Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 3, Episode 20 – Full Episode

ANNOUNCER: This program is
about unsolved mysteries. Whenever possible, the
actual family membersand police officials
have participatedin recreating the events. What you are about to see
is not a news broadcast. ROBERT STACK :
In the 1920s,Edgar Cayce gained
widespread notorietyfor his apparent ability to
make complex medical diagnoseswhile in a self-induced trance. Even now, 45 years
after Cayce’s death,thousands claimed to
have benefited and beencured by his knowledge. Some say it is merely
a combination of luckand the power of suggestion. 28-year-old Crystal Spencer was
a small-town girl determinedto make it big in the movies. But for Crystal,
the road to stardomled through Hollywood’s
seamy underside and, sadly,a confusing and
mysterious death. According to her family and
friends, Crystal was murdered. Easter Sunday, 1990, just
outside Coldwater, Michigan. Ray and Marie Thornton were
enjoying their weekly drivethrough the country. Quite by accident, this
quiet Sunday outingwould place the Thorntons at the
center of an unsolved mystery. These intriguing
stories all needone final clue, one final
piece of informationbefore they can be solved. Perhaps someone watching
tonight can help. Perhaps it’s you. Kathy, you have a condition
called optic neuritis. This is a condition
where the optic nerve–ROBERT STACK : In
1986, 27-year-old Cathy Comoravisited her ophthalmologist. OK. You can sit back now, Cathy. ROBERT STACK :
Cathy thoughtshe had a minor problem,
but the doctor’sverdict was horrifying. Cathy might be going blind. It may return. It may not return. CATHY COMORA: It was a very
frightening experience. He said I wouldn’t run out
right away and buy a white cane,but it’s very serious. And I was scared. I mean, I suddenly realized
that there was a possibilitythat I could go blind. I hadn’t taken it
seriously all along. ROBERT STACK :
Cathy’s troublehad begun one week earlier. CATHY COMORA: I
woke up one morningand I just saw that
there was a little areain my field of vision that
I couldn’t see out of. And I just thought there
was a speck on my eye. I tried to rub it away
and nothing happened. It didn’t leave. I didn’t really think
too much about it. I just thought it was
unusual and I just let it go. And throughout the day,
it didn’t disappear. And the next day it was
a little larger area. By the end of the
week, when I couldn’tsee at all out of
the eye, I decidedthis probably isn’t
normal and I probablyshould do something about it. ROBERT STACK :
Cathy consultedtwo other ophthalmologists. The diagnosis was
unanimous, optic neuritis. Possible consequence, blindness. There is no known cure. Her doctor recommended steroids. Cathy was strongly opposed
to the use of steroidsand was determined to
find an alternative. She consulted a doctor
who was well-versedin the mysterious methods
of a man named Edgar Cayce. Edgar Cayce became famous in
the 1920s as a diagnostician,even though he had absolutely
no medical training. In his lifetime, Cayce made
more than 9,000 diagnoses,which he called readings, while
in a deep, self-induced trance. In 1937, Cayce did a reading
on this 18-year-old womanwho suffered from
scleroderma, a disfiguringchronic disease with no cure in
which a person’s skin hardens. Cayce prescribed a number of
treatments and her sclerodermawent into immediate remission. The reading was
given in Januaryand the readings were
followed to the letter. ROBERT STACK : In
an interview 40 years later,the woman gave Edgar Cayce
full credit for her cure. –in June of 19–ROBERT STACK
: In 1976,six-year-old Andrew Senzon
suffered from severe psoriasis. In desperation, Andrew’s
mother sought outa doctor who utilized
methods set down by EdgarCayce 30 years earlier. Within four months,
the psoriasis was gone. Today, Andrew Senzon
is 21 years oldand has had only one
recurrence, which also respondedto the Cayce treatments. Some people write off
Edgar Cayce’s curesas lucky coincidence or
the power of suggestionacting on psychosomatic illness. But for those diagnosed with
the disease that modern medicinecannot cure or in some
cases even explain,Edgar Cayce’s methods
continue to hold out hope. Cayce died in 1945. Even so, each year, thousands
of inquiries from allover the world pour into
Cayce’s nonprofit centerin Virginia Beach, Virginia. The thriving center
is an unlikely legacyfor Edgar Cayce, a
quiet, unpretentious manwho came of age
in rural Kentuckyat the turn of the century. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: My father
was a very ordinary person. He liked the garden. He liked to fish. We had gardens
wherever we lived. He taught Sunday school. I mean, in everyday
life you wouldn’tknow him from anybody else. It was only when he
was asleep that hehad extraordinary ability. ROBERT STACK
: Edgar Caycediscovered his mysterious
ability when he was 13. Time for your
lessons, young man. ROBERT STACK : A
borderline student, Edgar fellasleep over his spelling book. Cabin. ROBERT STACK :
When his father quizzed him,Edgar could spell
every word in the bookand even knew the page numbers
where each word appeared. Cattle. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: From that
time on, all he had to dowas sleep on his books at
night and he moved alongvery rapidly, whether it was
spelling or math or historyor whatever. And he became an
exceptional studentrather than an average student. ROBERT STACK :
It 1900, when Edgar was 23,he suddenly lost
the power of speech. For an entire year, physicians
were unable to explain or curehis illness. Continue to breathe deeply. ROBERT STACK :
As a last resort,Cayce’s parents convinced
him to see a hypnotist. His family physician
attended and recordedthe session in minute detail. Cayce sank into a deep sleep. Edgar. ROBERT STACK :
Everyone presentwas stunned when, for
the first time in a year,Edgar Cayce spoke. Um. Mhm. Yes. We have the body before us. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: Dad never
had any formal medical training. In fact, his educational
career stoppedat what would be an equivalent
to the ninth grade now. Due to a paralysis
of the anterior musclesof the vocal cords. He would suggest
things and describethings, the parts of the body,
that he had no knowledge of. This will remove the trouble. He started to talk and say,
yes, we have the condition. It was a constriction
to the throat. Some constriction
of the blood flow. He’d say, we will correct it. LANE: The body will now awaken. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: And
when Lane, the hypnotist,told him to wake up, he sat up
and coughed up a little bloodand he could talk. Are you all right?EDGAR EVANS CAYCE:
And I think that wasprobably the first reading,
though it was on himself. Hello. ROBERT STACK :
Cayce’s doctorpersuaded him to
attempt diagnoseson other patients
who had not respondedto traditional medicine. Cayce agreed, but the end
result left him disillusioned. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: The
problem developed when,at the end of some
of the readings,people would start asking him
questions about what horse wasgoing to win a race
or what was goingto happen in the
commodities of stock marketor results of a ball game. And when he found
out what had happenedand what people were doing,
he said, I’m giving it up. ROBERT STACK : Cayce
abandoned his psychic readings,married, and moved to
Selma, Alabama, wherehe worked as a photographer. By 1914, he had two sons,
Edgar Evans and Hugh Lynn. When Hugh Lynn was
eight years old,he was terribly injured
in a darkroom explosion. A local doctor held
out little hope. How is he, Doctor? I’ve managed to remove most
of the powder from his eyes,but I found that the
damage to the tissuewas so extensive that
he may lose his sight. EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: My brother
was playing in the studioand dropped a match in
a partially-filled canof flashlight powder and
it blew up in his faceand burned his eyes very badly. The doctors examined
him and said, well,we think we’re going to
have to take out one eye. He’s probably going to lose
the sight in both of them. And my brother said,
Daddy, give me a reading. Let’s go into the parlor. ROBERT STACK :
For Edgar Cayce,it was the ultimate test. He had not attempted
a reading in years. Could he now save his own
son from a life of blindness?EDGAR: Although tannic acid
would not be normally usedunder these circumstances–EDGAR EVANS CAYCE: He described
an application for the eyesthat included tannic acid. Well, that was
unheard of at the timeand the doctors thought
it was too strong,but they thought he was going
to lose his eyes anyway,so it wouldn’t hurt to try. And when they first put
it on, Hugh then said,this must be Daddy’s medicine. It doesn’t hurt. ROBERT STACK :
It seemed like a miracle. Within six weeks, Hugh Lynn’s
sight was completely restored. Word of the boy’s
recovery spread. Edgar Cayce soon became famous. In 1925, he moved to
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Within five years,
Cayce establisheda center there to catalog
and interpret the readings. The center received thousands of
letters, most of them requestsfor readings. Although Cayce normally did
only two readings a day,he was unable to turn his
back on those who seemedto need him so desperately. He felt like he
couldn’t refusepeople so he started doing two
and three and four and five. And it got up to, I
understand, nine or 10 a day,and it was just
too much for him. ROBERT STACK :
On the brink of exhaustion,Edgar Cayce suffered
a massive stroke. He died on January
3, 1945, leavingbehind more than 120,000 pages
of readings, which continueto serve as a wellspring
of hope for thosein search of cures that may have
eluded established medicine. Now Cathy, an X-ray
examination of your neck showsthat you have the deviation–ROBERT STACK : When
Cathy Comora’s optic neuritiswas diagnosed in 1986, she
went to Dr. John Pagano,a chiropractor in New
Jersey who studied EdgarCayce’s readings for 30 years. JOHN PAGANO: Cayce was
very specific on whatareas of the spine to adjust. The fact that Cayce suggested
the certain procedure for eyeproblems does not mean
that he specificallydiagnosed it as optic neuritis. He talked about vision
problems, blindness,and that’s what I approached
it at, not as optic neuritis. First I’m going to stretch
you out a little bit. It’ll sort of get the
blood circulating. JOHN PAGANO: After I
gave her an adjustment,she called me the next day to
tell me there’s an improvement. We continued treatment,
and within seven days,her sight was restored. ROBERT STACK
: Dr. Paganobelieves that Edgar Cayce’s
treatments set forthin several readings given
decades earlier broughtback Cathy Comora’s vision. Skeptics disagree. PAUL KURTZ: I think much
of the Cayce materialis based upon illusion. And I think there’s a
placebo effect here at work. Often if you believe that
someone is going to cure you–you give them
white sugar pills–they might be cured. So the power of the mind
can have a powerful effect. I do believe in the
power of the mind. And I tried to will the sight
back before I had gone to Dr. Pagano, and it didn’t work. And it was only after I
had gone to Dr. Paganoand after he had adjusted my
neck that the sight came back. I don’t think that Edgar
Cayce had any psychic powers. I don’t think there’s such
a thing as psychic medicine. I think one ought to be very
cautious about the claimthat you can diagnose
illnesses in some mystical way. ROBERT STACK :
How can the unique lifeof Edgar Cayce be explained?He has been denounced
as a soothsayer. He has been heralded
as a prophet. But medical
establishment refusesto endorse Cayce’s methods,
yet at the same time,is unwilling to dismiss them. Before his death, Edgar
Cayce wrote to a friend. “In my life and in the lives
of many who come in contactwith the readings, there seems
to be much that is of help,but you must judge for yourself. Facts and results are
the only measuring rods. If this knowledge is to
be of any lasting benefit,it will require open-minded,
intelligent research. “Perhaps the readings
of Edgar Cayceare one mystery that
will be solved onlythrough patients, medical
evaluation, and that greatestof all healers, time. Next, an aspiring
actress is found deadin her Los Angeles apartment. The coroner ruled her death
due to undetermined causes,but some say it was murder. Hollywood, California. The dream factory. A fantasy land of
myth and legend,fueled by the tantalizing
fable that anyonecan become famous overnight. Ever since the movies
began, beautiful young girlshave flocked to Hollywood, lured
by the glamor of Tinseltownand the promise of stardom. It was this dream which
brought 23-year-old CrystalSpencer to Los Angeles
in the summer of 1982. For as long as she
could remember,Crystal Spencer
pictured herself as notjust an actress, but a star. Sadly, her search
for fame and fortuneled only to frustration,
failure, and, some say, murder. Crystal Lene Spencer was
raised in the small northernCalifornia town of Ukiah. When she was eight,
her father died,leaving her mother to raise
three small children alone. At 17, Crystal dropped
out of high schooland took a job to help
support the family. Soon, Hollywood beckoned and she
moved to the Los Angeles areato actively pursue her dream. Her early years were
a struggle, resultingonly in a few bit parts. Crystal quickly realized
that true stardom was elusiveand perhaps unobtainable. Within two years of
her arrival, Crystalreluctantly took a job as an
exotic dancer to pay her bills. On a good night, she
cleared up to $400 in tips. But Crystal never fully accepted
the fact that, in essence, shewas a stripper. PATTI JO MILLHOUSE:
Sometimes she would juststart crying, like she felt
degraded about herself,of what she’d done. ROBERT STACK :
In May of 1987,friends invited Crystal
to an outdoor barbecue. She was eager to mix and
mingle with people who mighthelp further her acting career. I’m Crystal. – I’m Anton.
– Nice to meet you. It’s nice meeting you.
– Oh!
This is your place, then. This is your party?ANTON KLINE: There
was something veryalluring and compelling
about Crystal thatwould readily catch your eye. She knew that she would
become not only an actress,but she would became
a very famous actress,and it was just
a matter of time. ROBERT STACK
: Crystalwas taken with Anton Kline,
a would-be screenwriterand a PhD candidate in history. Though they came from totally
different backgrounds,they soon fell in love. Anton took it upon
himself to helpCrystal broaden her horizons. He introduced her
to art galleries,museums, and concerts. Crystal was dazzled. ANTON KLINE: She
loved classical music. She loved fine art. She wanted to know more about
these other wonderful thingsof life that she had never
been exposed to before. ROBERT STACK :
Anton had no ideahow crystal earned her living. She walked a precarious
tightrope, discoveringart and culture by day, immersed
in Hollywood’s dark sideby night. PATTI JO MILLHOUSE: Crystal
loved Anton very much. She was very scared
about him finding out. She says, well, I better change. I better quit dancing
then before he finds out. I better quit doing this
before he finds out. I want to get married. I want to have a future. I want to start doing
something for my life. ROBERT STACK
: Finally,four months after
they met, Anton foundout about Crystal’s other life. ANTON KLINE: A neighbor
saw her dancing at the clubby the airport where she worked. And he said, I saw that girl
on stage the other night. I said, no, you couldn’t have. He said, that was her. Of course it was her. And I was shocked. He was very upset,
but he said it was OK. He accepted it,
which shocked her. She didn’t know what to say. –sit right there. No, Anton, you’ll catch my cold. ROBERT STACK :
On Wednesday, May 4, 1988,Crystal was home with a cold. Anton stopped by and they talked
about a promising offer she hadreceived to work in the Orient. So what’s
happening with Japan? I don’t know. They haven’t called yet. When are you leaving? I’m not even sure if I
have the job or not yet. ANTON KLINE: She was very
nervous, but excited,about the possibility
of traveling to Japanand seeing a whole
different world than whatshe was accustomed to. I spoke to Crystal Thursday
evening– the next evening–on the telephone. How you doing?You feeling better?CRYSTAL :
Much better, thanks. That’s good. ANTON KLINE: And
the conversationlasted about 15 minutes. I said, I’ll be in
touch, and she said, OK. I hung up the phone, and
that was the last timeI ever spoke with her. ROBERT STACK :
Three days later,Anton tried to reach Crystal but
continuously got a busy signal. An operator told him the
receiver was off the hook. Can I help you? Yeah, I’m looking
for Crystal Spencer. She’s not working tonight. Did she work here last night? She didn’t punch in. ROBERT STACK :
Confused, Antonassumed that Crystal
had left for Japanwithout saying goodbye. Excuse me. Have you seen Crystal Spencer? What? Have you seen Crystal Spencer? No, I haven’t seen
her in a couple of days. Do you know where she is?ANTON KLINE: I was expecting any
day to receive a very excitedphone call from a very
excited Crystal saying,it’s wonderful here. It’s a whole
different world here. And instead, I got a phone
call from the Burbank PoliceDepartment. ROBERT STACK :
Friday, the 13th of May, 1988. Police discovered the decomposed
body of Crystal Spencer. She had been dead
for nearly a week. ANTON KLINE: They, at
first, just said she wasfound dead in her apartment. And they wanted to know
when I’d last seen her. And I said, I last
saw her on Wednesday. And how was she?I said, well, she had a cold. And they said they believe
she died of natural causes. ROBERT STACK
: An autopsyrevealed no trace of drugs or
alcohol in Crystal’s system. There were no obvious signs
of foul play or suicide. The coroner ruled that
her death was the resultof undetermined causes. ROBERT COHEN: The
body of Ms. Spencerwas in such an advanced
state of decomposition,they were not able to
ascribe the cause of death,so they have no finding. I was suspicious because I
did not believe that CrystalSpencer died of illness. She was not a sick
woman when I lastsaw her or last spoke with her. She was a young
woman with a cold. I was suspicious because the way
I was told the body was found–in an obscure corner
of her apartment,nude from the waist down. The phone went off
the hook for days. And I became
extremely suspiciouswhen I learned that neighbors
had heard terrible screamsand shrills coming
from her apartmentthat some had described
as the sounds of torture. ROBERT STACK :
On the night of May 7, twoof Crystal’s neighbors
had been awakenedby a strange
intermittent wailing. SUSAN AKIN-TAYLOR: Two or three
minutes after 4:00, I rememberlooking at the clock
and I heard some moansand some funny sounds. You know how you are
when you wake up. You just don’t know
what’s going on. Somebody’s screaming. But even before I even woke
him up, I laid there thinking,someone’s being tortured. Someone’s being hurt. Something’s going on. But I had no past, prior
experience to what the soundswere because they were so
bloodcurdling eerie that theyfrightened me very much. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Do you think it’s
coming from here, or–SUSAN AKIN-TAYLOR: All I could
think about, for some reason,was someone taking a
cigarette and putting itagainst her body, torturing
her, because we had heardlike choking and moaning,
but then when this started,that’s all we heard. JET TAYLOR: Susan was
very adamant about callingthe police, but out of
my fear of what I heard,I didn’t want to get involved. That was my first reaction. SUSAN AKIN-TAYLOR:
I don’t think I’llever be able to
live with the factthat I didn’t call the police. If I had, maybe she
would still be alive. ROBERT STACK : A
week later, Crystal’s body wasdiscovered and the
Taylors finallytold their story to the police. –witnesses, you saw
or heard something? About a week ago,
about 4:00 in–JET TAYLOR: He just took
my statement, took my name,asked me for my driver’s
license, and that was it. He was just very
nonchalant about it. I believe most sincerely, as
does her family, that CrystalLene Spencer was murdered
in the early morninghours of May 7, 1988. ROBERT STACK :
Crystal’s family requestedto view the body several times. The coroner’s office continually
refused, claiming the bodywas in no condition to be seen. For months, Anton
Kline was deniedaccess to the police records. However, in
September of 1988, hewas able to obtain
the autopsy report. Anton was shocked by the
discrepancies he found. ANTON KLINE: Crystal Spencer
was barely 5-foot tall. The autopsy report claims
that she’s an amazing 5’7″. Crystal Spencer weighed
approximately 105 poundswhen I last saw her. The autopsy claims the body is
a “well-nourished” 140 pounds. I was stunned. I said, this is not the
body of Crystal Spencer. And where is the real
body of Crystal Spencer?You don’t grow 7
inches and gain 50to 60 pounds when you’re dead. The only thing
that comes to my mindis a possible documentary
error at the coroner’s office. They are overwhelmed with work. However, we do have
the remains identifiedby fingerprints from
two different agencies,as I mentioned before. And those really eliminate any
possibility of the coroner’sautopsy and the wrong remains. I was told by
one law enforcementofficial, quote unquote, “bad
things happen to bad girls. “And I said, you mean bad
girls die of natural causes?And he said, you
know what I meanand hung up on me on the phone. ROBERT STACK
: Two weeksafter the discovery of
her body, Crystal’s familyand friends gathered for a
private memorial service. Fittingly, Crystal
Spencer’s asheswere scattered beneath
the famous Hollywood sign. ANTON KLINE: I believe the
investigation was bungled. And I am angered that
they are attemptingnow to suppress the police
reports in this case forever. We need to know what
happened to her. It’s important to
all of us who caredabout her to learn the truth. That’s all we want is the truth. ROBERT STACK
: Next, policeneed your help to find a man
suspected in the brutal murderof his ex-wife. Easter Sunday, 1990. A lonely road 12 miles outside
of Coldwater, Michigan. Ray and Marie Thornton set
off on a leisurely drivein the country, as
they did every weekend. But in just a matter of minutes,
their routine Sunday outingwould place this ordinary,
law-abiding coupleat the center of a strange
and ominous mystery. RAY THORNTON: We
were driving southon Snow Prairie Road and, all
of a sudden, a van just on usand passed. Look at this guy
coming around us, honey. Sure is in a hurry. There he goes. GZ. Jeez!He must be in a hurry. RAY THORNTON: One
of the things wedo when we’re out
driving around is we makenames out of license plates. Marie came up with the,
jeez, he’s really in a hurrybecause the first two letters
of his license plate were GZ. And it was just spontaneous. Really no thought behind it. ROBERT STACK :
Several miles down the road,the Thorntons came across the
man and the van a second time. MARIE THORNTON: As we
approached an old schoolhouse,I saw a man behind
it and he had whatappeared to be a bloody sheet. MARIE: The man back
there has a bloody sheet!RAY: Where? He’s behind the building–MARIE THORNTON: As we
continued passing the school,I saw the van parked between
the building and a big tank. There’s the van
that passed us. RAY: Where? It’s right there!RAY: There was the
one that passed us?MARIE: Yes, I’m sure it was. It was the van that passed us. ROBERT STACK :
Minutes later, the vanpulled up behind them
again and rode their bumperfor nearly two miles. I’m gonna start
writing this stuff down. RAY: Good idea. MARIE THORNTON: Our
game really paid offbecause that helped me
remember the first two lettersof his license plate number. But we wanted to get
more, if possible. RAY: He’s got a white skullcap
on right now like mine. ROBERT STACK :
Finally, a nervous Ray Thorntonturned off the highway. When he did, the van pulled
to the side of the road. RAY THORNTON: We
decided to turn aroundand come back and
see if we couldget a license plate number. We felt if we could
get the license number,then we could turn
it in to the police. The guy was acting
very suspicious. We just felt that authorities
should be notified. There he is. MARIE: What is he doing? Now he’s in the
back of the van. He looks like he’s
changing– he is. He’s changing his plates. MARIE THORNTON: He was behind
his van with the passengerfront door open. And I saw that the passenger
door was covered with blood. There’s blood
all over that door. RAY: What door? The passenger door. That guy has done something. He has. ROBERT STACK : The
Thorntons feared that somethingunspeakable had happened. They returned to the schoolyard
to search for the sheet. MARIE THORNTON: I was
beginning to get nervous whenwe got back to the schoolhouse. We were very careful
about where we walked. Where’d you see him? Back over this way. OK. MARIE THORNTON: We tried to
find what this white thingwas that he had been carrying. Look!Look! I see it. That’s probably it. Honey, what is it?ROBERT STACK :
Partially stuffedinto a small animal hole
was a blood-soaked blanket. It’s definitely
blood all right. Let’s go call the police. On an otherwise
pleasant spring afternoon,Ray and Marie Thornton
had chanced upon evidenceof a shocking
crime, a crime whichmarked the complete and tragic
disintegration of a family. Unwittingly the Thorntons were
witness to the final chapterof a bitter, heated conflict
between a husband and his wife,which ended in murder. He sees man in the open. He throws. ROBERT STACK : To
outward appearances, Dennisand Marilyn DePue of
Coldwater, Michigan,had a comfortable
middle-class life. Both had gratifying careers. Dennis was a state of Michigan
property assessor, Marilyna high school counselor. Together, they were raising
three healthy children. But beneath the surface,
smoldering tensions threatenedto erupt at any moment. After the children
were born, Dennisgrew sullen and withdrawn. He began to isolate
himself from the familyand accused Marilyn of turning
the children against him. It’s not that they fought all
the time because they didn’t. They just didn’t really talk. She would just say in
general that she was unhappy. And when the lawyer
or someone elsewould ask her why she
wanted to get a divorce,she would say because
the marriage is broken upand because there was no
longer a marriage there. You want to make sure
that you want to gothrough with it this time. If you do, you’re gonna
sign it on this pageand sign it on the last page. ROBERT STACK
: In 1989,after 18 years of marriage,
Marilyn DePue finally gave up. Thank you. Now, do you have any
questions at all, Marilyn? What about him seeing
the children, then? We’ll have to wait till the
hearing a week from Friday–RICHARD COLBECK: Marilyn wanted
to be more of her own person,raising her family
as she saw fit. I believe that she
felt at that timethat Dennis was, in effect,
trying to domineer her–that is, run her life and not
allow her to make decisionsthat she wanted to make. He was agreeable to
his wife having custody. As far as property
was concerned,he was very willing
to allow his wifeto have most of the
property that she wanted. Many times, I had
to fight with himto get a fair share
of the property,but he was very willing to
give her whatever she wanted. I don’t–I don’t want this
thing to happen. I don’t want this divorce. It’s not– it’s not–it’s not something I want
or want to deal with and–ROBERT STACK :
Despite Dennis’ attemptsto keep the marriage
intact, the divorce becamefinal in December of 1989. I’m sitting in the front. Bye. Gotta keep your jacket on, now. ROBERT STACK : Dennis
was granted biweekly visitationrights, but the children were
often reluctant to spend timewith him. Dennis was also granted access
to the guesthouse, which heuses an office and as
an excuse to maintaincontrol over his family. ANN DUNKEL: Marilyn
had to changeall the locks on the doors. Even after she changed
the locks on the doors,she would tell me that there
were some times when she wouldcome home and unlock
the house and go in,and there was Dennis
sitting on the couch. She didn’t know how
he got in because shehad different keys made and
new locks and everything. And she seemed a little
frightened about that. He sort of, out
of the blue, justindicated to me one day
that he was contemplatingsuicide and murder. ROBERT STACK :
Easter Sunday, April 15, 1990. Dennis arrived to pick up two
of the children for a visit. His younger daughter, Julie, had
already refused to go with him. Come on, Scott. Get your things. Put the game down.
Let’s go. Get your jacket.
– Can’t we go a little later? No, we can’t. Look, I came here now. You’re going now. I’m not hanging
around here anymore. But Julie doesn’t have to go. I don’t care
what Julie has to– Dennis.
No, stop. Just calm–
– No!Every time, you’re
turning him against– He’s old enough to
make his own decisions. You ruin everything.
He is. He is coming with me. Leave him alone!You’re making things terrible!I hate you!You’re ruining my life–
– No!Stop it! Stop it! You’re hurting me! Daddy, help her!No!
No!Stop it, Daddy!
Stop!No! You’re hurting her!ROBERT STACK :
The DePues’ eldest daughter,Jennifer, ran to
a neighbor’s houseto call the sheriff’s office. JULIE DEPUE: She wasn’t
walking completely on her own. We’re going to the hospital. JULIE DEPUE: He was
like holding her up. We’re going to the hospital. You kids stay here. And when they were walking
by, I just said, Mom. Mom. And she didn’t even look at me. She was just kind
of like in a daze. ROBERT STACK
: The DePuesnever arrived at the hospital. Sheriff’s deputies and
the Michigan State Policeimmediately began a search
for the missing couple. That same afternoon,
Ray and Marie Thorntonfound the bloodied
blanket in the schoolyard. The area was quickly
cordoned off. The authorities began
to assume the worst. Marilyn DePue was probably dead. How’s it look, guys?ROBERT STACK
: Deputiesdiscovered several
fresh tire tracksand a large pool of blood. Good reproduction here. ROBERT STACK :
The tracks werelater matched to Dennis’ van. The blood was Marilyn’s. –get a hand
with the stretcher? All right. What time do you get off here?ROBERT STACK : The
next day, a highway workerdiscovered Marilyn DePue’s
body just off a deserted road,midway between the
schoolhouse and her home. She had been shot once
in the back of the head. BETTY MCCLENAHEN: We had
a feeling that he hadreally done something terrible. It was so brutal and
premeditated that itmakes you so angry. If she’d been killed in
an automobile accident,you could get over
that, but not this. ROBERT STACK :
Just days after the murder,Dennis sent a series of
wild, rambling lettersto friends and relatives
in which he triedto justify Marilyn’s death. To coworker Jan
Markowski, Dennis wrote–DENNIS: “Marilyn had many,
many opportunities to treatme fairly during this divorce,
but she chose to stringit out, trick me, lie to me. And when you lose your
wife, children, and home,there’s not much left. I was too old to start over. “ROBERT STACK :
All together, Dennissent a total of 17 letters
postmarked in Virginia,Iowa, and Oklahoma. ANN DUNKEL: It seemed
as if Dennis was tryingto say that those of us
who were friends of Marilynwere the ones who caused her
death, when, in effect, it wasDennis who pulled the trigger. None of the rest of us did that. The only closure that
we could get out of itwould be to have Dennis caught. That’s the only thing. I can’t think of anything
else that would help me. I think of it day and night,
and I will the rest of my life. And nothing, even
Dennis being caught,will not take this terrible
feeling away and loss. “An eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth, alie for a lie, a
life for a life. “Three months after the
murder, Dennis DePuesent copies of
his 13-page letterto a number of
friends and relatives. It reads like a treatise,
a chilling 5,000-wordrationalization
which takes liberallyfrom the Bible throughout. “I realize that vengeance
is mine, saith the Lord,but sometimes the Lord is
too busy doing other things. “Dennis DePue is 6 feet
tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has dark brown hair
and dark, deep-set eyes. He was last seen driving a
1984 cream-colored Chevroletvan with maroon
stripes, which may nowbear Illinois license plates. At around 8:30 on the
night of our broadcast,a woman who asked that we call
her Mary arrived at her homeoutside Dallas, Texas. Mary’s boyfriend, Hank
Queen, was already home. MARY: His van was parked
in the driveway, whichwas out of the ordinary
because he usuallykept it inside the garage. – Hi.
– Hi. It’s good you got back. MARY: He told me that
his mother was very illand then he needed to make
an emergency trip home. –had a stroke. And I’m gonna drive up–could you make me
some sandwichesthat I can take on the–
it’s a really long drive. MARY: I was sure that something
else must really be going on,but I didn’t know what. ROBERT STACK : –find a
man suspected of brutal murderof his ex-wife. MARY: He was getting
clothes out of the closet,clothes out of some
drawers, gatheringup some of his personal items. At the same time,
giving me instructionson preparing some food for
him to take on the long trip. – What do you want to drink?
– I don’t care. Anything.
DENNIS : No!Every time–
– Sodas?Cans of soda would be good. DENNIS : –everything. He is coming with me!Leave him alone!
– Stop it! You’re making this terrible!I hate you! Aren’t you gonna
give me a hug?MARY: He just gave me
a little peck of a kissand I gave him a big hug
and said goodbye to him. I realized that something
was troubling him,and I knew I would
never see him again. ROBERT STACK :
Later Later that night, Marywas shocked to learn that
her boyfriend, Hank Queen,was really Dennis DePue, and
that he had just been featuredon “Unsolved Mysteries”. For nearly a year, Dennis
DePue’s whereaboutsremained a mystery until
the night of our broadcast. MARY: Looking back on it now,
I’m sure he was watching. And I think that
he was deliberatelykeeping my attention
distracted in the kitchenso that I wouldn’t
see the segmentand so that he could leave. A friend of Mary’s
called our telecenterand provided authorities
with a Texas license platenumber of Dennis DePue’s van. Four hours later, DePue’s
life came to a violent endjust across the
Louisiana/Mississippi border. When Louisiana state
troopers spotted DePue’s van,they attempted to pull him over. He led police on a
15-mile high-speed chaseand broke through two
police barricades. PAUL BARRETT: I
told the deputiesif the van refused
to stop to shoota tire off it– a front tire. And they missed the front tire,
but they got both back ones. He traveled about half a
mile and it just wouldn’tgo any further, and he stopped. ROBERT STACK :
After firing two shotsthrough his windshield
at deputies and anotherthrough an open window, DePue
turned his gun on himselfand took his own life. It was a funny feeling to
realize that, the night before,that you had been
watching this man,that he was wanted
for murder someplaceand then you walk up
to the van and yourecognize him as
being the person thatwas on “Unsolved Mysteries”. It’s a funny feeling. But I think he intended
to die whether hehad to do it by his
own hands or wherehe could get us to kill him. Otherwise he would have stopped
and we would’ve gotten him outof the van alive
and then there neverwould’ve been the shots fired. While living as a fugitive,
Dennis DePue sent a chillingletter to several friends trying
to justify his ex-wife’s death. He wrote, “an eye for an
eye, a tooth for a tooth,a lie for a lie, a
life for a life. “At the time, Dennis DePue
had no idea just howprophetic those words would be. For every mystery, there is
someone, somewhere who holdsthe final piece of the puzzle. Join me next time
for another editionof “Unsolved Mysteries”.

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