Is the case against Bruce Beresford-Redman falling apart?
Bruce and Monica Beresford-Redman (David and Juanita Beresford-Redman)
A former reality show producer accused of killing his wife is on trial in Mexico, but is the case falling apart? "48 Hours" has his only jailhouse interview. Troy Roberts reports.
Produced by Paul LaRosa, Joshua Yager Ana Real, Ira Sutow, James Stolz, Alec Sirken and Avi Cohen
In February, "48 Hours" went inside a Mexican prison for the only interview with Bruce Beresford-Redman, the American television producer accused of murdering his wife, Monica. The interview, recorded on a smart phone, is raw and gritty.
Now, Beresford-Redman talks with "48 Hours" again in a new interview from behind bars as his trial remarkably enters its seventh month. The question is - is the case against him falling apart?
For more than seven months, American Bruce Beresford-Redman, once a highly regarded reality TV producer, has been a prisoner in Mexico.
"I've been here...almost seven months now...and I've been on trial that whole time and there's no evidence. It's very hard for me to understand why I'm still in jail," Bruce told "48 Hours" during a recent interview by phone.
It's a painful reality for Bruce's anxious parents and his two young children.
"In many ways, they're doing beautifully but they never forget about... their dad and their mom, but mostly about Bruce. They want him home so badly," Bruce's mother, Juanita Beresford -Redman told "48 Hours."
Like the children, Juanita and Bruce's father, Dave, have not seen Bruce since last February when he was extradited from a federal lockup in Los Angeles.
"What is so hard for me is that my son is in a Mexican prison where there are stabbings and riots and tear gas," Juanita continued. "...this is just so horrible. His children need him. He needs his children desperately, he is desperate to be back with them."
And that's why Bruce made a special video for his children during a recent visit with "48 Hours" inside El Cerezo prison in Cancun:
"I'm really glad that things are going so well with Grandma and Grandpa. But, I miss you guys, and I love you. And Alec, I'm not going to get my haircut until I come home, so we can go get out haircut together. Alright, pumpkin. Take care. Be good to your brother. Alec, give your sister lots of kisses for me. Bye guys."
But Carla and Jeane Burgos, the sisters of Bruce's wife, Monica, question Bruce's sincerity. They say he is a killer. Bruce insists he is nothing but a loving husband.
"She was as lovely a person inside as she was beautiful on the outside," Bruce told "48 Hours" in February. "And in all the accusations and all the discussion and everything, I think very few people have said anything about her, about what my children have lost, what I have lost. ...She was amazing."
Amazing... and friends say a perfect match for Bruce - a behind-the-scenes star in the world of reality television.
"He's a very, very bright, talented guy. ...He and a partner created 'Pimp My Ride'....Bruce was involved in 'The Contender'" said Jeff Wald, who worked with Bruce on "The Contender," a boxing reality show with a high testosterone cast who tried everyone's patience.
"He handled Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard and 16 boxers," Wald explained. "The guys who hit other guys for a living can be very volatile and very physical...and I watched him diffuse situations...never raising his voice, never being imposing. He's a big guy, Bruce... he did it in a really smart way. I was very impressed with that right off the bat."
Back then, a lot of people in Hollywood were impressed with Bruce. He was moving from hit show to hit show and he'd already proven his mettle as a supervising producer in the early years of "Survivor," the world's most popular reality show.
Bruce wasn't just surviving, he was thriving. At his side was then-girlfriend Monica Burgos, an alluring Brazilian national he met at a popular Los Angeles nightspot.
"I went back again to see her. You know, the food was OK, but I went back to see her. And I spoke to her again and then got up enough courage to ask her on a date and we were together from that point on," said Bruce.
Bruce and Monica married in 1999 and had two children: Camila, now 7, and Alec, now 5.
"In the beginning, it appeared they had a solid marriage?" Troy Roberts asked Monica's sister, Jeane Burgos.
"I think Monica loved him very much...she felt strong about him. She fell in love for him and I think he fell in for her too 'cause Monica was his opposite," she said.
"She was gorgeous. She was this exotic, tall, beautiful creature with long at the time, very dark, curly hair. She was just spectacular and she had this accent that was like listening to honey through gauze. It was beautiful. It was mellifluous," said Bruce.
They were a handsome couple and lived in a stunning $2 million home in Palos Verdes, California.
But today, a Mexican prison is home to Bruce Beresford-Redman, accused of suffocating his wife, Monica, and stuffing her naked body in a sewer.
"I'm not the greatest guy in the world. But I'm also not a criminal," Bruce told "48 Hours" producers who met with him inside the prison last spring. He wanted to talk on the record. The interview was recorded using a smart phone.
"I've never been arrested in my life...until this, I've never been in jail. I've never been in trouble," Bruce continued.
But Monica's sister, Carla, had long considered Bruce a cad. In 2006, she had observed him with Joy Pierce, Bruce's go-to casting director.
"I went with him to a party...it was a club...we got to the place...she jumped on his lap like here and here and I was...you know..." she said.
"You were stunned," Roberts noted.
"Yeah," she replied.
Carla says Monica began to suspect Joy was not just Bruce's casting director - she was also his girlfriend.
"She found out he had given, like, presents to this woman and he used to work with her," she said. "...they were lovers for years, I guess."
Eventually, Monica confronted Bruce and the reality show producer found himself thrust into a real-life soap opera complete with confessional emails.
He admitted to Monica that "Joy and I were lovers." "We first had sex in Detroit...since that time, we have had a sexual and emotional relationship." In a separate email to his girlfriend Joy, Bruce promised "to get therapy for being a liar."
"It was their lives. They had to sort it out," said Juanita.
Bruce's mother says he was so distraught, he even confided in her about the relationship.
Asked if she encouraged her son to break off the affair, Juanita told Roberts, "I did. I said, 'You know, that's the only smart thing to do. You will hurt yourself. You will hurt Monica.' ...I got the impression that he had really fallen in love and it was going to be very difficult for him to break it off."
Juanita said she felt badly for her daughter-in-law.
"She was hurt. Of course she was hurt...but she was as determined as Bruce not to do anything to hurt the children," she said. "I said to her at one point in one of these conversations, 'Do you still love Bruce?' and she said, 'I'm not sure, I think I do but I don't want a divorce...'"
But by spring 2010, Monica had reached her breaking point. She fled the Palos Verdes home, drained their joint bank account and took the children to Hawaii.
"So she went to Hawaii to contemplate about her future?" Roberts asked Jeane Burgos.
"Yes," she replied.
"And when she returned, she decided that she wanted to try to save this marriage."
"Well, when she came back Bruce totally shifted...he start crying and really...creating this emotional -- situation around her that he never had done before," Jeane said. "...she start, like, kind of falling into it. 'Oh maybe he really regret, you know, everything that he did.'
"He start, you know, asking forgiveness," she continued. "'I just found out you are really the woman of my life...It's your birthday. You can chose to go wherever you wanna go.'"
Their choice was Cancun. Monica would give Bruce and the marriage one last chance. With their two young children in tow, Bruce and Monica took off on a trip that would change the family forever.
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