48 Hours’ “Power and Passion” (04/13/13)

The following contains my thoughts on 48 Hours’ recent episode, “Power and Passion.” The full episode, reported by Richard Schlesinger, can be found on 48 Hours’ website.

This is the type of episode I have been waiting for to write about in this blog. It is a true mystery and a question of, quite literally, “Who dunnit?” Though there is a conclusion in this episode that doesn’t involve true closure, to me, this entire story is debatable, questionable, and crazy.

Steve Nodine is the epitome of a successful politician. He ‘had it all’ — the wife, the only son, the job, and even the beautiful woman on the side. A woman that he claims he was very much in love with and had an open affair with, yet would repeatedly lie to about divorcing his wife. I wish so desperately that Angel did not even get involved with Steve to begin to with, but I guess it’s true that sometimes you just can’t help who you love.

Now, the first problem that I have with Nodine’s story is that it does not make sense. He states that they spent the day at the beach, had a good time, and that he dropped Angel off at her house but does not say that he ever got out of the car and went into the house. However, his story puts him back at Angel’s house after he had dropped her of because he claimed he “forgot his wallet” inside of the house. How could his wallet be in her house if he never got out of the car and simply “dropped her off”? If it is true that he never went in the house when he “dropped her off” (which to me, implies that he did just that and did not get out of the car), then he very well could have made up the “wallet” story as a non-sinister way to put himself at her house. And that is the first indication that this man could have possibly been the one to pull the trigger.

But that’s a story that is probably best saved for those who are professionals at solving murders — not just some wannabe like myself.

So, Angel was found laying in her driveway with the gun nearby, almost immediately indicating a suicide. At least, that’s what investigators thought when they arrived. Why else would a gun be next to a dead person, right? I wish so, so badly that the police had swabbed Angel’s hands for gunshot residue. That could have been the literal “smoking gun” in this case. If she had no gunshot residue, then she probably did not pull that trigger. If she did have it on her hands, there’s a good chance that she was the one who pointed the gun to her head. But neither Angel nor Steve were swabbed.

Steve said he drove to a convenience store after leaving Angel’s house. Of course, there he was, on surveillance tape at the store. Then he goes to a golf club (at night?) but it was closed (surprise?). So he goes to a restaurant and changes his clothes in his truck.

Why? Why are changing clothes in your truck, Steve? To get rid of the evidence that could have been on those clothes? And furthermore, where are the clothes that he was allegedly wearing when he “dropped her off”? That is all a bit alarming to me.

Anyway. He leaves that restaurant because it is “too crowded.” Or maybe it was because there were no cameras there to help back his story and create his “alibi”? (But not really an alibi since it’s already passed the time the crime took place and he claims he was “down the street in his car with the air conditioning blasting and radio going”)

So he goes to another restaurant where there ARE cameras that can confirm where he was and he is seen there.

Now, if I recall, Steve said that Angel was “pissed off” because he was “going home to his wife.” Do any of these places contain his wife? No. I guess he eventually ended up “home with his wife” but he sure did make a few stops beforehand. And weird stops at that — changing clothes in the car? Not eating dinner at the restaurant but drinking coffee at night?

Then we have the all-too-familiar (and almost comical at this point because it is becoming a cliche) comment from the “best” friend. “She told me weeks before she died that if you find me dead, he killed me.”

Well that comment sure does hold up in a court of law, doesn’t it?

I don’t know how it could because now that is what everyone is saying. And, it could be considered hearsay. But regardless. If someone ever, God-forbid, said that to me, I would have to record it and have it signed in writing by them, myself, and a witness. Other than that, the friends’ words just cannot be taken in as evidence.

Then there was the whole story about Angel attempting to commit suicide months previously by swallowing pills. This is critical in this case because it shows that she was someone who did in fact have thoughts of suicide and also carried out an action of suicide that did not end up “successful,” for lack of a better word. This could actually be considered legit, reasonable doubt in my mind if I were a juror listening to this trial. It’s a fact, not a accusation or a fabricated tale. (Like I feel like most defense stories and “hole-poking” stories are these days.) This means that there is that possibility that she did pull the trigger and kill herself in her driveway.

But then we come back to that puzzling question. If you’re going to commit suicide, why would you do it in your driveway? Was someone there that she wanted to see her pull the trigger? (Steve, perhaps? Just a guess.) But that combined with the position of Angel’s hair (fanned out) just doesn’t make sense.

Let’s not forget the phone call to her friend that night asking where she should shoot someone if they were intruding in her home. Why would you call your friend and ask that question if you were THAT afraid? Wouldn’t you call 911 instead of your friend? That part just doesn’t add up in my head. Then the fact that she hung up and then texted her friend saying that Steve was at her house was strange as well. She texted it because… why? And if he was there, that would once again place him at the scene beyond his “forgetting his wallet” story.

Steve said in the beginning  of this episode that he will one day stand before God and say that he did not commit this crime. If you can say that while still living, and on national television, then you have to be telling the truth, right? He has to know that God does know the truth and there is no fooling Him. Ever. He knows what happened to Angel and if Steve really did pull that trigger than he will have to stand before an all-knowing God someday and be held accountable for that.

The facts of this case are that there are just not enough facts to support one way or the other. I do not know who killed Angel — whether it was Steve or if she died by her own choosing — but if Steve did kill her, he is going to have to live with that for the rest of his life. And while he may have “gotten away” with it for now, it’s never really over. The Lord will have final revenge.

And then there’s that quote I’ve heard before: “How can you tell if a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”

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3 thoughts on “48 Hours’ “Power and Passion” (04/13/13)

  1. I saw this one too and was perplexed as to who did it. I sometimes felt like it was suicide and then would swing back to Steve being guilty. Why didn’t the police dust for residue anyway? Isn’t it always something they do? He also took the “long way” out of the neighborhood and if he was guilty seems like he would have sped away. Odd, very odd….hate these cases that cannot be figured out or have hung juries.

  2. Angel had the drugs in her system and was mad that he was leaving and going home to wife. With her previous suicide attempt for the same reason, has it ever been a thought that she framed him? With her saying that if something happened to her to a friend, it would be him and her texts to her sister that he was there, it could have been a revenge thing and she did commit suicide but wanted to frame him for it? It could have been a revenge thing since he had been promising her he would get a divorce. A lot of people commit suicide outside their homes so they do not mess up the house. I think possibly the text to the sister was part of her framing.The family always falls in behind the prosecution, it seems. The fanned hair turned out to be the way hair falls from the reenactment in court. His not really going home on Mother’s Day was puzzling. I think they may have fought? I don’t understand the wallet part. Why he changed clothes is puzzling unless he was still in his beach clothes. I do think the prosecution forced the non evidence against him to try to make it look like he was guilty.I do think it could have been a suicide with the drugs in her system. He did pass the polygraph? and seemed more than sincere that he was innocent. It was her gun. I wish they had done residue tests.There is reasonable doubt!! I could not have voted to convict.

Please, challenge me!

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