This aired on Dateline NBC on Friday, May 29, 2009.
In the shadow of the superstition mountains outside Phoenix, you'll find towns like Gilbert: suburban Anywhere, U.S.A. Endless miles of well-tended homes that all look exactly the same. But one day, inside one of these homes, something happened that was quite different. A mystery so deep and so strange that seven years of investigation left some of the biggest questions unanswered.
Was this woman a prophet or a troubled soul? A prime mover or a passive victim? Or maybe all of those?
Did this man meticulously plan and commit a near-perfect murder? Or did he somehow run afoul of an angry family, and a misguided prosecution? Or maybe, all of those, too?
It's a story that begins in a temple, and ends in a courtroom. A case of fatal visions. The question is, whose?
Thou shalt love thy wife with all they heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.
Doug and Faylene Grant were a bit of an odd couple. Doug was a small town boy who made it big selling nutritional supplements. He was quite the success, counting the NBA'S Phoenix Suns among his clients. He grew up in tiny Thatcher, Arizona. His sister Tammy says the family was deeply religious.
Tammy: We're all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as Mormons. You center your life around Christ, and you try to be like him.
Josh Mankiewicz: And that was true for Doug, as well?
Tammy: It was true for Doug, as well.
But Doug was also a man of the world.
Tammy: Doug was very ambitious. Was always trying new and different things.
- This Couple's Wes Anderson-Inspired Save-The-Date Is Whimsy and Wonderful (VIDEO)
- Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo Makes Custom Jewelry Now - So Of Course We Ordered a Necklace (PHOTOS)
- Orphan Black: Ari Millen on the 'Fight for Survival' as the Clone War Begins
- Ricky Gervais Responds to Sexism Claims After Criticizing a Female Hunter
- Olivia Wilde: How 'The Gift of Motherhood' Helped Me 'Connect' to Meadowland Role
There was also his interest in (read: fascination with) women.
Tammy: I think there is a magnetism there about his personality.
Faylene clearly felt the pull when she met Doug in the early 90's. She was Mormon too-- the oldest of four children. From an early age, faith was the center of her life.
Doug Eaves: She was one of those individuals that everybody felt like they were her best friend.
Glenna Eaves: She always uplifted us. When she walked in a room you just could feel it.
Her faith went hand-in-hand with a lifelong avocation.
Glenna Eaves: She loved to write. She was always leaving notes on our pillows or, you know, somewhere for-- for us.
Faylene continued to write throughout her life: notes, letters, and journals where she poured out her innermost thoughts and feelings. She also sought refuge in the Mormon temple.
Glenna Eaves: It's peaceful there. It's calm. We go there to talk to Heavenly Father.
Mormons believe that heavenly father talks back now and then. The doctrine of personal revelation is central to church teaching.
Female: She never claimed to see God or talk to God. It was always, "I had a feeling," or, "I have a feeling."
In fact, as Faylene wrote in her journal, she divorced her first husband because of a feeling she got in the temple. At the time, Doug was divorced too-- he'd had an affair. When Faylene and Doug got married in 1993, she recorded their newlywed passion.
Faylene, 9/26/93: He says he's not romantic but that is *very* far from true! He took me up a ladder onto his roof with chips, salsa, and fake champagne and a blanket to watch falling stars from a meteor. I am so lucky to have him!
Doug also took care of Faylene's family-- hiring them at his business. There they are in one of Doug's workout videos: Faylene, her dad, her mom. Faylene's brother says business was booming.
Doug: We went from doin' $30,000 a month to, what? About a million dollars a month in just over--about a year and a half.
Doug had a son from his previous marriage. Faylene had a son and a daughter from hers. Then they had two sons together. In January of 2000, the couple went to the Mormon temple and had their marriage "sealed" – meaning they were now married not just on Earth, but forever, for "time and eternity." But within months, things went sour.
Faylene: I'd prayed and received a very strong witness Doug had been w/someone else...)
Faylene filed for divorce in June of 2000 - and it soon became clear that the "witness" she'd received about Doug being unfaithful was right on the money.
Jody: Fay told me that he admitted to six women. Six different women.
Josh Mankiewicz: --affairs with six different women while he was married to Fay?
So everyone was shocked a year later, when Faylene suddenly decided to marry Doug for the second time.
Doug Eaves: Doug called me on the phone. And he says, "How would 'ya like to have me back as your son-in-law?" And man, I-- just kinda swallowed hard and almost dropped the phone. And so, I got on the phone with Faylene. And she says, "Dad, one of these days, I need to sit down with you and Mom and explain to you what was revealed to me in the temple." But we never got to have that conversation.
For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters...
Video: 'He said that his wife is unconscious'
For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters... Video: 'He said that his wife is unconscious'
Doctrines and Covenants, 61:5
Josh Mankiewicz: September 27th. The phone rings. What do you remember?
Tammy Fuentes: Danny answered the phone that morning.
Danny is Tammy's husband-- Doug's brother-in-law.
Danny Fuentes: It was Doug, and he was saying there had been accident.
Soon, Faylene's family got the word.
Jody Stratton: We just couldn't figure out, why would she be in the hospital.
Faylene was in an E.R. about five miles from the home she shared with Doug. Both sides of the large family soon arrived in force.
Tammy Fuentes: We didn't want to leave Doug alone. And he was a mess. Almost in a state of panic, and shock, and disbelief, and just every emotion you could even imagine.
Faylene's family remembers things differently.
Josh Mankiewicz: Doug's state of mind at the hospital.
Jody Stratton: Weird. Weird. He was nervous.
Glenna: Anxious. Nervous. He never stayed by Faylene. I never once saw him hold her hand.
Doug told everyone he had found Faylene early that morning in the bathtub, under the water. He'd done CPR to no avail.
Jody Stratton: Well, what I could understand he was saying-- was that she had drowned and taken-- or that she had a bunch of pills in-- I can't even remember exactly how he said it. But--
Glenna: He was just saying something about how tiny the Ambien were, how teeny. He says, "You don't realize they're just like the end of a pin."
If faylene had nearly drowned, why was Doug talking about sleeping pills? For that matter, how could a healthy adult drown in her own bathtub?
Jody Stratton: That afternoon, Faylene obviously isn't getting any better. In fact, her condition is continuing to deteriorate bit by bit. Video: Witness stand: Hilary Grant
Cherlene: We were waiting for the doctor's analysis the next day. But Doug took that away from us.
Josh Mankiewicz: How did Doug take that away from you?
Cherlene: By telling the nurse to stop her resuscitative efforts.
Her heart could not beat on its own- within minutes, she slipped away. Faylene Grant, age 35, was pronounced dead at 4:37 pm.
Doug Eaves: She had that little touch of angel in her.
Josh Mankiewicz: Were you a wreck the day of the funeral?
Glenna: Yes, I was a wreck. Every day before and I'm still a wreck. And-- never get to talk to her on the phone again or go places with her, have her at family things. Yeah, I'm a wreck.
They buried Faylene on October 1, 2001. They knew they were supposed to get on with their lives, but that proved difficult. Because, three weeks later, Doug Grant, age 35, married a beautiful blonde named Hilary... Who had just turned 21.
You probably think you know where this story is going. Trust me ... You have no idea.
Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you.
To understand what happened to Faylene Grant - if it can be understood at all - you have to focus a magnifying glass on the last weeks of her life, in the summer of 2001. Eventually a jury would do that... Literally.
But at the time, her parents and siblings say, they were just mightily puzzled at what seemed to them an incomprehensible decision: Faylene remarrying Doug Grant. Faylene, characteristically, wrote about it, in a letter to her sister, Jody, and Jody's husband.
Jody: She wrote me and Shan a letter. And the first thing it said is, "I hope you're sitting down when you read this."
And I just started bawling.
Faylene had divorced Doug a year earlier after she received a vision of his infidelity...which turned out to be true. Faylene's family says Doug was demanding and controlling throughout the marriage.
Jody: Doug had no respect whatsoever for Faylene. He would roll his eyes at her. He was always ten feet ahead of her, ten feet behind her. Never held her hand. You would have never known they were a married couple if you were watching them from the outside.
Faylene seemed much happier without him, and Doug quickly moved on... Especially after Hilary Dewitt came to work at his company. Faylene's brother Douger still worked there.
DOUGER: I mean she was 19 years old. And obviously, we thought it was a very bad situation.
But Doug and Hilary started dating as soon as Doug's divorce went through... And it got pretty serious. Hilary loved Doug... And she loved the two sons he'd had with Faylene.
Josh Mankiewicz: Doug told you he was thinkin' about gettin' married to Hillary.
TammyFuentes: Right. They had dated for almost a year.
Josh Mankiewicz: And then all of a sudden, Faylene reappears.
TammyFuentes: Mm-hmm (affirm). Yeah.
Danny Fuentes: We were as shocked as anybody, 'cause we never-- we never thought that would ever be a possibility.
It all happened with lightning speed in July 2001. Doug and Faylene were plaintiffs in a lawsuit relating to Doug's business... A lawsuit filed when Doug and Faylene were still married. They traveled together to a mediation conference in Dallas, where they won a 350,000-dollar settlement.
And apparently, they also got to talking.
TammyFuentes: And it must've started her really thinking that, "Hey, maybe-- you know, maybe this could work again."
Earlier that year, Doug had appeared before a Mormon Church court and confessed his infidelity. He was excommunicated and told to atone for his sins.
Josh Mankiewicz: Faylene was a big believer in redemption?
Group: Yes. Yes.
But Faylene still wasn't sure she wanted Doug back. The temple in Arizona was closed for renovation, so she drove all the way to the San Diego temple, where she apparently received inspiration.
Faylene: in the San Diego temple I was told Doug was accepting the atonement and to remarry him.
Apparently, she told Doug the same thing.
TammyFuentes: He told me what Faylene had been told in the temple, that they needed to get their family back together. And, you know, here I am the big sister. And I said, "You're right. That's the right thing to do.”
Was it Heavenly father talking? Or their own consciences? They were both two-time divorcees, in a church that frowns on divorce.
Danny Fuentes: I think that Faylene-- was looking for a way to-- to fix the things that were broken in her life. Doug didn't wanna get divorced. It was very painful for him. I don't think that he ever really thought that there was gonna be a possibility that that could ever be reconciled. So when that opportunity presented itself--
Josh Mankiewicz: He jumped at it.
Danny Fuentes: Absolutely.
Doug broke up with Hilary, gathered up the young sons he had with Faylene, and flew to San Diego to meet her. They drove home by way of Las Vegas, and got married again. A quickie wedding at the Excalibur Hotel-- a name you'll want to remember.
Danny Fuentes: I've never seen either one of them more happy.
Josh Mankiewicz: And you're thinkin', "Well, all's well that ends well."
Danny Fuentes: Correct.
Faylene's family saw it differently.
Glenna: What strained our relationship with Faylene is, we could never seem to see her alone, 'ya know, or spend any time with her. Even when they came to family things, Doug was right there.
Josh Mankiewicz: Is it not possible that that was Doug tryin' to be an attentive, good husband--
Cherlene: No, it's not.
A leopard does not change its spots.
Maybe so... But at the time, Faylene seemed to feel her prayers had been answered.
Faylene, 9/5/01: I finally have a husband who treats me w/ love & respect & is even beyond what I could dream of!
Two months after the wedding, Doug and Faylene left the kids with Tammy and Danny, and went on a second honeymoon. Faylene wanted to visit Nauvoo, Illinois-- a place full of historic, sacred Mormon sites.
Doug Eaves: All of the old style homes that the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother and family and all of them that they lived in. It's a beautiful, interesting experience.
But Doug and Faylene were in Nauvoo for just a day before they took an unexpected detour-- to Utah. To this park. And soon there was a strange phone call from Doug Grant.
Josh Mankiewicz: What did he tell you on the phone?
Douger: That Faylene had had a fall, and that she was fine. And that was, you know, about it at that time.
Josh Mankiewicz: It sounded like she tripped over a curb or something?
Douger: No. He said she had a fall, you know, a 60-foot fall, off a cliff.
That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death...
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:59
If you drive about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, you'll come to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Rugged, beautiful, and at the very heart of the mystery surrounding the death of Faylene Grant. Something happened here. Exactly what, even years later, is still in dispute.
Here's a picture Doug took of Faylene just before -- he claimed -- she slipped and fell off a cliff-- 60, maybe 80 feet. The fall should have killed her. But Doug said Faylene landed in a tree that slowed her fall and saved her life. Why doubt his story? For one thing, to get to the cliff, Faylene would have had to climb over an imposing man-made wall.
Josh Mankiewicz: Was she the kind of person that would approach a 60-foot cliff and--
Josh Mankiewicz: --kind of lean over the side?
Glenna: That's what's strange about it.
Jody: Fay was never a daring person.
Glenna: Never. Not close.
Jody: Very cautious.
Glenna: Kind of wimpy.
Records show no calls for help that day. No report of trouble. Doug did take Faylene to a nearby hospital. She had cuts and bruises, but no broken bones. The doctor doubted she really fell 60 feet. Tree or no tree. So what did happen? Each family had suspicions, very different suspicions. Here's Doug's sister Tammy:
Tammy Fuentes: When I heard about the accident , I worried that maybe she may have tried to take her own life at that point.
Why would she think that? Because, Tammy says, Faylene had mood swings, fits of depression, for years. She even recorded them in her journals, in handwriting that seemed as agitated as she was.
Faylene: I then tell Doug I need help & how I am feeling & why & that I'm suicidal & that I think of crazy things to do to myself & that I need his help & he says he doesn't know how to help me... I see he isn't feeling what I feel and it kills me! well, finally Doug grabs me & gets on top of me on the bed & I'm trying to say, "leave me alone-- you don't love me, you (I'm just a failure) should just admit it & quit hurting me."
DannyFuentes: Well, I do know that Doug had-- on two or three different occasions-- tried to get her help and counseling.
Faylene's family says she was never truly suicidal. They thought all her troubles started and ended with Doug, including, perhaps, that fall off the cliff. Faylene's brother recounts a conversation he had about it with Doug.
Douger: He kept telling me that he was ten or 15 foot away from Faylene. And he said that multiple times. And I-- and I thought it was odd that he would keep clarifying that he was ten or 15 foot away from her.
Josh Mankiewicz: Almost as if he wanted you to remember that detail.
Douger: Just a very odd detail.
The couple stayed in Utah two more days, visiting the hospital twice more, then flew back to Phoenix, arriving the afternoon of September 26.
DannyFuentes: She had on dark glasses and her arm was in a sling. And obviously she was battered and bruised, but she was able to speak to us ---
And what did Faylene say? Attempted murder? Attempted suicide?
Tammy Fuentes: She said, "I'm so clumsy." I 'member her tellin' me, "I'm just so clumsy."
Faylene told the exact same story Doug did-- an accident, followed by a miracle.
Tammy Fuentes: She told me that she slipped and fell. And she told about hitting the branches in the tree. She would land in one branch, fall down to the next, fall down to the next, fall down to the next. She--
Josh Mankiewicz: The tree-- the tree broke her fall--
Tammy Fuentes: The tree broke her fall.
Josh Mankiewicz: --and saved her life.
Tammy Fuentes: And she told me she should've died up there. She said, "I should have died up there." Video: Witness stand: Hilary Grant
That evening, Doug called someone who'd appeared in one of his workout videos, a physician's assistant who came to the Grant home. He prescribed painkillers, and sleeping pills: Five tablets of Ambien. That night, Cherlene called to check on her sister.
Cherlene: Well, Doug had left to buy the prescriptions. And I called her. And she was happy, healthy, glad to see her kids.
That would have been about 6:30 p.m. Sometime, somehow, during the next 13 hours, two things happened. Faylene took the all the Ambien, and then she went under the water. The detective who came to the Grant home was a newbie, who did almost no investigating. He snapped just five photos and left without securing the scene. He didn't dust for fingerprints. He didn't measure the depth or temperature of the water in the tub. He didn't even save the bottles of medication Faylene was taking. Soon, everyone wished he had done a lot more.
Josh Mankiewicz: You're describing a fairly diabolical plot here--
Det. Sy Ray: Correct.
I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works...
Book of Mormon, Alma 37:25
On the day Faylene Grant died, police filed brief, routine reports. One said, "Faylene's death at this time appears accidental." Another said, "I did not detect the elements of a crime at this time." Faylene's family says they became suspicious almost immediately. For one thing, Faylene had mysteriously fallen off a cliff just three days before. For another, they say they could never get a consistent story from Doug about how his wife drowned in her own bathtub in the early morning hours.
Jody: Well, one of the stories he told was that-- he woke up and she was gonna get ready to get in the bathtub. He asked if she needed help, and she said, "No." So he fell back asleep. The other story was that he helped her into the bathtub.
It's right there in the police reports. One officer writes, "Douglas remembers seeing Faylene walk into the bathroom and remembers hearing the bathtub water running. He fell asleep..." Another officer recounts a separate conversation: "He had run a bath for Faylene at her request and helped her into the bath."
Josh Mankiewicz: This to you sounds suspicious, like someone trying to get their story straight.
And certainly, Doug didn't help matters by marrying Hilary, his supposed ex-girlfriend, just three weeks after burying his wife. Even his own family was disturbed by it.
Tammy Fuentes: I told him I thought it was way too soon. You know, he should wait.
But it's possible everybody would have just dealt with their grief and shock and suspicion and moved on, except for one detail. The police reports that day quote Doug as saying he called police and fire, but there was no record of a 911 call from the Grant home.
Doug did call Chad White, the physician's assistant who had prescribed Ambien to Faylene. It was Chad White -- not Doug Grant -- who called 911 ... And what he said in that call was hard to explain.
ChadWhite: He said that his wife is unconscious, and that he thinks she took all of the medicine that she had, and I told him to call 911 and he said "I'm afraid to, I'm afraid to."
Sy Ray: It definitely piqued my interest.
Gilbert Police Detective Sy Ray started looking into the death of Faylene Grant nearly six months after it happened, long after Faylene was buried and Doug had married another woman.
Josh Mankiewicz: You weren't really sure whether this was accidental or a homicide?
Sy Ray: No. We didn't have hardly enough evidence to-- to decide what it was, whether it was accidental, suicide, natural, or anything else.
But he did have that 911 tape. It raised obvious questions. Why would a man who had just found his wife underwater call any number besides 911? Why would he be afraid to call? It raised other, less obvious questions, as well.
Sy Ray: When Chad calls 911, he actually reports this as an overdose. Never mentions bath tub. Never mentions water. Chad White had no clue she was even in the bath. And then when officers arrive, Doug doesn't mention the pill bottles, it's more of an accidental drowning that he's claiming to officers.
Josh Mankiewicz: And he doesn't mention that she took all these Ambien? Video: 'He said that his wife is unconscious'
Sy Ray: No.
Doug and Faylene were not the only people in the house that morning. Faylene's daughter Jenna, 11 years old at the time, was there with her two younger stepbrothers-- Doug and Faylene's kids. When police interviewed Jenna four months after Faylene's death, her story didn't match Doug's.
Detective: You woke up the next morning at 7:15, and he was standing in the kitchen?
But the phone records showed Doug called Chad White at 7:42-- nearly a half hour after Jenna says she saw him in the kitchen.
Sy Ray: Doug's story just didn't make sense that he woke up out of bed, ran and found Faylene in the bathtub.
Then there was the matter of Faylene's life insurance.
Sy Ray: in the beginning was he was-- saying that there was just enough life insurance to pay for the funeral, about $30,000 worth of life insurance.
Not true. In fact, Faylene was insured for $300,000. And she and Doug had recently applied for a lot more: 860,000. Detective Ray looked at Doug Grant's phone records, too.
Det. Sy Ray: The thing that jumped off the page was the immediate calls to Hilary after the remarriage to Faylene.
Detective Ray counted more than 200 calls between Doug and Hilary during Doug's second marriage to Faylene, including one shortly after Doug and Faylene got married at the Excalibur Hotel:
JoshMankiewicz: He calls Hillary and says, "Watch a movie called First Knight."
It was a 1995 costume drama about King Arthur's round table-- with an all-star cast. So, what was the point?
Det. Sy Ray: He explains that he would be Guinevere, that Hillary would be more or less the role of Lancelot, and that Faylene would be the role of King Arthur. And King Arthur dies.
JoshMankiewicz: The King Arthur character essentially says, "I'm not going to be around anymore, so therefore you, Lancelot, be with Guinevere."
Det. Sy Ray: Correct.
And within a day or two of Faylene's death, Doug had what appeared to be a clandestine meeting with Hilary.
JoshMankiewicz: He meets Hilary in the park and what happens?
Det. Sy Ray: Several things.
Ray got the story from a close friend of Hilary's.
Det. Sy Ray: He gives her money, tells her that she's going to be the mother of his children soon and that she needs to go out and enjoy herself. Gives her--
JoshMankiewicz: How much money does he give her?
Det. Sy Ray: Depending on who you talk to, anywhere between $500 and $2,000.
Oh, and one other thing.
Det. Sy Ray: He also grabs her by the hips, tells her that he missed 'em.
JoshMankiewicz: He missed her hips?
Det. Sy Ray: That's the statement that was reported.
By the time Sergeant Ray called Doug and Hilary down to the police station for questioning, it was July 2002-- ten months after Faylene's death. Detective Ray had no smoking gun-- but he had plenty of smoke. And Doug Grant knew it.
Doug Grant: Just awful. I mean, you absolutely have possibly in your mind that I had a major possibility of hurting my wife.
Doug also seemed more confused than ever about the circumstances of Faylene's death.
Doug Grant: You know the story I want to make up in my head, but I-- I'm not going to because I don't know it to be true, and I don't remember.
Det. Sy Ray: OK.
Det. Sy Ray: It was clear to me after that interview that Doug was hiding information. That he just wasn't willing to openly speak about everything that occurred in the case.
And yet, even though Doug had trouble explaining his actions... He had plenty of much-needed help. The fall from the cliff, the insurance, the calls to Hilary, the meeting in the park, marrying his girlfriend just weeks after his wife died, perhaps even the death itself... All of it could be explained. And not by Doug, not by Hilary, but by Faylene. You've already seen and heard some of her writings. But you ain't seen nothing yet.
Faylene, 9/18/2001: Hilary.... I want you to be the mother of my children.
Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead...
Book of Mormon, Mormon 9:30
By the time he questioned Doug Grant in the summer of 2002, Detective Sy Ray had developed a strong suspicion that Doug murdered his wife, Faylene. There was just one problem.
Josh Mankiewicz: Pretty hard to charge somebody with murder when the victim writes a bunch of letters telling everybody goodbye.
Det. Sy Ray: It is. It's very hard.
That's exactly what had happened. In the days just before her death, September 2001, Faylene had written to virtually everyone in her and Doug's family, as well as to close friends. Dozens of letters. Letters that seem to say, "farewell."
"I've had the knowledge given to me that my time on earth is very short."
"Well girl, this is it! My last letter since I don't think they have mail delivery from where I'm going."
"I do know we'll still be together in the spirit & that comforts me. I also know the time will pass quickly & then we'll all be together!"
Faylene didn't just envision her death in those letters ... She named her successor for the title of Mrs. Doug Grant:
Tammy Fuentes: It says, "Tammy, please express to your family my love for Hilary."
Hilary-- the young woman Doug married just weeks after Faylene died.
Tammy Fuentes: "The deepest desire of my heart is that she and Doug will be together immediately so that all of your family, my family, and the children can feel the bonding and the love and respect I have for Hillary."
... As if Faylene were King Arthur in "First Knight" -- handing Guinevere off to Lancelot. Faylene wrote an even stronger letter directly to Doug and Hilary with an almost inconceivable request.
Faylene: "I know I will be here w/my body until it is buried... this desire for you to be married immediately & to see you sitting together as husband & wife at my funeral has been so strong.
Josh Mankiewicz: How do you explain that?
Det. Sy Ray: You can't. There is no reasonable explanation for a letter like that.
Remember, over the years, Faylene had written in her journals a number of times about suicidal thoughts.
Faylene: I felt I should just drive off a cliff & quit wasting space & air on this planet.
Her family insists she was never really suicidal.
Jody: Who in their life hasn't at least once thought, you know, life would be easier if just, you know, drove my car off a cliff? It's just a figure of speech.
But they acknowledge Faylene sometimes felt death was near.
Glenna: She didn't think she was gonna be here very long. And that was all she ever said 'cause I said, "Faye, you're h-- young, you're healthy. You have all these little kids." And we just went on with what we were doin' makin' dinner or whatever it was.
Josh Mankiewicz: That didn't strike you as odd or alarming?
Glenna: No, I mean, as a mother, I didn't wanna dwell on it. But, no. Faylene-- she was close to the Lord.
Faylene's closeness to the Lord, if that's what it was, manifested itself in other ways. Here's a journal entry from May of 2001, two months before she decided to re-marry Doug.
Faylene, 5/6/2001: I was kneeling and praying to know why the girl I'm going to have is going to be "Nicole" -- why this name?"
Mormons believe in a state called the pre-existence, where all souls live before being born. Faylene seemed to think a baby girl was waiting for her there. These two different visions, or feelings-- one that she was not going to live long, the other that she was supposed to have a baby girl, seemed to coalesce after Faylene remarried Doug in the summer of 2001. One way we know that is through a series of letters Faylene wrote to, of all people, Hilary.
Det. Sy Ray: Hilary made it very clear that after couple days when she found out that they had been remarried, she wanted to talk to Faylene. She felt that Faylene owed her an explanation. And--
Josh Mankiewicz: I would be thinking that the guy owed me an explanation.
Det. Sy Ray: A reasonable person would.
But Hilary and Faylene spoke... And, strange as it may seem, started talking regularly by phone and writing letters to each other. Hilary was also Mormon... And Faylene took on the role of spiritual mentor.
Faylene: I can relate so much with your feelings of being "different"! Growing up my mom worried so much about me thinking I was too deep and a fanatic.
She took Hilary into her confidence...
Faylene: "There are things I want to share with you and I have to know first that they will be kept between us because they are not of a trivial nature!"
She said God had singled Hilary out...
Faylene: "I have had extremely deep feelings that Heavenly Father has and is continuing to prepare you for a major calling in this earth life."
And then... She revealed what she believed Hilary's calling to be.
Faylene: I want you to be the mother of my children. I want you to remind them that they are not only precious to Heavenly Father, but to their mother who has been physically called to serve her mission elsewhere ...
The sum of the letters is this-- Faylene expected to die, and wanted Hilary to marry Doug as soon as possible and help raise their children. She even wrote in her journal that Hilary would bear the baby girl Faylene believed was waiting in the pre-existence.
Faylene 9/5/01: "I know that it is wise for heavenly father to let her come to a mom (Hilary) who will be with her and not die and leave her with someone else."
Faylene and Doug applied for extra life insurance... Faylene wrote a will. She died two weeks later. Did Faylene kill herself? Doug's family, who'd seen her depressed-- thought it was possible. And, they say, on the day she died. Faylene's family thought so, too.
Danny Fuentes: I was there when Faylene's parents arrived. And-- she said, "Faylene finally did it this time, didn't she."
Josh Mankiewicz: Faylene finally did it this time?
Danny Fuentes: Right.
Josh Mankiewicz: This is her mother talking about Faylene?
Danny Fuentes: This is her mother.
Glenna:I never said such a thing. They say a lot of things now that are not true. And I don't know what else to tell ya, except that I never said anything cl-- nothing like that. I was bawling. I was upset. Never.
Josh Mankiewicz: Well, is it possible you said that and don't remember?
Josh Mankiewicz: It certainly seems plausible to me that you don't wanna believe that Faylene committed suicide. Even if you think that she did that you wouldn't want to admit it.
Jody: No-- no. I think all of us could admit that. Because there's nothing we did wrong.
But imagine you're a police detective, investigating a suspicious death. You discover that the deceased had been anticipating, even planning her demise. You might conclude you had a suicide on your hands. But reading hundreds of pages that Faylene wrote, Detective Ray began to suspect something quite different.
Det. Sy Ray: I believe Faylene is very susceptible to being manipulated.
Beware of false prophets....
Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 14:15
Each member of Faylene Grant's family received a farewell letter after her death. Doug himself passed them out.
Josh Mankiewicz: You think-- you think Doug manipulated her into writing those letters?
Glenna: Yes, definitely.
Cherlene: Some of them, yes.
Glenna: He probably was right there when she wrote 'em.
Not one of them believes that writing the letters was Faylene's idea, even though Faylene had, more than once, told them she expected to die young.
Cherlene: She had a feeling she wouldn't live long. She didn't have dreams and visions and premonitions of when it would happen and how and how soon. That was Doug.
Josh Mankiewicz: Is it possible that Doug could sort of place all that in her mind?
Glenna: It is possible.
Doug is the most manipulating person I've ever met in my life personally.
Doug's videos showed he was a brilliant salesman. At one time he'd even claimed he'd been paralyzed.
Doug's brother-in-law Shan had seem him perform at sales conferences:
Shan: I can remember as he was speaking and turned on these tears.
Josh Mankiewicz: He started to cry talking about his product?
Shan: It wasn't hardly a presentation that he gave that he didn't cry. And literally by the time of walking to getting off the stage, his eyes are bone dry. And he says to me-- he says, "Now that's how you work a crowd."
But selling vitamins on video is a long way from selling someone on the idea they're about to die. Detective Ray says that to do it, Doug exploited Faylene's faith.
Det. Sy Ray: There's-- there's quotes all over in her Bible and her journals that if it's coming from a prophet or if it's a revelation, you don't question that.
And, he says, Doug set himself up as Faylene's prophet.
Det. Sy Ray: She had completely bought in to this theory that she was going to die very, very soon. And she writes about it constantly. And it's no longer her feelings. It's Doug's visions. It's Doug's premonitions. It's Doug's dreams. She's very clear.
He points to this entry in Faylene's journal, dated September 5, three weeks before her death.
Faylene, 9/5/2001: It just touched me that this is another reason I must have faith in Doug's vision (he dreams it every night now) that I will get to go to the celestial kingdom because that is where Nicole is in the pre-existence.
Remember, Faylene was convinced she was destined to have a little girl named Nicole. According to Detective Ray, Doug used that belief against her.
Det. Sy Ray: Her mission was to go to the Celestial Kingdom where she could bring Hilary a baby girl and then Doug and Hilary could then raise this girl.
Josh Mankiewicz: You're making Faylene seem like kind of a simpleton. I mean, this a guy that she knew by then had already cheated on her multiple times. And what? She's such a sucker that he can use her religion and her feeling that she's not gonna live forever to get her to write anything he wants?
Det. Sy Ray: I believe that he convinced her that she was going to die in September based off of her religion and-- and using her just as you explained.
There's another journal entry two days later. Try to picture the scene it describes.
Faylene, 9/7/2001: I cut up all of my maternity garment (nursing) tops tonight. Doug sat by me for moral support. That was hard! It feels sad to know I'll never have another baby on earth but I know I will some day - however that works!
And then an entry addressed to Doug, on September 17.
Faylene: "Just before I'd gotten into the shower you'd picked me up and thrown me onto the bed and looked into my eyes and told me not to worry about you; that you were going to be ok and that you could not deny the visions you'd had in church yesterday and that I was going to have an incredible blessing this weekend."
Josh Mankiewicz: Well, what happens that weekend?
Det. Sy Ray: They go on their second honeymoon, which is also just full of issues. Video: 'He said that his wife is unconscious'
It was during that second honeymoon that Faylene wrote all the farewell letters to family and friends. Remember, she and Doug had planned a trip to the Mormon holy sites in Nauvoo, Illinois-- then took an unexpected detour to Timpanogos National Monument in Utah, where Faylene apparently fell off a cliff. We noticed, when we talked to Faylene's family-- her sister Cherlene didn't seem eager to discuss the particulars of that fall.
Glenna: She explained what happened, didn't she?
Cherlene: I can't say that.
Glenna: Oh. She can't say that. (laughter)
Josh Mankiewicz: Why can't you say that?
Cherlene: Sorry. I shouldn't have brought that up.
Josh Mankiewicz: That-- wh--
Cherlene: I can tell you my sister said she felt her left knee buckle and her foot slipped off the rock. That's all I can tell you.
Josh Mankiewicz: Okay.
Cherlene: I don't know how her left knee buckled. I don't know who made it buckle.
Josh Mankiewicz: Well, I mean-- but there's no-- you have no reason to believe that anybody made it buckle, right?
Glenna: Sure, I do. I'm sorry I brought that up.
Josh Mankiewicz: I mean-- I mean if she told you Doug had something to do with this, this would be the time to tell me.
Cherlene: No, she did not tell me that.
If that topic seems uncomfortable for the family, this may be the reason. Listen carefully.
Det. Sy Ray: I think whatever caused Faylene's injuries in Utah she was a willing participant. I-- I don't believe that Doug Grant against her will did anything that caused those injuries. I believe that she was a willing participant.
But why? Was Faylene divinely inspired? Brainwashed? Suicidal? Or all three? The detective knows what he thinks.
Josh Mankiewicz: You think if she jumped or deliberately fell, it was because that idea was placed in her mind by her husband?
Det. Sy Ray: Absolutely.
In other words, he thinks it was an attempt at murder by manipulation. A brilliant --if diabolical-- plot.
Det. Sy Ray: If Faylene would have died in Utah, I believe that Doug would have more or less pulled off a perfect murder.
But -- Faylene didn't die. And in fact, seemed to have shifted her thinking about dying.
Det. Sy Ray: She tells Doug. Doug tells multiple people she doesn't think she's going to die anymore. She thinks she's going to live. And I think what happens at this point is that Doug has so much vested, if you will, in this plan and it's quickly unraveling.
So, the detective claims, Doug started to improvise. He convinced the physician’s assistant to prescribe the sleeping pills. He found a way to make Faylene take them. Then, he put her in the tub and drowned her. She wouldn't kill herself, so Doug was forced to do it.
It was a wild theory. And, since police did virtually no investigating the day of Faylene's death, there wasn't close to enough physical evidence to prove -- or disprove it. What's more, Faylene's writings still make a pretty powerful case that she might have killed herself.
Det. Sy Ray: If I've got these letters, it's real hard to say that I killed anybody because she-- she predicted this. Absolutely is.
Five months after she died, the medical examiner ruled the manner of Faylene Grant's death "undetermined." Maybe murder, maybe suicide, maybe an accident-- no way to tell. By early 2003, the investigation appeared dead, too. For the next two and a half years, no police reports were written. And then, in a case with no end of strange detours, there came another.
You won't believe what happens next.
I tell thee these things as a witness unto thee
Doctrines & Covenants, 6:17
By February, 2005, Faylene Grant's death seemed destined for the cold case file. It had been more than three years since she drowned in the bathtub, after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Police suspected her husband, Doug, had killed her. But Faylene's own writings, anticipating her death, raised the possibility of suicide.
It was a case in desperate need of a kick start. And then, in the parking lot of a Walmart in Globe, Arizona. A guy named Jim McElyea got into the car of Cherlene Patterson, Faylene's sister. He didn't realize police had him on videotape. McElyea said he knew something about Faylene's death.
Jim McElyea: I think he might have realized he made a mistake in even telling me.
McElyea had once been a close friend of Doug's.
Jim McElyea: I--I--you know he told me what he did and how he did it.
McElyea said he was afraid that testifying against Doug might hurt his business, force him to leave town. He needed money for a fresh start.
Jim McElyea: The space, it's 11,000 to get goin'. But I just figured you know 10..if it's 11 that's great, if it's 10...I just.. you know that's my security too. Say ok I can-I can open up.
Jim McElyea: And--and--and everything that I know is gonna come out.
At a second meeting Cherlene handed over the money, and McElyea talked. He said the conversation happened at Doug's house, the day after Faylene died.
Jim McElyea: And he said that ah, she wanted to go to heaven. He just did what she wanted. I said, well, what d'ya mean? He said well ya, he just helped her get to sleep and I was just kind of...a little stunned. And he just kept talkin', said that he gave her...he called it extra Acute.
Acute was a supplement Doug sold as an anti-inflammatory. McElyea said Doug hid the Ambien sleeping pills in the Acute capsules, and gave them to Faylene.
Cherlene: And then did the tub?
Jim McElyea: Yeah. Well he just went in, and he put her in.
After years of suspicion but no proof, had Doug actually confessed?
Josh Mankiewicz: Are you hearing this while it's happening?
Det. Sy Ray: We are.
Detective Sy Ray had been watching McElyea since he first contacted Faylene's family. Now he took McElyea into custody, and leaned on him, hard.
Det. Sy Ray: I can book you right now for the extortion. OK, that's option one. Option two is a meeting tonight with Doug.
McElyea chose option two. So, that evening, wired for sound, he went to Doug Grant's office. He and detective ray had concocted a cover story.
Jim McElyea: Gilbert Police took me in for some questioning. They implied that they have some information about what, what, what you and I talked about, what you said about, you know, what, what really happened with Faylene. But--
Doug Grant: About what really happened? What do you mean about what really happened?
Det. Sy Ray: When you confront somebody with information that is basically you telling them, "You confessed to killing your wife." Most people are going to tell you, "What are you talking about? Why would you say that? Where is that even coming from?"
Josh Mankiewicz: Isn't that pretty much what Doug says?
Det. Sy Ray: Well, actually, he tells Jim, "You don't have to talk to the police...
Doug Grant: If it was me I would say, yeah we were good friends and you were there to console me and you don't remember, it's been years ago, and end of story, and get out of their face. They can't do anything.
But Doug also said:
Doug Grant: The bottom line is, is that I don't believe she killed herself, I know I didn't kill her...
And, a few minutes later, this:
Doug Grant: If you believe in your heart that I told you that I put her in that tub and put her to sleep, that's basically saying that someone said they, they killed her. That's the most ridiculous thing on the planet.
It sure sounds like a denial.
Josh Mankiewicz: And yet, you took that as almost a smoking gun.
Det. Sy Ray: I took it as a reasonable person. I would think would deny the entire existence of a meeting.
Josh Mankiewicz: And would get angrier than Doug was.
Det. Sy Ray: Absolutely.
With the McElyea tapes, Detective Ray convinced the county attorney to press charges... And finally arrested Doug Grant for the murder of his wife, Faylene.
Josh Mankiewicz: Did Jim McElyea jump-start this case again?
Det. Sy Ray: I believe he did.
Josh Mankiewicz: But he turned out to be lying.
Det. Sy Ray: Well, at least part of it, yeah.
Yeah, you heard that right. Here's Jim Mcelyea, the key witness against Doug Grant, in a defense deposition. Saying, guess what? Doug never really confessed to killing Faylene.
Jim McElyea: It did not happen. He did not tell me that, and I will again testify he never told me he did that.
McElyea's implosion was not the only problem with the case. There was also the matter of motive-- what was it again? You'll remember not long before Faylene's death, she and Doug won $350,000 in a lawsuit. By marrying Faylene and killing her-- Doug could keep it all. But it turns out that, after attorneys' fees, Faylene's share was only about $12,500. And then there's the life insurance.
Det. Sy Ray: Approximately a month prior to her death, the initial paperwork was drawn up requesting a change from the $300,000 to $860,000.
Sounds Suspicious. Except Faylene died before the paperwork was done.
Josh Mankiewicz: If you were gonna kill your wife, wouldn't you make sure that that change in the policy had in fact gone through?
Det. Sy Ray: If that was your only motive, I-- I would agree with you absolutely.
Ray says sex was a motive, too.
Det. Sy Ray: There were some statements that, that Hilary was willing to wear a thong, or thong underwear. And Faylene just wouldn't do that.
Josh Mankiewicz: That's a motive for murder?
Det. Sy Ray: I don't think it's a motive for murder. I think it's a motive to rather be with// Hilary, opposed to Faylene.
Remember, Doug had cheated on Faylene before. His marriage vows had never been a barrier to his sex life. Yet Doug's attorney, Mel McDonald, claims the grand jury heard more a lot more about Doug's sex life than faylene's farewell letters.
Mel McDonald: The whole transcript is nothing but-- sex and just utterly disgusting information that has no business in a grand jury.
Josh Mankiewicz: And that has nothing to do with whether anybody committed murder.
Mel McDonald: That's true.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez says quit whining.
Josh Mankiewicz: Did you make a fair presentation to the grand jury?
Juan Martinez: Absolutely. She deserves an explanation! By God!
Martinez loves courtroom combat... And he doesn't much like Doug Grant.
Juan Martinez: The defendant's sex life is something that he introduced into this case. He was out-- committing adultery.
Josh Mankiewicz: Doesn't make you a murderer.
Juan Martinez: That's part of the case. That shows that he couldn't wait to be with Hillary. He couldn't wait to be at that park and grab her by the hips and say, “Ooh, I missed these,” because he did miss them.
Martinez secured a grand-jury indictment for first-degree murder, and seven years after Faylene's death, took the case to trial. A case with no star witness, no clear cut motive. A victim who seemed to be planning her death.
And in the center of it all, the defendant, Doug Grant, a balding man in a baggy suit, an improbable lothario on trial for his life.
Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith...
Book of Mormon, Alma 1:25
Juan Martinez: Douglas Grant called Hilary Dewitt and he told her, Wait for me… that everything is going to work out. Because, well, Faylene Grant was gonna die.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Juan Martinez methodically portrayed Doug Grant as a lying adulterer...
Juan Martinez: A married man, an older married man, pursuing a younger woman that's not his!
Faylene's writings, her premonitions of death... Martinez argued what they really showed was not that Faylene wanted to die, but that Doug wanted her dead.
Juan Martinez: I must have faith in Doug's vision.
And he said Doug's plans all came to fruition when he told hospital personnel to take Faylene off life support.
Juan Martinez: When he sees that these efforts are underway to save his wife's life, he says let her die! Just let her die. Later that evening, he met with Hilary. When he sees that these efforts are underway to save his wife's life, he says let her die! Just let her die. Later that evening, he met with Hilary.
Defense attorney Mel McDonald argued not only was Doug innocent of killing Faylene. There was no proof she'd been killed at all.
Mel McDonald: No crime of murder was ever committed.
He made sure the jury heard Faylene's writings anticipating her death... And urging Doug and Hilary to get married.
Mel McDonald: This desire for you to be married immediately...has been so strong.
And he hammered away at what McDonald called an incompetent and dishonest investigation.
Mel McDonald: At the end of this case, you will find overhwelming evidence...this is not a murder case.
The trial was scheduled to last four months. Faylene's sisters vowed to attend every day.
Cherlene: We wanted to be there. We needed to be there. Nothing could've kept me--
Josh Mankiewicz: Was that the hardest thing you've ever done?
Cherlene: No. Watching my sister die was the hardest thing I've ever done.
The first prosecution witness: Jenna Stradling, Faylene's daughter from her first marriage. Just 11 years old when her mom died, now she was a college student, convinced of her stepfather's guilt. Jenna testified that the morning Faylene drowned-- she tried to get into the master bedroom.
Jenna Stradling: So I grabbed the door handle, jiggled it and it was locked.
Juan Martinez: Did you knock on the door at all?
Jenna Stradling: No sir. So I grabbed the door handle, jiggled it and it was locked.
Jenna said that was at 7:40. The prosecutor claimed at that moment Doug was drowning Faylene. Jenna recounted her mother's death, with devastating impact.
Jenna Stradling: They tried to rush me out of the room and I just kept looking back and her heartbeat just kept getting lower and lower and lower and so then I realized it wasn't a good thing.
Juan Martinez: Is that when your mom died?
Jenna Stradling: Well, I walked back in the room and she was dead. They tried to rush me out of the room and I just kept looking back and her heartbeat just kept getting lower and lower and lower and so then I realized it wasn't a good thing.
Juan Martinez: Is that when your mom died?
Jenna Stradling: Well, I walked back in the room and she was dead.
Her testimony closed with a zinger:
Juan Martinez: And how old are you?
Jenna Stradling: I'm gonna to be 19 in a few days.
Juan Martinez: At that time they were dating did you know how old Hilary was?
Jenna Stradling: Yes, sir.
Juan Martinez: How old?
Jenna Stradling: 19.
Chad White, the physician’s assistant so central to the case, offered several damning details. First, he testified that Doug filled the Ambien prescription-- against his orders.
Chad White: Patient is to inform me of filling prescription.
Juan Martinez: Did you ever get a call that day?
Chad White: No, sir.
And yet pharmacy records show Doug filled the prescription in less than 25 minutes. The next day, the evidence seemed to show, Chad White had to call 911 - because Doug didn't.
I told him to call 911...He said I'm afraid to, I'm afraid to.
Juan Martinez: What is he afraid of?
Chad White: No. I-I've thought of that. I've thought of it often.
White said he arrived at the house and started CPR on Faylene.
Juan Martinez: What happened when you initiated the rescue breath?
Chad White: Water, uh, came out of her mouth.
Juan Martinez: Where did it go?
Chad White: Down the side of the bed.
You can see the water in the police photo, suggesting that Doug had not done CPR before Chad White arrived. Other witnesses contradicted key parts of Doug's story about the day Faylene died. For example-- a toxicologist refuted Doug's claim that Faylene got in the bathtub by herself.
Juan Martinez: Can a 123-pound woman given 50 milligrams of Ambien draw her own bath?
Toxicologist: Absolutely not.
A 911 operator insisted Doug did not call that day.
911 Operator: There was no call.
Paramedics testified that he seemed unusually calm.
Paramedic: I mean there-there was a dead lady on the bed for all intents and purposes, and- and nobody seemed to be...excited about it.
There was also something that seemed odd for a woman who'd supposedly been submerged water just a few minutes earlier:
Juan Martinez: Were you able to touch her skin...to see whether or not her body was wet?
Paramedic: I don't recall her body being wet, sir.
The same theme that what Doug said didn't match the facts also came up during testimony about Faylene's mysterious mishap in Utah three days before her death.
Juan Martinez: Those injuries that you saw, um, are they consistent with a 50 to 60-foot fall?
Emergency Room Doctor: Ah, not in my opinion, No.
And there was testimony about one scrape on Faylene's chest that seemed fresher than the others. The message: Doug was lying about the fall, and about his role in Faylene's death. The prosecution's boldest move was calling Hilary Grant, Doug's one-time girlfriend, now his wife.
Was she a woman in love? Or was she a motive for murder? Or even an accomplice? Or, once again, all of that?
Juan Martinez: It's clear that this is something that's very emotional to you, right?
Hilary Grant: Yes.
Juan Martinez: And it's because you care, right?
Hilary Grant: Yes.
Juan Martinez: You would have done anything for Douglas Grant, wouldn't have you?
Hilary Grant: Nope.
But that was the prosecutor's contention: that Hilary was so in love with Doug, she went along with his plot. Becoming pen pals with Faylene...
Juan Martinez: You never tell her that you are talking to her husband behind her back, do you, in those letters?
Hilary Grant: Written down. No.
Juan Martinez: Ma'am, do you ever tell her in those letters?
Hilary Grant: No, I do not.
Juan Martinez: You never tell her that you are talking to her husband behind her back, do you, in those letters?
Hilary Grant Written down. No.
Yet she was speaking with Doug, and apparently believing what he told her-- that Faylene was about to die.
Juan Martinez: And isn't it true that you kept checking your voicemail? Video: Witness stand: Hilary Grant
Hilary Grant: I did. That's correct...I thought Faylene was going to pass away.
And Hilary admitted as soon as Faylene was dead, she and Doug did meet, at night, in a park. But she denied the key detail. That was supplied by a former friend, who testified Hilary told her...
Kari Handley: That he reached over and grabbed her hips, and pulled them against him and said, "Mmm, I miss these."
It was a case full of juicy moments, but a lot of basics were missing. Like... Where was the proof Doug gave Faylene the Ambien? Or the proof that he put her in the bathtub? Or the proof that this was not suicide, or an accident? The testimony to come would tilt the balance dramatically.
He had sworn with an oath to defend his people...
Book of Mormon, Alma 48:13
Mel McDonald: If Doug had pushed her off on the 24th that is strong indication that he would have done something to her on the 27th.
It became a theme every time Mel McDonald opened his mouth. Prosecutor Juan Martinez used repeated objections to tie Doug Grant's defense attorney in knots.
Nevertheless, McDonald found some significant holes in the prosecution's evidence, starting with the testimony of Faylene's daughter, Jenna.
Jenna, you'll remember, testified that she found her parents' bedroom door locked at 7:40-- the exact time the prosecutor claims Doug was drowning Faylene. Powerful testimony, but there was a problem:
Mel McDonald: You never told the police about that version of events, correct?
Jenna Stradling: Yes, sir.
In fact, jenna had never mentioned a locked door-- until the trial. Was she embellishing her memory now to help convict Doug?
Jenna Stradling: I didn't want to tell anybody ‘cause I felt like somehow I contributed to my mother's death ‘cause I didn't knock on her door. So I felt guilty!
And what about Doug's supposed failure to call 911? Turns out that the city of Gilbert's 911 recording system was down that day-- but an independent database showed something interesting.
Chief Technology Officer: There's an AT&T wireless call to the Gilbert Police Department at 7:49 and 12 point 69 seconds.
Mel McDonald: You can't ID the caller?
Chief Technology Officer: Cannot.
It opened the possibility that Doug did call, but the police department failed to record it. Then there was the medical examiner, who'd performed Faylene's autopsy.
Mel McDonald: Isn't it true that the least likely of all the scenarios is homicide?
Medical Examiner: I have no evidence to support this being a homicide.
And the defense spun plenty of other scenarios. Like, Faylene may have killed herself by accident, since Ambien is known to have weird side effects in some people.
Mel McDonald: From your training in pharmacy, are you aware that-- of warnings relating to people who sleepwalk after taking even a prescribed dosage of Ambien?
Mel McDonald:Cases, warnings, about people actually getting in cars and driving?
Pharmacist: Yes, I've heard that.
Mel McDonald: From your training in pharmacy, are you aware that-- of warnings relating to people who sleepwalk after taking even a prescribed dosage of Ambien?
Darren Kennedy: Yes.
Mel McDonald: Cases, warnings, about people actually getting in cars and driving.
Darren Kennedy: Yes, I've heard that.
So why couldn't Faylene, on Ambien, draw a bath and get in, then lose consciousness and drown? Or maybe, the defense suggested, it wasn't an accident at all.
Mel McDonald: Did you have worries about Faylene's state of mind?
Tammy Fuentes: I did.
Mel McDonald: Did you have worries about Faylene's state of mind?
Tammy Fuentes: I did.
Doug's sister Tammy offered vivid testimony about what she found at Faylene and Doug's house just after Faylene's mishap in Utah.
Tammy Fuentes: One baggie had jewelry in it. There was a lot of enzymes, vitamins.
Josh Mankiewicz: Faylene had put all her possessions into plastic Ziploc bags?
Tammy Fuentes: Some of them. They all had notes of where they needed to be delivered to. Instructions to give these things to who she needed them to go to.
Josh Mankiewicz: Because she wouldn't be around?
Tammy Fuentes: Exactly. She was not coming home.
Hilary testified that really was Faylene's vision-- not Doug's.
Mel McDonald: Were you aware that anybody connected with Faylene that was pushing this revelation on her?
Hilary Grant: No.
Mel McDonald: Did she tell you the exact opposite? Video: 'He said that his wife is unconscious'
Hilary Grant: Yes, she did.
Mel McDonald: Did she indicate to you that there was disagreements between her and Doug over whether her revelation was real?
Juan Martinez: Objection. Hearsay.
Mel McDonald: Hilary, tell the jury what she told you about her revelations of death.
Hilary Grant: She said that heavenly father had told her to go to Utah, because that's where she was going to die. And she told me that she wanted me to be with Doug. Nothing would be too soon...
Mel McDonald: Were you aware that anybody was pushing this revelation on her?
Hilary Grant: No.
Mel McDonald: Did she tell you the exact opposite?
Hilary Grant: Yes, she did.
Mel McDonald: Did she indicate to you that there was disagreements between her and Doug over whether her revelation was real--
Juan Martinez: Objection. Hearsay.
Mel McDonald: Hilary, tell the jury what she told you about her revelations of death.
Hilary Grant: She said that heavenly father had told her to go to Utah, because that's where she was going to die. And she told me that she wanted me to be with Doug. Nothing would be too soon.
Suicide? Murder? Accident? A divine plan, or a very human one?
After years of investigation, months of testimony, one last chance to address the jury.
Juan Martinez: This -- ah -- false prophet, the defendant Douglas Grant, invoked the will of God...to sacrifice his wife Faylene on a lover's cross, for him and his paramour Hilary.
And Prosecutor Martinez claimed he knew exactly how Doug did it. He'd elicited testimony that Faylene's body felt dry to paramedics on the morning she drowned...
Paramedic: I don't recall her body being wet, sir.
And about an abrasion on her chest that seemed fresher than the others... Now in closing arguments, he put the pieces together for the first time.
Juan Martinez: Body's not wet, hair's not wet...And she's got this linear abrasion that-- the tub is the only thing that is in the house the has been shown that could have caused that...He's placing her head in the tub, pushing it down.
A graphic description of a premeditated killing.
Juan Martinez: You can be assured that the defendant is guilty of first degree murder.
Mel McDonald: You can't take a person and label him as a killer and not have evidence that is gonna hold up and be firm. You can't do it!
Defense attorney McDonald said there was no way to prove homicide, and urged the jury to consider Faylene's own writings, in which she seemed to be planning, even anticipating her death.
Mel McDonald: This is a unique chance to let Faylene speak to you about what happened.
He ended with an impassioned plea, and one more interruption.
Mel McDonald: What you decide will live beyond this courtroom...Thank you so much for your commitment and your time. And may God bless you. Its been a privilege.
Juan Martinez: We're gonna object. It's pandering to say God bless you.
Mel McDonald: It's not pandering.
Mel McDonald: What you decide will live beyond this courtroom. Thank you so much for your commitment and your time. And may God bless you. Its been a privilege.
The jury got the case without ever hearing from doug grant. He didn't testify. But he did talk to me.
Josh Mankiewicz: You look nervous.
Douglas Grant: Sure.
I will explain unto you this mystery....
Doctrine & Covenants, 19:8
Josh Mankiewicz: What is it with you and women?
Douglas Grant: What is it that you're asking about?
Josh Mankiewicz: You love them. You can't seem to stay away from them. You have some trouble staying faithful.
Douglas Grant: I've been married over seven years now. Did I have mistakes in the past? Absolutely.
And, yet, this isn't a person went out on their wife case. This is a first-degree murder case.
By the time Doug Grant sat down to talk with me, Faylene had been dead for more than seven years. He'd been tried for her murder, and at that moment, a jury was deliberating his fate.
Douglas Grant: The prosecution wants to paint Faylene as someone that's gullible and easily manipulated. They paint me as the ultimate manipulator.
Anybody that knew Faylene knew that that was impossible.
Doug says Faylene was strong-willed, like when she ended their first marriage.
Douglas Grant: She came to me and said that she felt, in the temple, that God told her she should divorce me.
Josh Mankiewicz: Did she know about your infidelities?
Douglas Grant: No. Not 'til after. She just felt God told her in the temple.
Josh Mankiewicz: And God turned out to be right.
Douglas Grant: God turned out to be right.
Josh Mankiewicz: You cheated on her.
Douglas Grant: Yes. I did. And she's a beautiful woman, and that was a huge mistake.
He says he loved Hilary, but jumped at the chance to go back to Faylene.
Douglas Grant: I messed up with Faylene. If I had the opportunity to get back with Faylene, and I didn't do it, then who am I? I mean, Faylene was the mother of my children.
Josh Mankiewicz: How'd Hillary take that?
Douglas Grant: Not well. As she shouldn't have.
Josh Mankiewicz: You broke her heart.
Douglas Grant: My heart broke too. . But I broke her heart. I absolutely broke her heart. She--
Josh Mankiewicz: You're kind of a heartbreaker.
Douglas Grant: Yeah, I've hurt-- I've hurt, and I've hurt some people I loved in my life.
He claims Faylene and Hilary developed a genuine friendship, odd as that may seem.
Josh Mankiewicz: A lot of women would say, "I'm not talking to that woman ever again. And neither are you."
Douglas Grant: Most people. I mean, I wouldn't-- I can't-- if it was turned around, I couldn't do that. I-- I-- no way. You know, I'm not-- not f-- who Faylene was. She said that she loved Hilary. She said that she knew Hilary was a good mother to the children. She said that she wanted to know that when she passed away, that she had somewhat of a feeling of peace of knowing who would be helping to raise those kids. And (sniff)--
Josh Mankiewicz: Did this not seem really strange to you?
Douglas Grant: Oh. It did. It absolutely did. There were times when you were like, "Come on," you know.
And there's times when I totally believe her.
Doug says he never told Faylene she was going to die, despite those journal entries where she refers to his "vision." He says he was caught up in her vision-- that she was going to the pre-existence to meet a new baby.
Douglas Grant: And so I go to bed, and I dream that it was like a cartoon almost. Like, she's bringin' this baby down, you know. And I tell her, I said, "Faylene, you know, I had this funny dream." I didn't call it a vision. I've never had a vision or a revelation in my life. I had this dream. And so I tell her about it. And she accepts it as if that's her answer that she's gonna be able to escort this baby down to Hilary. And that's what they keep bringing up that, you know, it was Doug's visions that she was gonna die.
Josh Mankiewicz: It was hers?
Douglas Grant: It was hers and it was from months and months before!
What happened on that cliff in Utah? Here's Doug's version.
Douglas Grant: She said she wanted to get a better view. That wasn't a big deal over that little rock barrier 'cause there's still 10, 12, 15 feet depending on which way you go there. And then she started goin' a little further and started lookin' up. And she said she could see the cloud shaped like Heavenly Father and Jesus. That was a little bit strange. I did get concerned. And I got up and started walking. And almost immediately she slipped.
Josh Mankiewicz: Any chance that she didn't slip? Any chance it was deliberate?
Douglas Grant: I hope not.
Josh Mankiewicz: I mean, you saw it, not me. Did it look like she slipped?
Douglas Grant: She slipped. And-- I couldn't see her. And I ran down. And thinkin' I'm gonna find my wife dead. And yellin' at the top of my lungs. And-- she yells, "Shut up. Shut up." And so I go. And she's standing up and--
Josh Mankiewicz: She's standing up?
Douglas Grant: She's standing up. At the bottom of a tree.
Josh Mankiewicz: The tree saved her life?
Douglas Grant: The tree saved her life. The tree saved her life.
He points out that Faylene told the same story he did to doctors, nurses, family and friends.
Josh Mankiewicz: And she was alone a number of times--
Douglas Grant: Number of times.
Josh Mankiewicz: --during that period and never said to anybody, "My husband's tryin' to kill me"?
Douglas Grant: 'Cause he wasn't. Who was trying to stop her from speaking? It's never been me.
Unless, of course, he silenced her for good, on the morning of Sept. 27, 2001. We'll hear Doug's story of that day, next.
At the same time a jury was deliberating whether Doug Grant killed his wife Faylene, he was telling me his version of the night she died. Doug says Faylene was still in pain from the fall she'd taken in Utah, so he called Chad White-- a physician’s assistant he knew. White prescribed pain medication and a sleeping pill, Ambien.
Josh Mankiewicz: Chad White said to call him before you filled the Ambien prescription.
Douglas Grant: Yeah. He did.
Josh Mankiewicz: But you filled it. And you didn't tell him.
Douglas Grant: No. I did fill it.
Doug says he got the sleeping pills-- even though he'd been told not to-- because he was exhausted. He couldn't stay awake, and Faylene couldn't sleep.
Douglas Grant: The second she'd move, or I'd lay on the bed wrong, she'd wake up in pain.
And so I told her, you know, "If-- if you still can't sleep and I'm out. Maybe take a sleeping pill, you know. Whatever it takes for you to be able to sleep. And-- those were my last words.
From there, his memory gets hazy.
Douglas Grant: I remember she wet the bed.
Josh Mankiewicz: At this point, you didn't know whether she'd taken Ambien or--
Douglas Grant: No.
Josh Mankiewicz: --any pills?
Douglas Grant: I didn't know she'd taken anything else, you know. So, she wet the bed. She came over to my side. She was able to walk to my side of the bed. And so I helped her to the toilet. And I sat back down on the end of the bed. She said she wanted to take a bath. And I remember laying down. And then I remember waking up and knowing something was wrong. I go in the bathroom. She's in the tub. She's under the water. Her hair's floating. And so I pick her out of the tub. I carry her to the bed. And I start CPR. I know CPR.
Josh Mankiewicz: Why didn't you do CPR right there, next to the tub?
Douglas Grant: I got her up and it was wet. And so I just walked to the bed. I laid her on the bed. I don't know why.
Josh Mankiewicz: But if you know CPR, you know you need a hard surface.
Douglas Grant: That bed was hard enough. Especially on the side.
Josh Mankiewicz: Okay.
Douglas Grant: I-- I know CPR.
Josh Mankiewicz: So you know what you're doin'?
Douglas Grant: I thought I did. But it wasn't workin'. It wasn't workin.
Josh Mankiewicz: But you didn't know how long she'd been under the water?
Douglas Grant: I didn't. But it-- it shouldn't have mattered. I-- you do the two rescue breaths. You do the 15. You do the two. And I lift her up and vomit comes out on me, no water. No water. And I know I need water. So I lay her down and I try again. Then when Chad comes and he turns her side, and does it. Water comes out. Then the paramedics come and they get water out. They get water out at the hospital.
What about the phone calls he made that morning? Records show Doug called Chad white. He insists he made another call as well.
Douglas Grant: I called 911.
Josh Mankiewicz: Why isn't there any record of that?
Douglas Grant: There is record of it. There's a call from an AT&T phone from Gilbert to Gilbert at 7:49 I called Chad first. In retrospect, should I have called 911 first? Absolutely.
But seeing what I saw, the first thing that came to my mind was Chad. Then I did CPR. The second thing was call 911. Through all of this crap from being indicted to this day, I've always said I called 911.
But remember what Chad White said in his 911 call:
I told him to call 911 and he said i'm afraid to, i'm afraid to.
Josh Mankiewicz: You told Chad White you were afraid to call 911.
Douglas Grant: No.
Josh Mankiewicz: Why would Chad say that?
Douglas Grant: Listen to the recording. I said I was afraid. I was afraid. It wasn't working. My wife was not responding and I was afraid. I was afraid to the core of my very being.
And yet, that night or the next, he met Hilary in a park. After all, he says-- he had the letter Faylene had written.
Douglas Grant: And the letter says, "I want you to be married and come to my funeral hand-in-hand."
Josh Mankiewicz: As husband and wife?
Douglas Grant: As husband and wife. As husband and wife. What do you do? You fax it to Hilary? // I call Hilary and say, "I've got this letter. You've got to see it, 'cause it talks about wantin' something to happen soon." I show her the letter. Nothin' sexual. No hips, no--
Josh Mankiewicz: You didn't grab her hips and say, "I miss these"?
Douglas Grant: No. That is sick and that is ridiculous.
Josh Mankiewicz: What if you hadn't married Hilary so quickly?
Douglas Grant: I don't know. Would I be here today?
Josh Mankiewicz: I think not.
Douglas Grant: You think not? Some people will agree with you.
Is Doug Grant an admitted cad who became the victim of his wife's delusions and a flawed investigation? Or is he an admitted cad who was one spruce tree away from committing the perfect murder? It may not mean anything... But here's the only time in our interview when Doug seemed to get really angry.
Josh Mankiewicz: Is it possible that what you really wanted to do was make sure that letters in which Faylene talked about dying soon got in front of people, so that maybe it would look like she did kill herself?
Douglas Grant: I've never said she killed herself. Other people have said it, family members and all that. I didn't say it. Do I still have concerns? Absolutely. But do we know? We don't know. So if we don't know, give some of the benefit of the doubt. It's wrong for you or anyone else out there to say any different. I know she wasn't murdered. I know I didn't kill my wife. You have two options. You have accident or you have suicide. Since you don't know anyone that knows Faylene, that loves Faylene, then you go with Faylene. You allow who she was to live on and people know who she is.
Josh Mankiewicz: Yeah. But that's the question. I mean--
Douglas Grant: No. The question is whether I murdered her or not.
Josh Mankiewicz: No.
Douglas Grant: Not when-- was she accident or suicide.
Josh Mankiewicz: No.
Douglas Grant: 'Cause either of those, I'm not h-- 'posed to be here, right? If it was accident or suicide? So leave it alone. I didn't kill my wife.
So he says... But what would the jury decide?
Let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law...
Book of Mormon, Mosiah 29:11
Josh Mankiewicz: Let me see a show of hands, did anybody wanna be on this jury? (laughter) Really, no one.
Seven of the twelve jurors who decided Doug Grant's fate agreed to talk to us about their deliberations, which were just as painstaking as the four-month trial had been. To start with, the physical evidence - or lack of it - gave them no clear picture of what happened.
Karen: When the prosecutor waited to his closing arguments to say, "Well, he took her by the back of the head and pushed her head in the bathtub. And that's how she got those abrasions on the side." There was no way that those abrasions could've happened from that.
As for that strange incident in Utah:
Josh Mankiewicz: What do you think happened at Timpanogos?
Pam: (laughter) We don't know.
Karen: We don't know. (laughter)
So, they immersed themselves in the circumstantial evidence.
Josh Mankiewicz: You read Faylene's journals?
Josh Mankiewicz: Very closely? What did you make of Faylene's writings, that she was ready to die, that she expected to die? You think Doug placed that in her head or--
Josh Mankiewicz: She had those feelings?
Pam: She had those feelings.
Josh Mankiewicz: What sort of picture emerged of Doug Grant during the trial?
Karen: We don't really know. We just get to see a little tiny bit of who he was. And it's hard to make a whole judgment about who Doug Grant was, on that little bit.
Ironically, Doug's history of infidelity made it harder to find a motive.
Matt: I don't know what his motive was. And that was a big thing to me. It's like, he'd already had Hillary. So, why would you--
Josh Mankiewicz: So the idea that he would have to get rid of his wife, so he could have this other woman, he'd done that before without killing anybody.
Brett: There was a question of the-- the settlement, the business settlement--
Brett: And-- also the life insurance was $300,000. So--
Josh Mankiewicz: So you think-- you think it's conceivable money was the motive?
Karen: it's a possibility.
It was a possibility. It's also a possibility that she took too many pills. Drowned in the bathtub. And he didn't call 911. And that's what happened.
Doug was charged with first-degree murder, a premeditated plot to kill Faylene. But the jury could also consider two lesser charges: second degree murder, which does not require premeditation, or manslaughter. recklessly causing another person's death. They argued for days.
Josh Mankiewicz: You think Doug planned to kill Faylene.
Diane: I did think he planned-- to kill Faylene.
Matt: I didn't think there was evidence that showed that he planned it out in advance.
Josh Mankiewicz: You thought what? Faylene took the pills on her own and Doug let her die or didn't care?
Matt: Didn't care, screwed up, somethin' like that, yeah. Even if Doug gave her, say, "Here, here's some Ambien, take it so you can go to sleep," I don't see a criminal act of a husband giving medication to your wife.
In the end, it seemed to come down to one thing.
Josh Mankiewicz: If there'd been a 911 call from Doug Grant, would we be here today?
Brett: I don't think so.
Various: Probably not. It would be a different story.
March 24, 2009, seven and a half years after faylene's death, the jury's word came down.
First-degree murder: Unable to agree. Second-degree murder: Unable to agree. Manslaughter: guilty.
Guilty on the least of the charges. Still, Doug Grant was taken straight into custody. But his time in court wasn't over yet. Under Arizona law, the jury helps decide what the sentence should be. So, a few days later - and fresh from jail - Doug Grant, unshaven, disheveled, made his way to the witness stand to plead for mercy.
Doug: So I hopped up, yelled Faylene's name, and her head was underwater.
Faylene's family had told us that Doug could work a crowd like no one else...
Doug: It didn't work. It didn't work.
How would his emotions now affect the jury?
Josh Mankiewicz: What'd you think of Doug's testimony?
Pam: It was a little bit too late for me. And it was a lot of crying with no tears.
On May 15, 2009, the judge sentenced Douglas Grant to five years in prison. After years of mystery-- and misery -- an investigation full of false starts and dead ends. A contentious and angry trial. Doug was called to account -- in this world, at least -- for the death that Faylene herself foretold. It was outcome doug had already considered.
Josh Mankiewicz: Can you accept a guilty verdict?
Douglas Grant: No. Absolutely not. 'Cause I'm not guilty. I can't accept it and I won't accept it. No matter what happens, the truth will come out eventually.
After Faylene's death, Hilary did become the mother of her children-- legally adopting the two boys Faylene had with Doug. And as Faylene had foretold, Doug and Hilary also had a little girl together. They named her Nevaeh. That's "heaven," spelled backward.
© 2013 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints