A WEALTHY MARRIED COUPLE WITH A TASTE FOR SWINGING DIVORCES -- WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE WIFE'S DEATH AND A JUDGE BEING SHOT? "48 HOURS MYSTERY," SATURDAY, FEB. 24
Charla and Darren Mack were once a married couple with a noticeable, undeniable chemistry. They had money, good looks and were even known to attend swinger conventions. But their shared sexual predilections changed after Charla gave birth to their only child and the marriage began to fall apart. During the divorce and custody dispute that ultimately followed, Darren, a former body builder, claimed to be a victim of Charla's abuse. So how did Charla wind up stabbed to death in Darren's garage? Correspondent Troy Roberts follows the trail of a fugitive on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Caught in the Crossfire," to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 24 (10:00-1:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
It was a sunny morning in Reno, Nev. last June as the city was about to fall under siege: a sniper bullet shattered the window of family court Judge Chuck Weller's chambers, spraying him with shrapnel. Hundreds of Reno police officers mobilized to shut down the city, even using S.W.AT. teams to hunt for the marksman, who could be anywhere.
Shortly thereafter, police received a call from someone claiming to be worried for the safety of Charla Mack. The caller, Dan Osborne, is a childhood friend of Darren's, and Osborne thought he had vital information for police - something suspicious he said he had seen Darren do earlier that morning.
Osborne claimed he had seen Darren earlier that day at his home where he went to have a private conversation in his garage with Charla. Osborne says he never saw Charla after that. Instead, he says he saw Darren with his hand wrapped up in a towel and Osborne's own dog covered in blood. Charla's body was discovered by police later that day. But was there a bizarre connection between the two crimes?
With the help of Osborne, police made the eerie link. It was Judge Weller who had presided over the Mack custody dispute and also ordered Darren to pay Charla $10,000 a month during their divorce proceedings. Did Darren kill his wife, attempt to kill a judge, flee Reno and try to get away with it?
48 HOURS' Roberts speaks to another friend of Darren's, Michael Small, who also appeared before Judge Weller in a custody battle and has direct experience with what he characterizes as the judge's harsh rulings against fathers. He asserts the strong possibility of Darren's innocence.
Roberts also talks to police about the case against Darren. Evidence aside, the biggest question for police was how to find Darren Mack.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Caught in the Crossfire" is produced by Marc Goldbaum, Mary Noonan Robichaux, Mead Stone and Lourdes Aguiar. The senior producer is Judy Tygard. The executive editor is Al Briganti and the executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.