On the Case With Paula Zahn

SN 10 | EP 11 | In the Wind

At the tender age of 18 years old, Joanne Paletta's world as she knew it, took a stunning turn. The teenager was told that the woman who had raised her, was not her biological mother. Her parents informed her that her birth mother was actually a woman named Betty Elias. Joanne was stunned and did her best to make up for lost time. She wanted to get to know Betty and by the time Joanne got married and had a daughter of her own the two had formed a real bond. But just when Joanne felt her life was complete, her mother's calls suddenly stopped. Frightened Joanne contacted police to check on Betty, and it led to heartbreaking news; her mother had been savagely murdered inside her studio apartment. When Oakland Police arrived, they noted that the room was in disarray. There was blood visible on the wall and it was obvious there had been a vicious attack on Betty. The 45-year-old was sprawled out on the bed, nude from the waist down. Her sweater and bra had been cut down the middle. Her pants and underwear were crumpled by her head. She was covered by debris including a window curtain that had been pulled down on top of her. As detectives removed the items and Betty's body, they found the curtain rod laying under the right side of the bed. On the rod, crime scene investigators found a latent fingerprint in Betty's blood. It would prove to be a critical clue, one detectives hoped would connect their prime suspect, Betty's estranged boyfriend, to the murder. Neighbors had heard him arguing with Betty the night of the crime. But when police went to take him in for questioning, they learned he had vanished. With the likely killer in the wind, the only hope of Betty's case being solved relied a decades long quest for justice championed by her relentless daughter Joanne.

Available: Investigation Discovery GO

On the Case With Paula Zahn