I am a Killer (2018) s02e04 Episode Script


He was so different when we was just dating.
But once he had that ring on my finger he changed into a monster.
I probably would not have ended up here had I just went ahead and divorced him.
I am a good person.
I realize I took a life, but it was an accident.
If I could do it over, I would do everything differently.
This is a true story.
I'll start it off like that.
I just wanted to rebel.
I wanted to cause chaos.
I looked over at him.
We'll see who kills who, huh? I made the choice.
I took his life.
It's something that I've never intended to do, I wish I didn't do.
I knew I was gonna get out of that car and murder those two men.
As he kneeled in front of me, all I remember is pulling the trigger.
I'd killed them both.
I'd stabbed them to death.
Everybody keeps to themselves around here.
You see people coming and going.
And it's always been kind of the same.
They seemed like a fairly normal family.
Nothing ever stood out about them or their activities.
If there was a lot of trouble we would notice that, you know, but there was never any kind of trouble over there.
They just did normal family things as far as I could tell.
My name is Linda Couch.
I was sentenced to 20 mandatory to life.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I met Walter at a wedding reception.
And I kept noticing him.
He was just standing around while all the music was playing, and I told my mom, I said, "Who is that?" And she said, "I really don't know who he is.
" I said, "Well, I'm going to go over and introduce myself.
" So, I I took a little taste of my mom's beer, just to give me a bit of courage to go and talk to him.
And the more we talked, the more we seemed to have some things in common, and that's when he asked me to go out with him the next day.
I said, "Sure," and, um, from there it just took off.
He was wonderful.
Clean-cut and very good-looking and I was just amazed that he even wanted to date me.
And it didn't take long before he proposed.
And, of course, I said yes.
And I should have thought it out better than that, but being a teenager and thinking you're in love Yeah, I said yes and, um now, I wish I had never met him.
After we got married, we moved into his house.
At first, Walter was okay, um, very caring until I got pregnant with my first child.
Then things started to happen.
Um, his whole attitude with me changed.
Walt was very brutal.
He pushed me down the steps while I was still pregnant with, uh, Roxanne.
And when I brought Roxanne back from the hospital, of course, all the parenting was left up to me and every time she would cry, he would get angry.
And he would go off with his friends and have a good time.
I got pregnant again.
And this time I had another girl.
Then, my son.
But the one he hated the most was my first one, Roxanne.
The slightest little thing that she would do, he would beat her with his With his belt.
Um, I I tried to defend her many times and I'd get the same thing.
I'd get I'd get beat up.
He cracked my nose.
I've had black eyes and I would take a lot of the beatings that would have would have been Roxanne, rather than have her hurt.
This This just went on my entire time that I was married.
He never touched the other two.
It was just Roxanne and me.
He would bring his his so-called friends over to the house.
And one night I was awakened by being shook and when I opened my eyes, all all his friends were in the bedroom.
And I said, "Whoa, why did you wake me up? Why are they all in here?" He said, "Well they want to have a part of you too.
" I was raped by all his friends and Walt just watched and laughed.
Anytime his friends came over, that would happen.
I felt trapped.
Slowly, but surely, he was bringing me to a breakdown.
Well, that was going to be my escape by being in college and away from him for a while.
That angered him the most because he would no longer have control over me.
He wanted me to quit the program and just stay home with him.
For the first time in my marriage, I told him no.
"Absolutely not.
I'm not quitting.
" Walt had blue eyes, but he was so mad that I swear his eyes were black.
That's how angry he was.
And I knew then that, "Oh, my God, I'm in trouble.
" He went into the bedroom where we had our new purchased gun.
And I knew if I didn't do something, I was going to be killed.
And all I could think about was, "Oh, my God, if he kills me, what's going to happen to Roxanne?" Um I truly feel that she would have been killed.
So, I went I went after him, and the only thing I could think of was to kick him in the groin and he let loose of the gun a little bit, enough that I could grab it, and as I was backing away I tripped over the back part of the bed, and the gun went off and then shot him in the head.
And that's where I panicked.
I wasn't right.
Totally right at that time.
After everything, I I wasn't thinking straight.
But when the police did show up, I told them everything.
I didn't leave anything out.
I gave them the gun.
I let them know what happened.
And how it happened.
Before a packed courtroom, Linda Couch cried.
Occasionally, she shook her head.
Constantly beneath the table, she clutched a rosary.
Defense attorneys say Linda Couch's life was anything but calm.
Married at 16, they say she was tormented and abused by a domineering husband.
Last October, they say, he insisted she drop her college classes.
She refused and the tragedy occurred.
They struggled, they fell, the gun went off and when it was over, Walter was dead.
Linda Lee Couch's persona was, "Woe is me.
Look at me.
I'm a victim here.
I shouldn't be here.
" She certainly had a plan to present herself as a victim.
Did I see her as a victim? Absolutely not.
My name is Pat Dinkelacker, and in the case of State of Ohio vs.
Linda Lee Couch, I was an Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor presenting the case on behalf of the people of Ohio.
I was a prosecutor for 11 years.
I had done murders before, but this was a big deal.
I believe that, uh, she just no longer wanted Walter Couch around.
It did not matter to her that he was the father of her three kids who needed him.
She wanted a different life.
And instead of choosing what is the normal thing to do, a divorce, I think, because of who Linda Lee Couch is, that she opted to take his life.
As far as Linda, at trial, um, claims of abuse, my remembrance tells me that she did claim some type of abuse but I am not aware today, and I was not aware in 1984, of anything that I saw that in any way would justify her actions.
I've had black eyes.
He cracked my nose.
He pushed me down the steps while I was still pregnant with Roxanne.
The slightest little thing that she would do, he would beat her with his belt.
This just went on my entire time that I was married.
Some of the things she said, I'm hearing for the first time.
Very serious allegations, but we didn't hear that back in 1984.
If you got black eyes, if you got a cracked nose, if those things happened to you, you needed to do something right then and there to make sure that Mr.
Couch, number one, didn't do it again, number two, that you were safe, and number three, to protect that child.
Why all of a sudden, now, many, many years later, are we hearing this for the first time? Walt was very brutal.
So, literally, I was raped by all his friends and Walt just watched, and laughed.
I've prosecuted.
I've been a judge.
Anybody that claims that they are raped, that's a serious thing, and it is to be taken seriously.
Why didn't we hear this in 1984? It could have been something that, if it was true, and I'm not gonna be the one that says I think she's making it up or whatever, but if it was true, Ms.
Couch, why didn't we hear about it in 1984? I I will say this, unequivocally, that the evidence that was presented at the trial, by us as well as them, in no way conforms with what she's saying today is what happened.
At trial, we learned that Walter Couch, the victim, he was he was a pretty good guy.
Because the family, and I I do remember this specifically, the family was devastated by his loss.
Absolutely devastated.
He was a a good guy who certainly did not deserve to die the way he died.
My father was a headstrong man.
He had a temper that would just go from zero to 80 in a split second.
One little thing would set this man off.
My name is Roxanne Raquel Wagner.
I am the oldest daughter of Linda and Douglas Walter Couch.
I have lived in Ghana for three years now.
And I fell in love with it.
I fell in love with the people.
It's a peaceful country, and I live a peaceful life.
When I was a kid growing up, I looked just like my mother.
And I wasn't what my father wanted.
I wasn't pretty enough.
I was too big.
Um, my grades weren't good enough for him.
Anything I did wasn't good enough for him.
So I would be beaten every day.
On my hands, on my backside, on my legs, my arms.
It didn't matter.
He would take his belt off and beat me with that, to the point where I would just lay down.
I I got used to it though.
And, I mean, as sad as that is to say, I got used to it.
Um And I just had to deal with it.
There was nothing else I could do.
I was a kid.
But But I tried to learn, okay, what would set him off, so I could try to avoid it.
But regardless of what I did it didn't matter.
They all thought he was such a great man, such a loving father, because that was what he portrayed.
But it was just all show.
It was just one big magic trick.
An illusion that he created for everybody else.
Their marriage was a disaster from day one.
He would hit her.
He would shove her down to the ground.
I've seen it.
I saw it myself many times.
Um I've seen him throw her up against the wall.
I've seen the bruises on her, the hand marks around her throat at times and as as the years went on, it got worse and worse and worse.
When I first heard about the case, I guess, like a lot of people, you're wondering what really happened.
It was face-to-face, and we was fighting for the gun.
I kept pleading to him to give me the gun.
"Give me the gun before someone gets hurt.
I know someone's gonna get hurt.
" It then became, to me, very clear, she took his life on purpose.
She wanted him to die and she shot him and killed him.
Walter Couch was shot in the back of the head.
It wasn't a shot to the chest.
It wasn't a shot to the arm or whatever, indicating any type of a struggle.
It was a shot that, in my opinion, was an execution shot.
I felt pressure to get the right thing done.
Convictions are hard to get.
We needed to show You can call it premeditation.
Under the law, it's technically "prior calculation and design.
" And we knew we had to get all the pieces of the puzzle together.
And the first piece of evidence goes back to the deed.
A deed to the house that Walter and Linda lived in.
They put in a deed that it all goes to Walter.
Nothing to Linda Lee Couch.
Shortly before the murder, Linda Lee Couch got a hold of that deed, cut it, glued it, retyped it, whatever, put it together and deeded it to Linda Lee Couch.
Well, then you go on to the next step.
She got the kids out of the house.
That was part of the plan.
The kids couldn't be around the house if she's gonna execute her husband.
So she knew exactly what she was doing.
Then it goes from there.
She goes to kind of a department store in Cincinnati, and she does what? She buys a gun.
She had never expressed any interest in a gun before, had never had a gun before as far as our evidence showed us.
But she picks out a .
22 caliber semi-automatic.
Asked the guy there how to load it, he shows her how to load it, and buys some bullets.
And then there's no question, on October 13th, Walter Couch gets a bullet to the back of his head and dies.
I didn't know at the time whether if anybody was gonna believe me that this could be an accident.
I do not believe that in any way, shape or form, that that gun went off accidentally and that Linda Lee Couch accidentally killed her husband.
I truly believe that she did it with prior calculation and design, and I believe I will go to my grave believing that.
She wanted out.
She wanted out of the the marriage, she wanted out and away from him.
She had taken out credit cards.
She had taken out loans.
And my father never knew.
So, she was sort of hoarding for her future life and she told me all this.
I was with her when she went to the banks, when she would withdraw the money.
Um, I knew she had hid things up in the the ceiling.
I saw her do it.
I was her confidante.
I was her best friend.
Because she had nobody else to talk to.
But she just said, she always just told me, "Don't tell anyone, so no one will take it away from us," and all of that.
Eventually, all these loans came due and the bank kept insisting that he had to physically come in.
And she got scared.
She knew if he went there, that was it.
She had to keep him from discovering everything that she had done.
Because she knew that if he discovered it, that was the end.
There was no coming back from that.
I don't know what he would have done, but it would not have been good for any of us.
My name is Lawrence E.
Whalen, and at the time I was the Assistant Police Chief in charge of the operations bureau.
There was a dispatch came out about 3:40 in the afternoon, regarding some type of family trouble, a domestic disturbance.
Routine type call.
Didn't seem to be anything too far out of the ordinary.
I pulled over here up on the curb, got out.
There were two or three people in the front yard.
One was the deceased's father, Walter Couch Senior.
They were yelling.
There was a lot of confusion, a melee going on, and the the mother was shouting, "She killed my son, she killed my son!" There were several people in the backyard, a couple of family members, a couple of neighbors, and they were looking over into what had been a vegetable garden over the summer.
It was a level, even plot just turned over as you would lightly after a a season of planting.
And you could From here, standing at this point, you could smell death.
Ten days after he disappeared, Walter Couch's father found his son's body.
For two days, it lay wrapped in a rug in the basement until Linda Couch decided to hide it in the backyard.
My name is Clint Eckberg, and I was a juror on the Linda Couch murder case.
Seeing Linda Couch at the table in the courtroom, there is the initial feeling of, uh, sympathy and, uh, concern for the individual.
How could they have possibly gotten themselves in this situation? But as the case unraveled, and with the evidence presented, the thoughts in my mind go more to, you know, "This is a pretty cold-hearted act.
" That children were used to take it to the next step just it's shocking, uh, inhuman.
Carrying him out in a carpet, putting the carpet into the grave out in the backyard would certainly, I would think, stay with you for the rest of your life.
I knew that I didn't commit the crime.
I didn't kill him, but I felt just absolutely horrible inside.
Because she had me, unbeknownst to me bury my own father in the cold ground.
It was very difficult for me to process.
It It stayed with me for for a long time, until I literally just had to forgive myself because I I realized I was just a I was just a kid at the time.
That night's actions literally destroyed an entire family.
She said she felt trapped, but by her trying to get her freedom she trapped us.
She knew, without me being on her side that she had no one left.
So, for her to see me up there, against her, I'm sure it felt like a big betrayal to her.
I I tried to defend her many times, and my children always came first with me.
If I had to take a beating, I took it.
She never, everstood up for me.
This is a woman who literally walked out the door whenever he was doing it because she didn't want to see it.
So what she's saying actually makes me mad because while he did beat her He did.
That is true.
She never, ever took anything for me.
For her to say that, you know, she she tried to get the gun away because she feared that she would be killed and then I would be killed? No.
No, no, no, no, no.
Linda's concern is always about Linda.
Not about me.
Never has been about me.
I was raped by all his friends.
Anytime his friends came over, that would happen.
She likes to tell stories.
She likes to get sympathy and she will tell anyone anything if she thinks she can get something from it but for her to say that they had, all the time, they had all these parties all the time, and that they basically, they raped her every time, that just that just didn't happen.
She could tell you a lie and you would think it's the gospel truth, because she has told so many lies to so many people.
She believes her own lies.
She believes that that this all happened in her head.
I wouldn't say that I planned no murder.
I I didn't mean to kill him.
Um, I made a bad choice in putting him in the backyard, yes, but if I'd been in my right frame of mind, I would have called the police.
Um I didn't want any of this to happen.
I didn't I didn't want him dead.
I just wanted him to let us go.
I wanted to leave, but yet I was scared to leave.
I didn't know what else to do.
When I was in trial my attorney advised me not to say anything about my abuse from my husband.
He said, "Without any evidence, your word is just your word, not anybody else's.
" I truly believe if I'd been able to say what I wanted to say in court, I would not be sitting here today.
She never, ever stood up for me.
This is a woman who literally walked out the door because she didn't want to see it.
I hate to say this, but Roxanne is lying.
I did try to, uh, protect her.
And many a times I had She may not have known it, but I took a lot of her beatings.
I don't understand why, um Well, maybe I do understand why she's lying.
Um, Roxanne was under the thumb of my in-laws for all those years that she was was growing up while I was in here.
When she testified, I Even my attorney said to me that all that she said in court was rehearsed.
It just didn't sound like her.
I still love her.
Um, that'll never change.
I love all my children.
I felt just absolutely horrible inside because she had me, unbeknownst to me bury my own father in the cold ground.
Knowing that I helped bury him, it it stayed with me for for a long time.
They didn't help to dig.
I mean, they were outside when I was doing it.
But they they didn't do any of the digging.
There was no way those kids would have They were too young.
They, they They couldn't have done it.
And my state of mind at that point I wasn't even thinking about how it might affect the children.
Um I wasn't even a Didn't know how it was going to affect me.
Um I feel like I have served my time and more than that.
It's very frustrating every time you go and they just give you that reason for denying you: "Due to the nature of your crime" Well, my nature of my crime will never end.
It's always going to be the same, but what isn't the same is me.
I've changed.
I have done everything that I can possibly do to prove I'm a better person.
Once I'm released here, I'm going to get me a job, and I'm going to have my own place.
And just live out my life.
Whether or not, uh old friends want to see me or not, or my children I'm just going to continue to be who I am.

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