Dateline   |  July 12, 2013

'A Cold December Morning,' Part 11

Clay Starbuck opens up in an exclusive interview with Dateline.  Meanwhile, Chanin's kids anticipate a long-awaited homecoming with their dad.

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

>> narrator: on the stand, clay starbuck was one cool customer. taciturn and stoic.

>> are you a jealous person?

>> no, not at all.

>> do you ever get angry?

>> not at all.

>> ms. starbuck was granted 50% of your pension. did that make you angry?

>> no.

>> did it bother you?

>> no.

>> do you think that chanin starbuck 's killer was trying to send a message?

>> i don't know.

>> narrator: but make no mistake, clay starbuck has plenty say, about his ex-wife chanin, about the detectives whom he believe ignored promising leads in order to hang her murder on him.

>> they were after me. they had their guiy. they didn't want anybody else, they wanted to drive me to prosecution.

>> narrator: for starters, clay star kbbuck told us near the end of his trial, it's a claim based largely on a false interpretation of the dna evidence .

>> it was not a 100% match. it was not a full inclusion nor could they exclude it.

>> narrator: the dna they found was a partial strand which could occur in one of 300,000 males. not nearly as accurate as standard dna testing . but clay starbuck said it was blown out of proportion.

>> i can state a lot of things.

>> the case has been botched in your view?

>> is botched a big word or is it okay in this case?

>> i would concur. i would say botched is fair game . there's some smart people that have made some elementary mistakes.

>> narrator: but even if it was his dna, it's been there since his breakup with chanin.

>> i left in june of 2010 . was that the last time that chanin and i were intimate? no, not even close.

>> really?

>> narrator: hopes of reconciliation, perhaps. no, not that at all, said clay. he had moved on.

>> at the time of chanin's death, i was seeing a gal in vald valdez, alaska, it was a long distance relationship.

>> you were otherwise engaged?

>> and he wonderered why detectives would listen to what he considered to be gossip.

>> she was terrified of you. and she told her friends this. and so when she winds up dead and humiliated that way, who else are they going to look at but the person she was terrified of.

>> chanin's friends, as you mentioned, if they make those comments, i can't control those comments. i have no way of knowing what chanin told them. but i would hope that they would follow the evidence. i would hope that they wouldn't chase somebody down over a comment made off the cuff.

>> narrator: and those were second hanghand stories about clay the jury never heard anyway. and the secondhand every that proves to destroy him, they were nothing. of course they didn't see him on that street. he never told the cops that's where he walked and they didn't ask.

>> they didn't ask you where you went? because they say you told them.

>> i did not.

>> are their memories bad? or are they lying or what?

>> there's been many statements in this that have not been true from a law enforcement stand point.

>> narrator: and speaking of alibis, clay said he doesn't believe the time of that 911 call means anything at all.

>> it is so short, you can't tell what it is.

>> yeah, but it's a call to 911, she winds up dead. they kind of go together. so the time of death makes most sense right around that time or just after because she would have been under attack at that point.

>> i don't think there's anything in evidence that have been provided by witnesses that anybody can make that assumption that the time she made the 911 call and the time of her death are related.

>> narrator: during the time of our interview, clay starbuck seemed quite unflappable. i see how you can be -- you're not a guy that can be argued with.

>> because i don't argue.

>> it makes the other person crazy.

>> then i suggest you get counseling.

>> never angry, never jealous. the only emotion clay starbuck pleads guilty to is disappointment. he was disappointed, he said, when his youngest daughter told him about some explicit images she had seen on her mother's computer.

>> it was pretty upsetting for you?

>> it was disappointing. i wouldn't say upsetting.

>> narrator: now according to clay starbuck , murder never crossed his mind.

>> she was a beautiful woman, smart woman. she didn't need to travel those paths to find men to be with. it was senseless.

>> and did you try to stop that behavior by killing her?

>> absolutely not. absolutely not. i wouldn't kill her, i wouldn't harm her, i wouldn't kick, bite, scratch, anything to her. i have never zodone anything to her and i didn't kill her.

>> narrator: he faltered only once. the question was about his children.

>> what have you had to say to them all these months?

>> you're going to make me get emotional. so i'll just leave it as i'm proud of them.

>> it's a pretty tough thing for kids to handle.

>> it is. not only did they lose their mother, they lost their dad for a period of time.

>> maybe forever?

>> it's not going to be forever, it's going to be until next week.

>> narrator: clay star kbbuck is a of the man, quite sure that acquittal was just days awaway, all he needed was to hear the jury say