200 miles away, watching the news of the murders unfold. he was a former phoenix police detective, and he had a sudden, sickening feeling. >> i was certain who it was. coming up -- >> you were 18, he was 22? >> correct. >> your first boyfriend? >> yes. >> the start of something very evil. >> i had my own terrorist, my own personal terrorist.
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four murders in three days. police were on a desperate hunt to find the killer. some 200 miles away, rick anglin was watching for developments. anglin had spent a lifetime in law enforcement. he started out at the phoenix police department, even worked
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undercover. later he became a private investigator. and when he heard about steve pitt's murder, his experience told him -- >> it had to be related to his work. >> anglin knew pitt worked on criminal cases, so the universe of suspects was vast. then he heard about the murders of the two paralegals in scottsdale. and suddenly, that universe shrank. >> once they announced on the news that it was elizabeth feldman's office, i was certain who it was. >> you knew? >> i knew. >> knew exactly how steve pitt and the feldman law firm were connected and who was behind the murders. rick knew because, years earlier, he'd taken on the case of a scottsdale doctor named connie jones. >> yes. i had my own terrorist, my own personal terrorist. >> connie was on summer break from college in 1984 when she started dating a young soldier named dwight jones.
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dwight was stationed at fort bragg, north carolina. you were 18, he was 22. >> correct. young. too young. >> your first boyfriend? >> yes. he told me he wanted to be an attorney. so he seemed to have aspirations. >> they married in 1988 after her first year of medical school. dwight left the army after three years. and soon connie realized that while she was working hard to become a doctor, dwight was doing nothing. >> i don't recall him ever working more than two or three days because every job that he would get, there would be some issue. so we lived in medical school on my financial aid. >> that's probably not how you grew up, is it? >> that is not. my family has the best work ethic you can think of. >> after medical school, connie began a residency in psychiatry, but soon found it hit too close to home. her own husband, she came to
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realize, was mentally ill. >> he was depressed. he would stay in the bed for three or four days. and then he became very hostile towards me. >> what form did that take? >> verbal abuse, emotional abuse. again, if he were mad he would not talk for a week to punish me. >> connie switched her focus to radiology. and she encouraged dwight to seek mental health treatment. >> i wanted to help him. i mean, who doesn't want to help their spouse? >> dwight refused. she says she endured eight years of escalating hostility and verbal abuse before telling dwight she wanted a divorce. >> and he laid on the floor for three days crying and said that it was his mental illness. that he loved me. that he didn't want to lose me. and that he would do whatever he needed to do. >> so connie stayed. and, in 1997, she gave birth to
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a son. >> after the child was born, he actually seemed to be better. >> being a father was good for him? >> it was. it did seem to give him a purpose. >> dwight watched their child during the day. but connie says he still left most of the caregiving to her. and soon enough, connie says dwight's emotional abuse worsened. he became obsessive and controlling. >> after i had my son, i thought it was my obligation to try to make this work. i mean, i really did not see myself in life as a divorced person. >> but how do you make things work when you have no idea who is coming home at night? >> the garage door would open. and we didn't know what we were getting. >> dr. jekyll or mr. hyde. >> right. >> dwight's good times became more and more rare. then he began to abuse her physically. but at the same time carefully. >> you know, if you punch
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someone in the eye, that kind of thing, it's obvious that you're being abused. but hitting you with their forearm, physically holding me down, pushing me into walls, those things don't leave bruises. but they are very violent. >> and he did all of those to you? >> he did. >> and sometimes it did leave a mark, like the time she says dwight broke her sternum. >> he hit me with his -- the ball of his hand in my chest. >> and you didn't call the police? >> i didn't. >> because? >> at that time i did not have a plan of exit. i was sleeping with a knife under my pillow because i thought he was so out of control. >> by early 2009, connie said dwight was directing his anger and threats at their child. >> particularly murder-suicide of himself and the child so that i would suffer the rest of my life knowing that my child is dead because i didn't do what he said.
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>> connie knew she needed to get out. but she also knew a woman who'd been killed while trying to leave her abusive boyfriend. so connie made plans to escape, in secret. >> i start preparing to get some of my important paperwork to another location, some clothes and things that we might need. >> that's when she consulted family law attorney elizabeth feldman. the name rick anglin would recognize from the news years later. connie also placed audio recorders around her home. >> so if things seemed to be heated so that i could document what he was doing. >> and that's exactly what happened on the night of may 6, 2009. >> i'll show you. i'm going to show you. >> he's over this 11-year-old child. and he has his finger to his chest, in his face, yelling at
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him. and so i say, you know, leave him alone. he's calling me every name you can think of. >> see how smart you are, [ bleep ]. see what your college degree taught your dumb ass. >> on the tape, you can hear dwight threatening to kill connie. >> i'll take you out to this [ bleep ] pool and drown you. >> and that if i called -- if i called 911 that i'd be dead before they got there. leave me alone. >> call the [ bleep ] now. let's see what happens. you want to see? >> connie did call 911, and a s.w.a.t. team surrounded the house, but dwight held his son hostage and wouldn't leave. >> my wife started this [ bleep] >> after an hour-long standoff, dwight finally surrendered. >> so as he walked out, the child was physically in front of him. >> like a shield. >> like a shield. he was inconsolable. i mean, as a mother to see your
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child in that distress, it's pretty devastating. >> dwight was arrested. and connie filed for divorce. often, that means the end of something. instead, it was just the beginning of the worst chapter in connie's relationship with dwight jones. coming up -- connie reaches out for help. >> i had people full-time on the school where the son goes. if connie went to work, there was somebody with her while she was working. but would even that be enough to protect her from dwight? >> he told me that he would wait until my defenses were down and then he would get me. >> when "dateline" continues.
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it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. hello. i'm dara brown. we're tracking breaking news getting our first look at the booking photo of one of the parents of the alleged oxford school shooter. james and jennifer crumbley were apprehended overnight. police found them in a commercial building in detroit. both will be arraigned later
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this morning. this is all in connection to the school shooting in suburban detroit on tuesday. four students were killed, several others were hurt. the shooting suspect, 15-year-old ethan crumbley, is charged as an adult with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of terrorism causing death, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm. now back to "dateline." welcome back to "dateline." i'm craig melvin. four people had been gunned down just miles apart, and private investigator rick englin was convinced dwight jones was the killer. connie jones managed to escape her husband's rage. here again with "unraveled." dr. connie jones spent
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22 years married to a mentally ill and abusive husband. she was about to learn her personal ordeal might have led to a crisis for a whole city. >> i'll take you out to this [ bleep ] pool and drown you. >> back in 2009 after that frightening standoff with police at their home in scottsdale, arizona, dwight jones was arrested on multiple charges, but ultimately pleaded guilty to a single count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. he was prohibited from owning a firearm during his probation, just 12 months. >> it's minimal. it's like being a disturbance in your neighborhood. it's not holding your child hostage for an hour. >> dwight was also committed to a mental institution for evaluation. connie remembers the report on dwight said he was not an imminent threat. >> but the psychiatrist that evaluated him called me and told me that he was dangerous. and that i should get a bodyguard.
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>> enter him. >> enter richard england. >> connie hired rick, the private investigator, to do surveillance on dwight and to assess how much of a threat he posed. rick and his team tailed dwight, took photos and vitd of him and combed threw his clutter debris filled room in the family home and found some books with seriously disturbing titles. >> how to get even with people. how to injure people in street fighting. it starts to put a makeup of somebody who is trying to plan something. >> he made sure she and her son always had eyes on them. >> i had people full time on the school where the son goes. if connie went to the grocery store, had a public event, went to work, somebody
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forensic psychologist. his interviews with them as part of the custody case. >> can you spell your name? >> connie jones. >> i thought he was exceptional. his report was i thought, very detailed. and accurate. >> dr. pitt's report matched what rick had come to believe with dwight jones. without psychiatric mental treatment his mental state will unravel and become increasingly paranoid, likely psychotic and pose an even greater risk for perpetrating violence. when dwight's probation ended connie obtained an order of
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protection that prohibited him from owning guns. >> this case is the scariest case i've ever been involved in. >> remember karen colby the therapist awakened in the middle of night she worked with connie and dwight's son for two years starting in 2009. >> divorces are a dime a dozen. >> this was something else? >> yes, violence, potential violence, violence already committed somebody clearly on a path to commit more violence. >> connie and dwight's divorce went to trial in family court where karen colby and steve pitt presented their findings. in 2010 the judge granted connie full custody of her son. >> i'm thinking i'm reading through the decree, sounded pretty good to me so far. >> and what would you think it would say, so dwight is to have no more contact with you and your son ever. >> yes. >> instead it says what? >> it says it's mandated that he have supervised visits with him, that he has a parental right to see him.
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>> what did you think when you read that? >> shocked. it didn't make sense to me they took his right as a parent even over the safety of the child. >> what's more, under arizona law, dwight was entitled to spousal support. in this case $6,000 a month. >> he threatened you, hit you says he is going to murder you, murder your child. >> mm-hmm. >> you have to pay him spousal support. >> yes. >> and you're on the hook for his attorneys. >> yes. yes. and i have to pay for the supervised visitations because he is a threat. >> what did this cost you financially? >> well, what he got was over $650,000. >> there came a point where connie couldn't afford my services or anybody else's. i couldn't walk away. >> because you think if you're not there, she's going to get killed?
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>> you don't need to be dr. pitt to come up with a determination of what would eventually happen. >> their worries only increased in 2013 when connie's final protective order against dwight expired and he was able to legally purchase a gun. >> he told me he would wait until my defenses were down and then he would get me. >> by then connie had started carrying a gun of her own. rick trained her how to use it if and when the day came that dwight confronted her. >> i prepared her for it mentally, physically, and emotionally. she's trained for it. >> the court ordered that dwight get psychological help. there's no evidence he ever complied. instead, dwight isolated himself at this extended stay hotel for years. connie built a successful career as a radiologist. she even wrote a book on breast cancer screening. by 2016 dwight's spousal support had ended. so had the visits with his son. connie no longer had to see her
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ex-husband in court, but she and rick remained hyper-vigilant, especially about her son. >> you don't get to just say, let's go to the movies. you've got to scan the parking lot. >> in early june, when rick saw the news about the shootings of steve pitt and the two paralegals at elizabeth feldman's law firm. he came to an undeniable conclusion. >> i was certain who it was. it's dwight jones. >> his first thought was he had to find connie. >> i immediately start to text her to call me, start calling her phone, i'm getting no response. >> then rick heard about the murder in therapist karen kolbe's office. and he became more concerned. after a tense hour, connie called back. she was okay. rick's next call was to phoenix police. >> explained to him who i thought was responsible, what his vehicle description was, where he was at, and how the three crime scenes were linked. >> it was just the tip the cops needed. now they had to find dwight
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jones before he struck again. coming up -- >> this was a homicide investigation kind of in overdrive, wasn't it? >> it was. >> closing in on a killer. >> we knew who was it. >> when "dateline" continues. cs why give your family just any eggs when they can enjoy the best? eggland's best.
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thanks! if it's “out decorating the neighbors” season, it's walgreens season. ♪♪ what a pain in the- alice? if it's “let's wrap this up” season, it's walgreens season. four murders in three days. law enforcement agencies in and around phoenix were racing the clock and a fast-moving killer.
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now, thanks to a tip from rick anglin, they were getting closer. >> i'm convinced that we're dealing with dwight jones at this point. >> rick recognized that all the crime scenes related back to dwight and connie's divorce and custody battles from nearly a decade earlier. plus, forensic analysis had already told police all four victims had probably been killed with the same weapon. and there was a critical piece of evidence that might link the weapon to dwight. that bit of dna on a shell casing recovered from the scene of steve pitt's murder. dna tests can take weeks or months. that was time police didn't have. >> we had some family members of mr. jones that were in northern arizona. with the help of the phoenix police department air unit we flew a detective up there. >> at the same time, other investigators were on the hunt for dwight. >> we had a vehicle description for mr. jones. it was a 2001 gold mercedes e320.
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>> cops started pulling security video from the multiple crime scenes, looking for that gold mercedes. >> some surveillance video near the scene of dr. pitt's office picked up that vehicle sort of acting strangely in and around the time of the shooting. >> and pictures from the following day showed what looked like the same car near the law firm just minutes before the two paralegals were murdered. it had been 14 hours since rick anglin tipped off investigators to dwight. as the investigation continued, police found evidence dwight and his gold mercedes were in a suburb called found hills, just 30 minutes outside scottsdale. a few hours later, cops found dwight and assigned teams to watch his every move. >> while they were surveilling dwight jones on sunday, they watched him dispose of something in a trash can. officers later went back to that trash can, and what they found
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inside was a gun. >> however, that gun was a 22-caliber -- not a 40. >> that gun was not a match for any of the four homicides? >> it was not. >> meaning that if it's dwight jones, he still has that gun with him? >> right. and meaning they don't necessarily have enough yet to link dwight jones to these four murders. >> but there was still the dna. a detective who flew late sunday night to get dna samples from dwight's family now rushed those swabs back to the lab and -- >> within about four hours, we had a positive hit on mr. jones. >> we at "dateline" cover a lot of murders, some of which take years to solve. this case was not one of those. less than 84 hours after this homicidal rampage began, investigators were confident they had id'd their killer. >> we knew who was our suspect and murderer. >> at the same time the dna was being analyzed, detectives were retracing dwight's steps.
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they believed that sometime before he'd been placed under surveillance, dwight had contacted the residents of this home in fountain hills. they sent a maricopa county sheriff's deputy to check on them. >> they used a ladder. they got to see through an upstairs window and they immediately recognized that there was a gentleman inside that appeared to have been shot. they forced entry, and upon doing so, found another victim, a woman, who had also been shot, and both were deceased. >> my guts just absolutely dropped when i heard this news. >> scott wightman was the tennis coach of one of the victims, mary simmons. >> she competed like nobody else. everybody wanted to play with mary. >> and one of her occasional playing partners was dwight jones. police believe, that for reasons yet unknown, dwight murdered mary and her boyfriend, bryon thomas, in their home. remember that .22 police observed dwight tossing? police later learned it belonged to the fountain hills couple.
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mary and bryon had been killed with their own weapon. there were now six dead, and dwight jones was still not in custody. but investigators had a good idea where to find him. coming up -- finally, a killer surrounded. >> they carefully and quietly started to evacuate the hotel. >> he began firing at them. somewhere between seven and eight rounds were fired. >> when "dateline" continues.
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welcome back. officials believed dwight jones had claimed two new victims. his occasional tennis partner and boyfriend had been gunned down in their suburban home. investigators were confident they had tied dwight to a total of six murders over a four-day ram page. this cases was hurtling toward the end with more twists to come. here's the conclusion of "unraveled." they followed him to an extended hotel where he had been living for nine years. they carefully and quietly started to evacuate the surrounding rooms and the rest
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of the hotel. >> police described what happened next. >> he began firing at them. somewhere between seven and eight rounds were fired. all officers were safe and okay, and eventually in this action, they found that mr. jones had killed himself. self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> your ex-husband's dead now. >> yes. >> do you feel safe finally? >> yes. >> with a tremendous amount of courage and with rick's help, connie jones and her son had lived to see her personal terrorist's last i do this earth. >> but other people were killed, innocent people, good people, productive people, that is a
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hard thing to come to grips with. >> reporter: six people gone, three of whom apparently had nothing at all to do with dwight jones. just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. like the paralegals, laura anderson and veleria sharp, both in their late 40s, both wives and mothers. neither had worked on the jones case. >> i've heard people say -- they mean well -- that god needed oorthsd another angel. i think that's a bunch of mularkey. if god needed another angel, i'm sure he could get one. he didn't need to come and take veleria, and take a mother, and take a wife to get one. >> and the therapist, marshal levine. >> if you'd been in your office and not marshall levine, i kinda doubt you'd be sitting here talking to me today. >> i -- i'm sure that's true. >> what's that like? >> that's hard to think about. i don't really know how to think about that, to be honest. >> reporter: the grief is still raw for natalie collins. >> you gonna change the way you live? >> i hope not. i don't think steve would want that. he was not about hiding in the shadows. i am not going to let him have died for nothing, and i will find a way to make him proud. >> reporter: no one can say for
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sure exactly what set off dwight jones. after the bloodshed was over, some videos surfaced that jones had posted before the murders. >> hello, youtube, welcome to my channel. >> reporter: in them, dwight raged against his wife and the professionals who worked on the custody case. >> you've ruled i have a psychiatric problem based on some piece of -- that she hired? >> reporter: the videos underscored some troubling questions. dwight jones was obviously disturbed, so why wasn't he stopped? did the legal system fail everyone? could six murders have been prevented? >> i do feel very strongly that the court system did not protect me. >> reporter: connie jones says her ex-husband was violent for years, but that courts ignored one red flag after another. >> my life wasn't valued. my son's life wasn't valued enough to stop him, which inadvertently harmed other
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people. >> if she had to live all those years terrorized, we failed her as a society. and i think as a physician with the resources she had, i wonder how many other women and families that we're failing as a society. >> most people can't take the steps to cover their tracks the way connie did. >> does the court system, both criminal and family court -- do those systems understand domestic violence? do they react to it in the right way? >> no, not necessarily. >> reporter: allie bones is the former ceo of the arizona coalition to end sexual and domestic violence. >> they've had no problem, whatsoever taking a position, a strong position around duis or driving under the influence. but for -- for some reason, we have had a very hard time, over the years, making the same argument with regards to domestic violence. >> reporter: habitual drunk drivers are quickly and legally separated from their car keys. but dwight jones, a documented domestic abuser, did not lose his right to own a gun. after holding his son captive in that standoff with police in
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2009, he was allowed to plead guilty to "disorderly conduct" -- which did not prevent him from legally buying the handgun he used to kill. and there was the mental health treatment strongly recommended by dr. steven pitt -- and ordered by the court. dwight didn't go. >> but the court did not follow up with that. there was no consequence for that. >> reporter: just before his death, steve pitt was proposing a story to "dateline," about educating people to see the warning signs of oncoming violence. >> there are always red flags and warning signs. it's not about blame. it's about prevention. and if we don't teach people what those signs are and we don't modify our system so people know who to reach out to, then we are failing. >> my message to any domestic violence victim out there is you're responsible for your own safety. >> if you count on the system to protect you, you make a mistake. >> you are making a mistake. i went in very naive. >> reporter: the sad truth is that some stories don't have happy endings.
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sometimes, particularly in real life, the bad guys win. but maybe connie and rick are the best living proof that some beauty can blossom from even the darkest of situations. >> a friend of mine told me that he really likes you. and i said, "no, he doesn't. he is my friend." when i started paying >> when i started paying attention to it, and i was like, oh, i think he does. >> what did you like about her? >> it turned out at my age, what was important to me is not only that she's beautiful, but she's intelligent. >> reporter: somehow, out of fear, danger, and the need for protection -- grew love. connie and rick married in december 2013. you did your job. you protected her. she's still here. >> i'm happy about that. >> you feel like, maybe, the universe owes you a little happiness here? because i do. [ laughter ] >> well, we are. we have a very good family.
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i'm proud of it. i've been married twice. this is the only husband i've ever had. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. welcome to the show. i'm zerlina maxwell. we begin with a big development surrounding the school shooting in michigan this week that killed four children and wounded seven other people. today the parents of the 15-year-old suspect were each charged with involuntary manslaughter. the county prosecutor ticked off allegations in the case against the suspect's parents. among them -- the father bought a gun last friday with his son present.


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