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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  June 26, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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park, where reagan lost her life, that's been transformed. it's now a tranquility garden in her memory. >> i choose to believe, in my heart, that her presence is still here. her legacy gets to be that she still is here in this world, changing this world and making a difference. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. -- >> did he hit his head? did he have a heart attack? >> i said something's wrong, something's wrong. >> there was a lot of blood. >> then they found the bullets. he'd been shot with two different guns. >> two guns, does that mean two shooters? >> one could argue that. >> detectives would unravel a staggering plan of stone cold
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evil. >> this plot to kill him had been going back months. >> months. there was a seethiing hatred. >> it was a game. everyone else was just collateral damage. >> it just destroyed my heart. i'm angry now, and i was never a very angry person. >> hello, and welcome to "dateline. " in the eyes of his daughter, randy baker could do no wrong. he was her rock and a mentor for countless others. randy dedicated himself to a deeply personal mission counseling others to overcome addiction. it was a battle he, too, waged as a young man, so when randy was found dead, investigators wondered, did someone from his past put an end to his future, or was there trouble closer to home? here is keith morrison with "the secret keepers. " >> it was a warm colorado morning on the right side of
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summer. the road beneath his wheels, the vast blue canopy above, renewed possibilities in his heart. randy baker recovering heart patient cruised through the sun to the job he loved, better now back to sweet routine. so why this morning fatigue? randy felt the warm day wrap his big body like a sleeping pill. he struggled to lift his leaden eyelids, so tired, so tired. >> what was told to me was that he probably fell asleep and swerved. >> it could have been catastrophic. it wasn't. his pontiac took a ding, but the cops who responded said he seemed okay. >> these officers made sure he was all right, and essentially let him off with a warning. >> perhaps those cops didn't
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know it was the fifth time he'd dozed off at the wheel, his fifth brush with death in a month. lucky? for a moment. here on the last day of his life. >> 911, what is your name? >> kelly baker. >> next morning, wednesday, august 16th, 2017, 8:30 a. m.. >> okay. tell me exactly what happened. >> i just got home, and i opened the door and my husband's dead on the floor. >> officer doug medhurst got the call, found the big quiet house at the end of a fine leafy cul-de-sac where a shaken kelly baker was waiting. >> when i got here, kelly baker was sitting on the steps over there. >> just right there. >> i asked her what had happened, and she told me her husband randy baker was dead in the house. >> she'd been away overnight, and in the morning she opened the garage door, and there he
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was. >> so randy baker was laying right here. his torso was laying in the hallway, and his head was inside the door frame here right in front of that sink. >> a little pool of blood down there. >> a little pool of blood, he was laying on his right side and obviously dead. he had a bag of fast food with him and a drink cup from a local fast food restaurant. >> as if he'd just picked up his dinner. >> that's what it looked like to me. >> kelly, the victim's wife gave officer medhurst a little background. randy had a bad heart. his health was failing and he'd been falling asleep at the wheel. >> i continued to talk to kelly, and randy's sister carol baker had arrived. >> as the women huddled with officer medhurst trying to make sense of this awful thing, the coron coroner's investigator arrived. >> i told him of the health issues and i believe he spoke to kelly baker as well. and then he did a cursory examination, and he told me
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that he thought possibly he died of natural kau natural causes with all the health issues. >> did that surprise you? >> well, wasn't sure. it was possible with the health issues but i didn't really know at that time. could be anything. >> indeed. kelly called randy's daughter, her stepdaughter, betty winick knew her dad's heart would eventually give out. >> i pictured the day for a really long time, but you never can picture it, like i was angry. i didn't think i'd be angry, but i just remember yelling at my husband to get there faster because i didn't believe it. >> just trying to put in context what that morning must have been like for you. >> i put on a strong face for people, though, so because there was kelly was there, my aunt carol was there and the police were still there. i
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broke down for a split second, and then composed myself, and i was okay. >> she had to tell her mother, do dori about randy's death. it wasn't easy. dori and randy had divorced years before but she still loved him. >> i could tell she'd been crying. i said betty what's wrong, and she goes dad's gone. and i said no, no. she goes, mom, they found him this morning. but i said, betty something's wrong. something's wrong. something's wrong. >> the thing is back at the house that morning, officer medhurst was thinking the very same thing, especially after kelly told him the pontiac was missing along with his keys and wall wallet. he had dinged his car so maybe he had taken it in for repairs. >> i asked kelly if there was a mechanic that randy used and she named the local mechanic, and i called them, and i said is this car there? and they said, no, it wasn't there. >> so where was it? had he driven it home? did he have it
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when he bought his mexican takeout? >> the owner of the restaurant showed me their video surveillance. i was able to find a car. it appeared to be randy's driving through the drive-through to get an order matching the food that i found next to him, his body. >> so now you know a lot more. >> i knew the car had made it to greeley. >> and probably all the way home with randy, but after that. >> had no idea. >> two days later medhurst got the news. during the autopsy, the medical examiner had taken a closer look, scraped the blood away from randy's head and shoulder, and what do you know. >> my phone started ringing off the hook, and the investigation sergeant notified me that randy had died from two gunshot wounds. >> what did you think when you heard that? >> i thought, boy, i was right. >> natural causes? please. this was murder.
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>> who would want randy baker dead? questions for randy's loved ones reveal a dark time from his past. coming up -- >> i was -- just thought maybe, just possibility somebody got released. >> when "dateline" continues. where it counts, dupixent helps heal your skin from within keeping you one step ahead of eczema. hide my skin? not me. and that means long-lasting clearer skin and fast itch relief for adults. with dupixent, you can show more skin with less eczema. hide my skin? not me. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur that can be severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems such as eye pain or vision changes, including blurred vision, joint aches and pain,
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very bad heart. she knew she could lose him soon, thought she was ready, but she wasn't, not at all. grief like a sledge hammer. >> i don't know if you watch grey's anatomy, but that term, my person. >> yeah. >> yes. he was my person, so i went to him for anything and everything. >> of course police knew randy had been shot to death and his killer must have taken his car, but they didn't tell betty or the rest of the family, not right away. >> they kept asking about guns, and i was like, all right, this is weird. >> so after a couple of hours, they told you what? >> my father's case was considered a murder case. i think in the back of my mind i already knew it wasn't a natural death. >> by this time, detectives had pieced together randy's final hours, had collected security camera footage showing randy leaving work about 5:35 p. m., and that video from the mexican takeout place at 7:30. >> thank you so much for
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choosing santiago's. >> the restaurant is about a ten-minute drive from the house meaning randy must have been murdered around 7:45, but by whom? the answer police knew might depend a lot on randy himself, something in his behavior, his life, which betty told them had been rough sometimes. >> he was a counselor since i was 4 or 5. >> what kind of counseling did he do? >> drug and alcohol addiction counseling. >> he had some experience with that. >> yes, he had a lot of experience with that so. >> what did you know about that? >> not a lot. he didn't like to talk about it. just that he almost died. >> when randy was 28, a strapping bear of a man, 6'5" tall, he was a lineman for the local power company. dori baker, betty's mother and randy's first wife could tell that story. >> he was on the line, and he got a jolt. he was electrocuted. >> he was never the same after
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that, heart permanently damaged, terrible pain, depression, not hard to guess the next part. he tried to escape his misery with drugs. >> there was just so much pain there, and he didn't know what to do with it. >> he wallowed in his addiction, got so bad he was even dealing drugs, but then after three hard years he cleaned up his life. no more drugs or dealing, and that's when he promised to help others get clean, too. >> it's what made him a committed counselor as much as anything else? >> pretty much, pretty much. >> randy helped a lot of people, strangers, friends, family. one of his nephews having trouble with drugs himself texted this father's day wish in 2015. my dearest uncle, not only have you been a role model and inspiration to me, but the closest person i have ever had as a real father figure. thank you for believing me, and happy father's day. kelly entered
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their lives. >> and she actually cut your dad's hire hair and mom's hair >> we lived a few houses away from each other. >> tell me about her. >> very cute, very sweet and quiet, and when i saw kelly look at my husband with the look that i knew i was in trouble. >> what look? >> she was ga ga over my man, and i said yeah, it's over. >> she was right. dori found herself replaced by kelly the hairdresser. >> it broke my heart. i was very depressed. >> were you angry at him for a while? >> i think i was young enough that i didn't understand it. we were actually pretty close. they were married 18 years. i called her mom. >> kelly set up her new hair salon in randy's basement, and
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randy revelled in his new life, kelly, her kids, his kid, and the other love of his life, his harley. >> harley-davidson road king i think like'95. it was his thing, and he didn't ride it often, especially the last like ten years because he was sick. >> his heart again. cardio card card cardiomyopothy. >> he was on my medications. she would clean. she would be the caretaker even though he didn't need one. >> betty said randy wanted kelly to care for him, and she did for years, until she just couldn't anymore. >> she was 11 years younger, and i think it was starting to get to her that she was still kind of pretty young. >> it was the spring of 2017 when randy was recovering from open heart surgery, kelly said she just couldn't take it
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anymore, and she moved out. >> and at first i was like i could kind of understand it. >> but two months later, randy was dead and police were calling in family members to tell them exactly how he died. kelly had trouble dealing with it. still, they asked for her help. >> i can't. i just can't. >> but she calmed herself, and she did mention randy's dedication to his job. >> he was a very good counselor, and he wanted to change and help these people. >> but said kelly, he'd been one of them once, so maybe he'd made some enemies. >> and i don't -- i was -- just thought maybe -- somebody got released because if randy didn't go to prison then maybe that's not the right word. >> and then they looked at the
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bullets that killed randy baker more closely. he wasn't shot with a gun. there were two, two guns. so a drug related hit? maybe kelly was on to something. >> coming up -- >> two shooters? >> one could argue that. >> another side of randy baker. >> i just couldn't take it anymore. >> and another man enters the picture. >> have you been seeing anyone else? >> do i have to answer that? >> when "dateline" continues.
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>> the same random way all life begins, but its end, that was no accident. somebody or somebodies made double sure with two bullets from two different guns. >> does that mean two shooters? >> one could argue that. >> you didn't know? >> no. >> veteran detectives chris and mike prill were assigned to the case. it was still early, a lot to figure out. >> we're still just trying to get ahead of the ball game or catch up and find out what everyone's statements are, where were they, what issues there may or may not be there. >> first, they had to clear the usual suspects. they had
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brought kelly in, of course, she was the murdered man's spouse, so would she benefit from his death? >> did randy have any, like, life insurance policies or anything like that? >> yes. there was actually two, they were 5,000 each. >> pretty nominal amounts. >> yeah. so not really worth killing somebody? >> right. >> as for their relationship, well, kelly offered a different view of randy. >> so you're separated? what was the reason for the separation? >> randy was just kind of mean and i just couldn't take it anymore. >> she explained that randy was not necessarily nice to her often, that he was volatile, that she had moved out of the home and was staying with her friend teri. >> then about an hour and a half into the interview, the detective kind of offhandedly asked kelly a question she clearly didn't want to answer. >> have you been seeing anyone else? >> do i have to answer that. >> what's that? >> do i have to answer that? >> you don't have to. >> i'm not answering. >> well, now that was
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interesting. a non-answer like a neon sign, couldn't ignore that. >> i don't want to be a jerk or anything, but it's just the harsh reality of this drill, so is there someone we need to talk to? >> yes, teri's brother. >> what did you think when you heard that? >> unfortunately it's not an uncommon thing, okay, she's having an affair. does that mean clint can be a suspect? obviously we're going to ask and talk to him. >> and they did. and clint admitted the affair. he and kelly were together in bed all night the night her husband was murdered. kelly baker meanwhile told her stepdaughter betty what it was like to get what felt to her like the third degree. >> she was like they almost treated me like a suspect. she was like i guess that's normal, though, because i was almost an ex-wife, and i had left. >> betty's head was in a haze during those first few days after her father's death, and desperate to have something to remember him by, she asked if
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she could have her dad's harley. and so it was a shock when her stepmom told her it was gone. >> she said that he sold it and that it's not in her hands. she knew nothing about the sale essentially is what she told me. >> odd. why would he sell his prized bike? and then just as the detectives were starting to dig into that puzzle, what do you know, five days after randy baker was murdered somebody found his missing pontiac. >> this is randy baker's pontiac g-6. this is the one he was driving the day he was murdered. >> how does it wind up here in the police lot? >> a citizen actually spotted it in an alley down by the college. it had been abandoned, the plates had been removed. the key was locked inside on the floorboard and the car obviously had been wiped down. >> who dictched the car? investigators didn't know, but
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the police asked the public for help, and a few days later a tip came in. randy's pontiac had been listed for sale on facebook. >> and so we followed up on that facebook post and tracked down this female that was trying to offload randy's car. >> i didn't know, like really -- >> don't start -- don't try the tears. we don't want to get to that extent because it's just falling on deaf ears. >> oh, my god. >> and that led to yet another career criminal to another and to another. >> a motley crue. they brought them in, asked some personal questions like where were you when randy was shot, how'd you get the car. and that's when this ragged band of walking felons said they got in the car, they said, from someone close to randy baker, someone not named kelly. >> coming up -- cell phone secrets reveal a loved one with no love lost for
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randy. >> the phone records were confirming that there was a seething hatred between the two. >> when "dateline" continues. 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. ♪ got my hair got my head ♪ introducing new one a day multi+. a complete multivitamin plus an extra boost of support for your immunity, brain, and hair, skin & nails. new one a day multi+. before discovering nexium 24hr to treat her frequent heartburn... claire could only imagine
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i'm natalie morales. five days after randy baker was murdered, police made an intriguing discovery. his pontiac, which had been missing, showed up in an alley and had been listed online for sale. after questioning a parade of career criminals connected to the vehicle, detectives learned the person behind the car sale was someone close to randy. they were bound by blood, almost all of it bad. once again, here's keith morrison with "the secret keepers. " >> families can be such a fascinating little study, can't they? most are warm, protective, loving. but randy baker's family? well, consider this. the person who gave randy baker's car to those criminal bottom feeders was none other than his big sister, carol. >> she had received the car within about two hours of randy's murder. >> she's got to be involved in this somehow. >> right. >> how did carol baker get her dead brother's car?
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investigators didn't know, but they had reached at least one conclusion. >> carol's little simple. >> she had a little trouble keeping up with things. >> yeah, she seemed to answer questions okay, but at the same time i think she even said i'm slow. >> really? >> yeah. >> there was something else. >> we were learning that randy and carol's relationship was strained, so much so that they preferred not to be around each other. >> betty said the tension between randy and carol went way back to their childhood days. >> and he would talk about how she secretly loved being an only child and once he came she hated it, was his version, and then she would talk about how she would pick on him. >> not the best sibling relationship? >> no, not what i'd want for my kids to have. so yeah. >> once grown, randy went his way, carol went hers. randy ended up in college, carol did odd jobs. both married and started families, but said
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randy's first wife dori, carol could never leave well enough alone. >> she tried to ruin everything. she tried to ruin our relationship from the beginning. >> it worked. carol was the one who introduced kelly the hairdresser to randy. betty was just a little kid when her father married kelly, but she was old enough to see her dad's relationship with his sister did not improve. >> it was kind of kelly and carol versus my dad a lot, and it became that way big time once all of us kids were out of the house. >> that certainly caught detective's attention. carol did not like randy, and carol had access to his house. who was the last person known to be in the house before the shooting occurred? >> carol. >> she'd gone to the house that night to do some chores for kelly. >> she was, you know, the last person at the house roughly an hour before randy was murdered, she drew the blinds, put the dog in the kennel, and then she left and drove to an aunt's
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house a couple of blocks away. she was there for the rest of the night. >> the hounds had the scent, or so they thought. all they needed was the granular details, and that's when the investigation took a deep dive into the greatest keeper of secrets in the 21st century, the cellphone. >> i have to have those phones. >> you take them away, my goodness. >> and what's inside. >> yeah. >> what stories they tell. >> detective prill's specialty is phone forensics. meaning he can coax those phones to give up whom was calling whom and when and where they were and what they said in text messages. the detective hunckered down in his cubicle. how much time did you spend in here? >> somewhere around 12 hours a day seven days a week for a month. >> go home, eat, sleep, repeat. >> and get back. >> the detective had seen his share of family spats and lusty
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intrigues over the years, but he'd never seen anything quite like the story told by those cell phones. that spring and summer, kelly and carol exchanged roughly 4,500 text messages. an average of 50 a day. >> how close were these women? >> well, the 4,500 text messages alone is mind numbing, but the constant exchange of i love yous, i love you sister, i love you sissy. i love you to the moon and back. >> and while that was going on, kelly was also texting her husband randy, who was still recovering from that open heart surgery. no hearts and flowers there. >> she's saying it's been 14 years, do you hear me? 14 years. i don't want any more death, so i shut you out. >> wow. >> then she's telling carol i love you so much. >> that was two months before the murder. right about when kelly moved out of the house. through texts, prill could plainly see that randy still had hopes of salvaging the marriage. >> it was difficult to read through his inner feelings for her. he didn't want her gone. he wanted her home.
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>> right here at his desk, mike prill was seeing what looked to him like motive. >> the phone records were confirming that there was a seething hatred between the two towards randy. >> still, both kelly and carol had unassailable alibis. carol had been with her aunt at the time of the murder, kelly had been miles away with her lover. but then detective prill found this. >> this message carol sent to kelly baker where it said put it under sonia and then a phone number. >> put it under sonia? >> right. >> put what under sonia. >> about ten minutes after that message, kelly baker added this phone number in her contacts under the name sonia. >> who in heaven's name was sonia? >> coming up -- an arrest in the case. >> he just ran into the garage, dumped his vest that had a. 357 revolver insteide of it and came out ask surrendered. >> so, who was the killer?. >> i just remember him telling
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me. >> did you feel like falling off the bench? >> yes. >> when "dateline" continues. ateline" continues hpv vaccination - a type of cancer prevention against certain hpv-related cancers, can start then too. for most, hpv clears on its own. but for others, it can cause certain cancers later in life. you're welcome! now, as the "dad cab", it's my cue to help protect them. embrace this phase. help protect them in the next. ask their doctor about hpv vaccination today. (vo) red lobster's seafood summerfest is fire! embrace this phase. turn up for the grilled lobster, shrimp and salmon trio ...and our hottest summer duo, steak and lobster! it's lit! don't miss red lobster's seafood summerfest. where does your almondmilk come from? almond breeze starts here, with our almond trees and our blue diamond orchards in california.
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bring home to your mother. >> he had ties with white s supremacist gang, a prison gang by the name of 211 crew. >> he goes by "griz." his mother named him kelly, and who would his mother be? >> he's a biological son of carol baker. >> yep, carol's son and randy's nephew. >> not a nice guy? >> no. >> griz had a long prison stretch under his belt for attempted murder. he also on close examination had a significant presence on that string of text messages prill uncovered. >> i came to realize that carol was forwarding text messages from griz to kelly baker. >> messages to do what? >> well, in the end, it was certain to me to murder randy. >> police here in greeley had never seen anything like it, a wayward wife a dim witted sister, a gang banger nephew,
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had they all conspired to kill their uncle, brother, husband? about five weeks after randy's murder police brought kelly back in, and she was chatty as she offered up more theories about the murder. >> i leave my garage door open, what if somebody was in the garage when i left at 5:45? at this point, detectives did not show their cards. they had a plan. >> i wish you guys luck. >> well, i'm glad you're doing fairly well. >> yeah. >> all things considered. >> yeah. >> next, they brought in carol, randy's sister. they let her believe they had connected her son griz to the murder, and then they let her think that kelly had just sold her out. and that's when carol folded like a cheap tent. said th mastermind behind the murder was kelly. >> why did she feel she had to murder randy baker. >> said he'd never leave her alone.
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>> and after implicating her sister-in-law, carol gave up her own flesh in blood, griz. >> he was going to shoot and kill him, correct? >> or some other way. >> i think i need an attorney. >> you do? >> okay. >> well, you're under arrest for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. >> they arrested kelly that same day and charged her with murdering her husband, and after they gave randy's daughter betty the news. >> i just remember sitting down and him telling me like we've arrested kelly and carol. >> feel like falling off the bench? >> yes. i stared at my phone for quite a while shaking. >> and griz was holed up at a friend's house near denver. >> the house was surrounded. he just ran into the garage, dumped his vest that had a. 357 revolver inside of it, and came
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out and surrendered. >> griz stewed in jail for seven months, and then he wrote to prosecutor rob miller. >> he wrote a letter exaggerating how he committed the crime, but ultimately admitting to it saying i've been played by these two ladies. >> pretty soon griz was cutting a deal. >> arrangements were made for griz to confess the entire murder in exchange for the state not pursuing the death penalty. >> griz was specific. his mother and kelly had pushed him to do the killing. mom drove him to the scene, dropped him off, and he shot randy as he walked in the door. >> did you honestly know you hit him in the head when you fired? >> i seen it. >> and to solve the mystery posed by the forensics, two guns equalled two shooters? nope. >> why'd you bring two guns? >> i always just -- i always have two guns on me. >> that's just how he rolls. and after the killing, he
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explained, he drove off in randy's pontiac. there was one more revelation, too, remember randy's beloved harley, the one he supposedly sold? >> were you approached ultimately and talked about what you'd get paid for doing this? >> kelly would give me the $10,000. >> okay. >> and the motorcycle. >> griz really wanted that harley, but he also wanted to get something off his chest, and that part is still hard to figure. >> it was important to him that people knew that randy was a great guy. >> he was, in fact, the same nephew who sent randy that nice father's day text two years earli earlier, not only have you been a role model and inspiration to me but the closest person i've ever had as a real father figure. >> how did griz spraexplain thet that he could kill someone after he had this great relationship with him? >> he believe kelly and carol manipulated him, fed them
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information that he believed now was not true, that randy was abusive. >> police are developed a more solid theory about motive. kelly, remember, had told the police the life insurance was only about $10,000. >> as you dug in, what'd you find? >> we found six policies. >> what? >> they totaled more than $130,000. >> wow. >> right. >> who was the beneficiary of all of these policies? >> kelly. >> the house, too, of course, at the end of that green and quiet cul-de-sac, lots of equity. >> she was looking at somewhere near $400,000 with randy dead. so a murder mystery solved? why, no indeed. kelly said she was innocent, a victim herself. detective prill didn't buy it. >> this woman could enter a room and whisper lies to every ear in there and turn everyone
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against everyone else but kelly. she would control the room with her lies and remarkably no one caught on to it. >> now all she had to do was work her magic on the jury. >> coming up -- the widow baker spins a frightening tale. >> he slammed his hands as hard as he could on the table, looked me right in the eye and said i will kill you, and then kill myself. >> she's a manipulator. to her it was a game. >> who would win? when "dateline" continues. . so don't worry. it's all under control. [ screaming continues ] that's cool. we'll finish up here. bye! [ roars ] [ screaming continues ] that's why you go to the restroom
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break free from the big three and switch to xfinity mobile. >> welcome back. randy baker's nephew struck a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, he admitted to killing his uncle in a murder-for-hire plot hatched by his mother and randy's wife, kelly. now, a defiant kelly baker was ready to share her own story on the witness stand. here's keith morrison with the conclusion of "the secret keepers. " >> as the harsh colorado winter melted into spring, a curious cast of characters filed into the county courthouse. here was a family turned circular firing squad, finger-pointing blame for the sorted events that ended randy baker's life.
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>> life is stranger than fiction. >> kelly baker pleaded not guilty, denied she had a thing to do with the murder. well, armed with confessions and plea deals from carol baker and her son, griz, chief district attorney anthea graarrasco and a miller looked to prove it. >> randy baker's own wife and sister were plotting with his own nephew to give this woman the day she felt like she had waited far too long for already. >> a little bit byzantine or something. there was some planning at work here. >> for quite some time. >> for three long months. and plan "a" was, well, odd. remember those falling asleep car accidents? the prosecutors said kelly spiked randy's morning smoothies with overdoses of his own meds, hoping an accident would kill
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him. randy's nephew, griz, thought that one up. >>'cause they're sweet. anyway, you won't taste them, and toxicology won't find it because he's already on it. >> now prosecutors needed him to say all the same things to the jury. fine plan. but listen to what happened. >> do you recall having discussions with your mom or kelly baker about a plan to harm randy baker? >> no, i don't. >> okay. >> griz was clamming up. >> what was he doing there? >> he knows the game. he knows how prisons work. he knew if he, quote/unquote, snitched, that it would be a rough rest of his natural life in prison. >> over and over, griz played dumb. >> you got a harley-davidson for this murder, is that right? >> i got a harley-davidson,
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correct. >> the prosecutors did what they could. they played griz's confession tape for the jury. >> so, gave you $10,000 and the motorcycle. >> dear mother was a little bit more talkative, about how kelly was at the end of her rope that summer before randy's murder. >> we talked about how she can't believe he's still alive, and you know, he's sickly and he doesn't want to be here anymore. >> we got to know the real kelly baker. what became clear to us is that she's a manipulator. >> so, they called her a puppet master, a liar, a killer. question was, would the jury believe it? now the defense got its turn. and attorney robert ray turned loose his very best counterattack -- kelly baker, herself. >> kelly baker had to take the stand in this case, in my view. >> the jury was about to get a firsthand look at a different
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kelly baker, demur, kind, long suffering. hers was a very different story about herself, not as a killer, but as a patient caretaker. she talked about randy in the early days. >> what was your life like during that time period? >> it was great. i mean, it was a really good marriage with him being a therapist and a counselor. we had our small issues with disciplining our kids, but other than that, for ourselves, we loved each other very much. >> but then her life, she said, began to resemble the sad bits of cinderella. but her randy was no prince charming. >> he was somewhat controlling. he wanted to tell me who i could be with and how i could do things. going out to eat with somebody else or movie
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night or just have the girls over. i was never allowed to do anything like that. >> was there ever any violence in your marriage? >> there was a small amount, yes. >> and what kind of violence? >> well, he wanted to physically stop me from leaving if we were having an argument. >> and that summer of 2017, kelly said she just needed a change. but when she talked to randy about it? >> slammed his hands as hard as he could on the table, scared the crap out of me, looked me right in the eye and said, "i will kill you and then i will kill myself because i have nothing to lose. " >> so, with her good friend, carol, at her side, kelly fled. she was moving on. but that decision weighed on her. >> i was still feeling lost, you know, am i doing the right thing, am i making the right decision. >> and despite her plan for a new life, she insisted, she swore, she loved randy, and she did not kill him. >> she didn't know anything about the planned murder. kelly baker just found the body that
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morning when she came to the house. >> and really, what physical evidence did the prosecutors have? well, one little something, a killer's mistake, an excess of impatient greed. yeah, so, they -- the check. >> the $420 check was a huge piece of evidence in the case. >> here was their proof, said the prosecutors, and you didn't need to believe carol or griz for this one. just follow the money and pay attention. >> there were two text messages from randy where he told her that he was coming home with the $420 check. >> that's right. the day he was murdered, randy told kelly he'd have the check in his wallet, $420, when he got home. but remember, he left his wallet in the car, and then griz killed randy and took the car, drove away with the wallet and the check.
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>> at 3:46 in the afternoon on august 16th, the same day that kelly baker found randy's body, she cashed this $420 check. >> so, how did kelly get that check? in her final moments of cross examination, garrasco used kelly herself to lay out the prosecution's theory. >> that means that you deposited a check from a dead man's wallet, right? >> correct. >> a wallet that was missing, right? >> right. >> from a car that was stolen. >> correct. >> stolen by a killer. >> right. >> who shot your husband. >> correct. >> in a murder you claim you had absolutely nothing to do with. >> right. >> i'm done with this witness, judge. >> almost like you were disgusted. >> i was, and i think the jury was at that point. because to her, it was a game. >> and when the game was over, kelly lost. >> we, the jury, find the defendant, kelly baker, guilty of murder in the first degree. >> guilty. kelly was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. she's appealing her conviction. despite his witness amnesia, griz got exactly the same
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sentence. carol baker got 30 years. at sentencing, betty winick brought to court the namesake randy baker never got to meet. >> this is randall james. >> betty clings to her new baby, randy, her daughters, and her husband, but it's hard, she said, missing her dad. >> this situation has made me feel like i'm not in control of anything in my life. and the one person who made me feel like i could be in control of it was him, and i can't call him to see if i'm handling the right way or -- >> although, i must tell you, as you're sitting here talking, you've been calling on him again and again. >> i like to think that. >> and in the end, for all her smiles and boundless good manners, randy baker's daughter is just as tough as he was,
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maybe tougher. maybe she just doesn't know it yet. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline. " i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> and this is dateline. >> i am freaking out. i walk in and my sister's not there. her door is open, her lights are on, her bed's undone. everything was horrible. and i felt it. >> she had been fearless on the front lines in iraq. >> pretty amazing. i saw her as like a reall

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