Dateline   |  August 23, 2013

In the Middle of the Night, Part 5

Murder suspect Clifton Bloomfield is tied to two more killings through DNA evidence.

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

>>> in the weeks after the murder of her husband scott, katherine pierce was still living in the home where he had been killed by mistake. instead of moving out, katherine cleaned up the blood stains and stayed. she says she was determined to face her own fears.

>> i began to get up in the middle of the night and kind of walk through the house with the lights off just so i could get that out of my system, so i wouldn't be afraid of it. i walked down the hall without the lights on. i went to the back door, i let the dogs out.

>> you walked through the kitchen?

>> i relived it over and over and over again.

>> and that made it easier?

>> if you repeat something over and over and over again, it lessens a little bit every time.

>> but katherine was also facing a broken-hearted truth. that she lost the love of her life.

>> i had no idea what my future would hold, especially in the romance department.

>> you could not conceive of ever finding that kind of love again.

>> no, i could not.

>> and now the detectives who had quickly closed the case by getting a confession from that armed intruder, clifton bloomfield were about to realize they weren't done with either bloomfield or katherine pierce.

>> that's when the crime lab here in albuquerque got a hit on clifton bloomfield 's dna . but it had nothing to do with the murder of scott pierce . this was a dna sample left at the scene of a completely different albuquerque homicide. the killing ground was in this neatly kept home in 2007 . some six months before the murder of scott pierce . the murders of a couple had been front page news and sparked citywide outrage and fear. they were beloved figures, pioneers in the city's korean american community. they had come to the u.s. in the '70s, worked multiple jobs, raised four successful children and lived the american dream . mr. yi had just retired so they could travel and then they were murdered in their own home. detective mike fox had a personal connection to the case.

>> he actually was my neighbor at one point. i would see him out gardening. very pleasant man.

>> not a neighborhood where you expect this to happen?

>> no. this is another crime where you have a victim that hadn't done anything to deserve it.

>> and the crime, detective fox and his colleagues had investigated had been especially vicious. mrs. ye had been beaten and suffocated with a plastic grocery bag. her husband had been beaten to death. but before he died, mr. ye took a swipe at his killer and his dna was found under mr. ye's fingernail. police now now it was the dna of clifton bloomfield . he had not even been a suspect in the murders.

>> part of me was shocked but part of me was like, makes sense. the brutality of the murders.

>> news that bloomfield had committed two more murders sent a shockwave through katherine pierce.

>> i realized that i really could be dead. he could have killed me for fun because i was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

>> or because you possibly could have identified him.

>> anything. why leave a witness behind? it doesn't make any sense that he left me alive.

>> the story gets stranger. before getting the dna hit on bloomfield , albuquerque police and prosecutors had already arrested, indicted and jailed two other men who they believed were responsible for the ye murders. one of the men had even confessed. but the dna of those two men was never found at the murder scene. dna now linked only clifton bloomfield . those results came back from the crime lab just days after the murder of scott pierce .

>> my lawyer called me up and said, we found something. it looks like he could have been arrested before he ever killed scott.

>> i kind of get the feeling that's when you began to get angry?

>> yes. somebody like that, why did it take so long to put him behind bars ?

>> katherine 's lawyers, ben davis and brad hall .

>> how long did it take them to test that dna . [.

>>> seven months.

>> during that time, mr. bloomfield was on the street and one of the things he did was kill scott pierce ?

>> correct.

>> they had seven months to prevent the murder of scott pierce and they chose not to do that.

>> carrie brandenburg.

>> should they have submitted that dna earlier?

>> hindsight, yes. we have limited resources, we had cases that were going to trial that we need dna on and so there's a priority.

>> so this was something that fell through the cracks?

>> i can't say that it fell through the cracks because that insinuates that something wrong happened. and i can't say that anything wrong happened. the process worked the way it always works.

>> but that answer wasn't good enough for katherine pierce. this widow was about to begin a crusade. and clifton bloomfield was about to come out of the shadows.

>> coming up --