Dateline   |  November 29, 2013

'The Killing in Cobb County' part 1

A beautiful young mother, Karmen Smith is murdered. Her 5 year old son, Nick, is also attacked and fights for his life. Their upstairs neighbor Lottie Spencer alerts the police that she believes she knows who did it—her teenage stalker Waseem Daker.

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

>> a new attraction can be so

exhilarating, but not always.

sometimes an attraction turns

into a dangerous obsession.

lotty spencer knows all about it.

lottie said she had a stalker, a

teenage who are got into her

house, into her car and worst of

all into her head.

>> i wouldn't go out to the

mailbox without a gun.

i was terrified.

>> he had total control over

your, it sounds like.

lottie felt powerless to do

anything about it.

>> i knew he was watching.

>> here it comes again.

>> life used to be much

simpleler for lottie .

>> this is an upscale

neighborhood and kristine and i

were always outside.

>> their upstairs neighbors were

carmen and nick.

>> she was a gorgeous strawberry

blond, feisty, very outgoing

young woman who loved her son

more than anything else in the world.

they were two peas in a pod.

>> it was a monday afternoon,

the week before halloween.

>> the first thing they did was

go downstairs to see if they

could find nick's mom, her car

was there, she should be there.

>> while christina stayed by the

door, nick went inside, someone

was there, but not his mom.

>> nick turned the corner and he

saw something move across the

bedroom down the long hallway.

>> it was a dark figure wearing

gloves and a mask.

the stranger suddenly stabbed

nick and left him for dead.

>> as he's laying there on the

floor, he actually sees his

perpetrator run from the house.

christina began really freaking


she was terrified.

>> christina ran upstairs to her

apartment to get help.

her babysitter was there and her

boyfriend scott.

>> i grabbed her shoulders and i

stopped her and i said don't

touch anything.

>> the glass door was smeared

with blood.

>> somebody said oh, my god, there's nick.

>> i said get out of here, go

down the street.

she said what are you going to do?

i said i'm going to get that boy

out of there.

i'm not leaving without that


>> scott grabbed an ax for

protection and then dropped it

when he realized how desperately

nick needed help.

>> i slapped him a few times and

nothing happened.

so i started screaming at him

and started smacking him harder

and telling him he wasn't going

to die

and all of a sudden, he sat up.

he squeezed nick tightly against

his chest.

trying to stop the bleeding.

>> he said call 911, call 911.

>> lottie was at work when she

got a frantic call from her

daughter. >> she was hysterical.

she was screaming that nick was


i drove home as fast as i could.

>> lottie didn't see carmen

either, but when police officers

arrived at the scene, they made

a grizzly discovery.

the flight attendant and devoted

mother was dead.

she had been strangled.

she was just 34 years old.

>> you're shattered and you're

so thankful that your daughter's


but you feel so bad what

happened to nick and carmen .

>> Reporter: carmen 's sister and

brother-in-law jim barely had

time to process the news about

carmen before hearing that nick

was fighting for his life.

>> we went straight to the


>> you must have been thinking

how could someone stab your

nephew 18 times.

that's a monster?

>> exactly.

>> i'll never forget walking in

that hospital, but yeah, and

then you have to come to grips

with reality.

>> and it was a grim reality .

after emergency surgery , nick

was in critical condition.

he looked so little, so fragile

in his hospital bed.

>> you never think you can be

touched like something like this

when you've got the perfect


>> he had been stabbed 18 times

and had lost a dangerous amount of blood.

but he survived.

nick was going to make it. it was nothing less than a


there was no easy way to tell

him about his mom.

but he had to know.

and even 18 years later, nick

remembers it like it was


>> my dad and my aunt told me

that my mom didn't make it and i didn't really understand it


i still developmen

i still don'topmen i still don't rean i still don't really i still don't really unde

i still don't really understa it.

>> it was such a senseless act, nick and his family could only

grieve and wonder why.

but back at the apartment, now a

crime scene, a chill ran through

lottie , she told police she

could explain exactly what


>> i told them that i had

somebody that had been stalking

and it was my belief that he was

the one behind what happened to

nicholas and carmen .

>> who was this man in the mask

who would kill the young mother

and try to kill her son?

>> he's pure evil, he's a


>> when we come back, a haunting

story of hunter and hunted.

>> he has always told me that he

can get away with a perfect


his plan was in the making. to clean this mess