Dateline   |  October 04, 2013

'Deadly Intent' part 4

Working off a tip, investigators think they may be closing in on a suspect.

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

>> would want to kill mild mannered connie hoagland were hitting nothing but dead ends until they got a call from the business partner of connie 's husband larry .

>> i says, hey, i found bombmaking instructional videos and internet searches on our office computer. and i didn't make the searches.

>> reporter: it seems larry had been looking for some unusual things on the internet.

>> we looked at the stuff that he had looked at, and then it was like, wow, this is the exact same bomb that we found.

>> reporter: but they found more than just a list of incriminating websites.

>> during the search we find love letters between him, larry hoagland's hand, and a woman by the name of lee ann .

>> reporter: the highly moral, god fearing church leader had been cheating on his wife with a woman who lived across the country. what did she tell you?

>> that she and larry had been in a relationship for several years.

>> reporter: larry and lee ann , it turned out, were once high school sweethearts. in 2007 lee ann , recently divorced and living in pennsylvania , wondered if it was too late for larry and her to take another crack at love.

>> she was able to track him down on the internet and place a call to him one day while he was at work at his photography shop and, boom, just like a spark rekindled into a fire.

>> reporter: according to lee ann larry told her he, too, was getting a divorce. and soon the two were texting like hormonal teens. you've been my dream girl for as long as i can remember being in love, larry wrote. life is like dry brown toast without you. lee ann was equally smitten. i lost you once and do not want to lose you again, she wrote.

>> she was preparing for him to come be her husband and be a part of her life for the rest of her life.

>> reporter: while he carried on with lee ann in pennsylvania , back home in san diego , larry was growing distant from connie but never mentioned getting a divorce or separating. in fact, he still kept up his family routines, even going to church with them every sunday.

>> my dad was a church board member . my mom was really involved with bible studies and women's groups. it was a big part of our life. we didn't know anything was wrong. i always thought that everything was fine and great.

>> reporter: so larry was leading a double life and lying to both of the women?

>> exactly.

>> yeah. he had two complete lies.

>> and lived them as one. it was really weird.

>> reporter: connie remembers that time well but for different reasons. larry told her and the kids that he'd gotten a big photo contract in pittsburgh and for the next three years, larry split his time between california and pennsylvania .

>> he said he had a friend out in pennsylvania named bob and he would go out there and do work for him. we had no reason not to trust him, believe him.

>> reporter: but here's what connie and the kids didn't know. larry was financing his secret life with extra mortgages on their san diego home.

>> i thought we were doing fine. i thought it was going to be a good time in our life.

>> reporter: but then suddenly there was no money.

>> suddenly like what? bankruptcy?

>> reporter: you had to declare bankruptcy?

>> i didn't want to declare bankruptcy but larry said, no, we need to do this. so i just went ahead with it.

>> reporter: you went along?

>> yep. i trusted him. i thought he maybe knew better than i knew.

>> reporter: and detectives learned while larry was deceiving connie and bleeding his own family dry, he was also playing lee ann , telling her the timing wasn't right for them to get married because he couldn't afford to go through with his divorce. as proof, larry even sent lee ann this secretly recorded meeting with his lawyer.

>> spousal support at $900.

>> and child support at?

>> $1,000.

>> 1900 total. why is that so high?

>> why is it so high? that's the guideline figure.

>> reporter: lee ann 's response to this video? text after text basically telling larry to put up or shut up. i have heard it all so many times, she wrote. i am tired the of it all. if you love me like you say, we still wouldn't be doing this. i am ready to move on. two weeks after that text larry was in pennsylvania trying to patch things up with lee ann when the cell phone bomb was discovered in the hoagland neighborhood.

>> i'm telling matt, matt, we got him with a girlfriend in pittsburgh, we've got all this stuff going on. because this is all that we're finding, love cards in the business. so all this is building in one day. so you've got this whole package right there, right in a nutshell. that's what says hook him.

>> reporter: larry was arrested that night, but at that point the hoagland family had no idea he was even being investigated. so when jaclyn got a 2:00 a.m . call from her sister jill with news about their dad, she was blindsided.

>> my sister said he's been arrested. they -- in jail. and i couldn't believe it. and i think the first thing out of my mouth was there's no way he did this. there's no way. they have the wrong guy.

>> reporter: the evidence against larry was circumstantial. no fingerprints, no dna, nothing to physically connect him to either bomb. and that made investigators take another look at eric stallmacher who was asked to come down to his old fire station for an interview. this was not going to be a friendly chat with his old work buddies.

>> when they asked me if i'd be willing to take a polygraph. i was like, wait a minute. you guys know me, you should know better than that. then i realized the best way to clear -- make sure that i'm clear in their eyes is to take a polygraph. right after it was finished, they said, well, you passed.

>> reporter: stallmacher was nothing more than the right guy in the wrong place.

>> everything came up clean. he was just coincidence.

>> reporter: luke and beals were now convinced larry was the bomber and that he was in it alone, but larry hoagland, the husband, father of three and man of god, had a ready explanation when he sat down with me. he'd been framed.

>> i did not try to kill my wife. there is somebody out there who is responsible for this. there's a maniac out there.