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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  October 30, 2021 12:00am-2:00am PDT

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governor. but for the rest of us, not so much. >> nancy nancy ancrum from the miami herald. thank you so much for your time tonight. >> thank you very much. >> that does it for all in. you can catch us every week night at 8:00 right here on msnbc. >> when my mom came in, she said, nikki's not here. where is she? because it seems funny. in the bottom of my heart i knew something was really, really wrong. >> he looked underneath the sage brush and saw what he thought appear to be blood. >> a high school beauty found dead in the desert. bound, buried. >> what did that say to you? >> a great deal of rage by someone. >> he looked like your average high school student. tall, clean cut, polite. >> a teenager with two sides. >> he would yell at her. he would be pushing her around. >> a puzzle seemingly solved,
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then blown apart. >> we recorded the conversation and it was dynamite. >> micaela was on the ground and she wasn't really moving. >> to unravel the mystery, investigators would follow a trail through high school hallways, teaming with secrets and schemes. >> the hatred grew more and more and more. >> bad idea that became a horrible idea. bad idea that went very, very bad. >> he waves at you from miles. the big neon cowboy. west wendover we'll is what he's called. and his job has been to tampa travelers off of interstate 80 near the utah-nevada border. pull them off the road to this tiny casino commerce.
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and most evenly a little lighter on the wallet. knowing precious little about the stories west wendover like to tell. about the research who come here to break speed records in the nearby flats. about the local airbase, from which the analogy took off or hiroshima. but there's also the story they whispered to each other, up and down the little strip. the one that shocked them all. the puzzles then still. about the terrible night when three families lost their teenage children. about the dark mysteries respond under the pointy green of west wendover will. it was a thursday afternoon. a windy, late winter day in the high desert. here at the local high school, star runner micaela costanzo cleaned up after truck practice. "mickey" as everybody called
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her, intended to walk home. not far, about a mile. her usual ride, her sister christina, was out of town. >> before we had left, me and or my husband would always pick up micaela from school. so, we were like, are you sure you're going to have a weak home? >> this is something you do every day? >> this is something i do every day. it was the first time i left her. >> with mickey 16. a junior. clockwork reliable. said her mother cecilia. >> it's micaela not your typical teenager. that grill would check in with me all the time. so, we have a routine. i'm changing. i'm going to be heading out. and heading out the back. and heading home. i'm home. >> always kept in touch? >> always. to a fault. >> as the sun began to set, cecilia was still working at one of the local casinos, expecting mickey's usual check-in call.
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>> she did not call me to tell me track practice was over and she was getting ready. she didn't call me to tell me she was walking home. so, i started calling her phone. and it rang and rang and rang, the first time. and then i called it right back, because that was unusual. and it was like you hit the ignore button. this is so not her. >> now cecilia called christina 400 miles away in las vegas, to see if she had heard from mickey. and >> i said, mom, she's probably at practice. she says, no, practice ended and she's not home. and i said, come down. she says, you're probably just missing her. >> christina tried calling mickey, too. no answer. >> and i'm thinking, maybe for the first time in her life she's being a normal teenager. >> was mickey the youngest of cecilia's three girls. she was a star student, an athlete. mature beyond her years.
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she liked write poetry, short stories. and she was pretty. and a very popular. >> she was the one out of all three of us girls that icy was just going down the path you would want any child to go down. she was doing it the right way. stereotypically. >> right, talented, good-looking. a trifecta. >> yes, she had it all. >> one of those special kids, said cecilia. born happy. >> she was always positive. she just had a different approach to life. she found that good in everything and everybody. >> a depressive personality, she was not? >> no. oh, no. not at all. >> so, and one more thing, mickey and dj, her middle sister, were inseparable. >> i consider us twins. everything we did we had to be together. if we weren't, at the same place, we always had to know
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where the other was at all times. >> but now nobody seems to know where mickey was. it was getting dark in the desert. dark and cold. cecilia bolted out of work early and rushed home, hoping to spot on mickey the way. her finder at the apartment. but only dj was there. >> my mom came in and she said, is mickey not here. where is she? because this isn't funny. so i immediately went out and searched for her. called her friends, called my friends. if you hear from mickey, you need to tell me. >> word spread fast across west wendover. >> by the time i had already called the police, there was already over 80 people starting to look. that police asked me, did you check with this one? all of her friends? did you go every place that she would go? and i'm like yes, and they're all panicked and they're all out looking and everything. so, they immediately knew something was wrong.
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>> the tiny west wendover police department jumped on the case right away. donald burnham was the detective in charge. >> there's no point in waiting. the longer you wait, the bigger problem you have and the harder it is going to be to find them. >> hours now since mickey was due home. >> scared. upset. panicked. worried. because it was dark now and it was cold and she had no jacket -- and in the bottom of my heart, i knew something was really, really wrong. >> and you try to tell yourself no, no, no. can't be. >> yeah. >> and the police had an idea. maybe mickey's cellphone, the one she always used to keep in touch, would give them a clue. so, they checked her most recent calls and there it was. one particular number that kept popping up, just before mickey
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disappeared. ten digits. would they lead detectives to mickey costanzo? or something else altogether? maureen is saving big, holiday shopping at amazon. so now, she's free to become ... maureen the merrier. food is her love language. and she really loves her grandson. like, really loves. age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in...
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the deserts sound rose gold in west wendover, nevada. 16 year old mickey costanzo had been missing for 12 hours. >> it was horrible. i didn't sleep. i had to stay home in case micaela came home. >> watch the door. >> watch the door. they kept saying, you have to be home. and i'm like, this doesn't help. >> mickey's sister, dj, was angry and terrified. or both. >> i called her phone, real mad. i said, this isn't funny. you need to tell me where you are.
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what's going on? and i just kept calling her phone. crying, begging her, please, answer. please be okay. >> elder sister christina, in las vegas attending nascar races with her husband, had been telling people, don't worry. she just being rebellious. not any more. >> i looked at my husband and i said, you need to take me home right now. he says, what changed your mind? i said it, because nothing happens in wendover and something did. and he took his truck and drove the street home. >> ten hours? >> it's about an eight and a half hour drive. he got me home in about six and a half hours. >> wow. pedal to the middle. >> yes. >> i know in wendover, it was the local media event. >> i just hope we can find this little girl safe. we've never thought anything would like this would happen in wendover. it's >> just like not like her to run away from home. everybody is just hoping.
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>> police were hoping, too, for a break. they had no solid clues. no eyewitnesses. nothing that pointed to mickey's whereabouts. >> i didn't believe she was dead i was hoping maybe she was just somewhere and we would be able to find her at the time. >> that she had just gone off to be with a friend and been irresponsible for once? >> we didn't know whether she'd met with foul play or if she'd been restrained and held somewhere against her will. it was obvious we had more than just a runaway, but we just didn't know how far it had gone. >> police started talking to everybody who knew mickey. like her boyfriend, javier. called him down to the station for questioning. >> how she'd been acting lately? >> she's been acting pretty fine. if something was wrong, she's not one of those girls that hides her feelings. puts her emotions in her. >> that they believe the boyfriend? when they pulled mickey's cell phone records, something odd stood out. at the very time she disappeared. >> there was a lot of checks
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and phone calls transpiring just immediately after school and up till just after five. >> and then they stopped? >> abruptly stopped right at the time she had left the school. >> those calls and texts, pinging off the local cell phone tower, we're all from one number. >> definitely having communication back and forth. >> there was something going? on >> something. the last calls were made to kody patten. >> kody patten? who is he. certainly not her boyfriend. but as any kid who had been all wendover knew perfectly well, was kody a friend. in fact, one of mickey's all this friends. >> they grew up together. they were. france >> did they ever date mickey's micaela? >> no, micaela was not allowed to date till she was 16. but i'm sure it was probably like puppy love. what i call puppy love. >> was kody an 18 year old senior at mickey's high school. big, handsome kid. football player. he was lived in the same apartment complex as the costanzo family. now he was engaged to another
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girl and lived with his fiancée 's parents. police brought in kody for a top as well. >> when is the last time you seen her was? >> about 5:30. and >> that was where? >> at the school. >> she was with somebody? >> just some -- i thought it was her boyfriend. because it was -- >> her boyfriend name jair? >> yes, but kody was it sure it was half a year. but he seemed and probably was exhausted. he made up the night before searching for mickey. >> do you have any questions for me? >> yeah, finder. >> search teams calmed their desert outside of town. police, volunteers, mickey's sister, dj. >> i went out searching a remember dropping on the ground and i said, i really don't think she's a life. they're like, you need to think positive. >> we're was she? she was an at school. she was it with a friend. she apparently wasn't in town. and it's a very big desert.
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around wendover. so much space to get lost or to hold a person against her will. or god knows. to hide a body. >> cecilia's last hopes had been seeing mickey show up at school that morning, wondering what the fuss was about. >> when she didn't go to school on friday morning, i knew i wouldn't see my daughter a life. i felt like a failure. as a parent. not just for micaela but, for gdp, too. because i couldn't make her better. >> i went to my mom's house and i told her that i was going to not go find my sister. even though she is not okay, i will bring her home. and for whatever reason, in my mind, at that point, i knew that i was going to find her and i wasn't going to find her
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the way we wanted to. but that i was going to bring her home. >> all night, christine wrote of the rugged landscape. alone. >> i stopped and i looked at any little mound of dirt that looked weird. and i went to the gravel pits. >> so close. had mickey called out, her sister would have heard her. but of course, that was it possible.
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36 hours since mickey costanzo left school and vanished. searched teams proud the deserts beyond sight of's neon casinos. faith hope. out here, the great empty basin spells 180,000 square miles. and then, saturday morning. one of the searchers noted something that looked sort of odd out here in the middle of nowhere. fresh tire tracks, veering off the dusty desert road. he followed them. >> he stated he saw some sage brush that seemed to have been disturbed and was covering some ground. so, he looked underneath the sage brush and saw what he thought appeared to be blood and decided that he needed to
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call authorities. >> this is the area they call the gravel pits. police took a camera to record what they might find their. >> remove the safety brush. and gently dug into the area and found what we thought was part of a human body. >> did you just uncover the body then? >> no, no. we backed out of the area and contacted washoe crime unit to come in and exhumed that area for evidence. >> crime scene investigators from -- >> reno. >> reno was 400 miles away. nine hours by car. still, nothing more to do until they arrived. so, they sealed off the area and waited. just as washoe mickey's sister christina, still searching, drove by. >> i just felt like your heart sink. i saw the unmarked police car driving on the gravel pit road that i was on the night before and i just thank. >> only one thing that could
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mean. so, she rushed for, picked up her mother, went to see the police chief. >> and he said, we have found a body. so, we called off the search and i guess, i would've hope, i said well, can you see her? and he said, no. i said, well you don't know it's her. and he says, you're right, christina. she's the only one missing, so we're pretty sure it's her. >> but they couldn't know for sure, said the chief. until the forensics team arrived the next morning. >> and i said, you are going to leave her out here again all night? and he said, yes we have to. and i remember seeing, and i'm not leaving. and he told us we had to. and he said, i'll have somebody out here at all the time. and i said, it shouldn't be strangers. it shouldn't be left with strangers. >> for them to look at me and
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tell me will all be here, she won't be alone. made me feel pretty good. as good as you can feel. >> then police made a public. >> shallow grave was discovered. the contents of which are unknown. >> because the discovery was outside city limits, that case came out of the jurisdiction of the sheriff's department 110 miles away in alcove, nevada. then detective kevin mckinney raced down interstate 80. he met the current forensic steam the next morning. >> they started sifting and it didn't take very long once it started. >> it was mickey. in a shallow grave, beneath a clump of sage brush. five miles from home. >> it was very emotional. the age of the victim and the brutality. i guess, disturbing would be the word. >> had mickey been beaten, cut,
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stabbed, repeatedly. >> several jagged slashes across her face, neck, head. the blood loss had saturated the ground underneath her. >> what kind of personal? >> yes. it was very aggressive. it was not a precision type of injury. >> and then those police men had to go to mickey's family and tell them what they found. >> my heart sank to my stomach. and i screamed. i just dropped and i just kept screaming. >> the one thing i will never, ever forget in my entire life is watching my daughter, dj, scream. just scream i hadn't heard from her, even as a baby. and fall to the ground. in shock and disbelief. she physically did what i felt
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like i wanted to do, but i couldn't do it because i'm the mom. i had to keep myself together. i had to be the strong one. >> and so, she had a news conference and said at this point, everybody in town was thinking. >> please, ladies and gentlemen, this is not over yet. until the person or persons who responsible are brought to justice. >> but why, of mickey all people? not an enemy in the world. at least as far as anybody knew. and yet, here the crime scene, one clue. one weird, awful clue. >> there was a zip tie that was bound around her wrist. >> what did that say to you? >> it indicated to be that she was restrained and more like more than likely taken from school against her will. >> somebody kidnapped mickey costanzo and then murdered her with almost unimaginable brutality. but who? and why?
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and then another clue. one of the officers going through surveillance video from the school found the grainy image of mickey, just outside the girls locker room. and she wasn't alone. dog barks you're right bunker, the medicare enrollment deadline is almost here. if you're on medicare and you want to explore your options, the deadline to enroll is december 7th. so, you should act now. where do i find the right medicare plan? at healthmarkets, they search many of the nation's most recognized carriers so they can help you find the right plan, at the right price that's the right fit for you. how long does it take? you could find a medicare plan in just minutes. my current plan only covers 80% of my costs. well, healthmarkets may find plans that cover the rest ... let you keep your doctor with benefits like zero dollar copays, zero dollar deductibles and
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brian here's what's happening. the fda has authorize pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. the dose would be lower than that administer to those 12 and older and could be it a little built roughly 28 million children nationwide as early as next week. and at the urging of her doctors, the queen elizabeth has been advice to rest for at least the next two weeks, following her recent overnight hospital stay. the 95 year old monarch has canceled a series of events, including next week's un climate conference in glasgow. now, back to dateline.
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glgoasw. >> now the tv trucks roared in from salt lake and all around northern nevada, poking about a little west wendover. demanding an answer. exactly what happened to that perfect dr.. that pretty and popular 16 year old, mickey costanzo. just his demanded an answer. the police chief supplied an answer for the evening news. >> we don't have a suspect and we don't have a person of interest, but we are getting leads all the time. >> that we can tell you now, there were a couple of things about the murder the chief did not disclose when he spoke to the media. it's true, there were no here's our fibers or fingerprints pointing to any particular suspect. that there was a person of interest. >> we started doing a little digging. we went back to the school. we obtained some video surveillance.
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>> remember what's mickey's kody patten said, that he saw her leaving the school that day with someone he assumed was her boyfriend, have a year. now the video showed kody, was right, had mickey indeed been with someone. >> just prior to her leaving from the back of the school, and we saw kody patten leave. the same doorway. >> kody patten, that's the someone she was with. kody, the childhood friend who had been calling and texted with mickey just before she disappeared. >> was kody patten probably the last person to have seen her due to the fact that she left through the southwest doors and he was in the area. >> now why didn't kody tell them that? the detectives went to mickey's mother cecilia, to find out a little more about kody. >> kody is a very interesting young men. kody could be the sweetest person in the world. and then turn right around and just not be okay. kody has a tough temper.
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kody as a hot temper. >> had kody been struggling at school and at home with his parents. so much so that kody left and moved in with his fiancée, toni fratto and her parents, and cassie claude, mormon family. very devout. >> i wanted to extend a hand to him to help him get through school. >> we became second family. and more importantly, we were really invested in his success. >> but you really cared for him, right? >> of course. >> yes, he was like a son to me. >> but when the police asked to talk to kody, yet again, it wasn't claude fratto, but his actual father, kip who brought him to the station. >> you look like your average high school student. tall, lean, clean cut, polite. he was very self confident. >> did you sleep okay last night? >> no. >> why not?
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>> i've slept horrible since mickey went missing. >> how come? >> it's one of my friends. >> kody rehash the story he cooled told the cops a few days earlier. how to be calling and texting mickey asking for help to move some car parts. and then he saw her walking towards the front door of the school. >> i said, okay, you all right? she goes yeah, i'm fine. i said, okay, we'll have a good. when she said, all right, by. and that was. it >> he had seen her at the front of the school with her boyfriend. and everyone else had last seen her executing out the back of the school. >> not to mention the security camera that showed mickey walking towards the rear exit. no one else around but kody himself. >> okay, so what are you getting at? >> what i'm getting at is you are not being totally truthful with us. >> yes, i am. >> no, you're not. >> but there was no getting around it. video doesn't lie. >> the video from the school
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indicates to us that you were waiting for her, okay? >> i wasn't. >> because that was a time she disappeared. and that was the time she died. and you were involved. >> i wasn't involved in her death. >> i think you are. i know you were no. >> i did not kill micaela costanzo. i >> don't think you planned on it. i don't think you intended to. >> i didn't. i didn't do anything. >> and then kody asked if he could spend a minute alone with his dad. so the detectives left the room and kody's, kip, went in, closed the door. what happened in there? couldn't tell exactly through the door. but it didn't sound happy. not at all.
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finally yasso! three days after micaela a ridiculously creamy, crunchy, chocolatey dipped ice cream experience with 25% less calories because it's made with greek yogurt. so, thanks for everything ice cream, but we'll take it from here. yasso audaciously delicious "mickey" costanzo, brutalized body was found in the nevada desert, as dramedy of the different cameras plane out at the window for police department, tony paton and asked for a few minutes alone with his father, he wanted a closed-door. >> i didn't hear all was said, but at one point i heard some whaling from the father, i
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could hear him yell. sounded to me like he was crying. >> and then a few minutes later, the detective walked back into the interview room. >> his father told him he needs to tell us what happened. >> the a man. >> yeah. >> no telling when a lawyer would've told cody paton, but this is a father who had just heard the worst news of his life from the lips of his own son. and so here is what he said to cody. >> you've got to start fixing this now, as much as you can. but you did is heinous, kody, i don't abandon you at all, okay? you've got to do what's right, for mckayla as well. >> and this is what cody told him, that he picked up mickey at the school, and then when he started driving, mickey insisted you'd be a cup of his
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fiancée toni fratto, and be with her, when he refused. >> she started yelling at me, and senators because i'm not leaving tony, and then she started like pounding on my chest and stuff. >> by this time, said kody, they're out of the car, she hit him, and he pushed her. >> she fell down and hit her head and she just laid bare and was looking at the sky, and like her eyes started to turn black. and i didn't know what to do. i just sat there and she started to, like, shaken sees. >> kody insisted he tried to check her pulse and got nothing. and then he says she started flopping, so grab the shovel from the car. >> i kind of just tried to hit or on her head right here trying to just knock her out. and it hit like right here and
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it like tore it up pretty bad. >> he was very tearful, we have to stop several times to allow him to get his composure back, couple of times he told us he was getting physically ill while he was describing details to us. >> kody continued, saying he paddocks and to stifle the sound he cut her throat. >> and then she stopped, i didn't know it to do, i was going to call my dad but i knew that he would freak out. so i put her in the thing by the big bush, and i covered her up and i took the clothes over and gravel pit area and bring them. >> he stated he was alone, without mckayla, he did it alone detailing about why.
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no he did not. >> they arrested cody then, custom, treasure with murder, he didn't tend to join the marines after high school. now, he could face the death penalty. >> patent has been enrolled as a student in the -- and has been attending until the time of his arrest. >> what had you found out about him, what it is teachers said about his character and the kind of person he was? >> i think kody what's best described to me as a bully, by teachers with regard to the students at the school. >> a bully? where some people actually afraid of him. >> i believe so. >> some teacher? >> i believe some teachers were afraid of him. >> did you hear some thing about him being a good person also. >> a lot of people spoke highly of kody, stated that he had help them in a lot of different ways, that was a friendly and outgoing person. >> we heard, ha?
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>> a person with two personality? >> i think depending on who you were kody treated you in different matters. it was after he can vest, after put him in jail, that kody hired her attorney, john ohlson his specialties keeping accused killers off death row. but for kody, some like his other clients, didn't seem like a crazy killer. >> you obviously got to know him pretty well, what sort of family did cody have. >> nice family, they were working people, they seem to be fairly close, they did a lot of things together. >> of course, that's kody attorney talking, but even mickey family, the very people think would demand the death penalty, felt a very different emotion. >> i was completely shocked, it's not the person that i knew. and my husband was there, and i
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said kody didn't do this, he would never hurt her. >> and he said they he did, and i said then somebody made him do it. and i said that every single day since then, somebody made him do it.
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>> it was everybody said, a measure of's sunny personality, they're sweet goodness, that they had to rent wendover's 1000 seat concert hall to rent to have room for her funeral. she was, people said, everybody's daughter. >> this entire town suffered as if this town was her parent. >> it really means a lot that
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all of you came here. because we can all see how many people loved her. like we did. >> and one by one they went as they said goodbye. and remembered micaela so cruelly murdered, as the ideal young woman, the pride of west wendover high. >> she was many things too many people. a friend, a fellow student, 18 meat, and an inspiration. >> in fact, perhaps the only friend who didn't attend the public funeral, didn't witness is outpouring of emotion and grief, was one of her illness friends, kody patten. kody, of course, was in a jail cell. awaiting trial for murdering her. naturally, a lot of people in town had come to see that boy as evil incarnate. the villain who'd snuffed out the life of their princess. and yet, even to mickey's family, it was more puzzling than that. it was simply inexplicable. >> he would never hurt her.
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i don't understand why he and it up confessing to it. i'm still like -- there's something more to this story. >> more partly because, kody's story of what happened just didn't make any sense. especially that bit about how the mickey penn demanded kody dump his fiancée toni and date for instead. impossible, said cecilia. had mickey her own steady boyfriend, and out of respect for toni, had been going out of her way to avoid getting anywhere near kody. >> micaela never liked confrontation. she did not like drama. she hated drama. if it was going to cause an issue, she would stay away. >> and we, everybody knew about kody and toni's engagement. saw them flash their engagement rings. he, the six foot six, soon to be marine. she, the wee slip of a thing who made it her business to tame his temper and set him on
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the road to righteousness. she'd even persuaded him to convert to the mormon church. >> she was determined to be kody's savior, as you will. >> a person that helped him to graduate. >> she was going to make him happy. >> to help him be happy. the person that helped him -- >> she took that responsibility. >> the person that helped him got into the marines. >> she encouraged that. she encouraged him to do his school work. she encouraged him to keep on track to graduate. she encouraged him to try and be a better person. >> now the man toni so badly wanted to save was facing the death penalty. but she stuck by him. send him love letters. promised to be faithful andrew. and often drove the four hours it took to visit him in jail. they talked on the phone sometimes, too. and, this being jail, those calls were recorded. >> not to see you every day and
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talk to you. like, things to think and everything. hold you in my arms or anything. it's just hard. >> yeah, i know it's hard for me, too. it really is. >> toni's parents of visited kody sometimes to provide support, but also to ask the particular question. >> i said, i don't understand this. why did you do this? why did this happen? and he just said, i don't know. i can't tell you anything. i don't know. >> but by now, kody's lawyer had told him, stop talking. >> tough case. real tough case. >> because the chances of his getting that death penalty were quite high. >> i think they were very high. it was the identity of the victim, it was the brutality of the killing. it was the poignancy of some of the photographs from the kids. we just broke your heart. >> not to mention, kody's
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confession, which made a defense all but impossible. >> i think he really regretted doing that, because he their confession early on was the strongest piece of evidence against kody. what kody had in mind, we told him when he was involved in the killing, or that he did the killing, god knows. >> but the more he studied kody's confession, the more ohlson came to believe, just like mickey's family did, that something about it didn't add up. so, hired ohlson a season investigator. a former secret service agent named bill savage. asked him to find out what he could about kody, the murderer. and that boys confession. >> some of the details that mr. patten reported, didn't quite pack quite passed a sniff test. me >> mickey's, swoons, so severe, so brutal.
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they certainly didn't seem to be the result of an accident, as kody had claimed. or from a shovel of all things. >> horrible. slicing, disfigurement to mickey's face. what >> did that say to you? >> a great deal of reach by someone. >> why would kody have done that to a childhood friend? >> had to be more to the story. attorney ohlson wondered if kody's fiancée, toni fratto, might provide some insight. had kody already talked to the police during the routine interviews with people who knew mickey. >> kind of curious, where is mickey? what's going on? you know? where could she have gone? >> so, ohlson spoke to toni himself. did she have any idea why? >> absolutely not. no idea. >> was she as devastated as other people seem to have been? >> i would just cry per aspect as deadpan i described her as
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emotional. us >> how did that strike? youth >> odd. . >> i very odd. >> mickey's details remembered that after the murder toni seemed to shut down. >> she refused to look at me. refused. i understand that you're not going to be very social because your significant other doing this, but she wouldn't talk to certain people anymore. but she normally would. >> new wheels were turning in that young woman spring. and then, early one spring morning in april, a few weeks after mickey's murder, climbed toni fratto into a car with kody's father, kip patten. she didn't tell her parents. she was out of town. toni was we're just her pajamas. nothing with her. as if she assumed she would never be coming back. it was one of mickey costanzo's the favorite places.
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the high school track where she won so many races. now on a bright spring day inmate, 2011, two months after her murder, the somber celebration was underway here. it would have been mickey's 17th birthday. >> i bought a kick balloons, but. took it down to the high school. invited her friends and that was the hardest day, next to finding out she was murdered. >> apparently murdered by a childhood friend, kody patten. he'd confess. was sitting in jail. the death penalty a distinct possibility. or so everyone thought. but as they celebrated mickey's life, there was something about her death they didn't know. several days earlier, kody's legal team had a surprise visitor, kody's fiancée, toni
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fratto. she arrived with kody's father at her side. said she was ready to tell the lawyers the story. >> so, are you willing to proceed? >> i think so, yeah. >> we talked and we recorded that conversation with her permission. and it was dynamite. >> you're about to hear the whole new version of mickey's murder that would turn the case upside down. >> am i to believe that you in fact were present when the girl got killed? >> yes. >> and here from the lips of this quite little teen, gave a horrifying story. kody was it the only color. it began for her, she said, with a text from kody saying, i have her. meaning mickey was with him in an suv he had borrowed. he wanted toni to join them. kody picture up, she said. then the three drove around. and it up at the gravel pits.
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then mickey and kody got out of the car and she started yelling at him. then pushing him. >> i looked away just for, like, a split second, and then i heard a loud that on the car or whatever. so, i had got out to see what happened. >> what did you see when you got out? >> micaela was on the ground and she wasn't really moving at that point. >> she said, kody started digging what appeared to be a grief. and when he'd finished, with mickey lying semiconscious on the ground, they both started kicking her, punching her. hit her with a shovel. >> she wasn't moving. and, so, we had moved her to the grave. and then, we were kind of standing there, deciding what do we do? we didn't know what we had just done.
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>> okay. >> i remember holding down her legs and we had slit her throat. >> who cut her throat? >> it was both of us. >> it was both of us. two kody's defense attorneys, five little words that changed everything. tackling tough messes can take more time than you have, but mr. clean clean freak delivers
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tkody confessed, which stunned the family. they'd known him for years. toni fratto freely admitted to kody's lawyers she had also murdered mickey by slitting her
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throat. >> all of a sudden it changed from one crazed killer to two people who committed a homicide. it gave us something to point the case towards other than kody's acts. >> two killers sharing the guilt. maybe with some good lawyering his client could escape the death penalty after all. why toni said those things was almost beside the point for olson, anyway, but not for toni's parents, not when they found out. >> no one that knows toni would have ever seen this coming. it just isn't possible. >> their daughter hadn't even been a suspect, not even a person of interest. now she confessed herself into a murder that could send her to death row. >> my immediate thought was that she's been coerced into saying this. >> somebody made her do it. >> yes. >> yeah.
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>> what person popped into your head? >> kody's dad. >> kody's father, kip patten, the man who delivered toni to a meeting with kody's lawyers, denied a request to appear on the program, but he insisted toni told him what happened and it was her idea to meet with kody's attorneys. he just drove her there because toni's parents were out of town. >> do you think sometimes that she thought i can't do this with my parents present. i have to wait until they're gone before i can go and confess to this terrible thing? >> i don't know. possibly so, but we've always been very, very open. >> or possibly a misguided attempt to save kody? but she'd only succeeded in incriminating herself. >> she doesn't believe that she's confessing to the law enforcement. she's talking to kody's attorneys, asking them if it's going to help. >> but toni didn't have an
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attorney-client relationship with kody's lawyers, no privilege, no protection. so they turned her statement over to law enforcement and when the detective donald burner reviewed the transcript of toni's confession. >> i determined we had probable cause to arrest her just based on her own admission. >> toni fratto just 18 was booked, held without bail, facing perhaps a capital murder charge, same as kody. >> i, in my heart of hearts knew toni had something to do with it because they were a couple. it was very hard for me to know she was at school wearing his engagement ring, acting like nothing had happened and she knew nothing about it when i knew she knew. >> i said, i am so glad that she is now sitting and facing what he is. now -- now it makes sense. >> but little toni fratto hardly seemed like a killer. she was a beauty queen at 13.
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west wendover junior miss, in fact, devoutly religious, too, and extremely close to her parents. >> she always went to church with us. a lot of kids, you have to force them to get out of bed and go. it was never that way with toni. >> she had goals in her life. she knew exactly where she wanted to go. >> a truly responsible child. >> yes. absolutely. >> outside of her family, toni had very few friends, except kody, of course. from the moment they started dating in the ninth grade they were virtually inseparable. >> she loved him. she thought she loved him. >> he was very, very possessive. did not like her time taken up by anyone else but him. >> now the frattos remembered a possessive, controlling kody, so big and strong. and when they thought about it that way, they wondered, what was the real story behind their daughter's confession?
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elko, nevada, gold rush town, saloons, casinos, even brothels, four in the middle of town. good businesses, too, according to police. nearby, there's also an historic courthouse, the stage for preliminary hearings for the teenagers accused of that brutal murder that so far, not a single person could explain. least of all mickey costanzo's mother celia. before the hearing she studied every grisly photo and braced herself for what was coming. >> i had to know exactly what happened to my daughter. everything. >> no matter how bad. >> everything. every autopsy photo that was taken of my daughter i saw. i saw it all because i did not want to go into a courtroom and see my daughter like that for the very first time. there were separate hearings for
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toni and kody, two occasions for celia to hold up under questioning. >> he's right over there and he's in a red jumpsuit. >> two occasions to hear emotional and incriminating confessions. >> i tried to, like, check her pulse and stuff. and i couldn't get anything and she was just flopping. >> kody, no surprise, was bound over for trial at which everyone knew he could face the death penalty and toni, pale and gaunt in her dark blue jump suits, toni listened to excerpts of her quite stunning confession. >> after that she wasn't really breathing or anything, and so we kind of just stood there. we were crying because we didn't know what we had just done. >> it was brutal. it was painful. it was long. it was torturous, and those two could not ever get away with it. they could not walk away free.
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>> but people couldn't help but notice that the two kids told very different stories. remember, kody said he was alone while toni insisted she was with him and they murdered mickey together. toni's parents simply couldn't believe despite her confession that their sweet, diminutive daughter was capable of such a monstrous act. can you imagine her doing those things, perhaps striking with a shovel or with a knife? >> i don't believe she did anything with the knife. no fingerprints, no dna. >> she wasn't involved with that. the striking with a shovel was an order from kody. >> an order from kody. that was the answer to the questions to the frattos and behind it, a terrible secret. over the years, said the frattos, kody had given toni
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lots of orders. he was extremely possessive, and more than a foot will taller than little toni and was often angry and abusive. >> he would yell at her. he would be pushing her around. he would be restraining her, throwing her down. >> in fact, just two months before mickey's murder the school surveillance camera caught an agitated kody appearing to get rough with her at her locker. >> there was an instance that occurred in the hallway at wendover high school that depicts kody grabbing toni around the neck and realizing he's 6'6". she's 5 -- 5'1". >> but toni declined to file charges. >> her explanation was that if something like this happens he will not be accepted into the marines and i don't want to stand in the way of that. >> you have to realize what her goals were and her expectations and her final result of all of this was to get him into the marines.
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>> and perhaps get him out of her life? now after the murder and toni's confession, the frattos looked back on their daughter's relationship with kody with new eyes. toni, they decided, was an abused woman. >> she was living in fear of what she thought the repercussions would be if she brought it out. >> so fearing kody might kill her, too, toni's parents insisted their daughter had no choice but to cooperate with kody, the murderer. >> her participation, as people say, in what happened that night was strictly out of fear, controlling, manipulation and orders by the one that she had already been suffering abuse from for two years, three years. >> but she participated in the attack. >> participated. participated under extreme -- >> orders. >> -- orders.
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she was afraid that she would be the one lying next to micaela if she did not follow his orders that evening. >> to which kody's attorney john olson responded. >> baloney. >> why do you say that? >> baloney. there's nothing in their relationship ever that would indicate that she was ever abused by kody. >> and when hr -- her parents support the idea she was abused, why would her parents do such a thing? >> i don't think you abuse someone into committing murder. i've never heard of someone being abused into committing murder. >> toni fratto was bound over for trial, just like kody, now sitting in a jail cell, facing the daunting prospect of losing her life, not to kody patten, but to lethal injection. unless -- what if toni told a whole new story about her role in mickie costanzo's murder? a story that just might
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dara brown. pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5-11, if the cdc gives approval, as expected, 28 million children will be eligible to get the smaller dose shots as early as next week. the protests against vaccine mandates, 12 states are suing the biden administration to stop federal contractors from being required to get covid shots. 12 mostly midwestern and rocky mountain states are filing legal charges similar to the ones already filed by texas and florida. now, back to "dateline." christmastime in west wendover, nevada. mickey costanzo had been dead for nine months.
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>> christmas day, it was not fun for me. she was missing. it's not the same. and i don't ever think that's going to go away. i used to enjoy going and buying everybody christmas presents and wrapping them up and it wasn't the same. and then having to remember not to buy her something. >> kody patten and his fiancee toni fratto spent the holidays in jail awaiting trial. on new year's eve, kody turned 20. early in 2012 a legal deal emerged. kody would plead guilty to first-degree murder, get life in prison, but with the possibility of parole, no death penalty and in exchange he'd have to testify against toni. kody took the deal and just as suddenly changed his mind.
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instead, kody decided to take his chances in court, but just one day later the d.a. offered toni a deal, not the same deal. better. if toni agreed to testify against kody she'd be allowed to plead to second-degree murder with the chance of parole after just 18 years. by then toni would be just 36, and toni offered a chance to save her own skin by throwing kody under the bus said yes. she signed the plea papers right away. >> she said you know what? enough is enough. the truth needs to be told, and i'm going to tell it. so on a chilly, january day, toni fratto was led from her jail cell to an office of the sheriff's department to tell her story and put her hand on the bible and promised to tell the truth.
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>> i'm a person to tell the truth. and deep down, i wanted people to know the truth because i knew -- i knew kody wasn't going to come forward to tell the complete truth. >> for the next three and a half hours toni told a whole new story about how kody was upset with mickey. how he hated the sound of her voice. how things were building up and then the one detail of the story that did not change. the afternoon of march 3rd, that text from kody, one of over a hundred the two exchanged that day. police weren't able to recover any of them, but this one, said toni, was burned in her memory. >> what was the content of it? >> all it said was, "i have her." >> from here, the story changed and blame shifted toward kody. as they drove off into the desert, said toni, she looked back and saw mickey stuffed in the back section of the suv and mickey looked scared, said toni, with her hands up to her face.
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kody looked determined and angry, she said and wouldn't talk to her. as they approached the gravel pits, said toni, kody right beside her in the driver's seat sent her a text. >> it said, "we have to kill her." just kind of looked at him and kind of lipped, well, why? >> kody pulled over, said toni and ordered her to stand guard as he dug a hole and he took mickey from the car and pushed her from the ground and demanded that toni hit her. >> all i remember is him pulling her hair back and i went up and had hit her in the face. >> in this new and entirely different version of her story, toni claimed she was an unwilling participant and insisted she backed off while kody started punching and kicking mickey and then he issued an order. >> i remember looking up at kody
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and him telling me, "hit her with the shovel." i hit her with the shovel, and so i hit her in the back of the shoulder with a shovel. >> she said kody took the shovel back and whacked mickey on the head and then in the hole he dug, kody got on top of her, and i remember going up and holding her legs down so that she'd stop kicking and then all of a sudden her legs went completely still and she wasn't moving. and that freaked me out, so i backed off and jumped up and walked off a little bit. remember, in her first confession, toni claimed she'd help cut mickey's throat. not anymore. her new story, kody used the knife alone while she, horrified, then backed off, but kept watching and listening. >> she had looked up at kody and asked, "am i still here?
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am i still alive?" >> and then kody ordered her to get in the car, she said, and sitting by herself, toni said she heard the last sounds of mickey costanzo's life and then she said it was over. kody buried mickey by himself. once in the car, according to toni, they drove back into town and went to mcdonald's for a cold drink and then later they cruised across the state line into utah, pulled off into the desert and burned mickey's clothes and belongings. >> you can't tell me to this day why this happened? >> no. >> he never told you that? >> no. >> and with that, toni had her deal. the sworn statement she provided would now comprise much of the d.a.'s case against her fiance, kody patten. in this new version of her story, kody was the killer and orchestrated the whole thing and she, terrified of kody's murderous rage was forced to go along for the awful ride. not at all like her original confession.
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but was there more to toni's story? well, maybe. because just before she was arrested, toni left something behind. something, in her very own words, that just might reveal the real motive for mickey costanzo's murder. still fresh... unstopables in-wash scent booster. downy unstopables. with mucinex all-in-one you've got unbeatable relief from your worst cold and flu symptoms. so when you need to show your cold who's boss, grab mucinex all-in-one... and get back to your rhythm. feel the power. beat the symptoms fast.
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the final technique in law enforcement, got two defendants get one to take a deal and testify against the other. it looked like that was about to work in the case of the west wendover murder of mickey costanzo. toni fratto appeared all set to tell the world that her fiancee, kody patten, after abusing her , for years, forced her to witness and even in a minor way assist in the killing. apparently, like everybody else,
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she didn't know why kody did it, only that she, toni feared he'd kill her too, if she didn't go along. why was the question on the lips of just about every breathing, living soul in wendover, the idea that kody would brutally murder a childhood friend didn't make any sense, any more than the idea that toni would go to such trouble to visit kody in jail and whisper sweet nothings on the phone and send him love notes if she was deathly afraid of him as she claims. people had given up on the idea on getting any kind of an answer, when suddenly out of the blue a little gift appeared. toni had been keeping a diary. >> before she confessed, toni gave it to kody's parents who turned everything over to defense investigator bill savage. >> in my opinion there was some valuable information in there with regard to toni's
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personality, her feelings. >> in this little book, toni poured out her fears, her hopes, her deep insecurities and what kody's attorney thought was just perhaps a motive for murder. this, for example. she worried that kody would leave me for someone else. cheat on me, but kody and i won't last forever. we won't get married. in here she wrote of her own terror that her relationship with kody wouldn't work out, and if so, was there no point in living. i'm very angry today. so angry that i'm trying to overdose after i got off the phone with kody, i went and took four aspirins. >> in my opinion, a very troubled young lady. >> a troubled young lady who, in many ways, did not feel worthy, i gather. >> that's correct. >> and who loved this guy, but at the same time was terrified of losing him. >> yes. >> afraid of losing him to the girl he had grown up with, the
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attractive and popular mickey costanzo. we might as well break up so he can get back together with her. he will be happier and can see her a lot. a lot more than he will ever see me. they're perfect for each other. >> toni was jealous of mickey, and if she were out of the picture then kody and toni would be together. >> she was everything toni wasn't. >> yes. absolutely. >> they would be so happy together if i didn't steal him away. i know in my heart he really doesn't love me. >> the diary disclosed a real animosity that toni had for micaela. >> right. >> no one's ever shown me any reason that kody had to hurt micaela, none. >> but toni? >> toni had reasons. >> was it possible she was the one that wanted mickey dead? that her big, strong boyfriend was just doing what she wanted? mickey's sisters remembered.
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>> toni used to get so upset if micaela was seen talking to kody and she would just yell and holler and say horrible things to micaela, you know. don't talk to him and call her every name imaginable. >> an intensely jealous young woman said d.j. >> he couldn't be around girls especially my sister, but he couldn't go do certain things. she couldn't go do certain things and if one did what the other didn't like it was world war iii. >> and kody was, said christina, on a very tight leash. >> i must have been doing laundry or something and here toni came walking. said, gotta go. i said you can't even talked to me? no, gotta go. she'll get mad. >> who was the driving force in that relationship? >> she was. >> having heard toni's sworn statement, kody knew his
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client's story of mickey dying after some sort of accident sounded like the cover-up for a cold-blooded murder and therefore that toni's testimony could send kody who was still facing trial, to death row. >> part of toni fratto's statement and what she said that at some point in time at this killing micaela sat up in the grave and said to kody, am i still here? can i go home? >> devastating. >> yeah. >> which is why, just weeks before the trial kody decided to plead guilty to first-degree murder. >> that was the safest way to go. that was the way that would present at least a possibility that kody would see daylight again, and that would take the death penalty off the table. >> at kody's sentencing in front of a packed courtroom he made his case for eventual parole, pleading with the judge for mercy and begging mickey's family for forgiveness. >> the unimaginable pain.
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this has caused you. >> then for the first time, kody spoke publicly about his fiancee and apparent partner in the murder, and the woman he protected, and never revealing she was at the crime scene. listen to what he said now. >> to the court, i just want to say that -- was not all to blame. >> did you hear that? toni was not all to blame. was kody implying that she played a role in at least some or most of the horrific stab wounds to mickey's pretty face. >> there's no reason and no why -- no justification for it. i did it. sorry is not enough, but i --
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i -- i apologize for everything. >> moments later, his sentence, a chance at parole after maybe 25 years. >> i sentence you for a term of life in the nevada department of corrections. there shall be no possibility of parole. >> it was justice, said mickey's family. but an odd feeling lingered. >> you have to sit there and go -- oh, my god. this person that i knew so well will never, ever have a chance at anything. >> you're conflicted. >> i see the good in him. i see what he did. i want him to be punished for what he did, but i see that good side of him.
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>> both kody and the prison where he'll spend his life turned down our request for an interview. but toni fratto? different story. toni had a lot to say about that dark night in the nevada desert and just what really happened to her romantic rival mickie costanzo. groceries online now. shingles doesn't care. i keep my social distance. shingles doesn't care. i stay within my family bubble. shingles doesn't care. because if you've had chicken pox, you're already carrying the virus that causes shingles. in fact, about 1 in 3 people will develop shingles, and the risk only increases as you age. so what can protect you against shingles? shingrix protects. now you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose.
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toni fratto, the ex-junior miss beauty queen, was a tiny wisp of a girl in a prison suit when they brought her to see us. >> i'm keith. >> we'd arranged our meeting in a small courtroom not too far from her cell. the sheriff's people agreed to let her mother watch from an adjoining room, separated by a thick, plate glass window. she could hear us, we could not hear her. so two lines of communication. ours with toni, hers silently with her mother. >> we began by talking about kody, the fiance she seemed so afraid of losing to mickey costanzo.
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>> there are people who say that you were very jealous and that you manipulated him into committing murder. >> i was not jealous of micaela. yes, that one thing that i had wrote in my diary, but that was way long early in our relationship. it never was brought up again. nothing ever recent. >> did you ever say to him get rid of her? get rid of her or you lose me? >> no. >> didn't say it's her or me? >> no. >> didn't give him that choice? >> absolutely not. >> and then we talked about the night of march 3, 2011. when she and kody took mickey to the desert and ended her life. when you put yourself back there in your memory, what does that feel like inside? >> my heart just sinks and, you
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know, to be honest, it's like it takes my breath away. it's hard to breathe and everything. it's not something, you know, you want to sit there and think about. >> there are differing stories so that's why i have to ask these questions. >> right. >> and you hit her with a shovel? >> yes. >> why? >> because i was told to. i did not want to do anything to her and everything, and he kept telling me over and over again. just do it. it's okay. just do it, and then i just remember him putting her down and him standing over her. >> she was struggling trying to get free. >> right. >> then you backed off. >> yes. i don't know what he was doing up towards the top of her body. i could not see because he was standing in the way. >> and she insisted in
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contradiction to that first confession of hers that she did not help kody with that slashing and stabbing, and that you didn't hold the knife, that you didn't cut her. >> correct. >> so it reduced your culpability. >> you could say that, yes. i'm not trying to diminish my actions or anything of what i did, but i won't take responsibility for something i did not do. >> frequently, as toni distanced herself from the crime, she looked through the glass to her mother especially when the question turned to why. >> i was too much in fear. i was scared, terrified. >> only reason she was there, she insisted, she was an abused woman and she was afraid he'd kill her, too. >> when you're going through a
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type of abusive relationship you don't always fight back with your abuser. to be honest, i -- after finding out everything that i know now, i believe i was next. >> why would he kill you? >> because i was a witness and i was there with micaela. >> so why is mickey costanzo dead? you'd have to ask kody said toni fratto. >> i don't know his motive. i don't know. if i knew i'd be more than willing to, you know, come out and say why so it would make sense. >> was he just a lunatic or what? i mean -- >> i don't know. i don't have an answer for that. >> and when he says he doesn't know why, do you believe him? >> no. he's got to know why. there's a reason why he did
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this. >> was this version of her story finally the truth? perhaps, and in any event, mickey's family would have to be satisfied with what small consolations toni fratto offered. >> i know sorry is not enough and if i could go back and protect her and make sure this wouldn't happen and everything that she would still be here today. >> do you see her face now in your mind's eye? >> in some places, yeah. >> you'll probably be seeing her for a long time. >> for the rest of my life. >> reporter: and with that, our interview ended. toni fratto never wavering from her story, the one she told when she cut that deal with the district attorney. the deal that could set her free by the year 2030.
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but, of course, toni couldn't know, leaving here, nor could we, that one more little surprise was waiting. kody had said something very interesting just before toni took her deal. something buried deep in the court file, but now about to be revealed. (sfx: video game vehicle noises, horns beeping,) (engines revving, cars hitting one another.) (sfx: continued vehicle calamity.) just think, he'll be driving for real soon. every new chevy equinox comes standard with chevy safety assist, including automatic emergency braking. find new peace of mind. find new roads. chevrolet.
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it's another day. and anything could happen. it could be the day you welcome 1,200 guests and all their devices.
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or it could be the day there's a cyberthreat. only comcast business' secure network solutions give you the power of sd-wan and advanced security integrated on our activecore platform so you can control your network from anywhere, anytime. it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. kody patton and toni fratto are in separate prisons now. different stories about the murder, different settings, too. toni has a chance at parole. kody will likely die in prison.
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this is an academic question, but there is another detail we found buried in the court file. it just might find an answer. remember the plea deal kody passed on? here is the story behind the dramatic moment. kody just started making his one statement. it would be a full and frank account of what really happened and why. there was an incident the afternoon of the murder at the school. toni confronted mickey in the school hallway. toni saw mickey in the hallway, said kody, and called her a slut. said look there, there's that slut. the girls argued, said kody and he intervened. told toni to knock it off. plausible? may be. before anybody heard about kody's statement, mickey's
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sister d.j. told us this. >> toni really hated her. she'd walk by and toni would say something so rude under her breath. >> we're talking about a couple of years, though. >> the hatred in toni grew more and more and more, i don't know why, to tell you, but it just escalated. >> as kody told the d.a., it escalated to a fever that day and so he suggested, why don't you guys just talk it out? and toni agreed and said, she just wanted to duke it out with micaela, so i relayed the message to mickey and said she wants to fight it out and mickey came to the resolution and said okay. so mickey did get into a car with him, voluntarily. they drove around for a while, said kody, and they picked up toni and they all headed to the gravel pits and what did kody tell the d.a. about what happened there? well, it turned out, nothing because just then kody's attorney john olson arrived at the hearing and the two met,
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conferred briefly and kody stopped talking and changed his mind and rejected the plea deal and never told his story again and his statement was filed away, but olson who never disputed that kody was involved does have his own opinion about what probably happened at the gravel pits. >> my guess would be that there was an opportunity for toni to confront micaela. >> and they went out to the desert to have the confrontation away from prying eyes. >> i think something bad happened. >> a bad idea that became a screw up. >> a bad idea that became a horrible idea. a bad idea that went very, very bad. >> was it an idea hatched on the spur of the moment? who knows? at least not according to d.j. who said she witnessed the hostility escalate for months. she heard toni bad-mouth mickey time and again and she saw toni -- kody play one nasty prank
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after another. including one that seemed more than just a prank. >> he had a little box cutter blade and he swiped it across her arm, and at first she said i didn't even know and i looked down and i'm bleeding and i look at him and he's laughing. >> is that kind of the straw that broke the camel's back with her? that was. she said he's not worth it. and that i really don't want a person like that in my life at all. >> and from then on mickey avoided kody, never spoke to him, cut him out of her life. >> he grew really angry at her after that. would do things to try to make her mad, just so she'd talk to him. it was a real shock to him to all of a sudden have her there through thick and thin and then never have her. >> an angry and abandoned kody, a jealous toni? maybe that's why mickey had been so worried, said d.j., about what those two might be up to. >> she said he keeps trying to get me to go with him.
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he was constantly trying to get her -- >> to get her to go out with him and toni. >> and she was fully aware that she was public enemy number one as far as toni was concerned. >> she just said i don't -- i don't get it. it's not right. something's just wrong. >> costanzo family said mickey would never have gone with kody and toni voluntarily and there is evidence of that. the zip tie found around mickey's arm. something else, mickey's family is convinced that toni and kody knew that the few days around the time of the murder were the only days they'd find mickey alone after school. >> the timing was too perfect. it was the one time, the one time that d.j. was at college. christina and donald were at nascar. i was at work. it's the one time in all of this time that micaela would have
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actually had to walk home. >> which when we heard that made us wonder in our interview did toni slip and reveal a hidden truth? remember, she claimed she was an abused woman and unwilling accomplice there only out of fear, but listen to this. does it indicate the very planning revealed in kody's statement to the d.a., planning that included picking a place for the showdown? >> when we finally got out to the designated area and everything -- >> what do you mean the designated area. >> where everything went down. >> that area was designated? >> well, just the area where we ended up. >> no plan to go there, insisted toni. so designated area, maybe, maybe not, but also a festering jealousy, scores of text messages, a zip tie and one more explosive ingredient, an affair. police revealed that kody had
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been seeing an older woman, the very wm from whom he borrowed very -- the suv used the night of the murder. toni knows that now, of course, that the other woman wasn't mickey, but did she know it then the night they killed her? >> a woman knows whether you're that age or my age, you know something's maybe not right. who that person might be, i don't think she would have ever in a million years thought it was an adult so that the next person in her mind would think, would be my daughter even though it's completely wrong. >> does that sound like toni was an abused woman obeying an angry boyfriend or a scorned woman determined to rid herself of the perceived rival? an unanswered question which is probably the best we'll get, said attorney olson. >> outside of the participants
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who are alive, nobody knows. nobody knows, and nobody's going to know. >> they're never going to reveal it. >> no. >> but then would any answer ever be good enough. >> i want the truth, will i ever get it, no. they'll never tell me and there's nothing they can say or do that will make it better. they cannot fix this. >> three families broken in west wendover. kody patten will never come home. toni fratto might some day, but too late for them. >> i don't think i will still be alive when she gets out. i don't think that there will be a time that we'll be together like that again. ♪♪ >> west wendover high school has retired mickey costanzo's basketball jersey. it hangs now in a place of honor.
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outside the students got together to paint and sign a huge rock, a memorial in her favorite color. >> how do you honor your sister and go on with you life? >> when she died, i was in the middle of a semester. i was lost for a long time. i thought about what she'd want me to do. she'd want me to finish. she'd want me to be all i can be, like i wanted for her. so i keep a picture of her with me all the time. i'd sit there, and i'd think, what would micaela want me to do? it's what pushes me forward. >> up in the high desert mountains outside wendover is a ranch with a small family
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cemetery. it's a peaceful, sacred place where micaela costanzo, where mickey, now rests. >> the ranch is home. she's exactly where she would want to have been. she's laying right next to my father, and she is in the most beautiful spot in the world to me. she's, like, sitting on top of the world. we all knew that my mom, myself, we'd all eventually be there, just not in the order that it seems to have happened. ♪♪ >> and here, on a little strip on i-80, wendover will still waves his grinning welcome, but he points to a place a little older now and sadder as if the
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neon lights turned up among the desert casinos had picked up a layer of grief. i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." for lovely robin, the late shift was her last. >> she was laying facedown, a pool of blood under one side. >> just one tiny clue -- >> a piece of curved foam rubber. >> there was a suspect, but he had an alibi, until this revelation. >> i said, i have something that you need to know. ♪♪ >>


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