These guys are talking about control.

(two interestin



48 Hours Secrets from the Grave 05.07.05 Run Dates

05.07.05 48 Hours Secrets from the Grave

08.19.06 48 Hours Secrets from the Grave




What's the least you have ever gotten "$5.30 and 8 Atari tapes" for a hit


05.03.02 Harry Bill Flint





executive producer Susan Zirinsky
directed by Rob Klug
senior producer Katie Boyle



11.08.05 Dr. Zehra Attari Missing



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60:00 - I didn't even flirt with Julia
Secrets From The Grave
A Man Who Cheated Death More Than Once Dies Under Strange Circumstances

(Page 1 of 5)Aug. 19, 2006
Bill Flint was an industrial electrician who spent his life cheating death. (CBS)

Bill Flint spent his life cheating death -- not once, not twice, but three times. His friends say this is a story of how a lot of bad things happened to a really good person. Correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.


Bill Flint was kind enough to support his friends and tough enough to survive his enemies, right up to the end. But his life started out simple, in rural Massachusetts, where he was one of four children.

Flint moved to Texas and became an industrial electrician. But he always stayed in touch with his family. His life, however, started to get complicated in 1988, when he met Cassandra through church. A few months later, they were married.

But the true love of Flint's life, according to close friends Liz and Tim, was his daughter, who was born a year later. His daughter, who is now a teenager, asked 48 Hours not to use her real name. We'll call her "Jane."

"He was my best friend," says Flint's daughter, "Jane."

Not long after "Jane" was born, Bill and Cassandra’s marriage was in trouble. The couple started seeing marriage counselor Larry Deutsch. "In the beginning, it seemed to work OK. Bill and Cassandra seemed to be coming together," says Deutsch.

But it just seemed that way. In December 1993, Flint learned to his great surprise, that he and Cassandra were divorced. What was his first clue that he was divorced? "When the sheriff showed up at the door to escort him off the property," says Liz.

Cassandra Flint not only pursued a divorce without telling her husband or her marriage counselor, she got one.

According to Betty Yarter, the Texas country lawyer Flint eventually had to hire, Flint never knew a divorce trial had been scheduled because the court only had an old address for him. "The notification for trial went to his last known address that the court had on file," says Yarter. "And this happened to be his old work address which he no longer worked at."

Flint's absence from the courtroom cost him enormously. Cassandra claimed that their daughter, when she was 2, said that Flint had molested her. The judge believed Cassandra enough to order that Flint could have only supervised contact with his daughter.

A grand jury refused to indict Flint on the abuse charges. "Which doesn’t happen in Harris County, especially where sexual assault of a child is concerned," says Yarter. "It just doesn’t happen."

But even though Flint was cleared of criminal charges in the matter, the accusations Cassandra made at their divorce trial were still on the books in Family Court.

It wasn’t long before Cassandra made her next move against Bill. "She says he had threatened to kill her," says Yarter. "In the state of Texas, that is considered a terroristic threat [so he was arrested.]"

This time, Flint faced a jury trial. But it didn't take long at all for them to react a verdict: not guilty. But it wasn't over for Flint, who decided to fight for full custody of his daughter. That’s when things started getting dangerous.

Flint's life was being threatened by Cassandra’s brother, Ralph Smith.

It was the first of several threats, from several people. And Flint was frightened enough to file a complaint with the police, claiming his ex-wife had also threatened him. He said he wanted it "documented in case something happened in the future."

A month after Flint filed the complaint, he headed out the door for work and into an ambush.

"I heard him get the garbage and go out the front door. And about two minutes later, I heard gunshots," says his landlord, Howard Hester. "More than one, I heard two. Rapid and I came to the front door and I looked out the front door and here Bill was, out here on his knees."

Hester says that even as Flint lay bleeding on the ground, he wasted no time identifying his attackers: Cassandra’s brother, Ralph, and the new man in Cassandra’s life, Charlton Andras, whom she had just married four months earlier.

"He was hollering 'Charlton Andras and Smith did this to me,'" recalls Hester. "'I want to make sure that you know who did this to me in case I die.'"

"The guy was in just horrible condition. He had lacerations all over his head from being beaten," says Det. Kevin Crislip, who was amazed Flint was still alive after being attacked and shot. A bullet had missed Flint’s spinal cord by just two millimeters.


Secrets From The Grave
A Man Who Cheated Death More Than Once Dies Under Strange Circumstances

(Page 2 of 5)Aug. 19, 2006
Bill Flint was an industrial electrician who spent his life cheating death. (CBS)

Smith vanished. And when police caught up with Andras, he denied everything. But then, Crislip got a call from someone saying Andras had confessed to her. If true, it was a startling confession, especially because it was made to Andras’ own daughter.

Andras' daughter, who was 21 years old at the time, reluctantly signed an affidavit saying her father "told me that Cassandra had not seen anything because she was two blocks away, but he also told me that she knew what he was going to do to the guy.”

Was Cassandra involved? "I believe everything that we investigated pointed to the fact that she was," says Crislip.

Right after the attack, Flint told a television reporter that he was sure his ex-wife was behind the shooting: "There's no doubt in my mind. Her brother and her husband came to do it and someone was driving the car."

There was plenty of suspicion, yet no real evidence against Cassandra. But she gave them more than enough reason to take her in on a different charge the night they showed up to arrest Andras for attempted murder.

Lt. Susan Clifton tried to arrest Cassandra, who put up a fight. Andras and Cassandra were both taken into custody and charged, Cassandra with resisting arrest, and Andras with attempted murder. They were both released on bond within a couple of days.

Despite the charges he was facing, Andras was allowed to move back into the house he was sharing with Cassandra and "Jane." Flint was determined to get his daughter out of that house, but he was blocked again by the molestation charges that Cassandra had made four years earlier.

Flint was increasingly concerned that Cassandra was using her time with "Jane" to turn his daughter against him. "We were having good conversations for a while, and her mother just cut it off," he says.

Flint heard from his daughter a few times, but they weren’t talking. She was just leaving some very disturbing messages: "I don't want you in my life and I mean it. … I don't like you. I hate you."

Flint was convinced that "Jane" was being told what to say: "It was very obvious the conversation was coaxed, and it’s really sad for a child to be brainwashed or fed these things."

It was a lot for him to deal with. But there was some good news. Police had finally caught up with Smith, and he was arrested for his role in Flint's attack.

Smith was eventually tried and convicted, and is halfway through his 16-year prison sentence. To this day, however, Smith will not implicate his sister, nor will her husband, Andras. "I'm here, and I’ll tell you she wasn’t there," says Ralph Smith.

Around the time Smith was arrested, Cassandra was tried on her charges of interfering with the police.

"This was the only defendant that I ever prosecuted that I was actually concerned would retaliate … against me," says Murphy Klasing, who prosecuted her.

Even the judge told Cassandra that “you scare me, very bluntly,” and he took the unusual step of telling Cassandra the jury thought she was a “pathological liar.” She was sentenced to seven months in the county jail.

Cassandra’s court behavior might have been memorable, but the real drama took place in the hallway. During a break in Cassandra’s trial, Andras, who was facing his own charges, made a phone call to a contact that would put him in touch with a hit man.

Secrets From The Grave
A Man Who Cheated Death More Than Once Dies Under Strange Circumstances

(Page 3 of 5)Aug. 19, 2006
Bill Flint was an industrial electrician who spent his life cheating death. (CBS)

But Andras learned the hard way that finding a good hit man can be tricky. Sadly for Andras, he didn't know that the man he was talking to from the courthouse hallway was taping the calls, and turning everything over to the district attorney's office.

Andras was about to be set up and the D.A.'s chief investigator, Johnny Bonds, had just the man for the job. "He's our resident hit man," says Bonds. "When we get word that somebody is trying to find a killer, we’ll try to arrange for him to be the person."

Gary Johnson is an investigator for the D.A.’s office who is very good at making people believe he’s a hit man, right up to the point where they’re arrested. "We've investigated over 300," says Johnson. "Now as far as arresting, it's somewhere between 50 to 60.

Showing his face obviously would be bad for business. And business could be pretty lucrative, if only he was for real. He’s been offered nearly a quarter of a million dollars for one hit.

Luckily for Flint, Andras bought Johnson’s act, and agreed to meet his make-believe hit man in a local Denny’s restaurant. And just to spice things up, Johnson told Andras to use a special password when they first met.

Police cameras were recording the whole meeting. Andras offered Johnson $3,000 to kill Flint and more if Flint's body was never found.

"I told him that I had some property that had a well on it," says Johnson. "And that I was clearing the property and so I would just take him and drop him in the well, fill it in and no one would be the wiser."

It was all over in a matter of minutes. Johnson thought he had enough evidence on tape to arrest Andras and gave the word to police officers to move in. Andras was charged with soliciting capital murder.

Andras was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. And because of the lengthy sentence, the attempted murder charges for shooting Flint were dropped.

For the time being, Flint was safe, but his problems weren’t over. Since Cassandra now had a criminal record for resisting arrest, Flint hoped he’d finally get his daughter back. But this time, a judge said that both parents were unfit, and explained to Flint there was still no evidence to clear him of those old molestation charges. So in May 1996, their 6-year-old daughter "Jane" was put in a foster home.

"I know that there will be a day when my daughter comes and sees me," says Flint. "And I’ll be able to present the facts to her. And show her I tried. And did the best I could, and that was the outcome."

Five years after Flint's battle for his daughter began, a new judge ordered a psychologist to review the custody case. The doctor said Bill would be a better parent. So the judge finally awarded Flint full custody of his daughter, who was now 8.

Today, “Jane” is a teenager. She now says her mother made up the story about Flint molesting her and talked her into accusing her father when she was younger: "I just remember my mother always saying that he did abuse me and stuff. And so, I thought that it was true. But after living with him, I know now that it wasn’t at all."

"Jane" lived happily with her father until December 1998, when a marine light fell 70 feet and broke Flint's neck and arm. Flint had been working for an electrical contractor.

Secrets From The Grave
A Man Who Cheated Death More Than Once Dies Under Strange Circumstances

(Page 4 of 5)Aug. 19, 2006
Bill Flint was an industrial electrician who spent his life cheating death. (CBS)

This time, everybody believed it really was an accident. But Flint had difficulty finding work while recovering from his injuries. Then, at the end of 2001, Bill Flint got in touch with a man he had met about 20 years earlier, Joel Brock. Brock gave Flint a job at his real estate appraisal company and shortly after that, he moved in with Flint.

But Flint's family and friends thought this old friend was no friend at all.

Brock offered Flint a job at his real estate appraisal company and Flint jumped at the opportunity. Shortly after that, Brock asked if he could temporarily move in with Flint and they became roommates.

But friends would later learn that Brock had met Cassandra years before and that would soon raise some troubling questions.

After three brushes with death, it’s not surprising Flint was suspicious of everyday life.

On the morning of May 3, 2002, Flint went to appraise a house for Joel Brock. At 44, he faced death again for the last time.

Flint was last seen alive when he rushed into a pizza joint desperate for help. Witnesses told Investigator Johnny Bonds what happened.

"He came in, and they could tell he was in distress," says Bonds. "Asked if he could use the restroom. They heard him go in there. They think he threw up. Then he blacked out, passed out and they called an ambulance."

An autopsy determined that Flint had clogged arteries and died of a heart attack. But his friends and family didn’t believe it. "I think that there was foul play," says "Jane." "I think that he was murdered."

It was the way that Flint died that troubled them at first. Witnesses told investigators he was clutching his stomach, feeling like he was burning up.

"Now, that’s not a heart attack," says Liz. "To me, it sounded like being poisoned."

After Flint's death, Cassandra was asked under oath whether she had anything to do with Flint's death, and she swore she did not. Cassandra was living three hours away from Flint -- and Andras had an airtight alibi. At the time Flint died, Andras was in prison for trying to have him killed earlier. They both refused to talk to 48 Hours on camera.

Brock says he never told anyone where he thought "Jane" should live. But Flint's friends and family wondered whether Cassandra and Brock were secret allies and whether he could be part of a deadly plot to help Cassandra get her daughter back.

"I came here today basically to prove that I had nothing to do with his death," says Brock. "Because I never talked to Cassandra. They thought that she and I were in cahoots."

In fact, Brock says he hadn't even spoken to Cassandra in 13 years, not since Flint married her. "I don't believe that I've ever in my lifetime called Cassandra," says Brock. "Ever."

Secrets From The Grave
A Man Who Cheated Death More Than Once Dies Under Strange Circumstances

(Page 5 of 5)Aug. 19, 2006
Bill Flint was an industrial electrician who spent his life cheating death. (CBS)

He says that if Flint's death was a murder, he had nothing to do with it. Brock said the same thing under oath at a custody hearing.

"I would have done anything to keep him alive, if I had the opportunity," says Brock. "He was my friend."

And to this day, Brock says he mourns his lost friend.

Two years after Flint died, there was no real evidence of foul play. But the doubts lingered, and Bonds wanted answers. "I was suspicious," says Bonds. "But I told them that this absolutely had to be ruled a homicide before we could really do anything."

Law enforcement officials have done all they can, so they’ve turned to one of the few men left who can help. Now, Professor James Starrs, who’s world-renowned for solving some of the toughest cases, started digging for answers.

Starrs is a forensic scientist who studied the case and was bothered by what he considers hurried findings from the first autopsy. He believes Flint may not have had a heart attack, even though his arteries were clogged.

Was Flint healthy? "The coronary arteries were not healthy. But the heart was healthy," says Starrs, who adds that in the first autopsy report, there was no evidence of any muscle damage in the heart.

Starrs is prepared to exhume Flint’s body because he believes strongly there could be vital evidence in his grave. In fact, Starrs says that he's putting his money where his mouth is: "I’m paying the bill right now. I’m paying the whole bill."

The exhumation begins. Just after dawn, a local construction crew digs for the casket while Starrs’ team of experts takes soil samples.

Flint's remains are carefully transferred from the casket, to a body bag, and into a hearse. Then, at a nearby hospital, the team begins Flint’s second autopsy. "We’re very pleased. We got all the samples that we wanted," says Starrs. "We’ve got ample work to continue to work with from this point on."

It will be weeks before there are any answers. But until then, the pressure is on. When Starrs studies Flint’s X-Rays, he finds something not included in the autopsy report.

The exhumation of Flint was a drastic step, but his family and friends wanted to find out what really killed him. They believe he might have been poisoned, and it’s the first thing the team of experts looks for when they perform this second autopsy.

Toxicologist Bruce Goldberger asked for as many samples of Flint’s tissues as possible. He’ll look for traces of poison in them. After weeks of testing, Goldberger could find no evidence Flint was poisoned. But he still can’t rule it out, since Flint’s organs weren’t preserved well enough.

The poison theory might not pan out, but Starrs has a new theory. He's discovered new evidence and it is tantalizing.

"We have, from the X-rays of the chest, indications that he had suffered fractures of three ribs on the right side," says Starrs, who believes that Flint's ribs were broken before he died but he needs another specialist to confirm that.

Dr. Gil Brogdon is one of the leading experts in reading these types of X-rays, and he believes the fractures happened shortly before Flint died: "Could be stomping, could be a baseball bat, could be a brick. … I think these are new."

Starrs says the fractures were too low on Flint's ribcage to have been caused by CPR. And he believes an injury like this is severe enough to kill someone, through what's called a pneumo-thoracic reaction.

The broken ribs can puncture a lung, which can cause fluid to build up, putting pressure on the heart and causing a heart attack.

There was nothing in the first autopsy report about broken ribs. And when Flint stumbled into that pizza parlor the day he died, witnesses say he never mentioned being attacked.

Starrs now says there is enough doubt about how Flint died to change the official cause of death from "natural" to "undetermined" and begin an investigation into whether he was murdered.

Bonds, however, says he needs more than just a probability of murder: "To continue this investigation, I need a definitive ruling that this was a homicide."

The medical examiner's office has no plans to change Flint's death certificate. The Houston medical examiner is also waiting for some new information. He is willing to consider making a change in the official cause of death if he finds real evidence of homicide in Starrs' final report.

After Flint's death, Cassandra and Brock were asked under oath whether they had anything to do with Flint’s death, and they swore they did not. Cassandra was living three hours away from Flint and Andras had an airtight alibi. At the time Flint died, Andras was in prison for trying to have him killed earlier. They all refused to talk to 48 Hours on camera.

With Bill gone, Cassandra once again asked for custody of Jane, who was then 12-years-old. But Jane told the judge she was scared of her mother, so she was allowed to stay with Bill’s mother. At age 15, she’s still there.

"I’m a cheerleader, and I go to school and I’m a freshman now," Jane explains. "I just want to stay where I am and, like, stop moving around."

As of May 2005, Cassandra is once again living in Texas with Charlton Andras, who was paroled after serving less than eight years of a 25-year sentence for trying to have Bill murdered. Cassandra is allowed only limited phone and e-mail contact with her daughter.

"She still is my mother," says "Jane." "No matter what. And I still love her."

But "Jane" holds out hope for some kind of future with her mother. "I miss my mom," says "Jane." "But I try not to think about it. And I try to just keep going."

Meanwhile, Starrs vows to keep working on the case.

"I think there is still an opportunity to find, for sure, what killed Bill Flint," says Starrs. "I still think the door is not closed. It's still open on that issue."


Bill Flint's mother was awarded full custody of "Jane," who turned 16. Cassandra never showed up for the final custody hearing.

Professor Starrs expects to receive the results of the final forensic tests soon.