Transcript for Karl Karlsen questioned again, 20 years after 1st wife Christina’s death: Part 8
Once Karl was charge in the New York, it gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe we could finally get some traction in calaveras county. Look at me please. Chris. Thank you. Two decades after Christina died in that house fire, her sister Colette never gave up. She believed that this was not an accident. It turns out, the investigators in New York had been digging into this case as well. Watch Karl. I don't trust that man. We're interviewing Karl about Levi. Obviously, because we're investigators with New York state, but we're going to further this investigation in California. Well, about halfway through the interview he does make a real off-the-wall remark. He comes out and says, what kind of person does that? What kind of person kills his own son or his wife? There's nothing that can justify killing your wife, your kids, your -- your uncles, your it would be different if you I didn't say you killed your wife, Karl. No, I know, but I'm just saying, you know. Wife, kids whatever. Karl, did you? No, no. I've already been through that. No, hell no, and no way in hell. I thought it was a strange thing for him to bring up. California was on his mind, even if it wasn't necessarily on ours at the moment. Does he stick to his story about what he told in 1991? To some degree, yes, and some degree, no. Was there a window in the bathroom? There was one that was like, extremely, extremely, extremely small. But of course there was that video that Christina's cousin made showing us exactly how big that window was. This here is the bathroom where Christina was found. Here. I want a picture of this window. Was it an old window. Well, the window was like that big and it was boarded up. Did you board it up? What's that? Did you board it up? We had to because it was no but you couldn't fit out it anyway. You couldn't put, you had to be able to put a baby out of it, a baby. You and I or an 80-pound woman, there's no way. That video zoomed in on that bathroom window, and you could see it was large enough for a person to get out of. Why don't you give Karl a big Oh, jeez. The investigators ask Karlsen about the insurance policy that he had on his wife Christina and how long before her death he actually took that policy out. So, about how long before, you think? It's -- it's -- Was it, like, in other people's minds relatively soon? I -- it's got to be -- I don't know. It's got to be -- it's got to be like three, four months or something. Oh, okay. But defense already know, and Karl certainly should have known he had taken out that life insurance policy just 19 days before Christina died. It's very simple, the truth is the truth. But when you start telling lies, it's hard to remember lies and retell the lies. And for every lie you tell, two lies and for the two lies, you tell four lies. And it keeps getting compounded. It's interesting -- the situations you've had occur in your life. Tell me about it. I look back at it -- They say lightning doesn't strike twice. No, it strikes -- well, I'll tell you what. When friends get around -- and we talk about that and it's like, there's no way. How could one person have this much Happen? There were so many people that harbored suspicions in 1991. There was documentation from state farm insurance, from fire investigators. Fire investigators like Ken Buske who was hired by that insurance company all those years ago back in 1991. It turns out he had even more damning evidence that this fire wasn't an accident that this fire was intentionally set. It appeared that the fire had started on the carpet outside the bathroom door, so I was very interested in the carpet for that reason. Buske examined that carpet closely, and he discovered something that was surprising. His report noted that there was evidence of a second kerosene pour right before the fire. Not the spill that happened from the dog and cat roughhousing around. This pour happened right before the fire. The second spill appeared to be a deliberate pour, anywhere from a few seconds to a matter of minutes prior to the fire. And so at that point in time, I was thinking that the state of California would proceed to treat this as if it were a murder. I kept my files and still have my files. And there would be another person who never gave up the evidence he collected, state investigator Carl Kent. Carl Kent harbored suspicions for so long that when he retired, he took documents, two boxes of them, with an audio recording with papers and kept them. That's the only one that I've ever done that with. I would have loved to have gone New York. I think I could have talked to Karl and -- it may have taken five, six, seven, eight, ten hours, who knows -- of talking to him. I think he we have might have been able to get a confession. After Karlsen is arrested in New York for the murder of his son, the media catches wind of it, and it becomes a huge story. A man accused of killing his wife and son for insurance money. But it wasn't a surprise to anyone because when investigator start digging, a shocking discovery. Was there a deadly pattern? The media brought so much attention to this case. It was relentless. The pressure that was continuing to put on calaveras county. That's what really got things going. But before he could get to trial, Karlsen did something that no one saw coming. I was thrilled. And I was pissed. Because that was him in control
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