tv Forensic Files CNN May 17, 2014 11:30pm-12:01am PDT
you've got evidence pointing to no one but him. >> you never really know what's going on behind closed doors. you never really know what people's lives are like. they have a face, they present a face well, but you scratch below the surface and sometimes you find these ugly things that are going on. up next, a suburban housewife is gunned down outside her church. >> i have seen brazen murders in my career, but i have never seen one this brazen. >> the investigation reveals some unknown secrets. >> you have a lesbian affair, corruption, murder. >> a love triangle points in one direction. the evidence points in another. >> this had a lot of twists and turns. >> what the hell else was going to go on here?
it was a cold october night in new york. jeff, a local policeman had the night off and was at home with his two sons. >> my mother was involved in church pretty heavily. she had always loved it. she was involved in the choir for most of her life. >> around 7:30 p.m., jeff facet told the boys he was going down to police headquarters. >> he did go out to see if he could get his paycheck three miles west of his house. >> sometime around 8:30, choir practice ended at the pleasant valley united methodist church and susan facet walked to her car to drive home. then shots rang out. >> people ran to the car to see what had happened and they found
susantally wounded. >> witnesses saw a light colored vehicle leaving the scene. >> no one could say who was in the car. >> police immediately looked at susan's husband jeff. >> jeff facet they learned left the house during the time that susan was murdered. >> there were rumors in the police force that there were problems in jeff and susan's marriage. >> we were pretty comfortable that jeff facet might be involved here. >> shortly after jeff facet returned home, police converged on his house. >> they look like they have shotguns and gear on and they're surrounding the house and they're going to come here and ambush this police. place. >> jeff wanted to find out why this was happening. >> he made several phone calls to his police department, to the state police.
>> there are patrol cars outside of my house. what's going on? >> nobody would tell him what happened. >> the son called the church and found out his mom had been shot. >> not sure what to do, jeff turned off all the lights. >> it looked as if he was barricading himself inside the house. >> we were sitting inside the house in dark, in silence for what seemed lieblg eed like a v long time. >> they don't know what he's going to do now. if a man just killed his wife, his children may be next. and then he may kill hymn. >> two you are hoes pass before jeff facet and his two sons come out of the house. >> they are led outside with their hands behind their head, handcuffed and tossed on the ground face down like common criminals. >> i'm waiting to find out what happened to my mother who all i know is she's been shot. and now all of a sudden, we're
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susan facet's murder looked like a professional hit. the killer was parentally lying in wait. and planned a quick getaway from the scene. >> i have seen brazen murders in my career, but i have never seen one this brazen that just seemed to vanish. >> all of susan's personal effects were found in the car indicating it was not a robbery. >> susan's husband jeff, a 24-year veteran of the poughkeepsie police department denied involvement in her murder, although he didn't have an alibi. >> we could not confirm where jeff was when it happened. . >> and jeff's car was similar to
the vehicle seen speeding from the crime scene. >> you look at his record and his record is blemish free. he had absolutely nothing in his record that would indicate he would turn violent at all. >> but jeff thought he knew who was responsible. >> he even said to me, put me under hot lights, beat me with rubber hoses, i don't care what you do to me, but when you're all done with me, go stee free androse. he's behind this. >> he was the superintendent, a man with a terrible reputation. >> fred was a self-centered, mean, nasty prick. >> fred androse and susan facet bumped into each other apparently one day in the hallway in the town building. they started a relationship. >> just one month earlier, jeff fas st facet learned his wife susan was having an affair with fred androse, that had gone on for
the last three years. >> jeff brought some sort of tape recording device on his telephone unbeknownst to her. she was caught receiving and making calls to fred androse. >> when jeff facet confronted his wife about the affair, susan promised to end it. >> things were really up in the air. and then one day they just came to us and said that they were going to work on things. they were going to fix things. >> police wondered if fred androse might have been angry that susan ended their affair. but fred androse had an airtight alibi for the night of susan's murder. he and his wife had friends over to dinner that night. >> fred androse was despondent and upset. he asked things like who would do such a thing and he cared about her. >> at the autopsy, the medical examiner recovered five bullets from susan's body.
>> you're looking for a .45 caliber weapon. >> we determined that androse didn't have a .45 handgun registered nor a vehicle that fit the description. >> the victim's husband didn't own a .45 caliber weapon either. but the medical examiner discovered one additional clue. susan had intercourse within 48 hours of her murder. >> when jeff fassett was questioned about this, it was news to him. >> they test that semen against jeff fassett's dna and it's not a match. >> police ask fred androse if he had sexual relations with susan fassett before her murder and he said no. he had told us that he hadn't seen her in a month and had never been intimate. >> androse explained why he was
unable to have sexual relations. >> fred said to us that he was unable to perform sexually due to a medication he was taking. >> fred said he was impotent, but that was clearly discounted by the numerous interviews with the prostitutes in the area. that was nothing but a hoax. >> when asked to provide a dna sample, he refused. >> they really have no legal reason to order a dna sample from fred androse. you have to have some evidence and they have none. >> to try to obtain a court order and say this guy was alibied not near the scene, he doesn't have the type of weapon that was used, the type of car that was used, it starts to detract from your real hard suspicion. >> if susan fassett didn't have sex with her husband or fred androse, then she was having an affair with someone else. >> which opens up a whole new pool of suspects for the police. really... so our business can be on at&t's network
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denied it was him, although he refused to provide a dna sample. >> we knew it wasn't jeff, and we're thinking it had to be fred. who else would it be? because we absolutely could find nobody else that was involved with susan that would have had sex with her a couple of days before the murder. >> so the detective called androse and set up a trap. >> i told him i would bring him lunch. he said sure, that's great. i brought him hamburger, french c fries and a drink. i said here's your lunch, fred. but andros said he wasn't hungry and didn't touch anything. the sun was coming in through the car. he had a flannel jacket on. i cranked up the heat, hoping to kind of sweat it out of him. >> the car got hotter and hotter. but andros still wouldn't touch anything. >> so i cranked up the heat more. so he went ahead and took a
drink. once he took the sip out of the straw, i knew i had what he wanted. >> essentially, fred is handing over his dna. >> tests confirmed that fred andros' dna matched the dna taken during susan fassett's autopsy. >> within 48 hours of her death, he had had sexual relations with her. >> he had told us he hadn't seen her in a month. >> it was a big lie. that was something that fred deliberately hid and we wanted to know a good reason why. >> when faced with the forensic evidence, andros had no choice but to admit he lied, but he claimed he did it to protect the killer. >> during the course of that interview, after a time, fred andros offered up the name don silver now as the possibility of the one who committed this murder. >> 50-year-old don silvernail was a state employee with no criminal record and was married with one grown son. >> she's a housewife.
she's got a college education, she works with the disabled. she's got a great reputation. she's never, ever been in trouble. >> andros told police he was having an affair with don silvernail at the same time he was having an affair with susan fassett. in fact, he said the three of them had five or six sexual encounters together. >> i told him i had never done anything like that before. and i went to the house and she was there and he introduced me to her, and we talked for a few minutes, and then we went upstairs and we engaged in a threesome with the three of us there that lasted maybe half an hour. >> fred andros suspected that don silvernail and susan fassett started seeing one another alone and perhaps had a lover's quarrel. dawn denied it. >> i never had any contact with susan fassett unless fred called me and set it up and we met with
fred in fred's presence. i never had any independent contact of any type with susan ever. >> dawn also denied having anything to do with susan's murder, saying she had no motive to harm her. >> she was so calm, so cool, so cooperative that we had to think geez, maybe not. maybe she's not involved in this thing. >> a background check showed dawn owned a .45 caliber handgunihandgun like the one used in the murder. >> she also had a vehicle that fit the description of the vehicle leaving the scene. >> but dawn's gun didn't match the striations used in susan's murder. it looked as if the gun had been tampered with. >> it was incapable of being compared to any projectiles found at the scene. >> if fred or dawn silvernail were involved in susan fassett's
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denied any involvement in susan's murder. dawn's .45 caliber weapon didn't match the bullets used in susan's murder, but her neighbors told police some interesting news. they said that dawn and her husband would often fire their guns in the back of their property using the trees for target practice. investigators immediately converged on the area looking for bullets. >> we had to go back in time and find a bullet that had passed through that barrel before it had been destroyed. >> they recovered dozens of damaged bullets. one had distinct tstriations on the bottom. i was able to make a match to the homicide projectiles from susan fassett for a positive identification that indeed dawn silvernail's .45 ruger was involved in this case. >> dawn silvernail was confronted with the evidence. >> she kind of hung her head and said three times, i shot that poor woman.
>> i wrote down the window, and when she reached up to fasten the seat belt, i pulled the gun up and i fired and i shot her. >> but why? dawn said fred andros wanted revenge against susan for ending their affair. >> given fred's ego, nobody was going to say no to fred. nobody would break up with fred. >> but why did dawn silvernail do it? dawn says andros loaned her more than $15,000 over the 20 years they had known one another. instead of paying him back, andros asked her to murder susan to erase the debt. andros basically said she had no choice. >> he threaten eed my entire family and told me that if i wouldn't take care of this
problem with susan for him that something would happen to something i love. >> to find out if dawn silvernail's version was true, investigators used a new true called web test. >> that's the web enabled tem por ral analysis system. it assists with information national sis again analysis against databases. >> it co-lates information from cell phones, e-mails and ez pass trips. investigators compared all this data from the three main people from this case, susan fassett, dawn silvernail and fred andros. >> the majority of those communications were from fred to dawn. what that indicated was that fred was not only planning some activity, but also preparing the conspiracy. >> the evidence corroborated dawn's story. >> the records reveal that
within 15 or 20 minutes of the time that she killed susan, she stopped at a pay phone and paged mr. andros to signal him that it had been done. if you accept what fred andros says, that this is dawn silvernail with her own motive and open motivation, his story doesn't make sense that she would stop and of all people simply dial a pay phone and page him and signal him. the only person that she would do that for is a person who was involved and knew. >> at fred andros' direction, dawn went to the united methodist church on the night of choir practice. she parked next to susan's car and waited. when susan got into her car to go home, dawn fired five shots and sped away.
dawn told investigators she left the murder weapon and phony license plates in a prearranged spot. computer forensics revealed that dawn used a pay phone to leave a message on fred's pager 20 minutes after the murder to signal the assignment was done. later, fred collected the evidence, altered the gun's ballistics and returned the gun to dawn. no one knows why susan fassett met with fred andros shortly before her murder, but for fred andros, his behavior was particularly appalling. >> he looked in her eyes knowing she was going to be dead within 48 hours. and that speaks to the character of fred andros. >> when police went to arrest him, he was waiting for them. >> the investigators walk up the stairs and pow, there's a gunshot.
>> but he survived the self-inflicted gunshot in his face. >> i think it's fitting that he wasn't able to do it. he only deformed himself and in turn was arrested and was forced to go to trial. >> fred andros was tried and convicted of second degree murder and first class conspiracy. he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. he died of a heart attack after serving only a few years of his sentence. >>it's entirely appropriate that he died in prison and is burning in hell. >> dawn silvernail was tried and convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison. >> gullible. naive. she falls for it, believes it. and in the end, she's a murderer. she's a convicted murderer. scary person. >> people look at me like i'm a monster, and maybe i am. i don't know. maybe i am.
but i'm a monster who is filled with remorse and i feel for the people i hurt when i did -- allowed this man to manipulate me into doing what i did. >> for everybody that had a part in this and every lead was tenaciously followed. every item of evidence was collected and up next, is it a murder, suicide, or fraud? >> red flags were going off i think for our detective bureau. >> investigators follow the money trail for clues. >> there was a $5 million policy that ultimately we found later. >> there was a lot of items that weren't matching up at all. >> but in the end, only science has the answers. >> i had never seen a case that took so many turns and so many different directions and really it was bizarre.