Forensic Files - Dancing With the Devil   View more episodes

Aired at 01:30 AM on Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 (4/17/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:01Body was found.
00:00:04Investigators discovered that pat spent part of that evening at a local strip club --ter limits.
00:00:13>> pat McRae was a customer that came in and, basically, he was a regular as far as maybe once or twice per week.
00:00:22He was a very friendly, a very quiet guy.
00:00:26>> Narrator: When pat visited the club, he usually arrived 00, but on the night of his murder, he came in early.
00:00:34>> I was kind of like, you know, "wow.
00:00:37What's he doing in here during " which was fine.
00:00:41It was kind of unusual for him to do that.
00:00:43>> Narrator: He also did something else no one had ever seen him do before.
00:00:48He asked for a private dance.
00:00:51The dancer's stage name was " >> she was the one that he went in the private area with.
00:00:57Pat moved from the front of the stage and went in the private area.
00:01:00I remember him dancing with mystic in the back room.
00:01:05>> Narrator: Mystic's real name was laura england.
00:01:10And for some reason, on the day pat McRae's body was found, mystic didn't show up for work.
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00:04:32>> Narrator: Des moines police thought they had a suspect in the murder of television-station EMPLOYEE pat McRae -- a stripper named laura england.
00:04:42She performed a private dance for pat on the last night he was seen alive.
00:04:48Two days later, she was gone, and pat was dead.
00:04:53>> She stripped sunday night -- danced -- sunday night at the outer limits, and then she and her boyfriend leave town.
00:05:03>> Narrator: Police issued an all-points bulletin for laura england.
00:05:08In the meantime, at the crime scene, investigators made some important discoveries.
00:05:14First, there were bloody boot prints throughout the house.
00:05:18And they had been made at two different times and several hours apart.
00:05:24>> You could see that somebody had exited the house and then apparently re-entered.
00:05:30>> Narrator: The boots were determined to be size-7 doc marten-brand boots.
00:05:36All the blood evidence in the house was carefully catalogued and analyzed.
00:05:42Dozens of items were submitted for dna testing.
00:05:46>> I ended up taking 70 samples crime scene and processing those all the way through for dna analysis.
00:05:55>> Narrator: One blood stain stood out from the others -- a drop of blood on the comforter on top o this was different than the smudges that appeared elsewhere in the room.
00:06:08Since the evidence indicated pat McRae never enred the bedrm after he was stabbed, analysts thought this blood might be the killer's.
00:06:20>> There was a little bit of blood evidence in the bedroom, and it turns out that that little bit of blood evidence was probably the most significant evidence that we had in that case.
00:06:31>> Narrator: The droplet was cut out of the comforter and tested along with other bloodstains on the bed.
00:06:38The results showed a mixture of blood from two people.
00:06:44>> One of the contributors of the blood in the house is a female.
00:06:49>> Narrator: The male dna belonged to the victim, pat McRae.
00:06:53This meant the killer was a woman.
00:06:57>> It's not uncommon for people, when they're stabbing somebody else, to stab themselves accidentally, maybe have their hand slip on the knife, cut the inner sides of their fingers.
00:07:09It's really quite common.
00:07:11>> Narrator: Then police located ..
00:07:15The dancer last seen with pat McRae on the night he was murdered.
00:07:19BUT SHE DENIED seeing McRae that night and said the club manager must have been mistaken.
00:07:25>> She also wore wigs at the time, too, which a lot of dancers have done in the past.
00:07:31>> Narrator: Laura's dna didn't match the dna from the unidentified female at the crime scene, and she was released.
00:07:40The dna didn't match anyone in iowa's state database or the national database, either.
00:07:48>> We had no one to compare that dna profile with, or, at least, I should say we had no one to go successfully compare it with.
00:07:56>> Narrator: Investigators were CONVINCED THAT pat McRae knew his killer.
00:08:02There was no forced entry into the house, which meant he probably let the killer in.
00:08:09And the blood evidence showed rather brazen behavior.
00:08:13Blood on the front drapes indicated the killer opened the drapes to look outside.
00:08:22The bloody foot impressions proved the killer walked out of the front door after the murder.
00:08:29Not only that -- the killer returned several hours leaving a second set of boot impressions, this time in dried blood.
00:08:39>> That's odd.
00:08:40If you lea homicide scene, the chances of you going back to that scene and tracking blood out again is not very good.
00:08:47I mean, once you're out of there, you want to be out of there.
00:08:50>> Narrator: The case turned cold, and for the next five years, there were no substantial leads.
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00:12:11>> Narrator: For five years, the MURDER OF pat McRae went unsolved.
00:12:16Investigators had the dna profile of the killer and boot impressions from the scene.
00:12:22What they didn't have was a viable suspect.
00:12:26>> I just kind of gave up worrying about whether or would get solved.
00:12:32I mean, I didn't like that it wouldn't, but I had that feeling that there was probably nothing we could do.
00:12:39[ Telephone rings ] >> Narrator: Then detective judy stanley got a call from her counterpart in lincoln, nebraska, 200 miles away.
00:12:50Lincoln police had jt arrested a man named mars davis on a drug-possession charge, and davis offered them a deal.
00:13:00He said he was willing to provide information about an unsolved murder in des moines in return for leniency on his drug charge.
00:13:09>> I felt tremendously guilty for a long time.
00:13:13I didn't want to think about it anymore, and it bothered me every time I closed my eyes.
00:13:18>> Narrator: Unfortunately, davis didn't know the name of the victim.
00:13:22He did, however, remember the neighborhood where he lived.
00:13:26>> He only knows that he lives at a house someplace off of harding road.
00:13:31He knows it's by a convenience store.
00:13:34He knows there's a couple of car washes nearby, knows that the guy works for a tv station, knows that he went to the outer limits, and knows that he's kil >> Narrator: Mars davis was DESCRIBING pat McRae's murder, and the details he provided were so bizarre, it was hard for investigators to believe.
00:13:58>> It's not a story that you expect to hear every day in the news.
00:14:03>> Narrator: Mars davis said that five years earlier, he was involved with a 24-year-old stripper named andrea morris.
00:14:13>> She was good at her job.
00:14:14I liked watching her work the room.
00:14:17You know, 'cause you'd see prettier girls or younger girls have trouble, and she would just mow 'em over.
00:14:28>> Narrator: Andrea was working at the outer limits club in des moines, but mars wasn't permitted to go inside.
00:14:36>> We do not allow boyfriends or husbands to be in the bar.
00:14:41Maybe a customer, you know, might get a little rough with a girl, and her husband or boyfriend thinks he's got to handle the problem when I have employees to handle those kind of problems.
00:14:52You know, and it just causes a disruption.
00:14:56>> Narrator: One night around closing time, mars picked up andrea after work, and she said she'd promised to give a bar patron a private dance at his house.
00:15:06>> It wasn't entirely out of the ordinary, but it wasn't exactly something that happened all the time, but, yeah.
00:15:14And money was pretty tight, so i was -- and she didn't ask me.
00:15:20You know, she just said, "this " ..
00:15:28" [ chuckles ] >> Narrator: Davis said he dropped andrea off and then went to get his truck washed.
00:15:40>> Mars tells her, "i'll be back " so he leaves.
00:15:44He actually goes and cleans the bronco while he's waiting for her to do this private dance.
00:15:52>> Narrator: When he picked her up, he couldn't help but notice she was literally covered in blood.
00:15:59>> You gonna tell me what the hell happened?
00:16:01>> She told me, like, she got hit in the nose or something, and I was like, "that did not come out your nose," you know?
00:16:10'Cause it was in her hair.
00:16:12It was everywhere.
00:16:13You know, when she took her clothes off, it was in her underwear, in her socks.
00:16:19You know?
00:16:20And I just kind of went numb after that.
00:16:24>> Did he hurt you?
00:16:25Do you want me to go back?
00:16:27>> No.
00:16:29>> Narrator: When mars pressed the issue, andrea finally admitted the truth.
00:16:34>> She said she killed him, and I asked her why, and she said because they told her to.
00:16:41..she heard voices.
00:16:43>> Narrator: They later checked in to a motel, took showers, and got some sleep.
00:16:49Several hours later, andrea panicked when she realized she LEFT HER WALLET IN pat McRae's home.
00:16:57She insisted mars drive her back to des moines so she could retrieve her wallet.
00:17:02>> Everything in her wallet was coated with blood.
00:17:05I mean, it was like, you know, it had been sitting in it.
00:17:10You know?
00:17:15[ Exhales sharply ] >> Narrator: But how could police determine if mars was telling the truth?
00:17:23>> Mars davis gave us a ton of information that would not have been known to anybody other than who was at that house.
00:17:33>> Narrator: But how do they knowhewasn't involved in the actual murder?
00:17:38For that, police needed to find andrea morris.
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00:20:31>> Narrator: Five years after pat McRae's murder, a witness came forward to say he knew the identity of the killer.
00:20:40A nationwide search was on for andrea morris, a stripper who was dancing in the club pat McRae visited on the night of his murder.
00:20:50Des moines police learned andrea morris was recently released from prison in nebraska after serving two years on a drug charge.
00:21:00>> She is required to give a dna sample as part of her release.
00:21:06And so, I find out who her probation officer is.
00:21:10I call her up.
00:21:11She says, "you know what?
00:21:13I just had to take her dna the " >> Narrator: And it matched the dna from the blood found in pat McRae's bedroom.
00:21:34Was from des moines, iowa, when the blood drained from her face.
00:21:38And terry and i, the other detective that was there, we both commented about that -- do you think she's guilty " >> Narrator: But andrea said she was innocent, that mars davis was the killer.
00:21:50>> I don't know which thing made me more angry -- being accused of the murder or being called a pimp.
00:21:57>> Narrator: Andrea admitted performing a private dance for pat McRae in his home and said pat attempted to assault her.
00:22:07>> SHE SAID pat McRae pinned her to the couch and wouldn't let her up and was kissing her and she was trying to push him away and he wouldn't get up.
00:22:16Next thing she knows, mars davis is in the house over them, and he's the one that starts STABBING pat McRae.
00:22:22That was her story.
00:22:23>> Narrator: But there was no blood all over the floor and only one set of foot impressions from a pair of size-7 boots -- the same size worn by andrea morris.
00:22:35Mars davis wore a size-13 shoe.
00:22:39>> Big difference between a woman's size 7 and a man's size 13.
00:22:43And we didn't have anything to put mars in the house.
00:22:49>> Narrator: Prosecutors believe that from the beginning, andrea INTENDED TO ROB pat McRae.
00:22:56He sat on the couch in the living room for what he thought would be some harmless entertainment.
00:23:08Instead, andrea pulled a knife and attacked him.
00:23:14He tried to fight back.
00:23:22The fight moved across the living room to the front door.
00:23:27McRAE, WEAK FROM BLOOD LOSS AND Shock, could no longer fight back.
00:23:32In all, andrea stabbed him a total of six times.
00:23:38She used the knife to cut McRAE'S WALLET FROM HIS BACK Pocket.
00:23:42She also took his keys.
00:23:45A tremendous amount of blood had been spilled.
00:23:49Police think andrea's contention that she got a nosebleed during the struggle was probably the only thing about her story which was true.
00:23:58That's how her blood dripped onto the comforter on pat's bed.
00:24:04She walked through the rooms, trying to clean up the blood, but there was simply too much of it.
00:24:11Blood found on the curtains showed she opened them to see if mars had returned.
00:24:22When he arrived, andrea left through the front door and locked it on her way out, tracking fresh blood across the front porch.
00:24:33Several hours later, when she realized she'd left her wallet behind, she returned, tracking dried blood on top of the foot impressions left earlier, proving there were two separate visits and proving mars davis had been telling the truth.
00:24:54>> She said that she killed a guy.
00:24:58>> Did she say why?
00:25:00>> Um, because they told her to.
00:25:02>> "They" meaning who?
00:25:04>> These voices that she heard in her head.
00:25:08>> Narrator: Andrea morris, almost unrecognizable from her days as a stripper, maintained her innocence.
00:25:14But the jury didn't buy her story.
00:25:18In october of 2007, she was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.
00:25:28>> She deserved what happened, you know.
00:25:31And it was a really [bleep] ..
00:25:35I feel kind of [bleep] about, you know, doing it to her, but it was either live with it or, ..
00:25:44>> Narrator: The pat mcrae case shows how a single drop of blood can be the difference between a conviction or an exoneration.
00:25:54>> When I calculated the statistics of a match on that sample, it turned out to be fewer than one out of 100 billion unrelated individuals would be expected to have that same dna profile that was found on the piece of evidence.
00:26:10>> Forensic evidence was the key to the entire case.
00:26:13There was just great dna evidence.
00:26:16>> It's very gratifying that the physical evidence established at the initial scene on the initial day eventually is what ended up absolutely placing her within the scene and being the thing that convicted her.
00:26:35>> Narrator: Up next, he promises to avenge his sister's murder.
00:26:39>> I prayed to god that I would be led to be in the right place at the right time.
00:26:43>> Narrator: For years, he tracks her killer without success.
00:26:46>> Every day was another blow to the stomach.
00:26:49>> Narrator: Somewhere deep in the houston crime files are the find them.
00:26:55>> Houston had 500,000 prints.
00:26:57Everybody has 10 fingers.
00:26:59That's 5 million prints.
00:27:00>> Narrator: 34 Years later, investigators find the answer.
00:27:04>> I want to know who killed diane.
00:27:15>> Narrator: In december of 1969, diane maxwell pulled into the company parking lot in houston, texas.
00:27:24It was sunday, and downtown was virtually empty.
00:27:29Diane worked for the southwestern bell company, and her shift started at 1:00 p.m.
00:27:36But she never made it inside the building.
00:27:40A half-hour later, a homeless man saw someone walking away from an old shack next to the parking lot.
00:27:49>> He walked back to the shack and walked very close to him and got a goook at him and went on to the shack, and he found this young girl lying on her back with her hands tied behind her back.
00:27:59And he asked her if she'd been assaulted.
00:28:01" >> she asked him to untie her, and he said, "no," but he agreed he would go call the police.
00:28:08>> Narrator: Tragically, by the time police arrived, 25-year-old diane maxwell was dead.
00:28:16>> She was lying on her back -- bra pushed up, small wound just above her navel, probably an inch in width.
00:28:24>> Narrator: Diane was just 25 years old, a single mother of a 4-year-old son.
00:28:31>> Well, I will tell you that it was the most devastating thing I'd ever experienced.
00:28:35My first reaction was denial -- that there's no way that, you know, diane could be dead.
00:28:41>> When my father called, he could barely speak, and my stepmother took over, who was much more composed under those circumstances and was really able to give me more of the details.
00:28:54>> Narrator: In a search for evidence, police scoured the wooden shack.
00:28:58Among the debris, they found a rumpled pink blanket and a man's gray suit coat.
00:29:05>> It had been used as a storeroom for a service station, and everything imaginable was in there, from service manuals to old oil cans.
00:29:13>> Narrator: The only witness was the homeless man, willie bell.
00:29:18>> And the only physical description was that it was a black male with an afro haircut.
00:29:23>> Narrator: There was no money in diane's purse.
00:29:26Her car keys were missing, and gone.
00:29:32Police found it, nine hours later, a mile away.
00:29:37>> The car was locked.
00:29:38The keys were in the ignition.
00:29:40>> So it was obvious that whoever killed diane took her