Dateline   |  August 16, 2013

Under the Desert Sky, Part 6

As Mickie is mourned at her funeral, doubt surfaces that Kody's confession is true.

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

>>> it was, everybody said, a measure of mickey costanzo's sunny personality, her sweet goodness that they had to rent wendover's 1,000-seat concert hall to make room for her funeral. she was, people said, everybody's daughter.

>> this entire town suffered as if this town was her parent. [ indiscernible ]

>> we can see how many people loved her like we did.

>> and one by one they wept as they said good-bye and remembered micaela so cruelly murdered as the ideal young woman , the pride of west wendover high.

>> she was many things to many people, a friend, a fellow student, a teammate and an inspiration.

>> in fact, perhaps the only friend who didn't attend the public funeral didn't witness its outpouring of emotion and grief was one of her oldest playmates kody patten . kody , of course, was in a jail cell awaiting trial for murdering her. naturally, a lot of people in town had come to see that boy as evil incarnate , the villain who had snuffed out the life of their princess and yet, even to mickey 's family it was more puzzling than that. it was simply inexplicable.

>> he would never hurt her. i don't understand why he ended up confessing to it. i'm still, like, there's something more to this story.

>> more, partly because kody 's story of what happened just didn't make any sense especially that bit about how mickey demanded kody dump his fiancee toni and date her, instead. impossible said celia. mickey had her own steady boyfriend and out of respect for toni , had been going out of her way to avoid getting anywhere near kody .

>> micaela never liked confrontation. she did not like drama. she hated drama. if it was going to cause an issue she would stay away.

>> anyway, everybody knew about kody and toni 's engagement and saw them flash their engagement rings . he, the 6'6" soon-to-be marine and she made it her business to tame his temper and set him on the road to righteousness. she even persuaded him to convert to the mormon church .

>> she was determined to be kody 's savior, if you will.

>> the person that helped him to graduate.

>> she was going make him happy.

>> helped him be happy. the person that helped him --

>> she took that responsibility.

>> she would help him to get into the marines.

>> she encouraged that. she encouraged him to do his school work and she encouraged him to keep on track to graduate and she encouraged him to try and be a better person.

>> now the man toni so badly of theed to save was facing the death penalty and she stuck by him, sent him love letters and promised to be faithful and true and drove to the jail and this being jail, those calls were recorded.

>> not to see you every day and talk to you, like, things to think and everything. um, hold you in my arms or anything. it's just hard.

>> yeah. i know. it's hard for me, too. it really is.

>> toni 's parents visited kody sometimes to provide support and also to ask a particular question.

>> i said, i don't understand this. why did you do this? why did this happen? and he just said, i don't know. i can't tell you anything. i don't know.

>> but by now kody 's lawyer had told him stop talking.

>> tough case. real tough case.

>> because the chances of his getting the death penalty were quite high.

>> i think they were very high. it was the identity of the victim. it was the brutality of the killing. it was the boyipoinnancy of the photographs in the case, it would break your heart.

>> not to mention kody 's confession that made mounting a defense, all, but impossible.

>> i think he regretted doing that because the confession early on was the strongest piece of evidence against kody . what kody had in mind when he told them that he was involved in the killing or that he did the killing, god knows .

>> but the more he studied kody 's confession, the more olson came to believe just like mickey 's family did that something about it didn't add up. so olson hired a seasoned investigator, a former secret service agent named bill savage . asked him to find out what he could about kody , the murder and that boy's confession.

>> some of the details that mr. patten reported didn't quite pass the sniff test to me.

>> mickey 's wounds, for example, they certainly didn't seem to be the result of an accident as kody had claimed or from a shifl shovel of all things.

>> horrible, slicing disfigurement to mickey 's face.

>> what did that say to you?

>> a great deal of rage by someone.

>> why would kody had done that to a childhood friend ? there had to be more to the story. he wondered if kody 's fiancee, toni fratto would provide more information.

>> i was kind of curious, like where is mickey ? what's going on, you know? where could she have gone?

>> so, olson spoke to toni himself. did she have any idea why he --

>> absolutely none. no idea.

>> was she as devastated as other people seemed to have been?

>> i would describe her aspect as dead pan. i would describe her as emotionless.

>> how did that strike you?

>> odd. very odd.

>> mickey 's sister d.j. also remembered how after the murder toni just seemed to shut down.

>> she refused to look at me. refused.

>> i understand that you're not going to be social because it's your significant other doing this, but she wouldn't talk to certain people anymore that she normally would.

>> who knew what wheels were turning in that young woman 's brain and then early one spring morning in april toni fratto climbed into a car with kody 's father, kip patten and she didn't tell her parents. kody was wearing just her pajamas and brought nothing with her as if she assumed she'd never be coming