Horseshoe Bay is about 45 miles outside of Austin–a slice of paradise in the Texas Hill Country. People with a lot of money move there when they are ready to relax in a private, gorgeous setting. Several celebrities, politicians, judges, NFL players live there. The police force generally deals with issues like speeding or boating after having too many drinks. Until November 2005, there hadn’t been a murder in this tiny community in 17 years.
That all changed when police received a call on Monday, November 14, 2005. Charles Clinton White, a 73-year-old millionaire, was missing. Charlie (pictured above) hadn’t shown up for his regular golf game–and he hadn’t shown up to meet his jet for a planned trip to Dallas. When police arrived at his waterfront house, they discovered several of his friends gathered outside, all worrying. When investigators went inside, they found Charlie White–beaten to death and strangled.
Initially, there was a large pool of possible suspects for the police. Because of White’s reputation as a ladies’ man, there could be any number of women angry with him. But he was also in great shape for a man in his 70s, and this didn’t seem like a crime committed by a woman. But maybe it was a business deal gone bad, the police speculated–his briefcase had been dumped on top of his body. That was a tantalizing clue.
When they started digging into White’s life, the police found several extremely loyal friends–but they also did find many potential enemies. It turned out that some of the people angriest at Charlie White were (at least at one point) members of his family.
Through their intense investigation, the police discovered White’s killer within a matter of days–they arrested his youngest son, a good-looking 38-year-old ski instructor, Darin White. In one of the four angles of his mug shot, Darin is grinning like a little kid.
This may seem like a clear-cut case. But the arrest of Darin White was only the beginning of this case. Darin’s story began the real investigation into his life–and his father’s.
In my job as a producer for CBS News /48 Hours, I have covered this story for three years. I’ve gotten to know every person involved in this case: Darin, the police, the attorneys, the victim’s friends. I never would have guessed all the twists and turns this case would take. Through two trials, the little town of Horseshoe Bay (and especially all of the people involved in this case) have endured more than their share of exhaustion and drama. Definitely enough to last them another 17 years.
The case–and our show–finally has an ending. If you happen to be at home Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET, turn your television to CBS to watch a tale that involves very real people who have been through a very real drama . . . but one that is truly stranger than fiction. (And if you aren't home, DVR it for later!) Don't miss "Blood and Money on Horseshoe Bay." You won’t be disappointed. (And check out our Web site for the inside scoop from correspondent Peter Van Sant.)