I, Witness (2017–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Smith Sisters - full transcript

Dawn Smith's sister disappears, shocking a small community. The kidnapper calls repeatedly, but not for ransom, for fun...with Dawn. Will her dance with the devil help police catch him and bring Shari back alive?

THE BIBLE SAYS,
"DO NOT PERSUADE ME TO LEAVE YOU

OR GO BACK AND NOT FOLLOW YOU.

WHEREVER YOU GO, I WILL GO.

AND WHEREVER YOU LIVE,
I WILL LIVE."

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WELL, LOOKS LIKE
SHARI'S HOME.

OH, GOOD.

JUST IN TIME.

I WONDER WHAT'S
TAKING HER SO LONG.

I DON'T KNOW.
I'M SURE IT'S FINE.

I'M GONNA GO SEE
WHAT'S GOING ON.



SHARI!

SHARI!

SHARI!

CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS

IN MAY OF 1985,
I WAS 21 YEARS OLD.

MY MOM CALLED.

AND SHE SAID MY SISTER,
SHARI, IS MISSING.

"YOU NEED TO COME HOME
RIGHT NOW, PACK A BAG.

AN AUTHORITY IS GONNA
PULL UP IN A SQUAD CAR

AND BRING YOU HOME."

AS I SAT IN THE CAR,
I JUST REMEMBER THINKING,

"WHEN I GET HOME,
PLEASE LET SHARI BE OKAY."

THE MOMENT THAT I SEE
MY MOTHER'S FACE, I KNOW.

SHE LOOKS SCARED TO DEATH,



WORRY IN HER EYES LIKE
I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

OH, DAWN,
THANK GOD YOU'RE HOME.

MOM, I'M SO SORRY.

WHEN YOU TOLD ME ON THE PHONE,
IT JUST DIDN'T SEEM REAL.

WE SAW HER COME HOME
FROM THE POOL PARTY.

BUT SHE JUST NEVER
CAME BACK INSIDE.

WHOA!

YEAH, NICE JOB, TRISTAN.
THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

YOU OKAY?
-YEAH, I'M GOOD.

EARLIER THAT DAY,

SHARI AND RICHARD,
HER BOYFRIEND,

WERE HAVING A POOL PARTY,
CELEBRATING GRADUATION.

IT WAS ABOUT 2:30
THAT AFTERNOON.

SHE CALLED MOM TO SAY
SHE WAS ON HER WAY HOME.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING
WE ALWAYS DID.

MY DAD HAPPENED
TO NOTICE SHARI'S CAR

NEAR THE END OF THE DRIVEWAY.

AND HE SEES HER PURSE
ON THE PASSENGER SEAT

AND OPENS IT TO SEE HER INSULIN

THAT SHE NEEDS FOR DIABETES.

SHE WOULD NEVER GO ANYWHERE
WITHOUT THAT MEDICATION.

SHARI!

IT'S AS IF SHE LITERALLY
HAS VANISHED INTO THIN AIR.

SHARI!

YOU LEFT THE POOL PARTY.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT?

THEN I -- I --
I WALKED HER TO HER CAR.

THEN SHE DROVE AWAY?
WAS SHE ANGRY WITH YOU?

-I -- LISTEN -- LISTEN...
-WERE YOU ANGRY WITH HER?

I THINK YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME
QUESTIONING ME WHEN YOU --

WHEN YOU -- WHEN YOU SHOULD BE
OUT THERE LOOKING FOR HER.

AUTHORITIES BEGAN TO ASK,

"DO YOU THINK RICHARD COULD
HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO SHARI?"

HE WAS THE LAST PERSON
THAT HAD SEEN HER THAT DAY.

IT WAS A CREEPY FEELING,
WONDERING IF SOMEONE WE KNEW

AND TRUSTED MIGHT BE INVOLVED,

MIGHT AT LEAST KNOW MORE
THAN THEY WERE LETTING ON.

A SEARCH PARTY WAS ORGANIZED.

AND THEY WENT LOOKING FOR SHARI.

BUT THEY COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING.

IT'S DARK.

AND THAT IS EVEN MORE
FRIGHTENING THAN DAYTIME

BECAUSE HOW CAN THEY FIND HER?

WHERE IS SHE?
IS SHE OUT THERE BY HERSELF?

DOES SOMEONE HAVE HER?
WE HAVE NO ANSWERS.

SHARI WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD.

SHE WAS GRADUATING
FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN TWO DAYS.

SHE WAS SINGING
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

AT THE GRADUATION CEREMONY.

SHE HAD A BOYFRIEND THAT SHE WAS
HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH.

EVERYTHING WAS WONDERFUL.
EVERYTHING WAS EXCITING.

AND IN AN INSTANT,
ALL THAT COULD BE GONE.

FRIENDS, LET US JOIN
HEARTS AND HANDS.

MY BROTHER, ROBERT, IS JUST 15,

SO YOUNG TO BE FACING

WHAT WAS UNFOLDING
IN FRONT OF US.

AND LET US ASK THE LORD
TO PROTECT SHARI,

WHEREVER SHE MAY BE.

MY FATHER PRAYS, "GOD,
WE DON'T KNOW WHERE SHARI IS.

AND WE ARE AFRAID.

AND WE JUST ASK
THAT YOU BE WITH HER

WHEREVER SHE IS
BECAUSE WE CAN'T BE WITH HER."

DAWN, WOULD YOU LEAD US
IN SINGING "AMAZING GRACE"?

♪ AMAZING GRACE ♪

♪ HOW SWEET THE SOUND ♪

♪ THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME ♪

♪ I ONCE WAS LOST ♪

WE ARE ABSOLUTELY HELPLESS,
BUT WE'RE NOT HOPELESS.

♪ BUT NOW I'M FOUND ♪

♪ WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE ♪

THAT NIGHT, THE FURTHEST
THING FROM OUR MIND IS SLEEPING.

HOW CAN YOU GO TO SLEEP
WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE

WHERE YOUR FAMILY IS,
WHERE YOUR SISTER IS,

WHERE YOUR CHILD IS?

HELLO?

Mrs. Smith.

YES, THIS IS MRS. SMITH.

She's wearing white shorts
and a tank top.

And I know
her pa's not a fan

of her new
polka-dotted bikini.

Shari told me so.

EXCUSE ME, WHO IS THIS?

IS THIS SOME
SORT OF GAME?

Ma'am, this is no hoax.

I got Shari right here.

WHO ARE YOU?

WHO AM I SPEAKING WITH?
WHO IS THIS?!

WHERE IS SHE?
IS SHE WITH YOU?

PLEASE, LET ME SPEAK
WITH SHARI.

Don't worry, ma'am.

Shari's written you
all a letter.

Be sure
to check the mail.

MY SISTER, SHARI...

OH, MY GOD.

...IS MISSING.

AND WE REALIZE SHE'S
REALLY BEEN KIDNAPPED.

THEY MANAGED
TO TRACE THE CALL.

IT'S FROM A PAY PHONE
AT A CONVENIENCE STORE

ABOUT 12 MILES AWAY.

IT'S IN THE WEE HOURS
OF THE MORNING.

THERE'S NO SIGN OF ANYONE.

THE MAN WHO CALLED TOLD US
TO CHECK THE MAIL.

IN THE MORNING, THE POLICE
WENT TO THE POST OFFICE

AND CAME BACK WITH A LETTER,

SUPPOSEDLY FROM SHARI.

MY DAD LOOKS LIKE
THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD

IS ON HIS SHOULDERS.

AND I REMEMBER LOOKING
AT HIS FACE AND THINKING,

"HOW CAN SOMEBODY AGE
20 YEARS IN 2 DAYS?"

"LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT."

"I LOVE YOU, MOMMY, DADDY,

ROBERT AND DAWN AND RICHARD

AND ALL THE OTHER FRIENDS
AND RELATIVES.

PLEASE DON'T LET THIS
RUIN YOUR LIVES."

"SOME GOOD WILL
COME OUT OF THIS.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO DAMN MUCH."

UNDERLINED DAMN.

THE LETTER IS CLEARLY
IN SHARI'S HANDWRITING.

IT'S GOT SMILEY FACES
IN THE CORNERS.

AND EVEN IN WHAT SHE WRITES,

SHE DOESN'T SEEM AFRAID.

"EVERYTHING WORKS OUT
FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD."

SHE WROTE THIS LETTER
ONLY YESTERDAY.

AND THAT SAYS SHE'S ALIVE.

WE CAN GET HER.

POLICE IMMEDIATELY TAKE
THE LETTER

TO FORENSICS TO FIND
ANY CLUES THEY CAN.

BECAUSE SHARI HAS
BEEN KIDNAPPED,

THE FBI ENTER THE INVESTIGATION,

LED BY DETECTIVE LYDIA GLOVER.

SINCE RICHARD WAS
THE LAST PERSON TO SEE SHARI,

HE WAS STILL THE ONLY SUSPECT
IN THE CASE.

I JUST WANT TO TALK THROUGH
WHAT HAPPENED THE DAY

THAT SHARI WENT MISSING.

HE'S WORRIED ABOUT HER.
AND YET HE IS A SUSPECT.

OF COURSE, I DIDN'T THINK SO.

BUT THEN AGAIN,
DO YOU REALLY KNOW?

AND AFTER THE POOL,
WHERE DID YOU GO?

I ALREADY TOLD THEM,
HOME.

I'LL SEE YOU LATER.
ALL RIGHT?

IN THE END, THEY FOUND
THAT HIS ALIBI WAS GOOD.

AND HE WAS CLEARED AS A SUSPECT.

I COULDN'T STOP THINKING
ABOUT SHARI.

NEXT YEAR WAS SUPPOSED TO BE

THIS NEW CHAPTER
OF LIFE TOGETHER

AS COLLEGE STUDENTS
AT THE SAME SCHOOL.

♪ THEY ARE WEAK
BUT HE IS STRONG ♪

♪ YES, JESUS LOVES ME ♪

SHARI AND I GREW UP
SINGING TOGETHER.

AND WE JUST SANG IN CHURCHES
AND NURSING HOMES.

♪ YES, JESUS LOVES ME ♪

WE WERE GOING TO SING
TOGETHER PROFESSIONALLY.

AND NOW I WAS AFRAID THAT
I WOULD NEVER SEE HER AGAIN.

THAT WAS UNTHINKABLE.

♪ THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO ♪

OFFICERS JUST ENCOURAGED US,

"JUST TRY TO DO
SOMETHING NORMAL."

HOW EASY WAS THAT?

SOMETHING WOULD BE FUNNY,
AND WE WOULD LAUGH.

AND THEN WE'D FEEL
BAD FOR LAUGHING

BECAUSE THAT SEEMED
SO INAPPROPRIATE.

OUR EMOTIONS
WERE JUST RAW.

AND WE WERE JUST
WORN OUT EMOTIONALLY.

HELLO?

Hello, Dawn.
Is that you?

UH, YES.

YES, IT'S DAWN.

Did you come all the way
down from Charlotte?

HOW DO I KNOW YOU?

You'll soon find out.

But for now,
get your mother on the phone.

HELLO?

You got Shari's letter,
right?

YES, WE DID.

IS SHARI OKAY?
SHE NEEDS HER MEDICINE.

Don't worry.
Shari's protected.

And God looks after all of us.

WHY CAN'T I SPEAK
WITH SHARI?

She asked me to
communicate with you.

LOOK, WE DON'T MEAN
YOU ANY HARM.

WE JUST WANT SHARI WELL
AND ALL RIGHT.

OKAY?

Ma'am, please forgive me.

This has just gone too far.
Have an ambulance ready.

Good night.

THAT CALL IS TRACED.

IT IS PLACED
FROM A PAY PHONE

AT A DIFFERENT CONVENIENCE STORE

ABOUT 8 MILES
FROM OUR HOME.

SAME THING AGAIN.
THEY DUST FOR FINGERPRINTS.

THERE ARE NO CLUES
LEFT IN THAT PHONE BOOTH.

HE HAS DISAPPEARED.

Hello, Dawn.
Is that you?

THIS TIME, THE CALL
HAS BEEN RECORDED.

UH, YES.
YES, IT'S DAWN.

Did you come all the way
down from Charlotte?

I FELT LIKE HE KNEW ME.
HE KNEW MY NAME.

HE KNEW I WAS
LIVING IN CHARLOTTE.

BUT IT'S CLEAR HE'S DOING
SOMETHING TO ALTER HIS VOICE.

DOES THIS VOICE
SOUND FAMILIAR

TO YOU AT ALL,
AN ACQUAINTANCE,

MAYBE EVEN SOMEBODY
YOU'VE ONLY MET A FEW TIMES?

DAWN, DO YOU RECOGNIZE IT?

MY FATHER JUST
KEEPS PUSHING ME.

DAWN, YOU KNOW
WHO THAT IS, DON'T YOU?

LISTEN AGAIN.
LISTEN AGAIN.

I CAN'T.
I DON'T KNOW.

THIS MAN KNOWS WHO I AM.

I HAVE TO REMEMBER HIM.

MY SISTER'S LIFE
DEPENDS ON IT.

MY SISTER, SHARI,
HAS BEEN MISSING FOR FOUR DAYS.

AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN
SEARCHING FOR A SUSPECT

SINCE THE 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL
DISAPPEARED LAST WEEK.

IN ADDITION TO THE LEXINGTON

AND SALUDA COUNTY
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENTS...

AT THIS POINT,
OUR FAMILY'S SITUATION,

IT'S BECOME THE LEAD STORY

ON THE FRONT PAGE
OF THE STATE NEWSPAPER

AND EVERY SINGLE NEWS BROADCAST
ON EVERY CHANNEL.

BUT THE FOCUS OF THEIR
ATTENTION RIGHT NOW

IS THE CALLER.

Hello, Dawn.
Is that you?

UH, YES.
YES, IT'S DAWN.

Did you come all the way
down from Charlotte?

DETECTIVES WERE CONVINCED
THAT THE CALLER,

NOT ONLY KNEW US PERSONALLY,

BUT WAS PARTICULARLY
INTERESTED IN ME.

WE THINK
HE'S KEEN ON DAWN.

IF SHE IS THE ONE
TALKING TO HIM,

SHE MIGHT BE ABLE
TO DRAW HIM OUT,

ASK HIM QUESTIONS,
KEEP HIM TALKING LONG ENOUGH.

ABSOLUTELY NOT.
YOU -- YOU EITHER --

THERE'S GOT TO BE
A BETTER WAY THAN THAT.

MR. SMITH, WE'RE JUST
TRYING TO GET SHARI BACK.

DAWN'S OUR ONLY OPTION.

IF SHE CAN KEEP HIM
ON THE PHONE LONG ENOUGH,

WE WILL CATCH HIM.

IT'S OKAY, DAD.

I'LL DO IT.

I'LL TALK TO HIM.

SHARI WAS ALWAYS
THE FEARLESS ONE.

IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER
TO BE ON STAGE

WITH HER THERE WITH ME.

♪ WHEN PEACE LIKE A RIVER ♪

♪ ATTENDETH MY WAY ♪

ONCE, WE THOUGHT

WE WERE BREAKING
INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.

WE WERE ASKED TO SING AT CHURCH.

♪ WHATEVER MY LIFE... ♪

POSTERS WERE PUT UP ALL OVER
THE TOWN OF LEXINGTON,

"COME HEAR THE SMITH SISTERS

SINGING GOSPEL FAVORITES
AND OLDIE GOLDIES."

AND SO WE THOUGHT
WE WERE BIG TIME.

AND, I MEAN, I DON'T EVEN KNOW
IF 10 PEOPLE CAME.

♪ IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL ♪

I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT DAY.

IF THEY NEEDED ME TO BE BAIT
FOR THE KIDNAPPER,

THEN I HAD TO DO IT.

AS HELPLESS AS I WAS,

THIS WAS ONE THING
THAT I COULD DO,

WHATEVER I HAVE TO DO
TO JUST GET SHARI BACK.

HELLO?

Dawn?

YES.
HELLO?

This is Shari's request.

Get your mother on
the other phone, quickly.

GET ON THE OTHER PHONE.

Say nothing unless
you're asked.

Now write this down.

At 3:28 in the afternoon,

Friday, 31st of May,

SHARI FAYE WAS KIDNAPPED
FROM YOUR MAILBOX.

WAIT A MINUTE.
YOU'RE GOING TOO FAST.

AT 3:28 IN
THE AFTERNOON...

I know these calls
are being taped and traced.

Correct?

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT.

IS SHARI WITH YOU?

Just write this down.
I don't have much time.

AS HE'S TALKING,
THE CALL IS ALREADY TRACED.

4:59 a.m. Saturday,
the 1st of June,

became one soul.

"BECAME ONE SOUL,"
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

No questions now.

IT'S ABOUT 9 MILES AWAY,
A CONVENIENCE STORE.

MOM AND I ARE TRYING
AS HARD AS WE CAN

TO KEEP HIM ON THE PHONE,
TO KEEP HIM TALKING.

Between 4:00 and 7:00 tomorrow,

have an ambulance
ready, no circus.

OKAY, BUT YOU SHOULD
EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN.

NO CIRCUS?

PLEASE DON'T KILL
MY DAUGHTER.

WHY DOESN'T SHARI
TALK TO US?

She asked me to speak with you.
Weren't you aware of that?

WE LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL.

Get good rest tonight.

Goodbye.

ONCE AGAIN, HE IS GONE,

NO SIGN OF ANYONE,
NO CLUES, NO FINGERPRINTS.

THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHO
IN THE WORLD THIS MAN COULD BE.

WHERE COULD THIS MAN BE?

IT'S FIVE DAYS SINCE
SHARI WAS TAKEN.

HE TOLD US TO HAVE
AN AMBULANCE READY.

AND THAT MEANS
SHE'S STILL ALIVE.

IF WE CAN GET
HER MEDICINE TO HER,

SHE HAS A CHANCE.

WE WERE VERY HOPEFUL THAT
WE WERE ABOUT TO GET HER BACK.

HELLO?

Hello, Dawn.

Listen carefully.
Write this down.

At Mason Lodge number 103,

go about 100 yards behind it

and head to a small
clearing in the woods.

Shari and I are waiting.

LET'S GO.

HE HAS SAID,
"WE ARE WAITING."

AND THAT SAYS TO US HE IS
FINALLY TURNING HIMSELF IN,

AND HE IS FINALLY GONNA
GIVE SHARI BACK.

CAPTAIN GASQUE SAYS
TO MY FAMILY

THAT IT WOULD JUST BE BEST
FOR US TO WAIT.

IT JUST SEEMS LIKE AN ETERNITY.

AND THERE'S NOTHING TO SAY.

WE JUST LITERALLY SIT THERE,
STARING AT THE WALL, WAITING.

CAPTAIN GASQUE AND
THE OTHER OFFICERS,

THEY FOLLOWED THOSE DIRECTIONS.

THE MAN SAID
THEY WOULD BE WAITING.

WE HEARD THE PATROL CAR
COMING BACK DOWN THE DRIVEWAY.

NO, NO.

I'M SORRY.

THAT'S WHEN WE KNEW
SHE WAS DEAD.

SHARI!

AND AT THAT MOMENT,
MY MOM JUST FALLS APART,

JUST SOBBING,
JUST, "NOT MY SHARI."

WE KNEW THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE.

BUT NOW IT WAS REAL.

AND I'D NEVER HEARD CRYING
LIKE THAT UNTIL THAT MOMENT.

INSTEAD OF THEM WAITING,

WHAT THEY FOUND WAS SHARI'S
VERY BADLY DECOMPOSED BODY.

AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT
SHE HAD BEEN DEAD FOR DAYS.

ALL THAT TIME, THROUGH
ALL OF THOSE PHONE CALLS,

SHE WAS LAYING OUT THERE
IN THE WOODS, DEAD.

NO.

WHY?

WHY DID THIS MAN DO THIS?

HOW IN THE WORLD
WOULD WE EVER MAKE IT

PAST THAT MOMENT IN LIFE AGAIN?

WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE A LIFE

OF ONE OF OUR OWN,
ONE OF OUR FAMILY.

SHARI'S BEEN A PART
OF OUR CONGREGATION

EVER SINCE SHE WAS
A LITTLE BABY.

THE DAY OF SHARI'S FUNERAL,

EVEN AFTER ALL OF
THE PHONE CALLS,

AFTER ALL
OF THE PHONE RECORDINGS,

WE HAVE SHARI'S BODY,
AND WE STILL HAVE NO CLUE.

AND HE'S STILL OUT
THERE SOMEWHERE.

ONE THING I WILL
ALWAYS REMEMBER ABOUT HER

IS HER INFECTIOUS SMILE.

IS HE HERE?
IS HE HERE,

ENJOYING WATCHING
OUR FAMILY SUFFER AND GRIEVE?

WE COULDN'T EVEN REALLY
GRIEVE OVER OUR LOSS

BECAUSE HE WAS STILL
OUT THERE SOMEWHERE.

FRIENDS, WE ARE HERE
TODAY NOT TO MOURN A DEATH

BUT TO CELEBRATE A...

I'M SORRY!
I'M SORRY!

EVERYONE BEGINS TO PANIC.

EVERYONE BEGINS TO RUN AND LOOK.

AND WHAT DO WE DO?
AND COULD THIS BE HIM?

I'M SORRY.
I'M SORRY.

I KNOW WHO HE IS.

OH, MY GOODNESS,

IT CAN'T BE HIM.

I'M SORRY!

JUST AFTER THE FUNERAL
FOR MY SISTER, SHARI,

IT LOOKS LIKE THE KILLER
HAS GIVEN HIMSELF UP.

IT WAS A MAN FROM OUR CHURCH,

NOT SOMEONE WE KNEW WELL

BUT SOMEONE WE HAD TALKED TO
AND PRAYED WITH.

OH, MY GOSH.

IT'S SOMEBODY THAT WE KNOW
THAT'S DONE THIS TO OUR FAMILY.

HELLO?

Hello, Dawn.

I'M THINKING,
"HOW COULD HE BE CALLING?

THE POLICE HAVE HIM."

Dawn, like
the break of day, dawn.

IT WAS HIM, THE LAST PERSON

I WANTED TO HEAR
FROM EVER AGAIN.

UH-HUH, SURE,
LIKE THE BREAK OF DAY.

Shari told me I should
turn myself over to God.

The truth is I really
never meant to hurt no one.

All I ever wanted to do
was make love to Dawn.

TO WHO?

I can tell her casket
was closed.

Did you honor her request
and fold her hands?

DO YOU REALIZE WHAT
YOU'VE PUT US THROUGH?

DAWN.

IN THAT INSTANT, I REALIZED,

IF I DON'T DO A GOOD JOB

AND KEEP HIM ON THE PHONE,
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?

AND SO I REALLY HAVE
TO REIGN IN MY EMOTIONS

AT THAT POINT 'CAUSE IT REALLY
DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I THINK

AND WHAT I FEEL.

WHAT MATTERS IS CATCHING
THIS CRAZY PERSON

THAT IS OUT THERE.

WHAT DID YOU DO
TO MY SISTER?

Oh, I'm not sure you're in

the right state of mind
to handle hearing it.

Are you?

YES, GO ON.

I tied her to the bed post
with electrical cord.

She didn't struggle
or cry or anything.

I gave her three choices --
drug overdose,

gunshot or suffocation.

Shari picked suffocation.

So I took duct tape

and wrapped it all the way
around her head.

And I suffocated her.

THERE IS NO WAY
IN THIS WORLD

SHE WOULD HAVE CHOSEN THAT.

BUT THAT'S WHAT
HE TELLS ME SHE CHOSE.

God only knows
why this happened.

It's what Shari chose.

She was gonna be an angel.

I WAS JUST BEYOND SICK
OF THE WHOLE THING.

AND NOT LONG AFTER THAT, WE GOT
MORE NEWS FROM THE POLICE.

I AM SORRY FOR THIS TRAGEDY,
BUT I FORGIVE YOU.

IT TURNS OUT THAT
THE GENTLEMAN AT THE SERVICE,

HE WAS SO HEARTBROKEN FOR US,

THAT HE WAS BEGGING THE MURDERER
TO TURN HIMSELF IN.

I DIDN'T FEEL SAFE
LEAVING THE HOUSE,

KNOWING HE WAS STILL OUT THERE.

BUT A WEEK HAD PASSED,
AND HE DIDN'T CALL.

I'M BEATING MYSELF UP
FOR LOSING MY PATIENCE WITH HIM

AND THINKING IT'S MY FAULT
THAT HE'S NOT CALLED.

THEN HE DID IT AGAIN.

IT IS EXACTLY TWO WEEKS

WITHIN THE HOUR
OF SHARI'S KIDNAPPING.

WE HEAR OF THIS LITTLE GIRL
IN RICHLAND COUNTY.

AUTHORITIES BELIEVE
THAT SHARI'S CASE

AND THIS LITTLE GIRL
ARE RELATED.

ON JUNE 14th,
2 WEEKS TO THE HOUR

AFTER SHARI SMITH
WAS KIDNAPPED,

ANOTHER GIRL WAS ABDUCTED,

THIS TIME FROM A TRAILER PARK
IN RICHLAND COUNTY.

10-YEAR-OLD DEBBY HELMICK
WAS PLAYING IN HER YARD

WHEN A MAN DROVE UP,
THREW HER IN HIS CAR

AND DROVE OFF.

ABSOLUTE TERROR IS JUST
REIGNING IN OUR STATE.

CHILDREN DIDN'T GO OUT
ON THE PLAYGROUNDS.

PARENTS DIDN'T LET THEIR
CHILDREN GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY.

AND EVERYONE IS AFRAID.

NO ONE FELT SAFE.

I WORRY ABOUT THAT LITTLE GIRL.

MAYBE IF I HADN'T
HUNG UP ON HIM,

THEY WOULD HAVE CAUGHT HIM,
AND SHE'D BE OKAY.

AND THEN, TWO WEEKS
SINCE HE HAS CALLED...

...OUR PHONE RINGS AGAIN.

HELLO?

AND IT'S HIM.

Dawn, your time is near.

God wants you
to join Shari.

It's only a matter of time.

You can't be protected always.

IN THIS PHONE CALL, HE DOESN'T
SOUND LIKE THE SAME MAN.

HE'S NO LONGER
DISGUISING HIS VOICE.

Whether it's this month
or next year,

I will get you, too.

Have you heard of Debra May
in Richland County?

HE SEEMS ALMOST
CONFIDENT, COCKY.

HE'S ENJOYING IT.
AND HE'S PROUD OF HIMSELF.

ALL OF THAT SCARES ME TO DEATH.

Turn right, last dirt road
when you come to a stop sign.

HE SEEMS TO BE
READING DIRECTIONS

JUST LIKE HE DID

WHEN HE READ DIRECTIONS
TO SHARI'S BODY.

Debra May is waiting.

God forgive us
and protect us all.

THEY FOUND DEBRA MAY'S BODY.

AND SHE HAD BEEN DEAD
FOR DAYS AS WELL.

I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER,
"IS HE WATCHING ME?"

WHERE IS HE THAT HE CAN KNOW
ANY DETAILS ABOUT MY LIFE?

WHO'S GONNA PROTECT ME?

WHO'S GONNA KEEP ME
FROM HIM GETTING ME

JUST LIKE HE GOT SHARI,
JUST LIKE HE'S TAKEN DEBRA?

AND THEN OUT OF NOWHERE,
THERE WAS A RAY OF HOPE.

SHARI'S LETTER WAS
AT THE FORENSIC LAB.

THEY WERE ABLE TO FIND

ALMOST INDENTATIONS OF NUMBERS

AND WORDS AND LETTERS.

IT SEEMED TO BE A PHONE NUMBER.

ONE DIGIT WAS MISSING.

THEY TRIED EVERY SINGLE
DIGIT POSSIBLE,

WHICH LED TO AN OUT-OF-STATE
PHONE NUMBER

THAT WAS LINKED TO AN ADDRESS

RIGHT HERE IN LEXINGTON,
SOUTH CAROLINA.

AND THAT ADDRESS BELONGED
TO ELLIS AND SHARON SHEPPARD.

THEIR REGULAR HOUSE SITTER
IS A MAN

BY THE NAME OF LARRY BELL.

AND HE IS AN ELECTRICIAN
WHO WORKS

WITH MR. SHEPPARD OFF AND ON.

THE SHEPPARDS TELL INVESTIGATORS

THAT HE WAS ACTUALLY
HOUSE-SITTING FOR THEM

BOTH TIMES
WHEN THE GIRLS WENT MISSING.

DO YOU MIND IF WE TAKE
A LOOK AROUND?

NO, NOT AT ALL.

THEY IMMEDIATELY FIND
THE TABLET BY THE PHONE

THAT IS THE EXACT ONE

SHARI'S LETTER
WAS WRITTEN ON.

THAT MEANS SHARI WAS
IN THIS HOUSE.

THEY FIND HAIR AND OTHER FIBERS

THAT LINK BOTH SHARI AND DEBRA
TO THE SHEPPARDS' HOME.

THIS WAS THE MAN
WHO TOOK BOTH SHARI AND DEBRA

AND USED THE SHEPPARDS' HOME
TO CARRY OUT THE CRIMES.

THIS MAN WAS STILL OUT THERE.

IS HE GONNA DO IT AGAIN?

IS HE COMING FOR ME?

POLICE MOVE TO ARREST LARRY BELL

AND SET UP ROAD BLOCKS
AROUND HIS HOUSE.

STEP OUT OF THE CAR,
PLEASE.

WHEN POLICE START LOOKING
INTO LARRY BELL'S BACKGROUND,

THEY FIND THAT HE HAS
A CRIMINAL RECORD

OF ATTEMPTED ABDUCTIONS
OF OTHER WOMEN.

FINALLY, THANK GOD, THIS IS HIM.

THEY HAVE CAUGHT HIM,
BUT IT WASN'T OVER.

HE HASN'T
ADMITTED ANYTHING.

WE NEED YOU TO IDENTIFY
THE VOICE.

AND WE'D LIKE YOU
TO DO IT FACE-TO-FACE

SO YOU CAN GET HIM TO REACT,
MAYBE EVEN CONFESS.

WHY DON'T YOU SAY
SOMETHING, LARRY?

THANK Y'ALL FOR COMING.

AS HE BEGAN TO SPEAK,
MOM AND I BOTH REALIZED,

"OH, MY GOSH, THIS IS THE MAN
THAT WE SPOKE TO ON THE PHONE."

I'M SORRY
ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.

YOU'RE THE PERSON
WE TALKED TO ON THE PHONE.

YOU TOOK HER.

I KNOW YOU KILLED MY DAUGHTER,
BUT I DON'T HATE YOU.

I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM
IN MY HEART FOR ANY MORE PAIN.

OTHER THAN THE VOICE
ON THE PHONE,

HE WAS A COMPLETE STRANGER.

WE'VE NEVER
SEEN HIM BEFORE.

WE DON'T THINK SHARI KNEW HIM.

EVERYTHING HE KNEW ABOUT ME
HE PROBABLY GOT FROM SHARI.

WELL, LOOKS LIKE
SHARI'S HOME.

OH, GOOD.

SHARI HAD JUST ARRIVED HOME
FROM THE POOL PARTY

AND HAD STOPPED AT THE END
OF THE DRIVEWAY TO GET THE MAIL.

LARRY GENE BELL SAW HER...

...AND GRABBED HER.

IT ONLY TOOK
A MATTER OF SECONDS.

AND SHE WAS GONE.

I WONDER WHAT'S
TAKING HER SO LONG.

LARRY BELL IS FOUND GUILTY
OF KIDNAPPING

AND MURDERING
BOTH SHARI AND DEBRA.

HE IS SENTENCED
TO TWO DEATH SENTENCES.

AND HE IS EXECUTED.

I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHERE
TO BEGIN WITH LIFE AGAIN.

AND I WOULD THINK
BACK TO SHARI'S LETTER

AND READ IT OVER
AND OVER IN MY MIND

WHERE SHE WOULD SAY,

"DON'T LET THIS
RUIN YOUR LIVES."

DO I LET THE CIRCUMSTANCES

OF WHAT HAPPENED RUIN
THE REST OF MY LIFE?

OR DO I TAKE HOLD
OF THEM AND SAY,

"OKAY, WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS?"

I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL.

AND MY VOICE TEACHER SAID,

"HAVE YOU EVER
CONSIDERED ENTERING

THE MISS
SOUTH CAROLINA PAGEANT?"

SO I ENTERED.

AND LO AND BEHOLD,
I WON THE THING.

DAWN ELIZABETH SMITH!

THE VERY FIRST PLACE

I WAS ASKED TO COME
AS MISS SOUTH CAROLINA

WAS A SMALL LITTLE CHURCH
THAT SAID,

"WOULD YOU COME AND TELL
YOUR STORY AT OUR CHURCH?"

AND THAT WAS THE BEGINNING

OF WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING
FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS IS --

IS SHARING A STORY OF FAITH.

♪ BECAUSE THE BIBLE
TELLS ME SO ♪

I KNOW THAT SHARI IS WATCHING.

YOU HAD TO BE AFRAID.

AND YET YOU WERE
JUST WORRIED ABOUT US.

AND SO I'M PROUD OF YOU
AS MY LITTLE SISTER.

SHARI'S LETTER, FOR ME,
IS A TRIBUTE TO HER COURAGE.

"PLEASE DON'T EVEN
LET THIS RUIN YOUR LIVES.

SOME GOOD WILL COME OUT OF THIS.

PLEASE DO NOT BECOME HARD
OR UPSET.

EVERYTHING WORKS OUT
FOR THE GOOD.

ALL MY LOVE ALWAYS,
SHARI SMITH."

IN HER FINAL MOMENTS,
SHE DIDN'T CHOOSE FEAR.

SHE CHOSE FAITH AND COURAGE.

LOSING SHARI MADE ME REALIZE

EVERY DAY THAT I HAVE
IS A GIFT GOD'S GIVEN ME.

AND I HAVE A DECISION --
WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH IT?

AND I'M GONNA CHOOSE FAITH.