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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  April 10, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> i'm craig melvin, i'm natalie morales, this is dateline. >> four lovely robin, the late shot was her last. >> she was lying face down, a pool of blood under one side. >> just one tiny clue. >> a piece of 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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>> welcome to dateline, it sometimes takes a special eye to look at a crime scene and spot the one thing that is out of place. the clue that will crack the case. and in this story, that thing appeared so inconsequential, no one even knew what it was, alone would've meant. it took almost two decades of a team of determinant investigators and a detective was than usual back out to find out. here is keith morrison with the night before halloween. >> it was the night before halloween, october 30th, late, midnight approaching. it happened in one of the little class suburbs that sprawl across the los angeles basin. inside a fast food franchise, closed for the night. a frantic scrambling, running feet, then, silence. but the nice morning, not far away, the family dollar
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prepared for celebration, kim was the eldest, then robin, trisha, wendy. excited, because this was halloween, one of the best days of the year. >> we trick-or-treat, we would sort the candy and then we would be trading what we liked. >> a halloween morning long ago, it was 1984. the morning after the incident of the fast food place, it started warm and sunny. that innocents, before anyone knew a thing, when he donned her halloween costume and war to school. as did tricia, who were to work. kim left early for a job at a nearby mall. robbyn was not home. after working late, she had told her family, she arranged to sleep over at a girlfriends place. she was due home any minute as wendy remembers. >> she was good about reporting and telling us where she was going to be. and when she was going to be home. >> robin was 21 years old, a
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redhead, pretty, popular, friendly. she was an assistant manager at a kentucky fried chicken franchise in the nearby town of torrance. had taken a late shift as a favor to a coworker named cheryl. >> i asked robin if she betrayed ours with me. i had just started dating someone and we had plans. >> so robin worked the late shift. she closed the restaurant, counted the cash, carry across the parking lot to a bank deposit box. >> i knew that robin was very cautious about when i went to the store, she would always tell me, make sure the doors locked. >> this is not the sort of person who would have let someone in, just anybody? >> no, not at all. >> so when cheryl arrived at work, and pulled into the kfc parking lot >> i saw a robin's car. did you get mixed up, i think i wasn't trading, why is she here? >> shell crept through the empty kfc, everything seemed in order, until she entered the
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kitchen. >> as i came around the corner, i looked, and i thought why did robin spend the night here? that was my first reaction. and then when i look closer, i saw that she didn't spend the night here. that she had been killed. >> she ran out of the place. somebody called 9-1-1. detective jack lancaster was one of the first to arrive at the crime scene. >> she was laying first down. she had a pool blood under one side. had some slash marks to the left side of her face. a neck injury from a slashing -type wound from a knife. >> it did not take lancaster long to figure out what happened. this was no accident. >> she had two knife wounds to her back. the right side, lower area near the spine. >> it looked frankly elementary. robin had been murdered and will appear to be an attempted robbery. >> the top cover of the safe
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was removed. and there were some paint chips missing off of a new combination lock. >> there were a few drops of blood on the safe, but no fingerprints, no murder weapon. >> but there was something rather odd lying near robin's body. >> it was just a piece of foam rubber. we kind of speculated that it came from some padding. maybe from a backpack, a handle little briefcase. >> whatever, was wherever it came from, the mysterious piece of foam was not much to go on. still, they bagged it, put it with all of the other evidence. >> robin's wallet told them who she was, where she lived, and then officer went to the house to notify the family. nobody home. he left a no, which said called the police department. it was something about robin. >> so i called back. i said, is she all right. and he told me no, she is not. >> so now kim, the eldest of the four daughters, had to reveal the news.
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she started with their mother. the first words out of her mouth were, you are lying to me. she could not believe that. once she realizes that i'm telling her the truth, we know we have to talk to my dad. i called him, i told him, i said i will meet you at the house. >> wendy, the youngest, heard at school that robin had been stabbed. >> my immediate response was, did she die? because i want her to still be alive. but she said no, she's dead. >> trisha did not hear anything until she got home from work. i head dressed up for halloween as well. i was wearing robin's flag strip cost you. and i looked down, and i see that i am in her clothes. and i lost it. i was like, get it off me. i was screaming that i needed
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to be out. i just freaked out. >> time does not wait of course. darkness fell, halloween, laughing kids came to the door. they sat in the dark and tried to get used to what grief was like. policeman buzzed around the kfc all day, halloween day, looking for something to go off of. but all of they came up with, was what did not happen. >> there was no signs of forced entry. she had let somebody into the business. that she knew somebody. that she felt comfortable enough to be working on her paperwork while that person was in the business. >> who killed robin robin hoynes. could it be that robin hoynes had been murdered by somebody she had new. >> as police searched for clues that would lead them to a killer, robin's coworker cheryl remember something.
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>> she was going to come back and return his uniform. >> who was he and did he know anything about what happened to robin? when dateline continues. eline continues. under budget too! and i get seven days to love it or my money back... i love it! i thought online meant no one to help me, but susan from carvana had all the answers. she didn't try to upsell me. not once, because they're not salespeople! what are you...? guess who just checked in on me? mom... susan from carvana! [laughs] we'll drive you happy at carvana. we're eating and drinking foods and beverages that are very acidic. it can soften the enamel. pronamel repair, what it's doing is driving more minerals deep into the enamel surface, that's going to help actively repair. pronamel is taking it to another level. ♪ ♪ fight fleas and ticks with seresto. eight months continuous protection
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progressive can't help you from becoming your parents, but we can help you compare rates on home insurance with homequote explorer. we've got a lot of work to do. >> the 19 80s were violent years in l.a.. drug lords, gang shootings, but the average was nearly four
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killings a day. but this was different. the murder of the kfc halloween 1984. this was certainly not a crime infested neighborhood. and robin hoynes was a careful, safety conscious, churchgoing young woman. not an enemy of the world. but she was stabbed in the back by someone that she might have known. it did not make sense. >> the kindest hearted person you would probably ever meet. >> so now the four sisters were three. >> i just was completely lost. >> at 16, you do not have the capacity to really understand grief. let alone to understand grief that comes from your best friend. that person that you sleep in the bed next to you every night. is not there anymore because she was murdered.
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>> the hardest thing, then and now, wants to imagine, who would do such a thing? and why? >> somebody deliberately took her life. this was a heinous crime. >> in the days after the murder, the policed cast around for cruz, motive, suspects. there was not much to go on. beyond that one puzzling piece of foam that they found on the floor near robin's body. though none of the detectives could even figure out where it was, let alone what you said could be as a clue. but as they looked hard at the crime scene and try to piece together what was happening, they developed a rather troubling theory that might lead them to a suspect. it appears that this was not the work of a random stranger. >> there was no indication of forced entry. there is no indication of a struggle. >> that seemed clear from the autopsy. robbyn had been stabbed to death, attacked with a knife,
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but there was not a mark on either of her hands. no defensive wounds. that suggested that she never saw coming. >> when she answered the door, must've been that she had money on the counter, so she saw somebody come and put it in the safe. >> that was the information that i had from the manager. money was on the counter, she had her night paperwork. had enough time for somebody to knock on the door, identify them, maybe not trust who they were, put the money in the safe, that allowed them to commit. >> there was one way to start confirming that. cheryl, the young woman who had switched shift with robin, knew the saves combination. >> when i opened the safe, the money was still in there. i thought it was weird that it was in there, because we would normally take it to the bank at night. $600, along with all of the nights receipts were neatly stacked inside, untouched and left behind by the killer. there were those scratch marks, as if somebody tried to pry the safe open. was it possible that the killer
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intended to open the safe after disposing of robin and if that was the plan, then something obviously went haywire. >> did it seem to you as though he had gone there to rob the place, that he knew that she knew him so he had to kill her before she robbed the place. >> yes. >> then he got nothing anyway. >> he got nothing out of, not one thing. such a cold blooded situation. >> but who would robin have led in late at night. it was after hours and the kfc was closed. she was all alone. >> william was supposed to come back that night. >> william? who was william? >> he used to work there. earlier that day, william called me and he was going to come back and pick up his briefcase and return his uniform. and so before i left that day, i told her that william is going to be by later. >> she told me okay no problem.
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>> william was william marshall. a former kfc assistant manager who worked a long side robin for several months. he was young, just 23, ambitious, known to be friendly. quite religious, just like robin. did he know anything about her murder? it turns out that he did. but it would take detectives some 23 years to find out just what, what he knew that night before halloween. >> coming up, the case finally feels like it is heating up. and then it is stopped cold. >> when dateline continues. n dateline continues
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the first lead of the robin hoynes murder investigation. a name had surfaced, william marshall. marshall was a former kfc employee who had worked with robin at the very same restaurant where she was killed. and on the night of the murder, he was supposed to stop by the store. >> he was due to return some equipment or a uniform and also pick up a briefcase that had belong to him. >> a kfc uniform, which william marshall did not need any more. and for a very good reason. william marshall had been terminated because of missing cash and failed polygraph.
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they had two situations reported to the torrance police department concerning cash that from the safe. to thefts on the very same safeway robin had left the money. and though they could not exactly prove that he did it, marshall was a suspect. he had the opportunity, he failed the polygraph when questioned about those previous robberies. and at the time, he knew the combination of the safe. so the night that robin was killed, did marshal it had to rob the safe again? >> he knew the previous combinations. i don't know if he was aware that they had changed them, because it had happened days earlier. >> detectives brought william marshall in for questioning. he was friendly, cooperative. said that he was home entire evening and that he could prove it. all police had to do was go ask his girlfriend. yvonne hargrove. without telling them why he were talking to her, they did ask. >> i told him that william was with me that night. and what did we do?
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i said that we cooked a spaghetti dinner. >> yvonne seemed credible. never wavered in supporting marshals alibi. so maybe the marshall idea was a dead end. as they were leaving, cops had one more question though. did she know anything about that mysterious piece of foam found at the crime scene? >> they brought out this thing. kind of funny shaped. funny color. you know with this is? >> i said no, i had never seen that before. >> so what could they do? they let william marshall go. the cops had nothing on him. robin hoynes funeral was a big event in this part of town. and because robin was well known and so well liked, much of the neighborhood attended. and friends and colleagues. except for one, cheryl. the girl who had switched shifts with robin the night the murderer came to call. >> i had heard that they were
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really upset with me. and that they did not want me at her funeral. and i did not go. i felt really sad that i traded ours with her. that should have maybe been me. i felt very guilty. >> a few days after robin's murder, the case seemed to be going sideways. william marshall remained only a person of interest, no new leads had emerged. and that odd clue, the piece of foam, was still just a mystery. then came a break. police got a call from an employee at a kentucky fried chicken about 30 miles away from the one where robin was killed. he had claimed that someone in army fatigues, when akot club and boots had been casing the store after hours. detective lancaster showed the employee pictures of several suspects who might have been prowling at the kfc that night. and he picked out william marshall as being the person that was acting suspicious around this business at 11, 11:30 at night.
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>> marshall was put under surveillance and followed for a few days. and where did he go? back to the very same kfc where he was prowling in the week before. employees there would not let marshall in, so he drove off. and the cops followed. a few miles later, they pulled him over. >> after removing him from the car, we found what we thought was the weapon that he had used in our homicide. which was a 7 to 9 inch but we knife in the backpack he was carrying. >> there was no usable evidence on that knife, but it was the right size in shape. so it looked to the cops at least, that they had their man. william marshall was arrested. his knife, clothes and boots found in the car were booked to evidence. under california law, detective lancaster had two days. either charge him or release him. he took the case to the da, made his best argument. >> i felt that going in we had a good case. maybe a tough case, a
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circumstantial case, but a good case. >> going in? >> going out? >> i felt like we had been kicked. nobody showed any interest, complete rejection on prosecution. >> two circumstantial said the da. and no incriminating evidence. even on those items seized from marshals car. >> marshall was released from jail. his girlfriend yvonne picked him up. once again, detective lancaster had to deliver the news to the hoynes family. the only suspect that he had was back on the streets. >> and his life goes forward and robins is snuffed out and she never gets to meet her potential. because of what he did. >> they all suffered. all the hoynes. perhaps mr. horn's most of all. >> our dad felt like he had not done what he was supposed to do. as a father, because he did not
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protect her. he did not keep her safe. >> our dad would sit at the edge of his bed and just think about robin. and wait for her to walk down the hall. every day. >> of course they did not know, none of them did, that the solution was sitting right there in plain sight. until somebody close the lid and filed it all away. but >> coming up, nearly 20 years would go by without a break, until a fresh pair of eyes focused on one particular photograph and saw something new. >> i thought, it couldn't, be it couldn't be. >> when dateline continues. n dateline continues uous protection against fleas and ticks. it's effective and vet recommended. seresto. learn more at ♪ ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful time of the year ♪
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here's what's happening. russia seems to be -- that is our satellite images showing a mile column of russian tanks amassing near
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kharkiv. this as zelenskyy accused russia's military flying and cowardly nuts over their planes that didn't hit any civilian targets. -- counseled -- shut sightings that staffing shortages. airlines saw over 300 cancellations saturday and at least two on sunday. now, back to dateline. eline. welcome back to dateline, i'm natalie morales. investigators have a person of interest in the murder of 21-year-old robin moines. william marshall, marshall has an alibi. there isn't enough evidence to bring charges against him. a break in the case would come. but not for another 20 years. here, again, keith morrison with the night before halloween. >> october 1985, another halloween. once the moines house would've been festive, not anymore.
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they closed the door, turned out the lights. just the word, halloween, unleashed a wave brief. the investigation into her murder was stalled, even though police had a suspect in plain sight. william marshall. the family group for solace. >> we knew, ultimately, that they answer to a higher power. we just had to take comfort in that because we really are probably never going to see any resolution in this. it didn't have enough evidence. >> years past. there were other cases to solve, new priorities, of course. for detective lancaster, retirement. >> there are cases that stay with you for the rest of your career. this is one of them. >> the hoynes family struggle to move on without robin. there were high school graduations, marriages, children. but ... >> the whole doesn't go
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away. >> there are times when you need to have a tissue hand? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> and then, a decade after robin's murder ... >> our dad committed suicide. it was devastating for us. it's true, he had a terminal illness. he was dying of emphysema. honestly, he was dying of grief. >> virgil hoynes was just 61. by 2003, the robin hoynes murder case was as cold as they come. 19 halloween's old. buried in the basement of the police department, forgotten. but ... that year, the department are viewing unsolved murder's. the hoynes case caught the attention of da john lewin, taking special pleasure in cracking unsolved cases. >> this is my favorite thing to do. if i won three billion dollars
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tomorrow, i would be coming to work. because i love doing but i love. >> when lewin read about the original suspect, william marshall ... >> my response was, wow. there is no question this guy did it. i mean, there is just no doubt, whatsoever. >> but ... did he have enough to prove it? the job of finding some new evidence fell to detective with an unusual pedigree, jim wallace. >> i was an architecture school for a while. i tried, you know, design. i had a bachelors degree inside. >> odd but it helps, says detective wallace. >> a lot of these cases ... this cases in particular, are very visual. i am inclined that way. i see the structure of the space, the crime scene. every little detail the crime scene sticks out to me a little more. >> so, wallace looked at the photos and the fragments of evidence still preserved. >> i said, wow. the anomaly in the room is right here. if i can solve this, i can put
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everything together. >> the anomaly. that would be the puzzling piece of evidence, which haunted investigators from us two decades. that odd, oblong hunk of foam. >> and it was either gonna come from robin, the victim. or going to come from the suspect in the case. once i was comfortable that this didn't come from robin's purse, it didn't come from rob's clothing. it isn't from the kentucky fried chicken restaurant. it doesn't belong there. >> it left only one other possibility. the murder. wallace poured over the pictures of the one suspect, marshall. when he was pulled over by the cops a few weeks after robin's murder. >> suddenly, a light went on. >> he is wearing his clothing, still, of course. he has a pair of work boots. the work boots, churn up, i can see just enough from the pants up, i wondered if those are the kind of work boots that have that. it couldn't be. it couldn't be. >> could it be the farm? >> wallace rushed down to the
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evidence storage room, looking for the box with williams boots inside. amazingly, after two decades, they were still there. in a plastic container, intact. >> sure enough, when i pull them out, one of the boots had the brown leather casing for that part of the boot. it was so worn, that the foam was missing from the case. >> come on. >> i was sitting there looking at that ship. i gotta tell you, there was a tingle. for sure, at the back of my neck. >> wallace thought he had hit the jackpot. the phone from the kfc appear to have matched the remaining foam in william marshals boot, even the color and curvature. >> that foam, he thought, must have fallen from marshals boot right at the scene of the murder. wallace rushed to the assistant da john lewin. >> i could have looked at that phone for six years. though she is. i never would have put that together. ever.
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you know, jim saw it and then we took it to the fbi. >> the fbi crime lab in virginia, where the phone from marshals boot and the foam from the kfc would be compared to confirm they matched. it was obvious to detective that they did. a test, really, was just illegal routine. no problem. >> i can remember getting the call from the fbi analyst. my expectation was that she was gonna tell us, i have a match. >> and? it was like a needle going through a balloon. there was a problem. >> she was not willing to say. i can't say with any certainty that this is from the same ship because, let's face it, one has -- and one dozen. >> validates? what in the world at? those one thing that they were troubled against the case in william marshall. there used impasse plastics to meet the more flexible and durable. anything from plastic bags to containers. if that chemical turned up in the chemical in marshals boots, but not the from the crime
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scene, wouldn't that exclude marshall as a suspect? the detective protested that the ballots had been stored in a plastic and hear all those years. to the scientists, all she could say that those two but the phone did not share the same a chemical signature. >> to hear her say that, one has valid someone doesn't, someone has to explain this. >> i have to tell you, it was devastating. >> not your best day. >> not the best. it really was the piece that we needed. something more than we had from 1984. without the connection to that boot, i don't think we relate a case. >> coming up, investigators make one last-ditch effort to talk to the suspect. they track him down here, leading a surprising life. when dateline continues.
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we discover exciting new technologies. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives. basically, choose what we want our future to look like. so what's yours going to be? >> the mountains, just two hours east of los angeles, rural, isolated. perfect place to get lost. it was here that william marshall, suspect in 1984 murder of robert hoynes, had settled. what was he doing way out here in the wilderness? >> he was a firefighter. worked his way up to fire captain here in the station in
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2000. >> the fire captain with the california department of forestry. according to hutchinson, he was responsible for the station. by the year 2003, marshall had been near 15 years here. lived quietly in this rustic community. in this mountain center. people called him bill, respected him, trust him to keep -- them safe. >> he lived right there at the house behind me. >> he made friends with martial soon after he moved. and >> he was really good person. he was very well respected. he fit in real well here on the mountains. >> back in torrents, the case that detectives had provided was not beginning to fit so well. they had stacked back pieces of evidence to -- but the lab wouldn't be definitively backing it up. without some break, the case would stall, again. what to do?
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well, it was, perhaps, a long shot. deputy da figure that the allied that martial council girlfriend, you vaughan, was a little shaky. so, he had an idea. what if detectives interviewed both yvonne and marshall on the very same day? would they trip themselves up with divergent stories? >> two teams went out. the day mister marshall was contacted, one team contacted him and a second team went to ohio and contacted her. >> yvonne was living in cleveland by then. >> and they say, we need to talk to you about something that happened 20 years ago. my brain when it's like this. i'm like, okay. they tell me that they are reopening the one about william and the kfc. they asked me, was he with you? i said, yes, the whole night. >> all those years later, ivan
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has insisted that the story she told then and now we're absolutely and positively true. william marshals alibi remained rock solid. meanwhile, 2500 miles away, high in the mountains, detectives pulled up to william marshals house. not knowing what to expect. >> for whatever reason, he was comfortable enough with us to let us in. >> things unfolded slowly. marshall was cooperated and even keeled, and enfold now it's all guilt whatsoever. then, detective walsh tried a different approach. they are talking about shoes. why that distinctive where patter -- pattern on the shoes please seized from marshall after he was first arrested after the murder the kfc? >> he did explain to us that his pattern of shoe rare was such that he typically wore out
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his shoes in this fashion. he wouldn't untie his shoes to get them off. he would kick them off. that rubbing of the heel constantly rubbing, coming out a shoe, eventually wears his shoes. he actually showed us several pairs of shoes with the exact same pattern of where. >> then, detective surprised marshall. they revealed the existence of that strange piece of foam found at the crime scene. they told him that one of the boots seized from him was so worn, it was missing its piece of phone. the remaining foam in the boot seemed to match it just about perfectly. the cops asked marshall, can you take some pictures of those worn out shoes? that is when marshall put on the brakes.
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and with that, the interview was over. interesting, sure. usable evidence? well, none, really. back in cleveland, it hadn't gone so well either. the cops were wrapping up their meeting with marshall's former girlfriend, ivan. then, just before they left, almost as an afterthought ... she offered something, a strange story about william. about something he said when she picked him up for the police station when she was versus a spotting robins murder. >> he was crying say, how am i going to get to heaven? how my going to get to heaven? how my gonna get to heaven? he kept seeing this over and over over. >> that is as far as she would offer. it sounds like that this is a statement made by somebody who feared because he had done something. >> intriguing, but not exactly incriminating. the cops needed more. so, wallace returned to the fire captain's house. this time with a search warrant.
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>> going back a second time, he had gotten rid of all the shoes. the closet was completely clean. all of those keys were missing. now, interestingly, on the back porch, he left one pair of shoes though. the one pair he didn't get rid of. they had the same pattern of. where i did click those, as well. we use those to demonstrate that the marshall was one of the people who would wear his shoe this lie. >> more circumstantial evidence. nothing definitively connecting william marshall to the crime. that afterthought from even had been interesting, but might have meant nothing. then, back in cleveland, after the visit from the cops, even got to do a bit of soul searching. coming up, i know with that thing was on the campaign. what was it? at long last, did she tell the place? when dateline continues. uhh, i mean the whole turning people to stone thing was a bit of a buzz kill, right? so she ordered sunglasses with prime, one day delivery.
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circumstantial cold case from the 19 80s. so close to being found, so close to being frozen on a shelf, forever. did john lewin and detective jim wallace needed something. anything. just one more piece of solid evidence, so that they can saw -- charge william marshall with robin hoynes murder. back in cleveland ohio, after those detectives left, even the
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struggled with council. she looked back deep in her past. how all those years earlier, william had given her beating so severe that she thought he'd kill her. so she fled. the cold air set in. if she said anything, would he come after her, finish the job? after all, she, alone, knew the job -- that time [inaudible] dangerous knowledge. >> i was thinking, what is going to happen to me? >> because i know this. >> yes. yes. does he realize? he has put a timebomb on me. why me? my life could be in danger. i'm thinking ... what do i do with this? of which, i did contact an attorney. >> that attorney, all those years ago, told her to say nothing. stay out of the investigation. so, she did. buried it. now, after that visit from the cops, the turmoil was back, gut
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wrenching is ever. she needed fresh eyes. >> one of the professors that i had was an attorney. i called him. he said, when they asked you what happened 20 years ago, did you tell them the truth? >> i said, no, sir. i told him the same story that i told them 20 years ago. it wasn't the truth. he said, you know. maybe you should tell the truth. >> so, she picked up the phone and called the torrents pd. >> i said, i have something that you need to know. what happened 20 years ago with william being at my house ... it was not true. he was not at my house that night. >> now, here was. the awful secret that she had kept all those years. >> i said, the next thing is ... he killed that lady and he did not get a dime. >> he did it. even with his confessor.
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now, she recited all. every murderous moment of that night before halloween at the kfc. >> ivan is a force. when she started going, it just sounded credible. and then, it was supported by the physical evidence that we had. she knew nothing about. >> he did tell her that he went out and he went to kentucky fried chicken. he didn't tell her that he want to get the money. the apply allowed him in, put the money in the drop box, something. he couldn't get the money. he didn't tell her that he stabbed this victim. he did tell her that after the money, he cut the victims thrown. >> but ivan watson finish coming clean. there was one more piece of business. the phone from the crime scene. she knew instantly what it was, how it got there. so did william marshall, she said. >> i guess he looked at his shoes, all of them had the back sworn off. so, the most crucial moment of his life ... that is one that little piece of foam in the
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back of that boot popped out. and was on the floor. >> the phone, the murder, the cover-up. ivan's 20-year secret was finally out. >> when you are telling those things, what was going on in your tummy? >> a feeling of relief. that i can finally get it out. >> i'm thinking you would be pretty darn nervous. >> i was. but i was tired. i was tired of having that in my gut. i want to be normal again. i want my life back. >> and then in 2006, up in the mountains, a delegation of policeman arrived at the fire station of the popular captain known as bill. >> i was totally surprised when they came and arrested him. even more surprised when i heard what it was for. to the stay, i find it hard to believe. >> word about the arrest traveled fast to the hoynes home. >> very exciting. >> yeah. >> it sounds terrible, but thrilling because, you know wet? it was the beginning of the ball rolling that he is going
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to stay in prison for the rest of his life and never get out. >> the trial finally began 2007. 23 years after robbyn's murder. william marshall is now 46. he arrived in court each day carrying a bible. it is troubled youth, early drug addiction, rap sheet for decades behind him, this was a man who looked capable of cold blooded murder. he said nothing. just watch prosecutor john lewin make the case against him. >> william marshall knew before he walked into the restaurant that night, he knew robbyn knew him. so, he knew that if he was going to give this crime, he was going to kill her. so, this was just a heartless, her rift big, unconscionable crime. >> the motive? drug money. then, eliminate the witness. said prosecutor john the one. marshall had been arrested before robin's murder for possession of pcp. a man who need to cash, who knew, who thought, where to get
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it. then, if on a hard road told her story, looked over at marshall with his bible, hadn't seen him in two decades. >> i wanted to walk over to him and say, you hurt me. you not only hurt this family, but you hurt me, but i wasn't allowed. so, once i gave my testimony, i guess you can say it was a done deal. >> two days later, the jury agreed. they found william marshall guilty of first degree murder. he was sentenced to life in prison. >> i always knew he was going to pay for what he did. but i mean enough that i want him to see him pay on earth. i hope he looks to be 100. and spends a lot of years and that little six by nine cell. >> robbyn deserved to see justice. and, you know, it's true that a child didn't bring her back. now, robin's murderer is
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accountable. >> and there was someone else who had been worried about accountability. the woman who traded shifts with robin on the day she was murdered. she believed all those years that the family blamed her for it. and now, finally, learned that she was wrong. >> i remember her mom said something to me. that robin was a nice person. that is why she changed hours with me. and she said, and i believe you're a nice person to, but you would've done the same thing. that changed everything than. because i thought, she's right. i would have. i would have changed hours to. >> how did it feel to be absolved by that family? that day? >> they never ever blamed me in any way. >> and for even hard row, the woman who finally did the right thing ... to the hoynes family
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harbor any resentment towards her for not going forward so many years earlier? >> i can't remember if it was her older sister. one of them looked at me and gave me a little smile. that was enough to let me know that i'm okay with them. they sent me a thank you card of their gratitude. it made me feel good. i think about the young lady pikas i keep that in remembrance of her. i'm so sorry that it happened to her. >> just a few weeks after the trial, it was halloween, once again. they always dreaded anniversary of robin's death. but that year? >> my mom says, i guess we need to buy some halloween candy. you know, that might not sound like very much to anyone, but
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that is, like, huge. you know? we did. you know, we do handle candy now. just things that you can't even imagine changed in ways that seemed very small, but really are monumental. >> that is all for this edition of dateline. i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. >> it never goes away. there is not a day that goes by that i don't think of him. the pain becomes a part of you. everybody, to my house, now. his entire family, gone. i said what are you talking about, what are you saying? >> and i really hear? it was surreal. >> his fellow cops suspected him.


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