Scoop: 48 HOURS on CBS - Saturday, December 8, 2012
Deborah Edwards was determined to get her daughter's killer locked up. Frustrated with the investigation into the 2009 strangulation of Dana Clair Edwards, Deborah took matters into her own hands. She began taunting the alleged killer, Jon Thomas Ford, with notes and emails marking anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day.
Each note included a reference to her daughter, Dana Clair, a vivacious 32-year-old MBA who was found dead in the bathroom of her home in the wealthy San Antonio enclave of Alamo Heights. Driven by intuition that Ford was the killer, Deborah began writing him, sometimes using Dana Clair's e-mail account.
"What does a mother do when she's seen her daughter in a pool of blood," Deborah Edwards tells Richard Schlesinger in 48 HOURS: Everything to Lose," to be broadcast Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 (10:00 PM, PT/ET) on the CBS Television Network.
What she did was pepper Thomas with notes that read, "Mother's Day – Never the same," or one from Dana Clair's e-mail asking, "How long were you planning this murder?" Edwards also wrote, "The tile is so cold. Happy anniversary."
Dana Clair Edwards was last seen alive leaving a New Year's Eve party just after midnight. She'd left alone heading toward her condo in San Antonio. When Dana didn't call after New Year's Day, her parents got worried and headed to her home. There they found her dead on the bathroom floor, with a bloody towel covering her head. Police believe the killer had also murdered her beloved rescue dog, Grit, and dumped the lifeless body two miles from the crime scene.
Soon after, police interviewed friends and acquaintances, including Jon Thomas Ford, who had dated Dana for two years. Though no longer a couple, Edwards and Ford were at the same New Year's Eve party. Gossip circles in the tony neighborhood were buzzing over the potential Ford connection.
"Common sense says Thomas Ford was the most logical suspect because he had just broken up with Dana Clair," says Ford's attorney, Dick DeGuerin. "But common sense isn't evidence."
"From the beginning of working this case, I did not doubt that Jon Thomas Ford was guilty," prosecutor Catherine Babbitt tells 48 HOURS.
Three top San Antonio prosecutors – one a former DeGuerin law student – faced off in court against the famed defense attorney. But could they convince a jury Ford killed Edwards, despite lost evidence and mistakes in the investigation?
48 HOURS: "Everything to Lose" investigates the murder of Dana Clair Edwards through interviews with Edwards' family, police, the prosecution, jurors and Ford's attorney. 48 HOURS: "Everything to Lose" is produced by Chris O'Connell. Ryan Smith is the field producer. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
More On: Thomas Ford, Ryan Smith.