JOSH MANKIEWICZ reporting: (Voiceover) Amid the pine trees and cedars on Bainbridge Island, Washington, near Seattle, you’ll find a little church. In here the faithful practiced a Christianity that embraced what could be called the supernatural. They called it super spiritual. It was an emotional and visceral faith, and a faith that believed in hearing messages, prophecies directly from God. Some of this story is about God, and some of it isn’t.
(Trees; clouds; jaywalker and traffic; clouds; church exterior; sun; cross; clouds; cross on pew; clouds)
Ms. DIANA PARMELE: There is God. There is also a devil.
MANKIEWICZ: And this was the devil?
Ms. PARMELE: Yes.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) But the evil at Christ Community Church wouldn’t really start to reveal itself until after the accidental death of 28-year-old Dawn Hacheney, the wife of the youth pastor, in a house fire the day after Christmas 1997. What happened after that would make many here question their relationships with each other and with God.
(Christ Community Church exterior; photo of Dawn Hacheney; photo of Nick and Dawn Hacheney; photos of firefighters; flames; newspaper article; church exterior; photos of firefighters; flames)
Ms. PARMELE: Dawn was always my angel.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Diana Parmele remembers how, even as a young child, religion was so important to her daughter Dawn.
Ms. PARMELE: She was four years old when she accepted the Lord into her life. She would come to bed with her dad and I and she’d quote scriptures.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Faith was important, but also achievement. At 12, Dawn represented Washington state at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. And she was high school valedictorian.
(Spelling bee trophy)
Ms. DAWN HACHENEY: (Videotape) I give God the glory for my accomplishments, because without him I could not have remained strong and faithful.
EUNICE: She was very smart. She was the brain.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Her best friend Eunice remembers how funny Dawn could be. She was also sweet.
(Photo of Dawn and Eunice; Dawn on videotape)
Ms. HACHENEY: (Videotape) Happy birthday, and I miss you a lot. I hope you’re having a good time.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And Eunice remembers how Dawn seemed to have a sixth sense and just knew things she couldn’t have known.
(Photo of Eunice and Dawn; photo of Dawn)
EUNICE: I used to call her my conscience. For some reason she would know what I was doing and call me, no matter where we were, and say, ‘What are you doing? You got to stop.’ Even when we went to different universities, she could call and know that...
MANKIEWICZ: You were up to something you shouldn’t have been up to?
EUNICE: ...I—yeah. Yeah.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) But then Dawn called not to tell Eunice to stop what she was up to, but to say she’d met someone special, someone who had also embraced Christ at a young age, Nick Hacheney.
(Photo of Dawn and Eunice; cross; photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: One day she calls you and says, ‘I’ve met this great guy.’
EUNICE: He was a knight, is what she said.
(Voiceover) And she goes, ‘You got to come down and meet him because I’m going to get serious about him.’
(Photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Dawn and Nick were married April 20th, 1990. A few years later, Nick joined Christ Community Church in Bainbridge as the youth pastor.
(Wedding photo of Dawn and Nick; church exterior)
Mr. NICK HACHENEY: (Audio recording) I love this church. I’m one of the pastors here.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) On this audio recording of one of his sermons, you can hear Nick’s contagious enthusiasm.
(Pulpit; photo of Nick)
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) Open your Bibles. Amen. Amen. Praise God. Get used to it, people. We’re raising up a generation of young people that are excited about the word of God.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) He had a gift, the members believed, a God-given gift that he’d known about since childhood.
(Photo of Nick and Dawn; cross)
Mr. GREGG OLSEN: He’s God’s chosen one.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Gregg Olsen wrote about Christ Community Church in his new book, “A Twisted Faith.”
(Book “A Twisted Faith” with cross)
Mr. OLSEN: It goes back to when he was an infant and ill and his parents were rushing him to the hospital. And his dad prayed over him and said, ‘God, take my boy and raise him and he will be yours forever.’ And since that time, you know, Nick as a kid would talk about this burden of being so special to God and what that meant for him.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Here’s the congregation of Christ Community Church in the mid-‘90s. The photo shows what looks like a group of happy people. There’s Nick and Dawn, senior pastors Bob and Robert and Craig and Annette Anderson, who had joined Christ Community to be closer to God, but also to do the right thing for each other and their growing family.
(Photos of church congregation with Nick, Dawn, Bob Smith, Robert Bily Craig and Annette Anderson highlighted; church exterior)
Ms. ANNETTE ANDERSON: It seemed like a warm and welcoming place.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Annette and Craig remember when they first moved there that Christ Community Church was a joyous place of music, even if somewhat off key, a place of warmth, spirituality and family.
(Church exterior; church interior)
Ms. ANDERSON: (Voiceover) We were having babies. We were having a lot of things in common at that time.
(Photo of people)
Ms. ANDERSON: And it filled a great thing right away.
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) So I’m going to preach. But before we do that, I’m going to ask Craig and Annette Anderson to come up with their children.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) The youth pastor, Nick Hacheney, oversaw the church welcoming of Annette and Craig’s new arrival, their daughter Grace, in 1997.
(Photo of Nick and Grace)
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) Well, this is a special morning. It’s a special morning for me. This is my first solo baby dedication. And I am so excited that it would be Grace. Praise God.
MANKIEWICZ: Tell me about Nick Hacheney.
Ms. ANDERSON: He was a really likable guy, really nice, like a brother. And he seemed like almost a breath of fresh air in there because he was real. He wasn’t uptight. He was funny. He was fun.
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) And I don’t know how many minutes old she was, but she was there and my wife and I had a chance to hold her, just minutes after she’d been delivered.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Unlike all the other young couples at Christ Community, Dawn and Nick were holding off on having children. Dawn, a loan officer at a local credit union, was the family breadwinner, as Nick’s job as a pastor didn’t pay very much. But they were happy.
(Photo of Nick, Dawn and Grace; photo of people; photo of Dawn and Nick;
“credit union” on door; photo of Nick; photo of Nick and Dawn)
Ms. ANDERSON: They had a real chemistry between them that was real fun and close. Just a cute couple. Dawn was lovely. She was young and innocent and bright and kind and just a really good person.
MANKIEWICZ: Well, the Hacheneys seem like a pleasure to be around.
Ms. ANDERSON: They were.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) But soon Dawn and Nick would be the subject of a dark prophecy. Maybe God was acting in mysterious ways on Bainbridge Island.
(Photo of Nick and Dawn; church exterior; sun; cross)
Mr. OLSEN: (Voiceover) These people are asking for the demons to be cast out of them like something out of like of “The Exorcist.”
(Photos of congregation)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Strange goings on at the church and an even stranger prediction of events to come.
(Church interior; photo of Nick and Dawn; clouds)
Ms. ANDERSON: Nick was going to go through some terrible things.
(Voiceover) It was part of God’s plan.
(Photo of Nick; church interior)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) When Twisted Faith continues.
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) There’s a lot of things that are coming about in our churches, and tonight I want to talk a little bit on that line.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) By 1997, Annette and Craig Anderson saw their warm and welcoming church begin to change. They say it became more insular, more separate from mainstream Christianity, and it started to dominate the lives of the church members.
(Photo of Craig and Annette; church exterior; photo of congregation)
MANKIEWICZ: Was this church similar to the ones you’d been to before?
Ms. ANDERSON: No. It was emotionally driven. Everything was spiritualized. The super spirituality of digging demons out of you and so forth was part of something that set us apart from what other churches were doing.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Digging out demons was what Christ Community was after. There had been a change in leadership. Founding Pastor Bob Smith, often described as laid back, even warm and fuzzy, had been pushed aside by another pastor, biblical scholar and self-proclaimed apostle Robert Bily. At Christ Community, a typical Bily sermon lasted hours as people called out, cried, even spoke in tongues. And there were unusual counseling session that Bily introduced that were done in private with Pastors Bily, Smith and Nick Hacheney.
(Clouds; church exterior; photos of Smith at baptism; photo of Bily; interior of church; photos of congregation; door; photos of Bily, Smith and Nick)
Mr. OLSEN: Those sessions were something like out of “The Exorcist” or something, where these people are being prayed over and screamed at and were asking for the demons to be cast out of them.
MANKIEWICZ: What kinds of things did people get asked about?
Mr. OLSEN: They’d ask them if they’d had an affair, if they drank too much, if they went to a baseball game. I mean, whatever it was that was not considered correct.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And all of it was written down.
Mr. OLSEN: (Voiceover) They were logged into a book, and they watched it happen.
Mr. OLSEN: And they became very fearful, and that kept people, I think, closer to the church because if you left the church the gossip would follow.
MANKIEWICZ: And you went along?
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MANKIEWICZ: Because you wanted to belong?
Ms. ANDERSON: No, because we felt like that was the way to be pleasing to God. To be open, to be transparent was something that we were really required to be.
Mr. CRAIG ANDERSON: We wanted to elevate ourselves. And if you had some demons, who wants those hanging on, you know? So the process was to clean ourselves to be a better person.
MANKIEWICZ: And what would happen if you didn’t go along?
Ms. ANDERSON: You would be labeled as having a demon of rebellion.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And there were the prophecies.
MANKIEWICZ: Members of the congregation believed that God spoke to them.
Ms. ANDERSON: Yes, prophetically.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) One woman in particular seemed to have a direct pipeline, wife, mother, church secretary and prophetess, Sandy Glass. She said she’d been hearing from God for years and would share what she’d learned with the congregation. God had told her that one of her babies would be born very early but would be OK, and that was the case. God had also told her she needed a new car, so she bought one, and it was a good car. Members had heard that even the angel Gabriel, best known for visiting the Virgin Mary and foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ, had also visited Sandy Glass.
(Church exterior; photo of Sandy Glass; clouds; interior of church; photo of Glass; child in hallway; cars on road; statue of Gabriel; church interior; statue of Gabriel)
Mr. OLSEN: I mean, Gabriel only appeared like twice in the Bible, and third time was Sandy Glass.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And then God told Sandy and a few other members that there would be a devastating earthquake in Seattle.
(Photo of Glass; interior of church; Seattle skyline)
MANKIEWICZ: So you stockpiled a ton of food waiting for this earthquake that hasn’t happened yet.
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah.
MANKIEWICZ: How much did that cost you?
Ms. ANDERSON: Oh, hundreds and hundreds. Thousands of dollars for sure.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) For the most part, the members of Christ Community Church were not people with money, but they believed, so they did what God wanted as explained by Sandy Glass. Then Sandy heard something that she didn’t share with with everyone at church. She told only one person, the youth pastor Nick Hacheney. Sandy says that in the fall of 1997 God told her that Nick’s wife Dawn was going to die and that she, Sandy, would then be with Nick. And when she told Nick this prophecy, Sandy says he replied, ‘I knew it.’ Nick didn’t share the details but hinted to Annette Anderson that something big was going to happen.
(Church exterior and parking lot; branches; clouds; photo of Glass; branches; sun; photo of Nick; photo of Glass; sun, clouds, church exterior; photo of Nick and Dawn; photo of Glass; photos of Nick; Josh Mankiewicz interviewing Craig and Annette Anderson)
Ms. ANDERSON: I wasn’t to be alarmed. It was part of God’s plan. Nick was going to go through some terrible things.
MANKIEWICZ: He made it clear that the terrible thing that was going to happen was going to happen to him, to Nick?
Ms. ANDERSON: Right, definitely.
MANKIEWICZ: Not to you, not to anybody else.
Ms. ANDERSON: No. It was going to happen to him.
(Voiceover) And I wasn’t to be alarmed at what happened to him because he knew that, you know, we cared about him.
(Photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Coming up, could Sandy’s ominous prophecy come true?
Was Nick’s wife in danger?
(Photo of Glass; paging through Bible; flames; photo of Dawn; cross)
Ms. PARMELE: She said, ‘I’m ready to go.’
(Voiceover) ‘If I were to die, I’m ready.’
(Photo of Dawn)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) When DATELINE continues.
Mr. HACHENEY: (Audio recording) ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see Heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Nick Hacheney had an easy way with people and was always there for church members. He’d run out at all hours to help someone in need. But he wasn’t always there for his wife Dawn.
(Photo of Nick and man; photo of Nick and Grace; photo of Nick; photo of Nick and Dawn)
Mr. OLSEN: She saw her role as a pastor’s wife. She knew that that meant it was all about him and his helping the flock and doing what he needed to do. Yet she still was lonely. She still wanted him to be home at night with her.
I think that was hard.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And in the fall of 1997 there were hints that things might not be as rosy as they seemed between Nick and Dawn.
(Tree branches; photo of Nick and Dawn)
Ms. ANDERSON: I saw Dawn crying several times. She was trying to lose weight. She had a complete breakdown at a baby shower where she said she was trying to make herself more pleasing to Nick, and that he hadn’t been around very much.
MANKIEWICZ: Because she thought he was losing interest in her as a man?
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah. Yeah. It was sad.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Nick had been given a new responsibility that took up even more of his time. He started doing marriage counseling with some of the other young couples at the church.
(Photo of Nick; church exterior)
MANKIEWICZ: Nick’s assigned to do marriage counseling?
Mr. OLSEN: That’s right. I mean, seriously. Here’s a guy who’s barely married, but they pick him because he shows an aptitude for the gift of gab or talking with people or working through problems. And they send him loose with all these troubled couples.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) At the time, the Andersons were one of those troubled couples. Annette remembers that at first Nick’s counseling sessions were helpful.
(Photo of Craig and Annette; photo of Annette and other woman)
Ms. ANDERSON: He was really relational and seemed to know, you know, know how to break down the barriers and cause, you know, the root issues to come out.
MANKIEWICZ: When Nick’s doing marriage counseling, he inevitably ends up talking more with the women than with the man.
Mr. OLSEN: Yeah. Seems like the guy is booted out the door after the first session.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) That’s what happened with the Andersons. Nick told Annette he needed to meet with her alone. In one of those solo sessions, Nick asked Annette to do a trust exercise with him.
(Craig and Annette; door closing)
Ms. ANDERSON: He thought that I needed to trust God more, so he had me do this exercise where he had us both stand up in his office and he stood behind me. And he told me to fall backwards. He said, ‘Just do it. Turn around. I’ll be here to catch you.’ And so I did. And he said, ‘That’s how God is.
He’s going to catch you when you fall. You just need to trust more.’
MANKIEWICZ: Usually that exercise is something that counselors do for couples, not one member of the couple and the counselor. Because the idea is it shows the couple that they can trust one another.
Ms. ANDERSON: Wow.
MANKIEWICZ: It sounds as if Nick was maybe drawing you in a little bit more to him, promising you a special, closer relationship with God if you had a special, closer relationship with him.
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah, I can see that looking back on that. That’s definitely the road we were going down.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) And just maybe Nick had already been going down that road with someone else. Pastor Robert Bily had been called in to investigate.
(Photo of Nick; Bily entering church)
Pastor ROBERT BILY: (Voiceover) I was getting complaints from the parents of a man in the congregation whose wife was having these meetings when the husband wasn’t there.
(Bily entering church)
Pastor BILY: And Nick was spending an inordinate amount of time with this particular woman. And it was wrong.
MANKIEWICZ: This was Sandy Glass?
Pastor BILY: This was Sandy Glass, yes.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Sandy Glass, the prophetess, the woman who says God told her that Nick’s wife Dawn was going to die, was spending a lot of time alone with Nick Hacheney.
(Photo of Glass; trees; photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: How soon after that do you talk to Nick?
Pastor BILY: Immediately.
MANKIEWICZ: Next day?
Pastor BILY: Same day.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Bily told Nick that whatever was going on, it didn’t look right and he needed to stay away from Sandy.
(Bily looking through Bible, taking notes; photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: And he says what?
Pastor BILY: Well, there’s first an indication that he’s going to agree and follow instruction. But that doesn’t happen.
MANKIEWICZ: It was during that time that Sandy began hearing from God, she said, about how she and Nick would be together. And it turned out God was getting specific. They would be together, God told Sandy, not just sometime in the future, but sometime after December 18th, 1997.
Sandy quoted God as telling her that Dawn was going to die on December 18th.
Mr. OLSEN: That’s right.
MANKIEWICZ: And that she and Nick were going to be to be together after that.
Mr. OLSEN: That’s right. They were going to be married. They were going to fulfill their destiny. Something big was coming, and God was behind it.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) It seemed strange, God talking about bringing happiness to one woman but killing another. Robert Bily thinks it wasn’t God at all.
(Sun occluded by clouds; Bily)
MANKIEWICZ: Do you think Sandy really heard that prophecy, or did Nick somehow manipulate her into believing that?
Pastor BILY: Well, you’re leaving out a third option.
MANKIEWICZ: Which is?
Pastor BILY: Well, she could have heard from satanic or demonic forces that are giving her inspiration as well, because they speak to people. They give people ideas.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Whether it was the hand of God, of Satan, or just of man, whatever was happening, that sixth sense that Dawn Hacheney was known for was kicking in. Though December 18th came and went without incident, on Christmas it seemed Dawn felt trouble coming. She told her father that night that if something ever happened to her, she was good with God.
(Church glass painting; flame; photos of Dawn and Nick; trees; cloudy sky; photo of Dawn; cross)
Ms. PARMELE: She made a comment to him. She said, ‘I’m ready to go.’ She said, ‘If I were to die, I’m ready.’
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Then, later on that night, Dawn reached out to her friend Eunice.
(Photo of Dawn and Eunice)
EUNICE: There was a message on my machine from Dawn saying, ‘We need to get together for dinner. We need to do it soon. Call me.’ And it was late. And I thought, OK, I’ll call her tomorrow morning.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) In her message, Dawn seemed in need, but Eunice never found out why. The next day, December 26th, Nick Hacheney left his home early to meet friends before sunrise to go duck hunting. The Hacheneys were renovating their home and the heat was off, so before he left Nick says he turned on the space heater in the bedroom so that when with Dawn woke up, the room would be warm. But a little after 7 AM, a neighbor saw smoke coming from the house. Firefighters put out the blaze quickly. It had started in the master bedroom. And that’s where they found her, Dawn, still in bed and burned beyond recognition.
(Photo of Dawn; photo of Eunice; house exterior; space heater; branches and bridge; flames; photos of firefighters; photos of charred house)
Pastor BILY: I was at home and I got a call that Dawn had died in the fire.
I immediately went down to the scene where the fire had occurred, at the home.
I, you know, I found Nick there.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Despite their differences over whatever was going on between Nick and Sandy, Pastor Bily reached out to Nick in a way that will sound extraordinary, if not unbelievable.
(Bily checking notes; photo of Nick; photo of Glass; Bily at pulpit)
Pastor BILY: He was aware of the work we had done in Africa and Tanzania, and our ministry associates there had raised several people from the dead.
MANKIEWICZ: Literally brought people back to life?
Pastor BILY: Brought people back from the dead literally.
MANKIEWICZ: And you offered to do that for Dawn?
Pastor BILY: Well, I asked if he and I together can go pray.
(Voiceover) I mean, you have to ask God’s grace.
(Photo of Bily ministering)
Pastor BILY: And, you know, it’s up to him.
MANKIEWICZ: And Nick said sure?
Pastor BILY: No. He said no way. He said no way.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) In the culture of Christ Community Church, where faith meant believing in prophecy and so much more, saying no to asking God to bring his wife back made no sense. What did Nick know that Pastor Bily didn’t?
(Church exterior; interior of church; photo of Nick; photo of Nick and Dawn;
Bily at pulpit; photos; clouds; cross)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Coming up, the grieving pastor coveting another man’s wife?
(Photo of Nick; house exterior; Annette)
Ms. ANDERSON: What would I say if he wanted to run me upstairs and make mad, passionate love to me.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) When Twisted Faith continues.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) The death of Dawn Hacheney had been a terrible blow to all the members of Christ Community Church. Annette Anderson remembers how Nick seemed to be dealing with it better than most.
(Newspaper article; flames; photo of congregation; photo of Nick)
Ms. ANDERSON: He was peaceful. He looked exhausted. He seemed like he was welcoming everyone that came through the door.
MANKIEWICZ: He sounds remarkably composed for someone who had just suffered such a horrible loss.
Ms. ANDERSON: That was within the context of Nick’s extravagant personality that we knew, so it didn’t seem weird. It almost seemed confirming that, you know, what a remarkable man of God he is.
Mr. ANDERSON: How could somebody stand so tall and speak so well and so powerful after what he’d just been through? It was another thing you just were awestruck by this guy, how he could do that.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Not everyone was awestruck. After the fire, detectives from the Bremerton Police Department brought Nick in to talk. They asked what any husband would be asked in this situation: ‘You didn’t kill your wife, did you?’ He told them no and that he believed wrapping paper from their Christmas gifts had gotten too close to the space heater that he’d turned on before heading out to hunt. He said he felt bad for not being more careful. He told the cops that day that he loved his wife deeply and did not know how he was going to be able to go on without her.
(Bremerton police building; photo of Dawn and Nick; excerpts from police report; photo of Nick; photo of Christmas presents; space heater; flames; photos of charred house; excerpts from police report)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Nick’s story sounded reasonable. They had been living in a house under construction that was barely livable. There was no heat except for space heaters, and Nick was a well-respected church pastor. He never did mention to police that his good friend and prophetess Sandy Glass had foreseen Dawn’s death. Less than a month later, the coroner ruled Dawn Hacheney’s death an accident.
(Photo of Nick; photos of house; space heater; photo of Nick and Grace; Smith and others at baptism; Bremerton Police Department; photo of Glass; sun and clouds; autopsy report)
MANKIEWICZ: When Dawn died, you must have flashed back to those conversations in which he told you that something bad was going to happen.
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah. I had asked him shortly after Dawn died, ‘Is this what you were talking about?’ And he just shushed me. You know, don’t ask. Don’t ask.
MANKIEWICZ: So you took Dawn’s death as a sign that Nick really did have a prophecy?
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah. Well...
MANKIEWICZ: He saw it coming.
Ms. ANDERSON: ...he saw it coming. I was pretty wowed by that in a way, a real sad way.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Annette was impressed by Nick’s connection with God.
She also was worried about him. After all, he’d lost his wife and his home. And there were things that needed to be done, so Annette offered to help him with insurance company paperwork. That’s when Nick said something that took her by surprise.
(Photo of Nick; photo of firefighters; Annette)
Ms. ANDERSON: He told me, what would I say if he wanted to run me upstairs and make mad, passionate love to me. And I told him to knock it off, that he was sinning, that it wasn’t right, what he was talking about.
MANKIEWICZ: His wife’s been dead how long at this point?
Ms. ANDERSON: Probably three weeks. Two or three weeks.
MANKIEWICZ: And he’s coming on to you?
Ms. ANDERSON: Right.
MANKIEWICZ: You chalked that up to bizarre behavior spawned from grief?
Ms. ANDERSON: From a grieving man. Right.
MANKIEWICZ: You tell him about it? (Points to Craig)
Ms. ANDERSON: I didn’t.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Was it just an odd form of grieving that led Nick to talk this way or was something else going on? A week or so later, Annette says Nick told her that God was up to something new these days, and it involved the two of them having sex.
(Photo of Nick; Annette; bed)
MANKIEWICZ: Because he was your pastor, you didn’t say to him, ‘That’s crazy, get away from me, I’m married’?
Ms. ANDERSON: Yeah, I did say that.
MANKIEWICZ: And he said, ‘Doesn’t matter. This is what God wants.’
Ms. ANDERSON: No. Right. That’s an excuse to not take a risk for a real form of Christian love here when somebody really needs it. And again, he needed it because he had just lost his wife and had no physical comfort coming his way.
MANKIEWICZ: So you could serve God by providing physical comfort to one of his servants?
Ms. ANDERSON: Right.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Nick’s version of Christian love was different than the common definition, and Annette was confused. She was part of this church that put pastors on a pedestal and a church that believed in prophecies from God. But she was also a woman of faith who believed adultery was a sin. Now here was her pastor saying this wasn’t adultery and that God wanted it. So she agreed to meet her pastor at a hotel.
(Photo of Nick; pulpit; church exterior; Annette petting dog; Ramada Inn)
MANKIEWICZ: So you meet Nick at the hotel. What’s that like? Fun? Sexy?
Ms. ANDERSON: Biggest mistake of my life. It was a feeling of having jumped over a cliff.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Coming up, Annette was not alone. There would be more vulnerable victims.
(E-mail; photo of Annette; e-mails; bed)
Ms. PARMELE: I went through a lot of personal struggles.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) When DATELINE continues.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Dawn Hacheney had died in a terrible accident, a house fire, but her widowed husband, the church pastor, wasn’t sitting home alone bemoaning the loss of his wife. He was searching for female companionship among the members of Christ Community Church.
(Photo of Dawn; photo of firefighter; newspaper headline; photo of charred house; photo of Nick and Dawn; church interior)
MANKIEWICZ: Nick, during those months after Dawn’s death, is coming on to nearly every woman in the congregation. Some are saying yes. Some are saying no.
Mr. OLSEN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
MANKIEWICZ: He’s a guy with a brand-new mission.
Mr. OLSEN: That’s right. And he’s good at it, apparently. He’s getting a lot of takers.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Of course, he was still spending time with church secretary and prophetess Sandy Glass, who had broken up with her husband after some marriage counseling with Nick. There was Nicole Matheson, whose husband had split after the two of them had done some counseling with Nick. And there was Pastor Bob’s 19-year-old daughter Lindsey who was on a mission in Africa. But that didn’t stop Nick. He began wooing her via e-mail. Annette, who was by now having sex with Nick on a regular basis, didn’t know about Sandy, Nicole or Lindsey. And she found herself unable to say no to her pastor. One time, when she had told him she couldn’t meet him because she had to watch her baby, Nick came up with a solution.
(Photo of Nick; photo of Glass; photo of Nick; door closing; photo of Nicole Matheson and others; closed door; photo of Smith and others; photo of Nick; hands typing; excerpt from e-mail; photo of Annette and Craig; bed; photo of Glass; photo of Matheson; excerpt from e-mail; photo of Annette and Craig; crib)
MANKIEWICZ: He had you give one of your children cold medicine to put them to sleep so you could go see Nick?
Ms. ANDERSON: Right. That was a terrible, terrible moment.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Her baby was fine, but drugging her own child went against everything Annette believed. And yet Nick could say, ‘Give the baby cold medicine,’ and she would.
(Crib; Children’s Benadryl)
MANKIEWICZ: He goes on this sort of circuit of sympathy and talks to all these other women and talks about how he’s grieving and how he misses his wife and how he doesn’t have anybody to lie next to at night.
Mr. OLSEN: Mm-hmm. You know, the thing about those women, just kind of touching on that sympathy tour he was on, of course none of them knew he was at the next house hours before, you know, that he was going from place to place, you know, e-mailing Lindsey about how much he was in love with her, or going over to seduce Annette, or be with Sandy or Nicole.
MANKIEWICZ: Or Dawn’s mother?
Mr. OLSEN: Yeah. That was really hard.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Yes, you heard correctly, his dead wife’s mother.
Diana was one of the women Nick turned to for comfort after Dawn died.
Ms. PARMELE: I went through a lot of personal struggles with just wanting to escape from everything, but it led to other things, which I’m very ashamed of, you know, things that I did. But at the time, it was just my way of escaping.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Diana was crushed by the death of her only daughter, and she saw in Nick someone who could relate.
(Photo of Dawn and Eunice; photo of Dawn; photo of Nick)
Ms. PARMELE: And I said that I was hoping that I could be Dawn for him. And he told me then, in response he said, ‘No,’ he says, ‘I don’t want you to be Dawn. I want you to be yourself.’ And he said he wanted to love both of us.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) She says she just wanted to help a broken man, even if that man was her son-in-law.
Ms. PARMELE: When I saw him, you know, I thought—I just believed that I saw in his eyes the deep sadness that was there from the loss of Dawn.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Diana says she’s ashamed. And although she didn’t know it, she wasn’t alone. Annette Anderson was also suffering because of what she’d done with her pastor.
(Parmele walking; Annette)
Ms. ANDERSON: It completely destroyed me. It took me down lower than really I would have thought I could survive.
MANKIEWICZ: What did you see happening to her during that year? What was she like?
Mr. ANDERSON: Well, I always said if I had a gun in the house, you know, she might have used it. It was a tough time to watch your wife get into a cave and, like I said, I think, was almost suicidal.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Craig thought his wife’s depression was about Dawn’s death. He never imagined what was really going on.
(Craig on computer)
MANKIEWICZ: Hard to keep that secret?
Ms. ANDERSON: Terrible. Just terrible. It wrecked me. It completely destroyed me.
MANKIEWICZ: The affair ended in late 1998 when Nick decided he wanted to marry Nicole Matheson. He seems to have ended all of his other relationships at that point. Still, the burden of what she’d done was devastating to Annette. And when she learned a few years later what had been going on between Nick and Sandy Glass, it confirmed her suspicion that the affair hadn’t been God’s plan at all, just Nick’s.
(Voiceover) So in the spring of 2001, more than three years after Dawn’s death, Annette finally blurted it out to her husband during a fight about the pastor they both had trusted.
(Clouds; newspaper article; photo of Annette; photo of Nick, man and dog)
Ms. ANDERSON: I was having a moment of anger or something, and Craig started defending Nick, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I just said, ‘He’s not a good guy.’ And Craig said, ‘Did he—did he have sex with Sandy? Is this why you’re so mad?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but that’s not all.’ And he said, ‘Well, it wasn’t you also, was it?’ And, you know, I said, ‘Yeah, actually, it was.’
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) It was a terrible moment, but now it was out there.
Mr. ANDERSON: I was caught off guard by that. Amazingly, didn’t see that coming.
MANKIEWICZ: You never suspected?
Mr. ANDERSON: Unh-unh.
MANKIEWICZ: Were you angry?
Mr. ANDERSON: Yeah. Yeah, I was—I was—I was pretty angry.
MANKIEWICZ: At her or at Nick?
Mr. ANDERSON: Both. Just—I probably took it, you know, ‘How could you do that to me?’ So two people that I trusted just stab you in the back.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) By then Christ Community Church had split, with Robert Bily taking over the old church and Nick and Pastor Bob opening up a new church a few towns over. Knowing what he now knew, Craig thought Nick shouldn’t be preaching to anyone, so he called Pastor Bob to set up a meeting, and Sandy Glass was invited, too.
(Church exterior; photo of Bily; photo of Smith and others; Craig on computer; photo of Glass)
Mr. OLSEN: It started the ball rolling, and that’s when Sandy raised her hand and said, ‘Not only did I have an affair with Nick, I have something even worse to tell you.’
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Coming up, the final secret.
(Photo of Dawn; flames; photo of Nick by photo of Glass)
MANKIEWICZ: This was a closed case?
Detective SUE SCHULTZ: Correct.
MANKIEWICZ: But Sandy Glass changed everything?
Det. SCHULTZ: She did.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) When Twisted Faith continues.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) It was three and a half years after Dawn Hacheney’s death when Sandy Glass heard that Craig Anderson was about to out her clandestine affair with the church pastor. That’s when Sandy did something that no one foresaw: She hired a criminal attorney and called the Bremerton police.
(Photo of Dawn and child; photo of Glass; Craig on computer; photo of Glass;
Bremerton police headquarters)
MANKIEWICZ: At that point this was a closed case. This was an accident.
Det. SCHULTZ: Correct.
MANKIEWICZ: But Sandy Glass changed everything.
Det. SCHULTZ: She did.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Sue Schultz was a detective at the Bremerton Police Department when she was assigned to the cold case investigation into the death of Dawn Hacheney.
(Sue Schultz at desk)
Det. SCHULTZ: She told us that she had been involved in a relationship with Nick Hacheney.
MANKIEWICZ: While he was married?
Det. SCHULTZ: While he was married to Dawn. And that she had talked to him extensively about ending both her husband’s life and the life of Dawn.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Sandy Glass split up with her husband Jimmy in 1997 before Dawn died, but apparently the prophecies kept coming. Remember, she had told Nick that Dawn would die on December 18th, and then the two of them would be together. She told the police that she and Nick were buying rings, planning on how they’d celebrate Christmas together. But then December 18th came and went, and Dawn was still alive. Sandy says Nick called her the next morning in tears because God had not lived up to his word.
(Photo of Glass; photo of Nick; sun seen through branches; photo of Dawn; photo of Nick by photo of Glass; rings; photo of Dawn and Eunice; photo of Dawn; telephone)
Mr. OLSEN: Then Sandy had another prophecy. She was praying, and God spoke to her that Nick’s hands were no longer tied.
MANKIEWICZ: Meaning that Nick could fulfill God’s wishes by making sure that Dawn was no longer on this Earth?
Mr. OLSEN: I think so. I think it was permission to do something.
MANKIEWICZ: Eight days later, December 26th, 1997, the fire broke out that killed Dawn. Sandy told police that, later that day, Nick called her to say, ‘It’s done.’
MANKIEWICZ: According to Sandy, a few days after Dawn’s memorial service Nick told her he needed to put their relationship on hold. Was he worried about someone from the church talking to the cops about their relationship? Maybe someone like Pastor Bily, who already had his suspicions. If Nick was worried, he didn’t need to be.
Did you mention that suspicion to anybody? Like, you know, the police?
Pastor BILY: I didn’t feel it was appropriate to be telling people, I’ve got this suspicion.
MANKIEWICZ: Did anyone from that church come forward at the time after Dawn died to say, ‘Here’s something you should know’?
Det. SCHULTZ: No.
MANKIEWICZ: Would that have made a difference?
Det. SCHULTZ: You bet.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) But now, nearly four years later, Sandy Glass spelled it all out for the cops. Sandy says Nick told her he laid awake in bed early on December 26th, 1997, until he heard from God, ‘Take the land,’ an Old Testament phrase urging the Jews to take Palestine, a phrase that the members of Christ Community Church took to mean, ‘Go for what you want.’ And so Nick did. Sandy went on to say that Nick told her that he overdosed Dawn with Benadryl.
(Photo of Glass; house exterior; Web page showing excerpt from Bible; church exterior; Benadryl box)
Det. SCHULTZ: We did have information that Dawn did have a cold Christmas Day and had been taking Benadryl, but there was an excessive amount in her body.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Despite the condition of Dawn’s body, the coroner’s office did find a high level of diphenhydramine, the main ingredient in Benadryl, in her system, and also found no smoke in her lungs. At the time none of that was enough to spark a murder investigation, until Sandy Glass came forward to say Nick had told her that he’d killed Dawn. Then, that old information was seen in a new light, as evidence of a homicide.
(Photos of charred house; “diphenhydramine” highlighted; Benadryl box; house exterior; photo of charred house; toxicology report; photo of Glass; photo of Nick; blood test results)
MANKIEWICZ: And Sandy said that Nick had told her that he had overdosed Dawn on Benadryl so she wouldn’t be able to fight back when he suffocated her.
Det. SCHULTZ: Correct. She described the manner in which Nick killed Dawn. She talked about a plastic bag being put over Dawn’s head and how he watched Dawn die beneath the plastic.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) In September 2001, Nick Hacheney was arrested for the murder of his wife Dawn. Annette, Craig, Pastors Bob and Robert and Lindsey were all called to testify. Sandy, who cut a deal with the prosecution, was the star witness.
(Photo of Nick being arrested; Annette; Craig; photo of Smith and others; photo of Bily; newspaper headline; photo of Glass)
MANKIEWICZ: You think Sandy Glass is a hero for coming forward all that time later?
Ms. PARMELE: Hero? No. My belief is that if it had not been for Sandy Glass my daughter would still be alive. I believe that she was the instigator of what happened.
MANKIEWICZ: Because of the prophecies that she had, or said she had, or because she wanted to be with Nick?
Ms. PARMELE: Both. I don’t believe that the prophecies, the visions, dreams or whatever that she had, I don’t believe that they were from God. It’s Satan, not God.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Did Sandy want to be with Nick so badly that she persuaded Nick to kill Dawn? Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? Detective Schultz says just the opposite. Nick manipulated Sandy, as he had all the other women, into doing what he wanted.
(Photo of Glass; sun through branches; Schultz at desk; photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: I’ve met a couple these women. They are not people that you think of as women who don’t take their marriage vows seriously.
Det. SCHULTZ: No, absolutely not. They’re housewives, they’re mothers, they’re upstanding women that walked away just amazed, and wondering how could a man like Nick Hacheney convince these women to have sex with him? What was it about Nick Hacheney that allowed these women to go against everything that they believed in and to go against their vows with their marriages?
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Nick’s defense team said that no matter what his infidelities, none of it made him a murderer. They focused on the timeline and the science of fires, saying Nick had left the house too early to set a fire that was blazing a little after 7 AM when the 911 call came in. Five years to the day of Dawn’s death, on December 26th, 2002, Nick was convicted of killing his wife. He’s eligible for parole in 2025. Through his attorney, Nick maintains his innocence, and he’s appealing his conviction. Neither Sandy nor Nick would talk to DATELINE on camera.
(Photo of Nick; suburban street; flames; photo of firefighter; photo of Dawn; photo of Nick; newspaper article; photos of Nick; photo of Glass by photo of Nick)
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) For the Andersons, who thought joining a church would strengthen their family, it’s been years of healing.
(Andersons in church)
Ms. ANDERSON: Well, you’re not quite going to go down—I don’t know how I want to say it.
Ms. ANDERSON: The devout road in the same way.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) Completing each other’s sentences, a sign of how Craig and Annette have gotten through what happened and learned a painful lesson along the way.
(Craig’s hand on Annette’s leg; Andersons in church)
Ms. ANDERSON: Trust is hard for me, especially in the context of church, because I know that power corrupts, and that church is a place that people can get power.
MANKIEWICZ: So the big sin of everybody in that church was that they weren’t cynical enough?
Mr. OLSEN: That’s right. They were trusting. And they wanted to follow their leaders.
MANKIEWICZ: (Voiceover) There are warnings in scripture about the dangers of following false prophets. Annette and Craig Anderson learned that the hard way. They’ve since found another church, and they still have a place for God in their lives.
(Stained glass in church; pulpit; photo of Craig and Annette; church interior)
MANKIEWICZ: Maybe the most amazing thing of all this to me is that the two of you didn’t lose your faith.
Ms. ANDERSON: Right on.