TODAY   |  June 03, 2012

Who killed the radio star?

A former radio DJ's dream to sail around the world ends tragically when he is found floating in the waters off scenic Catalina Island. It would take investigators five years and two trials to solve the mystery of what happened to Steven B. DATELINE’s Keith Morrison reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> b. was a popular radio star . years later, he was a millionaire living in california before his life was cut short. tonight, his story is the subject of a "dateline" investigation. keith morrison joins us now from los angeles with more. keith, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, lester. you know, you would have liked steven b. steven williams , great voice, a funny man, a wonderful cook and so impressive on the radio. in fact, he was a big deal on the radio, one of the pioneers of the two-man morning format. so, steven b. was quite a guy, but he was also a little naive where it came to money. down below the surface of the pacific ocean , on the far side of california's catalina island , is a silent current. strange how it flows up to the swelling coastline of santa barbara , then just before the open sea turns back to glide again past the storied island. on one sunny day in may 2006 , someone in it.

>> our victim we identified as steven bailey williams.

>> steven bailey williams, better known to his friends, family and fans as steven b.

>> 96 kpke friday morning with the bird and the b.

>> reporter: a deejay with a distinctive voice and personality that had made him famous in the 1980s as part of the hit denver-based radio show steven b. and the hawk.

>> they were funny, they were great writers, they were great comedians.

>> reporter: he eventually left, moved down to southern california to manage his father's nearly $2 million estate.

>> the creative side of his mind worked very well, but he was not a good money manager .

>> reporter: it seemed for tutus then that right around that time, he made a new friend, harvey morrow.

>> steve said he's helping me with stuff. he's a retired financial planner , investment banker .

>> reporter: he lured him into harvey 's boat, so when he died, detectives naturally wanted to take a close look at that boat, steven 's last known residence. and when they did, they learned something that probably should have been obvious all along. that fancy, doled-up tub was paid for, practically every dollar, by the unwitty steven b.

>> the whole amount he took from steven went right back into that.

>> if only the detectives could talk to harvey . turned out, they had just missed him.

>> he had some dealings in bellibel belize before, and we believe that's possibly where he's heading.

>> reporter: but harvey headed in the opposite direction, north to a quiet town in montana. it took months before detectives arrested him and charged him with steven b.'s murder. and steven 's friends were gratified, but that wasn't the end of the story, not even close.

>> i thought, oh, my god, he's being set free.

>> reporter: in fact, it took, what, six years, two trials and 30,000 pages of evidence to finally convict harvey morrow in the murder of steven b. and what a strange trip it was, lester.

>> all right, keith morrison . we'll finish that trip tonight on "dateline." it's called "who killed the radio star ?" it airs tonight at 7:00/6:00 central. hope you'll join us for that.