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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Dark Marksmen: TV Show Tonight

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Show: Twisted
Episode title: The Dark Marksmen
When: 10:00 pm Eastern, 7:00 pm Arizona
Date: October 21
Network: Investigation Discovery or ID (check your local listings to find which channel this is in your area)

This will air in more than 50 countries. Please check listings in your country. This show airs in Great Britain as "Born to Kill?"

Tonight U.S. television debuts the episode of Twisted that we shot in April. Tune in to the cable channel Investigation Discovery at 10:00 pm Eastern, 7:00 pm Arizona time.

The episode is called "The Dark Marksmen."

Serial Shooter survivor Paul Patrick with British TV producer and moi

 The photo above was taken in the spring when the British crew was filming Paul Patrick, whose story is told in my book, A SUDDEN SHOT.  A few months later, in the summer,  the villain mastermind of the crime spree, Dale Hausner, died in prison.

Hausner died at his own hand, friendless. His family, which had loyally attended his trial for more than 6 long months, had finally concluded that youngest son Dale really was a serial killer, one who gloated at death agonies and taught his toddler the lingo of murder. As the news of his death spread, the Hausner family released this statement: "We as a family stand with the victims of the crimes and their families. Today, a murderer died and is now going on to face the Ultimate Judge. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent people that were victims of his senseless crimes."

It had taken years for the family to get to that point. They had vigorously defended Dale and believed in his innocence. How well I remember the day, however, that secret recordings of Dale were played in court, recordings that were taken from the apartment next door using special equipment. The Hausner family members, seated not far from me in the courtroom, seemed shaken to the core as they heard his cruel laughter mixed with the innocent voice of his tiny daughter. She could barely talk at all and he was teaching her to ape his private jokes about his secret hobby: murder.   The family put their heads down and wept as her little voice rang out. I could never say for sure, but it seems this child, and the surveillance tape of her, may have been key to the family's finally seeing Dale for the guilty man he was.

This child is grade school age now. Her mother told me some time ago that she is doing well. She has grown up as the adopted child of her mother's husband, unaware of her own association with the infamous crimes of Dale Hausner.

Others who were associated with Dale Hausner were not sorry to see him go. While their professional work on his behalf was scrupulous and vigorous, as every defendant has a right to expect, they are not happy to have their names linked with his for all time. Some will talk to me privately, not for attribution. The day Dale Hausner died, one of them told me "Good riddance." This person went on to say that Dale's suicide was not a suprise.

Indeed, it wasn't. He had tried it before he ever went to trial, in the Maricopa County Jail.  But guards found him and he was revived. Hausner had jovially waved off the incident ever since. After his conviction, though, Hausner pursued his own execution.

In one letter to my colleague and friend Michael Kiefer he wrote, "I mean, really, what's a guy got to do to get to get snuffed out?"

Dale Hausner did not leave a suicide note and we will never know what his true private last thoughts were. But his prison suicide took planning, the long-term hoarding of drugs available to him. When he petitioned Arizona courts to have his appeals stopped and his execution expedited, the state wanted to make sure he was in his right mind to make such a decision.

I was even in court one day when Dale Hausner had planned to appear telephonically but his court appointed appeals attorney, a zealous anti-death penalty advocate, had the court hang up on him so he could not interfere with her legal defense of his life.

As part of this process of determining whether Dale Hausner was competent to rush to meet his execution, the state ordered psychological evaluations of him.

This is one thing we know that Dale Hausner detested, the public disclosure of any psychological report. He waived mitigation, or the portion of an Arizona trial where defense attorneys put on evidence to support a plea for mercy before sentencing, in order to avoid his childhood being publicly explored or psychological reviews being entered.

This time, in trying to expedite his execution, Dale Hausner had no choice in that matter. He could not waive the psychologists away. It's a good bet the approaching catastrophe, as he considered it, of loss of psychological privacy had something to do with Dale Hausner's decision to execute himself at the time that he did.

Certainly the smirking killer had other reasons to take such a drastic step, since we know he had been trying and planning for years. Listening to the tape of Dale Hausner, private, not knowing a cadre of law enforcement were wiring microphones into the drywall of his apartment, re-living his crimes and glorying in the sufferings of those he left to die on sidewalks all over the Phoenix metro area, it can not be doubted that the thing that made him happiest was killing.  In prison, the power to kill was lost to him forever. Without feeling the ultimate joy of his power of death, his status as "a god among mortals" (read the book if you want to learn more about that quote), Dale Hausner must have felt life was no longer sweet.

* * * * * * *

As this show goes to air, I would like to thank once again the incomparable Mary Morrison of the House of Broadcast Museum in Scottsdale. Here she is with me the day we shot this episode. We are standing behind the crew's camera. Thank you so much, Mary! 

1 comment:

  1. Very sad what happened to this man (Paul PAtrick). I saw this case on Discovery Investigation. Good job Camille!