Ultimate Betrayal

Part 1: In Colorado, the family of a controlling husband says they've lived in fear for 24 months.
8:21 | 03/29/13

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Transcript for Ultimate Betrayal
Tonight, a family in colorado living in fear as they have for the past 24 months, because of a nightmare they have still living through. They're speaking out only to "20/20" about how they're family unraveled with the ultimate betrayal. They have gone from pictures of a marriage to pictures of murder. But what took place between those two extremes for a man who came to believe that revenge was a word in his wedding vows? Right next to honor and obey. In colorado, the storms can be brutal. But it's human fury that does the most lasting damage. The kind that leads to betrayal and even murder. Against that kind of storm, not even the most loving family can keep you safe. I wish I would have done more, I wish I would have said more. I wish I would have spoken up. Reporter: It started with a young woman's dream of love. Amara walter was 26 when she met chris wells. She had just become a flight attendant for united. And I think she was on the rebound, and he said all the right things to her that she had wanted to hear. Reporter: Warm and upbeat, amara took people at face value. Chris was ten years older, a former weight lifter and chippendales dancer. To amara, he seemed romantic, confident, charming. She flew around the country and the postcards flew between them. She wrote him, "i love you, baby, and I'm so excited about our busy and crazy new life that's ahead of us." It happened so fast. It was a very short courtship. Reporter: They eloped and married in niagara falls. Eventually, they settled near castle rock, between denver and the rockies. Things seemed good. Chris got a good job at a used cars dealership financing loans. Amara was surrounded by family, her sister and melissa and her husband were nearby. So was chris's sister, tammy, who lived in a neighboring town with her daughter m and husband bob. Tammy and amara formed an instant bond. It wasn't like it was my in-law. She was my sister. Reporter: They all gathered every other week for sunday dinner at amara's house, except for chris. He was in the family portraits, but he was never really part of the family. Amara's brother-in-law didn't like or trust chris. He struck me as a guy that thought a lot of himself. Very big ego. He seemed to like to control the situation, whether in conversation or just interaction with amara. Reporter: Even chris's sister tammy felt uncomfortable around him. Chris was always distance, always in another room working. When he was around us, it was always so intense. Almost like he was on something. Reporter: But on the surface, life was fine. The birth of their daughter in 2006 brought amara joy. Chris was devoted to their child, but with amara, he became more critical and controlling. It got to the point where she felt like, no matter what she did, it was never good enough. He always would leave sticky notes around the house, all over the cabinets, do this, do this, pick up this. Reporter: Chris began acting strangely. He quit his job at the used car dealership. He said he was starting a new business and would disappear for hours, even days, on mysterious trips. I knew there was something peculiar going on. He was constantly sniffing. He was constantly on edge. He was always saying that he was working, and it just didn't add up. Reporter: Then, amara stumbled onto what chris was really up to. It became clear that he was involved in crystal meth and had this double life he was leading. Reporter: It was the last straw for amara. She was worried about her safety. She was worried about what he could do. You could sense he was very angry and that it was escalating to a completely different level. Reporter: She separated from chris and with her 6-year-old daughter, found a new home with chris's sister tammy and her husband bob. Bob and I were adamant about her coming to live with us. It wasn't an option to go home, because we were worried about her safety. Reporter: Everyone knew chris would take it badly. Her sister melissa had no idea how badly. He called and said, "i just want to let you know that i packed up everything she has and I left it at the bottom of tammy and bob's driveway." Reporter: Amara and melissa drove home to find dozens of garbage bags in the driveway. And all of a sudden I heard her scream. She was standing there holding her wedding dress. He had sliced her wedding dress and urinated across it and wrote a profanity. Reporter: In a violent rage, chris had destroyed every single thing amara owned. He even cut up her mascara. She was left with absolutely nothing. The destruction was like an eight or ten-hour crystal meth rage. Reporter: Amara called the police. And she said, "i'm scared. I think he's going to kill me." And the police officer looked at me and he said, "he's not going to stop until he puts a bullet in your sister's head." And at that point, I knew. I knew what was going to happen. Reporter: Amara got a restraining order against chris, but he ignored it, sending her abusive and threatening texts over and over again. Sometimes 50 times in a single hour. He would start off by calling her all niece awful names and just completely belittling her and then next thing you know, the next text is, oh, I love you baby. He was harassing her and would not leave her alone. She told me, flat-out, he's going to kill me. And if he doesn't, he's going have someone kill me. Reporter: Each time chris violated the restraining order, amara contacted the police. He would get arrested. He would go in with money and he would bond out. He just felt he was above the law because the law was not keeping him in jail. Reporter: In fact, the law was helpless to stop chris. We were getting contacted from amara, saying, we're afraid that mr. Wells is going to come kill us. And there was really nothing the police could do. Reporter: Tammy and bob felt threatened, as well. Bob slept with a shotgun. And they came up with a plan if they were attacked. They rehearsed how each one of themould exit the house and escape in a different direction. My mom and my dad had taken her in and they had helped break his control over her. He wanted to gain control again. And he couldn't do that if we were still there. Reporter: Chris wells was arrested three times in six months. THEN, ON FEBRUARY 23rd, 2011, HE Was arrested again. This time, he did something unusual. Instead of calling a friend to bail him out, he spent the night behind bars. We all kind of had a false sense of security that night, because chris was in jail. I was out of town on business and I was talking to bob on the phone. He said to me, "things are getting bad and I have this feeling that we need to take some much bigger steps and measures to protect ourselves."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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