Dateline   |  October 04, 2013

'Deadly Intent' part 5

Investigators take a suspect into custody, who tells Josh Mankiewicz, he's been framed. The suspect asks Mank, to find a transient who can clear his name.

Share This:

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

>>> after his arrest, larry hoagland was booked into san diego county 's curiously named george bailey detention facility.

>> merry christmas .

>> merry christmas , george!

>> reporter: a different george bailey , you may recall, was jimmy stewart 's character in "it's a wonderful life ." which actually described larry hoagland's life at one point. good friends, a loving family, the respect of his community. by the time i sat down across from larry , much of that had evaporated. he stood accused of trying to kill his wife with a pipe bomb . and his first words to me was that police had the wrong man.

>> i did not try to kill my wife. i'm adamant about this.

>> reporter: the only thing larry said was true was that he did have an affair.

>> i was cheating on my wife. i was cheating on my family.

>> reporter: you were in love with somebody else?

>> yeah, i was. yes, i was.

>> reporter: and you were what, going to ask your wife for a divorce?

>> yes.

>> reporter: and walk out?

>> that was pretty much it, yes. i let a lot of people down, i deceived a lot of people. i forsook a lot of people, i did.

>> reporter: is that the worst thing you committed?

>> yes. besides adultery, yeah.

>> reporter: because what you're in here for --

>> oh, yes.

>> reporter: pretty much tops all of that.

>> i did not try to kill my wife. i did not. i have nothing to do with what happened to connie. there is somebody out there who is responsible for the whole thing and there's a maniac out there.

>> reporter: the whole thing, meaning trying to kill your wife and framing you for it?

>> yes.

>> reporter: larry -- who has motive to do that? you wanted out of your marriage. you had a girlfriend. you were planning to leave your wife and your family. and you didn't want to pay the alimony and you tried to kill her.

>> alimony was nothing. you know, and i tell you all these things because it's the truth. i'm not going to stand behind and start explaining to you about the details. i just have to tell you that it's true.

>> reporter: briefly tell me -- and i always say briefly because i don't know how much time we have. who framed you and why would they do that? larry wasn't able to explain it briefly, so i'll do it for him. his story goes like this. larry claimed there were a number of transients who park their motor homes in the industrial park around his photo studio. and that he, larry , living out his christian faith , let those transients piggyback off his wifi at night and that one of those transients, a guy named jerry , did the bombmaking internet searches. not larry . you believe that jerry , with his wifi internet access , is responsible for the computer searches that were found in the investigation?

>> i believe so.

>> reporter: and in truth, when cops arrested larry , they knew there was no physical proof connecting him to those internet searches and so they continued to dig.

>> larry had a lot of stuff in his wallet, a lot of pocket trash, business cards , pieces of paper, receipts. i wouldn't want to sit on his wallet, let's put it that way.

>> reporter: while going through that wallet, beals found this phone number written on a little slip of paper.

>> i said holy cow , this first number is the bomb phone number . i keep going through the contents of the wallet and here's the second number.

>> reporter: that's right. larry hoagland had, in his wallet, the numbers of both cell phones used as detonators on the first bomb, the one that didn't explode. that's an unbelievable piece of luck.

>> i'd like to call it investigative genius, but, yeah, it was fantastic. really good to find that.

>> reporter: that tied larry to the unexploded bomb.

>> yes.

>> reporter: if you're thinking it would be hard to explain away that evidence, then you don't know larry hoagland. how did those numbers get into your wallet?

>> jerry gave them to me. that man gave them to me. that's why i say he had everything to do with this.

>> reporter: he gave you those phone numbers and said this is how you reach me?

>> yes.

>> reporter: then gave you another one because he had a second phone?

>> yes. he said here's my wife's phone number . i said, okay, fine, so i grabbed the piece of paper and wrote it down.

>> reporter: all of it to frame you for murder to what possible end? for what conceivable reason? how does that benefit him?

>> it's obvious we've got a maniacal person on our hands here.

>> reporter: tell me what you know about jerry ?

>> i know very little about jerry . what he looks like. six feet tall, dark hair, waive i like your, no salt and pepper . i would guess that he's late 20s, early 30s. always needed a shave.

>> reporter: larry said there was one transient who could back up his story. and his name is?

>> that's joe , indian joe . and he's been out there.

>> reporter: if we find joe , he'll be able to lead us to jerry ?

>> i certainly hope so because joe , to my knowledge, knows everybody in that neighborhood.

>> reporter: it sounded like a crazy story and larry well knew it.

>> if i was a guy out there watching "dateline," i wouldn't believe this. i would be the first person to say, oh, this guy is full of baloney. it's like watching a tv show .

>> reporter: it is like watching a tv show . and you're telling us to go search for the one-armed man.

>> yes. that's a good analogy, yes.

>> reporter: and so we went to try to check out larry 's story. was he telling the truth this time? or was it a lie just like the ones he told his family? we combed the area around his old photo studio, an industrial area near the freeway full of warehouses and alleys in search of an injun joe who might lead us to jerry . we found this old rv and inside?

>> joe , indian joe .