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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  December 25, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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>> that's all for this edition of "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. he's almost like a marvel comic book arch villain. he's bright. he's clever. evil as can be. >> on a beautiful, sprawling farm, seeds of danger. >> we heard this big explosion. he's just laying on the ground. >> this loving father of three, the farm's heart and soul, killed in a ball of fire. >> they were saying it wasn't an accident. >> our assumption was it was a
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pipe bomb. >> someone claimed the dead man had reaped what he had sown. >> the letter implied that roberto had messed with a drug cartel. >> but maybe the truth lay with the farm's owners, a wealthy clan known for harvesting rice and resentment. >> i wish that there weren't so much hate and anger in our family. >> one family member seemingly held a grudge against the victim. >> he's always the one that had something mean to say. he was always the one that hated him. >> another came gunning for investigators. >> who chases the police? >> but who was hiding the darkest of secrets? >> got chills going up the back of my neck. this is not happening right now. >> a blank sheet of paper hiding a diabolical clue. >> i fell to my knees and started screaming. >> "family business." hello and welcome to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. was this an accident or something more since ter?
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that was the question facing detectives after the manager of a multimillion-dollar farm was killed in an explosion. the moore family had been rooted on their land for generations. but an investigation revealed volatile relationships and a deep-seated family feud that had been simmering for decades. now police wanted to know, were the rumors just town gossip or did jealousy lead to murder? here's keith morrison. >> there is an eden in the american west. a wide flat earthen cornucopia whose bounty daily fills the bellies of millions, whose great farms employ legions of workers, and enriched with their profits families that pass the land down, father to son, generation after generation. they live modestly here in california's central valley. multi-millionaires in crop
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dusters and battered pickup trucks, deeply conservative, self-reliant, tough enough to thrive in a dangerous business that takes guts and brains, and too often lives. here among the churning, thrashing machinery the high-voltage power that helps grow the food of life, death can take a man unawares, even on a sleepy summer day. >> we just looked up and there he was. >> like today. a little boy burst from the field of sun flowers next to brandy's place. >> he was beet red, sweaty, he was just covered in mud head to toe. he had his tennis shoes in his hand. >> carrying his shoes. you mean he'd been running barefoot? >> he said he took them off. i think he got stuck in the mud in the sunflowers. >> brandy and her kids live in a rambling house next to one of those big farms in colusa county.
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idyllic life out here, quiet, predictable, until the saturday afternoon that little boy appeared. like magic from the sunflower field. couldn't have been more than 7 years old or so. so what did he say? >> he said that his dad was on fire and he needed to call for help. >> on fire? how could that be? he was serious. >> he was serious. he was very serious. >> once he started to talk, was he making sense? >> yes. he was able to talk the whole time, answer whatever questions i had. there was no hesitation. >> brandy called 911, passed along details as relayed by the little boy. >> what is the little boy saying exactly, that his dad -- >> okay. he said his dad turned something on for the water. i'm guessing maybe an irrigating pump? and it blew up like a bomb. >> as they waited for the fire department to arrive, brandy began tending to the boy, fabian ayala.
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>> gave him some water to drink. then i took the water and rinsed all the mud off and checked under his shirt to see if there was any major injuries or not. >> were you hurt? >> no. >> not at all? >> uh-uh. >> this is fabian three years later. his family by his side, he told us about the last day he spent with his dad. >> he would take me out when he had something to do. >> fabian's dad roberto was a farm manager, a demanding, sun up to sun down job, so to squeeze in quality time with his family he'd often take one of his three kids with him. a proud man. always pictured with his chest out, his chin up. on july 16th, 2011, that saturday, roberto needed to flood a rice field by turning on a series of high voltage irrigation pumps. fabian by his side in his pickup truck, roberto drove the quarter
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mile distance from one pump to the next. and then he stopped, got out, walked to the big electrical box. >> he was just going to the rice field when there was this big explosion. i go out and see what happened. he was just laying on the ground. >> so what did you do? i yelled his name out and he wasn't answering so i went to try and get help. >> so what did you do? you ran? >> yeah. >> through what? >> the field. the flower field. >> yeah. big, tall -- >> yeah. >> you're running through them trying to -- >> yeah. >> how far did you have to go? >> i don't know. pretty far. >> far indeed. more than two miles running, running, running blindly through the field of golden flowers that closed in about him. >> and i saw the house and i just went toward it. >> do you remember what you said to them? >> something happened to my dad.
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he was that way and can you help me and they said, yes. they called the police department and they came as quick as they can. >> when firefighters reached the irrigation canal from which little fabian had run for help, it was obvious there was no life left to save. roberto ayala's body must indeed have been on fire just as fabian said it was. why became clear when they found burn holes about an inch wide near the bottom of his feet, an obvious sign of electrocution. a locker-sized electrical box used to turn on a high voltage irrigation pump had apparently shorted out and exploded with such intensity metal fragments blew out the windows and covered the passenger side of roberto's new ford f-250. a miracle little fabian wasn't
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killed, too. >> translator: we received a phone call that something had happened. >> reporter: roberto's wife fabiola. >> translator: it was when we received the call from the police department and they said they had fabian and fabian was okay but they couldn't tell us what happened to roberto. we thought he was in the hospital. >> reporter: and you didn't know what happened? >> translator: we didn't know what had happened. we called the hospital and the hospital didn't know anything about what had happened. about an hour, hour and a half later, they arrived with fabian. >> it was my dad. my brother just started screaming that he was dead. >> what was it like to see fabian in that situation? >> i think someone, being older, wouldn't be able to handle it as well as my brother did. >> reporter: pretty amazing, wasn't it? to run all that way. >> i wouldn't have been able to run that much. i wouldn't even know what to do.
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to stay strong the way he did. i just -- i wasn't there and i couldn't control myself. i don't know how he did it. >> reporter: farm accidents are as old as the wheel. bad things just happen sometimes. still, sheriff's investigators scoured the area, taking photos and collecting every bit of debris they could find, whether it looked like it was from an electrical box or not. >> one of our jobs for the jurisdiction is to investigate all industrial accidents. >> reporter: because, said then sheriff's detective dave salm, in colusa county the sheriff does double duty as the county coroner. >> osha eventually will take over that investigation if it is determined to be that type of thing. >> reporter: there was an autopsy, too, routine of course. >> told us that the victim had been electrocuted. he had been burned and he had been near an explosion. >> reporter: pacific gas and electric sent a team over, which confirmed it looked like an accident and, sadly, not unique. >> he said, well, we've seen stuff similar to this. what might happen is the
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operator will get into the panel with a tool for some reason and cross the leads with that tool and cause a plasma type of explosion and that could have been what happened. here, the other thing he did say is we've never seen anything this big. >> reporter: this is what the electrical box would have looked like before the explosion, about the size of a high school locker. and after the explosion that box was nowhere to be found. all that was left was a splintered post where it once stood. hard to know what to make of that. >> coming up -- along with the props, growing resentments at the farm. >> he told paul that he was going to get my share of what my dad was going to leave me of the ranch. >> your intend was fight him? >> oh, yeah. it settled things. >> when "family business" continues. and even here? with new bounce rapid touch up spray,
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when people hear the words "fortune" and "california" in the same sentence their minds generally go to some internet sensation like google or apple. but just 50 miles from the silicon valley is the san joaquin valley where fortunes were made long before the arrival of micro chips and semiconductors. the farm roberto ayala ran, worth tens of millions of dollars, all going to just one extended family, the moores. >> they were very, very private. >> reporter: this is mary, part of the greater moore clan. her family, like many of the big farming families around here, keeps its wealth private, too. >> i knew that there was money there, but they didn't flaunt it in any way and you weren't told about it. you just knew that it was there. >> reporter: she learned early, she said, that the family fortune was also a tool to keep the descendants in line. >> my dad would say like when i was in high school, if you ever
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get into drugs or do anything i'm kicking you out of my will. >> reporter: though she could never have inherited the land. that birthright was passed from father to son, not daughter. the custom started with the moore family patriarch, who handed the farm down to his two sons, roger and gus. each of them had a son, born just a year apart, paul and peter. who were in line to one day run the farm as partners. cousins but raised more like brothers. here they are in 1978 in cutoffs fishing bare handed, latter day huck and tom. in 1980 they were on the same high school football team. roger's son, paul, was smart and handsome, bit of a playboy. while gus's boy peter, just two rows down, was tough and blunt, hotheaded really. >> pete has a reputation, i think, over in colusa county. his mouth basically has given him a reputation because of the things that he has said. >> i'm a little different than the rest of them. >> reporter: oh, boy. so he is.
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calls them as he sees them even when it comes to his own family. >> there is too much money involved and everybody is afraid of what they might lose if they say something, even if it's right. >> reporter: there was one family member pete did have a deep connection with. his grandfather, the family patriarch. >> he -- he was special. >> reporter: he taught peter about farming, about tending the orchards. >> he had demacular degeneration, so i was his eyes. >> reporter: but when his grandfather, his patron, died, pete's life changed quite suddenly. >> after we buried my grandpa, in short order i was pretty much told by my dad and my uncle that they didn't need my help anymore. i don't know whether it was animosity because i had gotten so close to their dad or what it was. >> reporter: after a
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particularly ugly fight with his dad, pete was exiled from the land of plenty, moved north of this eden into town and started a landscaping business. >> my wife and i had nothing. i mean, when i say nothing, i mean nothing to do with the moores. >> reporter: and paul? paul remained the family golden boy. his doting grandmother made sure he never went without. paul married a local beauty. this is his wedding video. and he waited for the day when he'd reign over the land. but he was never involved in the big questions, when and what to sow, when to reap. those multimillion-dollar decisions were left up to roberto ayala, who had once been a lowly field hand, but anyone could see roberto was a natural farmer and gradually trust and responsibility and the owners' affection came to rest with him. >> paul and i were the boys in the family. >> reporter: yeah.
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>> we should have been the next in line. it wasn't fair. it was a slap in the face. >> reporter: and to make matters worse, roberto brought his brother eduardo in as his assistant. the cousins, their birthright withheld, fumed. >> paul would come over and tell me horrible stuff about ed and robert, that robert was saying about me, like he said that robert was -- robert told paul that he was going to get my share of what my dad was going to leave me of the ranch. >> reporter: fair to say though that your nerves were a little bit raw about ed and robert. >> oh, no. i was mad. i'm going to be honest with you. there was a lot of animosity. >> reporter: so much so that one day pete jumped into his truck and drove down to the farm and called roberto out. >> and i told him, well, let's go. >> reporter: your intention was to fight him. >> oh, yeah. it settles things. >> reporter: but roberto politely declined. he had a farm to run. and the next time pete heard
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anything more about roberto ayala, it was that he was dead. what did you think when you heard that he was dead? >> well, i was told it was an accident. >> reporter: which is certainly what it was. at least according to the experts from pg&e. but just to be sure, detective salm called explosives experts from a neighboring county. >> just to ask them, hey, have you ever heard of an electrical panel like this blowing up? and they hadn't. and at their own insistence came out to look at what we had and formed the opinion that it was possibly an explosive device. they, in turn, called atf and fbi. >> reporter: to some, that felt like jumping the gun. last thing he wanted was the big city feds treating him like a country cop crying wolf. >> now i've got atf and fbi showing up. i was a little overwhelmed. i was a little concerned that maybe, you know, we're calling these big agencies for help and really what we have is an accident.
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we had bomb guys saying it was a bomb, but they're bomb guys. >> reporter: right. >> we're not a hundred percent convinced it's a bomb yet. >> reporter: then, three days after the explosion -- >> we got a visit from paul moore. >> reporter: paul, pete's beloved cousin, the handsome golden boy of the pair told the detective he found something out at the scene of the accident, something that shouldn't have been there. >> he came across a piece of metal that he found. it looked like galvanized iron or metal and that piece of metal said to him that there was something more going on. >> reporter: did he have any other ideas about what may have happened? >> he did. he told us his cousin pete had made some threats toward the victim and the time leading up to the incident. >> reporter: and there was more. paul showed the detective texts he received from peter sent from the very rice field where roberto was killed. >> that text was dated and timed
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the day before. >> the focus shifts from the nuts and bolts of electrical explosions to an explosive personality. coming up -- >> why did you hate him? >> he was arrogant. he flaunted stuff in my face. >> pete had a reputation for being a real hothead. without hardly an effort pete could tick you off. >> when "family business" continues. ss" continues. and you look amazingly comfortable. when your v-neck looks more like a u-neck... that's when you know, it's half-washed. try downy fabric conditioner. unlike detergent alone, downy helps prevent stretching by conditioning and smoothing fibers, so clothes look newer, longer. downy and it's done. ♪ ladies and gentlemen mini is a different kind of car. for a different kind of drive. ♪ ladies and gentlemen for the drive to create a new kind of family car,
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the district attorney is one of colusa's most popular. been in office nearly 30 years. knows where the skeletons are buried and knows just about every prominent family in the county including the moores. >> if i said they were odd, that would be a pretty good way of summarizing it. >> odd. >> yes. >> odd how? >> you don't hear a lot about a lot of families but you hear about the moore family. >> reporter: because they complain publicly about other wings of the family or at least complain in such a way that people -- >> complain in a way that other people found out about it. >> reporter: now the two cousins? >> pete i've known for years almost since i've been here. had a reputation for being a real hothead. a lot of mouth. he couldn't back it up. but he had a lot of mouth. without hardly an effort pete could tick you off. >> reporter: so when paul came to the authorities and said, i think pete is responsible for
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this, did the suspicion seem plausible? >> yes. >> reporter: yeah. >> it did. we knew pete didn't get along with his family. we knew pete had a hot head. we knew pete had access to the property. >> reporter: and for paul to denounce peter, who was like his brother, sad perhaps, but made sense to the d.a.'s office, which signed off on the warrant to have pete's house searched. it was just a few blocks away. >> went out to grab a bite to eat. when we came home, we saw them all at the house searching the house. >> mary ellen is peter moore's wife. >> couldn't believe it. >> reporter: did you think it had something to do with what happened to roberto? >> well, i didn't think that at first. i said, what are they doing at our house? >> i got out of the house and said what the -- is going on here? two cops came over and grabbed me and escorted me to the front of my house. >> reporter: mary ellen and peter asked investigators what was going on. they were handed the search warrant stating investigators were looking for anything connected to bomb making. >> i said how do you know it was a bomb? we don't even know it was a bomb. >> reporter: that was the first you heard of such a thing?
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>> because we thought it was an accident. >> reporter: did they seem to be accusing the two of you? >> yes. >> reporter: both of you. >> yes. >> reporter: were you frightened? >> oh, yes. >> reporter: what were you afraid of? >> that they thought we did it. >> reporter: around colusa the raid on peter's house just days after roberto's death was big news. the neighbor began sending out real-time updates on facebook. >> there was a parade of cars driving around the whole neighborhood. >> as these detectives were asking their questions and as they were ripping my house -- going through my house. >> reporter: and when they left? >> they took our computers and our cell phones. we had a business. nobody could call us. >> reporter: meanwhile, the whole neighborhood was watching this. >> yes. >> reporter: so the search, said detective salm, didn't yield a thing. >> we didn't find anything as far as bomb-making materials, instructions on bombs, even anything in remotely close to that like gunpowder. >> reporter: sure. >> or anything like that. >> reporter: so if pete was
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doing something, he wasn't doing it at his house. >> not that we could find any evidence of. >> he denied he had anything to do with it. >> yes, he did. >> reporter: though pete couldn't and didn't try to deny his hatred for roberto ayala. why did you hate him? >> he was arrogant. he flaunted stuff in my face. >> reporter: still, the man had as if this were some biblical epic stolen his birthright. lots of people around town knew about that, especially the ayalas. so when they heard peter moore's house was being searched. >> i thought it was pete all along. >> reporter: why? >> he was always the one that had something mean to say. he was always the one that hated him. that was the only person i could think of. >> reporter: there was a lot of town talk going on. a lot of gossip, rumor. about a week after his house was searched pete got a visit from a friend who had heard some things. >> i was working one day and he saw me and he backs up and he
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goes what the hell are you doing? i go i'm working. he goes no you're not. he goes you go get in your car. you get to the city, go to sacramento, get an attorney, pete. they're coming after you. you're their number one suspect. >> coming up. though pete is in the crosshairs, investigators are about to learn that their victim may have made a very different and deadly enemy. >> the letter implied that roberto had messed with a drug cartel. >> when "family business" continues. " continues.
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i'm dara brown in the hour's top stories. the u.s. is keeping an eye on north korea, flying four surveillance planes over the korean peninsula. that's according to south korean media. north korea threatened to give washington a christmas gift unless it made concessions in nuclear talks. and britain's royal family celebrated christmas at a church near the queen's sandringham estate. in her annual christmas message the queen thanked those who served and shared her excitement for the birth of her eighth great-grandchild. now back to "dateline." welcome back to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. farm manager roberto ayala was dead, and detectives were not sure whether they were looking into an accident or a murder. one thing was clear.
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peter moore, whose family owned the farm, did not like roberto. he even admitted he had challenged roberto to a fight. investigators were zeroing in on peter. then a mysterious clue would land right on their doorstep. it was a letter. and whoever wrote it had serious inside information. here again is keith morrison. >> reporter: the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms has become something of a legend at solving puzzles, these little bits and pieces, fragments of this and that were about all that was left around roberto ayala's body the day of the explosion. a story in there somewhere thought the atf. agent brian parker was assigned to find out what it was. what does this tell you overall? there was an incredible amount of force in the explosion.
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>> reporter: most of these pieces were once part of the electrical box. >> you have washers. different types of hardware in here, screws, nuts, wire. >> reporter: other pieces just trash. but a few fragments, just a handful looked like they were pieces from a different puzzle. odd. >> cells from a 9 volt battery, galvanized steel that's been ripped apart. >> reporter: parker sent off the misfit bits and pieces to the west coast crime lab for analysis. >> to determine whether or not there was explosive residue present on some of the fragments that were collected out at the scene. >> reporter: like gunpowder, gasoline, nitroglycerin? >> correct. >> reporter: then there was this discovered on the fifth day of the investigation. the panel box door found 160 feet from the site of the explosion. >> about four feet tall about two feet wide. probably weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 pounds. this where the large hole is would be the bottom of the panel. >> reporter: the forensic scientists of the atf continued their battery of tests hunting for bomb residue, fingerprints,
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dna and all the while the detective david psalm was on peter moore's tail waiting for him to make a mistake. did he go to ground? did he leave? what did he do? >> he didn't leave. >> reporter: what were people saying around town that you were hearing? >> we were hearing that people were saying they thought pete did it. >> they were following us everywhere. >> reporter: didn't make a secret of it either, said mary ellen, from them or the neighbors. >> reporter: how did they start to look at you? >> like we were guilty. >> after they raided my house, i spent days crying. days and days, you know, i'd be at work and just crying because you don't know what's going on. you don't know who to trust. >> reporter: how much were you watched? >> i'd wake up in the morning to people outside my house. they watched me get up every day, go put a shirt on, and go out and be in the public's eye when everybody thinks you're a murderer. >> reporter: even some of pete's own relatives seemed convinced of that, though his sister mary stuck by him.
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>> i'm amazed at how much talking goes on there with no actual evidence of, you know, a lot of gossip and people in your business. >> mary placed a call to one of the investigators, told them they were going after the wrong guy. >> he was extremely rude and said you and your family just need to accept it, your brother did this. i just broke down in tears because i thought they just didn't like him as a person and i think they just, to me, my opinion was they wanted it to be him. >> reporter: four weeks into the investigation, peter moore was not just the top suspect. he was the only suspect. they had no physical evidence, though, that a murder even occurred. but they continued to watch and wait and the weeks slipped by. then a month after the explosion there was news from the atf crime lab.
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they had found something. >> there was the presence of explosive residue on the metal fragments we submitted. >> reporter: so it was a bomb, a murder. then the very next day -- >> i'm sitting in my office. we were talking about what we're going to do next and the civil deputy walks in with a big manila envelope and he says, i think this is for you guys. it says colusa county sheriff's office, colusa, california, no street address and in the upper left-hand corner says ayala case and then there's eight stamps on it. and it was pretty light. it was way too much postage. >> reporter: because inside was just a single sheet of paper. an open letter to the cops. what did that letter say? >> reporter: basically it was claiming responsibility for the bombing. >> the letter full of misspellings and bad grammar had been written on a label maker then photo copied. its author claimed to be a military trained contract killer had been hired to kill roberto
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over a mexico deal gone wrong and that it was ms 13 behind it. >> reporter: what the heck is ms 13? >> it's a violent el salvadorean criminal street gang. >> reporter: and that roberto was supposed to be a target of this group? >> the letter implied roberto had messed with a drug cartel and that ms13 had been contracted. >> the author of the letter taunted the detectives writing the lab results would find military grade powder but no dna which was true so far. the point of the letter wrote its author was a warning. roberto's brother eduardo was next on the hit list. the writer said he had turned down the job to kill eduardo. but a second assassin would soon be on his way. do you think it was a hoax? do you think it was real? >> i didn't know what to think. i had never seen anything like
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that before in my career except on something similar on tv. >> reporter: one thing about that strange letter was all too obvious. whoever wrote it had inside knowledge because nobody besides the cops knew what the atf had discovered. >> we hadn't told anybody it was a bomb, so for somebody to just write a letter claiming responsibility for a bombing that lended some credence to the fact that the author of that letter was the real thing. >> weird. all too weird. detective salm and the others went home for the weekend to digest what they had just read and seen. and then, monday morning, salm's phone rang, 7:00 a.m. >> he says hey, get in here. we got another one of those letters. i came to work. there was a second letter sitting on my desk. this one was slightly smaller manila envelope or half size manila envelope. but configured the same way. label maker address, ayala case, and way too much postage again.
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>> reporter: huh. what was inside that one? >> there was a diagram of a bomb. >> coming up -- another victim in the crosshairs? >> keeping that stuff confidential was important to the integrity of the -- >> a man's life might be in jeopardy. >> we gave him as strong a warning as we could. >> when "family business" continues. hen "family business" continues. man: sneezes skip to the good part with alka-seltzer plus. now with 25% more concentrated power. nothing works faster for powerful cold relief. oh, what a relief it is! so fast!
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on august 15th, 2011, 30 days after roberto ayala's death, investigators received in the mail this hand-drawn picture of a bomb. what did you think when you saw that diagram? >> shock. >> we were amazed. absolutely amazed. i had never seen anything like that before. >> the device as shown in the diagram was a two-inch pipe bomb placed next to a one-liter soda bottle full of gasoline spray painted black. a large bolt tied off with a fishing line and acting as a
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drop weight would fall on a rat trap causing it to strike a firing pin. kind of like a rube goldberg device. the author also said there was a second secret triggering device as backup. either way the bomb was designed to go off when roberto ayala opened the door of the electrical box. could have been almost anything. now suddenly agent parker saw how they all fit. those confusing bits and pieces he'd been poring over for the past month. >> it was almost like someone had sent us the cover of the puzzle box. >> reporter: so now they matched the bits to the diagram. >> the first thing i looked for was this bolt and there it was. >> the thing that made it exceptionally clear was the fact that the bolt still had some fishing string attached just under the head of the bolt which was how it was depicted in the diagram. >> it would have been hanging
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from that string as a weight. >> correct. right. so that was very clear that that bolt was in fact part of our device that was described in the letters. >> reporter: and there were fragments of a plastic soda bottle, black paint still clinging to it again just like the diagram. >> there was a spring that was similar to a rat trap spring. there was gasoline on the victim's clothing. then we recovered pieces of a nine-volt battery we were able to determine that had no business being in that panel. >> reporter: so if you found the writer of those letters you had found your killer. >> that was our opinion. yes. >> reporter: along with the diagram was a second letter in which the bomber repeated his earlier claim that he was a reluctant assassin. after a career of killing he wrote, i wanted to save a life before i take my life. the bomber repeated his warning. roberto's brother eduardo was next. in fact, the whole ayala family was in mortal danger.
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>> he said i wanted to make sure you get this letter and have time to help these guys. >> reporter: it was sent as if i've been assigned to do something i don't want to happen. i want you guys to prevent it. >> that was basically the gist of the letter. >> reporter: did you warn ed? >> not exactly. there are things in the investigation we could not release. there was information about the letters that we could not release. keeping that stuff confidential was important to the integrity of the investigation. >> reporter: but the man's life might be in jeopardy. >> we did talk to ed. we gave him as strong a warning as we could without going into specific detail. >> reporter: one of those details was that the killer had been given a deadline. >> the letter said i was given eight weeks to do this job and it will be re-assigned in five weeks. i wanted to give you guys time to help these guys and do something about it. >> reporter: so you at least had some time. maybe.
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>> maybe. >> he tells me that they had received a letter and the letter had mentioned me. >> reporter: roberto's brother eduardo. >> they said, be careful. watch yourself. >> reporter: but it wasn't just eduardo in the cross-hairs. the letter writer claimed whoever was now driving roberto's now repaired pickup truck, that white f-250 the bomber wrote, is in great danger. and who was that person? roberto ayala's son, jesus. the threat against the ayalas was looking very real. >> it was real. it didn't just look real. it was real. a lot of sleepless nights. >> reporter: because this ex-marine not only had a farm to run but as he saw it a murder to solve and now two families to protect. >> going through my mind was just look out. take care of the -- take care of my brother's family. primarily take care of my brother's family. take care of my family. look out for myself.
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look over your shoulder. >> reporter: the first thing eduardo did was hide the pickup truck. now with the truck out of sight would the killer or killers just find a different or better place for a bomb? >> once everybody was asleep all i could do was think and think and run things through my mind. >> it's somebody sneaky and violent enough to plant a bomb to kill somebody. and he did it to one person. there's nothing that is going to stop him from doing it to somebody else. >> reporter: in this second letter the bomber left open one possible line of communication. >> the letter said if you have any questions place an ad in "the sacramento bee", august 21st issue, help wanted. make sure it's the last ad. >> reporter: and so they placed this classified ad. and waited for a killer to call. coming up, investigators get a
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-- a son's all too close call with death. >> we had an argument that morning. so i didn't get to tag along with the ride that day. i might have been the one to get off to check that pump. >> and another member of the moore dynasty comes forward with a fresh piece of evidence. would an answering machine message finally solve the question about a motive for murder? when "family business" continues. inues. at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan
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to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward.
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welcome back. investigators had been hunting f for leads. then a couple of mysterious clues fell right in their laps. letters from someone claiming responsibility. the second one included a sheet of paper with a handdrawn
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diagram of a bomb. the illustrator also made an offer -- if detectives wanted help, all they had to do was place a help wanted ad in the paper. here's keith morrison with more of our story. >> reporter: who ever heard of such a thing? letters from a purported murderer. was it real, a ruse, a lucky guess? if it was real, who sent it? from the lead suspect, peter moore? a hitman, as the 11 claimed? or from somebody who wasn't on the detective's radar? whoever it was, five weeks into the case it was the only lead detectives had. they played along with the guy, placed an ad as requested in
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"the sacramento bee." and sure enough, somebody responded. cops rushed to see him, perhaps arrest him. >> he was pretty surprised when he got a visit. >> false alarm. it was just an unlucky guy looking for a job. the killer, though? the killer never called. so the whole ms 13 thing, the mexico deal gone wrong was just some sort of game. the real bomber was playing it. the trouble was, nobody knew the rules or the purpose or where the game might end. more than one way to find a guy brazen enough to send that material to the cops. >> we had the letters we wanted to get analyzed. we wanted fingerprints. we wanted dna. >> reporter: the letters and envelopes came back clean just as the bomber said they would. what was going on? to investigators one theory seemed the least likely, that roberto was mixed up with a drug gang ms 13. the ayalas are a classic bootstrap story. roberto a very religious man who
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worked his way up from field hand to farm manager, oversaw the day-to-day operations of a multimillion dollar spread. he knew the land. he knew the machines that worked it. he was utterly committed to that work. what did working that farm mean to your dad? >> that was everything. it was our whole, even our lives and his life, our whole life revolved around it. we were always there and growing up. >> reporter: first jobs as kids, right? >> yeah. learned how to drive on the farm, how to pretty much do everything on the farm. >> reporter: tell me about your dad. what kind of a guy was he? >> he was a hard worker. someone to look up to. we admired him. >> reporter: and it did not go unnoticed on the moore farm. over the years, owners roger and gus came to rely a great deal on roberto. they treated roberto more like a favored son than just an employee. how important was family to roberto?
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>> probably the most important thing. it all revolved around this. we didn't have much, but everywhere he went, we went, too. we were always together. >> whatever went wrong, he was the one to go to. he was the one to keep everybody together. >> reporter: latino culture celebrated coming of age ritual called the kin certificate row, when a girl turns 15. so when roberto's daughter turned 15 -- >> he went all out. it was his only -- i was the only girl so he did everything he could to make that day the best. >> what kinds of things do you do? >> you have to have your father/daughter dance. you just feel like you're the only person that exists at that moment. like you just feel important. you really do feel like a princess. >> reporter: probably won't ever
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forget that. but of course for teenagers there is another rite of passage. butting heads with parents. which that last morning may have, pure chance, saved jesus' life. >> we always went to work together. for some reason we had an argument that morning so i didn't get to ride -- tag along with the ride that day. >> reporter: you might otherwise have been there. >> i would have probably been the one to get off to go check that. >> reporter: why would anybody want to hurt him? >> i can't find a reason why somebody would want to do it, to want to kill him. >> reporter: and this bomber, whoever it might be, came very close to also murdering fabian. >> if you want my button pushed, bring a child into it. >> reporter: the d.a. john pointer found fabian's plight to be particularly heartbreaking. >> i couldn't imagine 7 years old and seeing my dad blown up. >> reporter: and running all that way. >> people don't understand, it was like maybe a couple miles as the crow flies.
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but to run through what we call colusa mud which is the rice fields and it's just, i mean, he had to take his shoes off. he was literally covered with it. you could hardly walk through it. for him to run all that way, it was amazing. i remember asking if he knew what 911 was. and he told me, and he was right, i asked him if he knew how to use a cell phone, and he said yeah. i asked if your dad had a cell phone. he said yes he did. i asked, why didn't you use a cell phone? why didn't you call for help? and he was reaching out like this and he said, i can't. it's in his pocket and he's on fire. yeah. that stays with you. >> reporter: and now these taunting letters from roberto's killer almost taking prideful delight in how he killed the man and almost murdered the boy. who could it be? who would do such a thing? and why? then four days after the diagram showed up, one of the alpha males of the moore clan walked in the front door.
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roger moore. paul's dad. and like his son, wanted to help catch the killer. and told the detectives he had important evidence to share. it was an audiotape, answering machine messages his nephew pete left on his phone. coming up -- investigators discover a brand-new suspect. >> we may have somebody else to look at. >> but who are the hunters? and who are the hunted? >> and all of a sudden the tire went flat. >> as police go after more evidence, someone comes after them, leaving a taunting message out in the fields. >> here i am, i'm doing this to you now, come find me. >> when "family business" continues. maria ramirez?
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hi. maria ramirez! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance, education, and career advising programs... prof: maria ramirez mom and dad: maria ramirez!!! to help more employees achieve their dreams.
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until i found out what itst it actually was.ed me.a ramirez!!! dust mite droppings! eeeeeww! dead skin cells! gross! so now, i grab my swiffer sweeper and heavy-duty dusters. duster extends to three feet to get all that gross stuff gotcha! and for that nasty dust on my floors, my sweeper's on it. the textured cloths grab and hold dirt and hair no matter where dust bunnies hide. no more heebie jeebies. phew. glad i stopped cleaning and started swiffering.


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