Scoop: 48 HOURS on CBS - Today, January 4, 2014

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Richard Schlesinger and 48 Hours report on an apparent suicide in a Pennsylvania church that revealed secrets the local pastor wanted to keep hidden in "Death at the Parsonage," to be broadcast tonight, Jan. 4, 2014 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.


The case focuses on the investigation of the suicide of Joseph Musante, who was found slumped over a chair at the Reeders United Methodist Church in Reeders, Pa., seemingly the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. What shocked the town, though, was the secret affair between Musante's wife, Cindy, and their pastor, Arthur Burton Schirmer, known as AB. Police said Musante killed himself after he discovered his wife's affair with the pastor.

Musante's loved ones had questions about the pastor right from the start.

"I knew something was not right," Musante's sister, Rose Cobb, tells 48 HOURS.

Cobb learned that Schirmer had been married twice, and that both wives had died suddenly. Cobb wanted police to investigate the deaths.

"I just had a lot of questions about who he was," Cobb tells Schlesinger. "His first wife fell down the stairs and died. And then his second wife dies from being in a car accident?"

Schirmer having two dead wives struck Cobb as being odd.

"That's strange. The hair on the back of my neck actually stood up."

What Cobb told police sent the case in a direction that nobody expected, including Schirmer. Were the deaths of his previous wives accidents as he claimed, or something more sinister?

Schlesinger and the 48 Hours team report on the case through interviews with Cobb, Musante's daughter, Schirmer's daughters, investigators, a defense attorney, and others. 48 HOURS: "Death at the Parsonage" is produced by Sarah Prior, Chuck Stevenson and Lauren Clark. Doreen Schechter and Gregory F. McLaughlin are the editors. Judy Tygard is the senior producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.

Chat with members of the 48 Hours team during each broadcast on Twitter and Facebook.

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