In the Middle of the Night in AlbuquerqueDateline NBC
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- 10 Mar 2021
In this Dateline classic, Albuquerque police are quick to set out for answers after 41-year old Scott Pierce is killed in his home just six days after his wedding. Josh Mankiewicz reports. Originally aired on NBC on December 7, 2012.
I mean, I could be dead right now. It doesn't make any sense that he left me alive. She was a new bride, married just six days.
Then came that horrible night and I see kind of a dark shadow. All I remember was the bright flash of the guy, a mysterious man, she told police, burst into their new home and killed her husband.
He put my hands on his face and I left. It's a heartbreaking story, but it was puzzling to who was this strange man or was there a strange man at all? A brand new bride tells the story of some mystery man that's got to set off alarm bells. She was somebody we had to look at. Suddenly, she's the one under scrutiny. The detective asked me if I killed my husband. I knew something was coming. I'm Lester Holt and this is Dateline.
What really happened in the middle of the night? Here's Josh Mankiewicz.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, a mile high city famous for its annual balloon festival and the city were a match made in heaven, came in 2005 when a friend of Catherine Baily's set her up with a man named Scott. What was it that made your friend think that the two of you would be a good match?
I'm not sure if it was anything other than he was a tall, handsome man and she knew. That's what I like.
And Scott Pierce certainly was tall at six foot eight and more than 350 pounds. He was a gentle soul trapped in the body of an NFL lineman. The two soon fell in love and nature played an important role in their lives, both their own good natures and their love of nature. Would you like about him? Besides that, he was six eight.
He saw the beauty in anything. I mean, he would stop to take a picture of anything. Who'd make special trips out into the desert when the carcasses were blooming? We took a lot of photographs, but nature alone wasn't important to Scott Pierce. He was also nurturing. This big guy also had a big heart. He dreamed of one day becoming a nurse practitioner. If I had a plant and it was almost dead and I was like ready to give up on it, he wouldn't let me because there was a chance it could come back.
He just wouldn't give up on anything.
In May 2008, nearly three years after they were matched, Scott and Katherine, who worked in retail, took a big step as a couple. They bought a house in northeast Albuquerque.
This was your first home.
I qualified for it on my own, actually. But with his nursing career finally taking off, we're going to be living OK.
What appealed to you about that house? It looked very homey and it gave us more room.
I mean, we didn't need a huge house where about seven people a month later they were married. I got to tell you, Catherine, next year my wife was coming.
The honeymoon was going to take a backseat for a little while, which was fine. We had a house, you know, we still had boxes everywhere.
That decision to buy that home at that time on that schedule would one day become a choice. Catherine and others would examine and re-examine.
Because that honeymoon the new couple had put off, you'd never come just six days after the wedding, Scott and Catherine's new life took a turn no one saw coming. He actually stayed up late that night watching a movie and then came to bed. Next thing we know, the doctor, Frankie. I got up, went down the hall, I noticed the back door was open and I thought, it's three o'clock in the morning, I didn't have my glasses on.
And I thought, why would Scott leave the back door open?
So the back door had been open. When he went to bed, he probably would have noticed it. Yes, his routine was to go through the house and check that everything was locked.
Then from nowhere, Catherine noticed something strange.
And I see kind of a dark shadow that looks like he's pointing a long, pointy thing at me. And I said, Scott, stop messing around. So it was your husband. It didn't make sense that it would be a stranger in my home pointing a shotgun at me. So I had to be Scott playing a trick. Tell me about this man with the shotgun, white, black, Hispanic, a black shadow, that's literally all I saw.
And then. It's NAB, this wasn't Scott, would you think your mind works very fast? They said get down on the ground. So I did. And he said, where's Maddie Mayumi? And I said, What? What did you say? And he said, Where's Maddie?
And that's when from the corner of Ron Katharyn caught sight of her husband, he'd woken up to see a man pointing a shotgun at his wife. He was charging this guy, your husband of six days was coming to your defense. Yeah. At that point, it was kind of a blur. All I remember was him turning very fast, but I saw the bright flash of the gun and I think that kind of temporarily blinded me. Where's the guy with the gun?
The only thing I can imagine is that he ran out the back door.
As soon as the gun went off, Catherine grabbed the phone, called nine one one and says she found Scott on the kitchen floor with a gaping wound in his neck.
Just say, oh, yeah, I told him I loved him. I put my hands on his face. I told him I loved. He had his hand up on his stomach, and I just hope for his certainly right there.
So by the time they loaded him into the ambulance and took him away, you didn't have a lot of hope. I wouldn't even say that I wasn't going to give up hope until somebody told me finally. And minutes later at the hospital, someone did, I remember the doctor frantically walking in and he said, so tell me what happened? And I said, Now, is he alive? I wasn't going to play this game. I just I wanted to know right away.
And he said no. At age 41, Scott Pierce was dead six days after his wedding. And just like that, Katherine Pierce was a widow.
What had happened in that kitchen? Who was Manning the mysterious man for whom the killer had come calling and who held the answers to all those questions? A whole lot of questions in this case. Police were quick to set out to answer them, and they started with Katherine Pierce. When we come back, it's more than her story that's under scrutiny. It's everything, her clothes from that night, her marriage, even a life insurance policy. I knew something was coming.
Did she have something to hide? A new day dawned in Albuquerque that June morning in 2008, and as the sun came up, Catherine Pierce realized she'd been transformed. In just six days, she'd gone from smiling newlywed to bloodstained widow and to a possible suspect in the murder of her husband, Scott.
You know, when a husband or wife dies, it's very natural for police to at least look at the surviving spouse.
I knew something was coming. It wasn't unusual.
And soon, Catherine was face to face with veteran Albuquerque homicide detective Mike Fox.
For Brand New Bride tells the story of some mystery man coming out of the house and executing her new husband. That's got to set off alarm bells. She was somebody we had to look at. Tell me about Catherine Pierce's demeanor.
She actually shocked me how well she was able to put it together. Calmer than you would expect. Yes.
Detectives had many questions, especially after looking hard at the crime scene and finding something confusing. The killer had dumped out Catherine's purse on the back deck, but on the purse, no fingerprints. So was this a robbery gone wrong or was the purse some kind of diversion?
We knew we were dealing with somebody at that point that had gloved up either with rubber gloves or something like that, which says to you what it tells me that whoever is involved was going in there to.
To kill somebody and not leave any evidence behind, burglars generally do not carry shotguns, no, and if somebody surprises them instead of shooting them, they just run away typically. That's what I've seen through my career. And so even though the fact that Katherine's purse was sort of dumped out and searched through everything about that says. Planned murder, not planned burglary, correct, but planned by whom? Tell me about Scott Pierce. Anybody didn't like him? No, everybody liked him.
Great guy. Nothing bad in his background at all.
You no doubt did your due diligence to find out whether that marriage was as happy as it appeared to be.
Yes. Talking to people around them. Everything was fantastic.
But detectives had heard that story before. When they looked deeper, they learned that Catherine's husband had a life insurance policy. The payoff was in the midst six figure range, and she was the beneficiary when they canvassed the homes nearby. Police found neighbors who heard a man and woman talking at around three a.m. detectives wondered, had that been Scott and Catherine?
Within hours of her husband's murder, the criminalists confiscated the clothes Catherine was wearing when she said her new husband was gunned down right in front of her. Police took your clothing because they wanted to test it.
Everything is evidence. At that point. I understood that you were concerned. Not at all. The detective asked me if I killed my husband straight up and I said no. And he seems fairly satisfied with that.
Detectives asked Catherine to go through her story again, looking for inconsistencies. So she went through what happened that night one more time, just as she did in a video she would later make for her attorneys.
From here, I turned around and there was a person, a tall person standing up. So I said, oh, Scott, stop messing around. And then he said, get down on the ground. That's when I knew somebody was in my house that didn't belong. I saw Scott standing at the other end of the room. I held out my hand and I said, Scott, wait. The guy went off. His head was right here and his neck was blown open.
All of this is throw everything to back here. It was just me. I was gone.
Did she say or do anything that made you suspicious? No. Nothing showed that she wasn't telling the truth. But unfortunately, in her situation, I have to go after her as a as a possible suspect.
It's to find out if she is involved A and then B, if she's not later on, make it so that when this does go to trial, it's not brought up by a defense attorney that tries to throw it on her and make her look like she's the one that did it.
But remember, there was something Catherine heard on the kitchen floor that night, something that came from that shadowy figure who'd held a shotgun to Catherine's head before firing the fatal shot at Scott.
The killer had also asked her a question that would soon become the focus of this investigation.
He said, Where's Maddie Mayumi? And I said, What? What did you say? And he said, Where's Maddie?
It was a name that meant nothing to homicide investigators. But Catherine Pierce says she knew exactly who the man was after. Now, police were looking for him, too.
So who was this mystery man named Manny? And could he help break this case?
It didn't quite seem right that this random person just happened to break in. Police are getting closer when Dateline continues. It was just a few hours into a sunny Saturday morning in Albuquerque, June 2008, Katherine Pierce was in a police car being taken home from the hospital where her husband of six days, Scott, had just been pronounced dead.
From the start, she'd been treated as a suspect in her husband's murder.
Story was that a shadowy figure had broken into their home in the middle of the night and had then killed Scott, but for some reason spared Catherine's life.
Detective Mike Fox was working homicide for the Albuquerque police.
It didn't quite seem right that this random person just happened to break in and was looking for a guy named Manny Manny. It was the name that was about to break this case.
It had to do it turned out not just with Katherine Pierce and her husband, but with the house, the piece of property they just bought as they began their life together.
The couple had moved in just a month before the murder, a month before that question asked by the intruder in the middle of the night about where to find Manny.
You knew who he was talking about.
Yes, I know exactly who is talking about. That's who he bought the house from. Yes. And they had moved out. How long before? Almost exactly a month prior. Suddenly, the murder case had moved off of Katherine Pierce and onto the presumed target that night, a man named Manny. It turned out he was known to the Albuquerque police. And within hours after detectives put out word they were looking for him. Manny called police. He offered to come in, sit down and help out any way he could.
I'm guessing the first question is, who's looking for you that wants to kill you? Yeah, who would want you dead? And he says he says Jason Skaggs is the only one I can think of that would want to have me killed.
Manny told police he and Jason worked together at a roofing company originally from California.
Skaggs was an ex marine, a former trucker with a minor criminal record. And some of the story Manny was telling police added up at six, three and only 200 pounds. Jason Skaggs matched almost exactly the description given by Katherine Pierce of a tall, slender intruder. But he was not, as far as police knew, a killer to detectives. A home invasion that ended in murder seemed to be outside Jason Skags criminal skill set if he was the guy in Katherine Pierce's house with the shotgun.
He was a rookie, and that didn't really match up with the with the gloves and some of the other things that were kind of popping in our in our heads of something that might be more experience at this detective started tracking scag, cell phone.
The cell phone started pinging off of El Paso, Texas. That sounds like a guy on the run. Yeah, OK.
Is this guy just heading for Mexico? But it turned out El Paso was just the closest cell tower to Elephant Butte Lake, the campground where Jason Skaggs was spending the weekend with his wife.
And not only did he say it, his employer backed him up, even with what seemed an airtight alibi. Detectives brought in Skags.
Jason, you might see your name and date of birth. My name is Jason five 12 73.
Skags stuck to his story of a weekend camping trip at the lake.
But what Skaggs didn't know was that his wife had already been interviewed and she told a completely different story of what they did. And when Detective Fox broke that news to Jason Skaggs, at that point, I could see that we had the right guy.
How can you tell? When you have the right guy, when a person is cooperating with you, they have a certain demeanor and when you start to turn things on them and start to show that what they're telling you isn't the truth and that I know it, and you can see a change in the eyes. And so it just all starts to unravel.
And you can tell you can see that. Oh, yeah.
And it's probably the most exciting part of homicide investigation is breaking a murder with their own words to detectives. It was looking more and more as if Jason Skaggs had been the man with the shotgun in Katherine Pierce's home.
The woman in the house described she never broke into anyone's house. I have never shot anyone in my life, I think is by accident. And I have never saw anyone in my life. This guy never I have never seen a human being in my life and I have not broken any one. How we're working to solve this and you'll find out. It wasn't me. It wasn't me. I wasn't in their house.
Police kept hammering away and that's when Jason Skaggs changed his story. He said he wasn't the man in Katherine Pierce's home and he wasn't the person who pulled the trigger on that shotgun and killed Scott. But he did know exactly who it was. Coming up, a duffel bag, a gun and gloves. Do these belong to the killer who was in the house that night?
The plants? Albuquerque police were moving full force in the first 48 hours after the murder of Scott Pierce, Scott's widow, Katherine, returned to the house they had shared to find more than a piece of her heart was missing. Quite a bit had been stolen now by that shadowy figure with a shotgun. It wasn't just the life of the man she'd married less than a week before. It was also the future they had planned together. But gone to was Catherine's camera, a gift from her husband, who had so loved photography.
Of all the things he could have taken, that was actually the best thing because it still had on my wedding pictures on it. I hope he saw the pictures. I hope it sunk in.
What he just said, who had killed Scott Pearce was still an open question, but police thought they were zeroing in because remember, Catherine said, the shadowy figure who'd come into the house in the middle of the night was looking for a man named Mamey who had lived in the house previously. When detectives found Manney, he said a co-worker named Jason Skags was the likely killer. When questioned, Skags denied any role in the murder and said he and his wife had been camping a couple of hours from Albuquerque on the night Scott Pearce was killed.
But Detective Mike Fox, who broke down that alibi, and so in the police interview room, he went after Skags with a new tactic. I mean, you're thinking at that point that that was SCAG saying, where's Manney?
Yeah, I'm saying, you know, whatever part you played in this, a good guy was killed and you got to feel bad about that. I mean, I got into that. They had been married a week, that they just moved into the house.
And if you're a good person, that has to weigh on you, whether Skaggs was a good person is debatable. Whether he cracked under the pressure is not soon. He was singing like a canary.
I wanted to marry her. My, you know, arms, legs, things, you know, hurt her. Take a while to recover.
Skaggs said he wanted he hurt because, man, he had slept with his wife. Skags admitted the home invasion was all about jealousy, but said he never wanted anyone dead. But Jason Skaggs also had a surprise for detectives.
I said you went in there with the shock and he goes, No, I didn't go in there. I had someone else go in there for me. And we're like, what? Who did Skag say it was his accomplice? He said it was Clifton Bloomfield. That name mean anything to you know, the name didn't ring a bell at all, but it didn't take you long before you knew a lot about him. Correct.
This is a serious guy, serious and scary. Clifton Bloomfield was 39, an ex-con who'd done prison time in Arizona for robbery, kidnapping and assault. After his release, he had moved to New Mexico, where he dabbled in acting. But Bloomfield's new career apparently wasn't working as well as his old one. He was soon arrested and pleaded no contest to a home invasion robbery. Bloomfield was now on probation for that crime released from jail less than a year earlier, he'd been set free into the custody of a co-worker at a roofing company, a man named, you guessed it, Jason Skags, Clifton Bloomfield.
He was the kind of guy you'd send into somebody's house to either beat them up or kill them. Yes. And he physically met the description. He was also tall and slender.
When police searched Bloomfield's home, they found a black duffel bag containing a shotgun, bulletproof vest and a mask. Also, latex gloves used as police soon learned by the killer who had dumped out Catherine Pierce's purse to try to make this murder look like a botched burglary. Detectives now believe Jason Skaggs was telling the truth. It had been Bloomfield behind the shotgun. His criminal history fit the crime. He'd been convicted of a violent home invasion robbery before. It wasn't long before police tracked down Bloomfield and arrested him.
This is a guy who's done prison time. I would think this is a guy who's not going to talk.
I didn't think he would. But maybe Bloomfield had seen those wedding pictures of Scott and Catherine on the camera he'd stolen had he also picked up a conscience somewhere on his journey. Because the hardened con surprised detectives. By opening up, I was a little shocked, but pleasantly shocked as police would soon learn, Clifton Bloomfield's version of the truth changed with the New Mexico wind. But among the several statements Bloomfield gave was an explanation for his mission that night. Looking for Manny, the plans to kill.
OK, if you're going to kill him in this case and want to talk to him first, you take him somewhere. You he's had one message for him, he said. So it's Anglo-Saxon. So I'm assuming that's OK.
But in the house that night, Moorfield said he realized that the man he knew from work bore no resemblance to the six foot, eight inch hulk he found bearing down on him in the dark.
It wasn't me to think. Now is to intensify our fire.
He says he was about to leave when Scott Pearce charged it.
True or not, the result was that Bloomfield put himself behind a murder as a favor to a friend, except he killed the wrong man.
This was all just spectacular. Bad luck. If you'd moved out of that house a month later, your life be different and be very different. If your husband were a sounder sleeper, if he hadn't woken up, things could have been different. If the guy with the gun had left when he realized, man, he didn't live in the house anymore. Yeah, so many things. The wrong place at the wrong time, Bloomfield and Skags were charged with murder for Detective Mike Fox and his colleagues.
It was a job well done. A case quickly solved. Scott is murdered early on a Saturday morning. And less than 48 hours later, you have all the suspects in custody and confessions. Yes, good job. Came together pretty well. Case closed.
And that's what we thought they were wrong. Katherine Pierce was about to learn that the shadowy figure she'd confronted that night was one of the most cold blooded killers her part of the world had ever seen. And her involvement with him wasn't over. Coming up, a twist that stuns Katherine Pierce, it doesn't make any sense that he left me alive.
It would stun the police, too, when Dateline continues. In the weeks after the murder of her husband, Scott, Katherine Pierce was still living in the home where he had been killed by mistake instead of moving out. Katherine cleaned up the blood stains and stayed. She says she was determined to face her own fears.
I began to get up in the middle of the night and kind of walk through the house with the lights off just so I could get that out of my system so I wouldn't be afraid of it. I walked down the hall without the lights on and went to the back door. I let the dogs out. You walk through the kitchen. I relived it over and over and over again. And that made it easier. If you repeat something over and over and over again, it lessens a little bit every time.
But Katherine was also facing a broken hearted truth that she lost the love of her life.
I had no idea what my future would hold, especially in the romance department.
But you could not conceive of ever finding that kind of love again. No, I could not. And now the detectives who quickly closed the case by getting a confession from that armed intruder, Clifton Bloomfield, were about to realize they weren't done with either Bloomfield or Katherine Pierce. That's when the crime lab here in Albuquerque got a hit on Clifton Bloomfield's DNA, but it had nothing to do with the murder of Scott Pierce. This was a DNA sample left at the scene of a completely different Albuquerque homicide.
The killing ground was a neatly kept home in 2007, some six months before the murder of Scott Pearce, the murders of Tacon punctuality had been front page news and sparked citywide outrage and fear.
The yis were beloved figures, pioneers in the city's Korean American community. They'd come to the U.S. in the 70s, worked multiple jobs, raised four successful children and lived the American dream. Mr. Yee had just retired so they could travel, and then they were murdered in their own home. Detective Mike Fox had a personal connection to the case.
He actually was my neighbor at one point, so I'd see him out gardening and very pleasant man, not a neighborhood where you would expect this to happen.
No, this is another crime where you have a victim that hadn't done anything to deserve it.
And the crime Detective Fox and his colleagues had investigated had been especially vicious. Mrs. V had been beaten and suffocated with a plastic grocery bag. Her husband had been beaten to death. But before he died, Mr. Yee took a swipe at his killer and his DNA was found under Mr Yis fingernail. Police now knew it was the DNA of. Clifton Bloomfield, he had not even been a suspect in the murders. Part of me was shocked, but part of me was like make sense of the brutality of the murders.
News that Bloomfield had committed two more murders sent shockwaves through Katherine Pierce.
I realized that I really could be dead. It could have killed me for fun because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time or because you possibly could identify anything. Why leave a witness behind? It doesn't make any sense that he left me alive.
The story gets stranger before getting the DNA hit on Bloomfield, Albuquerque. Police and prosecutors had already arrested, indicted and jailed two other men who they believed were responsible for the murders. One of the men had even confessed, but the DNA of those two men was never found at the murder scene. DNA now linked only Clifton Bloomfield. Those results came back from the crime lab just days after the murder of Scott Pierce.
My lawyer called me up and said we found something. It looks like he could have been arrested before he ever killed Scott. I kind of get the feeling that it's also when you kind of begin to get angry. Yes. Somebody like that. Why did it take so long to put him behind bars?
Katherine's lawyers, Ben Davis and Brad all, how long did it take them to test that DNA? Seven months. And during that seven months, Mr Bloomfield was on the street and one of the things he did was kill Scott Pierce. Correct.
They had seven months to prevent the murder of Scott Peterson. They chose not to do that.
Kari Brandenburg was the Bernalillo County D.A. Should police have submitted the DNA sooner than they did? Hindsight, yes.
At the time it was done. The way things are done, we have limited resources. We had cases that were going to trial that we need DNA on, and so there's a priority.
So this was something that fell through the cracks.
I can't say that it fell through the cracks because that insinuates that something wrong happened. And I can't say that anything wrong happened. The process work the way it always works.
But that answer wasn't good enough for Katherine Pierce. This widow was about to begin a crusade and Clifton Glenfield was about to come out of the shadows. Coming up, I'm not the most haunting words from the killer himself, Catherine Pierce, and you are about to hear his story. The range of emotion Catherine Pierce experienced after the mistaken identity murder of her husband, Scott, had gone from devastation. To relief when his killers were caught and then to anger when she realized that if a double murder investigation six months earlier had been handled differently, Clifton Bloomfield might have been in jail instead of in her kitchen.
DNA evidence could have prevented him from killing Scott. And it infuriated me. I mean, I couldn't believe that such a minor, insignificant detail from a previous murder could have saved Scott.
That detail she's talking about, the DNA that linked Bloomfield to the murders, the DNA taken from under Mr. Yis fingernail, it said in the Albuquerque police crime lab, with no tests being performed to identify it for months. The match didn't come until after Scott Pierce was dead. Katherine Pierce thought the process had failed her, so she filed a lawsuit against the city of Albuquerque, its police department and various detectives, including the man who had helped to quickly solve Scott's murder.
Detective Mike Fox. It's kind of ironic.
You find her husband's killer in less than 48 hours and you still get sued for not having found him earlier.
I guess one of the pitfalls of being a police officer, no one's ever really happy with the police. They're always like the firemen better.
And by 2012, Catherines lawsuit was headed for trial. Catherine was dreading having to revisit the time of Scott's murder. You've moved on a little bit and moved on because I don't want to relive it.
Do you feel at all bad suing the police department that brought in your husband's killer and a couple of days?
No, I don't feel bad. For me. It was more about bringing awareness to what the police are doing or not doing in this case. All I want is for them to do their job all the way through. You talk to police and they say, one, we did do our job. We brought those guys in the minute we knew they were suspects. DNA is not like it is on television. We don't have an answer in 15 seconds, and I and I do understand that and we got a lot of murders.
We do the best we can. We wish we could solve every one. We wish we could close every one right away. But that's not real life.
And I know the police department or the detectives did not come in and kill Scott. I get that it's not about smearing the Albuquerque Police Department or detectives. It's about giving them more incentive to do their job better. Just before trial.
The city settled with Catherine Pierce for close to half a million dollars. Her attorneys, the city admitted no liability in that settlement routine. What's that mean to you? That the city settled just before it went to trial?
You don't pay a lot of money if you didn't do anything wrong.
And although it's settled the suit, the city defended the work of its police department throughout what it called a complex investigation for Katherine Pierce.
It felt like an ending to a sad string of what ifs. What if she had moved into the house a week later? Would if Scott hadn't woken up? What if the DNA from the homicides had been tested sooner? She'd had what felt like a very long run of very bad luck and the connective tissue in all of it was Clifton Bloomfield, I'm not the most.
This is Clifton Bloomfield in an interview in 2009 given to the Albuquerque Journal newspaper.
I've done my share. Duncan Hunter Bloomfield was willing, even eager to talk about the Peerce case, to explain what went wrong, how about what happened to.
I feel bad about what happened in the Pierce case. What a tragedy. Imagine in the darkened room just seeing shadows. And you tell the person to stop, you have a shotgun and they can teach.
I think it's hard to imagine being blasé about murder, but then Clifton Bloomfield has committed a lot of them. Maybe that's why he tells the story as if he's an observer and not a participant. And he said, get down on the ground.
Bloomfield's version doesn't quite match with that of Katherine Pierce, the only other survivor of that night.
I saw that interview and he exaggerated a lot. He said Scott was reaching for the gun. That never happened. I think Scott just lunged. He turned and pulled the trigger.
I think it was as simple as that tetrazzini and very weak. Another use of nurse. Tragedies don't. And the list of tragedies Clifton Bloomfield brought about just kept going. Faced with the death penalty in the murders, Bloomfield cut a deal. He pleaded guilty to murder charges. And in exchange for a life sentence, he admitted committing to more killings before the years before Scott Pierce. The first was a talented designer found strangled in his home in 2005.
Three days later, the body of an 81 year old retired schoolteacher was found beaten and suffocated.
But he wasn't even a suspect in any of those. Now he was good. He wore gloves. He made it so no traces of him would be left behind except when he got scratched.
And suddenly he's not just the guy you brought in on the Scott homicide. Suddenly he's he's what, a serial killer?
He's his own kind of serial killer. He's not hunting prostitutes or somebody that looks like his mom. He just kills and keeps on killing. He's just killing for the art of killing.
How many murders do you think Clifton Bloomfield has committed for which he's never been charged?
I still couldn't tell you. Ten wouldn't surprise me.
Bloomfield declined Dateline's request for an interview, and despite confessing and pleading guilty, he filed an appeal of his five murder convictions. Jason Skags pleaded guilty to murder in the Pierce case and is serving a 30 year prison sentence. Meantime, the DA's office in Albuquerque freed those two men, the original suspect in the murders. One of them settled a lawsuit with the city for nearly a million dollars. The city again admitted no liability. And Katherine Pierce has at last been able to move on.
The woman who once thought she would never find love again has remarried, fulfilling one of the wishes Scott had for her in their brief time together.
When I was trying to talk about forever and a little pillow talk, he said I might not live to be an old person. But he said, if that happens, I want you to move on and find somebody. Wow, what a gift. And you did. And they did. I could be dead right now. I know that it's like being given a second chance, so I'm running with it.