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Watch the Dateline episode "The Evil That Watches" now

Keith Morrison reports.

It was a day that would forever change a tiny southern town: November 19th, 2015.

Police were called out to a field on the edge of Pembroke, Kentucky. A car was smoldering – and inside were the unidentified remains of two people. On the ground, investigators spotted a license plate and traced the numbers back to a woman named Pam Phillips.

Pam had lived a couple of miles away on S. Main Street. So police drove there to see if anyone was home. The house was empty, but then police opened the cellar door. At the bottom of the steps they found a man’s body -- beaten and bullet-riddled.

Outside the house they found blood in the grass and a gun near a neighbor’s house. When police went to talk to that neighbor, they found the backdoor was wide open, the television blaring and an empty holster in a chair – like he’d rushed out suddenly.

What had happened here? Who was the man in the cellar and who were the two people in the car?

Detectives identified two of the victims as husband and wife, Cal and Pam Phillips, who are remembered by loved ones as kind and fun-loving.

The third victim was Cal and Pam’s next-door neighbor, Ed Dansereau, who is remembered as a passionate pianist who loved his family.

Remembering Ed Dansereau

Sept. 24, 202102:35

Years later, two of Cal and Pam’s family members, Matt and Diana, took Keith Morrison on a walkthrough of the scene at the Phillips house.

Visiting the Crime Scene

Sept. 24, 202102:59

It would take more than three years to make an arrest, three years to untangle a tale of a neighborhood torn apart.

And even after a trial and verdict, the case continues to divide the quiet Kentucky town.

You can watch our full episode, "The Evil That Watches,” now.

You can also watch on Peacock TV or listen to the podcast.