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Tonight on Dateland.


Ghosts can't talk. And I'm supposed to be dead. Travis County, 911. My husband got out of dead. My dogs were broken. There were shots fired. My God. No, no, no. He had fallen under the kitchen table. I could tell that he wasn't alive. A family that was very close-knit, very happy, just exploded.


We wanted to look at potential motive that she would have. One is Ted's life insurance.


How much are we talking about?


A million dollars.


I'm like, Of course, it has to be the wife. It can't be that we're jewelers and it's a robbery. They liked shoes and cars and electronics.


There was a pretty clear gap in data on both of their phones.


This person is accessing the security system.


Multiple times.


I felt like a fool for not having seen it.




Take off the blinders.


A jeweler murdered, a robbery gone wrong, or an even more tangled plot. I'm Lester Holt, and this is Dateline.


Here's Andrea Canning with Ghosts Can't Talk.


What happens that night?


It was just a normal evening. Just It's absolutely normal. You eat dinner, you watch a little TV, you go to bed. You're going to wake up and go to work the next day.


Ordinary moments that together add up to a life. Cori Shana see and her husband, Ted, had had thousands of nights like that. Did you usually say, I love you before bed or anything?


Wouldn't that be nice? You should do it every night because you just never know.


The little things they took for granted. On that quiet street in Austin, where they built their lives, raised their son, a tight knit family family that had everything until the early morning hours of March second, 2018. So you're sound asleep?


Sound asleep. We're both sound asleep. And then we hear one of the dogs bark.


It was around 4:30 AM. Cori and Ted were the only ones home. Their 19-year-old son, Nicholas, lived with his girlfriend two hours away. Ted went to go see what was happening.


He got up, got his gun like he did every single time. And usually it was because there was a deer in the backyard or there was a possum on the porch. As normal, he went to investigate and I turned over to go back to sleep. And I think I had just put my head back on the pillow when I heard the first shot.A gunshot.A gunshot. Right after that, there was a barrage of gunfire. It was very close. The gunfire, actually, it was in the kitchen, which was right off of our bedroom. And so I jumped out of bed and I grabbed my 357, which is always kept above my bed.


As she rounded the edge of the bed, she saw something.


I see a bright light come through. I had a Japanese curtain on the door. I see a bright light come through the curtain, and I see the dog get shot. Our second dog was laying at the foot of the bed.


Their beloved Rottweiler Bart was killed instantly.


I realized at that point that I'm next, and so I couldn't see a person. I just, because of the light that was shining on me, I could extrapolate where the person was.


What was the light? What was being shined in your face?


It was a very bright white light. Small, but very bright.


Cori began firing.


I do not remember the sound of my gun. I don't remember anything. I don't remember the I'm feeling the recoil. I remember seeing the muzzle from the opposite gun, and I was expecting that I was going to be shot any moment.


So this gun is coming now in your direction.


He's shooting at me, and I'm shooting at him.


And then, Cori's gun ran out of ammo.


I grabbed my cell phone. I figured if I could just get the line open to 911, that they might be able to, I don't know, maybe find my body, or maybe send someone.


So you're thinking, I'm going to die?


I knew I was going to die. There was no... I knew I was going to die.


She ran into her husband's closet and called 911.


I was expecting the door to open and to be shot, so I was just hoping that I could get the line open. Travis County, 911. Liz, there's a shooting. My husband got out of bed. My dogs were working. There were shots fired. Shots were fired for him? No, I don't know. Help me.


You're helpless at this point because your gun has ran out of ammunition. So if they do come, you don't even have any... That's it.recourse..


That's it. No where else to go. I don't know where it is. I don't know where it is. I don't know where it is.Oh, my God. You hear somebody moaning? Yes. Okay. What? Help, help, help. Does it sound like your husband? I don't know. Okay. Do you think you possibly shot your husband? I don't know. Oh, my God. I didn't know if he was moaning and dying, or it was a person that I had maybe killed or maybe not killed that wanted to kill me, that was moaning and dying. Cori. Cori, take a deep breath. You're doing a great job, okay? The police are on their way. I think my husband is still alive. Is it just you and your husband in the house? I don't know. Help me. I got to go out there. No, no, no, no, no. Stay where Where you are, Cori. I want you to stay where you are.


Were you aware enough of what was happening to think that if that's Ted-He's dying?


He's dying. And I'm not there? Yes.


And he could be gone? Yes. You want to go save him or help him or-Or just be there when he dies? Yeah, or be with him, and you can't. Fifteen minutes passed, and then finally.


All right, ma'am. I do have you in a song scene, and they are going to be approaching your house, okay? Let me know when you're opening the door. Let me know everything that you're doing, okay? I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm walking out of my... I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm...


Cori walked out of the bedroom and saw him.


Oh, no, he Ted, her husband of 30 years, dead on the kitchen floor. Go to the door, ma'am. Go to the door, Cori. Go to the door, Cori. What do you see? Cori, what do you see? There's no one here.


No police, just silence. And whoever had just murdered her husband, out there, somewhere. Cori Shana see had just survived a shootout in her bedroom bedroom, only to discover her husband, Ted, had been killed.


She bolted to the front door, expecting to see officers.




I opened the front door and there was no one there. I did. There was no one here. My husband was in the door.


Where are the police?


They weren't there. They actually went to the wrong house.


Travis County Sheriff's deputies mistakenly family went to the house next door, one that looked like the Shana Sees. When they made it to the right house, Cori met them at the front door. What's her demeanor like?


She is extremely emotional.


Travis County Sheriff's Homicide Detective's James Moore and Paul Salo.


Hysterical is a good way to describe it, and rightly so, based on what the situation was that we were hearing about.


I mean, the trauma that you just experienced.


Your whole body, like every muscle starts clenching. It's really horrible.


Deputies took Cory to a squad car.


No, he's fine.


He's my entire life. No, no, no.


In the moment, you just think about how your life is over. Everything is... It's like waking up on another planet.


Scared, alone and broken, she asked a deputy to call her best friend, Karen Tannert. Hello.


Karen? Yes. It's Corny.


What's the matter?


Ted's dead. No. He is? No. Where are you? I was just in a panic. How could Ted be dead? It was totally... It was a complete... I couldn't process that. How do you process that? That one of your two best his hands is gone.


Karen met Ted when she wandered into the Shauna Sees jewelry store one day. Ted and Cori built gallery jewelers together over two decades.


I was looking for a specific type of pearl, and nobody had it, so I went into his store. He just started up a conversation, and he got me what I wanted.


She left with this ring and a new friend. It's rare that you have an instant connection like that with someone in a store.


Ted's that Ted was genuinely interested in the motivations behind what people were doing.


Ted was the face of the store. Cori was the appraiser.


Her personality is very much more straightforward. She was welcoming, very matter of fact.


I think Ted was more comfortable with people on the whole. Tad Cole was Ted's best friend. They bonded over their love of cars. Ted was an avid racer. He especially loved go-cards. The more they hung out, the more Tad Tad says he wish some of Ted would rub off on him. I hoped it would... I would get the Ted dust because he was just very effusive and just easy to be around and Very engaging. Tad and his partner, Vicky, say the Shauna Sea house was full of life and love. They both were masters in the kitchen.


Once I got invited to their house for dinner, I was in awe of their culinary skills.


I felt like I'd They hit the lottery in a sense that good friends that enjoyed cars and cooking. Most of all, the love in that house centered on Ted and Cori's only child, nick.


They seemed inseparable.


They were like the three musketeers thing that people say.


They did everything together.


They just poured a whole lot of energy into being parents. Now, Cori had to tell nick his father was dead.


I need to call my son.Okay..


How did he take the news?


I don't remember. I guess I would have thought it was in complete surprise and shock. I couldn't really form words. Nick. Nick. Nick. Nick.


He is not back.


Mom, dad's dead. Wait, boys. Nick, dad is dead.




Nicholas, just... I need... I need you. Can you just...


What happened? I'm shooting.


I don't know.


I don't know. I don't know.


Wait, what?


Cori tried her best to explain what happened. Did you ever try to fire her?


Yes. I'm in the back of the car out front, and the police are here, and they wanted me to call someone. I knew you were in College Station, and I don't know what to do about it.


I'm on my way.


19-year-old nick and his girlfriend of a year and a half, Jackie Edison, drove the 2 hours from where they lived in College Station to Austin. Along the way, nick called his parents' friends just sitting down for their morning coffee. He called me and told me that his dad had been shot. I wasn't sure I'd heard exactly what I had heard. I couldn't figure that Ted was dead. I could not. That force of life I knew to be Ted Shana see was no longer that. They raced to Ted and Cory's house. The home where they had spent so many nights with the Shana see family was now a crime scene. When they arrived, nick and Jackie were already there.


Jackie looked over and saw her standing there, and she ran full speed to me and threw her arms around me and wailed and cried and cried and cried and sobbed.


My heart was broken for her and nick.


Karen was there, too. How was nick handling the news?


He was really urgent. And what was happening, what's going on? Has anyone told you anything?


In investigators were starting to work their way through the house, looking for clues and asking questions.


So tell me about between mom and dad, what's a relationship like?


Join Hoda Codby for a brand new season of her podcast, Making Space. I feel this season is more personal to me.


Uplifting conversations with television host Maria Menunos, the office star and author Raine Wilson, and more.


All of our guests provide something special, every single one. Come with me on this journey, and I promise you'll leave stronger than when you started. All episodes of season 4 of Making Space with Hoda Codby are available now wherever you get your podcasts.


Hey, guys.


Willy Geist here, reminding you to check out the Sunday Sit Down podcast. On this week's episode, it's a big one. I get together with music sensation Olivia Rodrigo as she releases the follow-up album to a debut that earned three Grammys with hits like driver's license, Good For You, and Deja Vu, making her an international superstar. You can get our conversation for free wherever you download your podcasts.


I thought I was going to die. I really did.


Just hours after her husband, Ted, was shot dead in their home, Cori Shana see sat in a police interview room with her friend Karen, trying to process the horror.


Will you be able to tell if I shot somebody?


I mean, that's something that we may be able to learn.


Investigators were busy scouring the Shauna Sea house for evidence, focusing on the kitchen where Ted had been shot four times.


They started inspecting the scene and noticed that there were two different caliber of shell casings in two different locations in the kitchen.


The casings in the kitchen were from 40 and 380 caliber handguns. Are you thinking two shooters are involved in this? Correct. We are. As investigators made their way through the rest of the house, they found a potential point of entry, an open window Nick's old bedroom. Did you find any evidence on the window, around the window, near the window?


Ultimately, we discovered a print on the glass of the window.


And there was something else.


So just inside the window, there's a dresser there. And in the bottom drawer there was a box for a 40 caliber Springfield, but it's empty. There's no gun in there.


Are you thinking that that box perhaps once contained the murder weapon?


I mean, ultimately a possibility. I don't know how strongly we thought that at the time.


The Chaunassees had a home alarm, but it wasn't set. Corey explained they only turned it on when they were out. But logging into the security system did provide some clues. The system detected that bedroom window being opened at 4:27 AM. Then, 17 minutes later, the system recorded glass breaking right around when Corey says the shooting started. That meant the intruders had been inside the house for a while before Ted confronted them, maybe looking for something to steal.


I thought someone had broken in and was going to waken us at gunpoint and make us open the safe and rob us. I thought it was a robbery gone bad.


You could have an extensive jewelry collection Sure.Being a jeweller.Sure..


We were flooded with neighbors trying to give us information on suspicious vehicles they had seen and information about the family.


One neighbor named Kim live next door. Like most of the neighborhood, she knew the family-owned a jewelry store. And it's not cheap jewelry, just so you know. I'm talking... When they transfer jewelry, I'm talking Hundreds to millions of dollars of jewelry.


Are they keeping this stuff in their house?


I don't know the answer to that. But Kim said she did know it wasn't the first time the Shauna Sees had been the target of a crime. I think it It was about last year. Someone broke into their car. Here?




So while a burglary seemed like the most obvious scenario, detectives weren't taking anything for granted. At the scene, they asked Ted and Cory's son about his parents relationship.


So tell me about between mom and dad, what's a relationship like?


It's solid as ever. They just had their 30th anniversary in January. Okay.


They argue, fight?


No, they bicker like every couple does. They ever hit each other? No. No.


Did they ever threaten each other?


No, nothing.


And down at the station, they treated Cori like they would anyone whose spouse had just been killed. As a victim and a potential suspect.


I was told that I had to give them my night clothes. I had on a sleep shorts and a T-shirt.


So they're looking at your clothes for possible evidence? Sure.


And I had, of course, already been gunshot residue. They did that at the scene. But I'd already told them that I'd shot the gun. So of course, I was going to have gunshot residue.


Something about Cory's burglary gone bad theory didn't make sense to detectives. There were at least three cars parked in the driveway. It should have been clear to any intruder that someone was home.


You see what I'm getting at is somebody doing this at night, it's a very risky thing, especially in Texas, because a lot of people in Texas don't gun. I mean, it does happen, but that's a big risk for somebody to try to pull off.


I can't imagine anybody knowing us doing that.


Later that day, Cori was free to go, but investigators weren't done talking to her or her son. Nick was about to reveal something that sent them in an unexpected direction.


Her husband was cheating on her, and I looked into that for her.


Ted Shanaasey was killed in an apparent home invasion, a violent crime his wife, Cori, had mercifully survived. When did it hit you that Ted's not coming home, our life that we were planning-Instantly.for the rest of our lives is gone?


Instantly. In the back of that police car. Probably before that. Probably in the closet. But I just didn't know it.


Investigators spoke with their son, nick, at the scene and later down at the station. He told them about an incident that happened years earlier in the '90s when his dad ran a pawn shop.


He spoke of somebody actually robbing them back then.


nick said the armed robber came into the store and opened fire. His father fired back, injuring the robber who was later sent to prison.


And thought, Well, maybe now they're out of prison. I don't know. Maybe they've come back because they got sent to prison for trying to rob the lawn shop that they owned.


As revenge. Yes. A lead to follow. Detectives asked nick if there was anything else he could think of and outspilled a curious story. He shared something about Kim. The neighbor investigators had spoken to hours earlier.


Her husband was cheating on her, and I looked into that for her.


Kim was going through a divorce, and we found out that she actually hired him to follow her ex-husband. I guess he was cheating on her and she wanted proof.


This is so bizarre. Nicholas, the teenager, what is he, a private investigator? I mean, it just sounds odd.


That's what she hired him for. So what did you find out?


He was staying at a female's residence for a long period of time and saying he was elsewhere. When I had access to his car, I put a little tracker in it that she could see me with the app. So she knew where he was, when he was, and so much he said, Oh, I'm at the golf course. We'll know you're at her house. That's what it meant. Now, I do not know if he ever found that out, that I was responsible for that.


If the husband had found out, nick wondered if he'd gone to his parents house to retaliate against him. That was one possibility. Investigators also had to consider this. Maybe Kim had been the intended target.


Was this a potentially a hit, somebody trying to do something to her that went to the wrong house? The neighborhood's very dark. The homes look somewhat similar at night because the street is not lit.


Perhaps the husband was trying to have his wife killed, and whoever he hired went to the wrong house.


Right, potentially.


There were all those cars in the Shauna Sees driveway. One was a white Mercedes a Mercedes. Kim also drove a white Mercedes. And when deputies responding to the shooting had initially gone to the wrong house, they'd gone to Kim's.


So maybe if the police could go to the wrong house, maybe a killer could go to the wrong house. I didn't think it was necessarily that big of a stretch.


Detectives needed to go back and talk to Kim.


Hey, call. Say, look. Okay. Yeah, we've talked on the phone. Hi.


They asked about her relationship with nick. Kim said she knew him well. He'd helped her out with babysitting, dog sitting, house sitting when she was away.


How about any investigative things?




Okay, yes.


That's not really investigative, but I did have him follow I forgot about that. Okay. My seem to be ex-husband. Because, well, it's interesting. Probably more information than we want to hear. Not so. Detectives wanted to hear more. Even as her housekeeper cleaned in the background. So, yeah, I said, I actually wanted to ask when he leaves, I want you to call me because I want to know where he's going.


And he did.




So that's how I got my information. Okay.


Was Isn't it compensated for that? Yeah.


Okay. All I needed was just an address. And I'm like, That's all I want. I don't want you to do anything else. I don't want you to go to that person's door. I don't want a problem. I just want an address.


So there was more than one occasion when you had a problem?


So maybe two or three times. So what did Kim say? Did she think it could be the wrong house, that she was maybe a target?


She didn't fear for her life from him.


According to her, he wouldn't gain anything by her being dead. And so she herself did not think that he would have done anything like that.


Yeah, he's a liar for sure. There's no doubt about it.


He's capable of that. Okay. And did your husband... Did he know this? Did he end up and find out that nick had done this or anything? No.


No? I never said a word. That lead fizzled out, which brought them back to the woman at the center of it all, Cori. They discovered none of the bullets from her gun had hit Ted. Still, was she somehow involved in the home invasion she survived?


We wanted to look at any potential motive that she would have. One is being the beneficiary of Ted's life insurance.How.


Much are we talking about?A.


Million dollars.


Not to mention the business, the house. There's a lot of money at stake.


There is. I mean, obviously, the jewelry store and the property was worth a lot of money.


So it was back to the crime scene. And that question, where was the Shana Sey's missing gun?


Days after her husband's murder, Cori Shana Sey returned home.


What were those nights like when you're back in the house so soon after? And this is the house where your husband was just murdered.


Crazy. Just absolutely crazy. How do you even go to sleep? You don't. You stay up all night and you don't go to sleep until the sun comes up. And then you set up zones in your house and you set up lines of fire so that you know that if someone comes for you, you'll know where you're supposed to be shooting. And it's not It's not good.


nick was there, too. He and his girlfriend, Jackie, packed up their apartment in College Station and moved in with Cori. It seemed like a natural course of events. It seemed like they were maybe circling the wagons to keep the family together and find strength in doing that. For Cori, having her son close provided much-needed comfort. After all, nick had been their miracle child. Had you and Ted really wanted to be parents?


Yes. Yes. I was having difficulty staying pregnant, and I didn't want to do that anymore. I came to the decision that it wasn't important for me to give birth to a child. I wanted to be a mother. And so that led to me being interested in adopting a baby.


Those who have been through adoption will tell you the process isn't easy. But the desire to be a parent, to love a child is so strong, you'll do anything, go anywhere. For Cori and Ted, that meant jumping on a plane to Ukraine.


They said, Well, we need to have you here tomorrow. I can't even imagine your feelings in that moment. It's crazy because you're going to and meet your child.


When Cori and Ted got to Ukraine, they went to the adoption facility and were handed a little boy.


He was blonde and he had hazel green eyes like mine, and he was just the cuteest little thing. And He was what, 16 months old?


I think so. Already walking? Yes. But still that really cute age.


Chubby little cheeks and chubby little hands and chubby little feet.


Did you just melt the moment you saw him?


It was just instant love. Just instant.


How was Ted as a dad?


Oh, God, excellent. They were attached at the hip. So if Ted was doing something, Nicholas was right there with him doing it. He and Nicholas both actually did a lot of cart racing, and they did quite well. He enjoyed that very much.


And Nicholas took to it just like his dad? Absolutely.


Just like a fish to water. They loved racing together.


Now, nick and Cori had to learn to go on without Ted. Investigators were working hard to find Ted's killer. They had a few leads, like the person who went to prison after trying to rob the pond shop at gunpoint years earlier. Did you look into that person?


We did. And it was so long ago. We had no information that this person was anywhere around at the time of this incident.


Detectives had been investigating Cory's theory that the attackers intended to rob the Shana Sees, but there were some big questions. Did you have to wonder why if they did come there to rob the house, why leave Cori? Why not take what they could or get her to open the safe?


Right. That was something very interesting to us.


They knew from the alarm system logs that a window opened 17 minutes before the shooting occurred.


But there was no indication of them going through anything prior to the shooting. We knew that they had made their way through more than half the house before shooting occurred.


Was there anything valuable stolen from the Chaunacy home?


There was nothing stolen from the Chaunacy home.


Detectives were still trying to track down the 0.40 caliber handgun from that empty box in the Chaunacy house. They believe two shooters were involved and wondered if one of them had used the Chaunacy's gun in the crime.


They started questioning me about a firearms that we owned. Do you know where it is? I said, Yes, I do. I thought that it was at the jewelry store in the bathroom on a shelf because we would keep guns in certain places for protection and whatnot.


She allowed us to go with her to the jewelry store so we could look to see, is there a 40 caliber gun there?


When we got there, it was not there.


Corey brought detectives to the house to look for it there. She was confident it would turn up somewhere, and then police could move on.


That would seem really important, except that we had a lot of guns, and there were gun cases in a lot of closets a lot of drawers in the house, but they found that one.


At the house, investigators asked nick if he had any idea where it was. He told them his dad had let him borrow it, but he'd returned it to his father. Yeah.


I took it to College Station, and then father wanted it back.


We have no idea where he may have put it or anything.


Father didn't tell me any intentions with it.


Cory says the whole line of questioning started to feel a little off. And then this happened.


One of the other detectives came in, and I remember her telling me, The person that did this might be closer to you than you know. And so then I'm thinking, Okay, they're looking at me and they're looking at Nicholas.


Does that scare you? You're being looked at for murder?


I'm simultaneously terrified and enraged.


Cori wanted to protect her son and get justice for her husband.


I'm like, Why aren't you looking for the people that did this, of course, it has to be the wife or the son because we're the family. It can't be the giant pink elephant that wear jewelers, and it's a robbery.


Cori hoped investigators would be able to cross her and nick off their list soon, and she tried to go about resuming life without her husband. She worried about the future of the business they'd built together, unsure if she could carry on without the man who had charmed and befriended customers.


Expenses were mounting, and I thought I was going to close the jewelry store.


She filed to collect Ted's million-dollar life insurance policy, but the check didn't come, so she called the company to ask about it.


When I asked her, Where's my money? She said, Well, I'm sorry, we can't release that because the police have told us that they suspect foul play. At that point, that means me because I'm the beneficiary.


Well, because yes, of course, there's foul play. Right.


But that means specifically me. So Now I knew if I had any doubt before that I was a suspect, now I know that I'm a suspect.


Cori no longer felt like the investigators were on her side, and they weren't sharing everything they knew, like whose fingerprint they found on that open bedroom window.


So a check of the database revealed a match to a particular person. Who was it?


Cori Shana see was struggling to come to terms with the loss of her husband while her family was being scrutinized by law enforcement. And in the middle of all that, just days after the shooting, her world shifted again. Nicholas and Jacquelyn came to you with some big news.


They came to me and they said, We have something to tell you. And they told me that they had gotten married.


Married nearly eight months earlier in the summer of 2017, Cori knew nick and Jackie were serious, but they were so young, just 18 when they got married. She remembered the first time nick brought Jackie over. Do you all instantly take to each other?


Ted thought she was awesome. He really liked her.


Over time, Jackie even started to call Ted Dad. You were a little slower to warm up to Jacquelyn?


I think so. There was It's not something about Jackie that I disliked. It's just that it's my little boy.


What do you think it was that clicked for those two, for Jacquelyn and Nicholas?


I think they liked a lot of the same things. They liked shoes and cars and electronics and things. I think they liked to talk about going places, going on vacations, and how the future was going to be.


Even though nick and Jackie were already married, Cori decided to help her son make a formal proposal.


I had told Nicholas to pick an engagement ring setting out of the case, and Ted and I had kept my mother's original engagement diamond aside for him to give to whoever at some point. So We had that set into a ring for her, and he gave her that.


You decide to throw them an engagement party?


Jackie wanted to have an engagement party, and everything had been so awful.


Planning a party was a welcome distraction amidst their heartache. They were family, determined to find their way through the pain together.


Once I realized that she is my daughter-in-law, well, I'm going to love her like a daughter.


And Cori did just that. In a very Shana-sy way. She gave Jackie a diamond pendant.


I gave her a half carat diamond solitaire. It was also a way of welcoming her into our family and telling her that she was welcome.


There was another silver lining. Initially, Cori didn't see a way to keep the jewelry store open without Ted. She didn't think nick had a keen interest in the family business. Instead of enrolling in college like Jackie, he was trying to make a living day trading stocks. But now, Cori had an idea.


I had gone to Nicholas and said, Can you suspend your day trading or maybe do that on the side, and then we could keep the store open? Jackie had taken the rest of the year off from school. I thought, Well, if she helps us this first year, maybe she could work. And they were on board with doing that. They were excited to do it. That must have made you happy. I thought we could do it. I thought, With his help, I could do it.


So nick and Jackie stepped up and the store stayed open. But what Cori wanted even more was to know who killed Ted. She spoke to detectives, but they just seemed to have more questions for her.


And I started realizing that a lot of those questions were got you moments, like aha moments. Like they were trying to set me up as something.


She didn't trust the investigators to solve her husband's murder. She still thought they seemed fixated on her and nick rather than finding the real killers.


I assumed at that point that they were looking at him for the very reasons they were looking at me. It was easy. They would always send unmarked cars by the house, which looked exactly like unmarked police cars by the house. So I figured if they're going to do overt looking at us, they're also probably doing all other kinds of things. And that was fine with me because I had nothing to hide.


Cori replayed the Night of the murder over and over, looking for clues. You and Nicholas and Jacquelyn actually did reenactments in the house?


We did. No one would talk to me about how things really happened, so I took it upon myself to figure it out. I couldn't figure out what the light source was that was shining at me because it wasn't a laser sight from a gun. It was a bright white light. I had gotten a flashlight and a pen light to try and see if I could recreate the light that it was.


What it appeared to be.


It wasn't until Jackie said, Oh, was it like this? She pulled up her phone and used her phone, and it was exactly like that.


So a cell phone light.


It was a cell phone light.


She finally understood what she saw that night. Not that it made anything better. Meanwhile, the real investigators were holding their cards close to the vest. They weren't just looking at the family. They were sorting through whatever evidence they had. Remember that fingerprint they lifted from the open window? The killer's likely point of entry?


A check of the database, it revealed a match to a particular person.


Who was it?


So we learned that he was actually an employee of the Renewal by Anderson Company, and what his job was, he assembled windows.


So here you are thinking you might have this potential lead, and it's the window guy. So maybe the print was just left over from the factory. To be sure, detectives did some digging.


We looked at all sorts of information about him. We got with the employer.


It turned out the employee didn't live in Texas. He was all the way up in Minnesota.


And we had no indication he'd ever even left Minnesota.


A dead end. But there was something else about that window, something nick mentioned to detectives.


He had talked about that he historically he had used that window as a door. That was his own personal door in and out of that house.


And nick said he wasn't the only one. He offered up a name. So now you have someone, another person, who knows about that point of entry into the house.




Those closest to Cori Shana see knew she was in agony after Ted's murder, and they saw how she refused to let herself crumble under the weight of it all.


She's got to be one of the strongest people I've ever met.


That's not to say that she wasn't feeling inside, but how she carries herself and gets through things. I can't imagine.


Cori, without Ted, was not... I mean, she is an individual, but they were such a unit. They were each other's friends.


All those years together and what a great relationship you had and this life that you'd built and how it was just gone in a matter of seconds.


Absolutely. Everything that you have can be gone in a matter of seconds. It's really important that everybody knows that.


As Cori grieved, detectives were running down a curious lead they'd gotten from nick. He said he often used his bedroom window to go in and out of the house. The very same window investigators now believe the killer's used on the night of the murder. Nick said he usually locked the window, but not always.


I may have forgotten I do not know, especially if I came crawling, stumbling through a window drunk one night.


And what we asked him was, Was there somebody else that knows about this window that you use as a door? And he mentioned his friend, Spencer.


Spencer was Spencer Patterson, Nick's best friend.


He didn't have a lot of friends, but he had his one good friend, Spencer.


Spencer had even officiated nick and Jackie's secret wedding. Naturally, police wanted to know more about him.


He's not as fortunate as I to have parents that will help him like mine aren't. So he worked at his Home Depot job, hating every second of his money. When he's not there, he's studying for his job or his school at Texas State So a kid who didn't seem to have much money and knew how to get into the Shauna Sea house.


nick also told them Spencer knew where his parents' safe was. Do you track down Spencer?


We do.


Hey, is this Spencer? Yes, sir. Hey, this is Detective Mora. I'm with Travis County Sheriff's Department. How are you doing?


I'm getting better. Detectives first talked to Spencer over the phone. They asked him about the last time he was over at the Shauna Sea house. This isn't more than a month ago.


Okay. Can you tell me how that night went?


That night was fun. We had talks. I told them about my work.


Everyone was just in a great mood. We just had dinner.


We had some drinks.


We were having fun. We were just getting along just like a normal family, really.


You guys never left the house that night?


Not that night, no.


But on previous nights, we usually would go out to the barn. The barn was in the Shauna Sea's backyard. Nick and Spencer would have a few beers there late at night.


So when you all would go to the barn, can you tell me about that? How would you all leave the house and get back in and all that?


Usually, we'd go through one of Nicholas's bedroom windows.


Okay. Do you remember the last time you all did that?


No, not really. No. It was recent, but not in the last month, no. Detectives kept the call with Spencer brief, but they still had questions. They hadn't located either of the murder weapons. They were still looking for the Shauna Cee's 40 caliber handgun, and nick told them about another weapon, a.380 he no longer had. Nick said he had given it to a friend. That friend was Spencer.


He knew he was going in and out of that window, and that nick had also given him a 380 gun.


380 was used in the murder?




So detectives went back to talk to Spencer again, more than once.


Spencer was being, for the most part, he was being forthcoming, but we could tell that he was holding back some information.


They searched his home, took his cell phone, and of course, they asked him about that gun.


The 380 ended up... We ended up locating that in Spencer's car. The 380, you had it with you?




This whole time? Yeah.


It seemed that Spencer knew more than what he was telling us.


It appeared Spencer had the means, a possible motive, and maybe even one of the murder weapons. Had investigators found one of the shooters? Travis County Sheriff's investigators were looking closely at a possible suspect in Ted Chaunasey's murder, Nick's best friend, Spencer.


We definitely looked at him as potentially he was the person firing the. So we did collect that weapon from him, and we did submit it for testing.


Detectives were also trying to figure out where Spencer was at the time of the murder. For that, they turned to his cell phone.


That's where the cell phone records come in as well as part of us trying to pin down his location.


The cell records appear to place him at home during the murder, but But couldn't he have just left his phone at home?


He could have, ultimately, yes.


The big question was the gun that Spencer handed over to investigators, the same caliber as one of the murder weapons. When the ballistics test came back...


That weapon was not used in that murder.


So just a coincidence that it was the same caliber?


It just was a coincidence, yeah.


And that it was given to him by Nicholas.




There was nothing to link Spencer to the crime.


He ultimately was cleared as a suspect.


But the lead about Spencer wasn't a complete dead-end. Detectives couldn't help but note who took them down that path. Nick. In fact, since day one, they thought nick had seemed a little too eager to help.


It was like he was volunteering information for us. It almost seemed to me like he didn't think we were asking the right questions, and so he would interject something.


It started in the early hours of the investigation at the crime scene. Nick told police about parents' home security system. He said he could access it from an app on his phone.


They're not technologically literate, so I'm the only... I manage all their technology.


He also wanted them to see his security system back at the apartment he shared with Jackie in College Station.


Something that might be able to help you all, if you want to rule her and I, my home security system, my arm every night. I have cameras that show my entry and exit that I can do via my phone, if that helps.


Seemed like an odd thing to be thinking about right after his father was murdered.


I had armed 12, 30 or so after we were watching TV, and went to bed.


To Detective Moore, Nick's whole demeanor seemed just odd.


I observed him starting to run around the neighborhood, trying to meet with different neighbors. It appeared like he was probing for information.


Cory's friend Karen noticed it, too, but thought it was just nick being nick.


He was just very insistent and Obviously upset. And he's also a very high energy person who's almost never sit still. So he was very moving around and bouncing, and he was just wanting to know what had happened.


So we had called him over for a gunshot residue kit because his behavior was slightly off. We didn't want to exclude him from a possible suspect. So as we asked him to turn around, he was happy and did a jump as he turned. So just really off behavior and smiling and joking.


Do you think maybe he was nervous given the severity of the situation?


It didn't appear to be nervous behavior.


So what was it? Nick was pretty forthcoming about his relationship with his parents.


There was a period where my mother and I, there was a financial dispute, and it was really pretty heated.


He explained that he had a good relationship with his parents, but recently there had been some tension between them because they had loaned him $30,000 to fund his day trading.


nick had dabbled in trading stocks in high school and then told his parents he wanted to skip college and make a career of it. They weren't thrilled.


Ted and I had no illusions. We didn't think that it was really going to work, but we thought that we would give him that opportunity so that he could get it out of his system.


So nick moved to College Station with Jackie, where she was studying engineering at Texas A&M. Were you hoping that Jacquelyn would push him more toward the college route?


I thought what would happen is he would get bored, and I thought he would end up saying, Hey, I'd like to start the next semester and go to school.


Were you hoping that she would help with that a little bit?




In the meantime, his parents transferred that big chunk of cash into a bank account so nick could start his trading business.


That's a lot of money. It is a lot of money. But I told him, I warned him, I said, This is basically the equivalent of your college fund. If something goes wrong, and you lose it, well, then you're going to have to get a job. Then you're on your own. And you're on your own.


Cori and Ted also continued paying some of Nick's monthly expenses. Was the expectation that he would pay the money back?


He was supposed to be paying me a little bit of money, plus he was supposed to be reimbursing me for his car payment, his gasoline payment, and his insurance payment.


His father's friend, Tad, was supportive. He gave nick $5,000 to invest. He seemed to have an intuitive understanding of how markets worked. But pretty soon, Cory said nick wasn't holding up his end of their deal, wasn't paying his parents back for the car and expenses. And yet, nick and Jackie seem to be living the high life.


Every time we'd see them, they had on their new clothes, they had on their new shoes, they had all of their new things in their new apartment. And I knew how that was going. So you're spending the money on things that you want and not things that you need, not your responsibilities. Finally, I said, Okay, I'm not doing it. I'm not doing it anymore. You're not upholding your end of the bargain. I'm going to cut you off.


How did he take that?


Oh, he wasn't really happy with me, but we'd had arguments before.


A few months before Ted's murder, nick made good on his word.


He paid me back.


Did that feel good that you had to hound him, but he did it.


Yeah, I said, Thank you.


That's what nick told investigators, too. Whatever problems they had were in the rear view mirror.


But we figured it out. Talked, sat down, wrote everything out, figured it out.


Detectives weren't convinced everything was fine. In fact, while Cori felt like she and nick were under suspicion, she'd only been half right. Detectives cleared her early on and had been focusing their attention on nick. That included pouring over his financial records.


With Nicholas's financial records, we see indications that his account is overdrawn, the trading account that supposedly has all these thousands of dollars because he's a successful day trader. The balances of those accounts are zero.


So they're broke.


They are.


Was nick desperate enough to betray his own parents?


Has he ever directly asked you to kill his parents?


Time doesn't stop after death. Birthdays, holidays, life's special moments continue on, colored by grief and loss. Two months after Ted Shana see's murder, his wife, Cori, celebrated her first mother's day without him. Her daughter-in-law, Jackie, gave her a card expressing how grateful she was that Cori had survived the horrible shooting.


I was touched.


Cori was thankful for what was left of her family, a family she knew had been under the microscope. Investigators weren't telling her much, certainly not how odd they found Nick's behavior, and that they found his money trouble highly suspicious.


So all this together really started honing our investigation or leaning our investigation heavy towards Nicholas, that he He may have had some involvement.


Investigators searched nick and Jackie's apartment, where they found the security system nick had mentioned.


He's got cameras all around the house. It's surprising how many he had.


Strange, but a quick look at the security video did It seemed to back up Nick's alibi. They were home the morning of the murder?They.


Were home at the time.They were home.


They were home.


In the apartment, investigators found a safe full of jewelry, watches, and weapons. There were also bullets, lots Lots of them.


We found lots of ammo, which is not unusual here in Texas.


What was unusual, investigators found a box of ammunition that was the same brand and caliber of bullets as some of the casings found at the crime scene.


So at the scene, It's Sig 380, and the 380 ammunition that he had there was Sig 380.


What's more, six rounds were missing from that box. Okay, so this is not looking good for Nicholas at this moment?


We definitely thought there might be a connection with that amount of rounds missing.


To try and root out that possible connection, investigators dug into Nick's cell phone. Both he and Jackie had volunteered their phones to help the investigation.


So one of the first things I noticed almost immediately, there was a pretty clear gap in data on both of their phones.


Matt Danner and Stacey Casimir handled the digital forensics in this case.


I was like, This is not normal, especially for a couple of young 19-year-olds. They should have tons of data on their phones. That's what we're typically used to. It's almost like they factory reset their phones together at the same time.


It seemed very intentional, purposeful.


But the forensic folks knew something that perhaps nick and Jackie did not. It's very common that people don't know or understand that their messages are syncing to a completely separate device when they delete them, and the deletions don't synchronize.


Whenever someone deletes messages from their iPhone, it doesn't mean that it's deleted from their other Apple devices.


So they turned to Nick's computer, a Mac mini, and voila.


Messages from his iPhone had synced to his Mac mini, specifically messages between him and Jackie.


Now, detectives could see exactly what nick and Jackie had been chatting about before Ted's murder, money.


In the days prior to this incident, they're communicating about a dollar amount. She asks Nicholas, Do they want 50K or not?


$50,000 for what?


And they're talking about, Well, we can't afford to pay half before.


You're thinking before means before the murder.


Before the murder. It just seemed like they were talking about hiring somebody to do this.


And if there was a murder for hire plot, it now looked like Jackie was in on it. Just days before the murder, there was another suspicious text. Nick tells Jackie he needs to have some money if it happens so he can have some cash in hand.


And he's asking her, I need you to withdraw $1,000 from your account.


Bank records revealed she had taken out that money. And it wasn't just the text messages that pointed to a murder for entire plot. They'd ruled out Nick's friend, Spencer, as one of the shooters, but they couldn't shake their hunch he knew more than he was letting on. After several meetings, Spencer started opening up about things nick said to him about his parents.


He He said, After my parents go, I will have $8 million.


And Nicholas talked about not only gaining the money from the life insurance, but he also talked about the money from the sale of the jewelry store and the sale of the property.


But that wasn't all. Spencer told investigators he knew nick had been looking for a hitman.


Has he ever directly asked you to kill his parents?




nick had actually offered him money to kill his parents.


And more digital sleathing revealed another key discovery. Nick had told detectives he could access his parents' home security system. Turned out he had opened up the app the morning of the murder at 5:39 AM.


Which is a full five minutes before he gets a phone call that there's anything going on. So he's already aware of the situation. And whenCauri called.


This is your aha moment.


It's a big moment. Nick.


Dad's dead. Wait, boys.


He's already awake, and he's already monitoring what's going on at the home when he receives this call.


We knew that they seemed to be closing in on nick and Jackie. Rick Floris is a prominent defense attorney in Austin. Early on, Cori hired him to protect her son from investigators she thought were on the wrong path. Death.


Cori didn't think that her son had anything to do with it. I think she wanted to make sure that he had adequate representation and that they would ultimately rule him out and continue to find the people that did this.


Could you sense, as the weeks were ticking by, that things were getting hotter for Nicholas and Jacquelyn? Could you feel it?


With each search warrant that was served, each affidavit had a little bit more information and a little bit more facts that law enforcement had been putting together.


Floris had enough experience to sense where this was He made an agreement with law enforcement that they'd inform him if an arrest was imminent. On May 29, 2018, about three months after Ted's murder, they did just that. Nick and Jacquelyn come into your office And then the police come and arrest them. That's right. Corey was devastated, but at the same time certain it was some mistake.


I certainly was not going to believe what the Sheriff's Department was saying unless I had absolute proof. And it's also your child. And so you love and trust your child with everything.


Even if detectives were right about nick and Jackie's involvement, they knew they weren't the shooters. There were still two gunmen on the loose, and new clues caught on camera.


I saw these two males who didn't appear to be the type to hang out with each other, show up to Nick's door and enter his home. At this point, we have no idea what's going on. Hey, guys. Willy Geist here, reminding you to check out the Sunday Sit Down podcast.


On this week's episode, it's a big one. I get together with music sensation Olivia Rodrigo as she releases the follow-up album to a debut that earned three Grammys with hits like Driver's License, Good For You, and DejaVu, making her an international superstar. You can get our conversation for free wherever you download your podcasts. Investigators believe they had two people responsible for Ted Chaunasey's murder behind bars. In any other scenario, his wife, Cori, might have been relieved, even grateful. Instead, she was in disbelief because her son, nick, and his wife, Jackie, had been arrested for criminal solicitation capital murder.


I read the arrest affidavits, and there were quotes in them, and the quotes could easily have been taken out of context. I am still thinking back to the way that I was treated and how I felt as though they were trying to trick me into saying or doing something, and I thought that the same thing could be done to them.


And when Jackie was released on bail just two weeks after the arrest, Cori hoped the case was falling apart.


I thought that that might have been a good thing because I thought maybe Nicholas would be coming out soon after as well.


Nick's attorneys advised Cori not to speak with her son about the case, and detectives were keeping her in the dark about the investigation. They still had a lot to do. They knew Jackie and nick were not the actual shooters. So you have two shooters out there that you need to find.


We still, yes.


Investigators took a closer look at those security videos they gathered from nick and Jackie's apartment, and they found something.


We saw two people that arrived at the apartment on February 28th in the afternoon.


And that's just a few days before the murder?




No way to tell who the two people in the video were, but they did spot a potentially big clue.


After the two males entered the apartment, eventually, one of them exits the apartment wearing a green T-shirt from Renewal by Anderson with the phone number on it.


That's the same company as the fingerprint from the window.


At this point, we have no idea what's going on.


They contacted the window company, and luck seemed to be on their side. Because even though it had been years since the man in the video worked there, someone remembered him. Who is he? Cameron Von Smith. What's his connection to Nicolas Chaunassy?


We have no idea at this point.


And he didn't have Any connection to the window company employee they'd already investigated. That was just a coincidence. They tracked Cameron down, and he willingly spoke to investigators.


He says the other guy in this picture with me, his name is Johnny Leon.


He said Johnny had approached him a few months back about a job moving some stuff. They went over to Nick's place. That's when he said the conversation took a turn.


Nicholas tells him that some people in Austin are costing him $30,000 a month, and they need to be taken care of. So Cameron's starting to get the hair standing up on the back of his neck is what he's saying, and he doesn't completely understand what they're asking of him. So he keeps asking them to clarify, and they keep telling them, The less you know, the better.


He told the detectives he knew it was something bad and decided to leave. Are you getting that sense that he's telling the truth?


Yes. He explained how he knew Johnny, like where Johnny lived.


Investigators went over to the apartment Johnny was staying at and arrested him. What What was Johnny saying? Is he confessing that, yes, I'm part of this, or is he saying he had nothing to do with it?


No. Initially, he denied everything. He didn't know anything about it.


When they confronted Johnny with a picture of him going into Nick's apartment, he started to open up.


nick was trying to hire him for a murder, and he just didn't have it in him.


Detectives weren't buying it. They kept at him.


He did finally admit that he did travel with nick to Austin because Nicholas was going to do the murder.


This was just days before Ted was killed. What happened?


So he says they parked on a side road across from the Chauncey house, and he said, Nicholas went up to the house. He came back after a while, said, Well, I can't get in. And he said, They both drove back to College Station.


Johnny insisted that was the extent of his involvement, but his cell phone data from the night of the murder said otherwise.


His His phone usage is in the area of the Shana Seahome at the time of the incident.


So you now have one of your shooters, you believe? Correct.




But there's still one more missing.




Johnny wasn't helpful when it came to identifying the second shooter. Turns out he didn't need to be. His phone records did the talking for him again. Right before the murder, Johnny had been talking to a friend named Arion Smith. Smith denied being at to Shauna Sea house and said his ex-girlfriend would back up his alibi.


He said, She'll vouch for me, and she'll tell you that we were together.


But she told investigators that on the night in question, he'd left her in a motel room alone.


And he leaves in her car. She doesn't know where he's headed. So she actually tries to call him several times, and she never is able to reach him.


She also told detectives about a gun he'd been carrying around after Ted's murder, a 40 caliber, just like one of the guns that was used in the crime. Detectives later recovered the gun from one of Smith's family members. Does he get charged with murder?


He does. Yes, he does.


For investigators, the case was falling into place. Four suspects under arrest for one brutal crime. But was that the whole story? Jackie had her own version of events. He knew that they had a $1 million life insurance policy each, but he told me it wasn't about the money. Nick Shana see sat in jail awaiting trial. As his mother, Cori, struggled to comprehend the accusations against him and his wife, Jackie, she thought there had to be some explanation.


Was it that They were out at a club and talked to the wrong people? And those people found out we were jewelers and meant to do us harm. Did they owe money? Did they borrow money from someone? I kept thinking, maybe they are involved, but only in a circumstantial or tangential way, which would still be bad, but not as bad as they wanted to kill us.


Since Cori wasn't talking to her son directly, her friend Karen acted as an intermediary of sorts.


He would send me a letter. I'd hand it over to Cori so she could see what was going on with him. And he also asked for things like books and magazines.


Cori sent him the things he asked for. More importantly, she paid for his defense attorneys nick had been in jail for two years when they invited her to meet with them.


Nicholas's attorneys wanted to suggest to him that he take a plea. They asked me to go to Austin and to talk to them.


How difficult was it for you to have that conversation with her about trying to help to get him to take this plea because she'd been loyal to him for so long? I think deep down in the back of her mind, she knew that nick and Jackie had done this. I think as a mother, maybe she was not wanting to believe it, but she's a very smart woman. So Rick Floris went through the case with her. Much of it she'd heard by this point. But she had one big unanswered question about the 40 caliber gun recovered during the investigation.


Was the 40 caliber that they took into evidence my husband's 40 caliber? Did he say yes? Yes.


It was the missing gun they'd been looking for. Nick had given it to Arion Smith. Ted had been killed with his own weapon.


I finally had my questions answered, and I knew that Nicholas had done it.


There were no more excuses, no more denials. The son she and Ted raised and loved had wanted them dead. How How do you wrap your brain around that?


You don't. You just don't.


In a letter to her son, she encouraged him to take the plea deal offered by prosecutors, 35 years in prison with the possibility of parole. I think having Cori helped us have nick make this decision.


I told him that he owed it to the memory of his father to tell the absolute truth.


nick listened. In April of 2021, he pleaded guilty to murder. That's bitter sweet.


It gives the human that he will have become a possibility at having some life, taking whatever he has left and doing something with it.


The hitmen, Arion Smith and Johnny Lyon, also pleaded guilty to murder and were sentenced to 35 years with the possibility of parole. Arion Smith told investigators what happened after they shot Ted. All right. Then I hear some shots come from the bedroom as well.


And I heard a woman crying.


And I said, Please don't do it.


Please. Let's just go. Please. Leave her alone. Let's go.


Let's go.




Just let's go.


So after I say that, he takes off running, and I follow him.


Her gun training may have saved her life.


Her gun skills absolutely saved her life.


Three of the four accused conspirators were now behind bars. But what about Jackie? Shortly after her arrest, she sat in a police interview room and told them her version of events.


I really loved him, like a father.


Jackie said she thought of Nick's parents as family. That's why she said she couldn't understand it when nick brought up the idea of killing them.


Shortly after we got married, he asked me if I would stay with him if he ever murdered someone.


According to Jackie, nick said his father was depressed, miserable with his life.


I didn't see that, what nick said he did. And he mentioned killing him to end that. And I said, That's crazy. That's stupid. What's the use of me?


She said nick later told her it would be too painful for his mom to live without his dad. So he decided both of his parents needed to go.


If this isn't you, you You love your parents. We visit them every weekend. We have fun. We're family. I've always wanted what I had with them. I didn't think nick really had it in him to even think about it. And that's why I I'm not sure if I could have taken your check as seriously as I should have.


So other than his dad, him thinking that his dad was miserable, what other reason would he have to do this?


He knew that they had a $1 million life insurance policy each, but he told me it wasn't about the money.


Jackie denied knowing specifics about the murder or the gunman. But according to those deleted text messages, she did talk to nick about paying $50,000 for the hit.


I was like, Well, I mean, we can't even afford to put half. And I said, Well, okay, maybe they'll do it for 10. I wanted to shut him up. I was playing his game.


She told investigators nick drove to Austin more than once, planning to kill his parents, and she went with him.


I never took it seriously. No, I went with him. He wanted me to go with him, and I was like, Yeah, sure, whatever. I know he's not going to do it. And if he is going to do something crazy, then I'll be there to make sure he doesn't do it.


Did you buy that knowing all you knew at this time?


I think to us, it seemed more that she was fully aware that he was serious about it. I don't I think she had the intention to help him execute the plan or hire the people, but she wasn't going to stop him. She had no intention on stopping it because I think she had the same financial interests that Nicholas had.


Jackie had stayed quiet before the murder and after it happened.


Living with Cory and every single day, how she would cry about Ted and how she hated his murders and how she would blame me all when really I knew that it was her son, and that killed me.


She deceived Cori after the murder. She moved in?


She deceived us.


Jackie had been arrested along with nick, then freed on bail. Her case just seemed to linger.


She got to attend all of her family events and be with them, go to college, go out with other guys and live her life.


Jackie divorced nick while he sat behind bars.


Friends of mine would share her pictures that she would post on social media. She would be wearing her jewelry, her diamond pendant.


This is like rubbing it in your face, you must have felt like.


I felt like that.


Then, in March of 2022, nearly a year after Nick's guilty plea, it looked like Jackie's case was finally headed to trial. The charge against her was changed to, Conspiracy to Commit Capital murder. What would a jury have to say about her fate? And what would nick say to us? I'm trying to think of, honestly, what was going on in your brain. How does this happen? Nick Shana he says he's had time to think about what he's done, how he ended up here. Why did you agree to sit down and do this interview with us?


Nothing can ever undo what I did, but it's an attempt to make known factors that are not already known and to correct some of the narratives that are out there.


nick says there's one part of his story everyone agrees is true. He had a charmed childhood filled with love and support.


It was a perfect life. Everything you could ever dream of. I had parents that cared for me, would do anything for me.


But he says by the time he hit his teens, he was searching for an identity. After blowing through the money, his parents gave him for his day trading business, nick says he and Jackie discussed how he was his parents' sole heir.


This could all be ours.


You're the only child. You would get all the money, the life insurance, the business, the house.


And so the more that it became that was passively talked about, the more of a reality it sadly became.


What is that conversation of how are we going to kill them?


It was a sad conversation. Part of me was like, damn, this is my family. The other part of me is creating a new life.


Why do you You need a new life? What's wrong with your old life? Your parents loved you. They gave you everything.


I was seeking validation and trying to create a new sense of identity.


Validation from who?


Through Jackie at the time.


From Jackie? So you're trying to impress Jackie?


I guess you could say that. Yes, ma'am.


And what was this identity to be? That you were married and you were rich and you could have anything you wanted?


Unfortunately so.




I can't speak to what enticed her about it, but the power, the potentially having the store.


I'm trying to think of, honestly, what was going on in your brain. Is there a chip missing? Were you somehow born evil? How does this happen? Because teenagers mad at their parents or who want a new life, they don't kill their parents?


Most definitely. I wish I had an answer. I don't know. Is there a chip missing, like you said? It happened, and I own my actions. I understand, but I can't explain. I can't justify them.


Why not do it yourself?


I'm a coward. I couldn't do that, honestly.


You don't think it's cowardly also by hiring people to go kill your parents?


Most definitely. He was extremely cowardly.


You had months to change your mind. This was a well-thought-out, cold, calculated plan.


All the doubts and all the hesitations were outweighed by Jackie's confidence and everything, and we would just go back and forth between talking each other into this idea, not out of it.


nick told investigators and us he doesn't think Jackie was completely honest about the role she played.


She was very involved with the planning.


After the murder, your mom never thought at all that you would be involved in this. She got you an attorney. She felt bad for you. How are you acting like everything's and being there as a shoulder to cry on for your mom when you were responsible the whole time and you knew it?


It was truly eating me up inside. To see the pain that we had caused, it was not a good feeling.


The hardest part about this is she wanted a baby so bad. She gave you a life that most people could never dream of. Along with your dad, they did everything for you, and this is how you repay them.


It's my most deepest regret. Nothing should ever get to that point. If I could trade places with my father, I would, just to give that back to my mom.


Do you think about your father a lot? Do you miss him?


All the time. I miss him getting on my ass. I miss him joking with me. It's something I'll never have again.


This is the ultimate act of betrayal.


Yeah, it most definitely is, and it's not something that I'm proud of.


One defendant remained. Jackie's case was moving slowly. And then in June In '83, she agreed to plea to a lesser charge, attempted conspiracy to commit murder. The court gave her something called deferred adjudication.


It's pretty unusual, very unusual for these types of cases.


Nick's attorney Rick Floris.


So a deferred adjudication in Texas is a way for somebody to plea to an offense, be placed on probation, but ultimately not be convicted of it.


There's no finding of guilt if somebody completes deferred adjudication.


The terms of Jackie's sentence, 120 days in the county jail and probation for the next 10 years, during which every year on the anniversary of Ted's murder, she'll go to jail for two days. Pretty remarkable that he got 35 years and she gets 120 days in the county jail and two days every year on the anniversary of Ted's death. Huge, huge gap between those two sentences.


I think the only difference between what nick did and what Jackie did is the relationship, is that these were Nick's parents.


Do you think Jacquelyn got off easy?




I would like to see in a different sentence than that.


She was involved in the planning?


She could have stopped it all.


In a statement, the Travis County DA's office told us Jackie provided helpful information and that the investigation revealed information that reduced her culpability. The statement also says their office is committed to holding people who commit violent crimes accountable. Cori's not so sure about that. Do you feel like Jacquelyn Edison essentially got away with murder?


Absolutely. My husband is dead. My life is over. I'm supposed to be dead, and she gets probation.


Is there anything you want to say to the district attorney?


The term revictimization comes to mind, and it is every bit that.


Cori didn't attend Jackie's plea hearing, but she did record this victim impact statement for the court.


We opened our home and our hearts to you, and you and Nicholas took everything from us. How long will it take for you to find another family to destroy? How long will it be before a body finds her next Clyde. You are a monster. You are evil, and everyone needs to know it.


Jackie has already served her 120-day jail sentence. Neither she nor her lawyer wanted to answer our questions. Cori hasn't spoken to nick since his arrest. What would you say to her if she's going to watch this?


I I wish that I could express how truly sorry I am and that the pain that I caused her was just so selfish. I'm trying each and every day to be the best version of myself, to hopefully show the world one day that that is not who I am.


I have written to him, but I keep the letters. I never intend to send them.


What do you say in the letters?


Lots of things. One of which is how much I know he would like me to talk to him. But even though I will always love my child, I don't love the person that he is now. In fact, I really hate the person that he is now. And I can't tell you what I would give in this world to be able to talk again to his dad, but I can't. And so he's not going to get to talk to me because ghosts can't talk, and I'm supposed to be dead.


The legal cases are now closed. It's already warm. And those who love Ted are forced to carry on without him. My friend is gone. I don't get to grow old in that friendship. There's not a negative bone in that man's body.


He was a rare gift, and he deserved to live to be an old man and to live life.


What do you miss the most about Ted?


Everything. Just my best friend. Yeah.


The little things?


Just everything.


All the little moments that added it up to a beautiful life together.


That's all for this edition of Dateland. And check out our Talking Dateland podcast. Andrea Canning and Josh Mankowits will go behind the scenes of tonight's episode, available Wednesday in the Dateland feed wherever you get your podcasts. We'll see you again next Friday at 9:00, 8:00 Central.


I'm Lester Holt.


For all of us at NBC News, good night.