Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

Two Children - Part 2 (Justin & Delmar Delgado)

Two Children - Part 2 (Justin & Delmar Delgado)

Tue, 20 Dec 2022 08:00

Sights are set on a prime suspect, but police have only one shot to get a confession. A criminal profiler helps investigators get justice for the Delgado boys.

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previously on Anatomy of Murder. You were there within 10 minutes of this firestorm, and you didn't smell or see anything. We had two children fatalities. I wanted my babies. I was screaming, Judd, down there, please answer me. You know, please, that has here, that has loved you so much. Please come to the window. In a couple of years earlier, Molly said that she had dreams of killing her children. If you're a wife over the past six years, been pretty good, it's not that perfect. If you expand on that. Molly was having an affair with Mike and lady named Stephanie. They were having a threesome. She was committing adultery. We knew we were going to have to interview Molly again. That was going to be our last shot. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former Deputy Sheriff. I'm Anna Sige-Nikolazi, former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of investigation discoveries through conviction. And this is Anatomy of Murder. Investigator George Harons from the West Virginia State Fire Marshall's office was facing a possible double homicide of two children, Justin Jr. and Delmar Delgado, who had been killed in their home in their bedrooms, and the number one suspect that was the most important suspect of murder. It's pretty devastating to think that a mother can do this. But if you're in this job long enough, law enforcement or even an emergency service, fire department, EMS, you learn to start questioning everything. Investigators had gathered enough evidence that the fire was suspicious. They were not aware of the murder. They were not aware of the murder. They were not aware of the murder. We have to ask one question. Investigators had gathered enough evidence that the fire was suspicious. As was the behavior of Molly Delgado, mother to judge age 5 and Delmar age 3. Both boys were in the room in the bed when each bed caught fire. The boy's father Justin Sige was sleeping in an adjacent room, trying to save his boys, But while they had their suspicions, investigators faced a bigger challenge, and that is that they had no idea they could not yet find the point of origin. So they didn't even know exactly what caused the fire, so if they couldn't figure it out though what, they couldn't even yet get to the who. Just because A and B doesn't add up, they automatically goes to see, we can't start making accusations. George had spent the initial portion of this investigation ruling out how the fire could have started, you know, perhaps a bad electrical outlet, food on the stove. Even if the boys themselves could have started the fire playing with matches, but all of those were ruled out. While they suspected Molly, they had zero hard evidence at least not yet, so they decided that speaking to her might be their best bet. George knew the gravity of this moment. His next move was to ask the assistance of a friend and a colleague. What we did is we reached out to Steve Patrick, who is a profiler that works for the ATF, but he works at Quantico. I've known George Harms for a number of years. He's a personal friend of mine. Steve Patrick and George had known each other for years all the way going back to work within the ATF in North Virginia, so not only were they colleagues, but they had fast become friends. Myself as an ATF agent routinely worked with the fire marshals and the bomb squad, and I ran into the George a number of years ago through a mutual friend. We were introduced and just kind of hit it off. I think one of the best strengths an investigator can have is knowing when to ask for help. I think a fitting quote that highlights this. A smart person is not the one that knows all the answers, but one who knows where to find them. Steve was working as a criminal profiler from the Behavioral Analysis Unit, already that just sounds cool in and of itself. But at the end of the day, what does it mean? Basically, they are a unit designed to provide support, mostly in cases that involve acts or threats of violence, and they do so using their skillset of psychological profiling, and that support is investigative and operative, and it ferrets itself out in all different ways. And then based on using that information, they can offer suggestions on investigative methods to learn more about their target. They also use what they've learned to motivate someone to cooperate or confess. Oh, it's fantastic. You know, really the epitome of a successful career and a law enforcement capacity. And so everything about criminal profiling, the Behavioral Analysis Unit is cool, right? Every one of us is thinking that because you just think about what it is that they do. You know, I even think to myself like if I hadn't been a prosecutor, that might have been just the something else I would have loved to do. But you know, here at AOM, I don't think Scott that we've ever interviewed a criminal profiler. Have we? I don't think so. Not for the podcast, but you and I actually worked with a former profiler, Chris Campion, for an episode of True Conviction, which our executive producer was also involved with, which is the case of Daniel Marsh out in California. But you know, I'm always attracted when a unit like the BAU separates itself to really be the most effective it could be. In this case, they have a crimes against adult unit, crimes against children and Steve's unit, which is specifically the Bamanarshan unit. So they're really bringing in all these resources to do the job. And I think that's fascinating. We get called in by the investigative team. So kind of a referral. Well, look at the case, look at the case facts. And then what we'll do is try to size up how we can help the investigative team. We had to send him all the recorded audio and videos that we did with Molly and also Justin and then let him take a look at it. For the profiler, it's all about learning as much as you can about your target, everything from their childhood, their family, their habits, and weaving that into a set of questions that feels much different than a standard police interview or interrogation. Here's an example. At a scene, I have both worked and covered cases where the crime scene was staged. You know, the body potentially posed. And in that type of case, the suspect may have gotten some gratification by committing their crime. Profiler could use that to elicit a behavioral response during the interview and begin to dig deeper. A couple of weeks later, Steve invited me to come down and basically present my case to the behavioral analysis unit. Now, when I go down here, I really don't know what that means. It's my first time ever doing it. Since the BAU is such a specified unit, I'm sure there's thresholds that must be met. Is there enough evidence to work with? Does the crime itself rise to their involvement? They asked me questions about my case. Some questions I couldn't answer. So they started with the home itself being a mobile home. They knew that that meant that in certain aspects was basically a tender box, then they went down to the where the fire was and the things they could and couldn't figure out what they could see when they investigated. And why they just couldn't figure out how the fire went from one bed to the other or if there were two separate fires from the get go. So one of the things in fire investigation that's very well known is that these trailers or mobile homes are what I would consider a tender box. They're known in the industry to burn quickly, rapidly and really calls almost complete destruction. We had two deceased people, small children and really just a limited amount of destruction. The fire was pretty much contained in a small area and really just some smoke damage, a little bit of damage from the fire itself. No obvious signs of how the fire started. No immediate odor of an accelerant which is usually seen in these type of arson fires. But this still felt like it was intentional. The gravity of losing two people to such a small pretty contained scene was a first kind of aha moment to say, man, how did this happen? And then just the people that were in the house and you start rolling out possibilities and kind of got us to thinking, hmm, some just add up here and we need to look a little further about the occupants inside the dwelling. They also had the autopsy results that besides talking about the fire and what that did to the children, it also showed that the youngest boy Delmar had been over medicated. The autopsy revealed that Delmar had what they called a high toxicity level of dextromethorophane, which is cough syrup. So it makes you wonder was Molly drugging him to put him in a more comatose daselle state to inhibit his movements or even hinder the boy's chance of escaping. There's some behavioral things that they kind of stuck out. Molly Delgato once she gave the initial statement of what she did and kind of her activity. It just didn't add up. Delmar got in his bed on lay with him. Okay, so Delmar was in the red door red bed. Yeah, okay, the red rakes in carpet. How long after that? Justin fall asleep. It was like five minutes. The first thing George notice in his interview with Molly was her behavior. It was odd. She was very matter of fact and seemed to have a lot of the answers rehearsed. She was giving me one line answers not expanding on anything. Okay, so Justin went to sleep around. We'll say 910. So once he went to sleep, what do you do? I either go in the kitchen due dishes or I go in our room just relax and watch TV. And as much as what she did say, it was a things she didn't and what they could see from during that interview. First of all, she never inquired to the interviewers, purifier started. There was never any remorse. No sense of failure on her part and not protecting her kids. She never really talked much about the children or her emotion about their death at all. Was never asking what she could do to aid the investigation. All the things you might expect any parent or anyone who cared for these children at all might ask during that sit down. She never asked about the status of the case. At any point, either during that initial interview the day after the sit down interview or at any point during the case, she never asked about the status and what happened. You know, if you're two kids, parents like that and some type of fire incident or an accidental the scenario, you would be devastated as a parent and there's nothing. No emotion whatsoever. Another thing investigators are looking for is a possible motive. In the last episode, we talked about one theory investigators had. But we really want to break it down to this type of crime we're talking about, which is maternal filiside. Which is of course the killing of a child by in this case, the mother. There's a study that's supported by the National Institute of Health that found that 15% of homicide arrests over 32 year period were filisidal in nature by the parent. Another study reported by CNN in 2017 said that on average, 500 kids are killed by their parents each year and that's a staggering and really disturbing number. But the study also takes into account offsprings of all ages, including adults. So when it came to children who were six years or younger, the number would calculate to about 360 children each year, but that is still equally disturbing. Now we're specifically talking right now about maternal filiside when it is the mother who has caused the death. And it's in that same study that Scott decided that talked about how jurors at trial frequently view mothers who kill their own children as suffering from severe mental health disorders. And you're that really doesn't surprise me Scott because I think as people, we almost want to have an answer because you can't imagine or don't want to imagine that someone could do that for any reason other than some major impairment that is causing them kind of to be beyond themselves when they commit these type of acts. Even as we're sitting here trying to imagine and wrap our head around a crime such as that, I would imagine that a juror in a case would be thinking the same thing as how is that even possible and trying to reason with it as best they could. But as we know with every case and every person, there's never one size fits all and I think it's worth talking about it here. Again, we're going back to the psychiatric studies because we are of course not experts and this one was conducted in 2007. It was by Susan Friedman and Philip Resnick in the two of them suggested there are five major motives behind all of this. The motives can be because of delusions, maltreatments, using the child's murder as revenge against the spouse or thinking that the murder is actually in the child's best interest. But the last one is the one that seems most applicable to Molly Delgado and that is the unwanted child filicide, which is where they view their children basically as a hindrance. They are the thing that is stopping the parent from getting what they want, whether that is freedom or now being with a partner who doesn't want step children or even something like money or other things. We had identified as the investigative team, six, six people that she had extra marital affairs with to include a neighbor to include just its friend, the high school people that she knew come to find out that Molly was involved with these two people in an affair situation. We have a fair amount of information to suggest that there was some pressure being put on Molly from these individuals to basically get out of her marital situation and come join them and basically start a new life. In order to do that, she need to rid herself of these two boys. This wasn't the first case, Stephen had come across that dealt with maternal filicide. Back in 1994, there was a widely publicized case involving a mother named Susan Lee Smith. Now I studied it. It was a fascinating case and I did talk to the profiler that worked at from the South Carolina law enforcement division. Susan Smith had initially told police that her vehicle had been car jacked with her two children still inside. She even went on national TV and pleaded for their safe return. But investigators were uncovering evidence to the contrary. Smith finally confessing that she alone allowed the car to a roll into a lake drowning her own children. He was ending the relationship because he didn't want kids. A jury later convicted her of murder. I remember that case so well, Skye's remember on the news over and over showing the lake that they pulled the car up and just people talking whether it's the legal analyst or just people being asked on the street or those that knew them like no one wanted to believe that she could have done this to her children. It didn't take long before they kind of put the pieces together. Yeah, she got so much press coverage because of her going on national television and asking for the kids to be returned safely. And while there are so many other cases that came before Susan Smith, I think she really became the poster person for this type of homicide. So not unlike the Susan Smith case or Susan Smith was involved with a man who wrote her a letter. And in that letter said Susan, I really care for you, but there are some things that just can't take. And yes, I'm referring to your children and they put her two boys in a car and ran into a lake and drowned both of them ultimately and killed them. This case was similar to that. Now the breakthrough in the Susan Smith case was this she had said that she'd been card Jacked at a red light on an empty intersection. But here's the thing that particular traffic light would never have turned red unless there was another car there at the same time. So investigators were able to quickly corner her in that light. But now with Molly Delgado, investigators don't have that type of evidence. At least not yet. So it's really going to come down to what admissions they could get from her. We knew we're going to have to interview Molly again. And we knew if we had an opportunity interviewer, that was going to be our last shot. So George Harnes gave his presentation to the behavioral analysis unit and they reviewed it thoroughly and they came back with this. We were all done Steve said, well, let's go get something to eat. I said, okay, I really I really didn't know what to expect. While we were at lunch, Steve said they're going to assist with the case and they're also not only just assist, but they're going to provide an interviewer from their unit, which was really big. That interviewer would be Steve himself. So how do we get in front of her and how do we get the truth out? So that's a very daunting task. And to try to get Molly to talk about what they believe she had done, his team is going to use a technique when they had never used before. This interview, we only have one crack at this. So we spent the time at the behavioral analysis unit involving three different units, three different components within the BAU, our crimes against children, crimes against adults, and then my unit, arson and bombing and threats. To try to come up with some type of re-approach strategy for Molly. It comes down to behavioral science and psychology. So they started to think about if this is Molly, why did she commit the crime? She was a very complex person in that there was an impression management component going on with her personality. She sort of presented one way in public. For instance, she regularly went to church with her husband. Many report as much as twice a week. She was in church and tried to portray herself as a good person and all that. One of the meantime, she's doing all this solicit activity outside of her marriage. So that is very narcissistic. That's very me, me, me. I am going to, in this case, unbelievably kill my children to do what I want to do, which is in this case, be free. We really wound up appeal to Molly's narcissism and self-absorption. We used an empathetic strategy. Molly, you're the true victim here. You know, we try to paint her as really the victim and that she's kind of not only the victim of this incident, but a victim of circumstances in her life. I love the decision that Steve made next. He wasn't going to leave anything to chance and really decided to make an unprecedented move. The interview would make or break the case. He would decide, along with several of us other investigative team members, to roleplay this upcoming interview with Molly. At the first time in the BAU history, we did a roleplay for this particular case. I have to say, I was surprised to hear the roleplay strategy. I'm definitely often you game it out. You strategize. I mean, I think that is par for the course of most good interviews. For prosecutors in the national level, the US Attorney's Office, they often moot their openings and their summations, which means they actually give them two colleagues to get feedback similar to hear. But it's pretty rare. I don't even know if I've ever heard of going for an interview for investigators to actually roleplay. I thought, for instance, that we should probably have a woman, another mother, that should approach Molly. And that that would be our best ticket for success. In terms of her opening up and talking and all that, the person that was our subject matter expert, our crime analyst, said, we want to go in a different direction. We want a man to get in front of Molly because she doesn't want to be judged as a mother. And you know, Scott, to me, like that made perfect sense. Here's a woman who is willing to kill her own children to be with other people, at least most of her relationships had been with men. So she's going to want their attention. And, you know, Annecy, how about in your cases with female defendants? You know, would they handle in a similar way with your agents and your detectives that you work with? Again, never one size fits on. It really depends. I think that women are more easily threatened in this scenario by other women. And that's generally across the board. It's been my experience with defendants. It is, you know, when I've done the interviews and again, I'm not usually at the investigative stage, but taking them after investigators, it is men that usually for different reasons might want to open up or talk in a different way. Or women kind of keep that guard up a bit more. So while never having done an interview in a philosophical homicide case, it does make pretty good sense to me. I played the role of myself and then we had two other profilers that were observing this process. And then they were providing feedback. Yeah, so Steve would really game this out. He would rehearse and rehearse over and over and over again to refine his approach. And it wouldn't just be the questions he would ask. It's how he would position himself in the room, how Molly would be positioned in the room. They made that like an NFL playbook. They watched Molly's interviews. They literally spent hours and hours going over and deciding on what the best approach was. So while Steve Patrick is game planning of how he's going to handle himself, George is in the background, but George is also building a team, a team around this investigation to move it forward. Yeah, I got a call from Chad Campanelle, who is a certified fire investigator for the ATF. And Chad's probably one of the best around. He saw on our Twitter that there was a child fatality and he said, would you like assistance from the ATF? And I said, I definitely would. He put together a team of himself an investigator, an electrical engineer, and a fire protection engineer, another person that come out and assist me to document the scene. And often the movies you see different agencies feuding with one another and absolutely that does happen sometimes in real life. And here it was every person, every bureau, they just wanted to do whatever they could to aid one another to try to get down to the truth and figure out what had happened to these children and if it was a crime, who had committed it. And there is a defined common goal here to find the source of the fire that could reveal who may have intentionally set this place. And one thing to keep in mind is they still did not know what the ignition source was, what was the actual cause, the point of origin of this fire and was it one or two. Aniseega and I have had an opportunity to look through the photographs from this fire scene. So I want you to picture it in your mind for a moment. When you walk into the children's room, the damage is evident. The two children's beds are on the same side of the room, approximately 52 inches apart, both with signs of significant damage. The bed to the left of the room, a red race car frame with a mattress and to its right, a child's bed with a springs were completely melted. The fire was concentrated just on the beds, just from that it seemed so purposeful, not an accident. The working hypothesis we had was that there was two separate fires. She probably lit both beds on fire at this point. We had to prove it. You have to say, well, could one of them accidentally have caught in fire whether it is electrical or a child playing with something and then gone to the other? And how would that be? You'd think about the embers going up in the air. And so there was really nothing that they could go either way, at least at that point, deciding if it was one fire that had been started or two. So with all the different investigators that were working this crime scene, they noticed that the fire wasn't just confined to the kids' room, although almost all of the significant damage was in their room. It wasn't just limited to that area. And that was a super interesting thing to me, Scott, you know, when you went into the other room and you can see on this curtain, it's almost like a hole where you can picture that if a match had been placed there and it stopped there. That's a burn mark on the curtain. The outlet is on the other side. There is nothing there. So what does that say? Like that no way it wasn't an ember going from one room to the other going by the smoke. Now it almost seems like whether someone still has the match or the lighter and as they're walking out that it just went off, but again, it was low, almost like they were trying to set the entire home ablaze. Later on, we developed a hypothesis that that may have been an attempt at an additional fire being set. And so what George and his colleagues did next will wait to you hear it because it is something right out of a movie playbook. And one thing that Chad's group did, they took all the furniture, everything out of there, the outlets, everything. And then they recreate that bedroom down in Beltsville, Maryland. The decision was made to do a complete reconstruction of the fire in the boys' bedroom, which went and tell building a model of the room to spec. You actually build a structure in their research center. And I mean down to the last dimensions, the air movement from the HVAC. And they found the exact same beds. They just only couldn't think I couldn't get what the exact same colors. And the thought was we're going to recreate the fire and see maybe if we had two separate fires, one on each bed. That's what we were looking at at that point. And it really looks like from the photograph something you would see at a movie studio. You know, you can see the walls are constructed and you could tell they took measurements to really mimic what the boys' actual room looked like. In the open windows, there's video camera setup that are going to catch exactly what's happening in the room during the experiments to see what actually happened in that room. With those video cameras rolling, the test begins. You can see the comforter on the bed on the right. Once lit, the flames slowly spread, but they never jump to the second bed. It's all contained to that single mattress proving that each fire was individually set. One of the questions was what happens if we show that the fire could have spread? Well, you know, you had to let the science play out. We didn't think it could and it didn't. I think they were really smart to do it multiple times because if they just done that once, I mean any defense or you could say, okay, well, that was one time. But they did it five separate times to show that not one of those times did the fire lit on one bed move to the other. When I was looking at anisego, thinking to myself, you're going to really appreciate that because they would need to be repeated multiple times based on the concerns of defense. So I was actually thinking that when I watched that. It's pretty rare that investigators are able to go to these lengths. You know, I have had it in certain cases and it's amazing when they're able to build models and to recreate scenarios to try to get to the answers. It takes as far as manpower, women power, approvals, money. It's no small feat to get these done. So the fact that they went to this degree really talked about the dedication that they were not going to let this rest until they hopefully got the answers they needed. Steve has a plan. He has the team. He has as much evidence as he can get now. He has everything he needs to interview Molly Delgado. The only thing he's missing is Molly. So myself and the senior agent at that time for the office, her and I went up to where Molly was staying to see if she would come be interviewed. And when we got there, she was actually taking her trash out in the parking lot at this time was March 8th. It was still pretty cool out. And I said, Molly, I told you I probably want to interview you one more time. We're just trying to figure this whole thing out. Would you like to come and be interviewed one more time? I got an expert that would like to talk to you. And now remember, this is a completely voluntary interview. I mean, every interview is no one ever has to speak to the police, but she's not under arrest. So it's really even going to be up to her whether she accompanies them to the precinct when they ask. And they need to make absolutely sure that every step of the way that this is of her own free will, because if she does say anything, any admissions are given, it will absolutely be challenged in court. And she said sure and she went into her apartment like five minutes went by and I'm saying, oh man, she's never coming out. And probably another five minutes goes by and she comes out and we go to the office. And we read her Miranda writes again, and then I bring Stephen and introduce Steve to Molly. It was not her first interview. This was her second. So she'd already been there before. And being called back in, maybe she felt it would result in the same thing as the first interview where she would be able to leave. So they put her in a conference room. And as you would all expect, it was wired. We had set up a camera disguised as a clock that was watching all of this. And then this whole interview was being broadcast to an office in the building there that there are a whole team of investigators watching this. So when you watch the interview, it's interesting even before they start to speak at all because the room just so you can visualize a bit, you know, it's pretty bland. There's a conference table. There's some blinds on the wall. They have two pretty comfortable looking office chairs. You have Steve sitting one right at the table and Molly singing the other. But the way that her chair is positioned. It's a little bit back from the table. And that was really smart because you could see not only what she's saying. Obviously her face and her mouth as she's speaking, but her body language. And what you see is her hands are folded in her lap and nothing's moving. I mean, she is still as a statue except her fingers. Yeah, it was too weak to figure the room where we had a chair that was kind of pushed away from the table. So Molly was out kind of sitting in this chair where you can see her complete body language. There is a unspoken closeness that he's going to hopefully achieve as he starts off talking and that really showed itself for the way that conversation started. We have a lot to go over. Okay. I mean, there's a lot of stuff here and a lot of reports and documents and forms. So we want to stop right here for a moment because there's something you need to know about the reports and the documents that the investigators are referring to. It's not actually what it seems. Obviously, that was that folder was just empty papers. And this is an old police tactic. We took a binder wrote her name on the outside of it and stuff that with a bunch of papers as a prop to make it look like she's been the subject of this major investigation. So I would tap it and refer to it as a process. This is about you and it's about you telling your story this and a tap on the bind. That's a process and that the police hadn't forgot about this and that this shows the fruits of our labor and our hard work. In the circles I've worked in, it's a technique also referred to as behind that door. And here's what I mean. During the conversation, the interviewer may refer to someone who was not in the room, but on the other side of that door who has information that if the person being interviewed is not being fully truthful, you as the investigator will step outside and get the truth. In this case, he gave Molly the indication that this file full of papers likely means that the case has been thoroughly investigated and investigators have a file full of evidence against her. What I like to do, Molly, honestly, is really to get to know you. I mean, again, I've heard a report, not talked to George some, but it's not about forms or reports and documents. It's about people. It's an amber, understanding who you are. And when you listen to the beginning of the interview, well, it's not about the case at all. The first thing that struck me was Steve's voice itself. He has this, as you've heard in his interview, his voice is pretty calm and relaxed. You know, it's not unlike Scott, our own Scott Weinberger's. He has a similar type voice, which again, it helps put people at ease. So I think he was smart for that reason too, to be the one to conduct the interview, but he's really just trying to get her comfortable and so she doesn't stonewall him. I was making a lot of eye contact with Molly sort of in the beginning of the interview and she would talk less. So then when I was started to do, ask her questions to where she can instruct me and then I would look away so that she wouldn't feel any type of tension or, you know, like I was kind of challenging her. There is those moments in those cases when you do take that accusatory tone or turn that the person may just stare at you and waiting to see what you're going to say next. And then there is that really uncomfortable period where it's almost like who's going to flinch? I'm on the edge of my seat because she's getting raised saying yes, I did it. And Steve, so we're going to take a break. Al, like what? You know, what did you think, Scott, when that was the next thing that happened after that? I was a little surprised, you know, breaking the flow of the conversation. Well, she went outside, she took a break, you know, I took a break. So after that break, they asked her to come back in and she agrees she sits back down in the interview resumes. Then we bifurcated and had a second part where we, it was more of an interrogation. And the difference is we're not asking any more questions. We know that you're responsible for this act. We just need to know why and what the reason is. Probably what I want to tell you is our investigation and we've done so far clearly shows that you're responsible for the fire. I would never do that to my police. In my whole family. Any of my family? It's not. I've been going this for a long time. Okay. You know, we knew we were on to something. It's a delicate dance, as it's called. As the investigator, you want to push as hard as you can to be able to get to the truth. But if you push too hard and the subject shuts down, it's basically game over. And what you need to think about now is it's something the most important time of your life. I'm going to help you give you the process. Then Steve asked a question that would dictate how the rest of this interview was going to go. That's it, Molly. We've been talking for about an hour and a half now. Do you trust me? And she says, yes, I do. And that was a very simple moment. I really should come from you. He says it really should come from you. Tell us. Now tell us. Tell me. Tell me. And I knew we were at a really good point at that stage. That what we'd done in the beginning of this interview had built some type of trust. And here's why that trust factor is really imperative. I mean, just crucially important at this moment is that she is being asked to verbally walk through a door that she knows she can never walk back inside of once the words come out of her mouth. Can you do that? I might have to close the door. In a soft, monotone voice Molly begins to lay out the events that led to the deaths of her two children. The deaths caused by her intentional actions. After giving them medication to put them asleep, she took a small lighter and lit the first bed. She told us the small little bit lighter and we actually documented a small little bit lighter in the cabinet. Did you like to? I want to. Did you do first? Down the front. So tell me more. So just based on what the blankets on the lower, the Justice blankets and then walk down. Can you walk back out? Can you look back and see if there's on fire? There's so much to be said about a person, a mother who'd be willing to intentionally do this. But I'm going to leave it just to this. Means, motive and opportunity laid out in a solid confession. She was star for attention, according to her, that her husband worked and then paid attention to her. And she said, well, he's a good guy and you know, he provides a paycheck. When Molly first walked in and sat down in that room for questioning, she was at least on paper, a grieving albeit stoic mother. But by the time the interview ended, she was leaving that room in handcuffs. But what about the other man and woman that Molly was having a affair with? Did they have any involvement in the planning or execution of these murders? We asked Molly, Steve asked her and Ivan asked her when I was a transporter, where they involved in. And she denied their involvement. And we brought in both of them for interviews and they denied any sort of involvement with the fire. Now was time for George and Steve to visit Justin, Molly's husband and the father of the two children. Time to let him know what had just transpired and the fact is that his wife admitted murdering their children. His supervisor went to God on me, was on a piece of equipment, on a construction site, he came over and just a kind of happy, go lucky guy. And we introduced ourselves and as Justin, we need to tell you something, we talked to Molly today, oh you did. And then kind of said, look, she just told us a few minutes ago that and admitted to setting the fire that killed your two boys in a look on his face. His jaw started like tremble and up and down and then he just broke down and lost it. Started crying and said, why? And why didn't she tell me? And I could have, she could have just divorced or left. You know what I can't believe she did that to my babies and just kind of came unglued. In an instant, Justin's world was turned completely upside down and that was the night the boys died. Now his marriage and the knowledge that the woman he trusted to care for their children, who was responsible for something as heinous as this, I'd say Justin lost everything. He said, you know, it went through his mind but maybe she had some involvement but every time he would think that he'd be like, now there's no way. She could have done this or there had to be another explanation for this. So I don't know if he didn't want to believe it, just kind of psychologically put us guard up but he accepted what we told him. I think in the back of his mind, he knew there was a possibility but it seemed to hit him pretty hard. On May 17th of 2017, a grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Molly Delgado, charging her with first degree murder of her son Delmer and the first degree murder of her second son Justin Jr. She was also indicted for first degree arson and the attempted first degree murder of her husband Justin Sr. And likely the most powerful evidence was the videotape confession of Molly Delgado but now prosecutors would have to make sure that the tape would be able to be entered into evidence. Delgado's defense team had other plans. Now whenever there's a statement being introduced against a then-defendant in court, we always have to do these pretrial hearings. The judge will rule whether the statements were voluntary, whether they were done appropriately, whether any of their rules were broken, whether they were in custody or not. One of the things that her attorney brought up is that we use this psychological pressure and manipulation on her that this pro-filer from BAU did this psychological voodoo on her basis. We got her to admit to her involvement and I was asked about this and absolutely not. We came up with a strategy and a plan to approach her and interview her. Remember early we said that Molly taking a break during the interviews could play a big part in this case? Well, here it is. When her defense tried to throw out the confession, one of the things we kept telling her she was free to leave at any time, but I put that part of my notes that she left the building and we had to go bring her back in. The judge said absolutely not. It's admissible because of these reasons. And one of the things that she said is the investigators told her on four separate occasions that she's free to leave. We asked her for water if she would need to go to the bathroom. She walked outside and came back. She could have stopped us at any time. So she never lowered her up. We never violated any rights and it was free and voluntary and we were good to go. On January 31st, 2019 an agreement was reached where Molly Delgado pled no contest to the two first-degree murder charges in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts. But that wasn't the end of the case because after she pled no contest and received a life sentence of incarceration, there's another phase of this trial, at least in West Virginia called a mercy trial. Yeah, in West Virginia we have what they call a mercy trial. So basically she pled guilty. But the mercy trial is to see if she could be able to be available to get parole after 15 years. And Scott, I thought this was really interesting. I actually went and looked it up because I'd never heard of this before. It's actually codified, which means it's in the West Virginia code. That basically when there is a trial or someone pleads guilty and the sentence is going to be life imprisonment, which they had here, that it says that the jury in their discretion can actually recommend mercy. And if they recommend that mercy, the person is eligible for parole after 15 years. It reverses. It puts the onus on the defense to say, OK, here's why she did it and grant her mercy. Here we say like mercy, wait, what? She killed her children. But I started thinking about what would those scenarios be when you're looking at things when someone has a mental health issue that you may think that that is at least responsible for some of what they did. Or I think about a case again, it doesn't have to be where a parent kills a child. It's in any case where they're going to be spending their life in prison. I think of a case where maybe someone was bullied, you know, mercilessly. And so they ultimately exact revenge and kill their bull year. Again, it's a crime. They deserve to be convicted. And I say that because I had a case like that where the jury did come back with some form of mercy in a lesser conviction. So I do see it in those sort of scenarios, but the jury ultimately did not find that here. As part of the trial process, Molly Delgado would be seen by psychiatrist who would evaluate her mental state. And during those evaluations, she was asked to list three wishes. And Delgado wrote one going home, two going back in time and three getting rid of my depression. She never said bring her babies back. So she never showed no remorse. I see this as Molly still just talking about Molly, no consideration for anyone else, let alone her two sons, five years old and three years old and setting their beds on fire burning them to death. They could still about me, me, me. And then the prosecuting attorney, she said Molly showed no mercy to her children when she killed them. I asked you to show no mercy. They gave her no mercy. So she's spending rest of her life in jail. In her confession, Molly talked about filling trapped for years, unhappy in her marriage and wanted to move on, call it narcissistic, sure, call itself absorbed. Her plea deal called it first degree murder on behalf of five year old Judd and three year old Delma. And I fully agree. Cune in next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio chuck original produced and created by wine burger media and for steady media. Ashley Flowers and Sudmit David are executive producers. So what do you think Chuck, do you approve?