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NBC Universal Anchors and Correspondents
By Keith Morrison Correspondent
NBC News
updated 5/10/2010 1:09:56 PM ET 2010-05-10T17:09:56
transcript

This report aired on Dateline Friday May 7, 9 p.m./8 C.

KEITH MORRISON reporting:  It may be one of the most twisted murder stories you'll ever see.

Mr. JAIME RAMOS: I was telling myself you're doing this because you love her.

MORRISON: Certainly one of the most twisted love affairs.


MISTY: She said, `Is there a dead body in the house?' And I said `Well, no.'

MORRISON:  But somebody was dead, that was obvious.

Detective MIKE LENSING: In between the couch and the wood stove...

...is a spray of blood.

MORRISON:  It was supposed to look like an accident.

MISTY:  She kept saying `I'm so sorry. I'm just so sorry.'

MISTY: And I'm thinking, why are you sorry?

MORRISON:  And police were supposed to believe it was jealousy that caused it.

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(Patty at police station; Ramos)

MISTY: He looked at her with such lust.

MORRISON:  But it was all a lie, except for the lust and the murder.

Mr. JAMES CLARK:  My viewpoint of her is she's a reptile.

MORRISON:  And while the cops track down the truth...

Det. LENSING:  This is the rug he was on...

Mr. LENSING: ...at the time he was murdered.

MORRISON:  She tracked down her lover.

Detective PAUL HADJES: If he was...

...dead we would have...

(Ramos)

Det. HADJES: ...had a hard time proving this case.

MORRISON:  But love was the last thing on her mind.

MORRISON: Why the hell didn't you just run?

Mr. RAMOS: I kept feeling the love.

MORRISON: The love? She just tried to shoot you to death.

The strange story of The Seduction.

(Title graphic)

ANN CURRY: Good evening and welcome to DATELINE. I'm Ann Curry. Something happens when love turns to obsession, and it is rarely good. In tonight's story an obsessed lover was willing to do almost anything to keep the woman he loved, even if it cost a life, even if that life was his. Here's Keith Morrison.

Mr. JAIME RAMOS: Did you just shoot me? Did you just really shoot me?

KEITH MORRISON reporting:  He didn't feel them, the .44 Magnum slugs that ripped through his body, blew holes in the wall behind him.

Mr. RAMOS:  And I'm on the ground and I'm crying...

Mr. RAMOS: ...why are you killing me?

MORRISON:  And she answered with a bullet to the chest. So of course it's a love story in its own weird, perverted way. A story about a kid on a date, about people who act like they're living in movies, like "Double Indemnity," or "Body Heat," or "Sin City." But the star would be the simple, trusting guy who gets played for a chump, if you can imagine a chump's worst nightmare.

Mr. RAMOS: I had an uncle by marriage and he was sexually molesting me.

MORRISON:  But then life had never been a box of chocolates for Jaime Ramos.

Mr. RAMOS: I was about six, seven, when it started and it ended about somewhere between 15 and 17. I...

MORRISON: Ten years?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON:  He barely knew his imprisoned father, not even a memory of mother.

Mr. RAMOS: I lost my mother at two years old. She committed suicide.

MORRISON:  Is that why young Jaime turned out the way he did?

Mr. RAMOS: I think in reality is what has always caused me to seek for a mother figure in my life.

MORRISON: How do you feel when you're with older women?

Mr. RAMOS: I just feel like secure.

MORRISON:  Needy was our Jaime. And then he was in ninth grade, hormones in overdrive, and a woman who offered herself as a substitute mother of sorts was one of his teachers.

Mr. RAMOS:  We became friends and then it started to become an intimate relationship. And I was with her till I was about 17.

MORRISON: Outrageous, of course, illegal, immoral, just plain wrong. And like all the forbidden loves in the movies, it was destined to end badly. The teacher finally sent him a message, Jaime tells us, severing their relationship.

And when the heartsick boy ran to her house to plead with her not to leave him she locked him out.

Mr. RAMOS: I ended up smashing the sliding door open with a chair outside that she had, a patio chair.

MORRISON:  Police were called, of course, and Jaime arrested.

Mr. RAMOS: And the last words I ever heard from her were, `Don't dare you say you know me, you psycho.'

MORRISON:  That's when he was overcome by the strangest feeling. It would happen a lot, like he was living in a movie. In this case the film noir thriller "Body Heat" in which a lover is wildly obsessed by his woman. Jaime wasn't thinking about the part where the lover is set up to take the fall for a husband's murder. But then why would he? That would be like remembering something that hadn't happened. Not yet, anyway. For now Jaime's life out in California's Mojave Desert was quite a mess. A stretch in juvy, no job waiting on the outside, and it was ironically in the spirit of kindness that some well meaning soul directed Jaime up here, up here to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where Jaime joined the California Conservation Corps, a work camp where a kid can grow and learn in the great outdoors. Naturally such places require supervisors to watch over the young people, look out for them. One of Jaime's minders was a married middle-aged mother by the name of Patty Presba.

Mr. RAMOS: I saw all the other young men and women there calling her mother, mom.

MORRISON:  And so, of course, Jaime did, too.

MORRISON: How did she respond?

Mr. RAMOS: With pure kindness and understanding.

MORRISON:  Jaime felt he had finally found someone he could confide in about his years of abuse.

MR. RAMOS: I gave her my whole life story, from beginning to end. I've given her things that my family doesn't even know about. She made me feel like a man again.

MORRISON: Never felt like a man before?

Mr. RAMOS: I never felt like a real man before until I talked to her.

MORRISON:  Mind you, Patty was every bit of 47, years that had lumped themselves unkindly around her face and frame. And Jaime was a baby-faced 21, younger than any of Patty's four children. But who can understand the mysteries of love? Within weeks, romance bloomed. Their flirtatious encounters were even occasionally caught on store surveillance tapes, all playing out in a country place where everybody knows everybody pretty much. They call it the Divide, this isolated mountaintop capped with a faded gold rush town with a population smaller than most high schools. Hard to keep a secret up here. So they were careful, mostly. She'd sneak in late at night when the others were asleep.

MORRISON: Didn't it seem odd to you to be with an older woman?

Mr. RAMOS: It never felt odd. It always felt right for me.

MORRISON: Just...

Mr. RAMOS: Just to have that comfort.

MORRISON:  Twisted, well, perhaps yes, to you or me. But Jaime was a lover one day, a son the next, and all along showered with gifts and attention. She even took him shooting with her brand-new revolver, a .44 Magnum.

Mr. RAMOS: I was shooting bullets for, like, half an hour straight. Just having the time of my life.

MORRISON: What did that feel like?

Mr. RAMOS: Powerful, and I felt like a kid, you know, like, that's the thing about those experiences. I always ended up feeling like a kid again.

MORRISON: And how did that make you feel about her?

Mr. RAMOS: It made me feel indebted.

MORRISON:  Indebted indeed. Jaime would learn soon enough that Patty expected repayment. She had his heart. Next on Patty's list, Jaime's soul and her husband.

(Photos of Patty; photo of Patty and Ramos; Ramos; photo of Patty and Ron Presba)

Mr. RAMOS: And she's like, `Well, you want me to leave him, right?' `Yes.' `Well, then, what if he accidentally dies?'

MORRISON:  When The Seduction continues.

MORRISON:  Life had been an awful struggle for Jaime Ramos out here on the sun-blistered sandy streets of his boyhood. No mother, no father, sexually abused by an uncle. So if once a childhood teacher awakened his desire, well, perhaps it wasn't so hard to understand. But his love now for Patty, a woman twice his age. Her youngest son was older than Jaime. And he was more impassioned than ever. He'd do anything for this woman, anything. Oh, and he would.

MORRISON: You liked to please her, huh?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON: Did you ever try not pleasing her, disagreeing with her?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes. And she would get angry with me. And it hurt me. I went back to feeling insignificant. I went back to feeling alone.

MORRISON: And not a man?

Mr. RAMOS: And not a man. It always brings me back to the void of losing my mother. It's unbearable. Your bones want to come out of your skin from anxiety, you start thinking these suicidal thoughts.

MORRISON:  And once when Patty was making up with Jaime after putting him through one of those awful black and needy days, she revealed a terrible secret. Her husband, Ron Presba, she said, had been beating her.

Mr. RAMOS:  I just kept telling her...

Mr. RAMOS: ...well, get a divorce, leave, find an apartment. Do something. Live with your kids. But it was never that simple. There was always some complication for her.

MORRISON: Like what, for example?

Mr. RAMOS: Even her children didn't believe her. I felt bad. But she's one of the most honest people I've ever met, and yet she's telling me how her kids don't even believe her. It made me feel even more in love with her, like, wow, I guess it really is only you and me against them.

MORRISON: Yeah, the two of you against the world.

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON:  And then one secret weekend they managed to get away. Patty said she told her husband she was attending a conference in San Francisco. But really she was attending to Jaime. And she had a special surprise in mind to be unveiled along this pier near Fisherman's Wharf. It was Valentine's Day.

Mr. RAMOS: She bought two matching engagement rings and she gave her private ceremony of a wedding with me. And I felt that I was her husband.During this wedding she said that she promised me that the only way we'd break up ever would be death, death do us apart, literally.

MORRISON:  And a few weeks later, Patty arranged another trip, another weekend tryst. This time it was Las Vegas, and she told him it was to be their honeymoon.

(Las Vegas at night; palm trees; Las Vegas Boulevard sign; water fountain in front of hotel; Las Vegas Strip; cars on road; Las Vegas sign; Las Vegas; water fountain)

Mr. RAMOS:  She took me to the place that I always wanted to go to and that was the Star Trek Experience. It was the greatest time of my life.

Mr. RAMOS: And to this day I honestly believe that I was on the Enterprise. I got to talk to Commander Riker and Data and Georgi La Forge. I mean, it was great.

MORRISON:  To Jaime, Patty was a rainmaker, a magical person who could transform him from boy to man to husband, and his love, his obsession, was real, it was spiritual. Those secret wedding vows they exchanged on this San Francisco pier were as binding to Jaime as if they'd been made in a holy cathedral before God. A promise he made terrifyingly real a few weeks later. It was during one of their weekend getaways. They were on the freeway, Jaime driving, when his cell phone rang. It was an ex-girlfriend and Patty, listening to Jaime's slightly embarrassed attempts to politely get the girl off the phone, became suddenly violently angry.

(Ramos and Patty on store surveillance tape; wharf; boats on water; postcards; wharf; roadway stripes; view from moving vehicle; cars on freeway; mountains; cars on freeway)

Mr. RAMOS:  She throws this water bottle at my head and that gets me...

(Cars on freeway)

Mr. RAMOS: ...flustered, like `What did you do that for? Just pull the car over, turn it around, we're over, we're through.' I started yelling at her, telling her, `So you're telling me that we're through?' She said `yes.' And I said `Well, then that means we need to die if that's what you're saying.'

I pushed the car to, like, 95 and I purposely ran myself under a semi truck.

Somehow we spun out from the tires...

(Semi truck)

Mr. RAMOS: ...instead of getting sucked in, and landed in the median, rolling, and not a scratch on us. And I told her, `I told you, till death do us apart.'

MORRISON: So what else would Jaime do for Patty's love? After the accident she offered her forgiving embraces. She brought Jaime out of his misery. And then she began sobbing and trembling and told him she had a terrible secret, more terrible than any secret she had told him before. Her husband, she said, had become even more violent and now he had crossed a dreadful threshold. Now he had raped her.

Mr. RAMOS: I felt like this man did it to me, and I promised myself that this will never happen to me again. And since it happened to me again, I'm going to hurt this man.

MORRISON:  And that's the moment when a strange, dark and curious little idea wormed its way into Jaime's all-consuming story of love. It was Patty's idea, of course. She was a movie buff, too. And she fed Jaime a line right out of "Body Heat."

(Ramos; photo of Patty; film projector)

Ms. KATHLEEN TURNER: (Clip from "Body Heat") I wish he'd die. That's really what I want. It's horrible and it's ugly, and it's what I most want.

Mr. RAMOS: She's like, `Well, you want me to leave him, right?' `Yes.' `And you don't want him to hurt me no more, right?' `Yes.' `Well, then what if he accidentally dies?'

MORRISON:  Coming up, if only Jaime had known Patty's real plans, and the real Patty.

(Patty and Ramos on store surveillance tape; photos of Patty and Ron)

APRIL: I've not liked her since day one. She just rubbed me the wrong way. She was very fake.

MORRISON:  When DATELINE continues.

(DATELINE graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  Life in the mountains can be dangerous. Accidents do happen here. So now when Patty came to spirit Jaime away from his dormitory, she filled his head with ideas about all the dreadful things that could well happen to that abusive husband of hers.

(Title graphic; clouds; mountain; pine trees; mountain road; camp; photo of Ron and Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: She starts coming up with these ideas of, you know, him going off a cliff.

MORRISON:  But to him, says Jaime, all that talk was just that, talk. No more real than some plot line from one of the movies he liked to watch. What was Patty planning? Jaime began to understand when his lover bought some paperwork to their next secret tryst.

(Ramos; film projector; photo of Ron and Patty truck on road; pine trees; Georgetown sign)

Mr. RAMOS: It came one day to where she presented me an envelope with this life insurance policy. And that's when I realized that everything we were talking about was really for real.

MORRISON:  The life insurance policy would pay the beneficiary twice as much if the insured person died an accidental death. That kind of policy is known in the business as double indemnity. "Double Indemnity" is also the name of a '40s film classic about a woman who seduces a man and sets him up to kill her husband.

(Photos of Ron and Patty; photo of Ron; clip from "Double Indemnity")

MORRISON:  But that was long before Jaime's time. And for all the movies he watched, this was a plot line he knew nothing about. Even if in this new and real-life version the starring role would be his.

(Clip from "Double Indemnity;" film projector light; film reel; Ramos)

Mr. RAMOS: In my mind if it makes her happy, then that's what I'll do.

MORRISON: Because unhappy...

Mr. RAMOS: Because unhappy is not...

MORRISON: Not an option.

Mr. RAMOS: Not an option. And whatever happened to me didn't matter, as long as she was happy.

MORRISON:  Jaime had, he told her, only one condition.

(Ramos; road; car speedometer)

Mr. RAMOS: I told her, `If you want me to kill a man, I need to see what he's like.'

MORRISON:  So Patty concocted one of her stories. She told Ron that Jaime had just quit his job with the Conservation Corps and needed a place to stay for a few weeks before moving on to Texas. And now Jaime finally had a chance to face Patty's monster.

(Ramos; patches on shirt sleeve; truck on roadway; photo of Ron)

Mr. RAMOS:  Right away he wasn't the man I expected.

(Photo of Ron)

Mr. RAMOS: He was very enjoyable. He taught me things about using hand tools. He was funny. He had a lot of jokes. He told me about his life and his kids. He was not at all the man that she had portrayed him to be.

MORRISON:  No. Not at all. In fact, we leave the love birds briefly and spend a couple of minutes with their intended victim. Ron Presba was a bear of a man, born and raised right here on the Divide. Never lived anywhere else. He'd had all kinds of jobs. Ranch hand, backhoe operator, you name it. But mostly he was a father and a son, and people around here liked him.

(Ramos; Ramos and Patty on store surveillance tape; photo of Ron; clouds; photo of backhoe; photo of Ron with April and Misty; photo of Ron)

MORRISON: Ron loved his simple life up here in the Divide. He was a real mountain man, an original. Raised his two daughters on his modest acreage up there among the pine trees, tried marriage three times. But the one constant in his life year after year was the short stroll across the street to his mother's house, where the two of them would sit together every  afternoon and have tea.

Ron's mother, Lois, says her son was devoted to his two adoring daughters, April and Misty, and they to him.

(Lois sipping tea; April and Misty)

LOIS:  Oh, my gosh. He was like a father and a mother. They didn't have a mother...

(April and Misty)

LOIS: ...so, I mean, he, you know, cooked and took care of their laundry and cleaned the house.

APRIL: He'd do our hair and...

MISTY: French braid our hair.

APRIL: Yeah, French braid our hair. And he'd, you know, he...

MORRISON: Grizzly Adams would French braid your hair?

MISTY: Yeah.

APRIL: Yeah.

MORRISON: Whoa.

APRIL: He just--and he knew, you know, he was like a mother/father and he really knew how to take care of us, and he did a really good job and taught us a lot.

MORRISON:  And even though by the time Ron took up with Patty, his two daughters were moving off into lives of their own. They were confused about his infatuation and then quite deeply hurt when their father, not a word to them, eloped.

(Photo of Ron and Patty; photo of Ron kissing Patty)

APRIL: I have not liked her since day one. She just rubbed me the wrong way.

She was very fake, very...

MORRISON: Fake?

APRIL: I just had those vibes of false from her. She just--nothing that she said seemed to be true.

MORRISON:  Ron's mother got the same impression as well.

(Photo of Ron and Lois)

LOIS: There was just something that just wasn't real about her. I just really couldn't put my finger on it, but Ron seemed to be totally in love with her and, you know, so you go along with his wishes.

MORRISON:  Sound familiar? Ron would do anything to make Patty happy.

(Photo of Ron; photo of Patty)

APRIL: He was trying to please her. He was always trying to please her.

MORRISON:  And when she lied to him, told him she had been sexually assaulted by her own father, Ron believed it, took it to heart, even if his daughters didn't believe her for a minute.

(Photo of Patty and Ron; photo of Ron, Misty and April)

MISTY: She had told my dad that she was molested by her dad. And my dad, raising two daughters of his own, I think that he felt sorry for her and was just, like, I need to help her.

MORRISON:  But was it pity Patty was after or was it a kind of control Ron seemed unaware of? The daughters had caught Patty in an affair once before. And now they had radar for these things. Seemed pretty obvious to them Patty was straying again.

(Photo of Patty and Ron; photo of Ron, Misty and April)

MISTY: And we knew because she started wearing makeup, and she lost almost 60 pounds. And she was dressing all cutesy and...

APRIL: Short shorts and tighter pants and...

MISTY:  Laying out in the sun. You know, I think that--my dad was an intelligent man, so I think that he did know, but I think that he, again, was just finding the good.

(Photo of Ron and Patty)

APRIL: Mm-hmm.

MISTY: And, you know, he always wanted to please. And so it was...

...maybe if I do more then she'll recognize that.

(Photo of Ron and Patty)

MORRISON:  Desperately trying to win over a woman who had only murder on her mind. Now she had a man willing to do the dirty work.

(Photo of Patty; Ramos and Patty on store surveillance tape; door)

Mr. RAMOS: I was going to use a falling ax.

MORRISON:  Would he go through with it? When The Seduction continues.

(Night; title graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  It was a modest little place up here in the mountains. The house, a piece of rundown ticky-tack always needed something, but it was the home they'd grown up in and loved. And Misty and April, mothers themselves now, popped around all the time to see their dad, talked to him most every day. So they couldn't understand why their father didn't tell them a young man had moved into the house. Misty found out quite by accident during one of her visits.

(Title graphic; film projector; trees; house; wind chimes; photo of Ron, Misty and April; trees; house)

MISTY: And that was really odd. I'm, like what's this kid doing here, Dad? Who is this? And he introduced me to him and I asked him a ton of questions because here this person is on my dad's property and I don't know him. And he says, `Oh, I'm just here for a few weeks before I go to Texas.' So then I start asking more questions. And we go in the house and he goes straight into one of the bedrooms. And I look at my dad and I'm like...

APRIL: Dad!

MISTY: ...this kid has been living here for two weeks and you haven't even said anything to me?

MORRISON:  The sisters knew right away something wasn't right.

How could their father be so naive about Patty?

(April and Misty; photo of Ron and Patty)

MISTY: I thought she was having an affair with Jaime.

MORRISON: Imagine, when you thought about her having an affair with him, I mean...

MISTY: It's disgusting. He was younger than her youngest child.

APRIL: Yeah. Gross.

MISTY: And there's something seriously wrong with that.

MORRISON:  But their father, when it came to Patty, he only saw goodness.

(Photo of Ron and Patty)

APRIL: I think dad just bottom line is he truly, wholeheartedly loved her and believed in her. He would cater to her every need. He would wake up in the morning and...

MISTY: Make her breakfast and coffee.

APRIL: ...make her breakfast and coffee. And dad always just went out of his way for her, always.

MORRISON:  Jaime, remember, had come here to witness the behavior of an abusing brute. But he, too, saw only devotion.

(Photo of Ron and Patty kissing; photo of Ron and Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: He did anything to please her.

MORRISON: In fact, Jaime, doesn't it sound a little bit as if he had a relationship with her which was in some ways like yours? In other words, he was always trying to please her?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON: Was he ever mean to her?

Mr. RAMOS: Not once did I hear him raise his voice.

MORRISON: Not at all?

Mr. RAMOS: Not at all.

MORRISON: This is the ogre who's been raping and beating her?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON: It didn't make any sense.

Mr. RAMOS: Didn't make any sense.

MORRISON:  So Jaime dropped the whole idea of murder, couldn't possibly kill this lovely man. Right? Well, no. Because Patty had made her decision about what was going to happen here at Ron Presba's farm yard.

(Film projector; photo of Ron; trees; building; film projector)

MORRISON: It's always been an air of tragedy about the place. The first settler put in this old stone foundation more than 100 years ago as part of a house he intended to build for his bride. Abandoned the project when she died. Ron had been using it rather ideally as a pigpen. But now Patty told Jaime this old stone foundation was to be the location of her husband's murder.

The plan: Jaime was to lure Ron to the pigpen, hit him from behind, load his body into his old Suburban and roll it off the side of this mountain road, known by the locals as Chili Bar.

(Stone foundation; pigpen; mountain road)

MORRISON: Of all the miles of winding road around Ron's little farm, this was the perfect spot to stage an accident. You see that S curve where the truck is coming around the hill over there? There's no protective barrier. A car can go right down into the valley, hundreds of feet below. And just over here, behind that berm, is the only place along this road which is perfect for hiding a getaway car.

On June 24, 2008, Patty went shopping with Jaime for shoes and coveralls in case the killing got messy. That afternoon Patty took Jaime to a used auto lot and bought him a getaway car, a 2003 green Hyundai. Afterwards Patty went to dinner with family while Jaime returned to Ron's place.

(Ramos and Patty on store surveillance tape; Patty and Ramos at used car lot; Patty and Ramos)

Mr. RAMOS: Her alibi was being with her daughter and granddaughter all day.

MORRISON: How did you communicate with each other over that day?

Mr. RAMOS: By phone. We had prepaid phones, you know, for them not to be traceable.

MORRISON: You thought about that in advance?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON: Who went and bought them?

Mr. RAMOS: She did.

MORRISON:  Jaime and Ron were now alone at the house. The murder was supposed to take place just before nightfall out by the pigpen. But as the hours ticked down, Jaime wavered.

(House at nightfall; pigpen)

Mr. RAMOS: If there's any definition of doubt, that's what I was feeling.

MORRISON:  In the movie that was Jaime's life, Ron Presba was a monster. But this man in front of him now just wasn't. But Patty could never have lied. Jaime was sure. She never lied. It was all so confusing.

(Film projector; photo of Ron; photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: What she tells me I'm supposed to believe. I'm supposed to say that it's real. But what I experience I know is real and I saw it firsthand. And they do not meet up in any way or form.

MORRISON: And you're about to kill him?

Mr. RAMOS: And I'm about to kill him.

MORRISON: Based just on what you've been telling me here, it sounds as if this man was one of the very few good men you'd ever experienced living with in your life. Would that be fair and accurate?

Mr. RAMOS: That would be fair and accurate. If none of this came about and I lived there, I can definitely embrace him as a father figure, teaching me trades, giving me advise, and just being kind.

MORRISON:  Could he accept the truth his own eyes saw? Or was it only Patty's version he could allow himself to believe?

(Ramos; photo of Patty)  Mr. RAMOS: I thought of the rape. I thought of my rape.

MORRISON: To get yourself angry.

Mr. RAMOS: To get myself angry, to justify myself to blind what I felt was the truth.

MORRISON:  So as the summer sunset and the two watched television, Jaime told Ron, who was hard of hearing, that the pigs were making noise and maybe they should investigate. It was out by the pigpen, you'll recall, where Ron was to be murdered.

(Sunset; pigpen)

Mr. RAMOS:  Because that way it'd...

(Pigpen)

Mr. RAMOS: ...be easier to hide, clean up, if you want to say. I was going to use a falling ax and I had it here by my waist ready to swing, but the adrenaline that I felt that should have surged through went in and out in a split second and I went and I sat it beside a tree on the way.

MORRISON: You couldn't do it?

Mr. RAMOS: I couldn't do it.

MORRISON:  A few minutes later, Jaime slipped away, phoned Patty, begged her to accept what he now knew in his heart, that she was mistaken about her husband.

(House)

Mr. RAMOS: I said, `Patty, I don't believe this. I don't believe this,' I told her. `This is wrong. This is wrong.'

MORRISON: And she said what?

Mr. RAMOS: `You're telling me you don't love me right now? If you're going to do it, do it. And if not, just leave.'

MORRISON:  Oh, Patty was not finished with Jaime, and not with her husband, either. And once these two got involved, well, what they had to do was just plain...

(Ramos; photo of Patty; photo of Patty and Ron; Paul Hadjes and Mike Lensing; road; crime scene)

MORRISON: Weird.

Detective PAUL HADJES: It was.

Detective MIKE LENSING: Very.

MORRISON:  When DATELINE continues.

(DATELINE graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  It was the morning after the night at Ron Presba's pigpen, the morning after Jaime lost his nerve and put aside the ax with which he was going to kill Patty's husband. It was about 8 AM. Ron's daughter April was heading to her sister Misty's house. She was winding along Chili Bar Road, when she came across a brush fire. There was a roadblock, a line of cars.

(Title graphic; stone foundation; pigpen; nighttime; clouds; mountain road; cars on road; mountain road; flames)

APRIL: Patty and her friend was parked and sitting out of their cars leaned up against the hood of the car. So I pulled in there and turned around and Patty approached me. She says `Honey, April, dad didn't come home last night.' And I said back to her a couple of times, `Yes, he did, I talked to him on the phone that night.'

MORRISON:  As April was talking with Patty up on the road, down at the base of the gorge firefighters were making their way to the cause of the blaze, a still smoldering Chevy Suburban, registered to Ron Presba. The vehicle was still hot, they couldn't get too close, but it appeared the charred remains of a body were inside. Then as they followed the vehicle's trail back up to the road, they found something quite odd. Fresh stains, a series of dots leading right off the edge of the cliff. Word spread pretty fast then. Ron's brother Ken and Ken's wife Chris got the news from friends on the fire department.

(Hill side; photo of firefighters; photos of burned Chevy Suburban; trail to road; marks painted on roadway; crime scene photos; fire department vehicle)

Mr. KEN PRESBA: What we had heard was that he'd come around a corner and hit a deer...

...and that he'd gone over the bank.

(Photo of burned Chevy Suburban)

MORRISON:  Standing on the highway, Ron's daughter saw the commotion, the fire down below, but understanding came slow, like a wound that takes a minute to start hurting.

(April, Misty and Morrison; photo of firefighters on roadway; photo of burned Chevy Suburban

APRIL: Dad does not like to drive Chili Bar, and dad does not drive at night.

MISTY: And I didn't really believe it, and then you kind of step out of the role of being a daughter and into a role of we've got to find out what's wrong and what happened.

MORRISON:  Pretty soon, April and Misty and Misty's husband were all up here on Chili Bar, watching the policemen and firemen down at the gorge, and then Misty caught sight of those splotches on the surface of the road itself.

(Vehicle on road; April, Misty and Morrison; photo of police and fire vehicles and firefighters; April, Misty and Morrison; marks painted on roadway)

MISTY: And it actually even came to this area, but there was some very large amounts up on the road and then it would go smaller amounts up higher above it and around the corner.

MORRISON:  That's about the time the accident investigator thought maybe a couple of homicide detectives should check things out, just to be on the safe side.

(Photo of marks on roadway; photo of accident site)

Det. HADJES: We received a call that something wasn't right with this accident.

MORRISON:  Detectives Paul Hadjes and Mike Lensing of the El Dorado County Sheriff's office were on call that morning.

(Hadjes and Lensing)

Det. HADJES: There was a pool of blood, pretty good sized...

...and then droplets and the drops kind of followed the path of the vehicle over the edge of roadway.

(Accident site photos)

MORRISON: But why would there be a pool of blood? If the car was traveling on--along the highway, would it leave a pool of blood like that?

Det. LENSING: Something sat there long enough and dripped long enough to create that pool. And in addition to that, right next to the pooling of the blood, the staining, there was also an impression. It looked like a plastic bag type of impression on the roadway next to it.

MORRISON: Hang on a second. A plastic bag kind of impression? What does that mean?

Det. LENSING: Say you take a small grocery bag, the plastic grocery bags, dip it in blood, and then touch that to the ground, you can see the crinkle marks...

MORRISON: Right.

Det. LENSING: ...of the plastic within the impressions of the dried blood.

MORRISON: Weird.

Det. HADJES: It was.

Det. LENSING: Very.

MORRISON:  And as the detectives made their way into the gorge, they found, hanging from a manzanita bush, this singed plastic bag.

(Manzanita bushes; photo of singed plastic bag)

Det. HADJES: Of course, we went down the embankment a little bit and got a closer look. And my partner opened up the bag.

MORRISON:  A clue? Well, yes, it certainly was. But what was in that bag? What could it possibly be?

(Singed plastic bag)

Det. LENSING: And that was the last thing I expected to find in there.

MORRISON:  The bag was only one of many surprises that day.

(Accident site photograph; crime scene tape; photo of Patty)

APRIL: And she...

MISTY: And she kept saying, `I'm so sorry, I'm just so sorry.' And I'm thinking, why are you sorry?

MORRISON:  When The Seduction continues.

(Title graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  The accident up here on the narrow winding highway they call Chili Bar didn't look right at all, not to the fire department, and not to the two homicide detectives who followed a suspicious looking trail of blood down the highway to the place the Suburban went off the edge. That's where they found a stomach-turning clue inside a plastic bag.

(Title graphic; clouds; pine trees; mountain; bird; mountain road; accident site photos; photo of singed plastic bag)

Det. LENSING: I found a partial human brain or a partial brain. That was the last thing I expected to find in there.

MORRISON:  Down in the gorge the Suburban was a smoldering metal carcass.

(Photo of burned Chevy Suburban)

Det. HADJES: There was a occupant in the vehicle, but it was burned, you know, so far beyond recognition, you couldn't tell if it was a male or a female.

MORRISON:  Yet there was little doubt who the victim was.

(Photo of burned Chevy Suburban)

Det. LENSING: We kind of had an idea of where to begin our investigation at that point.

MORRISON:  By now, Ron's family, in shock and grieving, gathered at his mother's house. And just across the road keeping vigil outside Ron's house were Patty and her children. April and Misty walked across the road to the house they grew up in.

(Photo of Lois with family; photo of April and Misty; Ron's house; photo of Patty)

APRIL: And we went to the garden because that was our sacred place for dad. And she had no emotions. It was like false emotions, like she was trying to force it out and she just, `I'm going to miss him so much, he's my whole life,' and she's shaking the fence and she's just got these...

MORRISON: She's just right around here?

APRIL: In the garden.

MORRISON: Just down here.

APRIL: And she...

MISTY: And she kept saying, `I'm so sorry, I'm just so sorry.' And she went over and shaking trees and going into this hysteric, but not one tear is coming out of her eyes and...

MORRISON: No genuine emotion.

MISTY: No.

APRIL: None. None.

MORRISON:  Almost as strange, they said, was the behavior of Patty's children.

(Photo of Patty's family)

APRIL: They were out laughing and having fun and drinking and...

MISTY: Blaring music.

APRIL: ...blaring music, like nothing was going on because she had them believe that dad...

MISTY: Dad hit a deer.

APRIL: ...had hit a deer.

MORRISON:  And in the midst of this bizarre gathering, Detectives Lensing and Hadjes pulled up to question Patty, the one who had reported Ron missing.

(Police vehicle on road; house; photo of Patty)

Det. LENSING:  When we arrived there she was surrounded by her family...

(Photo of Patty; house)

Det. LENSING: ...she looked to be distraught.

MORRISON:  So they took her into the house where they could talk to her privately. And that's when they saw it.

(House; photo of blood on floor)

Det. LENSING:  While I was standing...

(Photo of blood on floor)

Det. LENSING: ...in the living room, speaking to her, I look over to my left and in between the couch and the wood stove is a spray of blood.

MORRISON:  Something must have happened inside this house. The detectives invited Patty down to the station for an interview they could get on tape.

(Photo of blood on floor; Patty at police station)

Ms. PATTY PRESBA: (Police interview) You know, I loved him very, very much and he loved me very, very much.

MORRISON:  And that's when they found out Patty had an alibi. She'd had been out with her daughter and granddaughter all evening, was still out, she said, when Ron called her cell phone around 9 PM.

(Patty at police station; headlights; photo of Ron; cell phone)

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) And he said, `Well, I'm going to run to Placerville and get propane for the barbecue tomorrow and some gas so you can mow the lawn tomorrow.

Det. LENSING: And that was the last thing she'd heard from him.

MORRISON: And when he didn't show up in the middle of the night, she called the police.

Det. LENSING: Correct.

MORRISON:  All the while, as Patty told the sad story of her husband's disappearance, the two detectives noticed a very unsettling trait.

(Patty at police station)

Det. LENSING: Her emotions were just very fake.

MORRISON: How could you tell they were fake?

Det. LENSING: No tears.

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) I'm sorry. I'm almost speechless because it's like, who could want to hurt him?

MORRISON:  When the detectives returned to the house a few hour later, the CSI team was about to begin its search for clues.

(Presba sign; house; door)

Det. LENSING:  We used a chemical called Bluestar.

(Chemical being sprayed)

Det. LENSING: And anything that shows up positive for blood glows.

And the entire living room, kitchen and hallway glowed in this home. You could see swipes where the blood...

(Blood stains)

Det. LENSING: ...had been wiped up. You can see footprints. You can see drag marks.

MORRISON:  Ron's brother Ken had arrived by then to watch and wonder what in the world was going on.

(Walkway; door)

Mr. PRESBA:  Something bad had happened. Something really bad had happened.

(Door; photos of wall)

Mr. PRESBA: You don't have a crime scene investigation of that magnitude if something hadn't happened.

MORRISON:  And as the investigation dragged on inside, Ken says, the mood among Patty's children waiting outside started to get ugly. They were convinced Ron's death was a simple accident and that the police seemed to be implying otherwise to them was an insult.

(House; photo Patty's family; photo of burned Chevy Suburban; crime tape; police vehicle)

Mr. PRESBA: I mean, it was nasty what they were saying. Who the F, what are they doing in our house and they don't belong in our house. I mean, now it's getting bizarre.

MORRISON:  Eventually Patty's family drifted away. Then the police went, too. And having collected what they needed, they unsealed the house, blood spatters and all, which not only allowed Patty to return, it gave Ron's family members their first horrifying look inside.

(Wind chimes; tree branch; door; crime scene tape; door)

Mr. PRESBA: You could see blood spatter on the stove, on the ceiling.

It looked just like somebody took a spatter gun and spattered it all over the ceiling.

(Blood spatters)

MISTY: And I'm looking up and I look down and there was brain matter and skull and tissue, and I about just fell down. I--like my whole body just went limp. And I just wanted to scoop up what was left and take it, thinking that this is--I know it sounds so gross, but that's all was going to have left, you know? I think we all were just, like, going what the hell happened?

MORRISON:  There was so much to take in that first day. It was all such a shock that no one thought to ask. Where is that young man who was staying here? Where is Jaime? And soon Jaime was not the only one missing. Patty was gone, too. Had her prediction to police come true?

(Photo of April and Misty; crime scene tape; photo of Ramos; roadway at night; door; Patty at police station)

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) I don't think I'll be alive for long. I'm telling you he'll come for me.

MORRISON:  When DATELINE continues.

(DATELINE graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  The Sierra Nevada Mountains--a strange place, one would think, to find a pair of homicide detectives. But for Mike Lensing and Paul Hadjes, these quirky old gold mining towns are their beat. They've devoted their careers investigating the sudden and violent deaths of loopy characters who could've stepped out of the pages of a Mark Twain novel. Ron Presba, for instance, spent his whole life up here, never left the mountain, was as  constant as the wind.

(Clouds; trees and other foliage on mountains; Lensing and Hadjes in brush; photo of Ron and Misty; clouds seen through tree branches; truck on road; photo of Ron)

Det. LENSING: With Ronald Presba, I can honestly say I didn't meet one person or talk to one person that didn't hold him in the highest regard.

Everybody said that he would've given his shirt off of his back to anybody.

(Photo of Ron and Lois; photo of Ron and baby)

MORRISON:  And that was the problem about the Presba case. Nothing added up.

(Burnt and crashed SUV; papers in foliage)

Det. LENSING: This, by far, is one of the most interesting murder cases that I have worked.

MORRISON:  Due in no small part to Patty, who, they discovered, was rather hard to pin down.

(Patty in police interview)

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Do either one of you have any boyfriends or girlfriends that you're currently seeing?

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) No.

MORRISON:  Not a word about Jaime. That relationship would be disclosed by Ron's daughters.

(Patty in police interview; photo of Jaime; photo of Ron, April and Misty)

MISTY: When I mentioned Jaime, they didn't even know who he was. They're like, `Who's Jaime?'

MORRISON:  And when the detectives confronted Patty about Jaime...

(April in police interview)

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Because we were told that you did have a boyfriend.

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) By whom?

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) I can't divulge...

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) That I have a boyfriend?

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Yes.

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) No. We have a young man, 21-year-old man who was staying with us for three weeks till he could get his stuff together to move to Texas.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) OK. What's his name?

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) Jaime Ramos.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) What is that?

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) Jaime.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Jaime. How do you--do you know how to...

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) J-A-I-M-E R-A-M-O-S.

Det. HADJES: (Police interview) Does he have a cell phone? Does he have--I mean...

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) No. Not that I'm aware of.

MORRISON:  Jaime's sudden disappearance certainly raised suspicions, but as far as the Presba family was concerned the kid was a distraction. There was no doubt in their minds as to who would have murdered Ron.

(Photo of Jaime; mountainside; photo of Ron and Ken)

Mr. PRESBA: We all knew, I mean, in our hearts what had, you know, that she killed--she killed him.

MORRISON:  Ron's brother Ken says he became convinced of Patty's guilt when he began trying to sort out the estate and found a life insurance policy with a special clause.

(Ken; photo of Patty; photo of Ron and Patty; life insurance policy)

Mr. PRESBA: A double indemnity insurance policy if he died by accident.

MORRISON:  Exactly the plot line of that old film classic "Double Indemnity," the husband's murder staged to look like an accident.

(Clip from "Double Indemnity")

Det. LENSING: And that's what it looked like we had, a staged accident scene.

MORRISON:  And while no one else was buying it, Patty continued to insist that it was an accident. And so the detectives went about checking her story, retracing her steps in the days before Ron's death, and that's when they struck gold: surveillance video of Patty and Jaime in a sporting goods store and used car lot.

(Patty in police interview; Lensing and Hadjes getting into vehicle; surveillance video of Jaime and Patty)

Det. HADJES:  You could tell that they were in a relationship, just by the video...

(Surveillance video of Jaime and Patty)

Det. HADJES: ...that there was more going on than just her trying to help him out.

MORRISON: What were your impressions?

Det. LENSING: She's lied to us. And we now have a hidden relationship.

MORRISON:  Brought in for further questioning, Patty suddenly and dramatically changed her story.

(Patty in police interview)

Det. LENSING: She finally had stated that her and Jaime Ramos were having a sexual relationship.

MORRISON: Did she indicate at that point that maybe Ramos had something to do with it?

Det. LENSING: She'd been leaning more towards she thinks maybe he did this out of jealousy to have her all to her--all to himself.

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) And it scares--the thought of me, that I brought someone into my home that may have killed him. That scares the living crap right out of me.

MORRISON:  With plenty of suspicions but little hard evidence, the detectives let Patty go. But before she left, she began to shake with something that looked like real fear. What did she know about that young man? What sort of story was she spinning now?

(Patty and Hadjes in police interview)

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) I don't think I'll be alive for long. I'm telling you he'll come for me. He'll tell you he's coming here, but he'll kill me first.

MORRISON: It was clear now that Jaime Ramos was the leading man, the key to solving the case. Even if he wasn't involved, well, he surely would have known who was. But how could they get to him? He could be anywhere by now.

As the detectives dug into Jaime's background, they found he was devoted to his grandmother, the woman who raised him. Maybe she would know where he was.

(Lensing on computer; Hadjes looking through files)

Det. LENSING:  And I explained to her the situation he was in...

(Jaime's grandmother)

Det. LENSING: ...and the reasoning for me needing to talk to him because, to be honest with you, we knew nothing at that point.

MORRISON: She must have been pretty shocked.

Det. LENSING: She was. She was. She was devastated. And within 24 hours, I had a phone call from Jaime Ramos.

MORRISON:  Who, after stalling for a few weeks, finally agreed to return and answer questions in person. But on the day Jaime was to meet with them, he was a no-show. Instead, Detectives Lensing and Hadjes received an urgent phone call.

(Jaime; driving down rainy tree-lined road; trees and clouds; Lensing and Hadjes exiting building)

Det. HADJES: Patricia had gone missing.

MORRISON:  A month to the day after Ron's murder, the two detectives were back at the Presba house, investigating another strange and violent crime.

(Presba house crime scene; front door; house interior)

Det. HADJES:  There was forced entry into the house. There was blood, a kidnap note found at the house.

(Door jamb; blood on surfaces; crime scene photo)

MORRISON: What did the note say?

Det. LENSING: It was a white piece of paper, printer paper...

...with cut out pieces or cut out letters from a magazine glued to it...

(Kidnap note)

Det. LENSING: ...stating that, "I have taken her."

MORRISON: Did it occur to either one of you that maybe Ramos himself had kidnapped Patricia, that he was behind this from the get-go?

Det. LENSING: We really didn't know. We didn't know if Mr. Ramos had anything to do with this because we had no indication that he'd been back in town.

MORRISON:  During this second investigation in their family home, April and Misty once again waited outside. And here, they said, they were quietly approached by one of Patty's daughters, who asked a very strange question.

(House exterior; photo of Patty, Ron, and girls; door)

MISTY: She said, `Is there a dead body in the house?' And I said, `Well, no, not that the detectives have said.' And she said, `My mom called last night and asked us to help her get rid of a body.'

MORRISON:  And guess whose body that was supposed to be.

(Hotel exterior; gun; photo of Jaime)

Officer MIKE PALETTA:  As we opened the door and walked into the room, he yelled out to us...

(Motel door number 109)

Officer PALETTA: `Don't shoot me. I've been shot already.'

MORRISON:  When The Seduction continues.

(Title graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  A Motel 6 parking lot within screaming distance of the Salt Lake City airport. It was the morning after Patty's sudden disappearance. Officer Mike Paletta of the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles was on a routine search for stolen cars. He noticed the California plate on the green 2003 Hyundai, called it in and got a hit.

(Motel 6 exterior; airplane taking off; Motel 6 exterior; Mike Paletta in car; motel parking lot; California license plate; photo of Hyundai)

Mr. PALETTA: I found that it came back with an NCIC hit out of California, wanted in a homicide.

MORRISON:  Officer Paletta was calling for backup when a woman left this room, 109.

(Paletta in car)

Mr. PALETTA: She looked at me and she turned right around and went right back into the room.

My sergeant and I approached the room, and as we got closer to the room, she had walked back out of the room and started walking towards me. And I had grabbed her and I says, `Are you Patricia Presba?' And she says, `Yes.'

(Motel room 109; photo of Patty)

MORRISON:  And then she said something quite bizarre.

(Photo of Patty)

Mr. PALETTA:  `He's in the room. He's been shot.'

(Photo of Patty)

Mr. PALETTA: And my sergeant and I made entry into the room.

As we opened the door and walked into the room, he yelled out to us...

(Motel door 109)

Mr. PALETTA: `Don't shoot me. I've been shot already.'

MORRISON:  It was Jaime Ramos, and just barely alive.

(Photo of Jaime)

Mr. RAMOS: I see these two guns coming in with arms, and then I see that it's the police. And they're telling me to freeze, you know. I put my arms up and I just, I'm like, wow, what's going on? And they helped me out of bed, they handcuffed me.

MORRISON:  Patty, police discovered, had been stabbed in the arm. And Jaime? Shot, three bleeding holes in him.

(Photo of Patty; gun; photo of Jaime; photos of gunshot wounds; gun)

Mr. RAMOS: I was told that I was 30 minutes or so away from bleeding out.

MORRISON:  A medic attended to Jaime's wounds. A policeman searched the motel room, found gauze, medicine, hair dye, a handgun and movies, "Rambo" and "Die Hard." Then, as they led him across the parking lot to a waiting ambulance, Jaime watched Patty in animated conversation with a cop.

(Photo of Jaime; motel room interior; photos of items in room; movies on

table; photos of Jaime being arrested; photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS:  I didn't see her handcuffed. I just saw her there talking to a police officer.

(Photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: Then I started to think she gave me up, saying that she was kidnapped.

MORRISON:  Jaime, for once, guessed right. That's exactly the story Patty told later that day to Detective Lensing.

(Photo of Jaime; Patty in police interview)

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) It was dark. The lights were off. And I shot him. He was coming, and I shot him. I was--I was so scared he was going to kill me.

Det. HADJES: (Police interview) And you fired that gun from in here?

MORRISON:  Patty claimed that Jaime, wounded, overpowered her, grabbed the gun and told her it was a kidnapping.

(Patty, Hadjes and Lensing in police interview)

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) He said, `We're leaving. Get in the car.' And he put me in the car.

Det. LENSING: She blamed it on Mr. Ramos. She blamed the whole thing on Mr. Ramos, stating that she had shot Mr. Ramos three times because he was attacking her.

MORRISON:  What caliber of a weapon was this?

(Gun)

Det. LENSING:  We later found out it was a .44 Magnum.

(Gun)

MORRISON: Wouldn't that do a whole lot of damage?

Det. LENSING: I would imagine so.

But for some reason, the bullets didn't expand, and they went right through him.

(Bullet being held)

Det. HADJES: He was lucky.

MORRISON:  Jaime was taken away for medical treatment. And as he recovered, he thought about the fake kidnapping, the shooting, the choice of Salt Lake, even though he'd been begging Patty to drive south to Mexico, and he decided that Patty probably was trying to set him up to take the fall for Ron's murder. But he also decided that maybe, for the love of Patty, he would do just that. He went over in his head the story he would tell when detectives came to see him.

(Photo of Jaime; knife on stand; gun; freeway sign; photos of crashed SUV; photo of Patty; photo of Jaime)

Mr. RAMOS: That I did it, that I'm a madman. But then a faint thought of my family came through, saying, oh, yeah, my family. What is my grandmother going to think? So that's when I started to just say the truth the way it really happened.

MORRISON:  And what really happened? The truth? So much stranger than even one of Patty's convoluted lies. The truth was more like fantasy, like the plot from one of Jaime's movies.

(Presba house exterior; Presba house interior)

Det. LENSING: There were times during the interview where we actually had to slow him down because he was--he was--he was putting this information out there so quickly we couldn't even digest it.

MORRISON: That never happens.

Det. LENSING: No, it doesn't.

MORRISON:  Jaime's story? Like none you've ever heard.

(Jaime in police interview room)

Mr. RAMOS: All this I kept telling to myself, this is for her, this is to make her happy.

MORRISON:  Coming up, what he did for love.

(Jaime; door)

Mr. RAMOS: I put on the gloves, I wiped down the hammer.

MORRISON:  When DATELINE continues.

(Dateline graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  Jaime Ramos described Ron Presba as the kindest man he'd ever met, the sort of father figure he'd always wanted. But Jaime, just 21 years old, was in love with Ron's 47-year-old wife, Patty. And this is his story of what he did for her the last night of Ron's life. It was after he'd lost his nerve out by the pigpen, after Ron went back into the house. Jaime called Patty, told her he couldn't go through with it. And Patty was furious. Hadn't he heard what she told him about the rape? Was he like all those others? Did he not believe her, either?

(Photo of Ron; photo of Jaime; photo of Ron and Patty; Jaime; pigpen; trees; house exterior; photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: She would say, `You're telling me you don't love me right now.' `No, I'm not saying that.' `Well, that's what you're meaning by saying that this is wrong, that you don't believe me.' But then she would say, `If you're going to do it, do it. And if not, just leave.

MORRISON:  Chastened and confused, Jaime walked back to the house, and on the way spotted a small sledgehammer.

(Approaching house at evening)

Mr. RAMOS: And I told myself, well, if one hit on the head even just makes him go unconscious, that's enough for me.

So when I went inside the house, I went inside behind him.

(Approaching house at night)

Mr. RAMOS: And I started to drink a lot of water for my nerves. I was really nervous. And once again, a couple more calls from Patty, `Is it done? Is it done?' `Not yet.' `Well, hurry up.' Click. And I finally took my last drink of water, I put on the gloves, I wiped down the hammer.

MORRISON:  Ron was in his easy chair watching TV. Jaime, a few feet behind, seated at the kitchen table.

(Crime scene photos)

Mr. RAMOS: I looked myself in the reflection by a--by the window, and I was telling myself once again, `If you do this, there's no turning back. You're doing this because it's right. You're doing this because you love her.'

MORRISON:  So you were sitting behind him, trying to get up your nerve. What did you think about?

(Crime scene photo)

Mr. RAMOS: I was thinking about all the things that she told me.

MORRISON: How they must be true.

Mr. RAMOS: And that they must be true. There--this has to be true, this--if she tells me, it's true. She won't lie to me. She's never lied to me.

MORRISON:  And that's how, sitting there in the kitchen, he talked himself into believing Patty's tale of abuse and rape, the one that triggered his own childhood memories.

(Crime scene photo; photo of Ron and Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: Immediately I got the adrenaline rush because I starting to feel the anger. I jumped out of my seat, and I hit him on the head three times quickly. He put his arms up, and I--sounded like a what and a why at the same time. And he threw--as he threw his arms up, they automatically fell down. And I was yelling at him, telling him how, `You raped my wife, you beat my wife. You're getting what you deserve. That's right, Patty's my wife. I married her. How dare you touch my wife that way.' And I'd hit him on the head about three, four more times, and it just ended up where I knew for a fact he was dead.

MORRISON: Broke his skull.

Mr. RAMOS: I broke his skull. And I dropped the hammer. And I felt a relief, and I felt exhausted. And I..

MORRISON: Relief?

Mr. RAMOS: Relief that I finally got this over with, that I finally did justice for this woman. She'll be happy now.

MORRISON:  But to fully please Patty, Jaime still had much to do. He needed to stage Ron's death to make it look like an accident.

(Presba house interior)

Mr. RAMOS: It took me about an hour and a half to put him in the car.

MORRISON: How'd you do it?

Mr. RAMOS: I drug him all the way to the vehicle, outside, and the problem was to lift him and put him in the driver's seat.

MORRISON:  So Jaime made a ramp out of a ladder and a sheet of plywood.

(Moving away from shed at night)

Mr. RAMOS: I set that up, the ladder and the plywood on top. And I was dragging him up. And it was working. I had him--I got him all the way into the seat. And I belted him in as though he was driving.

MORRISON:  How did you get the SUV to the place where you knocked it off the cliff?

(Road at night)

Mr. RAMOS:  I sat in the middle seat, and I was using my left leg the whole time for brake and gas.

(Road at night)

Mr. RAMOS: And my right hand to steer.

MORRISON: That can't have been easy.

Mr. RAMOS: No, it was--it was exhausting.

MORRISON: Sitting...

Mr. RAMOS: Sitting in the middle.

MORRISON: ...right beside this man you've just murdered, his head is open and bleeding and you've killed him, and he's right beside you. How did you keep your sanity?

Mr. RAMOS: I thought of a movie.

MORRISON:  The movie Jaime was thinking about is "Sin City." This is the scene: A killer assigned to dump a body is driving through the countryside with the corpse sitting beside him.

(Clips from "Sin City")

Mr. RAMOS: I started to tell myself, wow, three years when I watched this movie, never did I feel that I was going to be doing something similar to this.

MORRISON:  Reality inside that Suburban was horrific. But Jaime transformed it to fantasy. Now it was nothing more than a scene from a favorite movie.

(Road at night; clip from "Sin City")

Mr. RAMOS:  And I just kept replaying that part in my head and enjoying that...

(Clip from "Sin City")

Mr. RAMOS: Enjoying the feeling of being at a theater with my cousin watching that movie was what helped me.

MORRISON:  Along the way, Jaime dumped the hammer, a bloody rug and Ron's easy chair. Then at the curb over the gorge, he put all the props in place for the climax, the accident scene.

(Road at night; headlights; speedometer; mountainside)

Mr. RAMOS: And I started to douse the car with gasoline, and I opened the propane tank. I lit the lighter while I put his foot on the gas pedal. It was on park, so it was just revved. I lit it, and then I put it on drive. Everything went in flames. I shut the door, and I saw the car go down.

MORRISON:  And ran to the getaway car he'd parked earlier behind the earthen berm. Patty's plan called for Jaime to flee southeast to Texas, but instead he went west.

(Road at night; house exterior at night)

Mr. RAMOS:  I actually ended up driving back to her house.

(House exterior at night)

MORRISON:  You weren't supposed to do that.

(House exterior at night)

Mr. RAMOS: I wasn't supposed to do that.

MORRISON: Why'd you do that?

Mr. RAMOS: I had to see her.

MORRISON: Why?

Mr. RAMOS: I felt that if I didn't see her that she was going to abandon me.

MORRISON: When Jaime returned to the house, he found Patty here in the living room, cleaning up the blood and gore he had left behind. And sitting right in the middle of it, right here, on the very spot where Ron was murdered, sat her three-year-old granddaughter, watching cartoons on television.

Mr. RAMOS: As I go there, she looks at me and she's like, `What are you doing here? Are you serious right now? You know, get out of here.' As I reached for a hug and a kiss, she withdrew from me and said, `You need to leave now.' I'm like, `Well, can't I at least get a last goodbye hug and kiss?' She gave me this hug and this kiss that was empty.

MORRISON:  And now, alone at night on the open road...

(Driving at night)

Mr. RAMOS:  Is when I started to feel dirty. I started to feel ashamed.

(Driving at night)

Mr. RAMOS: I wanted to throw up. I felt like I had just desecrated a man for what I started to see now as a selfish reason. And on top of everything, I just damned my soul.

MORRISON:  Jaime fled California that night, leaving behind the woman at whose behest he committed murder. Perhaps it wasn't so surprising that he didn't realize he was next.

(Driving at night; freeway signs; gun; photo of Jaime)

MORRISON:  Coming up, a date with Patty, a very bad date.

(Photo of Jaime; motel exterior; blood spatters; gun being fired)

Mr. RAMOS: I'm like, `Patty, what are you doing right now? Did you just shoot me?'

MORRISON:  When The Seduction continues.

(Title graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  How far must you go to escape the guilt of having committed the brutal murder of a gentle man? For Jaime Ramos, it was never far enough. He went to Texas first, stayed with a favorite uncle, and once there he couldn't stop himself from talking about his greatest passion, Patty.

(Driving on interstate day and night; Jaime; roads and bridges passing; Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: I told them, everybody, that I'm married to this woman and that I'm happy, that--I even went as far as describing her as an angel.

MORRISON:  But within a week, Jaime's grandmother called, said police in California wanted to talk to him. And Jaime, unable to defy his grandmother, obediently called Detective Lensing.

(Driving on road at night; Jaime's grandmother)

MORRISON: Tell me what that was like, when you realized it was a policeman at the other end, he wanted to talk to you.

Mr. RAMOS: I felt that I got caught, it's over. The detective even went as far as asking me if I killed him, and I lied to him and I said no.

MORRISON:  Feeling the pressure, Jaime went back out on the road and drove to New York, stayed with an old girlfriend. But there was always that craving.

(Driving on interstate; Times Square at night)

Mr. RAMOS: I started to feel the loneliness again. I started to feel that I needed my nourishment again.

MORRISON:  So he called and begged Patty to let him return. But that was not part of Patty's plan.

(Photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: She told me, `No, go--don't come.'

MORRISON: Stay away.

Mr. RAMOS: To stay away for a while because, `They're not after you. They're after me. If you stay away, it's going to be OK for a while. Just--if you come here, they'll just probably arrest you.'

MORRISON:  Unable to control himself, Jaime disobeyed and began the long road trip back to California.

(Driving past cityscape, fields)

Mr. RAMOS:  I went straight to Patty because I missed her so much.

(Driving on road at night)

MORRISON: What was it like to be get back with Patty again?

Mr. RAMOS: It felt like San Francisco again.

Just everything was just happy and nothing mattered anymore.

(Streets of San Francisco)

MORRISON:  All those worries fell away.

(Streets of San Francisco)

Mr. RAMOS: All those worries fell away.

MORRISON:  Until reality found him.

(House exterior)

Mr. RAMOS: My family called me and said, `Where are you?' I couldn't lie to them. So I told them that I'm here with Patty. `Are you going to talk to the police?' `Yes.' `Tomorrow? Promise us, tomorrow.' `Yes. OK.'

MORRISON: It was a promise Jaime fully intended to keep. Except Patty had another idea, and Jaime wasn't in on that script. He was the only one, she knew, who could connect her to Ron's murder. She had known that full well when she sat in that interrogation room and quaked in fear as she predicted for detectives her own demise.

Ms. PRESBA: (Police interview) I don't think I'll be alive for long. I'm telling you, he'll come for me. He'll tell you he's coming here, but he'll kill me first. 

MORRISON:  And so the day before Jaime was to see the police Patty launched her new production. She told Jaime he would be the hero, the leading man.

(Patty, Hadjes and Lensing in police interview; photo of Jaime)

Mr. RAMOS:  That's when Patty told me about this plan of a false kidnapping.

(Photo of Jaime)

MORRISON:  The idea, Patty said, was for Jaime to call Detective Lensing, say he was in Nevada, but would be in California the following day, ready to talk.

(Hadjes and Lensing at desks; scrub scenery passing on road)

MORRISON: What was supposed to happen?

Mr. RAMOS: What was supposed to happen was that the detectives think I'm in Reno. She gets apprehended by a party that nobody knows about, which would supposedly be the...

MORRISON: Killer of her husband.

Mr. RAMOS: ...killer of her husband.

MORRISON:  That evening, Patty told Jaime, `Put on overalls and gloves and a mask.'

(Gloves, stocking; overalls; gloves; stocking)

Mr. RAMOS: She gave me a stocking to put over my head.

MORRISON: But wait a minute. Who's going to be seeing you with a stocking over your head except her?

Mr. RAMOS: She was telling me it was so that no sweat or hair can come off.

MORRISON: Oh.

Next, Patty told Jaime to craft this note using words and phrases cut from a newspaper. They got the idea from, well, where else?

(Kidnap note; film projector)

Mr. RAMOS: Just from movies of seeing ransom letters from people, how...

MORRISON: They always do it that way.

Mr. RAMOS: They always do it that way. That way no penmanship can be traced. She's like, `Oh, yeah, yeah, but just make sure that this is what it says.'

MORRISON:  The note was nonsensical, except for a patchwork of phrases Patty insisted on, like, "She is mine," "too jealous" and "real pain."

(Kidnap note)

Mr. RAMOS: It was giving me the chills. Because when I looked at it, I felt that it was real.

MORRISON:  Jaime, who'd been played for a fool for so long, who'd murdered a good man for a bad woman, was still so blinded by obsession he had no idea that once again Patty was setting him up. But this time he was to play the role of both stooge and victim. Patty next grabbed this kitchen knife, the one you see on the TV cabinet, and told Jaime to cut her.

(House exterior; house interior; photos of Jaime; kitchen knife on cabinet; bloodstain)

Mr. RAMOS: I'm hesitating, so she slams my arm down to--and then I just end up slicing her.

MORRISON: Deep cut?

Mr. RAMOS: It's pretty deep cut. She started moving her arm around...

...making sure there was blood splatters. I go, I get the car, I back it up.

(Blood spatter; photo of car)

Mr. RAMOS: I can't find her.

But I see that her bathroom door for the master bedroom is closed. That's when I realize, OK, she just wants another door kicked down. When I kick that door down, I see her silhouette with a gun.

(House interior; bathroom door opening; blood on floor)

Mr. RAMOS: I said, `Patty!' And she goes boom, one time. And I guess the first shot went through my arm, which I didn't know because of the shock.

She fires again, and it hits me here in the collarbone area.

(Gun)

Mr. RAMOS: And it knocks me to the ground. And I'm on the ground and I'm crying, `Patty, Patty, what are you doing? It's me. Stop this. Why are you killing me? Stop this. It's me.' And she was still firing.

She fired another one.

(Gun)

Mr. RAMOS: And that one hit my leg. And after that, she drops the gun...

...she starts running outside the house, screaming for help.

(Moving away from house)

Mr. RAMOS: I get up, and I run outside and get her, and I'm like, `Patty, what are you doing right now? Did you just shoot me? Did you just really shoot me?' And as we get back in the house, that's when I start to feel my aches.

And I start to feel woozy. I start to feel the blood trickling down my leg, my arm, my chest, and I start to tell her...

(Blood spatters on floor)

Mr. RAMOS: `Patty, we need to leave. I'm--you really did shoot me. Why? Why did you shoot me?'

MORRISON:  Why? Patty's only response, said Jaime, was to reach into a drawer and pull out a handful of bullets.

(Blood spatters on ground; cabinet; bedspread)

Mr. RAMOS: And a whole bunch of bullets are falling from her hand. And she's reloading the gun. I yell to her, `Patty, why are you reloading the gun? What are you doing? Why are you trying to kill me? It's me, Jaime.' She very calmly says, `I'm not reloading the gun. I don't know what you're talking about.'

MORRISON:  So now he was confused. He ran into the bathroom, tried to hide.

(Blood on wall; bathroom door)

Mr. RAMOS:  I don't know where else to go. I was just, you know, I was panicked. I'm shivering, crying, bleeding.

(Entering bathroom)

Mr. RAMOS: And she comes in and she's pointing the gun at me again, and she's telling me, `Ron was such a good man, he didn't deserve to die. What you did was evil.'

MORRISON: Sounded like a different woman.

Mr. RAMOS: It was totally a different woman. I was looking at her in the eyes, and it just didn't look like the Patty I knew anymore. She cocked the gun and told me to get on my knees. I told her, `Why do you want--why do you want to execute me right now?' She said, `Just get on your knees,' started yelling at me. And I told her no. `What is go on right now? If you're going to kill me, just kill me now.' I can't remember the other babble she was saying, but she started pointing the gun at herself and I said, `No, stop that. Don't do that, either. What are you doing right now? If you want to be with me, you need to stop this, and let's go right now.'

MORRISON: Didn't it occur to you, Jaime, at that point, to leave yourself? You managed to prevent her from shooting you. Why the hell didn't you just run?

Mr. RAMOS: I kept feeling the love that I had for her.

MORRISON: The love? She just tried to shoot you to death.

Mr. RAMOS: I'm asking myself that same question.

MORRISON: Good question.

Mr. RAMOS: I was scared. I--there was fear in me. There was much fear in me. But I still felt so much love for her that this had to--it was going to be OK. She's coming back to her--to her senses. She gave me water. She gave me some food. That's what made me continue going with her was because she was taking care of me again.

MORRISON: Did she tell you she loved you?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes. She told me how sorry she was, how she doesn't remember shooting me.

MORRISON: Did--at the time you really believed that, huh?

Mr. RAMOS: Yes.

MORRISON:  And so they headed out on the road, eastbound on Interstate 80, Patty behind the wheel, Jaime riding shotgun. They stopped for some gauze to stuff into Jaime's bullet holes, then went on an 18-hour drive as the kid's life slowly oozed away. But after a night in a Utah motel, this murderous odd couple was in custody. And Jaime, so close to death, was in a confessional mood.

(Driving on road at night, day; photos of Jaime's wounds; driving on interstate; photo of Jaime; motel door 109; photos of Patty and Jaime's arrest; Jaime in police interview with Lensing and Hadjes)

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) I just lost--I just lost all sense, and I went--and I bashed him on the head.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Where was he?

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) He was just watching TV.

MORRISON:  He told them how he murdered that good man, Ron Presba, as if to free his conscience of its sinful burdens.

(Photo of Ron; Jaime in police interview)

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) And I remember the last things he was--he just said was, like, he asked--he said--he asked why. And I was so in--furious with him at the time, and I told him, `You raped Patty, you bastard. You beat her.'

MORRISON:  And yet, still willing, at the end of his two and a half hour confession, to play the chump for Patty, because even after the murder, the shooting, the betrayal, he still loved her.

(Jaime, Lensing and Hadjes in police interview; burned SUV; gun; bathroom door opening; photo of Patty)

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) I don't--I don't know what else I can tell you. I just--I loved her very much, Mike. you know that I would've done anything for her.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Mm-hmm.

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) I know this is going to sound weird.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) What's that?

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) But as much as she's done to me, if she's here...

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Mm-hmm.

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) ...would there be any chance that I can just see her?

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) Not at this point. Not at this point.

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) I feel for her. You know, she really made me feel like I was her husband, that she was my wife.

MORRISON:  The question now, would he be willing to take the fall before a judge and jury? If Jaime's mood in court was any guide, Patty didn't have a worry in the world.

(Jaime in police interview; Jaime in court; Patty)

MISTY: He looked at her with such lust.

MORRISON:  When DATELINE continues.

(Dateline graphic)

(Announcements)

MORRISON:  "Hangtown," the old gold rush name for the seat of El

Dorado County. This is where Jaime and Patty were held while awaiting trial,

a rural community with a single jail for both men and women. And in our

story, that matters. Why? Because of a certain feature of the building's

plumbing system which gave Patty the opportunity to crawl right back into

Jaime's pliable mind and, of course, his heart.

(Placerville; Placerville welcome sign; street with traffic; El Dorado County Jail exterior; prison exterior)

Mr. RAMOS: If both you and the person that are parallel with the toilet empty out the water enough, you can speak through it as though you're right in the same rooms very clearly. It's incredible.

MORRISON:  Separated by both brick and bar, Jaime and Patty were now ironically closer than ever.

(Prison exterior)

Mr. RAMOS: The communication with her was intoxicating me so much that I started to believe everything again that she was telling me about the man.

MORRISON: What did you say to each other through that tube?

Mr. RAMOS: A bunch of I love yous and sorries and we'll get through this together. I promised Patty that I'll make you walk, you'll get away with this.

MORRISON:  An empty promise? Well, perhaps not. Much of the case against Patty would be based on Jaime's confession.

(Jaime, Lensing in police interview)

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) She just said, `OK, you have to make it look like an accident.'

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) So she purchased the life insurance with the purpose of cashing in on it by this...

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) Of cashing in on it.

Det. LENSING: (Police interview) ...by him being murdered and you guys making it look like an accident?

Mr. RAMOS: (Police interview) Correct.

MORRISON:  But now Patty was telling Jaime just what he should say in court to provide a match for the tale Patty told Detective Lensing back in Salt Lake City.

(Jaime in court)

Det. LENSING: She had admitted she was involved in the--in the whole thing, but at the very last moment, she called it off because she couldn't do that to her husband. And then from that point on Jaime Ramos was the one that continued with the plan and killed her husband, so she was not involved.

MORRISON: And then came and kidnapped her.

Det. LENSING: Exactly. To get rid of the only other witness that he had, and she was defending herself by shooting him.

Mr. VERN PIERSON: She would be the hero, that she killed the person who killed her husband.

MORRISON:  The DA of El Dorado County, Vern Pierson, says without Jaime's testimony, convicting Patty would be troublesome.

(Vern Pierson in court)

Mr. PIERSON: There's a big difference between knowing and believing that somebody's criminally responsible and being able to prove it.

MORRISON:  And so, night after night, Patty's disembodied instructions and her sweet nothings echoed down the plumbing and into Jaime's cell.

(Patty in court)

Mr. RAMOS: She promised if she walks, she'll marry me in the prison, she'll visit me every day, she'll put money in my books.

MORRISON: You were prepared to go along with that?

Mr. RAMOS: I was prepared to go along with it.

MORRISON: Spend the rest of your life in prison.

Mr. RAMOS: Spend the rest of my life in prison.

MORRISON: Being visited by Patty.

Mr. RAMOS: Being visited by Patty.

MORRISON:  Jaime's robotic devotion was obvious to all who saw the two in court.

(Jaime in court)

MISTY: And the way that he looked at her, I wanted to throw up. He looked at her with such lust. And to sit there and look at this woman the way that he did was--it was gut-wrenching for us as a family, that she had that much control over somebody, and still did after she tried to kill him.

Mr. JAMES CLARK: You couldn't see a movie like this.

MORRISON:  James Clark, Jaime's court-appointed attorney, says he's never had a case like this in 30 years of practicing law.

(James Clark and Jaime)

Mr. CLARK: I like the kid, but you know what? I also liked the victim. He seemed to be a good guy.

MORRISON: What's your assessment of her?

Mr. CLARK: My viewpoint of her is she is a--she's a reptile.

She has no heart, no feelings, no emotions. There's only one person she's interested in; that's her.

(Patty in court)

MORRISON:  You ever seen this kind of manipulation before?

(Patty in court)

Mr. CLARK: Never to the extent that I saw it here.

MORRISON: What did you say to him about that?

Mr. CLARK: Ah, what can you say to anybody who's in love with somebody? I mean, you know, it's irrational.

MORRISON:  If there was to be any hope for his client, Clark says, Jaime would need to tell the truth, to take the stand at trial and actually testify against Patty.

(Court in session)

Mr. CLARK: Evidence of his guilt was overwhelming. The issue was just how was he to be punished. That was the issue.

MORRISON:  So Clark made a call, to the one person who had the power to break Patty's spell: Jaime's grandmother.

(Clark and Jaime in court; people entering court)

Mr. CLARK:  I brought the grandmother up here, along with the two aunts.

(Court in session)

Mr. CLARK: And they told him to tell the truth and do the right thing.

Mr. RAMOS:  My family told me, `When have we ever lied to you? When have we ever hurt you?' I couldn't think of anything. `So then why then do you not believe us, the police, everybody.'

(Jaime's grandmother and other woman in court)

Mr. RAMOS: `Even her own children are saying how evil this woman is. How can you not believe this?' It made me realize this is the truth, it is the truth. I have to tell the truth. I can't stop lying. I can't stop denying this. And that's when, that moment forward I stopped contacting her in every way.

MORRISON:  And instead gave a truthful account of Ron's murder before a grand jury.

(Jaime in court)

Mr. PIERSON: One of the grand jurors said, `I don't think that young man  would have ever harmed a fly in his life, but for the fact that he ran into Patty.'

Det. LENSING: (In car) And here's where the car went over.

Mr. RAMOS: (In car) Yes.

MORRISON:  Then Jaime showed Detectives Lensing and Hadjes the 14-mile route he took with Ron Presba's corpse pressed against him in the Suburban.

(Jaime, Lensing and Hadjes retracing post-murder route)

Mr. RAMOS: (In car) A little further ahead is where I got rid of the ladder and such.

MORRISON:  And next they searched for a chair, ladder, rug, bloody evidence Jaime said he jettisoned along the roadside. They came up empty, until they stopped at a small glade along Chili Bar Road.

(Jaime, Lensing and Hadjes searching for rug on side of road)

Mr. RAMOS: (In car) Where he's at back there, that's the area. It shouldn't be further than that.

MORRISON:  And there, buried in the leaves, Detective Lensing found something.

(Rug under leaves)

Det. LENSING: Looks like a blue rug hidden underneath, like somebody intentionally put leaves over the top of it. This is the rug that Ron Presba was on at the time he was murdered.

And you can--you can see some of the remnants of the--of his blood in those moldy spots there.

(Blue rug)

MORRISON:  Now Jaime had to prepare himself for the day when he'd have to take the witness stand, face Patty, the woman he still loved, and condemn her.

(Jaime in court)

Mr. RAMOS:  I was telling myself I was going to do my best not to look at her...

(Jaime in court)

Mr. RAMOS: ...that if the only time I had to look at her was when they told me if I had to point, which usually I see in movies, the, `Can you please point to, you know, the defendant,' and then...

MORRISON: Couldn't imagine doing that.

Mr. RAMOS: I couldn't imagine doing that, but I felt like, OK, I have to do that real quick, and then I can look at my family.

MORRISON:  But three days before the trial, Patty suddenly and without explanation pleaded guilty to all charges, first-degree murder of Ron, attempted murder of Jaime.

(Patty in court)

Mr. RAMOS: When I found out that it was true, this weight just went off my shoulders. And I thank God for that.

MORRISON:  Why Patty pleaded guilty is a mystery.

(Patty in court)

Mr. PIERSON: I think at some point--she's probably had been lying to her family, her own family all these months about what actually happened, and she knew this goes to trial, they would learn the truth, and what her real responsibility was in this case.

MISTY: And it was so against her character as a person, I was shocked. I--and it was good to hear her say guilty. I don't care if it was for her own reasons, whatever she had to do for herself, it--to hear that out of her mouth was good.

MORRISON:  A month later, in a packed courtroom, Patty, aloof and alone, was sentenced, 40 years to life. Detective Mike Lensing was there to watch.

(Court in session)

Det. LENSING:  This woman is the most evil and cold-hearted murderer that I've dealt with.

(Patty in court)

MORRISON:  Why'd she hate him so much?

(Photo of Patty and Ron)

Det. HADJES: I don't know that she hated him. She just loved herself more.

MORRISON:  And Jaime? He, too, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and while casting shamed, penitent looks at his family was sentenced to 25 years to life. But before being led off to prison, he agreed to meet with Ron's daughters, April and Misty.

(Court in session)

MISTY: He explained that the little amount of time that he knew my dad he was also growing to love him, and it's hard to hear that from somebody that brutally murdered him.

APRIL:  That's the hardest part for me, that he would still do this and still take him away, knowing the type of person he was, and to follow through with it.

(Jaime in court)

MORRISON:  The forest home where their father cared for them is a dark place now, an ugly place.

(April and Misty outside house)

MISTY: To know that my dad lost his life in here, it's horrible. I want the house to be burnt down. There's so much evil that took place in here that it's just not comfortable.

MORRISON:  How did she do it? How did this woman exert such a magical hold over any man, let alone this one? And yet she did, maybe still does.

(Patty being led off in handcuffs; Morrison interviewing Jaime)

MORRISON: Do you love her sometimes still? Some moments in the dark at night?

Mr. RAMOS: There's moments where I feel that what I did was right.

MORRISON: Because you wanted her so much.

Mr. RAMOS: Because I wanted her so much.

MORRISON: And you still did.

Mr. RAMOS: And I still do--did.

MORRISON: Do maybe is--sometimes.

Mr. RAMOS: Sometimes, but it's going away. It's going away.

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