Dateline   |  August 24, 2012

The Confession, Part 4

Idaho Falls Police detectives remain convinced that Christopher Tapp took part in killing Angie Dodge, despite DNA matching an unknown person at the crime scene.

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

>>> by the time we visited the city of idaho falls in march of 2012 , the angie dodge murder case was to some just a piece of city history. to idaho's innocence project and dr. hampikian, it was a miscarriage of justice and a cause.

>> if there is dna , for god's sakes, believe the science. people are not that accurate. the dna is very precise.

>> reporter: and now, 15 years after the murder of her daughter, angie 's own mother, carol dodge, had done what was unthinkable, she had joined forces with the innocence project .

>> the city of idaho falls has got it wrong.

>> reporter: you want somebody to take you seriously?

>> yes.

>> reporter: in the years since the murder, finding angie 's killer was carol's reason for living. through three heart attacks , the death of an estranged husband, off and on battles with the idaho falls police, and now she was going to have to fight that power in a whole new way. because -- remember jared fuhriman, the detective who befriended chris tapp in a previous position as school resource officer? the fellow who got that confession has gone on to become the mayor of the town .

>> true.

>> reporter: does that have anything to do with it as far as you can tell?

>> people have got to protect their story without looking any deeper and saying, you know, is this really accurate?

>> reporter: so, the idaho falls police taking a false confession , but the wrong man in prison and failed to find the real killer? no. just not true said the former detective now mayor jared fuhriman. how does he know? it was fuhriman who took tapp to visit the crime scene , during some of those many interviews all those years ago.

>> let me tell you, they weren't in the room with me when he took us up the stairs, took us into the bedroom, and relived that night. and you could see it on his face, he was reliving it.

>> reporter: of course, the critics wouldn't be able to see that because it was one of the only times during the investigation when the police did not videotape chris tapp. but --

>> i have no doubts in my mind that chris tapp is part of that homicide itself.

>> reporter: you can't -- what is it, 25% of all dna resolved cases where somebody is released from prison turns out there was a false confession . people do confess to things they didn't do.

>> we know that, but when people confess to crimes that they don't do, they don't know the minute details of that case. and chris knew and knows the minute details of that case.

>> reporter: he, of course, claims he knows them because he was fed them.

>> we would politely disagree with that.

>> reporter: is it possible at least there was some suggestion involved in these things before he said them.

>> that he was coerced? coerced. that he heard in the questions he was being asked some hint of what the answer might be. hypotheticals as it were, hypothetically --

>> there is a possibility the world could end in 2012 too. for us to sit and say there is no possibility anything could have happened, we can't say things like that. we can say that we have reviewed those tapes over and over . we had a jury who reviewed those tapes.

>> reporter: two guys who interviewed this person over and over again and found that in the first interview, the second interview, the third ind view, the fourth interview, the fifth interview, he lied like a sidewalk, then you finally get to the seventh interview and that's the gospel truth .

>> no, absolutely not. during each of the interviews he was bringing out information that he absolutely knew was not fed to, the color of clothes she was wearing, the position of the clothes, how many times she was stabbed, the diagram on where she was at in the room.

>> reporter: interesting. many times as the interviews progressed, chris tapp claimed to know nothing about the clothes angie dodge was wearing.

>> do you know what she had on?

>> no.

>> do you. do you remember she was clothed, not clothed?

>> no.

>> reporter: but, some details in the interview could be interpreted to back up the claims by police. once, for example, before tapp was shown the crime scene photos, he seems to, in a guessing kind of way, know what angie was wearing.

>> comfy clothes, t-shirt, sweats.

>> reporter: though he's wrong about the color of her clothes, after being asked many times if her clothes were half on or half off or pulled up or pushed down, he does correctly say this about her pants.

>> like half on, one leg.

>> reporter: also, said the detective, chris talked about ben hobbs hitting angie behind the ear.

>> we have the evidence to back it. we have bruising where he says that ben hit her.

>> reporter: so detectives insisted they were right, ben hobbs was the ring lead, chris tapp was involved in the attack and an unknown third man left the dna in the form of semen. three attackers. the identity of the third still a secret, unrevealed by either of the other two all those years later. and about the fact that carol dodge now disagrees with their theory and is now supporting chris tapp, the only man in prison for the murder -- what is it like to know that carol is now actively campaigning for his release, believes an innocent man.

>> i think that's part of the process in some respects. her heart has been broken.

>> reporter: she's convinced you got the wrong guy.

>> when i heard that, i was genuinely surprised.

>> it has been a roller coaster ride for 16 years for her. she's looking for closure. tomorrow or the next day, chris could be guilty in her mind again.

>> reporter: so, perhaps now would be a good time to talk to the man in the middle of all this. the serial confessor, christopher tapp.

>>> coming up --

>> i didn't kill nobody.

>> so why would he confess? tackling the biggest mystery of