Dateline   |  September 27, 2013

Toxic, Part 6

Matthew Podolak’s death is formally ruled a homicide, and investigators call in Holly to answer some questions.    Hear her side of the story from her mouth for the first time.

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

>> narrator: prosecutors were appointed, brian mcdonough and allison ford, though they were soon frustrated.

>> but we were missing pieces , missing critical links on the case.

>> narrator: evidence already collected was maddeningly inconclusive. detectives recovered two bottles of anti-freeze from the garage where holly and matt lived. but it turned out somebody else had been living in the house for two years before they found it.

>> was there a way we could go ahead and link it up?

>> narrator: nope, tests showed that the anti-freeze found in the garage did not match. after matt died, she spent practically every day with holly . and here's where detective quinn 's eyes really opened wide. rebecca told him that one day she was at holly 's house when she noticed an odd looking jug of chemicals in holly 's kitchen.

>> she had said that it was anti-freeze and that it was to winterize matt's boat.

>> did you ask why they were there?

>> yeah. i thought, well, it's in the kitchen, the boat's outside and why would anti-freeze be in the kitchen?

>> narrator: and then there was the time that holly was complaining about matt and holly say --

>> i can get rid of hill. an i thought -- she actually backed up that statement with, well, you can work and we can just move in to your house.

>> narrator: weird, as he looked back on that. once she heard about the coroner's report and the podalak family suspicions, she cut off all contact with holly , ended the friendship without saying why.

>> i thought to myself, i had exposed my family to a murder.

>> it seemed to me like she believed that holly poisoned matthew .

>> were you a little freaked out by that?

>> she stated she was afraid of holly .

>> narrator: so quinn kept an eagle eye on holly mcfeature. then he heard about a karaoke bar .

>> they were singing a song by the dixie chicks called "earl had to die." it's a song about an abused woman in a relationship with a man who to get back at the man poisoned his food. and they were up there singing the song and laughing about it, this was after matthew 's death. i thought it was really cold blooded when i heard about it.

>> narrator: that was 2010 , four years after matt's death. the same year sergeant quinn received a big gift. maybe it was because prosecutors were appointed, maybe the car lee karaoke. whatever it was, that's when the coroner changed his cause of death from suicide to homicide. for the very first time, holly was invited to the police station to give a formal statement.

>> we're about to get into the deaths of mat you poda lrk lak, the coroner has ruled it a homicide not a suicide. are you willing to talk to officers without consulting a lawyer or having a lawyer present with you?

>> yeah, i'm fine. i don't have anything to hide. i didn't do anything, so --

>> narrator: so what would she say about her relationship with matt?

>> did you and matt every have any fights, physically?

>> yeah, there was a couple.

>> did you call police?

>> i know one time i called the cops.

>> narrator: holly said it happened when she had a male friend over at their house.

>> it was because he assumed something was going on when that wasn't the case. i had a friend over, we were talking and it came out that he didn't like it. he got jealous.

>> she told him, if they really wanted to solve the mystery, they should look for answers at matt's factory.

>> so did matthew ever have any kind of enemies?

>> at work. from what he would come home and tell me, there was a lot of people there that he didn't get along with it. he would tell me different stories about how so and so would get in a fight.

>> and remember the $10,000 in life insurance bandied about as a possible motive for murder. holly said she didn't know there was life insurance , until after matt was dead.

>> as far as i knew, the only thing he had at work was his 401(k) plan. i didn't find out that he had life insurance until after the funeral home .

>> his obituary --

>> it ended up being me. we found that out after the funeral.

>> but how about that night in the karaoke bar .

>> "early's got to die" do you know that song?

>> yes. and it's a story about a woman in an abusive relationship and they poison the man and he dies.

>> that's a song. it's karaoke song.

>> over and over the detectived challenged holly with the accusing questions.

>> did you give matt any type of poison?

>> no.

>> did you give matthew any type of anti-freeze?

>> no.

>> and in fact didn't you poison matthew ?

>> no, it's not a fact. because i didn't do it. i didn't do that.

>> have you ever told anyone that you put something in matthew 's drink?

>> no, i never put anything in his drink. i would never say i did.

>> narrator: holly protested, none of this made sense, she said.

>> he was the father of my children. the person i was going to spend the rest of my life with. i'm not going to hurt him in any way. our dreams, our goals, my whole life has completely been changed upside down and i know nothing. and his family despises me and does nothing but speak evil.

>> narrator: and with that, detectives thanked her for coming in and sent her on her way, with a warning that most likely she would be indicted.

>> there will be a warrant for your arrest.

>> narrator: that was late september 2010 , but holly wasn't indicted, not that year, not the next career either. something strange happened in 2011 . holly answered her phone and found herself talking to a guy she dated briefly, after matt died.

>> do you remember what you told me about the drinks?