Cold Case Files - The Lady Killer; A Husband's Secret   View more episodes

Aired at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 (5/19/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:05>> KURTIS: Spring in New England.
00:00:08Trees begin to bud, flowers bloom, and men and women shake off the last vestiges of winter.
00:00:16At a little after 1:00 PM Ruth Masters leaves her young family, hops on her bike, and starts down a path leading into the woods.
00:00:27As she rounds a bend, the air grows still, the only sound a slight rustle in the trees.
00:00:34A man emerges from the tree line, a .22 rifle in his hands.
00:00:38He cracks the butt of the weapon across Ruth Masters' skull and drags her limp body back into the woods.
00:00:46Two hours later Ruth's husband Wayne and her daughter Pam, then nine years old, begin to worry.
00:00:52>> I remember a lot of the stuff that we did when Dad started to think that it was too late, that she hadn't come back yet.
00:01:02And I remember riding the bike path up and back, I remember driving around in the car with him looking for her.
00:01:10>> KURTIS: As night descends Ruth Masters is still missing, and law enforcement prepares to search the park beginning the next morning at sunup.
00:01:27Over 100 people wade into more than 25 square miles of forest and field and work their way through the underbrush.
00:01:35Less than 150 feet off one bike path they find Ruth Masters lying on her back, skull crushed, body mutilated.
00:01:46George Madsen and Warren Ottino are Plymouth detectives and members of the search team.
00:01:52>> She was crushed on the side of her head.
00:01:55It was just a lot of, you know, very physical things that had been done to her body.
00:02:03>> She was pretty well carved from her anal area all the way up to her throat.
00:02:10>> KURTIS: Police emerge from the woods to find Pam Masters waiting with other family members for news about her mother.
00:02:19It is left to Pam's father to explain that her mom is gone.
00:02:23>> I remember my father telling me that they had found Mom, but that she was dead, and that everybody started crying and, you know, everybody was very upset.
00:02:33And so I knew it was bad, and I knew something terribly wrong had happened, but I didn't know what.
00:02:41>> KURTIS: Back in the woods, police process the scene for evidence.
00:02:46They find the victim's jacket, apparently ripped from her body during the attack, and a magazine clip from a .22 rifle.
00:02:54Masters' body is removed from the park and autopsied.
00:02:59Despite the mutilation done to the body, no evidence of semen
00:02:02>> KURTIS: On October 1 a 20- year-old named Loralee Clark hitches a ride near Cape Cod's Bourne Bridge, heading west towards Boston.
00:02:12A few miles into the ride the driver pulls off the road and attacks Clark.
00:02:17She manages to escape and takes her tale to Plymouth police.
00:02:22Two things about the story hold special interest for detective George Madsen.
00:02:26First, the man used a knife.
00:02:28Second, he drove a Blue Nova.
00:02:31Both details fit the profile of the man Madsen suspects attacked and killed Ruth Masters five months earlier.
00:02:40Madsen gets the tag number of the car and calls its owner, a 50-year-old named Eric Anderson.
00:02:47>> He says, "Oh, I know.
00:02:48You want to talk to me about that girl." I says, "What girl is that you're talking about?" He said, "Oh, the girl I picked up down at the... where the bridge is." And I said, "Yeah." >> KURTIS: Anderson agrees to come in the next morning, but Madsen wants the suspect picked up now.
00:03:06Anderson's wife, Ann Morrison, is home when the police arrive.
00:03:11>> I'm getting dressed, and I look out the bedroom window, and there were three cruisers outside.
00:03:19And they knocked at the door and they said, "Is Mr. Anderson there?" He says, "Yeah," and they dragged him out, handcuffed him, put him in the car.
00:03:28And I said, "What did he do?" They said, "Come up to the precinct and you'll find out." >> When we questioned him, we questioned about the Clark incidents.
00:03:38He admitted everything as far as that goes.
00:03:41Then we also talked to his wife and him, and they gave us permission to search his home and to search his vehicle.
00:03:52>> KURTIS: A team of detectives begins to tear apart the Anderson home.
00:03:57Meanwhile another group goes to work on Mrs. Anderson, asking what her husband does with his spare time.
00:04:05>> They asked me all kinds of questions, and by that time I was so weak I said, "Please let me sit down." I said, "If you don't I'm going to fall down." >> We searched the vehicle, and we also searched the home.
00:04:18And in the home, in the back porch of the home, is where we observed these black roof racks that were single black roof racks.
00:04:30>> KURTIS: Black roof racks-- a distinguishing feature of the blue car seen in Myles Standish park on the day Ruth Masters was murdered.
00:04:38Detectives run a background check on Anderson.
00:04:41The father of three is on parole with a record for breaking and entering and assault to rape.
00:04:47He is listed as a sexually dangerous person by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and now sits at the top of police suspect lists.
00:04:56>> I felt that Mr. Anderson was probably the best suspect we ever had in the Ruth Masters killing.
00:05:05>> He was our number one suspect after he committed that crime, the girl down on the canal, and never changed our mind.
00:05:14>> KURTIS: Anderson admits he occasionally goes fishing in Myles Standish park, but denies killing Masters.
00:05:21As a result of the hitchhiker assault, his parole is revoked and he receives eight to ten years.
00:05:28Despite the suspicions of the Plymouth PD, the blue car, and the roof racks, charges are never filed in the Masters murder.
00:05:38>> There was no way of proving it.
00:05:40There was no way of saying he did it.
00:05:43And that's the way that our system works.
00:05:46We've all had times when we say, "Oh, we know who did this." But if you can't prove it, then there's nothing you can do about it.
00:05:55>> KURTIS: Ruth Masters' case eventually makes its way into the cold files, and its main suspect, Eric Anderson, drops off police radar.
00:06:05He reappears more than a decade later 300 miles north.úúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúú úúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúú In a New England fishing town 70 miles up the coast from Bar Harbor, two men come upon an unusual sight-- a local woman running down the road screaming hysterically and bleeding.
00:08:34Maine State Trooper Brian Smith listens to the woman's story.
00:08:39>> While driving up the road she had observed this red pickup on the side of the road with the hood up, and a man, elderly man that she had seen before, apparently working on the engine of the pickup.
00:08:53>> KURTIS: The woman, 27-year- old EditKendree, pulled over and offered a ride.
00:08:58The old man accepted.
00:09:01>> So she was moving things out of the seat of her car when he attacked her with a knife.
00:09:07>> KURTIS: McKendree fought off the attack, sustaining several cuts and a broken nose in the process.
00:09:14She describes her attacker and his pick up in detail.
00:09:18Smith believes he knows who the man might be.
00:09:22>> When she described this man and said that he had been doing odd jobs and clearing brush and things in the area, I recognized him as a man that I had talked with earlier in the year, and knew who she was describing as Eric Anderson.
00:09:38>> KURTIS: Eric Anderson is now 63 and a free man after serving ten years for attacking a hitchhiker in Massachusetts.
00:09:48He has lived in the area with his parents for the past two years.
00:09:53It doesn't take long for police to catch up with him.
00:09:56>> We began to look for him when we saw him walking up this same Woods Road where the attack occurred with a wood hook in his hand.
00:10:04Eric looked very disheveled and bloody, and looked like he'd been in an altercation, and we arrested him at gunpoint.
00:10:13>> KTIS: Two days after his arrest Anderson confesses to the Maine attack.
00:10:21Before he is sentenced State Forensic Services works up a psychological profile.
00:10:27>> It determined that Eric was a man that did not show any remorse when it came to attacking women, he had a great hate for women, and that he felt he was a misfit in society.
00:10:40>> KURTIS: A judge makes sure Anderson won't have to worry about fitting into society anymore.
00:10:47He pulls 25 years for the McKendree assault and heads back to the big house, still a suspect in the Ruth Masters murder, still innocent until detectives can come up with evidence to prove him guilty.
00:11:08Rick Nagle is a sergeant with the Massachusetts State Police cold case squad, as well as the son of a cop.
00:11:16In the late '70s Richard Nagle was the chief of police in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and used to tell his son about the murder they never solved-- the 1977 Masters slaying.
00:11:2816 years later Rick Nagle wants to balance the books for his father, and puts a call in to the Plymouth County DA.
00:11:37>> I made a call to the district attorney's office in Plymouth County and asked, "I'd like to transfer down to Plymouth County, but only if I could work on this case." >> KURTIS: Nagle gets the okay from the district attorney and begins to work the Masters case.
00:11:51One of his first calls is to the victim's daughter.
00:11:57>> I got a voice mail message from some guy named Rick Nagle at work, and my heart stopped, I broke into a cold sweat, because it just scared me to talk about it.
00:12:09And I'm like, "Why are you calling me?
00:12:12This case is so cold you could ice-skate on it." >> KURTIS: The case may be cold, but it's not quite dead.
00:12:20Inside the carton of documents that make up the Masters investigation is a notebook.
00:12:25Inside it, a single piece of paper containing a statement that will point the way to Ruth Masters' killer.
00:12:31Now all Rick Nagle has to do is >> KURTIS: In the winter of 1994 cold case detectives find themselves with a lot of reading to do.
00:17:05Detectives Rick Nagle and John Rogers pore through thousands of pages of reports detailing the 77 mutilation and murder of Ruth Masters.
00:17:16Two things become very clear very quickly-- Eric Anderson is probably their killer, and there appears to be no way to actually prove it.
00:17:27The only real piece of physical evidence cold case detectives have to work with-- a .22 caliber clip found at the crime scene.
00:17:36>> We theorized based on finding a .22-caliber magazine that belonged to a .22-caliber rifle that Ruth confronted this individual along the bike path.
00:17:47Either maybe she stopped and had words with him, maybe he surprised her.
00:17:52>> He must have drew down on her with the rifle, went up, hit her on the side of the head.
00:17:57As her head went off to the side, she lost her glasses, and he lost his magazine clip.
00:18:02He probably didn't know he lost his lost his magazine clip, because now he's fighting with her.
00:18:06So this is how he controlled her, I felt.
00:18:10>> KURTIS: Nagle digs a little further and finds a connection between a .22 rifle and his suspect-- it is buried in a police evidence report generated when Eric Anderson was arrested in 1990 for an assault on a woman in Maine.
00:18:24>> I found when he was arrested for McKendree in Maine, he had a .22 Marlin rifle in the rafters in a shed.
00:18:31So as far as I was concerned, I think he had a likeness for a .22 Marlin.
00:18:38>> KURTIS: By 1977 Anderson already had a criminal record, making it impossible for him to own the .22.
00:18:44Nagle casts his eye towards Anderson's family, wondering if any of them acted as a straw man in the weapon's purchase.
00:18:51>> What I found is his son purchased three Marlin rifles for him.
00:18:57So now I had Eric Anderson with a .22 Marlin in his hands.
00:19:01I felt comfortable that I was coming... focusing in on the right person.
00:19:07>> KURTIS: Nagle returns to the files, hoping to find more pieces to his murder puzzle.
00:19:13He focuses on witness statements taken from people in the park the day Masters was killed.
00:19:18One in particular catches his eye.
00:19:23Mr. And Mrs. Gerald Moores were nearby taking a walk in the park.
00:19:28>> They talked about seeing a guy by a pond.
00:19:31And I noticed in the reports that no one queried them further.
00:19:35>> Judith Moores notices that this man on three different occasions is glaring at her.
00:19:40She becomes frightened of him.
00:19:41She firmly believes that this individual, given the opportunity, would kill her, just by the way he's staring at her.
00:19:51>> KURTIS: Nagle tracks the Moores to Florida and gets them on the phone.
00:19:56>> The first thing she said is, "Oh my God, I still have nightmares about this." My reply was, "That's good." And she said, "That's good I have nightmares?" I said, "It's good because it's fresh in your mind." >> KURTIS: Nagle heads to Florida, a picture of Eric Anderson in his back pocket.
00:20:13Both of the Moores pick Anderson out of a photo lineup as the man they saw that day.
00:20:19>> Judith Moores would tell you that it was his eyes, his eyes that really, you know, drew her attention to him.
00:20:28>> KURTIS: The Moores' original statement also indicated the man was driving a blue Nova.
00:20:34Nagle pulls out a picture of Anderson's car.
00:20:37The couple IDs it as the vehicle they saw that day, right down to the dents and faded paint job.
00:20:43Cold case detectives believe they have enough to warrant a chat with their suspect, and know exactly where to find him.
00:22:27eczema until new cortizone-10intensive healing eczema lotion.
00:22:29The power of cortizone-10 plusrestora helps heal my symptoms.
00:22:33Cortizone-10 -- feel the heal.
00:22:44This is Eric Anderson's home, Maine State Prison, where he is doing a 25-year stretch for attacking a woman with a knife.
00:22:53On March 13, Rick Nagle sits down with the inmate to talk about another knife attack, this one ending up with Ruth Masters dead.
00:23:05>> I said, "Listen, I found people who saw you in the state forest that day." And he was shaking his head no.
00:23:10And I said, "Yes, I did," and I said, "This is the car you had." And he looked at the picture, and he looked at me, and I said, "You know I'm not lying.
00:23:17This is the car, and they pointed to these dents and talked about the faded paint, and you were in the state forest that day, and the knife broke off when you killed Ruth Masters." And he started getting teary eyed.
00:23:30>> KURTIS: Anderson's tears are of the crocodile variety.
00:23:34He refuses to talk about the murder, and tells Nagle to go away.
00:23:39The detective has a choice-- either charge his suspect or put the case back into cold storage.
00:23:46Then again, maybe there is a third option.
00:23:51Since 1977 Eric Anderson has been in and out of prison, and there are more than a few inmates who couldn't stand the sight or the smell of him.
00:24:02>> Eric wasn't a real popular person in prison.
00:24:05His hygiene wasn't the best.
00:24:07As one person told me, you give him a towel on a Monday and you go back to give him a new towel, it's still clean.
00:24:13So he didn't have many friends.
00:24:14>> KURTIS: Nagle compiles a list of names-- inmates Anderson knew in stir; men who are willing to talk.
00:24:23Nagle recalls one inmate's conversation with Anderson about mutilation and murder.
00:24:31>> I asked him, "Did Eric ever talk to you about killing someone?" He says, "Yeah, I thought that's what he was doing time for.
00:24:38He told me that all women are no good.
00:24:42He says, 'What you do is you cut them from nose to toes, watch them bleed out, you watch the skin turn pale, watch the cold set in, the eyes roll back, then you start cutting off body parts.'" >> KURTIS: Another inmate provides the specifics Nagle is looking for-- details about the attack in Myles Standish Park.
00:25:07>> He said that Eric told him that Ruth Masters was walking the bike up the bike trail.
00:25:14He then told me Eric hit her on the upside of the head.
00:25:17He said to me that Eric put her in the woods, and he wanted to bury her, but he heard someone and he left.
00:25:23And then he went to a pond and washed up.
00:25:26>> KURTIS: Three men, all convicted murderers, eventually agree to testify in court against Anderson.
00:25:33None of them receives any deal in return for their cooperation.
00:25:37Their motivation for talking?
00:25:38Even in the world of killers Eric Anderson stands alone.
00:25:44>> After I get the statement, I want to know why, and I'm going to put it in the report.
00:25:47"Why are you telling me this?" And they all said the same thing individually-- because Eric is a sick mother F-er and they don't want to see him out on the street.
00:26:04>> KURTIS: 26 years after Ruth Masters' death, Eric Anderson stands trial for murder.
00:26:09Central to the case-- trying to understand what sort of pleasure Anderson derived from butchering women.
00:26:17>> If I had to surmise Eric Anderson, he's a hunter.
00:26:21He's a hunter of woman.
00:26:23He hates woman, especially when he's drinking.
00:26:26And the thing I learned about Eric Anderson, there's no rhyme or reason.
00:26:31All you have to be is a woman and he's going to kill you.
00:26:35>> KURTIS: After a week of testimony and nine hours of deliberation the jury returns its verdict.
00:26:42Eric Anderson, now 76 years old, is found guilty of murder and sentenced to a term of life in prison.
00:26:51Pam Masters watches as the man who took her mother's life is led away in cuffs.
00:26:58>> It's just not hanging over my head anymore.
00:27:01I'm not waiting for the next phone call.
00:27:04I'm not waiting for the next court date.
00:27:08I think for my father it has really felt good for him to see justice come for my mother.
00:27:16That was very important to him.
00:27:18A lot of people made this happen, a lot of people.
00:27:24>> KURTIS: For Rick Nagle the case his father used to talk about is solved-- the answer to Ruth Masters' murder, as is so often the case, found in the reams of evidence, filed away in old boxes, and waiting for a cold case detective to come along and start to read.
00:27:43>> This is a unique cold case, because there's no forensic, there's no eyewitness, there's no confession.
00:27:51There was nothing there.
00:27:52It was a box with dust, and you have no... how do you do it?
00:27:55Well, this is how you do it.
00:27:57It takes thousands of man-hours, and it's little pieces of the puzzle, and you just take your time and try to put it together.
00:30:20>> He said, "I have to know if you're in this marriage for the long haul, because I'm going straight to hell, and you've got to decide if you're coming with me." "30 years ago I murdered someone." And I said, "You're lying to me." >> KURTIS: It's suppertime in the dusty town of Sedalia, Missouri, and Helen Galliher is worried.
00:31:00Her daughter-in-law Barbara Jean Galliher is not picking up her phone.
00:31:04Helen knows the newlywed is alone in the house.
00:31:08Her husband Stephen is stationed in the military overseas.
00:31:12So why does the phone continue to ring, and where is Barbara Jean?
00:31:17Finally Helen walks the block to her daughter in law's and lets herself in.
00:31:23A few minutes later the phone rings at the local police department.
00:31:28Barbara Jean Galliher is dead, and a murder investigation begins.
00:31:34Pettis County Sheriff Emmett Fairfax is on the job.
00:31:38>> We had a body laying in the living room floor with things scattered around.
00:31:45Barbara's hair had been on rollers, and there was rollers in different places in the room, so there had been somewhat of a struggle there.
00:31:54>> KURTIS: Barbara Jean's shirt is ripped open, her shorts half zipped.
00:31:58Her neck shows scratch marks, and there is blood caked around her mouth-- strong indications the victim might have been strangled.
00:32:06Close by the body is a note printed in block letters, apparently left by Galliher's killer.
00:32:13>> Well, it was kind of a misleading note.
00:32:16"I told you to stay away from him." So it was a little bit of a mystery.
00:32:22>> KURTIS: To police, the note would seem to imply it was written by a woman who perhaps fought with the victim over a man.
00:32:30Details on the note are kept secret from the public.
00:32:35The media, however, does get a look at the body.
00:32:37In 1970, Pete Daniels writes for the SedaliaDemocrat.
00:32:43>> The mark that I saw on her neck indicated to me even as a young 30-year-old journalist that whatever it was that happened here was done by someone from behind, and that it was extremely violent.
00:33:00>> KURTIS: For those living in Sedalia the sudden presence of a corpse makes death a personal and constant companion.
00:33:10Even worse, whoever killed Barbara Jean Galliher most likely knew her, and was probably living in their very midst.
00:33:18Two days later Fairfax reviews Galliher's autopsy report.
00:33:23As he thought, the young woman had been strangled to death.
00:33:27Surprisingly, no evidence of semen is found.
00:33:32Meanwhile, the best piece of evidence, a mysterious note found at the scene, is shipped to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for forensic analysis.
00:33:43Using the chemical ninhydren the bureau is able to lift fingerprints from the notepaper.
00:33:49The most interesting set comes from a man investigators had already interviewed and dismissed as a suspect-- a neighbor of the victim's named Donald Vanderbent.
00:33:59>> His demeanor was very calm.
00:34:01I mean, he wasn't agitated or anything.
00:34:04So that's why... you know, its pretty tough to get much out of somebody that appears... tries to appear that he doesn't know what happened.
00:34:14>> KURTIS: Vanderbent is brought in a second time for questioning, and refuses to talk.
00:34:20The print match is not enough to support a charge of murder.
00:34:24The neighbor is released, and the murder of Barbara Jean Galliher goes into the cold files.
00:34:33>> Whoever it was had to constantly be looking over his shoulders because of that knowledge, afraid that somewhere, somehow, someday, he might make a mistake that would let the cat out of the bag.
00:34:48>> KTIS: The small town that knew Barbara Jean Galliher waits for an answer to her murder-- a wait that will last more than three decades.
00:35:06Nearly 30 years after Barbara Jean Galliher was murdered, Donald Vanderbent calls Florida home.
00:35:13His life in the Sunshine State consists largely of a steady flow of gin punctuated by a healthy dose of pills.
00:35:21In March of 1999 he marries a woman he had already once divorced-- an optimistic blonde named Julie.
00:35:30>> I was so taken-- it sounds selfish-- taken in the moment of just being with him, even in the shape he was in.
00:35:41>> KURTIS: A year into her second go at marital bliss, Julie Vanderbent climbs into bed with her husband and realizes the honeymoon is over.
00:35:51>> I got into bed, and right next to him were my daughter's underwear.
00:35:58>> KURTIS: Donald Vanderbent tells Julie he is a sex addict and used her daughter's underwear for masturbation.
00:36:07But Vanderbent doesn't stop there.
00:36:09He tells Julie he has been on the Internet, taken a test for sex addicts, and answered yes to every single question.
00:36:15Julie Vanderbent believes her life has hit rock bottom; that things can't get any worse.
00:36:22Julie Vanderbent, however, is wrong.
00:36:26>> And he said, "I have to know if you're in this marriage for the long haul, because I'm going straight to hell, and you've got to decide if you're coming with me.
00:36:3730 years ago I murdered someone." And I said, "You're lying to me." >> KURTIS: Vanderbent insists he's not, and that the woman he killed was his next-door neighbor.
00:36:52>> I said, "You have to turn yourself in." And he said, "I am not going to prison.
00:36:59Do you hear me?
00:37:00I am not going to prison." He said, "Are you going to stick with me through this?" I said, "Isn't that what a wife does?" >> KURTIS: Vanderbent appears relieved, and within minutes is sound asleep.
00:37:16Julie Vanderbent, however, can't sleep a wink, and ponders one of life's eternal questions-- just how far must a wife go for her husband?
00:37:34Imagine one Scooter or Powerchair that would improve your mobility and your life.
00:37:39One Medicare benefit, that with private insurance, may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it.
00:37:44One company that can make it all happen.
00:37:46Your powerchair will be paid in full.
00:37:49The Scooter Store.
00:37:50Call the Scooter Store for free information today.
00:37:52Call for your free information and we'll also send you this pocket size lighted magnifier as our gift, just for calling.
00:37:59Call The SCOOTER Store now.
00:38:11>> KURTIS: In 1999 Julie Vanderbent gave love another chance and headed to the altar for a second time with the same man.
00:38:20A year later Julie's marriage to Donald Vanderbent hit something more than a snag when her husband confessed he was a sex addict.
00:38:29Heartbreak then turned frightening when Donald revealed an even darker secret-- the secret of a murder he committed some 30 years earlier.
00:38:39Julie has taken all the romance she can stand and brings her story to police.
00:38:54James Giammarinaro has been detective at the St. Augustine Police Department for just a little over a month when Julie Vanderbent walks into his life.
00:39:03>> I was a brand new detective, eager, I'm trying to learn.
00:39:07I go up to the front office to get some paperwork or look up a report, and she's in the lobby, crying, hysterical.
00:39:14>> I was hoping they'd tell me he was lying to me, or that he had supposed he'd done something that he didn't.
00:39:21>> KURTIS: Giammarinaro doesn't give Julie the news she is hoping for.
00:39:26Instead, he asks her to go undercover and work with police to build a case against her husband.
00:39:32>> We did something that was, you know, very risky.
00:39:35We said, "Look, Julie, we don't have a lot of stuff to go on.
00:39:38I'm going to have to ask you to go back to your house and act like nothing ever happened and to try to get more information for us." >> He wanted me to find out if I could get a year that he did it, how he did it, and a name.
00:39:52I said, "I'll try." >> KURTIS: Julie challenges her husband, telling him she doesn't believe he really killed someone >> She says, "I don't believe you.
00:40:06Tell me more.
00:40:07I don't believe it happened.
00:40:08You just want attention." So, of course at that point, he gets a little more specific as far as the details and how he broke in, how he waited for her.
00:40:21>> KURTIS: Vanderbent tells his wife he only meant to rape his victim, but things spun out of control, and he killed his neighbor with a piece of wood.
00:40:31Then Vanderbent composed a note and left it by the body.
00:40:35>> He told me he left a note next to the body in all capital letters that said, "I told you once to stay away from him." I said, "Why?" "I left that note," he said, "because I wanted to divert suspicion and have them think a woman did it." >> KURTIS: Julie presses for the woman's name.
00:40:56Vanderbent says he doesn't remember.
00:40:59>> He gets very edgy at that point, and I stop, because at that point, I'm getting more and more afraid.
00:41:08>> KURTIS: Over the next four days, alone in her house, Julie Vanderbent continues to play detective, picking through her husband's belongings looking for some clue as to whom he might have killed.
00:41:21All she is sure of is that the crime happened sometime in the early '70s.
00:41:26>> I asked her to go back and look at his military files and to find out where he was stationed at... in this time period he says this occurred.
00:41:36>> KURTIS: In the early '70s Donald Vanderbent was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
00:41:43For cold case detectives it is at the very least a starting point.
00:41:48Giammarinaro composes a teletype providing details on the alleged murder and asking for information on Donald Vanderbent.
00:42:05On the afternoon of February 22, Giammarinaro's teletype rattles into the police department in Sedalia, Missouri, and makes its way to commander Jim Gaertner.
00:42:16He immediately recognizes the MO as belonging to the most famous murder in Sedalia's history-- the unsolved slaying of Barbara Jean Galliher.
00:42:27>> I had always thought, "You know, one of these days, when I get some time, I'm going to pull that file up and take a look at it and see what we've got." >> KURTIS: Now Gaertner has his opportunity.
00:42:39He pulls the Galliher file and begins to read.
00:42:42Not only do the facts fit the St. Augustine teletype, so does the suspect.
00:42:48The Donald Vanderbent who confessed to his wife in Florida was a neighbor of Barbara Galliher in Missouri, was questioned about the crime, and even has his prints on a note found beside Galliher's body.
00:43:02Gaertner and Lieutenant Bill Shobe get on the phone with Giammarinaro in St. Augustine and compare notes.
00:43:09>> When we received the information and checked with Air Force officials and also pulled up the old case it was clear to us that we were talking about the same person-- Donald Vanderbent.
00:43:21>> KURTIS: Cold case detectives tell Julie Vanderbent the man she married is most likely a killer.
00:43:26They ask her to sit tight and not spook her husband.
00:43:31Julie agrees to stay the course.
00:43:34>> You know what happened?
00:43:36The victim, Barbara Jean Galliher, she then had a name.
00:43:41He was able to tell me a name, and from the time I heard her name, I knew... I knew I'd done the right thing.
00:43:51>> KURTIS: Jim Gaertner is point man on the investigation.
00:43:57For ten days his men watch Vanderbent hoping the suspect will provide them with more evidence of his guilt.
00:44:04On March 1, concerned about Julie Vanderbent's safety inside the house, detectives decide to confront Vanderbent directly.
00:44:14>> I felt that it was time to roll the dice with Donald Vanderbent.
00:44:18We had one shot to do it, and we'd better get it right.
00:44:30>> KURTIS: Donald Vanderbent is working here at an aluminum factory in St. Augustine, Florida when police show up and ask him to come downtown.
00:44:39Now 49 years old, Vanderbent is not told exactly why the law wants to talk with him.
00:44:45He does, however, have an inkling.
00:44:50>> Somewhere along line in the ride from work to wherever we were going, at that point I didn't know, but I knew... there was like a calm came over me, and I knew where we were going and why we were going there.
00:45:03>> KURTIS: 15 minutes later Vanderbent walks into a police interrogation room.
00:45:08His past is already there waiting in the form of a case file and pictures of Barbara Jean Galliher.
00:45:16Special Agent Rick Look and Chief David Shoar handle the interrogation.
00:45:22>> I think it took him right back to 1970.
00:45:25He hung his head and started crying.
00:45:28Felt we were going to be very successful at that point.
00:45:32>> He wanted to tell his story.
00:45:33And most people do, I think, subconsciously.
00:45:36They want to tell their story.
00:45:38>> KURTIS: Vanderbent freely admits strangling Galliher.
00:45:41In its details, however, his story is far different from the tale he told his wife.
00:45:47Now Vanderbent claims the murder was merely a flirtation gone horribly wrong.
00:46:13>> KURTIS: Vanderbent is trying to finesse the story, minimize his guilt, and perhaps cop a plea of manslaughter.
00:46:22Cold case detectives will have none of it.
00:46:27The 49-year-old is returned to Missouri and pleads guilty to murder in the second degree.
00:46:32>> He was free for 30 years, and that was his parole.
00:46:36Now it was time for him to pay the price for killing Barbara Jean Galliher.
00:46:44>> KURTIS: Donald Vanderbent is sentenced to 25 years for killing Barbara Jean Galliher.
00:46:49He does his time here at Missouri's Northeast Correctional Center.
00:46:59With parole a possibility down the road, Vanderbent today admits the story he told police was a lie.
00:47:03There was no flirtation with Barbara Jean Galliher-- just a man lying in wait with a piece of wood in his hand.
00:47:11>> I was trying to reduce my culpability and make myself not look as guilty.
00:47:22I was trying to put some of the fault on her, on Barbara Jean, when there was absolutely none.
00:47:37This was my fault plain and simple.
00:47:44>> KURTIS: As for the woman who put him in prison, Julie Vanderbent has moved on, putting her husband and the horror in her rear-view mirror, taking only one thing with her-- the memory of a young woman who deserved better in life and found a friend 30 years after her death.
00:48:04>> I had a very hard time.
00:48:07From the day that I found out that this was true, I had a name and a face of a beautiful woman.
00:48:14And when I got the case file, before me was a picture of her body and what he did to her.
00:48:23And when I saw that picture, I said, "Thank God I did what I did.