Dateline   |  October 04, 2013

'Deadly Intent' part 6

Mank takes to the streets ... and finds the guy!

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

>>> larry hoagland, in jail for allegedly trying to kill his wife with a pipe bomb , had an alibi that sounded like a movie plot, that he'd been framed by a mystery man using larry 's wifi. larry told us a man named indian joe could confirm his story. hey, how's it going? you're joe ?

>> yes.

>> reporter: much to our surprise indian joe turned out to be real.

>> he left them on all night for us. we could do our e-mail, surf the net.

>> reporter: nice guy ?

>> nice guy . really a nice guy . kind of larry milquetoast. kind of really quiet.

>> reporter: so far this part of larry 's strange story checked out, but what about the crucial part that larry promised would exonerate him and prove he'd been framed? larry tells us about a guy named jerry who was, like you, somebody who came up, parked nearby, used the wifi signal, a guy who was about 6 feet tall, dark hair like mine but maybe darker than mine, wavy hair, slender build. ring a bell?

>> somebody fitting that description, no. i have have known everybody that comes around, and there was nobody, there was nobody fitting that description.

>> reporter: do you know anybody named jerry ?

>> no, there was nobody with that name during that time period that he was here.

>> reporter: because that's fairly important, to larry , he's now behind bars.

>> i know. after i heard the situation come down, i actually asked the other people, did you get on the internet? did you look up how to build a pipe bomb ? did you try any of these thins? and everybody said, no, why would i do that? and it was like this is just -- i'm afraid it's just fantasy.

>> reporter: that was not the news larry was expecting to hear. or was it? we found joe .

>> wonderful.

>> reporter: we talked to joe .

>> great.

>> reporter: he's never heard of jerry .

>> anybody that resembles my description of jerry ? anybody at all?

>> reporter: so now you're not sure of the guy's name?

>> i've never been completely sure of his name. i called him jerry . anybody that resembles jerry . i wasn't positive his name was jerry .

>> reporter: joe says he doesn't know anyone like that. can't help us. and he wasn't unhelpful. he was actually quite willing to talk to us. he says there's nothing about it.

>> that's very disheartening.

>> reporter: is there really a jerry ?

>> yes, there is. yes, there is. there's a man out there who is responsible for this. and i'm not him.

>> reporter: i got to ask you, i mean, did you think about just getting divorced?

>> yes.

>> reporter: i mean, if you had just gotten divorced, none of this would have happened. you wouldn't be in there, i wouldn't be here talking to you. you'd be in pennsylvania with your girlfriend and your wife with be angry at you.

>> which would not have been the right thing to do to delete my family in hindsight, yes.

>> reporter: but it beats murder. and our interview finally ended. and as he was being led away, larry conceded to his guard that we weren't buying his story.

>> no, they think that i'm a lying scumbag. and i was.

>> reporter: while larry admitted to being a liar, he never admitted to the bomb attempts and even connie didn't believe her husband of 25 years would try to kill her. not until larry called her shortly after he was arrested while connie was still in the hospital.

>> he said, i want you to know i've been having an affair before it gets out. and he said, since the accident i've been dedicated to you. and then he said, i didn't do it. and when he said he was dedicated to me, it's like a light bulb went off like he's lying. you know? and i knew, you know what? he did it.

>> reporter: just from that, just from that one phrase, that he was dedicated to you?

>> right. weird. because i knew he wasn't. it's like my mind was opened at that time. like whoa. it's you.

>> reporter: 19 months later, connie painfully pulled herself into court and testified against the man who had once promised to love, honor and cherish her as long as they both shall live.

>> my ears were ringing. it was so loud.

>> reporter: larry 's defense? the same story he shared with us. he'd been framed by the mysterious jerry . to no one's surprise, the jury didn't buy it.

>> we the jury in the above entitled cause find the defendant lawrence gerald hoagland guilty of the crime of attempted murder .

>> good morning, ladies and gentlemen .

>> reporter: a month later at his sentencing, connie and the kids read victim impact statements. it was the first time any of them had spoken to their dad since his arrest.

>> larry is no longer my father, and i am no longer his daughter. i haven't spoken to larry in almost two years, and after today, i will never see or speak to him again.

>> larry , you disgust me. he does not deserve or have the right to refer to us as his family any more. when larry dies in prison, no one will shed a tear.

>> i exercise my divine right to wash my hands of you. your soul is of no concern or consequence to me. and you will live your hell.

>> reporter: words that some dads might consider a punishment harsher than a life in prison , which is, in fact, the sentence larry received, life, plus 13 years. you guys feel like you're better off now?

>> oh, yeah.

>> yeah, all better.

>> you know it's weird to think that after all this, but we are. we're closer. and we know each other better. and we've seen each other at our lowest. so we're closer and we're all stronger as a family.

>> reporter: 2 1/2 years after the bombing, connie was up and walking unassisted on this night heading to the podium to receive the citizens of courage award from the san diego county d.a.'s office.

>> yes!

>> reporter: for having the guts to face her husband, her attempted killer, in court. when you went into court and stared him down, what was larry thinking? you tell me.

>> i think he just still thought that i didn't think he did it.

>> reporter: i sort of get the feeling that maybe larry thought that you were the kind of person who wouldn't have the strength to testify against him.

>> i think you're right. i think he just didn't know me as well as he thought he did.

>> reporter: boy, was he wrong.