tv Dateline MSNBC October 21, 2017 11:00pm-1:00am PDT
>> are you tired? >> this is helping. always. lester holt: she was daddy's girl, debutante, and tomboy. the free spirit with fiery hair and a wide open heart. she was a very, very kind person. lester holt: then, she vanished. i called the police. something is wrong. lester holt: and something was. days passed-- then months. no leads, no clues, no progress. i thought, i'm not gonna put up with this. we gotta get going. we gotta get moving on this. lester holt: enter the a-team-- a band of tough-guy private eyes. this guy got something to hide. lester holt: there had been a brief encounter with a mysterious stranger. on the train coming home, she had met this woman.
hour run down the eastern seaboard to charleston, south carolina. on board, was a beautiful, tall, and feisty redhead named kate waring-- a daughter of the south, of a fine southern family. an often troubled young woman who, sitting on this train, was finally on the brink of something very good. and what is it about trains? the ease there in that enclosed space of befriending perfect strangers. somewhere along the line, between a greeting and goodbye, kate waring's invisible fate jumped its track. and quite unaware of the dark force descending, she disembarked to a future utterly changed. charleston, south carolina, it almost goes without saying, is a showpiece of american history and southern manners. its charm is deeply embedded as the families who count 7, 8, 10 generations here.
kate waring was born to one of those families. grew up in a fine, big house along the historic waterfront called the battery. dance lessons, birthday parties. dad, if we catch a turtle, can we keep it? keith morrison: doting parents, janice and tom, who adore their only daughter. and she had you, essentially, wrapped around her finger, i should think. oh, absolutely. she was the love of my life. and not stupidly so. i mean, i could not always tell when i was being manipulated, but some of the time. sure. no, katie and i had a very special bond-- always. keith morrison: she was the middle child, sandwiched between two brothers-- older joe, younger richard. she was bright, maybe too bright. school bored her. animals, all animals, enchanted her. she was naive, sweet, as younger brother, richard, saw it.
she could not turn away a stray-- animal or human. she was a very, very kind person. whereas some people would dismiss someone who wasn't generally accepted by most, she would try to help those people out. keith morrison: but somewhere in the course of an enchanted childhood, something happened to kate. outsiders saw a fearless tomboy morph into a sophisticated debutante. but at home, kate struggled-- often in secret-- with eating disorders, depression. college was a frequently interrupted disaster. she sort of ran toward risk. i noticed that in a lot of things that she did. she seemed to court it. keith morrison: the parents discovered she'd been sexually abused, when little, by someone they knew. years of therapy followed. still, she drank to excess. lost her driver's license. she abused drugs. she sobered up. she fell off the wagon.
she came home to live with her parents. tried, and failed, at dozens of strategies to achieve the straight and narrow. and then, finally, out of desperation, tom waring offered kate a trip with him-- anywhere she wanted to go. anywhere on the planet. to see polar bears. it must have been an amazing trip. oh, it was the trip of a lifetime. i'm so happy that we shared that together. well, the photographs show how happy she was there. and she saw young men who were with their families, about her age, who were happy. and she said to me, dad, i don't have to settle for what i've settled for, do i? and i said, no, honey, you don't. you can basically write your own script. keith morrison: and it was a bit of magic. the change seemed almost instant. kate reborn.
on board the ship was a russian crewman, who was amazed how quickly kate picked up his language. which is why, months after that trip, the newly inspired kate traveled to moscow to meet him again. to explore the city, the culture, and to test drive both a budding relationship and her fledgling russian skills. the snapshots of kate here in moscow were far more than just souvenirs. they were portraits of a young woman transformed. the kate who stood here on red square had a new passion in life. the depressions and failures of the past had fallen away. she was consumed by all things russian. in fact, she was making plans, even here, to return to moscow in the summer to take up russian studies. finally, her life was taking off. keith morrison: and that's why kate waring was in washington that fine, may morning. she was on her way back to russia. but there was a problem with the visa. a paperwork mix up sort of thing that would have
sent her into a tailspin once. but now, the new kate vowed to try again later-- boarded the palmetto for charleston-- and once home, threw herself into college classes, and a children's book she'd been writing. big brother, joe, was, to say the least, encouraged. she, when i talked to her, was the happiest i can remember hearing her in the last 10 years. keith morrison: and then it was june 2009-- heat rising in charleston's deepening green. on saturday morning, june 13th, tom waring-- at his summer house outside the city-- felt an absence. cell phone hadn't rung. no call from kate. kate, who always called or texted her parents-- practically hourly. she always checked in. and it was unusual. keith morrison: he drove home to check her room, here in the big silent house on the battery. and all the lights were on. and it looked like, obviously, katie had planned to come back. and she left her medicine.
she never went anywhere without her medicine. and then, on sunday, we came by the house, also. no sign of her. keith morrison: now, there was dread. was it possible that kate had slipped back into that old destructive life? oh, we called the police station. we called the detention center. wow. so this is by the end of the weekend? nobody had a jane doe in the hospital. nobody had been brought in. we called some of our friends, and nobody had heard from her. keith morrison: what to do? kate was 28. and though she lived at home, she was an adult. her decisions, bad or good, were hers. they elected to give it one more day. if she wasn't back by monday, they'd call the police. and then, when monday came, there was word. no, not from kate-- from kate's bank. once i got off the phone with the branch manager,
i called the police. - yeah. what were you thinking then? i was thinking something is wrong. [music playing] lester holt: coming up, something was wrong-- but could they discover what? and would the police help? i thought, i'm not gonna put up with this. we gotta get going. we gotta get moving on this. lester holt: when "dateline" continues. the moment you realize you're ready to make dinner but your oven isn't. at lowe's, we have more appliances to choose from so you can get the right one at the right price, right now. hurry into lowe's and get up to 30% off select appliance special values.
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free. try head & shoulders instant relief. for cooling relief in a snap. keith morrison: it was monday morning, the 15th of june, 2009. kate waring had been missing for 48 hours, when a surveillance camera captured a young man named ethan mack standing at the counter of a bank waiting to cash a check signed by kate waring. problem was, her account barely totaled $100. and this check was for $4,500. and the signature seemed off. the teller called kate's dad.
he called police. i never met ethan. i didn't know ethan's last name. all i knew was the name ethan, who was a friend. it's too strong to say that she had a secret life. but she certainly had
friends, and did things, that we didn't know anything about. keith morrison: of course she did. she was 28 years old. and even though she was financially and emotionally dependent on her parents, she had lots of friends. some they knew, some they didn't. it was howard gatch, for example-- a martial arts trainer in the midst of a contentious divorce-- with whom kate had been carrying on something of a romance. i felt it in my heart. something was wrong. and i was concerned. keith morrison: then, there was jason luck-- a young lawyer with whom she often shared lunch and a spirited debate. well, she was strong willed. she was very energetic. she was rarely, rarely incorrect.
that's, uh-- keith morrison: but her best friend, as she made clear to all the others, was ethan mack. she really liked ethan. she really trusted him. said, this is my best friend, jason. she really-- she put a lot of trust in him. she's a lovable person, full of energy, always rambunctious. keith morrison: ethan worked in a local hotel-- very different background than kate. but he'd been her best buddy for years. and, in a way, her protector. everybody in ethan's neighborhood knew you didn't mess with kate when ethan was around. they loved each other like, well, siblings. i made sure no harm would come to her when those certain, little boyfriends would act like they got hand problems. and i would put them in their place. it wasn't a romance, at all, then? never at all. it just was like-- she was just like a little sister to me. keith morrison: and it was a token of his family's regard for kate that she was godmother to ethan's nephew, malachi. on her moscow trip, kate bought herself, and ethan, matching
brass bulldog keychains. and on that monday morning in june, said ethan, he was very worried about kate. just as he had been for years, as he helped her battle her demons. calm her down. and talking to her. and understanding that was going on in the world of [inaudible].. keith morrison: but now, he complained, here was kate's dad sending the police to talk to him about a check kate told him to cash. so ethan explained to the cop, david osborne, about the money he'd given kate for jewelry and other expenses. and that the check was to pay him back. he was, basically, best friends with katherine. had been for several years. keith morrison: in fact, ethan told detective osborne he was, very likely, the last friend to see her before she disappeared. he said that he had saw her friday night, had dinner, had drinks, came back, dropped kate off back at her house. did he say what time?
yeah, i think the time would have been probably around 11:30, 11:45, at the time. keith morrison: the detective checked, of course. and found text messages that confirm what ethan told him. he even went to the house ethan shared with his mom. and they both let me in. and they both allowed me to search it. the mother and ethan both told me that this is his room. this is where he stays. keith morrison: but to say that the instant suspicion on the part of the waring's and the police was upsetting to ethan, was probably an understatement. this is the voicemail he left for the waring's after that policeman poked around his place, as if he was some murder suspect. so, dead end. the police moved past ethan.
checked kate's cell phone record, found she'd made a call, late that friday night, that pinged on a tower. at a place called james island-- several miles from her house. but phone pings can be funny that way sometimes, they told the waring's. one tower is busy, the next one over picks it up. probably made the call from home, they said. they also promised to keep looking for her. but really, kate was known to have gotten herself in and out of trouble a time or two. and police resources were limited. and, well, tom waring got the cops' message. we do not know, for a fact, that a crime has been committed here. keith morrison: after all, the waring's were reminded, kate was a world traveler. could well have just picked up and gone back to russia. might be aboard some tramp steamer, even now. or if something bad happened to her, could have been a drug overdose-- even suicide. impossible, thought kate's parents. even in her darkest times, she never failed to call. if she spent the night out unexpectedly, i mean, we'd get a call first thing the next morning
because she knew that we would worry about where she was. and was she safe. keith morrison: so the waring's began picking apart that friday, the last day anyone saw kate. looking for something they may have missed. but it had been such a normal day. she had no driver's license, remember, so she asked howard gatch to give her a lift to her therapist's office. gave me a hug, said goodbye, said, thank you so much. and she was actually in a very good. keith morrison: an hour and a half later, howard saw her again-- this time at the gym. she said, is it ok i skipped rope over here, howard? i said, sure, kate, that's fine. keith morrison: mind you, there was an incident at the gym. howard's soon-to-be ex-wife came around. she and kate had words. but at 8:00 pm, a drugstore camera showed kate all relaxed again. talking on her cell. buying wine and snacks while waiting on her prescription refill. ethan paid for dinner-- salmon, chicken teriyaki.
she didn't drive, so he took her home. dropped her off before midnight. but something else, something earlier that friday, that bothered the waring's, at first, was terrifying them now. and the more they thought about it, the worse it seemed. just before she went to the drug store friday evening, she started telling her father about some problem. saying that she felt like she, perhaps, had unintentionally gotten herself in trouble. and i said, well, why don't you tell me about that? and she wouldn't tell me any details. was she clearly worried? she was concerned-- clearly worried. --about something. keith morrison: naturally, they told the police about that. but nothing came of it. and as air thickened into a steamy august, the weeks that passed brought no new leads, just tourists clamoring for the cool shade of historic carriage rides. and kate waring, the urgency of finding her, began to fade. [music playing] and that was driving me nuts.
i thought, i'm not gonna put up with this. we knew we gotta get going. we gotta get moving on this. keith morrison: and in the hushed cool of this perch overlooking the city, someone was listening. lester holt: coming up, a new investigation begins. but it's not the police who are behind it. we're the cream of the crop. and our job was to find kate waring. not finding kate was not an option. lester holt: who are these guys? when "dateline" continues. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most.
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keith morrison: take a little drive beyond the grand, old homes, and markets, and churches at the historic center of charleston, south carolina. enter, quietly, a hushed suite of rooms overlooking the city, where an influential philanthropist flipped through his mental rolodex and placed a call to his friend-- the chief of police. and i really need a favor. i really need some help with this situation. keith morrison: the caller, was this man-- john rivers. happened to be a childhood friend of tom waring. watched kate waring grow up. john rivers told the police chief he was worried about kate, too. and he told me that they got a lot of stuff going on. sure. but that he would assign his best and brightest to the case.
and i felt pretty good about that. keith morrison: but now, almost two months later, kate was still missing. and the investigation, such as it was, had accomplished nothing. and joan rivers couldn't stand what it was doing his best friend, tom waring. i could see that he really was having a hard time functioning. keith morrison: so rivers picked up the phone again, and told this man-- do what it takes. his name is andy savage-- former prosecutor, now famously tenacious criminal defense attorney. savage had heard about kate, too. and how police had no evidence of any crime. really? as soon as we scratched the surface, just a little bit, we were absolutely convinced that foul play was involved. keith morrison: savage was given just two mandates-- find kate waring, tell police everything you find.
that last part, keeping the police in the loop, should be easy, figured andy, given the team he assembled. a band of retired policeman turned private eyes, each with a particular talent. i'm bobby minter. keith morrison: bobby minter-- human bloodhound. tracking people without them knowing it, his specialty. my name is bill capps keith morrison: bill capps-- techno geek. tracks bad guys through cyberspace, happens to be a crack shot. my name is james randolph. keith morrison: james randolph-- ex police department rebel. strategy, his specialty. shaking things up, a particular skill. we're the cream of the crop. and our job was to find kate waring. not finding kate, was not an option. keith morrison: experience told james the best place to start was with kate herself. if we listen to kate, she'll tell us where she is. keith morrison: james went to the house on the battery. up the stairs. down the hall. and into kate's bedroom.
these types of cases, you have to take on the personality and you have to see this person's world through their eyes. keith morrison: he sat there for a bit. looked around. the russian notes in kate's handwriting made sense. but why chinese paper money? and why was her brand new prescription sitting there, untouched? the medication, in which she had gotten that prescription, was still on her dresser, unused. keith morrison: that medication was her lifeline. she needed it to counter depression, anxiety, insomnia. she never left home without it. meanwhile, cyber-sleuth, bill capps, buried himself in social media sites. kate used them. bill scoured them all. if she was awake, she was facebooking, she was texting, she was calling people on the phone, she was e-mailing. and at the time she went missing, when everything immediately ceased, it was completely out of character for her. keith morrison: using kate's friends, capps built an electronic map of her communications
the friday night she vanished. from kate's lawyer friend, jason luck, capps retrieved a weird voicemail left late that evening. 10:06 pm, and missed call-- left voicemail. voicemail said that someone had, "stolen her identity." and had obtained a couple of credit cards in her name. she wanted me to sue the person responsible. keith morrison: the gym trainer and kate's romantic interest, howard gatch, told capps he heard from her about 10:30 pm-- still at dinner with ethan then. but then there was another call, said gatch, and it was after midnight. well after police believe she was dropped off at home. she told me she was at some friend's house. they had already made it to the house. ok, yeah. she had sounded a little buzzed. keith morrison: and then, a very last message from kate-- a text, very strange. i'm off to greenville to pick up some lovely. and whatever lovely was, i had no idea.
and i'll be back in a few days. did that make any sense to you? no. keith morrison: be careful, he replied. but this time, she did not text back. silence from kate, except-- middle of the night-- her cell phone pinged out on james island-- miles from her home. the cops surmised, remember, that a closer tower to her house may have been too busy to handle the call. but at 1:53 in the morning? not a chance, thought andy savage. it's just preposterous. they were looking for an explanation, plausible explanation, consistent with their theory that she voluntarily left. keith morrison: that middle of the night call, by the way, was to her voice mail. a voicemail box that had been jammed full for months. during which time, she hadn't used it or called it-- at all. so, the question. why would she call voicemail? she would not be doing it.
keith morrison: only one conclusion to draw. somebody else was using her phone. keith morrison: but where was kate now? had she, as that one text suggested, left town looking for drugs, or lovely? if that's what lovely meant. for the moment, it was a dead end. and then, he called-- eugene frazier, legendary 34 year homicide detective now retired. i believe that if a man commits a crime, he should be prepared to do the time. keith morrison: thing is, about gene frazier, over here on charleston's james island, where his ancestors go back to slave days, gene gets tips. all kinds of tips. and one day, a church friend told gene he'd heard the police had been to ethan mack's house. and something strange about that. he said, listen, i don't think this is right, he says. ethan mack is living in apartment that i have rented out to his father.
[music playing] keith morrison: but the police didn't search this place, where ethan actually, said the landlord. they searched his mother's house on a different island miles away, where ethan told them he lived. and he says, i think that he's trying to mislead the police off. what did you think when you heard that? this guy got something to hide. keith morrison: and on that very day, gene frazier joined a band of ex-cops, which from now on we'll call the a-team. lester holt: coming up, a mysterious woman enters the picture. katie had this strange girl in the room with her. lester holt: who was she? when "dateline" continues. (roaring of motor) the moment you realize you're lucky your backyard is in the back. at lowe's, we'll help you find the lawn care products perfect for your yard so you can get back to enjoying it. hurry into lowe's and get 20% off all sta-green winterizer lawn fertilizer.
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keith morrison: by the time andy savage put his a-team together to look for kate waring, that lovely, young charleston woman had been missing two months. and according to kate's parents, tom and janice, the charleston police were still saying this-- they think maybe she went somewhere. she's probably just up in greenville. what did you say to that? she doesn't have a car, how's she gonna get there? keith morrison: it was after that, when the a-team's gene frazier got his tip. kate's best friend, ethan, had lied to the police about where he lived. he didn't live at the house he allowed police to search. he really left behind this house,
in one of two apartments five miles away. which you presented to the police. yes. and? they didn't search the house. they never got a search warrant. they never asked for permission to search the house. they never went back to him and said, hey, you misled us two months ago. keith morrison: but, as the a-team discovered, ethan failed to mention something else, too. he had a girlfriend in this little place. a woman named heather angelica kamp. and when janice waring heard that, her mind went straight to an afternoon at home three months earlier. i heard voices upstairs. and so i went up. and katie had this strange girl that i'd never met before in the room with her. keith morrison: and that was her name, heather kamp. kate explained she met, and rapidly became fast friends with heather, on the train, the palmetto, during her trip down from washington. typical kate, janice thought back then. drawn to someone who needed help, who had told her a hard luck story. she said, when she got on the train,
her pocketbook was stolen. and she is here in charleston, and she doesn't have any money. and i'm helping her out until she can whatever. keith morrison: but kate told her mother that heather would pay her back soon because she was a pediatric surgeon-- in charleston to take a new post at the local medical center. then a few days later, a distraught kate told her mother that heather's daughter back home in new jersey had been killed in a car accident. but something seemed odd about that, said janice. didn't seem like she was rushing to go up to new jersey to attend to the child. or just-- or that she was a grief stricken woman. grief stricken woman, she did not look that way at all. keith morrison: and now? here was news that heather was living with kate's friend, ethan, in this tiny apartment. to me, she just looked like a con artist. keith morrison: but no, said kate back then, janice had it all wrong.
heather was nice. in fact, kate said she had introduced heather to her friend ethan, and, very quickly, a romance had blossomed. they were even talking marriage. really? if janice waring was suspicious about heather back then, the a-team was doubly so now. and sure enough, a few keystrokes on the internet told bobby minter that mother's intuition was right. i saw where she had been arrested for forgery in indiana. but she'd been arrested in other stage, too. essentially, if you just googled her name, i suppose you could find out a fair amount. that's how i found her. she'd been impersonating a doctor. i just googled her. keith morrison: and ethan wouldn't be her first husband. she'd been married before, and had four children. now that they knew about heather, a few fuzzy details were suddenly clearer. for one thing, the bill for kate's last dinner with ethan made more sense, because there were three meals on that dinner bill. the other diner was heather kamp. and more important, that check ethan tried to cash--
the one the teller flagged-- maybe that was another heather forgery. so right away point-man, james randolph, rushed that information over here to police headquarters. surely, somebody here would two and two together? a woman known to have committed forgery in indiana and other states. a so-called best friend who tries to cash a bogus check with kate's name on it, then lies to police? seemed like evidence these two were involved in her disappearance up to their necks. enough to haul him in, anyway. but-- i was told that their story panned out. and that these were petty criminals. and the check was going to be taken separate from the missing persons. what'd you say to that? i just didn'think it s the right thing to do. we had to figure out who wte anendorsed those checks. who signed and wrote those checks? keith morrison: it was obvious the a-team would have to find
the connection between ethan and heather, and kate's disappearance, without police help. we'll always sort of remain stealth, as much as possible. [music playing] keith morrison: time to keep a careful, quiet eye on ethan mack and heather kamp. so gene frazier persuaded his church friend-- ethan's landlord-- to allow surveillance specialist, bobby minter, to tuck a hidden camera into a corner of his kitchen window. a camera trained right at ethan's front door. it was motion detected, just like that light that they've got over the door is. so when they drove in, it would light up. and it would light up for our camera. and that's enough illumination to illuminate to see what they would be carrying. and that would lead us to know that they had something to do with kate's disappearance. keith morrison: and when ethan and heather left the apartment, bobby had that covered, too. he had already tracked ethan to his job at a local hotel and attached a gps locator on his car, as it sat in the parking lot.
now there was no minute of the day when the team didn't know where ethan and heather were and what they were doing. and almost immediately, they got a surprise. when ethan was at work, heather sneaked over to visit the man living next door-- rode around town with him. they were going to the bank a lot. and i called one of the investigators at the wachovia. as a result of that, they found that they were kiting checks. so they were actually stealing money from the bank. keith morrison: despite what bobby told the bank, it never resulted in charges against anybody. but that wasn't all he discovered. the gps tracker on ethan's car led bobby to a couple of local pawn shops. they were pawning jewelry. the jewelry was a red flag to us. keith morrison: was it kate's jewelry? they couldn't be sure yet, without more surveillance, that is. and then, the landlord called gene again-- another tip. this one bad. ethan and heather weren't paying rent.
he says, i have-- i'm gonna evict these people. so after he said that-- this is not good news. i said, hold on a little. if these people are evicted, we don't know where they're going. keith morrison: if the a-team didn't think of something, and fast, heather and ethan might slip out of their sight, and charleston, for good. [music playing] lester holt: coming up, an enticing offer from the a-team. 10s, 20s, 50s-- everybody see's that, their eyes just jump. lester holt: when "dateline" continues.
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keith morrison: the team of retired detectives searching for kate waring had a big problem. crime solving 101 told them heather and ethan had to be serious suspects-- last people to see kate alive, one a known forger, the other on tape trying to take money from kate's bank account. but they were about to be evicted for lack of a rent payment. and if that happened, they would stick the invisible net the a-team had so carefully woven. remind you, we had the camera, we had the gps, we're tracking every movement that they have. keith morrison: so they made a call here, to the quiet office overlooking charleston, where the team's money man, john rivers, decided he'd pay ethan's rent-- secretly, of course. and it was a plan, which after a little brainstorming, offered a bonus--
a built in opportunity. here's how. the a-team wanted to know if heather or ethan forged kate's $4,500 check. but they needed original handwriting samples. we determine what was on the check that we needed comparison samples to. and we had numbers, obviously, on a check. keith morrison: then, the a-team helped ethan's landlord prepare ious that contained the needed numbers and letters. and when heather and ethan signed the documents agreeing to pay the rent in installments, they were giving the team the very samples that could prove they forged kate's check. the team took the handwriting to their waiting expert, mickey dawson-- the man who set up the state police handwriting lab. the question was simple, did heather, and or ethan, forge that check from kate-- the one ethan tried to cash? immediately, that day, our handwriting document examiners said, that's them. no question about it. keith morrison: so, if ethan and heather forged a check from kate, what else did they do?
someone on the team needed to get a look inside that apartment. if kate had been there, there still might be evidence of something. but how to get in? well, the landlord has a right to inspect a tenants home-- yeah? --for health, and safety, and welfare. and the landlord decided that he needed to go in and spray for bugs. you can understand why that might be done in that little place. and james thought it would be best that if he went with him to make sure that the bugs were all taken care of. keith morrison: surveillance expert bobby minter's gps device showed ethan's car was out somewhere. well, when we opened the door to go inside, ethan mack is sitting on the couch smoking a joint. oh, for god's sake. and i'm like, oh, hell. i'm like, hey, we're with the extermination company. we're going to be using some dangerous chemicals, so you'll have to step out on the outside while we get this done.
no idea who you were? no, no, no. you sure about that? absolutely. so the exterminator and i went inside and closed the door behind us. just searched the apartment. and in one of the backpacks, in ethan mack's backpack, was some chinese money-- chinese currency. keith morrison: chinese money? yes, just like the chinese bills james saw in kate's bedroom. janice waring had brought those bills to kate from hong kong-- souvenirs. had ethan stolen them? i put it here on this pole. keith morrison: time to stir things up, apply some pressure. and bobby minter knew just how. bobby went out and put on every telephone pole, every vacant house, every oak tree, every stop sign, wanted information. missing person kate waring's poster. right around where all those people hung out. wherever they went, including on mack's windshield when he was working that day, we put posters.
to send a psychological message to them. keith morrison: but, no response. at which point, john rivers said-- perhaps what they do understand on street, as it were, is andrew jackson and maybe benjamin franklin. and they would recognize their faces on a $20 or a $50 bill. keith morrison: $10,000 worth of those bills went into a grocery bag. 10s, 20s, 50s, and 100s inside of a good bag. and when you open it up, you know, two rolls and then everybody sees that. that i show them. their eyes just jump. keith morrison: and where better to wave that bag of money, they decided, than under the nose of that neighbor heather was going to see. the man named terry williams. the one who seemed to be kiting checks with her. so we knocked on the door. and terry williams comes to the door with no shirt on. he has no shirt on, short pants. i said, terry, listen, we know you're great friends
with these people-- mack and kamp. you don't have to live in this condition. we know you're back on your rent. we know-- - look at this bag. look as this bag of money. this can be all yours. keith morrison: now, to close the sale with terry williams, they try to bluff. tell us what happened to kate and where we can find her. we know mack and kamp killed her. and this money could be yours. and at that point, that's when the bedroom door burst open. and there's a lot of yelling and screaming. to their utter surprise, there came heather kamp. angrily and quickly pulling her clothes back together. didn't appear to be a business meeting the team interrupted. the detectives told her who they were and who they worked for. and then heather kamp gets on her cell phone and makes a call to ethan mack. and says, ethan, andy savage's investigators are here trying to get terry williams to roll on us. and when she said that, the three of us looked at one another, and police terms,
we knew that was definitely the case. we knew, hey, they had done it. keith morrison: oh yes, decades of investigating made it perfectly clear to the a-team. whatever happened to kate waring, ethan mack and heather kamp were in it up to their eyeballs. [music playing] lester holt: coming up-- we know something was up. lester holt: --a new direction. the search for kate waring takes the a-team to a wild and desolate place. what would they find there? when "dateline" continues.
anif you've got a lifee. you gotta swiffer and she was met by hers when my wedding dress.e door it was a wakeup call. we're not invincible at all. you think about all of the things you got over the years and in one night it's all wiped away. you got to remember. you are here. you have life. just because you lost everything materially doesn't mean that you lost everything.
keith morrison: it was so awkward now, but necessary. the once very private warings and their only daughter's intensely personal struggles were now so glaringly public. they had to be. and you can't just sit back and hope that she'll be found. i mean, we worked every day, all day long, trying to find her.
keith morrison: that's when it hit home. kate was the latest of hundreds of people still lost in south carolina. and it seemed to janice and tom that police weren't taking cases like theirs seriously. so what about all those other families also desperate for help? the waring's held a vigil to make common cause. somehow or another, somebody will be moved and want to come forward and tell us where katie is. keith morrison: that was the public waring family. at home, the private tom waring couldn't help but be drawn to the playback button on their voicemail-- just to hear her voice. kate waring: dad, mom, if you're there pick up the phone. if you're there pick up the phone. call me back later. bye. i would look at photographs of her, or play those voicemail messages-- just keeping her voice current in my mind.
keith morrison: meanwhile, andy savage's a-team of detectives was making progress. and when they flashed that fat grocery bag of cash around the neighborhood, they certainly got a rise out of ethan and heather. a furious ethan called andy. he said, your investigators are out here and they're accusing me of being involved in this homicide. kate was my best friend in life. as he's on the phone, kamp calls. she starts out in this rage about, you know, what are you doing out here? you're accusing me of this. we had nothing to do with that. keith morrison: fascinating reaction, thought andy savage. and perhaps, an opportunity. we had done a lot of background on kamp. and so we knew her, and we knew her personality. and we knew a little bit about what buttons to push. so the reaction we had towards heather, was one of comfort-- not one of angst. and during that time, we planted the seeds that, as a mother, she must know the feeling of janice waring missing her daughter.
and tried to ply to her empathy for a mother. keith morrison: but the call from heather wasn't all that fat bag of money accomplished. before long, it reeled in a fish. that neighbor heather was sneaking off to see called, too. the a-team went to talk to him. and he said, i know ethan and heather did something to kate. and terry went in the back room, came back out, and had this ipod. and terry said, i believe this ipod is going to belong to kate. keith morrison: now that was huge. last time kate was seen with that ipod, it was at the gym the day she went missing. now, a man kate never met said heather gave him the ipod days after kate disappeared. but just to be sure this was in fact kate's ipod, tech expert bill capps got the serial number. and within minutes, had the proof. i examined the registry files from all the computers
that we had access to that kate had used in the past. so we knew, proof positive, that it was kate's ipod. [music playing] lester holt: coming up-- she said, well, they didn't find her, did they? i knew they wouldn't find her. lester holt: was heather kamp the con artist at it again? where was kate waring? when "dateline" continues. the moment you realize you're ready to make dinner but your oven isn't. at lowe's, we have more appliances to choose from so you can get the right one at the right price, right now. hurry into lowe's and get up to 30% off select appliance special values.
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start the interview with a firm handshake. ay,no! don't do that! try head & shoulders instant relief. it cools on contact, and also keeps you 100% flake free. try head & shoulders instant relief. for cooling relief in a snap. she's been missing for months now-- kate waring, a trusting young woman so eager to help those in need. the trail of clues has pointed to two of kate's friends, and now the private investigators recruited by her family believe they are close to solving the final part of the mystery, finding kate at last. but there are a few more twists in store. here again, keith morrison. the a-team told the police about the ipod, the one heather kamp gave to a friend days after kate disappeared, and also handed over the handwriting
expert's report showing that heather and ethan forged kate's check two days after she vanished. and now things started happening fast. after her heart-to-heart with andy savage, heather made a remarkable decision. she called the charleston police department and confessed-- no, not to murder. instead, she said, it was she who forged the bogus check supposedly signed by kate waring and ethan who tried to cash in two days after kate disappeared. now surely the police would swoop in and arrest them both. but here's something you should know about the way it worked between the a-team and their former colleagues, the cops. the deal was entirely one-way. that's to say the a-team told the cops everything they uncovered; the cops told the a-team nothing. so they kept their ears to the ground and waited for something to happen. but they didn't have to wait for long. we knew something was up so the first thing we did
was yank the gps off the car because we didn't want the police to seize his car and have our gps. keith morrison (voiceover): ethan was easy enough for the charleston police to find. they arrested him at his hotel job. but they didn't seem to know where to find heather. so-- of course, we had to tell them where she was working. obviously, they didn't have surveillance on this girl. and you could tell them that? we told them. we told them where heather kamp was working. i mean, she was working at the sunoco gas station. i walked into the gas station and bought a pepsi, paid for it, walked out, and a police officer in uniform had pulled up and was peeping around the corner of the building. i said, that's her inside. keith morrison (voiceover): ethan and heather were charged with forgery and obstruction of justice. would a murder charge follow shortly? we get a call from-- of course, we do have friend that are still with the police department. we get a call that hey, the police are searching wadmalaw
island for kate waring's body. keith morrison (voiceover): wadmalaw island-- wild, beautiful, isolated, and 20 miles from kate's home on charleston's battery. so i got in my car and i drove out to wadmalaw island. keith morrison (voiceover): and there were the police, a serious search going on. so i sat there in the shade and watched them all afternoon. didn't attempt to interfere. keith morrison: just watched the police to see what they were doing. bill capps: just watched lots of officers and cadaver dogs on the scene. gene frasier: there was a ton of folks out there-- a ton of folks. the whole shebang. keith morrison (voiceover): the cops had brought heather here to lead them to kate waring's body. there was a couple of detectives that i knew left. i did ask them, any luck? and they just simply said, no, and continued driving on. keith morrison (voiceover): police called off the search, drove heather back to jail. had she intentionally given them bad information? perhaps nobody would find kate-- not the police, not the a-team. and then--
we got a terrific break by the criminal justice system. mack and kamp both came to the bond hearing and it's done by video. at the bond hearing, mack shows up with his family, who were all there to support him, and not only a public defender but the chief public defender. wow. kamp has no one. she has no family, she has no friends, she has no support to speak on her behalf. i immediately said, james and gene, go see her. treat her with kindness, treat her with caring. keith morrison (voiceover): and within minutes, the same men who had so upset heather with their bag of money were face-to-face with her. what was the look on her face when she came out and saw it was you guys? she was stunned, very surprised. and i said, heather, we need help here. what we want is a body.
and she said, well, they didn't find it, did they? she said, i put them to the test. they told me they were going to help me, they wouldn't arrest me, and the minute i told them the general area where she was, they got all abusive with me and they berated me. so they failed the test. keith morrison (voiceover): and just at that moment, what happened was, well, sheer luck. directly across the lobby in the male side of the visitation area, they brought ethan back to see his attorneys, who happened to arrive at the same time we did. just coincidentally. it was coincidental. keith morrison (voiceover): and also coincidentally, the jailers positioned ethan and heather across the hallway from each other, separated by glass partitions. so they could see each other? oh, yeah. i told her, he has his lawyer and a detective over there with him. he's over there ratting you out. so she starts waving her arms trying to get ethan's attention.
so she snaps and she breaks. keith morrison (voiceover): with a little more encouragement from andy savage, that he is. his deal-- if heather told him exactly where to find kate's body, and if it turned out she had nothing to do with any murder, andy would help her with her forgery charges. and at that moment, heather kamp agreed to tell the a-team what they needed to know. her directions were precise. they drove out here right away. that's the large oak trees that she described. and then she said, if you look further up to your left in the marsh, you'll see a dock kind of running down to the water. and she says, after you do that, you will look to your left over here-- on my right and left- and you'll see some underbrush growing. and she said that kate's remains-- well, she didn't say the body-- is five feet from this path, from this roadway.
keith morrison (voiceover): incredibly detailed, just the sort of place to leave a body. but just like the police, the team found nothing. i was very disturbed. well, why are we not finding her? because as i say, we were convinced that she was here. keith morrison (voiceover): they searched until darkness finally forced them out of the marsh and then they called andy savage, who was out of town on business. they're on a cell phone from where they are, i'm in a hotel in boston. i punch up the address for google earth and i'm looking at the satellite imagery of where they are. i said, well, james, is there a dock off to your left? and so i was pretty well able to identify where they were. so i said, what you've got to do is just print that off. isn't that amazing you can do that from thousands of miles away? you could also do it from the police station. keith morrison (voiceover): the google map clearly showed the a-team exactly how and where they lost the trail. and after investigating so much, savage wasn't
ready to give up on heather. but he wasn't naive, either. we knew that she was a sociopathic liar. i wanted something specific from her-- give me something that nobody else knows so that we can believe what you're saying is truthful. and that's when she told us about the souvenirs from kate's body, the jewelry she was wearing and where it was located. keith morrison (voiceover): they found kate's jewelry at a pawn shop and behind the dresser in their tiny apartment, kate's bulldog key chain, the one she'd gotten in moscow. ethan said heather took it from kate's purse as a memento. she was telling the truth. so they decided next morning first light, armed with andy's google map and more detail from heather, the team would return to wadmalaw island. all of what we were believing was now coming to fruition-- all our suspicions about her activity and mack's activity. at that point, we knew we had the right people.
keith morrison (voiceover): one thing, they'd be going without the police. good idea? maybe not. lester holt (voiceover): coming up, the a-team under arrest? what do you mean-- you were arrested? we were not free to leave, let me make that clear. and when we could leave, they seized my car. lester holt (voiceover): this was a twist even they didn't see coming, when "dateline" continues. ...from godaddy! in fact, 68% of people who have built their... ...website using gocentral, did it in under an hour, and you can too. build a better website - in under an hour. with gocentral from godaddy.
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keith morrison (voiceover): the early sun had cooked the mist off the marshes of wadmalaw island. now the still air was heaving heating up toward another dripping hot day. bobby minter, bill capps, and gene frasier shared a car from the city. they rode in silence most of the way, confident the precise directions heather kamp had given
were correct this time. so this was it. it was somehow fitting that bobby, the one they called the human bloodhound, was the first to spot her. and i saw what looked like an animal path, where animals or something had pretty much beat down the bush. so i walked out to the animal path and started walking parallel with the road and walked up and i saw what looked like bones. and i said, i think i've found her. i said, hey, hey, y'all, come here. i think i've found her. and i tell you, it was just like a ton of bricks come off of me at that point. and i said, oh my god, here she is. wasn't much left, just bones. keith morrison (voiceover): in the end, it took only six minutes to find the earthly remains of kate waring, and thus at last fulfill their promise to her parents. i saw where bobby was standing and took two shots with my camera just to document the scene the way
it was when we saw it. and then i just backed back out of the woods and bobby followed me out and we called 911. keith morrison (voiceover): but listen to what happens after bobby hangs up. the 911 recording continues. you can hear the operator spreading the word around to other officers, a bit skeptical that the four-month-long mystery is finally solved.
keith morrison (voiceover): out on the island, off polly point road, the trio of former cops instinctively reverted to long practiced standard procedure. we said, ok, let's just secure the crime scene, back out, wait for law enforcement to get here. keith morrison (voiceover): so far, so good. but what happened next was quite a surprise. the first officer was a charleston county deputy. and we said, we'll show you where the remains are. we took him out there and said, it's your crime scene now and we're backing off. and that's what we did. but that wasn't the end of it, was it? - no. - no. we were detained, to put it mildly. detained? detained and placed in separate police cars. keith morrison: what do you mean, you were arrested or-- bill capps: well, very strictly i guess by the legal definition, we were not free to leave. they made that clear. and when we couldn't leave because they seized my car. but wait a minute, you found the body
and showed them where it was. that's correct. they wanted a statement from us as to everything that we had done from the very beginning, not just what we had done that day. keith morrison: the whole long story? that's basically what they were asking for. and in fact, they had been given the story along and along as it occurred. keith morrison (voiceover): hours later, the ex-detectives were finally released, but not bill capps' car. didn't get that back till they filed motion papers for an injunction. and even now years later, the memory still rankles all of them. 34 years in the police department, to sit in the back of a police car and have some guy question you, get you to take a statement. that's right, like a criminal. we were sitting there in the back of a car like a criminal. and let's call it like we see it. keith morrison (voiceover): still, this was it. the news traveled to the house on the battery. the warings fell from their anxiety and into grief. mixed emotions. relief that she's been found, but at the same time
devastating grief that now you have conclusive evidence that your only daughter is dead and that you're never going to see her again. keith morrison (voiceover): and then, as soon as they were allowed to the crime scene tape came down, after all the evidence was taken away, the whole team assembled at the spot where kate lay hidden for so long, all except tom waring, who did not want the image burned in his brain, the dismal place the love of his life lay dead. but perhaps it was a mother thing. janice had to be here, she said, had to see it. janice waring: it helped me to see for myself. it was so remote. we wouldn't have found her in a million years. and not knowing where she is, i mean,
it would have been horrible. keith morrison (voiceover): they formed a circle and held hands around the place they knew she had been. one of the investigators is a deacon in his church and he said a prayer. bobby minter: there's beautiful water and marsh and docks. and i think it might have given mrs. waring some peace thinking at least it wasn't in a garbage dump somewhere. it was a peaceful place and in god's place. keith morrison (voiceover): so now the a-team had done its job and kate's killers could finally be brought to justice. or so you'd think. but the mystery, the web that was spun on that train down from washington, is far stranger, more bizarre than you have so far heard, and justice-- well, we shall see. lester holt (voiceover): coming up, they thought they solved the case, but would it stick?
i mean, frankly, we didn't have a lot of evidence. we had a lot of opinions and we had a lot of conjecture, but actual evidence, it just wasn't there. lester holt (voiceover): and the close call that just might have saved kate waring's life. i always feel if i could have hung on one more month, i could have helped them get her. lester holt (voiceover): when "dateline" continues. (roaring of motor) the moment you realize you're lucky your backyard is in the back. at lowe's, we'll help you find the lawn care products perfect for your yard so you can get back to enjoying it. hurry into lowe's and get 20% off all sta-green winterizer lawn fertilizer. hurry into lowe's and get 20% off a heart attack doesn't or how healthy you look. no matter who you are, a heart attack can happen without warning. a bayer aspirin regimen can help prevent another heart attack. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. bayer aspirin.
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keith morrison (voiceover): most everybody around charleston, south carolina seems to know who the county solicitor is. scarlett is what people call her, solicitor scarlett wilson officially, a well-known and popular prosecutor. and solicitor wilson had a problem-- actually, two problems. for one thing, though heather kamp practically leapt at a deal to turn state's evidence against ethan and plead guilty to murder and exchange, her credibility-- as you'll soon see-- was not exactly triple-a. and despite all the information the a-team uncovered, what could be used in court was thin. i mean, frankly, we didn't have a lot of evidence. we had a lot of opinions and we had a lot of conjecture, but actual evidence, it just wasn't there. kate's skeletal remains gave this solicitor none of the forensic evidence that juries like to see
and the coroner was unable to establish even the cause of death. and as for those personal items of kate's that they found in ethan's apartment, those could just as easily have been gifts. the two were supposedly best friends, after all. and to top it off, there was the amazing tale that came with the state's star witness, heather. it's true she helped the warings' investigators find kate's body and agreed to testify against the man she revealed she actually married soon after the crime. but heather was also, as ethan's lawyer was discovering, a grade a world class liar. not only was she a drifter, i mean, this was a true con artist with just the most horrid background of just anyone i'd ever seen. i mean, a true sociopath. keith morrison (voiceover): david aylor was certain that heather kamp back on the train to charleston to palmetto took one look at kate waring and knew she'd found her ideal next mark. why was aylor so sure?
his research, he said, had turned up enough kamp victims to fill a small bus to the poor house. we had 13 different names forward that we could use and we called all 13. whoa. i mean, these were men and women all over the country she would say that she was pregnant, she would say that her children had died of leukemia, that men had beat her. keith morrison (voiceover): her scam, troll the internet for men, latch on to one, move in, fleece him, and leave him with a mountain of debt, all the while pretending to be a doctor, an heiress, or the daughter of a mafia-style drug family. that was probably the worst whirlwind i've ever been through, seen, done in my entire life. keith morrison (voiceover): there was chris beard, for example, in pennsylvania. just being around her and made me feel better because that's what i wanted. i wanted to be loved. keith morrison (voiceover): he found her on the internet. in less than two months, they were engaged and she said she was pregnant.
at the time that i had met her, i had no credit cards to my name whatsoever. keith morrison (voiceover): she persuaded him, he said, to get 15 cards, which she maxed out, leaving him $33,000 in debt. oh, and by the way, she told chris' sister-in-law, laurie-- that she was a pediatric burn specialist and she had worked with children, that was her specialty. keith morrison (voiceover): and as laurie had been having some behavior issues with her daughter, heather gave the girl a blood test-- to see if there was anything wrong with her. keith morrison (voiceover): and? she said, i just want you to know that you know your daughter is bipolar. keith morrison (voiceover): but it was odd. how would she know based on a quick blood test whether or not her daughter was bipolar? and why would heather use her own diabetes kit for the test? laurie hit the internet just did check out the woman who was playing doctor with her child. and found that she actually was a wanted felon. keith morrison (voiceover): so she called the cops,
who arrested heather in the act of spending more of chris' money. but somehow, heather slipped off the hook. though laurie pressed charges and pushed hard for a prosecution, nobody followed through and laurie eventually gave up, lives with the guilt now. i think it was a month or so after she gave it up, that's when she came to dc and she had met kate. and i always feel if i could have hung on one more month, i could have helped them get her. keith morrison (voiceover): now as he prepared to defend ethan, david aylor was feeling muchet his client chief accur, iappeared, was a practiced con artist. would any jury believe her? ethan might be naive, said aylor, but his story-- after all-- had never changed. david aylor: they had gone out to dinner-- he, kate, and heather-- and then after they went out to dinner, he dropped kate back off at her parents' home here in downtown charleston and spoke with her a couple of times via text message that night.
and he didn't talk to her again after that. keith morrison (voiceover): so it was all on heather. and with her as ethan's chief accuser, how could any jury convict him? but just days before the trial was to start, solicitor scarlett wilson finally uncovered something the case lacked, a clear motive. she found it, she said, in letters kate wrote to a friend just before she disappeared. she's talking about how someone has tried to extend her credit limit or has tried to assume her identity and mess with her money in her bank. and she was livid. and i think kate was threatening to get her father involved. that was a new dimension for heather kamp. she didn't need katie as an enemy. and i have no doubt katie confronted heather kamp with that. keith morrison (voiceover): and that, the prosecutor said, is when heather kamp and ethan mack both decided they had to keep her from talking. kate waring had to die.
he began to make the choice to join in the scam to rip off kate waring. keith morrison (voiceover): finally, the prosecutor, scarlett wilson, felt ready and almost a year to the day after kate was found, she launched the trial of ethan mack, the sole defendant in the courtroom, heather having taken that plea agreement. the warings tried to prepare themselves, though what they saw defied preparation. we had to see images and see what it was like when they found her and then go through all the forensics. and we were seeing that for the first time along with the jurors and all those other spectators in the courtroom. keith morrison (voiceover): one by one, the a-tam took the stand, as did detectives and experts from the charleston police department, to present the evidence. over a stupid forgery. keith morrison (voiceover): prosecutor wilson told the jury that ethan and heather had killed kate to avoid getting caught for forging kate's checks and using her credit cards.
then heather took the stand and told the jury it was ethan, not her, who lured kate to their tiny apartment, then smothered her, shocked her with a taser, drowned her in the bathtub, and dumped her body out on wadmalaw island because he thought no one would ever find her there. so, did you think that you'd convinced that jury? i thought that the trial went better than i ever could have hoped. keith morrison (voiceover): except, that is, for two things. one, would the jury believe ethan actually killed his best friend, kate? and two-- heather kamp's a liar, heather kamp's jealous of kate, heather kamp's the one stealing. keith morrison (voiceover): but heather's testimony did seem to terrify one person, ethan mack himself. and it showed. when he was in the courtroom waiting for the jury
to come back, we have that picture of him. what was happening with your client? at that point, true fear-- true fear. i could really see it. keith morrison (voiceover): what hold did heather have this man? did the jury, did anybody have this crime figured out? lester holt (voiceover): coming up, a surprise from the jury and another one from ethan mack's mom. his mother said, there's more to this story and you need to tell it and you need to tell it right now. lester holt (voiceover): when "dateline" continues.
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ethan mack cooled his heels while his jury tried to decide if he did or did not smother, beat, taser, and drown his best friend, the woman he claimed was like a little sister to him. and then after 14 interminable hours, they trooped back into the courtroom and told the judge they could not decide whether or not ethan was guilty of murder. judge: all right. what i'm going to do is on the murder charge, i'm going to clarify a mistrial on that. keith morrison (voiceover): mistrial, a hung jury. huge letdown. right. it wasn't going to be over, it wasn't going to end. we were going to possibly have to relive that whole event again. keith morrison (voiceover): as she packed up her files, solicitor scarlett wilson vowed to find justice somehow. and then quite unexpectedly, there was an intervention from a surprising source.
it was ethan mack's own churchgoing, no-nonsense mother. she had testified during the trial for her son, of course, gave a hint then of what she was made of. corinne mack dean, d-e-a-n. ethan's sort of a mama's boy, isn't he? yes, he is. do you know anything about your son having any involvement with kate waring's murder? no. if you did, would you stand here today and support him? he knew i would turn him in. keith morrison (voiceover): then as ethan's mother sat through the rest of the tria she heard things. she knew her son, knew when he was hiding something. and so she went to see him in jail. ethan's attorney, david aylor, heard it all. so it did get loud in that cell when they were talking. it got very confrontational. basically, his mother said, there's more to this story and you need to tell it and you need to tell it right now. his mother wanted him to tell the truth and tell what happened.
keith morrison (voiceover): and so it was decided. soon after ethan and his mother had their talk, he appeared before the judge and admitted he did participate in the murder of his good friend, kate. he agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence. judge: you understand that the court still faces a guilty plea. yes, ma'am. judge: and that your criminal record will reflect it as a guilty plea. yes, ma'am. keith morrison (voiceover): of course, since heather pleaded guilty to murder and forgery and obstruction of justice, they didn't need a trial for her either. guilty, but mentally ill, by the way. at her sentencing, her therapist told the judge that heather developed after a deeply traumatic childhood a whole basket of serious psychological disorders, some of which rendered her virtually incapable of separating truth from her elaborate fictions and which led into her years of failed marriages, abandoned children, and constant grifting. if heather was hoping for a shorter prison term because
of all that, she didn't get it. instead, solicitor scarlett wilson noted she continued to lie about important details after she made her deal to testify. and because she broke the deal, the sentence, 39 years-- 14 more than ethan. scarlett wilson: this was heather kamp's kill. while certainly ethan mack was involved and certainly he laid his hands on kate, i do not believe that but for heather kamp we would be here. keith morrison (voiceover): still, said andy savage after the fact, solicitor wilson could have had a much stronger case had the charleston police acted more aggressively, just one example-- when police arrested ethan and heather-- because of their own incompetence, they released the property, the crime scene where the homicide took place. they turned it back over to the landlord without examining it. and so the landlord went in and vacated the premises. he took all of their furniture out and put it in storage. keith morrison: cleaned the place. cleaned the place.
it wasn't until over two weeks later they go in there knowing that the property had already been tainted, the crime scene was destroyed. keith morrison (voiceover): no wonder scarlett wilson didn't have all the ammunition she'd like to have had, said andy savage. but the charleston police said they didn't quite see it that way. they did take the case of kate waring very seriously, they said, right from the beginning. and the second guessing from the a-team was rather puzzling, at least according to captain thomas robertson, since retired. i'm surprised, i really am. but we both did a fabulous job and i think the team of detectives that i had working from this agency and the support we had was fantastic. keith morrison (voiceover): what may have looked back inaction, said then detective, now prosecutor david osburn, was actually a careful and thorough investigation, one that didn't leave out any possibilities. was there some point at which you thought, this girl has-- she's probably dead. she's come to some serious harm? early on.
early on. how many days after would you say? i would say that-- i mean, within that first week for sure. yeah. so you knew it was a murder investigation at this stage. no. i mean, it could have been an overdose, it could have been an accidental death. i think we felt like we were probably dealing with a death investigation. keith morrison: right. but neither tom nor janice waring was the least bit satisfied. hadn't the police suggested early on that kate may simply have skipped town on her own? it didn't seem to the warings they were trying very hard to find her. and what about all those other families of missing people, they asked, families without the resources to hire an a-team? unfortunately, missing people are low on the priority list nationwide. i feel like that a missing person, a missing child should be just as important as a bank robbery because lots of people never find out what happened their child.
it was late, after midnight, when she came to the end of her story, ushered there by two people she believed to be good friends of hers. and nobody-- not the warings, not the a-team, not the police-- has heard the story you are about to hear, the competing stories of the last hours and minutes of kate waring's life. question is, whose story will you believe-- her longtime friend, the uncle of her godson, or the charming grifter, the woman who played with fate on the train? coming coming up-- i had a big conscience. and he doesn't. he doesn't have conscience. lester holt (voiceover): heather versus ethan. conniving, evil, evil, lying type of person that do anything that she can to basically get her way. lester holt (voiceover): who was really behind kate waring's death? two very different tales, when "dateline" continues.
and she was met by hers when my wedding dress.e door it was a wakeup call. we're not invincible at all. you think about all of the things you got over the years and in one night it's all wiped away. you got to remember. you are here. you have life. just because you lost everything materially doesn't mean that you lost everything.
keith morrison (voiceover): they call it the palmetto, the train that glides down the eastern seaboard, eight hours from washington to charleston. fine city to meet a stranger. keith morrison: sat in the same seat? sat in the same seat, laughed. we were joking the whole way, started talking. keith morrison (voiceover): heather kamp, freshly supplied with jewelry and cash from her last mark-- just by chance-- found herself sitting with a young woman wearing jewelry and perhaps with access to such cash as heather had never seen before. what did you see in her? why did you like her? she was funny, very funny. keith morrison (voiceover): now sitting here in jail, heather claims she came to see kate not as her next victim, but as a friend. and when in charleston she professed her love for kate's buddy, ethan mack, and then eventually married him, that love was true, too, so she says now. and what she told them both all those well-practiced lies about
being a doctor, about her husband and child being killed in an accident, cetera, et cetera, those stories, she says, werej- she admits it-- of a con artist. that's what i do, that's who i am, that's the way i've learned how to survive. keith morrison (voiceover): but remember, in court the prosecutor called heather the mastermind who lied to con kate, lied to manipulate ethan, lied about murder. you were the decision-maker, you were the person who caused kate's death. i don't take it as that. keith morrison (voiceover): stole from her, yes, but kill kate? no. heather kamp will not cop to that. instead, this was the story the grifter had for us. it was all ethan, right from the start. my husband wanted to rip her off because she had money. keith morrison (voiceover): but wait, why would ethan want any harm to come to his good friend, kate? the trouble was that ethan never considered her friend.
not a friend of hers at all. no. not like a sister or anything. no. he was babysitting her and she became a problem for him. keith morrison (voiceover): became a real problem, says heather, when kate found out that she and ethan were stealing from her. she was like, i'm going to put you guys in jail. and that scared ethan and the whole nightmare began that night because he was not going to go to jail. so you're saying ethan was the mastermind, not you. yes. yes. keith morrison (voiceover): and so after dinner that last night, says heather, they took kate back to their apartment. ethan got her a little high. after a couple drinks, she was in a very good mood. keith morrison (voiceover): there was a big suitcase on the floor. ethan dared her, says heather, get in. she did, didn't see the taser he was holding. he starts tasing her and doesn't stop. and by the time he removes the taser, she's not moving inside the suitcase at all. he races into the bedroom, grabs a pillow off the bed,
comes back in, pushes me away, unzips the suitcase, takes the pillow, compresses it over her mouth, grabs the wine bottle that is maybe four feet away, takes the wine bottle, crack, crack. i think maybe it's three times he hits her. he tells me to go inside the bathroom, start the water. keith morrison (voiceover): she was terrified, she says. didn't you say, ethan, stop? i didn't say anything. didn't say anything at all? why not? i cried, but i didn't say anything. i didn't know what to do. i didn't know what to say. when he told me to do something, i did it. keith morrison (voiceover): she filled the tub, she says. he asked me to help him put her in there. i try but i can't do it. i start crying and i throw up in the toilet. why didn't you pull her out of the water? at that point, the only thing i was thinking about was, how am i going to make it out of this house? did you think ethan would kill you, too? why not? who else knows but me? why not? why wouldn't i be next?
keith morrison (voiceover): so she helped him put kate's body in the car, watched him dump her out on wadmalaw island. and of course, she lied, she admits, when she told ethan she was pregnant. but that was just for the sake of her own safety, said heather. i thought, well, if i'm carrying his kid, i'm ok. he's not going to try to hurt me. keith morrison (voiceover): really? and so then a moment later when asked why she didn't just leave ethan, slip away like she always did, she quite reverses herself. i didn't want to. i really loved him. keith morrison (voiceover): but eventually, she says, she just had to confess. conscience is a [bleep] and i had a big conscience and he doesn't. he doesn't have conscience. keith morrison (voiceover): and that's the god's honest truth, said heather kamp, every single word. but there was another story to be told. lester holt (voiceover): "dateline" returns after the break.
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conniving, evil, evil, lying type of person that will do anything that she can to basically get her way. keith morrison (voiceover): of course, it was different when kate brought heather around to see him that first time. i said she's attractive. she isn't the ugly female that talked. keith morrison (voiceover): and talkative, told him all kinds of things. she told me that her son died from a disease that she was trying to help find the cure for. because she was supposed to be a doctor and she told me that her daughter and her husband got killed in a bad car accident. keith morrison (voiceover): ethan was entranced, he said, claimed he believed everything she told him. that's when they moved in together and each day he'd go to his hotel job and she'd head off to the hospital, to her doctor work. she would be getting up, putting on her makeup, putting on he scrubs, putting on her white jacket with her name that was sewn in it. but heather had another story, says ethan, one she had used another marks but he
didn't know that, that members of her family were violent and powerful drug dealers. and one day, he says, she told him a terrifying story. her family members had learned that kate waring had sold out, she had ratted them out to police. kate was going to have to die and those drug kingpins decided heather and ethan would be the executioners. she's saying that her family then basically telling her that she better get rid of kate or they're going to get rid of, basically. and they're going to handle my family, too. they're going to kill my family. you believed this actually could happen? i done seen people done get beat up over $5 and $10 and done get shoot after behind less than that. so ethan's version of that awful night? basically, heather zipped her up in the suitcase and that's when she came at me like, ethan, you've got to kill her. now, right then, ethan, she's lying in a suitcase, the top is zipped up.
what you do as her friend is you go an unzip the suitcase and say, ha-ha, ok, come on and get up. right? no, it wasn't. that's not how it worked. why not? no, it wasn't like that. because it was my mother, my sister, my daddy at stake, too, and my life. keith morrison (voiceover): but, says ethan, it was not he, but heather who smothered kate with the pillow. i couldn't do it to her or kill her. so heather pushed me out of the away and she jumped on top of her and started smothering her with the pillow. and i went into the room and i dropped down on my knees and i'd be like, heavenly father, please forgive me for what is going on and what i'm kind of witnessing and letting happen in front of my face. well, yeah. you were praying, but you weren't pushing her off, you weren't stopping it. no. i couldn't stop her because as i said, i still was thinking that those people were going to kill me. i know, but let me challenge you for a minute. because i know you're a good friend to her.
yes, sir. that's like killing your sister, for god's sake. yes, it is. that's exactly what it was like. keith morrison (voiceover): the rest of it-- the tazer, the wine bottle, bludgeoning, the drowning in the bathtub, all heather, says ethan, not him. and when he helped hide their crime, when he actually married heather-- that, says ethan, is because she told him she was pregnant. she wasn't, of course, but ethan says he believed her as usual and he wasn't about to abandon his child. yeah. i mean, but you're marrieto a killer. you got married to her after the murder. just for her to stop always threatening me with the running off and taking my baby. keith morrison (voiceover): god's honest truth, says ethan, every single word. and now at night in his jail cell-- keith morrison: how often do you think about that moment? i think about it a whole lot. it messes you up real bad. i could have saved her and always been there to save her all the rest of the time and wouldn't let nobody harm her. but now look at me. you're getting about what you deserve?
yes, sir. i'm getting exactly what i deserve. i know i've got to do this time in jail. but still, i can't bring her back. whenever all of the powers that i asked for and how much i ask the heavenly father to take my life away, to bring hers back, it will not be done. keith morrison (voiceover): no, it will not-- not for him, not for the warings. it was in court that kate's father, tom, read one of the last thing she ever wrote. they had gone to church together, he and the daughter who adored him, the girl about whom he worried so. and she scribbled something on a prayer note and stuffed it in a church pew just a couple of sundays before she boarded that fateful train. she wrote, "please pray for my father, tom waring, who worries himself sick and for nothing. i am and will be fine. if i die tomorrow, i have lived through almost everything and more and i'm not afraid of anything. just know that i pray for god's forgiveness for bringing tears to my daddy's eyes."
m craig melvin. and i'm natalie morales. and this is "dateline." one, to look at the pictures of what they did to her and, hear details of how it was carried out. it's just-- it's devastating. craig melvin (voiceover): shauna tiaffay, loving mom by day, vegas cocktail waitress by night. stephanie vargas: i was at one of the bars, and i saw her walk by. every single head turned. craig melvin (voiceover): it was after her shift that they found her, the victim of a ruthless attack. i mean your heart just drops to your stomach. craig melvin (voiceover): potential suspects?