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The San Diego County medical examiner ruled Karina was beaten and strangled and soon after David Ditto was charged with his wife's murder. The investigation exposed red flags that suggested Karina's death was no accident. Moreover, investigators learned Karina had written letters to her mother saying David would tell her which spoon to use, when to eat and how much water to use for houseplants. "He punishes me with money, he takes it away for months," Karina wrote to her mother. "Sometimes I don't know why I married him," she wrote.
Veteran homicide detective JC Smith tells Maher that police also questioned why the children, asleep upstairs in the home, never woke up given the number of EMS, fire and police workers in the home. "David had access to narcotics, and we thought, possibly, he used the drugs on his kids," Smith tells Maher. "Absolutely not," Ditto says.
Maher and the 48 Hours team report on Karina Ditto's death and follow the case through David Ditto's trial for murder, using interviews with David, his attorney, his mother, her mother, prosecutors, friends and others. "Shattered Dreams" is produced by Deborah Grau, Gayane Keshishyan, Alec Sirken and Cindy Cesare. Sarah Denlinger is the associate producer. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
"Shattered Dreams" is the second of a 48 Hours double feature to be broadcast on Jan. 5. The first, "Ransom," features Peter Van Sant's updated report on the disappearance of Lakeland, FL airline worker, Robert Wiles, and the $750,000 ransom demand made on his millionaire father, Tom Wiles, to get him back. "Ransom" (9:00 PM, ET/PT) is produced by Allen Alter and Paul LaRosa. Peter Schweitzer was the senior producer. Linda Martin is the update producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.