Dateline   |  March 14, 2014

The House on Sumac Drive part 4

Friends and family say there's no way Russ killed Betsy, including four friends who say he was with them the evening of the murder. Nevertheless, Russ is arrested.

Share This:

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

>> accused him and betsy 's family painted russ as an angry family man, other people in russ 's world didn't believe it.

>> they were very happy, and they were planning a trip to florida and it was going to be in march. if that's what you want to do, you plan it, we'll make it happen.

>> narrator: after betsy 's death, cousin mary saw russ 's grief up close.

>> he was heart broken and he kept saying how bad it hurt because he lost hiss betsy . that was the most heart wrenching thing to see. he broke down just talking to her all by himself, just him at the casket and he fell to the ground. he was a broken man.

>> it was hard, it was really hard, but it was really nice to see how many people that she touched and that came.

>> narrator: and as for that story pam hupp was telling about russ putting a pillow over betsy 's face saying that's what death feels like?

>> could russ have done such a thing?

>> no, would russ put a cover over her head and part and say something like that, that he would do. because he was a jokester. but would he put a pillow over her face and do that? absolutely not.

>> narrator: one of betsy 's best friend was linda --

>> the way that he had spoken about losing betsy , you know how much he loved her and how he didn't know whether he was going to live without her. he was taking it really badly.

>> narrator: but, said linda, the police didn't seem to want to hear any of that.

>> they kept saying, do you think it could have been russ ?

>> narrator: but most of what you heard was just opinion, they had something much strong never their corner, an alibi. remember that game night russ said he attended between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m . that tuesday evening? this is michael corbin , the host of game night . that particular tusz night, mike said, russ and the others watched movies together and everyone left at 9:00 p.m . as usual. then, early the next day, mike and his girlfriend angie got a surprise.

>> we were up having our morning coffee , got a knock on the door, which is instantly odd, about 6:00 or maybe a little bit before. the police more or less invited themselves in and started asking us a lot of questions, like was russell here last night? was there drinking? was he acting strangely? it was a really boring night, quite honestly.

>> narrator: the police didn't say anything about betsy , they just asked a lot of questions about their game night the night before. three days later, there was another early morning knock on the door. they took angie in one car, me in another vehicle with two investigators and they questioned us separately, or interrogated us, i'll put it that way.

>> narrator: the two others at mike's house that night were also picked up and questioned separately. they all said the very same thing, russ arrived around 6:00, they watched movies.

>> and we were all within eight feet of each other the whole night.

>> did he act the same as usual?

>> he dozed off at one point, i know that he w --

>> narrator: it was simply the unsupported story of some friends. the surveillance camera showed russ stop for gas just after 9:15 p.m . more receipts, when he stopped by cigarettes, dog food a couple of iced teas, on the way to game night before 6:00 p.m . russell 's cell phone pinged in those areas too and all evening, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m . near mike's house. and the receipt for his trip to the arrest by's drive through was-time stamped 9:09 p.m . the drive back to russ 's house with that stop at arby's would put him at home just before he called 911.

>> once we knew the timeline, we knew that he did not commit this crime.

>> impossible?

>> impossible, a man cannot be in two places at the same time.

>> narrator: but detectives, not persuaded, not at all. after all, they had pam hupp's story and what they said was russ ' failed polygraph and her blood on his slippers. and it wasn't long after betsy was killed that russell faria was