Dateline   |  September 14, 2012

The Inside Man, Part 4

After several months in a dangerous prison, Jimmy Keene became a popular inmate, which led investigator Beaumont to approach Keene as an informant. Could Jimmy find out the information Beaumont wanted about fellow inmate Larry Hall?

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

the famous 2 for $20 menu at applebee's. see you tomorrow.

>>> by fall of 1998 after several months in missouri's toughest federal prison , jimmy keene could have won a popularity contest. he charmed everyone just as beaumont knew he would. he even won over some convicts with his lending library of pornographic magazines. and he managed to play indicate the chin and mob faction by day while circling his prey, hall with one on one bull sessions at night.

>> talked about normal things, hung out. made him feel like i was wanting to be his friend.

>> but it wasn't fast enough for keene who feared someone might recognize him and blow his cover.

>> if you went by the fbi's technical terms, i was pretty much staying on pace. but from my point of view of being in this place, it was starting to get very hard.

>> on the outside, the mission mastermind, larry beaumont , could only sit and wait for secondhand news on how this crazy scheme of his was going.

>> were you pacing the floors waiting for updates during this?

>> i don't know if i paced the floors, but i was eager to get updates. i had information they were starting to trust him, they were talking, that kind of thing.

>> but beaumont had absolutely no idea a breakthrough moment arrived. it was a saturday night. keene and hall were in the prison's tv room, watching "america's most wanted" again.

>> here comes a big prisoner, big muscular, buff guy. he walked to the tv, turned the channel. hall looks at me, quietly mumbles under his breath, hey, that's not right, i was watching that. i thought this is a prime opportunity for me.

>> jimmy , a martial arts expert who continued working out in prison was ready for this moment. he got up and changed the channel back.

>> he jumped up, slobbering all over. you turn that channel again i'll rip your hand off, you don't touch that tv, going on all crazy and stuff. turns the channel, sits back down. i just looked at him, i turned the channel again. he jumped up, starts cussing at me. i finally threw a particular cuss word at him that i knew would set him off. as soon as i did, he took a wild hey maker swing as me, i kicked him through two or three rows of chairs and beat him to a pulp.

>> hall had a ring side-view of that event. after ward, he staunchedly defended him as retal atore, not instigator.

>> i became his new best friend and hero.

>> jimmy could sense his heroics brought him closer to hall. he was ready to make a bold move. in the prison library, jimmy figured out a strategy to draw hall out on tricia reitler.

>> i noticed he was reading his hometown newspaper. and that was really important eventually for me to crack into his psyche.

>> even though the goal was tricia 's body, jimmy decided to ask first about something already public knowledge. hall's conviction in the jessie roach case. jimmy fibbed his mother lived near wabash and read about jessie 's case and other stories involving hall.

>> she gets that newspaper from that hometown where you're from. i said all the newspaper stories say you killed multiple women.

>> that was a big risk though.

>> it all was a big risk. i said larry, i don't care what you're in here for, be honest to me, that's all. tell me what happened. i'm still going to be your friend no matter what. i said i had girls do me wrong in my life, i understand how girls can get under your skin and be bothersome to you.

>> jimmy pressed hall about roach. atlas, hall began to open up recalling that september day in 1993 .

>> he was driving a back country road , seen her walking her bicycle.

>> hall then told jimmy exactly how he abducted and killed jessie .

>> you must have been revolted.

>> oh, god, lester, it was probably the hardest thing i've had to do in my life, sit there, pretend to be his friend, to listen to this kind of stuff, and not just rip him apart. but i knew what the mission involved, i knew what was at stake for me, i knew what was at stake for the people's families, still trying to find their daughters.

>> a major transformation was taking place. jimmy was starting to care about more than just himself. and now he was determined to squeeze the most crucial confession out of larry hall and not just for himself, but for the family of tricia reitler.

>> i started thinking i don't know where this is still going to lead, how long this is going to take, but something is now happening.

>> coming up. a disturbing discovery. has jimmy keene solved the mystery of the missing girls?

>> i go what are these things anyways.

>> he said they watch over the dead, jimmy , they do.