Worst Roommate Ever (2022) s02e03 Episode Script

Burning Down the House

[uneasy music playing]
[cell phone ringing]
[phone chimes]
-[Tammy on phone] Hey, kiddo.
-What are you doing?
Mm, just got done eating.
What are you up to?
Just hanging out on the couch.
[Christian] My whole life, my mom
was more of a roommate than anything.
[Tammy] How's the baby?
They're thinking he's probably
about five, six pounds right now.
Aww. You getting nervous?
I was born ready.
[Christian] Uh, on the phone,
she sounds like a sweet lady.
And you know, I'm used to having
nine-pound babies, ten-pound babies,
so hopefully you all's first one
won't be that big.
[Christian] Don't let the voice fool you,
because she will hurt you.
All right.
I love you, and you guys be safe.
-I'll talk to you soon.
-All right.
[Christian] Bo taught me,
keep your friends close,
keep your enemies closer.
That's one of the things I do with my mom.
[ominous music playing]
[birds chirping]
[tranquil music playing]
[James] For most of my life,
I have felt like I've kind of fumbled
my way through stuff.
Anything that I excelled at,
it was because I did it
on a whole idiot savant level.
Didn't have to know exactly what
I was doing, just get it done right.
So, when I joined the military,
it made sense.
Growing up here in Alaska,
I need to go ahead and get out of here.
[rock music playing]
[James] So I joined in August of 1997,
and I was, uh, stationed
in, uh, Fort Carson, Colorado.
When I first went into the military,
I wasn't all that tight with my family.
And so I kind of adopted the mentality of,
you know, you figure out
who you want to hang out with,
who's important to you,
kind of pick your family, you know?
All right, this morning. Right over there.
We get on a chopper.
Film most of this so you can see it.
And, uh, if you don't know me,
my name is Fritz
[James] When I met Rich Fritz,
he and I were real tight.
[tranquil guitar music playing]
[James] I was his soldier.
I was assigned to him
as part of his squad.
The man that Rich was for me,
his leadership skills,
yeah, they were, uh,
still something that I I hold onto.
[Joyce] My son Rich,
he'd give his life for them.
He would give it up.
Rich was probably one of my best friends.
He just had a good personality.
He really did.
He always was trying
to be the life of the party.
He just loved doing things
to make you laugh.
I'm gonna go down here
and get an interview with Bowden.
He's picking his butt as I'm
here with the future
president of the United States.
-[James laughing]
-[Rich] That's true.
[James] His big thing was making sure
that the people he served with
knew that the military is a job,
but you want to get home to your family.
He loved his family.
He talked about Tammy a lot.
He talked about Christian a lot.
Everybody knew family was priority.
[Christian] My father
was very loving but firm.
A lot of stuff I remember my father
was his last little time in the military,
uh, doing push-ups and crunches
in the living room.
-[meat sizzling]
-[indistinct chattering]
[Christian] We were out there
having cookouts,
and he's having his buddies
from the military come over.
You know, with Fort Carson
being right there,
and that's where my dad was stationed.
So was Bo.
[unsettling music playing]
Rich got out of active duty
April or May of 2001.
He had a nice little beer gut going.
He was fat and happy.
He was, you know,
living life to its fullest.
And so, you know, him to die, you know,
Father's Day weekend was just, you know
I I definitely was shocked.
[plaintive piano music playing]
Rich and his friend, uh, were planning
a boat trip to Utah for the families.
For two days, he wasn't feeling good.
And he did go to the doctors,
um, and he did get antibiotics.
They diagnosed it as strep.
And on the third day in the morning,
um, he was found dead in his bed.
My son was 28 when he died.
It definitely pulled the wind
out of my sails, though, when he passed.
Uh, that point, I was just tired, done.
I wanted to go ahead and just completely
step away from the military.
When I was getting ready to get out
of the military, I needed a place to stay.
And Tammy Fritz, she called me up
out of the blue, talking about,
"Hey, yeah, I've got an extra room.
You know, you can stay with us."
You know, she's offering me
a place to stay rent-free.
I would say that I was both
surprised and relieved.
That was just that whole dumb-luck thing.
Here I am, making a big change,
no clue where I'm gonna go,
and an opportunity
has presented itself to me.
So, I was like,
"Well, shit, that saved me from
having to find an apartment or anything,"
'cause I literally had no plan.
[intriguing music playing]
[James] December 23rd,
I moved in with Tammy and Christian.
It was a big house.
A really, really nice,
wholesome, clean-cut neighborhood.
Not like in the money, but you're-on-
the-cusp-of-the-money neighborhood.
At the time, I would say I did not know
Tammy Fritz very well.
But with the Army,
we always talk about
taking care of our own.
So when Rich passed
and Tammy, being Rich's widow,
that still made her family by extension.
Tammy was definitely
more like a big sister
in a sense of, "Hey, let's go party."
But Tammy was also,
you know, very helpful too.
I didn't have a safe
or anything like that for documents.
So she had a fireproof safe.
Like, my birth certificate,
my social security card
All that stuff, we would put in the safe.
I didn't really give it
much thought at the time.
[foreboding music plays]
[James] Fort Carson
is in Colorado Springs,
and all my boys would come over
to the house there and, like,
camp out in the living room.
We'd play Mortal Kombat,
or watch big old-movie marathons,
or whatever.
And that was the thing,
you know, you stayed in the barracks
Monday through Thursday night.
But Friday night,
everybody went over to Tammy's.
She made sure,
"Well, hell, if I'm having a party,
what's the point of having fun
if you can't have your friends
have fun with you?"
Tammy's house became
our haven and our hangout spot.
It was fun. It was, it was an escape.
[gentle piano music playing]
[Mike] James is one of my best friends.
My number one friend in the military.
James is one of those guys
that as soon as you get to know him,
the loyalty's always gonna be there.
When James moved in with Tammy,
he did it out of loyalty to Rich
by providing the male figure
that Christian didn't have,
and that protector
that that Tammy didn't have.
[James] Christian was definitely extremely
excited to have me in there with him.
I always treated him
like a little brother.
You know, I was his rock.
I call James Eric Bowden "Bo,"
just 'cause that's what
I've always known him as.
And, like, I've heard people
call him Jimmy, people call him James.
But to me, he will always be "Bo."
When Bo moved in,
he oftentimes would bring me
anywhere and everywhere, you know?
We would go out and get food together,
go on a drive in the Camaro.
Bo was probably the first person
I ever saw, you know,
with the PlayStation 2,
and taught me what some video games were,
and he didn't put himself first.
He put me in his plans a lot.
He was the closest thing
I felt like I had to my dad.
[intriguing music playing]
Tammy, she was working
for the Colorado Springs sheriff's office
as an emergency dispatcher.
So she spent a lot of time
working the nightlife and, you know,
sleeping during the day.
She would leave Christian
with Mike and myself or, you know,
any of the guys, and, you know,
know that he's safe.
You know, so it was easy.
Over the next few months,
Tammy was just missing sometimes
and not not being there
for for Christian.
And James definitely
stepped up to the plate.
[James] At the time,
I was working as a doorman.
So I would get home
seven o'clock in the morning.
And then I was, you know,
there to help Christian.
Make sure he was dressed,
and take him to Catholic school,
pick him up, get home
I became like Christian's
big brother/babysitter.
[Christian] My mom and Bo,
they kept it, like, very roommate.
I don't even think I've seen them hug.
They'd go drink together
every once in a while,
but, you know,
they had their own very separate lives.
Then other
Like, a lot of questions about, you know,
was I dating her or something?
"No, no."
She had her room,
and she did whatever the heck.
And I had my room, and I dated.
Not often, but I dated, you know?
And so did she, you know, so
[Christian] She was dating
a man named Steve,
and every weekend, going out to Steve's.
[intriguing music playing]
If she didn't want me there,
then I'd get left at the house.
She would call me on Thanksgiving
and Christmas and say,
"I've got a party to go to.
Can you watch Christian?"
Or, "My boyfriend and I
want to go someplace,
and Christian can't come."
You put your boyfriends and friends
over your children?
[dark music playing]
Tammy and I, every once in a while,
we'd hang out or whatever.
I remember we had been drinking
because Tammy had had a fight
with her boyfriend.
So she was depressed.
So she needed to get drunk.
So I was like, "Okay, screw it."
Tammy had a drink that she was
really fond of called a Tuaca bomb.
It was just, well, here's Tuaca,
and there's a bit of Red Bull for you.
We had just been drinking that Tuaca bomb
[tense music playing]
and I don't even remember
if I finished that whole glass,
but I just get completely plowed.
Not just like normal sick,
like, you know,
oh, drank too much or whatever.
No, there was, like,
something wrong with my body.
[uneasy music playing]
[James] The following day, I remember
we're getting ready to go to work.
I was trying to go from my bedroom
to the bathroom, take a shower.
I had to crawl to the bathroom.
I can hardly walk.
Christian finds me in our bathroom.
And there I am sprawled out on the floor,
butt-ass naked, just completely out of it.
Me being so young,
you don't understand what's going on.
I mean, like, I remember just seeing
sirens and blue flashing lights.
[sirens wailing]
[James] Next thing you know,
there's the ambulance
and everything like that.
They got me rushed to a hospital.
[uneasy music intensifies]
[James] They thought
I was high on something
'cause first thing
the doctor wanted to do was,
"Hey, let's take a spinal tap,
see what he's been messing around with."
Which, that came back
completely inconclusive.
And, you know, I still had no clue.
What the hell?
All I knew was the only thing that changed
was the fact
that I'd let Tammy make the drink.
And hindsight is always 20/20.
[foreboding music playing]
[music fades to silence]
[Christian] When my father became sick,
it also had happened very rapidly.
One second he was perfectly fine,
and then within, like, the next day,
he was really sick.
[dark music playing]
[Joyce] When my son got sick,
Rich and Tammy
had been married for seven years.
Most of his life,
he grew up wanting a wife,
children, a house,
and a white picket fence.
That was his dream.
When Rich called me to tell me
that he was marrying Tammy,
he hadn't known her that long.
I think I said to him,
"Why would you marry someone
that you haven't known that long?"
So when they came
to our house for Thanksgiving,
I met her face-to-face.
There were some things
that she said during our conversation
that didn't make me feel comfortable
because some of her questions
were leading to what we had,
what we didn't have.
And it just seemed like
she was just looking
for materialistic things,
and not love for my son.
Throughout their entire marriage,
Rich wouldn't deny Tammy anything.
Whatever she wanted,
he would make sure she got it.
She wanted this and that,
and he said, "Mom, I don't know
what else I can do for her."
"I am trying."
"I'm working as hard as I can,
and I don't know what else I can do
to make her happy."
But Tammy was not happy,
and they were talking
about getting a divorce.
He was very upset.
And Rich said, "The house is in my name."
"The cars are in my name."
"The boat's in my name."
And he said,
"She can go.
She's just not getting the kid,
and she's not getting
what I worked so hard for."
Two weeks later, he wasn't feeling good.
He had a sore throat. He had a cough.
And then he went to the doctor's,
and it was diagnosed as strep throat.
[Christian] I remember giving him
a homemade Father's Day card
and telling him I love him
and I'd see him tomorrow.
And I remember seeing him
kind of spitting up some blood
into a blue pitcher.
[dark music playing]
[Christian] He told me
when he feels better,
we'll go hang out and we'll do things.
And then he wasn't there the next day.
And I never saw my dad again.
[Joyce] That morning, he was dead.
So on Father's Day, he was dead.
[producer] I'm so sorry.
I'm sorry too, 'cause he was a good man.
Tammy was awful.
She didn't even call me
and tell me that he died.
I had people come to my work
to tell me that my son was dead.
And I I just I went numb.
[suspenseful music pulsating]
[Mike] When Rich died, it was very odd.
Nobody knew why he had passed.
He was young, was healthy.
The news even said
that it could have been the plague.
I mean, it was what everybody
could talk about.
[James] Everybody was surprised.
You know, especially when
the story comes back
that Rich passed away from some version
of the plague from prairie dogs.
Yeah, what the fuck?
[suspenseful music building]
[Joyce] During the funeral,
she played the role of a grieving widow.
But I knew that something wasn't right.
I found out that he was going to be taken
right after the viewing before the funeral
and cremated that afternoon.
My son did not want to be cremated.
We had lengthy discussions about that.
He wanted to be buried.
So I couldn't understand
why she wanted to cremate him,
especially with everything the way it was.
They were really unsure
of his cause of death.
Maybe a month after my son's death,
she was selling the house,
the boat, the vehicles,
and collecting
her life insurance policy on my son.
She had two of them.
They believe it was like 150,000
that he had through the military,
and then a couple weeks before his death,
there was another policy
taken out on him for an equal amount.
I had a mom's gut feeling
that something wasn't right.
[crows cawing]
[eerie music playing]
[James] After I left the hospital,
I went back to Tammy's.
She's still out there
living her best life.
It was Thursday night.
It was ladies' night.
Tammy loved ladies' night, you know?
We all go out, Tammy and some friends.
She's picking up the tab.
Tammy's getting me completely shit-faced.
We get back to the house.
And I was so out of it
that I passed right out.
[James coughing]
[James] I wake up choking on smoke.
[fire alarm beeping]
[James] I think I crawled
down the stairs or something,
and out the front door,
and just lay there
on my back on the grass.
[sirens blaring]
[James] Firefighters get there.
Police get there.
[sirens wailing]
[James] In the bedroom there,
I've got a desk
that's got a whole bunch
of papers and stuff like that.
That caught on fire where the papers were.
[unsettling music playing]
The night of the house fire, I actually
stayed at a friend's house.
But I was told either Bo left
his PlayStation on and it overheated,
or he knocked over a candle
when he was drunk.
My mom was maybe upset for all
of about 30 seconds, it seemed like.
"Bo was trying to catch my house on fire."
But it was never anything more.
And then didn't hear anything ever again.
You know, I just can't catch a break.
After the fire at Tammy's house,
I decided I needed to go ahead
and get a safe environment
away from there.
I had to respect the reality
that I was drinking a heck of a lot more
and having way too many
blackout drunk moments.
Just like when I got back from Bosnia,
I was having a hard time
coping with a lot of that stuff.
You know, I was already, um,
in counseling for depression,
my PTSD, and drinking.
So at this point,
I can't be drinking with Tammy.
You know, still loved her,
but not healthy for me to be around her.
And so I moved in with a buddy of mine.
[haunting music playing]
[Christian] When Bo moved out,
I was in fifth grade.
Living with my mom,
the transition was a little bit harder.
We moved to a, like, two-bedroom condo,
and she was always gone.
So I had to learn how to cook
and clean and fend for myself
instead of learning how to do school
and play ball and have fun with friends.
She felt more like a roommate
than a parental figure.
I used to remember exactly what time
Bo would get home.
That was my safety,
you know, knowing Bo got home.
And I didn't have that anymore.
That that was That was hard for me.
I mean, I remember being scared.
I'd go hide in the closet,
call my grandma.
Christian shared with me,
um, that he felt abandoned.
Many, many, many nights, he would call me
and say, "Grandma, I'm scared."
And if I was out of town,
there was nothing I could do
except for stay on the phone with him
and try to comfort him.
Tammy had no motherly instinct
to help Christian be on the right path.
She was more concerned about herself.
She was so selfish.
[Christian] Any time
my mom and I were together,
it was an argument.
I was so angry at her.
Just lashing out any way I could.
It was just a downhill slope real fast.
I didn't wanna listen to rules anymore.
Got suspended for the first time
in school for a fight.
Sixth grade, you know, honor roll.
I enjoyed school.
To, like, seventh grade,
I was so checked out.
[James] After I stopped living
with Christian and Tammy,
my relationship with Christian,
it was, unfortunately, rather distant
just because of the fact
that everything went through Tammy.
The only way
I was gonna be able to see Christian
was 'cause she was bringing him around.
You know, so, yeah,
for a good chunk of time,
he kind of
slipped out of my life a bit there.
[suspenseful music playing]
[James] At this point,
Tammy left the sheriff's office
and went and started working
for Armor Construction
as their office manager.
Tammy contacted me
because she needed a guy that just
got crap wherever it needed to be.
She was the reason why I started
working for Armor Construction,
dropping off crap and picking it up.
But after a couple of years,
business wasn't doing as well.
For whatever reason,
company's having a hard time
making payroll.
[Christian] Summer of
my seventh-grade year, 2009,
my mom started hanging out
with Sean and Michelle.
[dark music playing]
[Christian] They were
just always with my mom.
Michelle often would play with me.
She had two children.
She was very nice.
[chilling music playing]
[Christian] Sean, on the other hand,
a very angry, aggressive man.
Eventually, they moved in,
and then they were just there constantly.
My mom gave them my room
and forced me to move
into her room or sleep on the couch.
And I hated them for that.
My mom, Sean, and Michelle,
they go to my room,
come back, look different, act different.
I think my mom was on a lot of drugs.
Sometime after I, uh,
was no longer her roommate,
that was really where I learned
that Tammy used drugs religiously.
Just some really scary shit
Christian was subject to being around.
This whole ordeal
tore Christian's world apart.
[Christian] It was very rough
having Sean around.
I'd walk into a room,
and I'd feel very uncomfortable.
I knew Sean had his own firearm.
[foreboding music playing]
One time, I hit the car alarm
while he was looking through something.
-He panicked and hit his head.
-[Sean grunts]
[Christian] He pulled out a golf club
and said he'd beat me to death.
He threatened to cut my throat
from ear to ear.
My mom was never around
to see him threaten me.
Nor did she ever really care.
If I told her,
she didn't say anything about it.
You know, I went from a childhood
scared of a boogeyman, monsters,
and then feeling like I had
a real monster live with me.
And I was truly scared.
[Flynn] Tammy is a complex character.
This was a woman I studied
for five and a half years.
I totaled 20 years
with the Colorado Springs
Police Department,
and my last 14 years were as a detective
in the financial crimes unit.
In the summer of 2009,
Colorado Springs Police Department
was investigating several complaints
of identity theft,
credit card fraud, and check fraud.
Our primary suspect
in the investigation is Tammy Fritz.
[intriguing music playing]
[Flynn] It started with
a criminal complaint
that was filed by Tammy's employer,
who ended up firing her.
Tammy was employed
by a construction company
as a bookkeeper business manager.
She had signature authority
on checks for the company.
And unfortunately,
she started misappropriating money,
started issuing bad checks,
large amount of checks,
that she was having her minions cash.
And that's what set
this whole investigation off.
Now the job was to collect
as much evidence as we could.
[James] July 2009, I was so out of a job.
I am "broke" broke.
And I was, you know,
really, really depressed.
I was just, "You know what?
Screw it, I'm gonna go ahead."
And I called my folks,
I talked to my folks,
and they decided they were gonna go ahead
and help me get my life together.
Relocate back up to Alaska,
go to college, finish up my degree,
and make a a change.
[Christian] Bo told my mother and I
he was moving back to Alaska.
Of course, you know, I'm sad.
I'm losing my brother.
And my mom was very pissed, you know.
I remember seeing my mom,
Sean, and Michelle higher than a kite.
And my mom, she's going back and forth,
just sporadic,
and her eyes just look different.
She wasn't my mom.
[tense music playing]
[James] That last weekend before,
we were doing this whole
"final moments of the family
being together" kind of a thing.
Tammy, she had one of her girlfriends
helping move.
Christian was there helping.
[Christian] That weekend,
my mom and Michelle,
we actually all helped him pack up
to move to Alaska.
Uh, we went out and played pool
after everything was all packed up.
[James] You know, we went and had dinner,
came back to the apartment,
and we were playing video games,
having a good send-off.
And then Tammy and Christian
were gonna go ahead and drive me
from Colorado Springs
up to the Denver Airport
to fly to Alaska the following day.
We said, "Hey, we'll see you tomorrow."
We actually went home early because
someone said they weren't feeling well,
and then, you know, we went back
to my mom's condo apartment.
[James] After they went home,
I remember trying to
um just go to bed.
[Christian] I woke up that night,
house black, lights are off.
No one's home. Mom's not in her room.
Like, Sean, Michelle,
they're not in my room.
I thought maybe, you know, they went out
drinking with Bo or something.
And I went back to bed.
Didn't think anything of it.
[James] Next thing I know
[knocking on door]
I wake up to, like, knocking at the door
or something like that.
[pounding on door]
[James] Go to find out what it was.
And then, boom.
[ominous music playing]
That morning, my mom and I
were supposed to take him to the airport.
We were going to go get Albertacos
breakfast burritos for the last time.
And it was supposed
to just be our goodbye.
I had to knock on his door.
I was just super excited to see him,
you know, that one last time.
That one last little happy moment.
But I knocked, and I waited.
And then I called, and she called, and
Just no answer.
So I was like, "Maybe he's sleeping in,
you know, heavy sleeper."
"We'll get him. We'll get him up."
[pounding on door]
So my mom's like,
"Okay, let's just drive around."
And then she starts acting really weird.
Really weird.
Making phone calls.
I just had a weird feeling.
[intense music playing]
[Flynn] James' mother,
she had not heard from Jimmy.
She asked the apartment manager
to go and check on him.
The apartment manager
walked over to the front door,
unlocked it, and noticed all of this blood
streaking all over the floor.
Closed the door.
CSPD was called right away.
Two patrol officers came out.
Found Jimmy in the bed
in a semi-conscious state,
bleeding from a serious head wound.
He was transported to the hospital.
[sirens wailing]
[Flynn] He suffered multiple fractures
and a broken jaw.
He had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Something had hit him.
But he has no recollection
of what happened to him.
I woke up, and I'd already been there
almost a week.
Um, my left jaw is hurting.
Got a pretty good gash on my head.
My parents fly down from Alaska
and, you know,
come see me in the hospital.
Doctors are talking to my parents,
and they're trying to explain to them
the situation as best they can.
Apparently, I was drinking,
and something happened.
I fell over, cracked my jaw,
and busted my head
on something or another.
At some point during the night,
Jimmy, who was semi-conscious,
was able to drag himself
down a hallway to his bedroom.
And then that's where he laid,
probably going
in and out of consciousness,
from roughly eight o'clock that night
to all into the next day.
[James] Come to find out, apparently,
the officer that found me in my apartment
didn't think it was foul play of any sort.
So he didn't file any police paperwork.
My dad, law enforcement for over 40 years,
he knew something didn't sound right.
"Somebody has attacked you,
was the only way you ended up
with those kinds of injuries."
[unsettling music playing]
[James] When he showed up to Colorado,
he and Mom brought
their regular full camera equipment,
you know, like you would do
for a normal family vacation,
except for Dad's still a cop.
So he's going into the apartment
before he even lets Mom in,
and he's taking crime scene photos.
[camera shutter clicking]
[James] My dad recognized
that the area had suspicious activity.
It wasn't an accident.
[Christian] My mom,
she tells me Bo's at a hospital.
Well, why is Bo at a hospital?
"He's had an accident."
My mom couldn't give me a story.
And seeing Bo the first time
in the hospital was
It hurt.
[emotional music playing]
[Christian] Mentally,
he was a child, you know?
He couldn't make out a sentence,
didn't know who I was,
didn't know where he was,
didn't know anything.
My brother, my best friend
He wasn't Bo.
It was a side of Bo I've never seen.
It was the most painful thing
that I've seen from Bo.
My mom was by his bedside all the time.
Very sporadic actions.
She was willing to help out Bo's family
any way they needed.
[James] My parents had
flown me back up to Alaska,
helping me with my recovery.
I was as close as you can get
to a functional zombie,
and I wasn't making
any decisions for myself or anything.
My parents didn't have any expectations
about my ability to,
you know, recover my cognition.
[Christian] After he was attacked,
I started seeing a baseball bat
in our living room.
[chilling music playing]
[Christian] I saw an Xbox
that looked exactly like Bo's.
You know, had a Gears of War
sticker on it just like his.
Sean would play a lot.
And I remember telling Sean, like,
"Wow, dude, my brother has the same Xbox."
He goes, "Yeah, man."
Like just blew it off like it was nothing.
I did hear a story that Bo could've fallen
and hit his head,
but I didn't think that he fell.
I just didn't know.
Wasn't old enough to put together
puzzle pieces that were there just yet.
I just knew that my mom
was into some things
that she shouldn't be in.
[Flynn] In the fall of 2009,
we start getting
more and more criminal complaints
from citizens in Colorado Springs.
There were over 50, uh, fraud victims.
As we're investigating,
we found out that Tammy had access
to very sensitive
credit information on people.
With that access, she would apply
for credit cards in their names,
but having it mailed to her.
And she had targeted certain people,
particularly around where she lived
in the apartment complex.
[Christian] My mom would hide things
around the apartment.
We had a little electric fireplace
that you can turn on with a switch,
and she would actually
hide envelopes in those grates.
She'd pull up the grate
and hide stacks of envelopes.
One time, I remember her putting on a wig
and asked me if she looks like
her friend in this driver's license.
And she showed me a driver's license,
trying to look like this person.
Tammy being a manipulating personality,
she recruits these two,
Sean and Michelle,
pretty much as her henchmen.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Flynn] Sean and Michelle,
they were two homeless people.
Drug addicts.
No jobs, no car, no money.
They were dependent on Tammy.
And that's how she was able
to build this ring around her.
[Joyce] Tammy called
and said that she was scared,
and that she was feeling
she was going to be arrested.
She thought people
were investigating her and following her.
When I asked her
why she was being arrested, she said,
"Well, they're looking at me
for things that I didn't do."
And she wouldn't tell me,
so I just listened to her.
But again, this woman
has lied to me so many times
that I had no idea
what was true and what wasn't.
[Flynn] Tammy was arrested
at the beginning of November,
charged with offenses related
to identity theft, white-collar crime,
check fraud, credit card fraud.
[Joyce] When Tammy was arrested,
I got custody of Christian.
I had power of attorney from her,
and I was able to go into her condo.
I spent two days cleaning up
Tammy's condo after her arrest.
What I found
while going through Tammy's boxes
was a life insurance policy
that she had taken out on Bowden.
I also found receipts
of the credit card charges
that she was paying for this policy.
And when I looked at the policy itself,
she had indicated that Bowden
was her "significant other."
They weren't married.
Bowden was strictly a roommate of Tammy's.
I went immediately
and called the detective
who was working her case
for financial fraud.
This case was going right along,
but the complexion of the case
suddenly changed quickly
with the information
developed by Joyce Fritz.
I contacted the insurance company.
They provided us the insurance policy.
And, at this point, we found out
that Tammy Fritz went online
and applied for this
ten-year term life insurance policy
for $150,000,
insuring Jimmy Bowden
with Tammy Fritz
as the 100% beneficiary of the policy.
She didn't have to have Mr. Bowden
sign anything.
It was an electronic signature
on the application.
So from May of 2005
all the way to August of 2009,
she is paying the policy premiums
with her Visa credit card.
We're in contact with Jimmy's father,
who tells us this is the first time
Jimmy has ever heard of this policy.
He never took it out.
Knew nothing about it.
As soon as I saw the insurance policy
that listed Tammy Fritz
as my significant other,
I knew that we were dealing
with a case of fraud.
Ah, now it makes sense.
You know, my birth certificate,
my, uh, social security card
Everything right there in her safe.
It became very crystal clear
that the previous fire in the bedroom
and other incidents
were not just random accidents.
They were attempts on my life,
attempts to cash in that cow.
[dark music playing]
Right after that,
Joyce is talking to family members,
contacts one of Tammy's brothers.
And that's when kind of the cork,
you know, came off the bottle.
I spent one evening
with her brother having dinner,
where I found out about a taped recording
from Tammy's mother to Tammy's boyfriend.
[recorded conversation playing]
[Flynn] Thanks to Joyce Fritz,
we opened up a separate investigation
into the attempted murder of Jimmy Bowden.
We had the opportunity to interview
Tammy's brother, Phillip.
Phillip had told us that one night
they were there at the nightclub
and they were having drinks,
and Tammy shared with Phillip her scheme
to knock off Jimmy Bowden
for insurance money.
She tells Phillip what her game plan is.
She was going to spike his drink
with methamphetamine or GHB,
the date rape drug.
[Flynn] For doing all of this,
she was going to pay Phillip
$25,000 in insurance payout.
Phil didn't like Tammy's plan.
Declined being involved in the murder.
At the last moment
before Jimmy takes off for Alaska,
Tammy Fritz was panicking
that Jimmy Bowden
was going to leave for Alaska.
She wouldn't be able to finish him off,
and she wouldn't be able
to collect the insurance money.
So she's gotta act quickly.
And as a last resort,
she talks Sean into taking a baseball bat
and beating Jimmy to death.
[James] This was calculated.
I believe Tammy
definitely had designs on me,
simply if, for nothing else,
the out-of-the-blue phone call
before I even got out of the military
when I didn't have her phone number.
It's like hunting a herd.
You pick off one,
separate him from the rest of the herd,
get a nice, clean kill.
[wildebeest moaning]
So if you've got somebody who really
doesn't gel well with their family,
uh, then they've already segregated
themselves from the rest of the herd.
So at that point,
they're a heck of a lot easier
to control and manipulate.
Yeah, that was definitely a hunt mission.
[Mike] As it started coming out
that Tammy was trying to kill James,
it started raising questions of,
"Did she have anything to do
with Rich's death?"
"If she's that deceptive now,
was she always that deceptive?"
[Joyce] My gut feeling told me
that Tammy was responsible
for my son's death,
but I cannot prove it.
It makes me sad
that there's That she will
probably never be charged
because there's no evidence to support it
because she had his body cremated.
[Flynn] The district attorney
reviewed all of our evidence.
The grand jury returned
a three-way indictment of Tammy Fritz,
her roommates, Sean and Michelle,
for first-degree attempted murder
on the life of Jimmy Bowden.
It was because of the legwork
that my dad did
with the photos and everything like that
that they were able to then turn around
and use that information
during the whole attempted murder trial.
[dark music playing]
[Joyce] I really and truly believe
this woman is evil.
They may never get her for my son's death,
but I'm comfortable
that they got her for Bowden
and that she's off the street.
[dark music continues]
[Christian] What went through my mind
when they said that she was guilty
and she had that many years,
it was a relief.
It was time for a new chapter.
[cell phone ringing]
[automated voice]
I have a prepaid call from
[Tammy] Tammy.
[automated voice] an inmate
at a Colorado correctional facility.
-[Tammy] Hey, kiddo.
-What are you doing?
Just got done eating.
The storms have been really crazy here.
They had a tornado
in your dad's old neighborhood
this past weekend.
It it did a lot of damage.
[Christian] I allow her to call me
whenever she wants.
I talk to her 'cause I wanna know
what's going on in her life.
I wanna know what her moves are.
[Tammy] Not sure
if the outfit's gonna fit.
I tried to make it a little bigger.
That's supposed to be six to nine months.
[Christian] I have a son on the way,
and she's been very,
"I wanna help you, wanna do this."
But she's the most
manipulative woman I've ever met.
She's not afraid to use you
to get what she needs.
Outside of phone calls, I don't know
if I'd ever let her in my life.
Um, not only for my safety,
but my own son's safety.
I know that Bo and my dad
being in the Army
helped me decide to join the military.
I wanted the same brotherhood
I saw them have when I was growing up.
[knocking on door]
[James] Hey. What's going on, man?
-[heartwarming music playing]
-[James sighs]
-[Christian] How you been?
-[James] Getting bigger, you bastard.
[Christian laughing]
-Someone said eat my vegetables.
-I listened once.
-There you go. Look at that.
[Christian] You know, Bo's always said,
"Sometimes family isn't just blood,
and you can choose family."
He stepped in to show me,
like, you are loved.
[birds chirping]
-It's pretty hot out here today, though.
-[James, on video] Yeah, it is.
Yeah, he's sweating his ass off.
That's the first time I heard his voice.
[Rich] I'm gonna go
and get an interview with Bowden.
He's picking his butt as I'm
[Christian laughs]
here with the future
president of the United States.
[Christian and Bo laughing]
Man, he was a character.
Christian is definitely still my guy.
My family, my baby brother.
Definitely made me feel nothing but pride.
I'll see you guys shortly.
Talk to you soon. So, love you.
[blows kiss]
[James] The best thing that I can say
about anything that I've ever done
has to be with him
because of how he's turned out.
And the values that his dad put into me
that I was able then
to reciprocate into his own son.
If his dad was alive, he'd be proud.
His son's doing exactly
what he's supposed to be doing,
which is living a better life
than his dad.
[Christian] That's crazy.
[James] With my, you know,
traumatic brain injury,
there are definitely some, uh,
significant holes in my memory.
[somber music playing]
Had to do speech therapy,
physical therapy.
You know, the person that was
helping me out with my therapy
said that in order to go ahead
and get your brain
to start healing itself,
you've got to challenge it.
I was able to pick up an Xbox.
I bought Assassin's Creed
because, you know,
I don't like killing people
and stuff like that, but hey,
you're solving puzzles.
And that really is when
stuff kind of started firing.
I was able to go from essentially being
the vegetable that arrived
in Alaska in August of 2009,
to I started taking college classes
in spring of 2010.
To this day, I still have to do
counseling and stuff like that.
The whole "Tammy trying
to kill me for money" thing,
yeah, there's definitely
a lot of demons there to sort out.
I've mellowed.
I've Now not as angry.
The James that I was no longer exists.
That ship sank.
And so like a phoenix
rising from the ashes,
this is the new model.
[chilling music playing]
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