Dateline | June 28, 2013
>>> everyone knew that kay mortensen was always prepared. surrounded himself with a veritable arsenal of firearms, just a tough old bird who could defend himself against just about anything.
>> he always would say "if anyone tries to break in here, i will kill them."
>> reporter: but life, no matter how well we prepare is full of rude surprises. as the it was for kay mortensen . it was november 16th , 2009 . just before thanksgiving.
>> hi, this is, we have the police on the way to help you there, are you sure your dad, your dad is cold to the touch?
>> reporter: kay did not shoot some intruder as he long promised he was prepared to do. no, somebody killed him. without firing a shot. [ indiscernible ]
>> and the man on the phone reporting the crime, roger mortensen , kay 's eldest son.
>> they sliced his throat?
>> reporter: it wasn't long before kay 's wife darla made it to the mouth of the canyon and was led to the command post that had been set up just the downhill from their home. that's where they gave her the news.
>> your life just comes tumbling down. you know? you have it all planned out. you think you know what it is going to be, and then -- everything is gone.
>> reporter: kay caught off-guard, not kay , thought darla. impossible. but that seemed to be just what happened. at least, that's what roger and pam toeld the police and later us. and a very strange story it was that began they said when pam received a pie at work as a gift.
>> we knew how much he loved that pecan pie . we decided soon as she got home from work to take him that pie.
>> reporter: so they said they went to his house intending to drop off the pie and then leave. but when they got there, they say, it was an unfamiliar car in the driveway. pam said she knocked on the door, and a young man answered.
>> i said is kay here? he said he is. he is upstairs. i said we are here to drop off a pie. and they said, go ahead in. i got to about the landing, when, i was asked to come back down. i heard the door shut. and when i turned around, that's when i saw the gun.
>> what was it like to see that?
>> it was a shock. as soon as we tender around and saw the gun a nother guy started walking down the stairs, also. he had in his hand a wad of zip ties . they turned to us and said, you are here at the wrong place, wrong time. hold out your hand.
>> the intruders zip tied their wrists, forced them down on the living room floor and zip tied their ankles.
>> after we were tied up. they said, we are sorry you have seen our faces we are going to have to kill you now.
>> pam , quaking in terror, she said looked up at a picture of jesus hanging on the living room wall.
>> i kept thinking, heavenly father , if you really love me and care for me, please make us get through this. and it calmed me to keep looking at that picture of christ. and to -- be able to help roger stay calm.
>> reporter: that really had am in pact on you?
>> it did.
>> reporter: huh, why?
>> it just brought me comfort. it brought me peace to know that --
>> reporter: even if they killed you?
>> to know that, that the -- my heavenly father loves me. and that he would do the right thing for me.
>> reporter: both men left the room, they said. then roger began praying aloud. he was in mid sentence, he said when the men walked back in. and something quite amazing happened.
>> my wife nudged me. okay. be quiet. they're back. one of them says, no, that is okay. keep praying. go ahead. they both, folded their arms in front of them and bowed their heads. and listened to me as i continued this entire prayer.
>> reporter: how weird is that?
>> when i got done with the prayer, we both sat down and their demeanor changed at that point. one looked at us and said well we decided we are not going to kill you. we are going to tell you a story you need to relay to the police.
>> what was the story the intruders told them to say. the three black men with ski masks invaded the house, three not two, as they actually were, black, not white as they actually were. and then says roger , they took the driver's license. and they would know if pam or he told the truth. if that happened. they would hunt him down and kill him. and then the two men left. roger and pam waited a while. got out of the zip ties . and roger ran upstairs, while pam dialed 911. and was on the phone with the operator when roger found his father in the upstairs bathroom.
>> and i saw my father kneeling over the bathtub. his feet were tied. and he was -- his head was down in the bathtub.
>> reporter: inconceivable, tough, resilient, armed to the teeth kay . murdered with his own kitchen knife . what a story. sergeant eric knudsen was one of the lead detectives. sitting in the office when from up at the how the first officer to talk to pam and roger called him.
>> you know, something isn't right here. it sms from his perception that maybe this is some things were staged or some things were not what would be normal for a crime as heinous or vicious as this.
>> reporter: something about that bizarre story didn't sit right. he just couldn't put his finger on it. not yet anyway.