Dateline | May 03, 2013
>> reporter: in boise, idaho, inside this law office in the fall of 2010 , where with a paralegal whose charmed life was falling apart, kandi hall was an unhappy woman, her marriage was dying or dead, her 40th birthday was bearing down like a chinese bullet train and then one day it got worse. kandi 's boss told her she was also unemployed. my husband is having an affair, now my attorney who i work for has fired me.
>> yep. pretty lou.
>> reporter: that's problems. and then there was him. emmett corrigan fixed everything. he was handsome and he thought she was gorgeous. and, of course, he hired her right away for his new law office , and, well, you know what came next. racy e-mails, spicy text messages .
>> i would like to be put on that pedestal and emmett made me feel that way. pretty much of an ego boost for me.
>> reporter: she really wasn't trying to get back at her husband, said kandi , at least not consciously.
>> i was thinking about me and only me. you know what? it made me feel good, made me feel like i was on top of the world .
>> reporter: sitting here now, is kandi still thinking only of kandi ? perhaps as you hear the rest of the story, you could be the judge of that. anyway, back then there were a few hitches in kandi 's new found fantasy life. we start with emmett corrigan was also married and lived in this quiet cul-de-sac, just a couple of miles with kandi , with this woman. his wife, ashley .
>> he was just a guy that everybody wanted to be around.
>> reporter: enthusiastic, full of energy?
>> sometimes too much energy, but that's kind of one of the things i loved about him.
>> reporter: just like kandi and rob, ashley and emmett met in a gym. in college in utah in 2003 . also inseparable from that moment on. and they certainly made a striking young couple. they were married after just six months together, made their vows before god and the church and the lds temple .
>> you know what? i think i'm ready to be a parent.
>> reporter: first game twin girls, followed soon by a son and another daughter.
>> he loved being a dad as much as i loved being a mom.
>> reporter: in the winter, skiing and sledding. in the summer they camped and swam at the lake they so loved. made memories, ashley never doubted this was how their life was supposed to be. she was pregnant with her fifth child when her ambitious husband opened his law office that fall of 2010 . and made the fateful decision to hire a paralegal named kandi hall. not that he had any idea he was sealing his face, anymore than his wife ashley understood his private motivations. did you suspect she was involved with emmett ?
>> with emmett ? no.
>> reporter: why?
>> the way he described her was an older woman who he looked up to in motherly way. she believed in me, thinks i'm going to be a great lawyer.
>> reporter: she was an older woman.
>> she was almost 40 and i was 28 many so it wasn't something that i felt a competition i guess.
>> reporter: that is one of the reasons that many who plainly escape that aren't seated in the hot stove of desire themselves. emmett and kandi thought otherwise. they tried to keep their hands off a while, but if they believed they were hiding their obvious infatuation, messy hair, hastily rearranged clothes, they were only fooling themselves.
>> i noticed a significant change in her attitude. went from being depressed about what rob had done to happy.
>> reporter: spring in her step again.
>> oh, yeah.
>> reporter: that's timing. now that rob wanted to seem to fix their marriage, kandi became a study in pretense. honesty took a holiday.
>> i was living a lie. being in an affair is being in one big lie . you lie about everything.
>> reporter: yes. and she lied to herself too. you were thinking of you and he together, striding across the bow of the "titanic." this is going to be it for you forever.
>> reporter: and one night a couple of months into the affair, events ticked measurably toward the conclusion. around bedtime, kandi received a text from emmett and couldn't hide it.
>> the text popped up and rob read it, and it said i wish i was there with you tonight.
>> reporter: what did he say?
>> he was angry. kandi , what is this? i said i don't know. so he calls emmett . why are you texting my wife at this time of night?
>> reporter: emmett 's answer, two minutes later, he showed up at rob's house, they talked like dueling lovers on the sidewalk, then rob came back inside.
>> rob tossed my phone up on our bed and he said you win. i can't compete. he's young. he's good looking guy. an attorney. you make him a lot of money. what good am i? it was just devastating.
>> reporter: now you got yourself a pretty complicated life at this stage?
>> reporter: of course, that is february 2011 . emmett 's life was complicated too. ashley could see how stressed he was, didn't understand it. that or why he seemed to avoid coming home .
>> there was one time when my son asked me if he lived with us anymore. and we were in the bedroom, what's that all about? and i was like, well, we miss you. and he just kind of yelled and screamed and left.
>> reporter: ashley thought maybe it was her fault. she went to marriage counseling , emmett refused to go.
>> i had felt really pushed away, and was trying to find an answer and tried to surprise him by cleaning out his car and found a weird envelope.
>> reporter: a weird envelope?
>> just an envelope with some sort of pill. i researched online and one of the side effects was problems with intimacy and sexuality, and i thought maybe if he was doing that, that that could explain why he didn't necessarily want me.
>> reporter: did you take it personally too, though?
>> you want to be everything. it was hard not to take personal.
>> reporter: especially when emmett , who had been working out more and more, announced he was going to a fitness competition in ohio on their wedding anniversary . what did that feel like?
>> lonely. he calls and said happy anniversary . i'll call you later, but didn't call back. and the night before he came home, my oldest son, who was -- he had just turned four, was screaming one night for probably two hours, my dad is going to die, my dad is going to die. and i just held him, tried calling him, but never answered his phone. it was a very strange weekend.
>> reporter: strange? strange is not a big enough word to describe what is about to happen.