Dateline   |  January 24, 2014

'In the Dead of Night' part 2

Police bringLee's wife, Belinda,in for questioning and zero in on her timeline. Meanwhile, Lee's east coast family receives the heartbreaking news of his death.

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

>> narrator: it was an early winter morning, december 30, 2010 , dark, cold, silent. and then, a single gunshot. it was rob who discovered his son-in-law lee, clearly dead, r lying on the kitchen floor.

>> it is horrific and numbing to see someone you love lying there dead.

>> narrator: instinct kicked in, rob, the cop turned attorney called 911 around 5:00 a.m .

>> 911, what's your emergency?

>> he shot himself , i don't get it. he shot himself .

>> narrator: sergeant chris lafc lafco of the maricopa sheriff's department arrived at the scene. once inside the house, he got a good look at the victim. lee's hand was grasping a gun, and there was rob fischer, still kneeling beside lee, still holding the phone he had used to call 911.

>> mr. fischer stood up and said i'm a retired police officer .

>> narrator: as they stood there, belinda walked out of the bedroom.

>> what's going on? what's going on?

>> i was complete lly catatonic, frozen.

>> narrator: it was peculiar, said sergeant lefco, belinda didn't seem to know what had happ happened.

>> to me if my spouse was lying on the ground suffering a fatal wound, i would make every effort to at least look at my spouse. she didn't do that.

>> narrator: more cops arrive. the sergeant took rob outside t man was clearly plastered, bloodshot eyes , extremely confused. he didn't seem to know who was in there dead.

>> that was his son-in-law. i would think he would be able to identify him, the wound wasn't that disfiguring.

>> narrator: what was going on? sergeant lefco passed on all the information to detective mike brooks who took belinda down to the sheriff's office.

>> if apparently he had shot himself , why did you take belinda down to the station?

>> in any injury, it could be grandma who died in her bed. you're going to talk to the people that were there to find out what happened.

>> i'm trying to figure out what happened.

>> you and me both. i don't know.

>> why would lee have killed himself , asked detective brooks?

>> we've had financial trouble. we always seem to make it through. you know, it's like -- i just -- i -- i just don't get it. i don't get it. we don't own a gun.

>> narrator: so to the beginning. the detective wanted details. everything that happened that evening after rob came in from california.

>> we went to dinner about 7:00.

>> you came back to the house and you talked for a little bit and the girls went to sleep?

>> uh-huh.

>> whiat time -- about what time did the girls go to sleep?

>> about 10:30 .

>> around that time, lee got an e-mail. he went to call his business partner while belinda stayed in the kitchen with rob.

>> i got up to go to the bathroom and came back and -- there he is. and it's like, you know, it's -- it's really not real.

>> about what time did this happen?

>> the girls went to bed about 10:30 . um -- so it was after that. i don't -- i don't know.

>> narrator: detective brooks was baffled. was belinda saying she shouldn't account for what happened from 10:30 p.m . until the 911 call came in at 5:00 a.m . it didn't make sense.

>> okay, were you, um, intoxicated?

>> probably, oh, yeah, i'm sure.

>> we got our first call on this at 5:00 in the morning.

>> okay. i don't --

>> that's pretty significant from 10:30 , from the kids going to bed , 10:00 , 10:30 .

>> right.

>> to 5:00 in the morning.

>> i was dazed and confused and trying to recall things from the evening prior.

>> narrator: but the detective wanted to know, was she confused or hiding something.

>> is there something more to this?

>> no. do i need to have a lawyer or something?

>> narrator: belinda quickly sensed where there was going.

>> i didn't kill my husband, i didn't want him dead. i wouldn't do anything like that.

>> wouldn't you agree that there's a big difference between 10:30 at night and 5:00 in the morning?

>> absolutely.

>> but you would know --

>> but i also know that i didn't kill my husband.

>> narrator: they questioned belinda like that for hours. then they sent her home. but detective brooks was not satisfied.

>> you didn't feel like she was necessarily being straight with you?

>> i didn't want to jump to any conclusions at that point.

>> narrator: it was two days later, new year's day, when belinda finally broke the news to lee's family in buffalo. spoke to lee's mom, lee radder.

>> in talking to them we found out that it happened thursday morning.

>> this was saturday afternoon.

>> this was saturday night. i said what took you so long? i could have gone there immediately. oh, well the police confiscated our phones, i didn't know your phone number .

>> narrator: the call was brief. belinda was in tears.

>> that's the last thing, probably the last words i heard from her.

>> i had nothing to say, i didn't know anything. no information that i could give.

>> narrator: except that one shocking word, suicide. the word lee's family and friends didn't buy. not for a minute.

>> this doesn't make sense, my brother would never do this. i don't believe that he killed himself . there's just no way.

>> so something else happened. at that house that night.

>> narrator: but what? coming up --