Dateline   |  March 25, 2013

'The Fugitive', Part 5

Friends and neighbors of Jason Derek Brown shed light on the man theythought they knew. 

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

>> after the crime, cops found his get away vehicle abandoned and vandalized at the port rand, oregon international airport .

>> what does that indicate to you?

>> where that escalade wassed was a message that he wanted us to receive. i think he wanted us to think that he took a flight out of that portland international airport and fled the country.

>> in the months after the murder, lance lysing and other f.b.i. agents interviewed his frebds and neighbors. what they heard was contrary to what they'd expected. there was a surprising revelation from that camper who was out in the desert with his son where jason brown accidentally fired a shot into his truck. while on the run, brown mailed him a cashier's check for $ 1300 to cover the damage, along with a toys"r"us gift certificate.

>> it's a person so cold enough that you can kill somebody or you're so charismatic that you're the best friend in the bar.

>> investigators also interviewed ellen robinson . she was a realtor who met jason brown while showing him a house on her block a year and a half before the crime.

>> he was really most interested in the garage. and he said yep, i'll take it. i'll rent it.

>> and why was that? why the garage?

>> he said he had a lot of toys to store.

>> and what did he tell you he did for a living?

>> he was an importer/exporter of golf equipment to asia. his whole garage was full of golf balls and equipment.

>> how was he as a neighbor?

>> kind of like a big kid . he was generous. he'd help people out. he'd golf with some of the neighbor guys. kids would hang out with him. es spis especially my son. he took us all boating once.

>> mike campbell was on the block at the time. he told the f.b.i. , jason owned all the toys a boy could want.

>> a bmw, cadillac escalade , he had a jeep rubicon, a special edition boat, two quads, yamaha crotch rocket and two dirt bikes.

>> a lot of motors in one man's garage.

>> correct.

>> was he a player?

>> he had that playboy mentality. i mean, from day one until the end, it was, you know, money, money, money, money. hey, let's go out, you know, to the clubs and everything. he always paid for it.

>> six months later, brown abruptly moved out. he told friends a family member was ill in california. that was it until a year later. two weeks before the shooting when jason brown called ellen robinson and took her up on a standing offer to visit. brown proved to be a considerate house guest during the ten days he stayed in robinson 's spare room.

>> he'd leave for the day as if he were going to work. i remember one day, i asked him are you eating breakfast? get a bagel or something before you leave. he said no, no, that's not right. i'm nolt going to eat your food. and that was it.

>> investigators believe brown was parked in the mall staking out the armored truck 's pick ups three days before that time. three days before he allegedly robbed and killed, brown moved out of robinson 's house to the motel. ten days after that, robinson was stunned when she heard what brown was accused of doing.

>> i just happened to have the tv on and there was his picture.

>> and what are they saying about him?

>> that he's wanted for murder of an armored car employee. i instantly picked up the phone and i left a message. it went to voice mail. i said jason , something is wrong here. they think you did this and you've got to come stralgten things out.

>> did you believe he was capable of doing something like that.

>> no.

>> how could one person be so kind on one hand and so apparently evil on the other?

>> i have no idea. a murderer was not the person i was friends with.

>> but she did remember one strange thing that happened when brown was house sitting for her a year or so before the crime.

>> i went out of town for a couple days. and i left jason in the house all by himself. and my cat, he said my cat would not go in the same room as him.

>> meaning the cat sensed something bad about jason brown .

>> yes. my cat was smarter than i was, i guess. maybe it was that player thing. he senses he's a player, too.

>> mike campbell happened to work in a restaurant near the movie theater where keith palamariez was killed. he knew the shooting victim, sometimes picked up cash at campbell's job.

>> what went through your mind?

>> shock. i just saw him yesterday. now he's dead? i's, like, this can't be happening.

>> and your former neighbor is accused of killing him?

>> it's a double whammy. you kind of ask yourself what in the world is going on.

>> give me a sense for the information you've gotten from jason brown 's friends. how he was acting just before the crime sdm.

>> most of them described him as depressed. he was sleeping on people's catches. he didn't have the money to live the lifestyle that he wanted to live. some of his associates described how he was watching shows about crime dramas. and he would talk to them about, hey, armored car , that would be the way to go. if we were going to do a robbery, an armored car would be the one.

>> they were developing a clearer profile of their suspect. but they were not getting any closer to capturing jason brown . inevitably, the man hunt began to wear on investigators.

>> pressure from the department, pressure from the victim's family and then we have the pressure that we put on ourselves.

>> but that pressure would be ratcheted up even more because jason brown was about to join that most exclusive and notorious of clubs, the f.b.i. 's 10 most-wanted list.

>> coming up, is jason brown 's life on the run a life in the sun?

>>> what do you think the odds are that he's wangled his way into some woman's life somewhere and she has no idea that she's living with an accused killer?

>> i think that is the