Dateline   |  November 13, 2013

'Secrets in Pleasant Grove' part 4

Martin’s daughters uncover dark secrets, and push police to investigate their father. But was he capable of murdering his wife of 30 years?

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

>>> a home for gypsy willis. for nearly two years they will been laser focused on profession his guilt, trying to persuade the investigators that martin murdered his wife. sure enough they discovered a crime. not murder but shocking nonetheless.

>> giselle !

>> it all started when martin sent his 16-year-old adopted daughter giselle to the ukraine to visit her biological sister.

>> giselle called my daughter's phone and then they started talking and giselle started crying and told her story that she got left there.

>> abandoned, basically?

>> right.

>> why would he do that? well, a bit more digging revealed that martin and gypsy had a scheme, taking over giselle 's social security number .

>> he stole giselle 's social security number ?

>> for gypsy.

>> yes, for gypsy, who it emerged was -- how shall we say -- financially challenged. the new forged identity wiped her debts away. it also gave her a brand new name, jillian macneill . but the lies didn't end there. they began posing as husband and wife.

>> giselle 's out of the picture. martin wants to make gypsy look like his wife.

>> now that was low. but even worse --

>> they used the date of my mom's funeral as their marriage date.

>> martin and gypsy were arrested in january 2009 . not for murder. for fraud. they both pleaded guilty. martin got four years, gypsy 21 months. and to avoid any more charges, gypsy promised she'd testify against martin in any future legal actions. it was a victory for alexis. but her campaign against her father had consequences.

>> like the wedge it drove between the sisters and the brother damian.

>> it put a strain on your relationship?

>> it did. once my dad was sentenced, he kind of didn't want anything to do with us. and then he killed himself.

>> damian macneill committed suicide in january 2010 .

>> he was such a wonderful guy. i miss him.

>> but the murder investigation continued. picked up steam, in fact. the two investigators debriefed gypsy in prison.

>> that was a treasure trove of information that she gave us.

>> she confirmed that chance meeting at the temple with rachel was a setup, a rouse to get her into the house after michele was gone. how long had she and martin been planning it?

>> i said, so you staged and scripted that meeting? yep. and when did you script it? was it at the funeral? was it before the death?

>> so --

>> no comment.

>> the investigators went back to the prosecutor over and over urging him, charge martin with murder. but --

>> what did the prosecutor say to you?

>> you see this medical examiner's report?

>> natural causes ?

>> that's right.

>> there was a new medical examiner. they showed him their report, their files, the arrest for fraud.

>> i said, have you read all of the reports? he said, i've scanned it. i said, you cannot scan this report. i said, just read this much while we're here. and he did and he goes, hmm, okay, i think i'm going to look at this deeper.

>> after his review, the m.e. did agree to make one small change in the manner of death from natural to undetermined. but that hardly broke the case wide open .

>> he refused to call it a homicide?

>> sure. absolutely.

>> macneill was just released from federal prison and so by the summer of 2012 , martin macneill was once again a free man. he had served his time for fraud. we first spoke to alexis after her dad was released from prison.

>> he's a free man. how does that make you feel?

>> very scared. you know --

>> you had been his chief accuser all these years.

>> i'm concerned not only for myself and my family but for everyone who comes into contact with my father because i know he's a dangerous man.

>> the investigators agreed. but the prosecutor wanted more, something they could take to court.

>> show me how she died. show me how she died. i said, i believe i know how she died but i just can't prove it yet.

>> and then one little detail jumped up and said, look at me.

>> the time that came to me is when we heard from the officers and the emt guys when she threw up water.

>> if michele threw up water when the emts did cpr, that meant martin , the doctor, hadn't done it properly, if at all.

>> okay. do you know how to do cpr?

>> i'm doing it!

>> and with that, all of the circumstantial bits seemed to line up and support the idea of a planned murder. a plot that began after martin took up with gypsy.

>> his wife finally finds out concrete evidence that he's doing it. he's trapped. what do i do? i can't lose my good name because i'm going to lose my job. i'm going to lose my reputation. i'm going to lose everything else. so what does he do?

>> drugs her and drowns her. and finally the prosecutor agreed. and so in august of 2012 , martin 's daughters sat in a utah courtroom holding up pictures of their dead mother while he was brought on charges of first-degree murder.

>> if she hadn't pushed, if she hadn't started making those calls, would this have ever gone anywhere?

>> i don't think it would have come to me. i think --

>> so probably would have closed it out as unfounded.

>> now the family drama would play out for a jury. but the outcome, at that point it was far from