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The Mystery on Bridle Path: A Reporter's Notebook

Keith Morrison talks about covering this tonight's all-new Dateline, 'The Mystery on Bridle Path'
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Do you know that old expression about the wheel of justice grinding "slow, but exceeding fine?" Yes, well, in this case, slow for sure. The exceeding fine part is still, even now, the subject of very raw feelings and a good deal of intense debate (you'll understand why when you see our report).

But slow? It crept, languished, retreated, tripped and fell, got up again. This case was years of delay, mistrial, attorney shifts and evidence creep between charge and verdict. So many shocking headlines: Judge collapses! Famous attorneys forced to withdraw! Anonymous e-mail, phantom voices, get-away bags... And on and on.

Just covering the story of the murder of Carol Kennedy required seemingly endless patience (for which we are indebted to producer Michelle Madigan), and you can only imagine what the long delays were like for the family and friends of the victim...and of the accused. And speaking of the man on trial, should it make us feel slightly uncomfortable that in a country which celebrates the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty,' a defendant can sit in jail more than five years while he waits for a verdict? Anyway, the whole business was puzzling from the start. Certainly it's true that murder can happen anywhere to anyone, but.. this family was about the last you'd expect to suffer that dismal fate: extremely bright, highly educated, successful far beyond the norm. And I mean all of them, a big extended family of success stories.

Carol Kennedy lived her particular exemplary life in an apparently safe and secure corner of a safe and secure little town (Prescott, Arizona, a scenic two hour drive past miles and miles of towering cacti from Phoenix. Cooler, too, much cooler when you get there. And if you time it right, you can see the justly renowned rodeo they put on every summer). Carol seemed to be doing everything right. Even down to calling her mother every night - just to make sure she was ok.

Mind you, she did rent out her guest house to that slightly odd fellow. He seemed to have a crush - did he want something more? And there was her ex husband, of course. Steve DeMocker, the college administrator turned financial advisor. And we all know by now that ex-husbands tend to end up on 'person of interest' lists.

Here, in no particular order, are clues to watch for: the disappearing golf club, the club cover (golf 'sock'), the tire tracks, footprints, the dead battery, the DNA mixed with Carol's, the mysterious Mr. 603... A great pile of, what, real evidence, or sham evidence?

Will it all add up to proof?

And then there are the daughters. Carol's daughters. You'll hear about them, too.

And I hope you'll understand, as we did as soon as we met them, that they are remarkable and worthy, and deserve good lives of their own.