Buried in the Backyard (2018–…): Season 1, Episode 8 - Death in the Desert - full transcript

In 1996,

a California homeowner

made a horrifying discovery

in his backyard.

It was a human skull.

And a dark, deadly tragedy
started to unfold.

I'd start finding little bones,
small bones.

You have to wonder,
who would do something
like that to a child?

That's what shook people,

'cause a lot of things
can happen in back yards,

and you just don't know.

A year's long search

to find a missing loved one

was brought back to life.

I never believed that
they didn't want to be found.

It was a bizarre mystery

that sent detectives
down an unexpected road.

We identified veterinarians
within a 10-mile radius,

and we started knocking
on their doors.

But we knew there was
a monster out there.

I didn't want this
to happen to anybody else.

In the high-desert town

of Littlerock, California,

summer days are hot and lazy

and typically nothing blows
through town.

When I was a kid,
we had about three stoplights,

and I think we have about six
stoplights now, maybe seven.

Very, very quiet.

Every once in a while you'll get
a really loud rooster.

Lot of people raise
their own chickens,
horses, pigs.

It's very comfortable
and very nice living.

You'd be lucky if you'd see
a sheriff twice a week,

three times a week.

It is a rough little gem,

that's far from being polished,

and we prefer
to keep it that way.

In August of 1996,

when Detective Joe Martinez

got word about
an unusual discovery,

his adrenaline kicked in.

I receive a call
from my lieutenant.

It was my day off.

However, he needed someone
to go take a look,

so he asked me
if I would go take a look,

and I said,
"Yeah, I'll go take a look."

So I finally get there.

And I spoke to the homeowner.

They had been living there

for about five, six months,

and they decided that
it was time to clean up
the back yard

where there was
a bunch of tree limbs.

And while cleaning up
that area,

that resident felt the ground
very spongy.

He decided to remove
several inches of dirt,

and he came upon
the corrugated tin

and then the plywood.

And when he lifted
both of them up,

there was a hole.

The hole was kind
of a rectangular hole,

maybe a three-by-four size,

and about six feet deep.

When the homeowner
peered inside,

he saw
a neatly wrapped bundle.

Was it trash?
Or someone's treasure?

His curiosity fully piqued,

the homeowner didn't waste
a minute more

getting to the bundle.

- So he jumps in.
- He lifts it up.

He started unwrapping it.

And what fell to the ground
was ghastly.

It was a human skull.

Once the unraveling
of the blanket was made,

you could actually see
the rest of the human remains.

This seasoned detective
was rarely shaken,

and instantly knew he needed
to call in help.

It was very disturbing.

When we first come across human
remains like that

and they're not advertising
who they are.

So, it's up to us to identify
who that victim is.

I'm not trained in that.

So I had to get
a forensic specialist
to the scene

to tell us what we had.

Doctor Debra Gray was
one of the best in her field.

And was called in
to try and help solve
this baffling mystery.

A forensic archaeologist
is a person who's been trained

in archaeological techniques
of recovery in a crime scene.

When Doctor Gray arrives
on any scene,

she knows someone
has become the target

of a disturbing crime.

They're all victims.

Somebody has hurt them,
we don't know why.

We don't know
any of the whole story.

Our job is to concentrate
on recovering whatever we can

to tell that decedent's story.

Doctor Gray set upon
the grisly task

of examining
the human remains.

She hoped the bones
would give her a glimpse

into the final hours
of the victim's life.

The bones themselves were
by and large devoid of flesh.

There was no soft tissue

Maybe a little bit
of mummified tissue.

So we knew it had been
at least a year

since the decedent
had passed away.

A closer look at the skull
revealed more disturbing clues

that shed light
on a horrible death.

Normally a human skull
is kind of round

and ovaloid and complete
in its shape.

In this case, there were holes
in its skull.

Our first indication
when we looked at it,

was that it was
blunt force trauma.

Though the coroner
would determine

the exact cause of death,
Doctor Gray was all but certain

the victim suffered
a horrific end.

But who was it?

And how did they end up
buried in this backyard?

It's very cruel.

You have to divorce yourself
from it,

because you can't do the job
if you're sitting there crying.

We wanna find the answer.
We wanna know what happened.

Questions about the unusual
hole lingered in the air

until Detective Martinez
discovered some unsettling
new information.

There was a drain pipe
that lead away from the hole.

Okay, I have a drain pipe
that leads away from the hole.

So then I thought that
it used to be the septic tank.

So here we have
an individual

who's buried
in a septic tank.

It's like you're
disposing of somebody

in a most inhumane way.

It's very cruel.

But why would
somebody do that?

Word of human bones
being pulled out

of an old septic tank in one
of their neighborhood backyards

spread lightning fast
through the tiny community
of Littlerock.

And fear soon followed.

When I heard that there was
a body in a septic tank--

it made people uneasy.

It kinda made you question
what was happening,

because a lot of things
can happen in backyards

and you just don't know.

Everyone has their own
big enough property

that you're not looking
at your neighbor.

You see 'em
from the front door

but you never see anything
from the backdoor.

That's what shook people.

'Cause it was in a backyard

and no one ever had any clue.

The grim scene
continued to unfold

and Doctor Gray handled
the evidence cautiously.

You don't want to mess

with remains
out at the scene too much

'cause there may be evidence
in that bundle

that's going to explain
who did it and how.

The idea about
a buried body

is the grave
is your informant.

And if you kill
your informant

before you get all
the information out of 'em,

you've just blown it.

The bones,
we left them alone.

The identity and the gender
and the age

and the stature
would be confirmed.

Once we got those remains
back to the Department
of the Coroner,

they could be laid out
and gone through.

The doctor proceeded
with a keen sense of focus

as she got intimately familiar
with the grisly gravesite.

Just because you have the body
out of the hole

doesn't mean there's not
something else in it.

We have to get in the hole
and examine it.

Doctor Gray discovered
new disturbing evidence

from the backyard grave.

One of the things we found
in the bottom of the hole

was a plastic bag
with a wire ligature around it.

And we found dentures.

I find this other artifact.

We don't know what it is.

A device
with leather straps, metal.

Was hoping that
it was a murder weapon,

which then would be
a significant piece
of my investigation.

Gray continued digging.

And suddenly made
her most horrifying
discovery yet.

I'm in the hole and I start
finding little bones.

Small bones.

That's when we found--
wait, there's not one body,

there's two bodies.

I start finding small ribs.

We're afraid that maybe
it's a child buried.

In 1996, a disturbing reality
blew through the desert town

of Littlerock, California.

Investigators had unearthed
the human remains

of an unknown victim
in the backyard of a home.

But there was another
horrifying discovery.

I start finding little bones.

Small ribs.

We're afraid that maybe
it's a child buried.

Burying a child carries
a lot more emotional weight

than burying an adult.

I don't know why,
but it does.

When I found out that there
were small bones, rib bones,

I as a father then felt that
information was kinda personal.

The crime was unsettling.

And investigators had
more questions than answers.

Was it possible they
just uncovered the remains

of a parent and child?

And if so, who could be
behind such a gruesome crime?

We are the last voice
for that decedent.

So we have to protect
that decedent's rights.

We have to protect
that decedent's identity.

And more importantly,
we have to protect
that decedent's story.

The bones were sent
to the coroner,

where they hoped
a thorough examination

would help
identify the victim

and unravel
this deadly tale.

The coroner's office

that the remains were those
of a female

over the age of 35,

probably five-foot-five
or taller.

The person would be
a Caucasian female.

There were still some hair
that was found in the bundle.

reddish color hair.

And so,
we had some parameters.

The medical examiner
also determined

the female victim had
likely been dead

for about three years.

And before being buried
in the septic tank,

she met an unseemly demise.

This victim was struck
at last two times

on the side of the head,
very hard,

causing two fractures
to the skull.

I don't know
if it was a baseball bat

or a hammer,
but some sort of heavy object.

Buried bodies
are always upsetting,

because there's always some sort
of personal relationship

between the decedent
and the perpetrator.

Their Jane Doe die
a most violent death

at the hands
of someone she knew?

While the second set of bones
were being examined,

Detective Martinez set out
to identify the victim.

I still didn't have information

about the first victim.

Three years earlier,

and 2,000 miles away
in Oklahoma,

Kimberlee Rampey
and her sister, Kelli,

were looking for their mother,
51-year-old Barbara Weston.

I contacted the L.A. County
Sheriff's Department and said,

"Listen, this may
be nothing,

but my mom, she was headed
back to Oklahoma

and I hadn't
heard from her.

As Kimberlee was explaining
that her mom was moving

from her home in California
to Oklahoma,

she started wondering
if her call was unwarranted.

My mom had friends
along the way back to Oklahoma,

and so I could
see her stopping

and visiting people
along the way.

So, I thought, "She'll be back
within the next week or two."

But in a couple of weeks
she wasn't.

Perhaps Barbara had taken

an extended road trip.

So we just had to wait.

And we were hoping
that we could wait it out

and then she'd
eventually show up.

But, you know,
we waited a long time.

We waited a very long time.

Not knowing what else to do,

Kimberlee called the sheriff's
office every month

for the next year,

until the day a deputy
delivered a harsh truth.

He said to me,
"You may just need to accept

that your mom
has started a new life,

and she doesn't
want to be found.

That was the last time
I called.

And I never called him again.

Barbara's daughters knew their
mom has a wanderlust spirit,

but they couldn't believe
she would leave them for good.

My mother had remarried
after being married
to my father.

And they got jobs
at Lockheed in California.

So, they took
the four of us siblings

and we moved to California
away from Oklahoma,

which had been our home
our whole lives.

The four of us siblings
lived there with her

and my stepdad
for four years.

After she
and my stepdad divorced,

my dad had made arrangements
for us to stay in Oklahoma.

She stayed in California.

She just had
a wanderlust

to be going and moving
all the time.

Barbara was ready
for new beginnings in Oklahoma.

So for her to suddenly
disappear didn't make sense.

I never believed

that she didn't
want to be found.

In my heart I never
would've believed that.

If the bones belonged
to Barbara Weston,

then who might the small
set of bones belong to?

With no young children,
investigators wondered

how Barbara might
be connected to this case.

When we're starting
to go through those bones

and laying them out,

we're afraid
that maybe it's a child.

As Doctor Gray examined
the bones more closely,

the investigation took
a bizarre turn.

We've realized
this isn't a child.

It's a dog.

Okay, we have
a dead person.

And a dead dog.

And that dog probably
belonged to that person.

At this point,
I believe whoever did this

it was to get rid of the dog,

because that dog
can provide connection

with the victim
that was in the hole.

But who was the victim?

While they died
from blunt force trauma,

Doctor Gray discovered
the dog suffered its own
tragic death.

Someone had placed a plastic bag
over that dog's head

and twisted a wire ligature
around its neck until it died,

which speaks volumes
of the perpetrator.

An artifact found
with the bones

might speak louder still.

One of the most interesting
things that came out

during that excavation,

it was a device
with leather straps,

metal, and little wheels
on the back.

It would not be unusual

for a suspect
to dispose of a weapon

that's used, same area
where the body is disposed of.

We had determined
that the gadget

that was down in the hole

was not the murder weapon.

It was a device
that was intended
to assist a dog

that had problems
with her rear legs.

That was a big clue for me.

I felt that people
would recognize the dog

before they recognized
the person.

In the rural town
of Littlerock, California,

investigators learned
a woman and a dog have
been savagely killed.

The mystery of who
the victims were

and how they ended up
in a backyard septic tank

was still unraveling.

The "L.A. Times"
picked up the story

because of how the body
was found.

There was a woman
buried with her dog.

It did shake people up.

And how did someone
get away with that?

51-year-old Barbara Weston

went missing
about three years ago.

And while confirming
she was the victim

would take more time,

investigators hoped
the bones of the dog

may provide
a promising clue.

L.A. County Coroner
called in a forensic vet

to come in
and examine the dog.

We had his vertebra,
we had his ribs.

The vertebra
were malaligned.

The forensic veterinarian
did identify as a dachshund mix.

And did identify the fact

that the dog
was probably paralyzed.

With his biggest lead yet,

Detective Martinez
didn't miss a beat

knocking on the doors
of concerned, curious

I remember seeing
this dog

in its special
little wheel cart,

and so did tons
of other people.

I had a connection
with the pooch,
the little dog.

So, when I found out
it was the dog with the wheels,

that's when it sunk for me,
'cause I'm an animal person.

One of them said that
the dog's name was Willie.

They couldn't really pinpoint
who the owner of the dog was,

but this was evidence
that could solve this case.

I knew that if I could find
a veterinarian

that treated
a dog named Willie,

they would have a record
as to who the owners were.

So, we identified

within a 10-mile radius
of that neighborhood.

And we started knocking
on their doors.

Was Detective Martinez setting
out on a fruitless search?

Or would this time-consuming
process lead him to his victim?

None of the veterinarians
can remember treating
a handicapped dog.

Detective Martinez prayed
his persistence would pay off.

And finally it did.

One day we went
to High Desert Animal Hospital

and spoke
with the veterinarian there.

I'll never forget
in August of 1996,

Officer Martinez came in
and he said,

"Do you recall
having a patient

that was a dog
that was handicapped?"

I said, "Yes."

We had nursed him through
an extensive period of time

for his issue,
which was a collapsed disc.

And he seemed
to be doing quite well.

The end of Willie's life
came as a shock.

Never had an officer
come to ask me

about a potential homicide.

I was surprised
and alarmed and concerned.

Now I had to get the record
of who owned the dog.

I was able to go
and pull the file.

And listed in the file
was the owner,

Barbara Weston.

It had been three long years

since Barbara's daughters
had seen their mom

or her beloved dog Willie.

Willie was my mom's
pride and joy.

Willie was just a cute
little black dachshund

that she had a kind
of a constant companion.

There were some issues with
his back legs and his spine.

And so somehow my mother was
able to get him a wheelchair

for his tail end.

So, you couldn't help but giggle
anytime you saw Willie.

My mom would've done
anything for Willie.

She couldn't stand the thought
of not having Willie with her.

They went everywhere together.

The question remained.

Did they die tragically

We had to identify Barbara.

Investigators believed they
had the one piece of evidence

needed to unravel
this terrifying mystery.

We had dentures.

Would the dentures prove
Barbara was the victim

of this unspeakable crime?

Days later, Detective Martinez
got the confirmation

he'd been anxiously awaiting.

I was able
to retrieve the X-rays
from the dental office

and provide that with the--
to the coroner's office,

and then they were able
to make a match

and positively identify
Barbara Weston.

August 19th, it was 1996,

and my sister called.

And said,
"What are you doing?"

I said, "Kimberlee,
I need you to stay home,

'cause we're on our way."
And she goes, "What's wrong?"

And I said, "Well,

I just need you to stay at home
because we're on our way."

And she said,
"It's Mom, isn't it?"

And I said, "Yeah.

We're on our way.
Don't leave the house."

And I said, "Is she dead?"

And Kelli said,

"Kim, I don't wanna
talk about this on the phone."

And I said,
"Kelli, is she dead?"

And she said, "Yes.

We'll be there
in a few minutes."

You just never dream that
it's gonna end up like it did.

You just don't ever dream
that your mom's gonna be

I just remember thinking,
"Who does that?"

Who kills not only a human
but who kills a dog?

What kind of monster
does that?

It had been an agonizing
three years

for the family of 51-year-old
Barbara Weston

since her disappearance.

Learning she'd been murdered
and buried with her dog,

and wondering
who would want
to kill their mom,

was a different kind
of agony altogether.

She'd been gone for years
and you'd just never dream

that it's gonna end up
like it did.

A child never wants
to lose a parent.

Just like a parent
never wants to lose a child.

But it wasn't that
she didn't want to be found.

She wanted to be found.

She just couldn't give
the clues.

She couldn't help
anybody find her.

It was impossible to make sense
of their shocking new reality.

So Barbara's daughters
chose to focus on the good.

I always thought
she was very beautiful.

She always had kind of
an auburn color of hair,

which is probably
why I wish I could

have red hair all the time
because I loved her red hair.

- Mom was a singer.
- She was a very good singer.

There was always music
at the house.

She was always laughing
and joking.

And very energetic.

We tagged along
everywhere she went.

I think my mom tried very hard
to be a good mom at times.

I think she came up short

I do know that she loved us.

I don't know that she always...

knew how to show it.

But the family saw a dramatic
change in Barbara

when she proudly
became a grandmother.

I can remember us having
really deep conversations

about how much regret
she felt

from the kind of mother
that she had been.

And I can remember her

"This is my chance
to make it up to you.

I wanna be
a great grandmother."

Barbara's daughters had no idea

who would want to inflict
such pain on their mother,

much less murder her.

Hoping to learn more
about this atrocity,

Detective Martinez
returned to the scene

where they found Barbara
and her dog buried.

I didn't suspect
the current homeowners

because they hadn't been
involved with that property

but maybe six months
at the most.

And the remains were obviously
older than six months.

If Martinez could determine
how Barbara lived,

it may help him
figure out how she died.

My mom didn't always make
the best choices in men.

The four of us siblings
lived with her

and my stepdad
for four years.

But there were lots of things
that were happening

that should not be happening
in a home with four children.

There were
many, many fights.

We were the house
on the street

where the police
were called very often.

Was it possible Barbara's
ex-husband killed her?

I never would've
believed that. Never.

When investigators learned

he and Barbara parted ways
more than 10 years ago,

they didn't
believe so either.

Because of the violent nature
of the crime,

detectives suspected
Barbara's killer

may have been someone
she knew well.

Perhaps intimately well.

And soon they learned
there was another man
in Barbara's life.

Steve Swaim came into our life
when I was in college.

I was the college kid
and should be the one partying.

I noticed really how much
the two of them drank together.

And, in fact,
they met in a bar.

He was just this guy named Steve
that my mom was dating.

And I had no idea
how long it would last
or if it would last.

It did last, and Barbara's
daughters got a glimpse

into the dysfunctional

There were times
where their disagreements

crossed a lot of lines,
a lot of boundaries.

Before long, the girls learned
the love affair took a turn

down a destructive road.

I would definitely say
my mom and Steve

brought out
the worst in each other.

He seemed domineering.

Steve kinda had that presence
of gonna do things his way.

My mom could be
a really tough broad.

My mom's
not gonna back down.

They had got into an argument

and she finally told him
to move.

"Get out.
Get out of my house."

Was it possible

this passionate relationship
turned to murder?

I can remember thinking

"I hope she doesn't stay
with this guy long,"

but I never suspected

that he would do anything
to hurt her. Never.

It was a history Martinez
couldn't ignore.

He did some digging, curious
if he could connect Steve

to the property
where Barbara's body was found.

I asked the current owner
as to who sold the property.

I was told that the previous
owners were the Melina family.

Martinez tracked
down the Melinas,

hoping they could shed some
light on this baffling mystery.

They had absolutely
no knowledge

of what was taking place
at their previous home.

But I learned her son
from a previous marriage

was none other
than Steven Swaim.

The Melinas admitted Steve
lived in a trailer

on the property
around the time of the murder.

She provided me with the name
of Barbara Weston

as the girlfriend.

And that she would stay with him
off and on.

They told me that the last time
they saw Barbara
was a day or two

before their son told them
that she left back to Oklahoma.

Was Steve Swaim the last person
to see Barbara alive?

By this time,
I'm feeling

that Steve Swaim
is my primary suspect.

We needed to talk to him.

Steve Swaim may have been

the detective's
number one suspect,

but was he Barbara's killer?

We knew there was
a monster out there.

I didn't want this to happen
to anybody else.

Three years after
the brutal beating death

and burial of Barbara Weston
and her dog,

investigators suspected
her ex-boyfriend

may be the man
behind her murder.

Some matches were made
in heaven.

Some matches were made
in hell.

And, looking back,

that match was made
in hell.

Why would any woman
stay with a man who--

like I said,
a match made in hell.

I don't know.
Maybe she saw something in him

that she felt like was good.

And maybe she saw
something in him

that she felt like
maybe she could fix

or maybe she felt like
they were a good match.

I don't know.

Even though
I was creeped out by Steve,

I never suspected
he would do this.

Steve no longer
had an address in town.

After a little legwork,

Detective Martinez learned
he was living up the road

under his dad's roof.

I did a check
on his father's name.

And I found an address for him
in Lake Los Angeles.

Another small town
in the Antelope Valley.

Martinez hightailed it
up the road.

Hoping to surprise his suspect.

We went there,
knocked on his door.

The father did answer
the door.

I inquired about his son,
Steven Swaim.

He says,
"Yeah, he lives here,

but he's not currently here."

Then he said,
"He's out in the mountains

and I don't expect him back."

Did Steve catch wind

that investigators
were coming for him?

Martinez hadn't a clue
if or when Steve would return,

but had deputies
keep a close eye on the house.

I get notified that
Steve Swaim came home.

He was tall.
He was over six feet tall.

Scruffy looking guy.

Confronted him
in front of his house.

Martinez was prepared
for a suspect

in fight-or-flight mode.

He got neither.

He was pretty humble
at the time.

He went willingly.

Steve was hauled
into the station.

He had no idea he'd been marked
as a murder suspect.

Anytime I approach
an interview,

the plan begins to formulate

once I start speaking
with the individual.

Sensing Steve might
be willing to talk,

Detective Martinez started
the interview slowly,

but would Steve open up?

I start talking to Steve

and I'm not hitting
on the murder itself.

I'm asking him about,
"Who you dated,
who you married."

He starts naming off
ex-girlfriends, an ex-wife.

He does come upon
the name Barbara Weston.

But he kinda skims over that.

The stakes were high.

Convinced he was face-to-face
with Barbara's killer,

but with no physical evidence,

Detective Martinez knew
a confession was critical.

His plan was to outsmart
his suspect.

Do we have to be the tough guy
or can we be the buddy?

In this case, we were the ones
that understand

what he's gone through.

The conflicts that he had,

and that pretty much
softens him up.

I backtracked and said,

"Tell me
about Barbara Weston."

He told us
that she was a fine woman;

however, she drank
and she was tough.

And she was even tougher
when she was drunk.

He loved her,

but their relationship
was very inconsistent.

It was turmoil.

Steve Swaim described
this relationship

like oil and water
trying to mix.

They just couldn't.

There was always conflict.

And he told me
"We got into an argument,

and then we got home
from work."

He found all her stuff
was gone.

That she was gone,

and he assumed
that she left back to Oklahoma,

because that's where Barbara
Weston was from, Oklahoma.

Certain Steve was lying,

Martinez seized the moment.

I told him,
"No, she didn't."

Gave me that little
startled look.

I said,
"We found Barbara."

He must've pushed his chair
back a couple of feet.

And then he said,

"I don't think
I can talk about it."

He said, "Man.

I was just getting over her.

I was just starting
to sleep better.

Now you guys bring
all this back to me."

Told him that
once this is all out,

he would be a lot more

because there's
nothing else to hide.

And so he'll sleep
a lot better.

Martinez sensed Steve
was becoming unglued.

He hadn't told anyone.

And this was the best
opportunity for him

to let everything out.

With the relationship

that Steve Swaim
and Barbara Weston were having,

it was inevitable
that one was gonna wind up dead.

What he described to me
was a very violent scene.

Two weeks after unearthing
the remains

of Barbara Weston
and her dog,

Detective Joe Martinez believed
Steve Swaim was on the verge

of confessing to her murder.

When he found out

that Barbara's remains
had been exposed

in his parents' backyard,

he had a very stiff
reaction to it.

And then he said,

"I don't think
I can talk about it."

I assured him
he can talk about it.

After bearing the burden
of his secret for so long,

Steve Swaim finally started
spilling the details

of that deadly night
three years earlier.

One evening,
Barbara started complaining.

So he went off to the store
to get her some beer.

When he gets back

and Barbara sees the type
of beer that he bought,

she flies off the handle.

"Why'd you come back
with such cheap beer?"

Steve admitted
an argument exploded

into a flurry of violence.

Barbara hit him,
and that really upset him.

He grabbed the knife sharpener
and hit Barbara in the head.

And she fell on the dog,

and the dog was crying.

He was just
overcome with rage,

and he grabbed
the pipe wrench

and he started
hitting her in the head.

And once that he saw
that she was dead,

and the dog was still yapping,

he said
that he hit the dog

to take it out of its misery.

Then he placed a plastic bag
over that dog's head

and twisted a wire ligature
around its neck until it died.

He wrapped both of them up
in a blanket

and the only thing
he can think of was a hole

being used as a septic tank.

So, he dropped them
inside the septic tank.

It was so upsetting.

You're disposing of somebody
in a most inhumane way,

and then you kill
her pet dog,

and you dump him
in the sewer, too.

It's very cruel.

Three years after burying
his darkest secret

in the backyard
of his parents' home,

Steve Swaim was arrested.

He pled not guilty

and eventually stood trial

for the murder
of Barbara Weston.

I just remember sitting

outside those courtroom doors
every day thinking,

"Who does that?

Who takes somebody?

Who kills their dog?"

The jury came back
with second-degree murder,

and Steve was sentenced
to 16 years to life.

I never wanted him
to get out of prison.

And the attorney
felt strongly

that he never will.

I was happy with anything

that would take him
off the streets

and keep him put away.

I didn't want this to happen
to anybody else.

It's unusual for people
to get buried in the backyard.

But some way, somehow,

that victim is going
to be discovered.

To go from nothing,

to making an arrest,

and have a final conclusions
of a conviction,

and sending off
the perpetrator to prison,

that is satisfying.

The senseless murder
and appalling burial

of Barbara Weston
and her dog

has forever changed the town
of Littlerock, California.

And yet it keeps on.

We've recovered
really well from it,

and a lot of positive things
came out of it.

Today a lot of people
communicate with each other.

A lot of people look out
after each other.

As for Barbara's daughters,

they look after
their mom's memory.

It was almost poetic

that Willie was there
with her.

And it was Willie that helped
people know who they were.

Without Willie,
who knows

if they would've been
able to identify her?

They know her grace and beauty
would've continued to blossom

with each passing year.

I can say this

with a very full heart,
that I know she loved us.

We lived in some
strange circumstances

and had some
strange things go on.

But you know what?
We're all good people

and successful people.

And I think my mom
did a fabulous job

with what she had.

My mom is a perfect example

that people can make
a lot of bad decisions,

but people can change.

And I would've loved
to have seen

the grandmother
that she was gonna be.