THS Investigates: Husbands Who Kill   View more episodes

Aired at 06:30 PM on Saturday, Jul 25, 2009 (7/25/2009)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:00Right after, he drove north to the katy prairie-- there are all these rice fields out there-- where we think he got rid of the shotgun.
00:00:06And then to account for the difference in time, he went to a home depot store for no reason.
00:00:12He didn't go to make an exchange, he didn't buy anything.
00:00:14He just kinda zipped in and zipped out.
00:00:15The defense claimed the evidence in the case was purely circumstantial and none of it directly linked david to the crime.
00:00:24You've got to prove that the defendantpossessed the weapon and pulled the triggerand deliberately did so.
00:00:32And there's no evidence of that.
00:00:34You hear about circumstantial-evidence cases and you hear a lot of times that that means they're weak, necessarily.
00:00:41Our argument to the jury was, it's the opposite.
00:00:44When you have so manylittle circumstances that each of them aloneindividually is true, it's better than havingan eyewitness or a confessionor a fingerprint or finding the murder weapon.
00:01:00On november 14, 2007, attorneys made their closing arguments.
00:01:06David temple is the onlyhuman being in this world who had the motive,the opportunity, and the desireto kill his wife.
00:01:19We're not requiredto prove who it was.
00:01:21What's left unproved is,where's the gun?
00:01:26You knowwith all your heart, david temple is guiltyof murder.
00:01:30And today, almost nine years later, it's time, with this jury, with your verdict, to let belinda rest in peace.
00:01:44Bailiff: All rise.
00:01:45After just eight hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict.
00:01:50Juror: We the jury find the defendant, david mark temple, guilty of murder as charged in the indictment, signed by the foreman of the jury.
00:02:00[ Woman sobbing ] we were relieved.
00:02:03We had had nine years of itbeing opened and wondering when it wasgonna be closed.
00:02:09David temple was sentenced to life in prison.
00:02:12Heather scott obtained legal custody of temple's son and continues to care for him while the case is on appeal.
00:02:19I think that, uh, the killer of belinda deserves a life sentence.
00:02:28It was a terrible way for someone to die, cowering in their own closet.
00:02:34But david's not the killer.
00:02:36Despite david's claim of innocence, belinda's friends and family are confident justice has been served.
00:02:43Belinda, um, she loved life so much.
00:02:47She loved her family and she loved children.
00:02:52And when you have a loss like this, you wonder why, when they had so much to offer and so much to give to so many people, it's just very devastating.
00:03:0438-caliber handguns and started offdown the hallway, firing.
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00:06:14January 15, 2002, the delaware county 911 centerreceived a phone call from a male caller, identified himselfas gerald robert hand.
00:06:22Stated that an intruder had broken into his home, that his wife had been shot.
00:06:30[ Gunshot ] Otto: The sheriff's office arrived to find jill hand lying with a gunshot wound to her forehead.
00:06:47There is an unidentified black male in the driveway, and he appears to have sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
00:06:55While police secured the scene, jill's husband was rushed to a hospital for hyperventilation.
00:07:01It wasn't long before local detectives paid the 52-year-old a visit.
00:07:06Otto: hand, he has dinner with jill.
00:07:09They finish the dinner.
00:07:10He goes to the back bedroom.
00:07:12He hears jill scream.
00:07:14Then he hears at least one gunshot, possibly two.
00:07:18He looks down the hallway and sees an unidentified individual in a red-and-black flannel jacket, standing at the end of the hallway.
00:07:2638-caliber handguns and started off down the hallway, firing.
00:07:31Authorities identified the intruder as lonnie welch, an ex-employee of bob hand.
00:07:37I tried to speak a little bit more with him about lonnie, but he informed me that he didn't know him that well.
00:07:44During questioning, hand revealed he had been married three times before.
00:07:49I asked him about his third wife, and he informed me that she lived on the west side.
00:07:54I asked him about his second wife.
00:07:57She had been murdered.
00:07:57And then I asked him about his first wife, and she as well was murdered.
00:08:01So this gentleman now has had three murdered wives in the course of 25 years.
00:08:08Gerald bob hand grew up in a gritty neighborhood on the west side of columbus, ohio.
00:08:14He was known to be into weightlifting and bodybuilding, be kind of a bully.
00:08:19He liked the women. he was a womanizer.
00:08:22He liked to flatter them with gifts and surprise them with flowers.
00:08:25Soon after graduating high school, bob married a convenience-store clerk named donna anderson.
00:08:32Then he opened an auto repair shop and hired his buddy, lonnie welch, to help out.
00:08:37They were good friends.
00:08:38Bob seemed to be a loud,boisterous individual.
00:08:42You know, he talked loud.
00:08:45He always seemed to have a lot of money.
00:08:47Business was going well, but the marriage was in trouble.
00:08:50There was a lot of talk that there was problems between donna and bob.
00:08:56Donna had even spoke of divorcing bob.
00:08:58And then before any of that could happen, she was murdered.
00:09:01According to police records, on march 24, 1976, bob hand returned home from the gym to discover his wife dead in the basement.
00:09:11The 27-year-old was found strangled by spark plug wires and a plastic bag.
00:09:16Donna's case was originally ruled a suicide and then changed to a homicide.
00:09:21Bob was very adamant that this case hadto be a homicide.
00:09:24Court documents stated that hand collected more than $67,000 from a life insurance policy in her name.
00:09:32Without any suspects, the case went cold.
00:09:36Less than a yearafter his first wife's murder, bob met a recent high school graduate named lori willis.
00:09:44Lori was smart. she was witty.
00:09:46She had that sweet shyness to her.
00:09:48She was not surewhat she wanted to do, so she went aheadand got an office job at a service warehousethat distributed auto parts.
00:09:57Bobby would come into the counter and was always flirting with her.
00:10:01Finally, one day, he sent her flowers and invited her out to lunch.
00:10:04The couple's casual dates quickly turned into a serious relationship.
00:10:10He would give her money to go shopping.
00:10:12He was giving her cars to drive, and she loved it.
00:10:15They were dating for six months.
00:10:16Next thing you know it, she's engaged.
00:10:19On june 18, 1977, 28-year-old bob hand married 19-year-old lori willis.
00:10:26Bobby paid for the wedding, so lori had the excitement of planning the wedding, going out, and buying a beautiful wedding dress.
00:10:34After an extravagant european honeymoon, the newlyweds settled into the same hilltop home where bob's first wife, donna, was murdered.
00:10:45She was very uncomfortable with that, and it really upset lori 'cause she said, "you told me we would move into a new home, " in march, the couple welcomed a son.
00:10:54The birth of robby, of course, that was exciting for her, but I think it took a lot of focus away from bobby.
00:11:01According to friends, lori was becoming increasingly unhappy in her marriage.
00:11:06Lori wanted a divorce and she was like, I'm gonna have to be careful how I do this.
00:11:11I don't want him to find out.
00:11:12She was afraid he was gonna take robby away from her, and she was just afraid of what he would do to try to stop her.
00:11:18On september 9, 1979, lori's mother arrived at the couple's home.
00:11:23She walked in, the stereo blaring, the house looked ransacked.
00:11:27She thought something's wrong, so she called bobby hand's family who lived a couple blocks away.
00:11:33And bobby's brother came over, went downstairs, and found lori.
00:11:37She was strangled and shot and found in the basement of her home.
00:11:42At the time of the murder, bob was with his brother-in-law and infant son at a car show in columbus.
00:11:48He was a suspectin the background, but there wasno forensic evidence pinning him to the scene.
00:11:54And fortunately for him, he had an alibi.
00:11:59I was just in shock.
00:12:00I just kept screaming, "no, no.
00:12:02" I just-- I just couldn't believe it.
00:12:09I started talkingto the police, because I thought it was timefor this to end.
00:14:51For some of these husbands, murder really does serve two purposes.
00:14:55It is an escape from a lifethat they no longer want.
00:14:59And at the same time, it produces material gain for them.
00:15:03By 1979, two of bob hand's wives weremurdered in the same basement.
00:15:09According to police, he collected more than $190,000 in life insurance from donna and lori's deaths.
00:15:15With no suspects and little evidence, the cases went cold.
00:15:20Years and yearswent by on this, and it was tough'cause we always had our suspicions.
00:15:25And for lori's memory, we wanted justice.
00:15:28Hand continued to work at his auto repair shop, and married for a third time.
00:15:33Their relationshipwas very short.
00:15:35She divorced him, took nothing with herbut her name, gave him all the money, didn't takeany of the businesses, left him and never returned.
00:15:42For more than ten years, hand remained single.
00:15:46Then, in 1992, he met a 48-year-old widow and mother of three named jill randolph.
00:15:53My first impression of bob was not good.
00:15:56He was loud and obnoxious.
00:15:58And none of us--my sisters or myself-- liked him.
00:16:02We tolerated himbecause mom liked him.
00:16:04It couldn't have been morethan two or three months.
00:16:07She came to me one dayand said, " and when she came back, she told me that her and bob had gone to the delaware courthouse and got married.
00:16:18All three of us had our mouthsbasically open in shock.
00:16:21There was something not right about him.
00:16:24Something about him I just couldn't put my finger on.
00:16:27So I had him researched.
00:16:29I found out this information that he had been married other times, and the two of the wives had been mysteriously murdered.
00:16:35 he didn't do anything.
00:16:38" bob moved into jill's home, and the marriage seemed solid until late 2000.
00:16:47She went outto purchase a car and was turned downfor credit reasons.
00:16:51The dealer had told her there was a $25,000 credit card that was taken out in her name, and she's like, I have no idea what you're talking about.
00:16:58She discovered that bob had used her name and her credit to get credit cards, and racked 'em up.
00:17:04She went back and confronted bob about it and began to have a glimpse of how bad his financial situation was.
00:17:12She estimated that he waslooking at close to $70,000 worth of credit card debt, which was really unheard of.
00:17:20Jill was furious.
00:17:20She wasn't gonna lose her retirement or the home because of his financial doings.
00:17:25It really stressed jill out.
00:17:28Her appearance changed.she gained weight.
00:17:30She looked concerned, worried.
00:17:33She wasn't quite the same.
00:17:34While the couple tried to figure a way out of their financial troubles, bob reached out to his old friend, lonnie welch.
00:17:42According to court testimony, welch told his brother he had been involved inmurdering bob's first two wives and needed a gun to kill the fourth.
00:17:51Lonnie told me, after he didthis murder on bob's wife, that he stood to earna great deal of money.
00:17:58On january 15, 2002, hand made a frantic call to 911.
00:18:16Police arrived at the residence and found a man laying dead in the driveway.
00:18:20Inside, 58-year-old jill hand was pronounced dead at the scene.
00:18:25.. [ crying ] I got a phone call from my husband.
00:18:35911 Was trying to locate me.
00:18:36She told me that there had been an altercation at my mother's house and that I was needed right away.
00:18:44Jennifer had called meand had said, " and I couldn't believe it.
00:18:55I didn't want to believe it.
00:18:56I just thought, this is not really happening.
00:18:59Bob told investigators he firedat an intruder in self-defense.
00:19:04But evidence at the scene didn't back up his story.
00:19:07When the dead man was identified as lonnie welch, hand claimed he barely knew him.
00:19:13I started to ask him questions about lonnie and the relationship between the two of them.
00:19:31The way he provided his answers made you suspicious because his eyes were closed.
00:19:35And he wasn't looking at you.
00:19:37And he would flail his hands in the air, and he would bang on the table.
00:19:58Lonnie's friends and family told us, "lonnie was no stranger to bob hand.
00:20:04"He's the exact opposite.
00:20:05"And now that he's killed my brother and my friend, " I started talking to the police, because I thought it was time for this to end.
00:20:13Shannon was aware, through conversations with his brother, that lonnie had murdered the first two wives for bob for money, and that he was scheduled to murder jill.
00:20:25Lonnie had talkedabout it over the years and was beginning todivulge more and more, and bob hand becameaware of that.
00:20:31We said, "look, this isn't just a case "where he hired lonnie to kill jill "and silenced him because of his role in jill's murder, "but he was silencing him " then an anonymous tip led police to an office near bob's repair shop.
00:20:46Inside, investigators found nearly a dozen boxes containing hand's old records.
00:20:52It involved everything from credit card companies to life insurance policies on donna, and life insurance polices on lori, and the payouts.
00:21:03It was just the complete layout of bob's financial background.
00:21:08The documents showed hand racked up more than $218,000 in credit card debt.
00:21:15But it was the insurance policies that established a possible reason for the murders.
00:21:214 million.
00:21:24And so when you compare those numbers with the debt, you start to put together a motive.
00:21:29This was for money.
00:21:31On august 9, 2002, police arrested bob for the murders of jill hand and lonnie welch.
00:21:38Hand pleaded not guilty.
00:21:41The trial began the following year.
00:21:42What we believe happened is that bob hand first kills jill point-blank, shoots her in the head.
00:21:49Then he waits in the ambush.
00:21:50It looks like lonnie welch only got to the front door.
00:21:54He takes off running.
00:21:55Bob hand shoots him point-blank in the driveway next door.
00:21:58The defensetried to argue that there wasn't enoughevidence to show that he was involvedin any of these things.
00:22:05But there were too many pieces.
00:22:07There were too many things that needed to be explained away.
00:22:09At the end of the day, the jury saw through it.
00:22:13After a three-week trial, the jury came back with a decision.
00:22:17The verdict was sweet.
00:22:19It was guilty on all counts.
00:22:21As we prosecute criminals, it's rare that you don't find a spark of humanity.
00:22:26I remember when we opened the death-penalty phase, I turned and I looked at bob hand.
00:22:32I looked into his eyes, and they were the coldest, deepest eyes I'd ever seen.
00:22:38And it took my breath away for a moment.
00:22:43Bob hand received two death sentences-- one for the murder of lonnie welch, and the second for his wife, jill.
00:22:51Hand is seeking an appeal.
00:22:53He has never been charged in the murders of his first two wives.
00:22:58The investigation involving lori and donna is an open investigation with columbus police department, still.
00:23:06For their loved ones, the verdict will have to suffice for now.
00:23:10I just wanna saythat I miss my friend lori and I miss seeingwhat she would have become.
00:23:15And I'm just thankfulthat there was some justice.
00:23:22The woman, very upset, indicated thather husband had a gun, and thenthe phone went dead.
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00:26:17Jonathan brookner and his wife, rita joyce, were well-regarded membersof a quiet connecticut suburb.
00:26:24The town of fairfield is pretty unique.
00:26:27It's a safe neighborhood.
00:26:29We have a lotof professionals that live here, and it's veryfamily-oriented.
00:26:35But on the night of january 7, 2008, a frantic 911 call from rita joyce made it clear that something was terribly wrong.
00:26:51The woman, obviously very upset, indicated that her husband had a gun, and then the phone went dead.
00:26:58They call the residence backand a male answers the phone.
00:27:07[ Gunshot ] [ sirens wailing ] police rushed to the scene.
00:27:11The house was quiet.
00:27:12Our officers came upon a female as well as a male, the female inside an office area, leaning into the hallway, and a male subject on the floor in the hallway.
00:27:22Police discovered 56-year-old jonathan and 52-year-old rita joyce each killed by a gunshot wound to the head.
00:27:32There's the handgun near the male subject.
00:27:35There's no forced entry into the house.
00:27:36There's no indications that there was a third party involved.
00:27:39And now we're talking about a crime scene where one individual, it appeared, had killed the other.
00:27:44Within the first ten or 15 minutes that we were in the house, the phone rang.
00:27:48I had answered the phone, and I identified myself.
00:27:52And the brother-in-law of rita joyce said, " he had received an e-mail just minutes before from jonathan brookner.
00:28:00It seemed to be an apparent suicide note to him.
00:28:03It talked about an affair that he had discovered that his wife was having.
00:28:07We found instant message communications between rita joyce and another male subject, very pornographic, very explicit sexual content.
00:28:21I think that he took the affair as a really hard blow to his ego, and is what really pushed himover the edge.
00:28:28 brooknerfits the profile of a jealous, depressed,suicidal type of killer.
00:28:33This notion that somehow killing her along with himself somehow preserves them as a couple.
00:28:41He killed her because she,in his mind, defied him.
00:28:46That's a perfect case of "i suspect you did this, "and I'm either gonna kill you and myself, " rita and jonathan were highly educated.
00:28:56There was no history whatsoever at their house, no indicators, no warning signs that we were ever made aware of.
00:29:03Murphy-Milano: Husbands who kill do it because no one will catch them, do it because they are sick and tired of the person not listening, do it because they have every right to do it.
00:29:12" when people arevery well-established and well-respected, it's really unsettlingfor those people to feel likethey're losing something.
00:29:23And it can feel like a real major failure.
00:29:26Sometimes these people would rather do away with the failure.
00:29:33No one drives anybody to pull a trigger.
00:29:35Nobody drives anybody to commit murder.
00:29:37Nobody drives anybody to violence.
00:29:39There is no single common trait of victims, no single predictor that somebody will become a victim of domestic violence.
00:29:47It could happen to anybody.