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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Where There's Smoke

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Narrator: WHEN A PRETTY, YOUNG NURSE'S DUPLEX GOES UP IN SMOKE,

THE BLAZE LEAVES MURDER IN ITS WAKE.

Blaskey: THE SMOKE STARTED TO LIFT,

AND WE SAW A BODY ON THE BEDROOM FLOOR.

SHE APPEARED AS IF SHE HAD BEEN TOSSED THERE,

MUCH LIKE A RAG DOLL.

Narrator: BUT WHO WAS SO CRUEL TO THIS CARING WOMAN?

WE REALLY COULDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW IT COULD HAPPEN.

WE WERE QUESTIONING ALL OUR FRIENDS LIKE,

"WHO COULD IT HAVE BEEN?"

Narrator: WAS IT A PARAMOUR NOT FEELING THE LOVE,

A FANCY DANCER AT A WEDDING ON THE NIGHT OF THE MURDER,

OR A BROTHER IN BLUE?

I THINK THAT THE PERSON THAT DID IT HAD A LOT OF ANGER.

Narrator: ONLY WHEN POLICE DISCOVER A TELLTALE CLUE

DO THEY FIND THE MAN WHO DID THE DIRTY DEED.

A CONTROLLING, MANIPULATIVE, PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE PERSON

THAT'LL DO THAT WITH ANY FEMALE HE'S IN ANY RELATIONSHIP WITH.

Narrator: HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS?

WHAT LIES BEHIND THE WHITE PICKET FENCES?

-- Captions by VITAC -- www.vitac.com

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

RESTING ON THE BANKS OF THE DES PLAINES RIVER,

JOLIET, ILLINOIS, IS JUST A 45-MINUTE DRIVE

FROM THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

BUT IT'S A FAR CRY FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE

OF THE WINDY CITY.

AND IT'S RIALTO SQUARE THEATRE

IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW JOLIET REVERES ITS ROOTS.

THE RIALTO THEATRE IS HISTORIC. IT'S FABULOUS.

IT HAS HOSTED SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES

IN THE HISTORY OF SHOW BUSINESS,

GOING BACK TO THE EARLY VAUDEVILLE DAYS.

Narrator: ENTERTAINERS FROM THE LIKES OF BILL COSBY

TO JERRY SEINFELD HAVE ALL PERFORMED HERE.

AND THERE IS ONE JOLIET RESIDENT

WHO SPARKLES BRIGHTER THAN THE RIALTO MARQUEE --

28-YEAR-OLD MELISSA PLUT.

AS A MATERNITY NURSE AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL,

MELISSA IS A NURTURING SPIRIT FOR HER PATIENTS.

AND HER BEST FRIEND, CARRIE TELLOR,

KNOWS HEALING IS WHERE HER HEART IS.

Tellor: THAT WAS JUST HER DREAM -- TO BECOME A NURSE.

WHEN SHE GRADUATED,

I REMEMBER SHE STARTED DOING

THE DIFFERENT SHIFTS AT THE HOSPITAL,

AND THE ONE NIGHT, THEY HAD ASKED FOR SOMEBODY TO SUB IN

ON THE LABOR-AND-DELIVERY FLOOR,

AND THAT'S WHERE SHE ENDED UP WORKING.

I THINK IT WAS JUST HER PASSION.

SHE REALLY LIKED IT.

Narrator: WELCOMING NEWBORNS INTO THE WORLD

ALREADY HAS MELISSA THINKING OF A FAMILY OF HER OWN SOMEDAY.

SO SHE BUYS A QUAINT DUPLEX ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN,

CONFIDENT SHE'LL FILL IT WITH CHILDREN'S LAUGHTER SOON,

AND SHE'S ALREADY MAKING IT FEEL LIKE HOME.

Tellor: THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS SHE WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT.

SHE WAS DECORATING HER HOUSE,

AND WE WOULD GO FURNITURE SHOPPING.

Narrator: MELISSA'S ALSO IN THE MARKET FOR A MAN

WHO SHARES HER DREAM OF A FUTURE FAMILY.

SHE'S BEEN DATING AROUND,

BUT THIS NURSE ISN'T JUST GOING TO SETTLE

FOR ANY GUY WITH A PULSE.

Tellor: WE USED TO LAUGH BECAUSE SHE WAS EXTREMELY PICKY

ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT SHE WOULD DATE,

AND SOMETIMES WE WERE LIKE,

"YOU KNOW, HE MAY HAVE, LIKE, A LITTLE PART IN HIS TEETH,

BUT YOU HAVE TO GIVE HIM, YOU KNOW, A CHANCE."

Narrator: BUT MELISSA WON'T HAVE TIME TO FIND MR. RIGHT.

IN THE FALL OF 2000,

HER HOPES OF LOVE AND MARRIAGE GO UP IN SMOKE.

AFTER 26 YEARS OF DOUSING FIRES,

JOLIET FIRE CAPTAIN GREG BLASKEY IS READY FOR ANYTHING.

Blaskey: THE BEST PART OF MY JOB

IS THAT NO TWO DAYS ARE EVER THE SAME.

THERE'S ALWAYS AN UNKNOWN.

THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE THAT NEEDS YOUR HELP,

AND TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO HAVE THAT JOB

WHERE NOTHING IS EVER THE SAME IS FANTASTIC.

[ BEEP ]

911, WHAT'S YOUR EMERGENCY?

Narrator: SO, WHEN A CALL COMES IN FROM MELISSA'S NEIGHBOR

JUST AFTER 8:00 ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd,

THIS OLD FIREHORSE PUTS DOWN HIS MORNING COFFEE

AND GALLOPS TO THE DUPLEX ON HENNING PLACE.

Blaskey: I WAS ABOUT TWO BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE SCENE.

WE RESPONDED TO THE CALL.

WE WERE MET BY A NEIGHBOR

WHO SAID THAT SHE SAW SMOKE COMING FROM A WINDOW.

Narrator: WHEN BLASKEY SEES THE SMOKE WITH HIS VERY OWN EYES,

HE KNOWS SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT.

SO HE RUNS TOWARDS THE FRONT DOOR AND REACHES FOR THE KNOB.

HE FINDS IT UNLOCKED.

Blaskey: WE CHECKED THE FIRST FLOOR, FOUND NO FIRE.

SO WE STARTED MOVING UP TO THE SECOND FLOOR.

UPON ARRIVING, THERE WAS VERY HEAVY SMOKE CONDITIONS

AND VERY HIGH HEAT CONDITIONS.

Narrator: FIREFIGHTERS SEE SMOKE COMING FROM THE MASTER BEDROOM,

SO THE CAPTAIN WALKS IN AND MAKES AN ALARMING DISCOVERY.

Blaskey: THE SMOKE STARTED TO LIFT,

AND WE SAW A BODY ON THE BEDROOM FLOOR.

SHE WAS NAKED AND SPLAYED IN A POSITION

WITH HER LEGS FAR APART.

SHE APPEARED AS IF SHE HAD BEEN TOSSED THERE,

MUCH LIKE A RAG DOLL.

AND IMMEDIATELY, IT BROUGHT SUSPICION.

Narrator: JUDGING BY MELISSA'S

STATE OF UNDRESS AND BODY POSITION,

THE FIRE MAY HAVE JUST BEEN A PLOY

FOR SOMETHING MORE SINISTER.

Blaskey: SHE WAS NOT COWERING

AS WE HAVE FOUND PEOPLE TO BE IN FIRES.

WHEN PEOPLE CAN'T GAIN EXIT, THEY COWER,

USUALLY IN A FETAL POSITION, IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.

Narrator: CAPTAIN BLASKEY

ISN'T SURE EXACTLY HOW MELISSA WAS KILLED,

BUT HE DOES KNOW WHY A KILLER WOULD SET A FIRE.

MOST PEOPLE THAT SET FIRES AFTER COMMITTING A MURDER DO SO

TO COVER ANY EVIDENCE THAT WAS INVOLVED IN THE ACT.

[ FIRE CRACKLING ]

Narrator: LUCKILY, MELISSA'S ATTACKER LEFT BEHIND

SOME TELLTALE CLUES JUST OUTSIDE THE BEDROOM.

A PARTIALLY BURNED ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS

AND SEVERAL MATCHES ARE ON THE STAIRS.

IT'S WHAT FIREMEN CALL A TRAILER.

A TRAILER IS SOMETHING THAT AN ARSONIST WILL LEAVE

IN ORDER TO TAKE AND FEED BACK TO THE FIRE TO GET IT STARTED.

YOU COULD ALMOST CONSIDER IT AS A FUSE.

Narrator: IT SEEMS LIKE THE ARSONIST

WAS TRYING TO GIVE HIMSELF TIME TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

BEFORE ANYONE OUTSIDE WOULD NOTICE THE BLAZE.

EITHER THIS GUY'S BEEN WATCHING TOO MANY CRIME MOVIES,

OR HE'S DONE THIS BEFORE.

BUT WHO IS HE?

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT INTENDS TO FIND OUT.

WITH 30-PLUS YEARS' EXPERIENCE ON THE FORCE,

DETECTIVE RICH KLEPFER HAS SEEN HIS SHARE OF CASES.

BEFORE HE WAS SOLVING MURDERS, HE WAS CONDUCTING DRUG BUSTS.

Klepfer: WELL, THE MOST FUN, FOR ME,

WAS THE YEARS IN THE DRUG UNITS

BECAUSE, TO ME, THAT WAS A LOT OF PLAYACTING

AND BUYING DOPE FROM PEOPLE UNDERCOVER.

IT WAS NOTHING BIG.

I MEAN, WE BOUGHT SOME GOOD-SIZE DOPE,

NOT LIKE YOU SEE ON TV WITH "MIAMI VICE" AND THE KILOS,

BUT IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.

Narrator: WHEN THIS ONE-TIME MEMBER OF THE JOLIET VICE

GETS THE CALL ON LABOR DAY SUNDAY

ABOUT THE FIRE IN MELISSA'S HOME,

HE KNOWS IT'S TIME TO TURN OFF THE TV.

SHORTLY AFTER KLEPFER ARRIVES AT THE SCENE,

HE HAS A HUNCH MELISSA'S KILLER WAS A FAMILIAR FACE,

PERHAPS SOMEONE SHE EVEN LET INSIDE.

IN MY MIND, I FELT THAT, YEAH,

THIS HAD TO BE SOMEBODY SHE KNEW,

BECAUSE WE CAN'T FIND FORCED ENTRY.

Narrator: AS THE DETECTIVE WALKS AROUND THE DUPLEX,

HE'S EVEN MORE CONVINCED THAT MELISSA KNEW HER ATTACKER.

A STRANGER WOULD'VE NABBED ANY VALUABLES,

BUT MELISSA'S UNOPENED PURSE IS STILL IN THE ENTRYWAY.

Klepfer: THE HOUSE ITSELF WAS NOT RANSACKED.

UPSTAIRS WAS A MESS FROM THE FIRE, BUT THE PURSE WAS THERE.

THE CONTENTS WERE THERE.

EVERYTHING ELSE DOWNSTAIRS WAS FINE.

Narrator: BUT IF MONEY WASN'T THE MOTIVE, MAYBE SEX WAS.

GIVEN MELISSA'S LACK OF CLOTHING,

DETECTIVES WONDER IF SHE WAS ASSAULTED.

DID SOMEONE WHO KNEW HER

WANT MORE THAN SHE WAS WILLING TO GIVE?

IT WAS PROBABLY A SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT THING...

HEY!

HEY.

...AND SHE REBUFFED THEIR ADVANCE,

AND FROM THERE, THIS PERSON WENT INTO A RAGE OF ANGER.

IN MY MIND, IT PROBABLY HAD BEEN A MAN,

SOMEBODY THAT COULD'VE OVERPOWERED HER

AND BEEN STRONGER.

[ SCREAMING ]

Narrator: BUT DETECTIVE KLEPFER CAN'T BE SURE

UNTIL THE M.E. WEIGHS IN, SO HE ORDERS UP AN AUTOPSY.

MEANWHILE, THE FORENSICS TEAM

COLLECTS EVERY SHRED OF EVIDENCE THEY CAN FIND,

AND AS THEY WORK INSIDE,

THE DETECTIVE CONTINUES HIS INVESTIGATION OUTSIDE.

WE'RE TALKING TO THE NEIGHBORS OUTSIDE,

TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE SAW, WHAT PEOPLE HEARD.

Narrator: THE JOGGER WHO CALLED 911

SAYS SHE WASN'T AWARE OF ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS

UNTIL SHE SAW THE SMOKE THAT MORNING.

LIKE THE 911 CALLER, NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS

VINCENT TREVIZO AND HIS WIFE SAY THEY HEARD NOTHING UNUSUAL.

BUT VINCE DOES MENTION

THAT HE DID SEE MELISSA LATE THE NIGHT BEFORE.

Klepfer: THE NEIGHBORS WERE HAVING AN ADULT-STYLE PARTY

FOR THEIR CHILD'S FIRST BIRTHDAY,

AND THIS PARTY WAS STILL GOING ON, AND MELISSA WAS CALLED OVER.

"HOW ABOUT COME HAVE A BEER?"

SHE DID STOP, TALK TO THEM, BUT THEN WENT TO HER HOUSE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

Narrator: VINCENT SAYS MELISSA SEEMED TUCKERED OUT

WHEN SHE ARRIVED AFTER MIDNIGHT,

TIRED FROM HER FRIEND'S WEDDING.

BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO MELISSA AFTER THAT?

WHO ENTERED HER BEDROOM AND DID THE UNTHINKABLE?

NO ONE WANTS THE ANSWERS MORE THAN MELISSA'S BEST FRIEND,

CARRIE TELLOR, WHO WAS DEVASTATED.

Tellor: THEY HAD STATED THAT THE DEATH WAS SUSPICIOUS.

AT THE TIME, I WAS LIKE -- I THOUGHT IT WAS A MISTAKE.

I SAID IT CAN'T BE.

Narrator: WHEN THE DETECTIVES ASK MELISSA'S FRIENDS

IF THERE WAS ANYONE IN HER LIFE WHO MAY HAVE WANTED TO HARM HER,

AT FIRST, THEY COME UP EMPTY.

Tellor: SHE LIVED IN A NICE AREA, AND WE JUST --

WE REALLY COULDN'T UNDERSTAND, LIKE, WHO COULD IT HAVE BEEN.

I MEAN, WE JUST REALLY HAD NO ANSWERS AT THE TIME.

Narrator: AND CARRIE CAN'T HELP

TAKING HER BEST FRIEND'S MURDER PERSONALLY.

I HAD A LOT OF GUILT THAT I SLEPT SOUNDLY THROUGH THAT NIGHT

AND THAT I DIDN'T SENSE SOMETHING WAS WRONG.

Narrator: AND AS CARRIE AND MELISSA'S OTHER FRIENDS

RACK THEIR BRAINS FOR LIKELY SUSPECTS,

THEY RECALL THAT MELISSA MET SOMEONE RECENTLY,

A GUY SHE HAD HER DOUBTS ABOUT.

REMEMBERING SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS SHE HAD HAD

AS FAR AS BEING UNCOMFORTABLE,

IT STARTED THEN KIND OF ALL TO FALL IN PLACE.

Narrator: COULD MELISSA HAVE BEEN RIGHT

ABOUT THE NEW HUNK IN HER LIFE?

WAS SHE MORE THAN JUST THE TARGET OF HIS AFFECTIONS?

Narrator: JOLIET, ILLINOIS' COLLINS STREET PRISON

IS WHERE THE OPENING SCENE OF "THE BLUES BROTHERS" WAS FILMED.

BUT JUST ONE DAY AFTER PRETTY, YOUNG LOCAL MELISSA PLUT

IS FOUND BRUTALLY MURDERED IN HER OWN HOME,

EVERYONE IN JOLIET HAS THE BLUES FOR REAL,

INCLUDING CITY MANAGER TOM THANAS.

Thanas: HERE WAS SOMEBODY WHO WAS

A VALUABLE PERSON TO OUR COMMUNITY,

WAS DOING THE RIGHT THINGS IN LIFE,

DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE THE VICTIM OF A CRIME.

AND I THINK -- AND THAT'S WHY YOU SAW

THE OUTPOURING OF LOVE FROM THE COMMUNITY.

Narrator: GOOD THING POLICE NOW HAVE A NAME

FOR THEIR SUSPECT LIST.

ACCORDING TO MELISSA'S FRIEND CARRIE TELLOR,

SHE WAS INVOLVED IN A SUMMER FLING

WITH 23-YEAR-OLD DEREK JENSEN.

FIVE YEARS HER JUNIOR,

THIS FRESH-FACED HOTTIE CAUGHT MELISSA'S EYE AT A BAR

A FEW WEEKS EARLIER.

BUT AFTER A COUPLE OF DATES, THE FLAME FIZZLED OUT.

Tellor: I DO THINK THAT SHE JUST STARTED TO REALIZE

THAT PERSONALITY-WISE, HE JUST WASN'T THE ONE.

Narrator: BUT WAS HE THE ONE WHO HAD IT IN FOR HER?

AFTER ALL, WHEN A WOMAN TURNS UP DEAD,

THE MAN IN HER LIFE IS OFTEN TO BLAME.

BEFORE POLICE CAN GET THE SCOOP ON DEREK,

THEY REVIEW THE AUTOPSY RESULTS JUST BACK FROM THE CORONER.

DESPITE KLEPFER'S SUSPICIONS,

THE M.E. FINDS NO OBVIOUS SIGNS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

DUE TO THE FACT OF THE WAY

THE BODY HAD SETTLED DOWN TO THE GROUND

AND THE AMOUNT OF HEAT, IT HAD DESTROYED EVIDENCE

THAT THERE HAD BEEN A SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MELISSA.

Narrator: IT'S ALSO CLEAR TO THE CORONER

MELISSA FOUGHT FOR HER LIFE.

Klepfer: IT APPEARS THAT MELISSA DID TRY TO PUT UP A FIGHT

AND THAT THERE WAS SOME DEFENSE WOUNDS ON HER ARMS.

MELISSA HAD BEEN PUNCHED SEVERAL TIMES IN THE FACE.

HER NOSE APPEARED TO BE BROKEN OR BUSTED.

Narrator: BUT MELISSA WAS NO MATCH FOR HER KILLER,

WHO WAS DETERMINED TO DO HER IN.

AND WITHIN SECONDS OF WASHING OFF THE NECK AREA OF MELISSA,

YOU COULD SEE THE LIGATURE MARKING AROUND THE THROAT.

Narrator: AND POLICE HAVE A GOOD IDEA

WHAT MELISSA'S KILLER MAY HAVE USED

TO STEAL HER LAST BREATHS.

THERE WAS A ROBE THAT SHE WAS PROBABLY WEARING,

BECAUSE PARTS OF THAT WERE STILL IN THE BEDROOM AROUND HER.

WE NEVER COULD PROVE IT, NEVER COULD FIND IT.

WE WERE THINKING MAYBE IT WAS THE ROPE FROM THE ROBE

THAT WAS USED AROUND HER NECK.

Narrator: BUT THERE WAS NO SIGN OF A BELT AT THE CRIME SCENE.

CHANCES ARE THE ALLEGED MURDER WEAPON BURNED UP IN THE FIRE,

OR THE KILLER TOOK IT WITH HIM.

AND THERE IS ONE MORE CLUE

THAT THE CORONER IS ABLE TO CONFIRM FOR POLICE.

MELISSA DIED BEFORE THE FIRE STARTED,

BECAUSE THERE IS NO SOOT IN HER LUNGS.

Klepfer: SOMEBODY STARTED THAT FIRE.

THE KILLER WAS TRYING TO FIGURE A WAY TO COVER

THE ACT THAT HE HAD JUST DONE -- THE MURDER HE HAD DONE.

Narrator: BUT WHO IS THIS KILLER WITH A TALENT FOR ARSON?

TO FIND OUT, DETECTIVE KLEPFER

CALLS IN HIS PARTNER IN CRIME FIGHTING, DETECTIVE RICK RAASCH,

A 20-PLUS-YEAR VETERAN OF THE FORCE

WITH A KNACK FOR PUZZLE SOLVING.

Raasch: MY FAVORITE PART IS THE WHODUNIT PART,

TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO DID IT AND WHY THEY DID IT

AND TAKING THAT PERSON OFF THE STREET

SO THAT THE COMMUNITY IS A LITTLE BIT SAFER.

Narrator: AND DETECTIVE RAASCH HAS A FEELING

THAT DEREK, MELISSA'S RECENT SQUEEZE,

JUST MIGHT BE GOOD FOR HER MURDER,

SINCE IT SURE SEEMS MELISSA KNEW HER KILLER.

ANYTIME WE HAVE A GUY AND THE RELATIONSHIP IS UNKNOWN

AND WITH THE SITUATION WHERE WE KNEW THAT

THE HOUSE HAD NOT BEEN BROKEN INTO,

WE HAVE TO START LOOKING AT THE INDIVIDUAL

AS A POSSIBLE SUSPECT.

Narrator: MAYBE THE RUMORS OF TROUBLE IN PARADISE ARE TRUE.

IT SEEMS AFTER JUST A FEW DATES,

MELISSA SOURED ON HER NEW SWEETIE,

WHO WASN'T EXACTLY HUSBAND MATERIAL.

THE PERSON SHE WAS DATING WAS LIVING AT HOME WITH HIS PARENTS

AND HE HAD A CHILD OF HIS OWN.

Narrator: FRIENDS SAY MELISSA WAS GOING TO CALL DEREK

AFTER SHE RETURNED HOME FROM THE WEDDING.

IT SEEMS SHE PLANNED TO LET HIM DOWN EASY,

BUT MAYBE HE TOOK IT HARD AND SNAPPED.

ANYTIME THAT SOMEONE GETS THEIR FEELINGS HURT

OR HAS VISIONS OF THE RELATIONSHIP

BEING SOMETHING THAT IT ISN'T,

OBVIOUSLY, THAT CAN LEAD TO VIOLENCE,

AND THAT WAS ONE OF OUR CONCERNS.

Narrator: IF MELISSA DID FOLLOW THROUGH

WITH HER REJECTION PLANS,

PERHAPS HER SCORNED LOVER SOUGHT REVENGE.

ONE OF THE SCENARIOS IS THAT DEREK HAD COME OVER

AND THAT SHE HAD TOLD HIM THAT THE RELATIONSHIP WAS OVER,

OR THAT THEY HAD SOME TYPE OF ARGUMENT,

AND THINGS GOT OUT OF HAND,

AND HE HAD KILLED HER THAT NIGHT.

Narrator: AND WHILE MELISSA'S SUMMER LOVE

HAS A SQUEAKY-CLEAN RECORD,

IT DOESN'T MEAN HE DIDN'T DO HER IN.

IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S TIME TO BRING DEREK IN FOR A LITTLE CHAT.

AND WHEN HE ARRIVES AT THE STATION,

DETECTIVES NOTICE THAT DEREK IS SHAKING IN HIS BOOTS.

Raasch: HE WAS DEFINITELY NERVOUS.

IT SENDS UP SOME WARNING SIGNALS.

Narrator: AND THAT WARNING SIGN TELLS DETECTIVE KLEPFER

THAT HE SHOULD KEEP THE PEDAL TO THE METAL.

I EVEN TURNED THAT DIRECTION

AND PUT A LITTLE MORE PRESSURE ON HIM.

Narrator: UNDER THE POLICE SPOTLIGHT,

DEREK CONFIRMS THE TWO PLANNED TO TALK AFTER THE WEDDING,

BUT DEREK SAYS HE CANCELED THEIR DATE

TO SPEND TIME WITH HIS CHILD INSTEAD,

AND WHEN POLICE CHECK WITH HIS PARENTS,

IT SEEMS AT LEAST THAT PART OF HIS STORY IS TRUE.

WE TALKED TO THE FAMILY OF DEREK JENSEN,

WHO SAID THAT HE WAS HOME WITH THEM THE WHOLE TIME,

THAT HE WAS HOME, ACTUALLY, WITH HIS OWN MOTHER AND FATHER.

Narrator: BUT DID DEREK COMMIT THE CRIME

AFTER EVERYONE WAS TUCKED INTO BED?

HE LIVED ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF, TWO MILES AWAY,

THAT THERE WAS SOME CONCERN THAT MAYBE HE HAD

SNUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE PARENTS KNOWING THAT.

SO, THOSE WERE THINGS THAT WE NEEDED TO PROVE

ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

Narrator: BUT DEREK INSISTS HE DIDN'T.

HE SWEARS HE WAS HOME THAT NIGHT.

SO, INVESTIGATORS SWITCH THINGS UP,

DEMANDING TO KNOW WHERE HE WAS

WHEN THE FIRE BROKE OUT IN MELISSA'S APARTMENT

AROUND 8:00 THE NEXT MORNING.

AND DEREK'S ANSWER CATCHES THEM OFF-GUARD.

HE CLAIMS HE WAS OUT SHOPPING AND EVEN PRODUCES A RECEIPT.

Raasch: DEREK'S ALIBI WAS THAT HE HAD LEFT

EARLY IN THE MORNING -- BETWEEN 7:00 AND 7:30 --

TO HEAD TOWARDS THE TARGET STORE,

WHICH WAS ABOUT 10 OR 15 MINUTES AWAY FROM HIS HOUSE,

TO PURCHASE A "STAR WARS" FIGURINE THAT WAS COMING OUT,

AND HE WANTED TO BE THE FIRST TO BUY IT.

Narrator: DEREK SAYS HE WAS THERE WHEN THE STORE OPENED,

AND HE WENT STRAIGHT HOME AFTER MAKING HIS PURCHASE.

IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE A CONVENIENT TIMELINE.

POLICE THINK DEREK MAY BE

PLAYING SOME JEDI MIND TRICKS ON THEM,

SO THEY PUT HIM UP TO THE ULTIMATE TEST --

A POLYGRAPH EXAM.

Klepfer: IN THE POLYGRAPH DEREK JENSEN TOOK,

ACCORDING TO THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER, HE WAS LYING.

Narrator: PERHAPS DEREK IS UP TO NO GOOD, AFTER ALL.

BUT POLICE NEED HARD EVIDENCE THAT PROVES DEREK DID THE DEED.

SO DETECTIVES DECIDE TO DO A LITTLE SHOPPING OF THEIR OWN.

UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN POLICE GO TO THE STORE,

THEY FIND THEMSELVES A BIT OFF TARGET.

Raasch: DEREK WAS SEEN ON VIDEO ENTERING THE TARGET STORE

WHEN THEY OPENED AT 8:00,

AND DEREK'S CREDIT CARD WAS USED TO MAKE THAT PURCHASE,

SO WE KNOW DEREK'S WHEREABOUTS DURING THE FIRE.

Narrator: WITH DEREK OFF THE HOT SEAT,

DETECTIVES ARE FORCED TO MOVE IN ANOTHER DIRECTION.

BUT THEY REFUSE TO LET THEIR HEADS HANG LOW.

Raasch: WHEN WE HAVE A SUSPECT

AND WE'RE ABLE TO PROVE THAT THEY WERE NOT INVOLVED,

IT'S FRUSTRATING TO SOME EXTENT,

BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE'RE TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE TRUTH IS.

Narrator: GOOD THING DETECTIVES HAVE A PLAN "B"

WAITING IN THE WINGS.

MAYBE SOMEONE ON THE GUEST LIST AT THE WEDDING MELISSA ATTENDED

HAS SOME ANSWERS.

WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT WHO WAS AT THE WEDDING, AGAIN,

WHO MAY HAVE FOLLOWED HER AWAY FROM THERE.

THOSE WERE THINGS THAT WE HAD TO LOOK AT.

Narrator: AND WHEN POLICE LEARN FROM GUESTS THAT MELISSA

WAS DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY WITH SOMEONE AT THE RECEPTION...

SHE HAD GOTTEN THE PHONE NUMBER OF A GUY

THAT SHE HAD DANCED WITH A COUPLE OF TIMES AT THE WEDDING.

WE WERE CONCERNED HE MAY HAVE FOLLOWED HER AWAY FROM THERE.

Narrator: DID THIS FRED ASTAIRE WANNABE

MAKE AN UNSAVORY WEDDING PROPOSAL THAT MELISSA REFUSED,

AND SHE PAID A TERRIBLE PRICE?

AAH!

Narrator: JOLIET, ILLINOIS, IS CALLED THE CITY OF CHAMPIONS,

AND WHILE OUTSIDERS MIGHT THINK

IT'S A REFERENCE TO SPORTS TEAMS,

CITY MANAGER TOM THANAS KNOWS THE TOWN'S WINNING WAYS

COME FROM A SCORE OF A DIFFERENT KIND.

BACK IN THE EARLY 1900s,

JOLIET WAS WELL-KNOWN FOR WINNING

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN BAND COMPETITIONS.

APPARENTLY, BACK THEN, BAND COMPETITIONS WERE MUCH BIGGER

THAN ATHLETIC COMPETITIONS.

Narrator: BUT TWO DAYS AFTER MELISSA'S MURDER,

NO ONE IN JOLIET FEELS LIKE A WINNER.

IN FACT, PEOPLE AROUND TOWN

FEEL AS IF THEY'RE LOSING THEIR SAFETY.

Thanas: THERE WAS CERTAINLY A LOT OF CONCERN.

SOME PEOPLE LOCKED THEIR DOORS

WHEN THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE DONE IT PREVIOUSLY.

I THINK SOME OF THAT OCCURRED.

WE WANTED THE CRIME SOLVED.

Narrator: GOOD THING POLICE ARE WORKING ON A PROMISING LEAD.

IT TURNS OUT, SATURDAY NIGHT, JUST HOURS BEFORE HER DEATH,

MELISSA WAS AT A WEDDING,

AND WITH MORE THAN 100 GUESTS ON THE LIST,

MELISSA'S KILLER COULD BE JUST ABOUT ANYONE.

THERE WAS NUMEROUS PEOPLE WE HAD TO FOLLOW UP ON,

AND IT WAS A DAUNTING TASK, FOR SURE.

Narrator: WHEN DETECTIVES START QUESTIONING FOLKS,

THEY'RE HANDED A GIFT

SWEETER THAN DOUBLE-CHOCOLATE WEDDING CAKE --

THE NAME OF ONE GUEST IN PARTICULAR,

A MAN EVERYONE SAYS COULDN'T TAKE HIS EYES

NOR HANDS OFF MELISSA THAT NIGHT,

29-YEAR-OLD ACCOUNTANT NATHAN BLACKWOOD.

Raasch: SHE HAD DANCED WITH NATHAN BLACKWOOD.

HE WAS A FRIEND OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM,

AND, BEFORE THAT NIGHT, HIM AND MELISSA HAD NEVER MET BEFORE.

Narrator: BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE NATHAN

MADE QUITE A FIRST IMPRESSION ON MELISSA AT THE RECEPTION,

SINCE SHE ONLY HAD EYES FOR HIM ON THE DANCE FLOOR,

AND WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED, THE FLIRTING CONTINUED.

WE LEARNED THAT MELISSA AND NATHAN

HAD EXCHANGED PHONE NUMBERS

AND THAT, YOU KNOW, HE WAS LOOKING FORWARD

TO POSSIBLY DATING MELISSA.

Narrator: NATHAN SURE SEEMED TO KNOW HOW TO WIN MELISSA OVER.

BUT IS NATHAN REALLY PRINCE CHARMING,

OR IS HE A DEVIL IN DISGUISE?

POLICE HAVE TO WONDER WHEN THEY LEARN

HE MAY HAVE HAD ONE TOO MANY ON THE NIGHT IN QUESTION.

Raasch: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE LOOKED AT --

WAS NATHAN A GUY THAT GOT MORE UPSET WHEN HE GOT DRUNK,

THAT HE MAY HAVE DONE SOMETHING THAT HE NORMALLY WOULDN'T DO.

Narrator: SO THAT HAS POLICE THINKING

NATHAN IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE CRIME.

PERHAPS HE SHOWED UP AT MELISSA'S DUPLEX

FOR A LATE-NIGHT RENDEZVOUS

AND SOMETHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG.

WE THOUGHT HE ENDED UP AT THE HOUSE,

WHETHER IT WAS ARRANGED OR HE FOLLOWED HER THERE.

ADVANCES WERE MADE,

AND MELISSA POSSIBLY TURNED THOSE ADVANCES DOWN.

THINGS GOT PHYSICAL, AND THE ARGUMENT ENSUED,

AND HE ENDED UP GETTING PHYSICAL WITH HER

TO THE POINT WHERE HE INJURED AND KILLED HER.

Narrator: POLICE DECIDE TO SIT NATHAN DOWN

FOR A ROUND OF QUESTIONING,

AND WHEN HE MEETS WITH DETECTIVES,

NATHAN KNOWS THE PARTY IS OVER.

IT JUST WAS SHOCK.

HE HAD NOT HEARD THAT MELISSA WAS DEAD YET.

Narrator: PERHAPS HE'S JUST PUTTING ON A SHOW.

IT'S HARD TO TELL,

BUT HE MAKES A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY

FROM THE GUT-WRENCHING NEWS

AND SEEMS MORE THAN WILLING

TO ANSWER THE DETECTIVES' QUESTIONS.

SOMETIMES A PERSON WANTS TO BE HELPFUL LIKE THAT,

IT'S BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE.

Narrator: SO POLICE DECIDE TO GET DOWN AND DIRTY WITH NATHAN,

ASKING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT.

NATHAN READILY ADMITS TO SIZING UP MELISSA AT THE RECEPTION

AND EVEN FESSES UP TO GETTING TIPSY,

BUT HE INSISTS HE'S A HAPPY DRUNK, NOT A MEAN ONE,

AND GOES ON TO SAY

HE HAD NOTHING BUT AFFECTION FOR MELISSA.

BUT POLICE AREN'T SO SURE.

WE NEEDED TO PROVE THAT HE HAD

ACTUALLY FOLLOWED HER HOME AND KILLED HER.

Narrator: SO DETECTIVES ZERO IN

AND ASK HIM IF HE CAUGHT UP WITH MELISSA AFTERWARDS,

AND THE SHARP-DRESSED MAN HAS A QUICK ANSWER FOR DETECTIVES.

HE LEFT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

Klepfer: HE CALLED HIS FATHER.

HIS FATHER CAME TO THERE, PICKED HIM UP, AND TOOK HIM HOME.

Narrator: HIS ANSWER CATCHES POLICE OFF-GUARD,

BUT HE INSISTS IT'S TRUE.

HE DIDN'T WANT TO RISK GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL

AFTER DOWNING A FEW DRINKS.

POLICE TALK TO NATHAN'S OLD MAN.

HE QUICKLY CONFIRMS HIS ALIBI,

SAYING HE NEVER SAW HIDE NOR HAIR OF MELISSA.

POLICE THINK THIS LATEST SUSPECT IS A LONG SHOT.

ALL INDICATIONS WERE THAT HE WAS JUST A NORMAL GUY.

HE HAD NO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND,

AND THERE WAS NO INDICATION THAT HE HAD ANY VIOLENCE IN HIS PAST.

Narrator: SO, FOR NOW THIS ONCE-HOT SUSPECT

TURNS COLDER THAN A CHICAGO WINTER.

Raasch: IT IS FRUSTRATING.

WHEN WE HAVE A SUSPECT AND WE'RE ABLE TO PROVE

THAT THEY WERE NOT INVOLVED, IT'S FRUSTRATING TO SOME EXTENT.

Narrator: BUT WHILE DETECTIVES RAASCH AND KLEPFER

REFUSE TO GIVE UP,

THEY DO TAKE A BREAK AT A SPOT

THAT NEVER MAKES THEM FEEL TOO FAR FROM WORK --

A LOCAL COP HANGOUT

APPROPRIATELY ENOUGH CALLED THE DEPARTMENT.

THE BAR AND RESTAURANT CALLED THE DEPARTMENT

IS A FAMILY-OWNED RESTAURANT.

Narrator: A FAMILY WITH UNIQUE TIES TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

THREE OF THE FOUR SONS THAT ARE INVOLVED IN IT

WERE EITHER POLICEMEN OR FIREMEN,

SO I GUESS THAT THE FAMILY DECIDED,

WHEN THEY GOT THIS GOING, THAT,

"WHY NOT CALL IT THE DEPARTMENT?"

Narrator: BUT THE BLUE-PLATE SPECIALS

AREN'T ALL THAT DRAWS THE BOYS IN BLUE TO THIS EATERY.

ONE OF THE OWNERS WAS A DETECTIVE

WHO SHOWED KLEPFER THE ROPES OF POLICE WORK.

HE WAS ACTUALLY A GUY THAT I KIND OF LATCHED ON

AND USED AS A MENTOR WHEN I FIRST BECAME A DETECTIVE,

AND I LEARNED A LOT ON HOW TO INTERVIEW PEOPLE FROM HIM.

Narrator: DETECTIVE KLEPFER MAY HAVE A FULL STOMACH,

BUT HE KNOWS HIS PLATE IS FAR FROM FULL

WHEN IT COMES TO EVIDENCE THAT MAY POINT TO MELISSA'S KILLER.

SO POLICE CALL FOR A CHECK OF EVERYTHING AT THE CRIME SCENE

THAT MAY HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED, AND, SURE ENOUGH,

AFTER LISTENING TO THE MESSAGES ON MELISSA'S ANSWERING MACHINE,

DETECTIVES HEAR ONE THEY HAVE NO RESERVATIONS ABOUT RETURNING.

Raasch: THE MESSAGE WAS, "HEY, GIVE ME A CALL" TYPE OF THING.

"I'M THE GUY THAT YOU HAD MET AT THE BAR A COUPLE WEEKS BEFORE."

Narrator: AND WHEN POLICE LEARN

THE IDENTITY OF THE MYSTERY CALLER,

IT SEEMS HE MAY HAVE JUST THE QUALIFICATIONS

TO PULL OFF THE PERFECT CRIME.

Narrator: EVEN THOUGH SUMMER IS WINDING DOWN IN JOLIET,

TEMPERATURES ARE STILL HEATING UP,

BUT IT ISN'T FROM THE SUN'S RAYS.

RESIDENTS ARE STEAMED TO HEAR ABOUT MELISSA PLUT'S MURDER,

AS CITY MANAGER TOM THANAS RECALLS.

Thanas: MELISSA SEEMED LIKE A PERFECTLY INNOCENT VICTIM

GOING ABOUT HER DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINE,

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT CAUSED ALL OF US TO SAY,

"SOMETHING THAT WE NEEDED TO HAVE SOLVED

BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN A HURRY."

Narrator: SO IT'S A GOOD THING POLICE ARE ALREADY WORKING

A SCORCHING NEW LEAD IN THE CASE.

IT SEEMS A MYSTERIOUS MESSAGE WAS LEFT

ON MELISSA'S ANSWERING MACHINE JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE HER MURDER.

A GENTLEMAN CALLER WAS MIGHTY INTERESTED IN MELISSA,

AND THE NAME HE LEFT ON THE MESSAGE IS KYLE FINN.

HE'S A MAN POLICE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF UNTIL NOW.

HE HAD LEFT HIS PAGER NUMBER FOR HER TO CALL,

SO WE FIGURED MAYBE SHE DID CALL HIM.

LET'S FIND OUT.

Narrator: PERHAPS THE CALLER WANTED A DATE,

OR MAYBE THERE WAS SOMETHING MORE ON HIS MIND,

WHICH HAS POLICE CURIOUS ABOUT KYLE.

MELISSA WAS MURDERED APPROXIMATELY TWO WEEKS AFTER

SHE HAD MET HIM AT THE BAR.

IT KIND OF RAISES UP -- WE NEED TO LOOK AT THIS PERSON.

Narrator: SO POLICE PAGE KYLE'S NUMBER AND CROSS THEIR FINGERS,

HOPING FOR A CALL BACK.

AND WHILE THEY WAIT,

THEY LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS NEWFANGLED CRUSH

FROM MELISSA'S GAL PALS.

Raasch: MELISSA AND SOME FRIENDS HAD GONE OUT FOR HER BIRTHDAY,

AND THEY HAD MET UP AT A BAR IN CHICAGO AND MET SOME GUYS,

AND HE WAS ONE OF THEM.

Narrator: MELISSA'S FRIENDS SAY

SHE TOOK A LIKING TO THE HUNK RIGHT AWAY,

BUT LATER GAVE HIM THE COLD SHOULDER.

MELISSA'S FRIENDS TOLD US THEY HAD NEVER ACTUALLY HOOKED UP,

THAT THEY HAD BEEN PLAYING PHONE TAG.

IN FACT, MELISSA HADN'T EVEN CALLED HIM BACK,

THAT SHE WAS STARTING TO LEAN TOWARDS

THAT SHE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN DATING HIM.

Narrator: AND MELISSA'S LACK OF INTEREST GIVES POLICE

ALL THE REASON THEY NEED TO LOOK AT KYLE AS A POTENTIAL SUSPECT.

DID HE OVERREACT TO HER REJECTION?

Raasch: THERE ARE CRAZY PEOPLE OUT THERE

THAT WOULD PURSUE SOMEONE IF THEY'RE NOT ACCEPTED --

TALKING TO A PERSON ONE NIGHT AT A BAR.

SO WE HAD TO MAKE SURE THAT HE HAD NOT PURSUED HER

AND FIGURED OUT WHERE SHE LIVED AT AND CAME TO THE HOUSE.

Narrator: BUT WHEN KYLE RETURNS THE DETECTIVE'S PAGE,

HE DELIVERS QUITE A STUNNER.

HE CLAIMS TO BE A CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER.

Klepfer: HE WAS A BIT SURPRISED AND TAKEN BACK.

HE HAD SAID HE HAD SEEN ON TV

WATCHING THE NEWS ABOUT A MURDER IN JOLIET,

BUT HE HAD NO CLUE THAT IT WAS HER,

SO HE WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR

THAT SHE WAS THE VICTIM OF THIS CRIME.

Narrator: MAYBE KYLE'S SHOCK WAS JUST A SPLASH OF HOGWASH.

AFTER ALL, IF HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS,

IT WOULDN'T BE THE FIRST TIME A MAN IN UNIFORM

TRIED TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

AND MELISSA'S KILLER CLEARLY KNEW HOW TO DO JUST THAT,

BY TRYING TO TORCH THE CRIME SCENE.

A POLICE OFFICER KNOWS THE INS AND OUTS OF AN INVESTIGATION

AND HAVE INVESTIGATED PEOPLE

THAT HAVE DONE CRIMES, INCLUDING MURDER.

THEY'VE GOT SOME KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO,

AND, YOU KNOW, THAT CONCERNED US.

Narrator: SO, TO TEST KYLE'S WORD,

THEY CALL THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN CHICAGO.

Klepfer: AFTER TALKING TO HIM ON THE PHONE,

WE EVENTUALLY DID CONTACT CHICAGO P.D.

AND FIND OUT THAT HE WAS, IN FACT, A CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER.

Narrator: AND EVEN THOUGH KYLE'S SERGEANT

TELLS THE JOLIET P.D. THAT HE'S A TOP COP WITH A STELLAR RECORD,

THAT DOESN'T KEEP HIS NAME OFF THE SUSPECT LIST.

[ SCREAMING ]

SO, JOLIET POLICE MAKE THE 45-MINUTE TRIP TO THE WINDY CITY

TO GET THE FULL REPORT FROM THIS OFFICER.

WE ACTUALLY SPOKE TO HIM WHILE HE WAS ON DUTY.

Narrator: KYLE SAYS,

WHEN HE LAID EYES ON MELISSA AT THE CHICAGO BAR,

HE WAS SMITTEN AND THOUGHT THE BUBBLY BRUNETTE WAS, TOO.

Klepfer: HE SAID, BASICALLY, THEY HIT IT OFF,

TALKED, EXCHANGED NUMBERS,

TO SEE EACH OTHER AT A LATER TIME

BECAUSE SHE DID GO TO CHICAGO QUITE OFTEN

TO MEET OTHER FRIENDS.

Narrator: BUT KYLE INSISTS

THAT'S THE FIRST AND LAST TIME HE EVER SAW MELISSA.

SHE NEVER RETURNED HIS CALL.

Klepfer: HE SAID, "WE NEVER DID GET THE CHANCE TO MEET.

I CALLED HER AND LEFT THAT AND NEVER FOLLOWED UP AGAIN."

Narrator: EITHER THIS GUY'S UNLUCKY IN LOVE,

OR HE'S TRYING TO HIDE THE FACT

THAT HE DID HOOK UP WITH MELISSA.

PERHAPS HE SHOWED UP AT HER PLACE THAT NIGHT

AND HIS ATTRACTION TURNED FATAL.

HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

SO DETECTIVES GO FOR BROKE

AND ASK HIM WHERE HE WAS ON SATURDAY.

Raasch: HIS ALIBI WAS THAT HE WAS AT HOME

AND HE WAS LIVING WITH A ROOMMATE.

IT WAS BASICALLY THAT HE WAS AT HOME AND HE WAS NOT INVOLVED.

Narrator: DETECTIVE RAASCH CAN'T PROVE

WHETHER THE ROOMMATE'S TELLING THE TRUTH OR NOT,

SO, WITH NO EVIDENCE TO CHARGE KYLE, THEY PUT HIM ON HOLD.

AND SINCE THE GOOD DETECTIVE IS HITTING OVER PAR

WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING MELISSA'S KILLER,

HE TAKES A SWING AT ANOTHER WAY OF HELPING THE COMMUNITY.

JOLIET POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE JOLIET FIRE DEPARTMENT

WORK ON A LOT OF DIFFERENT FUNDRAISERS.

ONE OF THE ONES THAT I'M MAINLY INVOLVED WITH IS A GOLF MATCH.

Narrator: BUT BOTH DEPARTMENTS ARE PLAYING FOR MORE

THAN JUST A ROUND OF BEERS IN THE CLUBHOUSE.

THEY'RE HOPING TO SCORE A WIN FOR THOSE IN NEED,

AND, OVER THE YEARS, THEY'VE HAD SOME LUCKY STROKES.

WE'VE RAISED OVER $80,000 IN THE LAST SIX YEARS FOR CHARITY.

Narrator: OFF THE LINKS AND BACK ON THE CASE,

DETECTIVES RAASCH AND KLEPFER

KNOW MELISSA PLUT'S CASE IS NO CHIP-IN.

THIS WAS A WHODUNIT FROM THE GET-GO.

WE HAD NO IDEA, YOU KNOW, WHO WAS INVOLVED WITH THIS,

AND WE HAD TO SIFT THROUGH IT.

WE INTERVIEWED OVER 200 PEOPLE IN THIS CASE.

AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF NUMBERS

OF PEOPLE TO BE INTERVIEWED IN A CASE.

Narrator: BUT EIGHT DAYS AFTER MELISSA'S MURDER,

POLICE RECEIVE A 911 CALL FROM A MAN IN A NEARBY TOWN

THAT JUST MIGHT GIVE THEM A HOLE IN ONE.

Raasch: OUR 911 DISPATCHER TALKED TO THE PERSON,

AND THE PERSON RELAYED THAT

THEY KNEW WHO WAS INVOLVED WITH THE MELISSA PLUT MURDER.

Narrator: WHILE THE CALLER WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS,

POLICE DON'T NEED A NAME TO KNOW THIS IS A CALL WORTH TAKING.

Raasch: ANYTIME YOU GET A TIP,

YOU HOPE THAT IT LEADS YOU TO THE PERSON THAT DID IT,

AND THAT WAS OUR ONLY HOPE.

Narrator: AND WHEN THE MYSTERY DIALER TELLS POLICE

THE NAME OF THE MAN HE THINKS DID IN MELISSA,

IT'S SOMEONE DETECTIVES KNOW ALL TOO WELL.

BUT IS IT THE BOYFRIEND WITH THE IRONCLAD ALIBI,

THE DANCING MACHINE FROM THE WEDDING,

THE CHICAGO COP WITH THE HILL STREET BLUES,

OR SOMEONE WHO'S MANAGED

TO STAY OFF POLICE RADAR?

HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

Narrator: EIGHT DAYS AFTER MELISSA PLUT'S TRAGIC MURDER,

JOLIET, ILLINOIS, POLICE HAVE A LINE ON A SIZZLING SUSPECT.

AN ANONYMOUS TIPSTER PHONED POLICE,

SAYING HE KNOWS WHO KILLED JOLIET'S FAVORITE NURSE,

AND THE NAME IS ALL TOO FAMILIAR.

IT'S MELISSA'S NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR, VINCENT TREVIZO.

Raasch: THE TIP SAID THAT VINCENT TREVIZO

HAD SNUCK OVER THERE AND MURDERED MELISSA PLUT.

Narrator: THE SAME VINCENT TREVIZO POLICE TALKED TO

THAT AWFUL SUNDAY WHEN FIREFIGHTERS DISCOVERED

MELISSA'S BODY IN HER BURNED-OUT DUPLEX.

VINCE ADMITTED HE WAS OUT AND ABOUT THE NIGHT BEFORE

AND SAW MELISSA AFTER SHE RETURNED HOME FROM THE WEDDING.

HE HAD BEEN HAVING A PARTY

FOR HIS 1-YEAR-OLD SON WITH HIS WIFE THAT NIGHT.

HAD FAMILY AND FRIENDS OVER.

Narrator: BUT POLICE AREN'T SURE IF VINCE IS THEIR GUY JUST YET.

IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THIS HAPPILY MARRIED MAN

SNUCK OUT WHILE HIS WIFE AND CHILD WERE SLEEPING,

KILLED HIS NEIGHBOR,

THEN RETURNED THE NEXT MORNING TO BURN UP THE EVIDENCE.

AFTER ALL, WHY WOULD A DAD RISK HIS VERY OWN FAMILY'S LIFE

BY SETTING FIRE TO THE ADJOINING BUILDING JUST TO END MELISSA'S?

Raasch: I DON'T KNOW THAT ANYTHING

COULD MAKE YOU THAT ANGRY TO DO SUCH A THING.

AT LEAST, IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME.

Narrator: BUT WHEN DETECTIVES LOOK OVER REPORTS,

THEY REALIZE VINCE WAS

FLIP-FLOPPING HIS STORIES ALL DAY LONG.

Raasch: INITIALLY, VINCE HAD TOLD

THE FIRST ON-SCENE PATROLMAN

THAT MELISSA WAS AT A WEDDING AND HAD NEVER COME HOME.

LATER IN THE DAY, VINCE HAD TOLD OTHER INVESTIGATORS

THAT, IN FACT, SHE HAD COME HOME

AND HE HAD BRIEFLY TALKED TO HER,

THAT HE, IN FACT, HAD HAD A BEER WITH HER OUT IN THE DRIVEWAY.

PERHAPS VINCE HAD ONE TOO MANY THAT NIGHT

AND HAD A FOGGY MEMORY WHEN HE WAS QUESTIONED THE NEXT DAY.

Klepfer: HE SEEMED CONFUSED.

EACH TIME YOU TALK TO HIM,

HE SEEMED TO CHANGE HIS STORY JUST A LITTLE.

FIRST, HE DIDN'T SEE HER, THEN HE DID SEE HER.

Narrator: IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S TIME TO TALK TO VINCE AGAIN.

MAYBE THIS GO-ROUND HE WON'T TELL ANY TALL TALES.

VINCE READILY AGREES TO A CHAT, AND, IN THE SPOTLIGHT,

HE'S AS HELPFUL AS CAN BE -- AT LEAST, AT FIRST.

HE'S COOPERATIVE, AND HE'S INTERVIEWED EXTENSIVELY

ABOUT HIS WHEREABOUTS AND ABOUT SEEING MELISSA BEFORE SHE DIES.

Narrator: HE INSISTS HE AND MELISSA WERE FRIENDS,

SO NEIGHBORLY HE EVEN HELPED HER WITH HOUSEHOLD CHORES --

MOWING HER LAWN IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER.

THEY SEEMED TO HAVE A NORMAL NEIGHBOR RELATIONSHIP.

IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE THERE WAS ANY PROBLEMS WITH IT.

Narrator: VINCENT ADMITS

HE DID SHARE A BEER WITH MELISSA IN HIS DRIVEWAY,

BUT THAT'S ALL HE FESSES UP TO.

VINCE SAID THAT, AFTER MELISSA LEFT THE PARTY,

HE WENT DIRECTLY UPSTAIRS AND WENT TO BED,

LAYING NEXT TO HIS WIFE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EVENING.

Narrator: BUT MAYBE VINCE IS BLOWING SMOKE

AND REALLY DID KILL MELISSA,

AND SURE ENOUGH, WHEN POLICE ASK HIM TO TAKE A POLYGRAPH

TO PROVE HE ISN'T LYING,

VINCE ZIPS HIS LIPS.

VINCE WAS VERY COOPERATIVE

UP UNTIL THE POINT WHEN HE WAS ASKED TO TAKE A POLYGRAPH

AND WAS ACTUALLY BEING QUESTIONED ABOUT

POSSIBLY BEING INVOLVED WITH THE INCIDENT.

HE DID REQUEST A LAWYER,

WHICH PRETTY MUCH ENDED THE INTERVIEW AT THAT TIME.

Narrator: IT SEEMS LIKE VINCE HAS SOMETHING TO HIDE.

BUT WITHOUT CONCRETE PROOF, POLICE ARE FORCED TO LET HIM GO.

YET THEY AREN'T READY TO GIVE UP ON HIM.

WE GOT TO GET THE NEXT STEP.

WE GOT TO GET THE NEXT PIECE OF EVIDENCE

TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE'RE HEARING IS THE TRUTH.

Narrator: WHY WOULD THIS DEVOTED FATHER KILL HIS NEIGHBOR?

NO ONE LIVING NEARBY RECALLS

ANY BAD BLOOD BETWEEN VINCE AND MELISSA.

BUT WHEN POLICE SPEAK TO HIS CO-WORKERS AT A LOCAL FACTORY,

THEY SAY VINCE NEVER MET A PRETTY WOMAN HE DIDN'T LIKE.

VINCE HAD NO PROBLEM HAVING GIRLFRIENDS,

AND IT WAS ALMOST ACCEPTED BY THE WIFE,

OR SO IT SEEMED TO ME, THROUGH INVESTIGATION.

Narrator: IN FACT, CO-WORKERS SAY ONE OF THEIR VERY OWN

IS VINCE'S LATEST SQUEEZE --

FELLOW FACTORY WORKER MEGAN LAWLEY.

AND WHEN POLICE TALK TO VINCE'S GIRLFRIEND OF NINE MONTHS,

SHE DISHES SOME DIRT ON THEIR NUMBER-ONE SUSPECT.

MEGAN SAYS VINCENT TOLD HER

ALL ABOUT HIS NEIGHBOR'S TERRIBLE FATE.

HE TOLD HER THAT MELISSA WAS STRANGLED

AND HER HOUSE WAS SET ON FIRE.

Narrator: BUT IT TURNS OUT THEIR CHAT OCCURRED

JUST A DAY AFTER THE MURDER,

BEFORE THE CORONER RELEASED AN OFFICIAL CAUSE OF DEATH.

THE ONLY WAY VINCE COULD KNOW HOW MELISSA DIED

IS IF HE KILLED HER HIMSELF.

WE DEFINITELY GOT EXCITED ABOUT THE STATEMENTS

BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT WE'RE ON THE RIGHT PATH.

Narrator: AND THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING

THAT CAPTURES THE DETECTIVES' ATTENTION.

IT SEEMS VINCE IS AN ANGRY DRUNK

WHO HAS A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN.

Klepfer: AS HE DRANK,

HE DID GET A LOT MORE PHYSICAL WITH FEMALES.

THE TYPE OF PERSONALITY, TO ME, THAT VINCE TREVIZO IS --

A CONTROLLING, MANIPULATIVE, PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE PERSON

THAT'LL DO THAT WITH ANY FEMALE HE'S IN ANY RELATIONSHIP WITH.

Narrator: SURE LOOKS LIKE VINCE COULD BE THEIR GUY.

BUT THERE'S JUST ONE PROBLEM.

POLICE CAN'T PROVE IT,

AND VINCE'S BETTER HALF ISN'T HELPING THEM, EITHER.

SHE CONFIRMS THAT AFTER THE PARTY ENDED,

HE WENT TO BED WITH HER AND NEVER LEFT THEIR HOME.

Klepfer: VINCE AND HIS WIFE PRETTY MUCH STUCK TOGETHER

AND DIDN'T WANT POLICE INTERACTION WHATSOEVER.

Narrator: LUCKILY FOR POLICE,

THEY'RE ABOUT TO GET ANOTHER BREAK IN THE CASE.

WHEN CRIME-SCENE INVESTIGATORS

EXAMINE EVIDENCE COLLECTED AT THE SCENE,

THEY FIND ONE ITEM THAT SOCKS THEM STRAIGHT IN THE FACE.

INVESTIGATORS RECOVERED A VACUUM FROM MELISSA'S RESIDENCE

THAT WAS IN THE DOWNSTAIRS CLOSET

THAT HAD A SOCK CAUGHT IN THE AGITATOR,

WHICH HAD ACTUALLY STOPPED THE VACUUM FROM WORKING.

Narrator: WHEN POLICE PULL OUT THE SOCK,

THEY CAN'T HELP BUT NOTICE A STAIN.

WE BELIEVE IT WAS BLOOD.

IT HAD THE SAME PROPERTIES OF BLOOD,

BUT DUE TO THE FIRE DAMAGE,

WE'RE NOT ABLE TO PROVE THERE WAS BLOOD.

Narrator: GOOD THING THE VACUUM HOLDS ANOTHER CLUE

THAT COULD GIVE POLICE ALL THE DIRT THEY NEED

TO FIGURE OUT WHO'S REALLY TO BLAME.

Raasch: CRIME LAB DID HAVE GOOD NEWS THAT,

ON THE ON-OFF SWITCH FOR THE VACUUM,

THAT THERE WAS A LARGE TOE PRINT.

Narrator: AND DETECTIVE KLEPFER WONDERS IF THIS CLUE

WILL PUT THEM A GIANT STEP CLOSER TO SOLVING THE CASE.

THE MOMENT IN AN INVESTIGATION WHERE,

"OKAY, I THINK WE REALLY GOT YOU"

WAS WHEN WE GOT THE CALL BACK FROM THE CRIME LAB

ABOUT THE TOE PRINT ON THE VACUUM.

Narrator: DUE TO THE CONDITION OF HER BODY,

POLICE DON'T KNOW IF THE PRINT BELONGS TO MELISSA.

BUT JUDGING BY ITS SIZE,

CHANCES ARE A MAN LEFT THE PRINT,

POSSIBLY WHEN HE WAS CLEANING UP THE CRIME SCENE,

SO THAT HAS POLICE WONDERING --

WAS IT VINCE WHO TRIED TO COMMIT A CLEAN MURDER?

TO FIND OUT, POLICE GET A COURT ORDER TO COLLECT HIS PRINTS,

AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE SHOE FITS.

THAT TOE PRINT THAT WE SUBMITTED OF VINCENT TREVIZO

DID MATCH THE TOE PRINT ON THAT VACUUM.

Narrator: AFTER A GRUELING INVESTIGATION,

POLICE FINALLY HAVE THE EVIDENCE THEY NEED

TO ARREST VINCE FOR MURDER.

IT WAS A TRUE WHODUNIT.

WE HAD NO IDEA WHO HAD DONE IT

UP UNTIL, YOU KNOW, WE MADE AN ARREST.

Narrator: IN MAY OF 2003,

ALMOST THREE YEARS AFTER MELISSA'S DEATH,

A JUDGE FINDS VINCENT TREVIZO GUILTY OF MURDER.

EVEN THOUGH HE MAINTAINED HIS INNOCENCE DURING THE TRIAL,

VINCE IS SENTENCED TO 45 YEARS BEHIND BARS.

AND WHILE THE PUNISHMENT WILL NEVER BRING MELISSA BACK,

HER GOOD FRIEND CARRIE TELLOR THINKS IT'S A FITTING SENTENCE.

Tellor: WE KNEW AT THAT POINT

THAT HE WOULD PROBABLY NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AGAIN,

WHICH IS A GOOD THING.

Narrator: THERE'S JUST ONE QUESTION THAT REMAINS.

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED ON THE NIGHT OF MELISSA'S MURDER?

POLICE THINK IT ALL STARTED AFTER MIDNIGHT.

Raasch: MELISSA ARRIVED HOME FROM THE WEDDING,

WAS INVITED OVER TO THE DRIVEWAY BY VINCENT TREVIZO

TO HAVE A BEER.

Narrator: MELISSA ACCEPTS THE INVITE BUT DOESN'T STAY LONG.

Raasch: ALL INDICATIONS ARE SHE HAD PART OF A BEER

AND THEN WENT INSIDE TO HER RESIDENCE ALONE.

Narrator: BUT VINCE ISN'T READY TO CALL IT A NIGHT,

SO HE BARGES INTO MELISSA'S UNLOCKED HOME,

AND HE HITS ON MELISSA IN HER BEDROOM.

WHEN SHE REBUFFS HIS ADVANCES,

THIS WOMANIZER LOSES HIS COOL.

AT SOME POINT, IT BECAME VIOLENT,

AND VINCENT BEAT MELISSA ABOUT THE FACE AND HEAD AREA,

INJURING HER EXTENSIVELY.

Narrator: AND SINCE VINCE CAN'T RISK A WITNESS,

HE TAKES HER LIFE WITH HIS OWN HANDS.

[ CHOKING ]

AND HE STRANGLED HER, AND THAT WAS THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

AFTER THAT, HE BEGAN THINKING

THAT HE NEEDED TO COVER UP THIS CRIME.

Narrator: VINCE TRIES TO CLEAN UP THE TELLTALE MESS,

BUT THE VACUUM JAMS, SO HE GOES ON TO PLAN "B."

AND HE LEFT, WENT BACK HOME, THOUGHT ABOUT IT,

CAME BACK, AND DID SET THE FIRE

IN AN ATTEMPT TO COVER ANY EVIDENCE OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED.

Narrator: IT'S A BRUTAL ACT BY A COLD-BLOODED KILLER.

Klepfer: VINCE TREVIZO IS A CONTROLLING, MANIPULATIVE,

PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE PERSON.

HE WAS THAT TYPE OF GREASY SON OF A BITCH.

Narrator: AND EVEN THOUGH

MELISSA'S GOOD FRIEND CARRIE TELLOR

KNOWS NOTHING WILL BRING BACK HER SWEET MELISSA,

SHE TAKES COMFORT IN THE FACT

THAT JOLIET'S BELOVED MATERNITY NURSE WON'T BE FORGOTTEN.

Tellor: THEY HAD A STATUE BUILT

ON THE GROUNDS OF EDWARD'S HOSPITAL,

AND IT'S AN ANGEL, AND IT'S IN THEIR HEALING GARDEN,

AND THE ANGEL'S IS IN THE LIKENESS OF MELISSA AS A CHILD.

[ Voice breaking ] AND IT'S SO PERFECT BECAUSE,

JUST LIKE IN LIFE, I'M SURE SHE'S WATCHING OVER THEM.

The Description of Where There's Smoke