Murder in the Mansion

It was one of the most notorious cases in Texas history -- an ambush in a mansion that killed two and wounded two others – 40 years later, no one has been held accountable

Produced by Chuck Stevenson and Gail Abbott Zimmerman

On the night of August 2, 1976, former college basketball star Stan Farr and his date, Priscilla Davis, a petite soon-to-be-divorcee, returned to her home after a night on the town with friends and were met by a man dressed in black and a hail of bullets. When the gunfire ended, Farr was dead, while Priscilla Davis and one her friends was wounded. Also dead was Andrea Wilborn, Priscilla's 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, who was believed to have been shot before the adults got home.

Who was the man in black and why did anyone want them dead? It's a case that has rocked Texas since bullets flew on that night in Fort Worth.

"This is a case that involves wealth, that involves sex, that involves vengeance and that involves murder," says Christy Jack, a former prosecutor turned attorney. "It's a case that will never die."

AUGUST 2, 1976

On the night of the ambush, police arrived at the mansion to find a chaotic scene -- shattered glass and blood everywhere.

On the first floor of the house, the bullet-riddled body of Priscilla Davis' boyfriend, Stan Farr, lay crumpled in the kitchen; another man, Bubba Gavrel, was alive, but paralyzed.

And in the basement they discovered the lifeless body of Andrea Wilborn, Priscilla's daughter by another marriage. She had been shot once through the chest.

Christy Jack: I think of what police must have seen when they arrived.  And I think of them happening upon a child who has been murdered.

Andrea was 12 years old. Dee Davis, Andrea's older sister, was 18.

Dee Davis: She was well beyond her 12 years … an old soul … animal lover. …She was very artistic.  She loved to draw.

Andrea Wilborn

Andrea Wilborn

Greg Brown

Christy Jack: She was the victim. She was the one that … in all of the cameras, in all of the publicity that was forgotten.

Attorney Christy Jack – who grew up blocks from the mansion -- has tried over 200 cases; none like this one.

Christy Jack: When I see this case -- I've never seen anything like it.

And no one in Fort Worth society had ever seen anyone like Priscilla.  

Dee Davis: She had a very hot body … hot pants … halter tops.

Not your typical mom.    

Dee Davis: I thought she was the most gorgeous woman I ever laid eyes on. I worshipped her, I absolutely worshipped her.

Both Priscilla and Cullen were married with children when they first laid eyes on each other.

Christy Jack: They met on the tennis courts. I think it was a chemistry like we've never seen before.

Priscilla and Cullen Davis

Priscilla and Cullen Davis

Priscilla Davis

Christy Jack: Priscilla was 5 foot 2, feisty little blonde, she had big hair, big bosom and packed a Texas size personality in that little frame. Cullen was a very self-assured man, he inherited his daddy's oil money and then he made his own.

And their relationship played out like a Hollywood script.

Christy Jack: …he came from money … she, on the other hand, came from the wrong side of the tracks. And it was instant attraction when they first met, but it wasn't a good fit.

Maureen Maher: How did she feel about Cullen?

Dee Davis: …loved him. She loved that man.

Maureen Maher: Did he adore her?

Dee Davis: For a time it seemed he did.

So Cullen Davis became husband No. 3 for Priscilla, and the Davis family lived large.

Dee Davis: We would take the plane, take the Learjet to Aspen and go skiing for the weekend.

And then there was "the mansion."

Christy Jack: Now, Fort Worth has lots of mansions, we have lots of money. But there's only one residence ever that's been referred to as "the mansion."

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The Davis mansion in Fort Worth. "When that home was built it was situated on 176 acres I believe," former prosecutor Jack Strickland said. "It was literally in the middle of nothing out here"

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington, Texas

Christy Jack: They filled it with oil paintings, the finest works of art … all sorts of luxurious appointments.

Maureen Maher Did it feel like home to you?

Dee Davis: Never, never … it was just so sterile feeling.

Maureen Maher: It was his house.

Dee Davis: It was his house. …he would stand there with his hands on his hips and just look around at the vastness of the house.

Christy Jack: You know, about the time they built the mansion and furnishing it, you might say it was the beginning of the end.

The end came just six years after they married.

Christy Jack: The chemistry cools.  The affection wanes.

Christy Jack: When Cullen and Priscilla got together, it was really like the perfect storm – it was great until it wasn't.  And when it went bad, it went really bad. 

It was Priscilla who filed for divorce.

Christy Jack: There's all sorts of accusations in both directions. They both began seeing other people; Priscilla was friends with a number of men. Cullen … had taken up with a young woman who was the mother of two children and had moved in with her.

Dee Davis: When somebody divorces a spouse their girlfriends are gonna say, "Girl, you get all you can."

And Priscilla did. Two years into the proceedings, she was asking for almost $50 million and the divorce judge had banished Cullen Davis from his mansion.

Jack Strickland: Cullen's writing the checks … he can't get in the house.

Christy Jack: Cullen gets evicted from his own home basically …This was his beloved mansion.  This was his own design and he was displaced from his own castle and he was furious.

Priscilla apparently took advantage of her new freedom. There were parties and a new man in her life.

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Stan Farr and Priiscilla Davis

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington, Texas

Jack Strickland: The person that she became involved with was a man named Stan Farr. And Stan was an ex-basketball player from TCU and I think Stan was probably 6-foot-8, so he was as huge as Priscilla was petite and they made … quite a stunning couple when they would appear in public, which they did.

And on that August night, the couple were out again – leaving Andrea alone doing schoolwork … safe, her mother thought.

Jack Strickland:  As you might imagine with a $5 million mansion … they had a pretty elaborate alarm system.  

It would be the last night of Andrea's life.

AMBUSHED

While Andrea was home in the mansion, Priscilla Davis and her boyfriend, Stan Farr, were out on the town. They had just found out that a judge had upped the amount of money Cullen Davis had to pay Priscilla each month. She and Farr arrived home around midnight.

Christy Jack: Priscilla discovers the security system has been disarmed…

According to Priscilla, Stan Farr went upstairs. Suddenly, Priscilla is facing that gunman dressed in black. He's wearing a wig, his face uncovered. First, the gunman says "hi" -- then, he opens fire.

Christy Jack: Priscilla's been shot.  …Stan comes down the stairs after the commotion. The man in black then turns and shoots him four times. … basically riddles his body full of holes.

Christy Jack: Priscilla makes a run for it and the man in black pursues her until he hears a car pull up.

In the driveway were two friends, Beverly Bass and her boyfriend, Bubba Gavrel.

Christy Jack: The man in black turns around and fires at Bubba Gavrel, which ultimately paralyzes him.

In the panic and gunfire, Priscilla and Beverly Bass take off running for help, not knowing what happened to Andrea.

Christy Jack: So you have two women who are terrified. Two women who are running through the dark, running for their life to get away from him, to get away from the mansion. 

Dee Davis: We got to the hospital … I see my mother laying in the gurney… "It was Cullen, he shot me, don't let him get away with this..." …She must have thought she was gonna die and she wanted – she wanted it known.

Maureen Maher: Do you believe it was Cullen that shot her?

Dee Davis: There was never a doubt in my mind.

As she lay fighting for her own life, Priscilla learns that Andrea is dead.

Christy Jack: There is no more tragic death, no more tragic homicide than that of a child … it's a hole that will never be filled when you lose a child.

Dee Davis: Somebody literally held me by the sides of the arms and said, "Honey, Andrea's dead," and you know, I just fainted.

As Andrea was laid to rest, her mother was unable to attend her burial. Priscilla was still recovering from her wounds.

The case against Cullen Davis seemed clear cut, says Jack Strickland, who worked in the District Attorney's Office at the time.

Priscilla told police she knew it was Cullen. She could see his face -- she even begged him to stop.

Christy Jack: She's saying, "Cullen, don't please don't. I love you Cullen, I've always loved you. There's never been anyone else." I mean at this point she's saying what she can to survive.

The second eyewitness, Beverly Bass, confirmed the ID.

Christy Jack: Both of them in opposite directions, different locations, talking to completely different people -- both identified Cullen Davis as the man in black.

Police track down Cullen Davis at the home of his girlfriend, Karen Master, and they arrest him.

Christy Jack: And you can begin to see the special treatment already started … I mean you're talking about the death of a child … but in Cullen Davis' case, he was allowed the luxury of getting dressed … he even went so far as putting on a sport jacket … there were no handcuffs… he wasn't treated like a normal suspect.

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Cullen Davis was taken into custody and charged in the shootings.

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Arlington, Texas

Cullen Davis said he'd been in bed at Karen's at the time of the shootings. Karen said she'd taken a sleeping pill and couldn't say for sure where Davis had been.

Within hours, a judge sets bail at just $80,000. The multimillionaire accused of shooting four people and killing a child is out by the end of the day.

Christy Jack: Now $80,000 is a lot of money. …but to him, back then, it was a pittance.

Police did worry that Cullen Davis might take off. After all, he had plenty of money. So they put him under surveillance.

Christy Jack: They knew that Cullen had his own private jet and they knew where it was stored.

Just about a month after his arrest, police catch him heading to the airport.

Christy Jack: He was stopped as he was walking up the ramp to his plane -- just moments away from freedom.

Davis said he was just making a quick trip to Houston.

He is taken into custody -- this time in handcuffs.

With Cullen Davis now behind bars, police start to dig deeper into the case. They discover he has a temper. He's the kind of man who always wanted things his way -- always.

Dee Davis: He's one of those people who that if he wants a special of the day that's only served on Wednesday, and it's Tuesday, then, by God, you need to get in there and make what I want.

Dee remembers one terrifying night she and Cullen got into an argument. When her mother, Priscilla, came into the room holding Dee's pet kitten, Cullen lost control.

Dee Davis: And he reached over to her and he grabbed the kitten … and he literally slammed that kitten on the floor and killed it.

Cullen Davis admits killing the cat and he also admits he slapped Dee -- once.  Dee says her mother always brushed off Cullen's bad behavior.

Dee Davis:  I would say, "he's crazy and I'm scared of him," and she said "he loves you" … and you know, back then abuse wasn't viewed the same way it was … it was a different generation … and I don't think she had the confidence she could live without a man.

Cullen Davis denies ever abusing Priscilla. Trey Davis, Cullen's adopted son from another marriage, believes him.

Maureen Maher:  Was he ever abusive to you?

Trey Davis: Never touched me.

Maureen Maher: Never, not once.

Trey Davis: He never once touched me.

Maureen Maher: What was it like growing up with your father?

Trey Davis: He was strict … but it was all for my benefit. …he never once missed a school activity or game … he was always there for those kinds of things…

Trey was only 7 years old at the time of the crime, but as an adult, he made it a point to study the case.  He says the police got it wrong.

Trey Davis: I asked him if -- I said, "Dad, have you" -- "Did you"-- "Did you do these things?" And he said, "I absolutely did not do these things." …And he said … "I didn't have any problem with Andrea."

Yet one year after his arrest, one of the wealthiest men in Texas was about to stand trial for murder.

Priscilla Davis:  It's very painful to lose a child and of course the traumatic way it happened has affected me and always will.

Christy Jack: The D.A.'s Office theory of the crime was that Cullen … committed these crimes because of the divorce, his hatred of Priscilla was so intense that he was going to kill her and that anybody else who stood in the way would just be collateral damage.

THE CASE AGAINST CULLEN DAVIS

One year after Cullen Davis was arrested, the oil tycoon stood trial for the murder of 12-year-old Andrea Wilborn.

Jack Strickland: This is a cold-blooded killing of a child … because you're angry at the mother and angry at the way that this whole marriage is -- is dissolving.

Although there were multiple crimes, Jack Strickland says his colleagues in the DA's office decided to try this one first.

Jack Strickland: I think he killed Andrea because Andrea was a potential witness.

Cullen's Davis' primary target, Strickland says, was his estranged wife, Priscilla, who was demanding $50 million to settle their divorce and was still living in his mansion.

Jack Strickland: He certainly had a motive. He certainly is a person that was accustomed to getting his own way and would react violently when he didn't get his own way.

Trey Davis: There was nothing to be enraged about. …he didn't worship this house like everybody – says he did.

Trey Davis still believes his father is innocent and was just biding his time in the divorce.

Trey Davis: …he didn't care about Priscilla with somebody else. He had moved on with somebody else himself.

And the case against Cullen Davis did have weaknesses.

Maureen Maher: Is a wig or a gun or fingerprints or anything like that ever found at the crime scene?

Jack Strickland: No.

Maureen Maher: There's no physical evidence --

Jack Strickland: No.

Maureen Maher: -- that puts Cullen Davis at that crime scene.

Jack Strickland: No.

But there were two eyewitnesses – Priscilla and Beverly Bass – who both said that Cullen Davis was the shooter.

Jack Strickland: Keep in mind that Priscilla has just seen him kill Stan Farr.

Maureen Maher: And she was then, and always afterwards, 100 percent convinced that it was Cullen in the wig?

Jack Strickland: Yes.

The stakes were high; if convicted, Davis could be executed. Yet, attorney Christy Jack says Davis had one distinct advantage.

Christy Jack: This was perhaps the first, if not the only, trial where the defense had more money to spend than the state of Texas on the other side.

Jack Strickland | Former DA: His worth was estimated at about $500 million. …I don't think we can underestimate the effect that his wealth had. 

That meant Cullen Davis could afford a team of high-powered attorneys headed by Texas legend Richard "Racehorse" Haynes.

Richard Haynes [news report] : I marvel at my own temerity.

Richard Haynes [news report]: I think the jury system is the best possible system ever devised….

Cullen Davis and Richard Haynes

Cullen Davis, who has always proclaimed his innocence, retained one of the most talented defense attorneys in Texas at the time, Richard "Racehorse" Haynes. "You always have something to work with when you have an innocent man," said Haynes.

AP

Haynes was also a mentor to Dan Cogdell, who studied Haynes' work on the Davis case.

Dan Cogdell: He was a walking, talking icon. He was a rock star. …He never opined one way or the other on Cullen's guilt or innocence. Neither did he ever opine on anybody else's guilt or innocence. It didn't matter to Haynes. What mattered to Haynes was giving the best representation and advice possible.

Cullen Davis did have an alibi -- of sorts. His girlfriend, Karen Master, testified that she saw him in bed around the time of the murders. But remember, initially she told authorities that she had been sleeping and couldn't say where he was.

Maureen Maher: Was she lying?

Dee Davis: Yes, most definitely. And they asked her, "Well, why didn't you tell us that the night of the arrest?" She said, "I didn't think it was important. It was a mistake, it was just a mistake."

Still, Haynes wasn't relying on an alibi. Instead, he set out to shatter the credibility of the two eyewitnesses. Haynes suggested that Beverly Bass owed Priscilla favors and would lie for her. So, maybe while running in fear of their lives, the two women hatched a plan to frame Cullen.

Maureen Maher: What about the idea that Beverly and Priscilla, who's shot with a gaping hole in her chest … concoct this plan to go after Cullen and pin it on him, and then run in the opposite direction?

Dan Cogdell: Well, there -- there's only one lawyer in the country that would have pitched that theory without it getting laughed out of the courtroom. And that was Haynes.

Haynes had a reputation for wearing down witnesses. He kept Priscilla on the stand for 11 days – grilling her about her sex life, her prescription drug use and her parties.

Dan Cogdell: Haynes knew more about Priscilla Davis, literally, than Priscilla Davis could recall on the stand.  

Maureen Maher: She became the villain of the trial.

Dan Cogdell: She did.

Dan Cogdell: Haynes was able to cross-examine Priscilla about sexual escapades that she had four years before-- the murders happened. There's not a judge in the country that would let that sort of cross-examination material into evidence these days.

Christy Jack: I've never seen-- the grieving mother of a child be so vilified. …Andrea was forgotten. Her death was forgotten. There was one person and one person only that was prosecuted at that trial. And it was Priscilla.

Dee Davis: I remember … that she came home and she said, "It is now day 17 and Andrea's name has not been spoken … But the fact that I was wearing a powder pink -- feather suede suit in the summer has been really given a lotta press."

If Cullen Davis didn't kill Andrea, who did?

Christy Jack: The defense was A, B, C, -- it's easy as one, two, three -- anybody but Cullen.

Defense witnesses suggested that Stan Farr may have been the real target. He worked in bars and nightclubs – and the defense indicated he allegedly knew drug dealers.

Maureen Maher: Stan Farr was shot four times. So -- is it possible that he was really the intended victim by someone other than Cullen?

Jack Strickland: I think Stan Farr was shot four times 'cause he was a big guy and took four shots to kill him.

As Haynes laid out his theories, he also worked outside the courtroom – pioneering tactics to spin his story in the media and polish his client's image.

Jack Strickland: There were concentrated, paid for, orchestrated public relations efforts undertaken.

The judge allowed Cullen Davis to mingle with his admirers -- he even signed autographs.

Dee Davis: These people were baking him cookies and treating him like he was a rock star.  

And Davis' attorneys weren't the only ones collecting money from him. Davis was paying an investigator for inside information on the State's case. Strickland found out years later.

Jack Strickland: Our chief D.A.'s investigator on the case was on the take. …it was a betrayal of just unbelievable proportions.

Cullen Davis' trial lasted three months, but it took the jury only four hours to reach its verdict: not guilty of killing 12-year-old Andrea. 

Cullen Davis aquittal

Cullen Davis, center, and his girlfriend, Karen Masters, exit the courthouse in Amarillo, Texas, after a jury found Davis innocent in the murder of his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Andrea Wilborn on Nov. 18, 1977.

AP

Priscilla was stunned by the acquittal. So was Dee.

Dee Davis: I was shocked. I was shocked. I was shocked.

Christy Jack: You would think that, after a verdict, after escaping … the death penalty, you would lead a life of quiet gratitude. But … that wasn't the larger-than-life person that he was.

Cullen Davis would soon be in trouble again -- and this time, he was squarely in the crosshairs of Jack Strickland.

Maureen Maher: Was there any part of you that's like, "OK, now we're gonna get him?"

Jack Strickland: Yeah, there was [laughs]. There really was.

MURDER FOR HIRE?

Cullen Davis resumed his prosperous life with his girlfriend, Karen Master. But he was still embroiled in a nasty divorce, says attorney Christy Jack.

Christy Jack: You have to remember, this is a man that was not accustomed … to anyone telling him what to do or how he was going to live his life.

Then, suddenly, just nine months after being acquitted of murder, Davis was back in the headlines. This time charged with hiring a hit man.

Christy Jack: It was like same song, second verse.

Prosecutor Jack Strickland was assigned to the case.

Maureen Maher: You don't like this man very much do you, Jack?

Jack Strickland: No, I do not.

The case against Cullen Davis began with an accusation from a man named David McCrory.

Jack Strickland: David McCrory was -- was a friend of Cullen Davis'. And he was -- not 100 percent savory character.

McCrory had gone to the FBI and dropped a bombshell: he said Cullen Davis had been pressuring him to "find a hit man to effect the murder of several people" who had crossed Davis – including Priscilla and the judge presiding in their divorce.

Jack Strickland: McCrory, to his credit … goes to the FBI and rats him out. …And the FBI is astounded, of course [laughs].

FBI agents set up a sting. They got Judge Joe Eidson to play dead -- and took a photo.

Jack Strickland: So the FBI takes the judge, a sitting judge, mind you, puts him in the trunk of a car … smears ketchup, McDonald's ketchup all over the back of his T-shirt, and he poses as if he's dead, lying in the trunk of the car.

Maureen Maher: The judge goes along with this?

Jack Strickland: Yup. … Keep in mind he's had a lotta dealings with -- with Cullen in court.

The plan was for McCrory to show Cullen Davis the staged photo and collect $25,000 for the alleged hit. Surveillance video was shot by the FBI when the two men met and had wired McCrory to secretly record audio:

David McCrory surveillance: This f-----g murder business is a tough son-o'bitch … now you got me into this  G-- dam  deal…

McCrory claimed that he showed Cullen Davis the grim photo.

Jack Strickland: They meet in a parking lot … not far from the mansion, actually. …McCrory … delivers the picture and says, "I got the judge dead." Cullen says, "Good."

David McCrory: I got Judge Eidson dead for you.

Cullen Davis: Good.

David McCrory: I'll get the rest of them dead for you. You want a bunch of people dead, right?

Cullen Davis:  Alright.

David McCrory: Am I right?

Cullen Davis: Alright.

Jack Strickland: Cullen gives him the $25,000, which McCrory puts in his pocket. Then they part ways.

David McCrory surveillance: I have got the money.

Cullen Davis drove off -- and that's when he was arrested. The evidence against him seemed irrefutable.

Christy Jack: Law enforcement has tapes. They have recordings. They have Cullen on tape talking about wanting to kill people, a list of people … most notably, the judge that was presiding over his divorce hearing.

But once again, Cullen Davis had Richard "Racehorse" Haynes on his side.

Richard Haynes [news report]: I claim that this is a strange and bizarre plot. It can only happen here.

The defense theory turned the whole case upside down. 

Jack Strickland: You know you're going to have to stay with me here and try not to laugh.

Davis' defense was that he thought he was working for the FBI – not McCrory.

David McCrory: Thanks for not letting me down.

Cullen Davis: What?

David McCrory: I'm trying to do you a good job.

Davis testified that he'd gotten a call from a man who said he was a federal agent and that the agent said the FBI needed Cullen's help.

The supposed agent said McCrory was out to extort money from Davis and Davis could help the FBI's investigation by playing along with whatever McCrory said. And Davis testified that's exactly what he was doing when those tapes were made.

As for that $25,000 that McCrory took from Cullen Davis, Davis said that it was McCrory's gambling winnings -- that McCrory had given it to Davis for safekeeping and Davis was simply returning it.

Jack Strickland: No evidence of that. …And knowin' David McCrory as I did, the likelihood that he was gonna give that money to anybody was pretty unlikely.

And, Strickland wonders, why didn't Cullen speak up when he was arrested?

Jack Strickland: if I were Cullen of course what I would have immediately said is, "Hey … Get a holda my friends at the FBI. Get them to verify my story. This is a terrible mistake."

The fact is, the FBI denied ever calling Cullen Davis.

Jack Strickland: I don't think the FBI would entrust him to mail a letter for them.

So Strickland felt confident. But when the case went to the jurors, they deliberated for 44 hours and then, hopelessly deadlocked.

Reporter: Mr. Davis what are your first thoughts?

Cullen Davis: They're wonderful!

Christy Jack: All of the evidence, all of those tapes led to a hung jury. Eight people voted to convict him. Four voted to acquit him.

Reporter: Some thought you were guilty, can you comment on that?

Cullen Davis: They were wrong.

Still, Cullen Davis was not off the hook.

Jack Strickland: I gotta tell you there was not the slightest doubt in my mind that we would retry Cullen Davis. Not a moment's doubt.

MEET CULLEN DAVIS

Cullen Davis' hit man trial – take two – was a virtual replay with one striking difference:  a new defense witness.

Jack Strickland:  Suddenly this guy walks in and he looks like he's the -- the real deal. He doesn't look like the usual creep that -- that they brought in.

That witness was Roger Shuy, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University. He picked apart those surveillance recordings and concluded that David McCrory was manipulating the conversation and leading Davis:

David McCrory:  You want a whole bunch of people dead right?

Cullen Davis:  Alright

David McCrory: Am I right?

Cullen Davis:  Alright.

Jack Strickland: Then he starts talking … about glottal stops and things that I'd never heard of.

Maureen Maher:  Did you think, like, "What is he talking about?"

Jack Strickland: Well, I did, but …  I thought it spelled trouble. …I mean 'cause he was a legitimate witness.

In his closing, Strickland argued that Cullen Davis' words were clear.

Jack Strickland: This was on tape, which the jury could hear.

David McCrory: I got Judge Eidson dead for you.

Cullen Davis: Good.

But when the jury reached its verdict, Strickland could not believe his ears.

Jack Strickland: The presiding judge -- it's on the record [laughs] -- uttered an expletive.

Maureen Maher: Can you tell me what it was?

Jack Strickland: He said, "F!" …They've acquitted him

Cullen Davis was acquitted -- again.

Jack Strickland:  It was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

Maureen Maher: It still bothers you today?

Jack Strickland: Oh, absolutely. …I feel like I could've or done – or – or -- or should've done more for this community, and for Priscilla … I was an officer of the court who just didn't do enough.

Richard Haynes' protégé, Dan Cogdell, says it was the greatest defense victory he has ever seen.

Dan Cogdell: …at the end of the day they believed that the tape supported Cullen's version, and not McCrory's version. …Haynes and the whole team did a masterful job of using horrible evidence to their advantage.

In light of its devastating losses in court, the state dropped charges for Stan Farr's murder and the shooting of Priscilla and Bubba Gavrel.

Christy Jack:  I don't think of it as a case as being unsolved. I think of it as a case as being unproven.

Cullen Davis also prevailed in his divorce case.  He got his beloved house back and only had to pay Priscilla around $3 million -- a fraction of what was at stake.

And his life continued to take dramatic turns. His business floundered, he declared bankruptcy, and along the way he married his girlfriend, Karen. That's when Davis adopted her son, Trey.  The two remain close.

Trey Davis: Dad's aberrant behavior has been in -- in the past has been chronicled quite extensively. But what has not been chronicled quite extensively is the man he became.

Trey Davis: He's a principled man endowed with ethics, virtue and integrity that are unimpeachable.

Today, at 83, Davis is still going strong. He sold the mansion and these days, lives in a more modest home in a Fort Worth suburb. He agreed to talk with "48 Hours" and, these days, describes himself as a born again Christian. 

Cullen Davis

Cullen Davis

CBS News

Maureen Maher: What have you learned about yourself?

Cullen Davis: Well, the main thing is that God is in control.

Maureen Maher: Does a man of God have to confess his sins publicly?

Cullen Davis:  That's kind of a crazy question. …The only -- admission a person has to make is to God. …The Bible does not require confession of sins to anybody.

Davis' newfound faith did motivate him to ask Andrea's father for forgiveness. Davis insists it wasn't a confession. 

Maureen Maher: Did you shoot Andrea that night?

Cullen Davis: No.

Maureen Maher: Did you shoot Stan Farr?

Cullen Davis: No.

Maureen Maher: You never shot any of those people?

Cullen Davis: That's -- that's right.

Davis also denies being involved in any murder-for-hire plot.  But what Cullen Davis will cop to is paying that state investigator for inside information during his murder trial.

Cullen Davis: Oh, wasn't a bribe.

Maureen Maher: What was it?

Cullen Davis: He -- he came to us…

Maureen Maher: Do you think that was wrong? Illegal? Unethical?

Cullen Davis: Yes [laughs]. But I was willing to take information from anybody willing to give it.

After his acquittals, Davis was caught up in a number of civil cases with people trying to hold him accountable; some settled out of court for undisclosed amounts. He told "48 Hours" about one brought by Stan Farr's son.

Cullen Davis: I had no money left to pay lawyers. And so I agreed to a judgment with him of $250,000, which I had no intention of paying him.

All in all, Davis seems at ease talking about his own life story.

Maureen Maher: What is the lesson that you take from it?

Cullen Davis: Well -- don't marry somebody like I married.

Jack Strickland thinks more kindly of Priscilla. He found a kindred soul in her after his defeat at trial.

Maureen Maher: The two of you dated for awhile?

Jack Strickland: We did. …I think it's kind of the lifeboat theory. Nobody else understood what Priscilla had gone through, and she knew how badly this case had affected me. …we were within 24 hours of being married … and we decided that we weren't gonna put ourselves or our families through that at that time.

The right time to marry never happened and the romance ended. But Strickland and Priscilla remained close until the day she died from breast cancer. He delivered her eulogy.

Maureen Maher: How do you think she should be remembered?

Jack Strickland: She oughta be remembered as a victim who had a big heart, and sometimes displayed bad judgment.

Andrea Wilborn and Priscilla Davis

Andrea Wilborn and Priscilla Davis

Priscilla Davis

Dee Davis says as much as her mother felt Cullen was responsible for Andrea's murder, she also held herself accountable.

Dee Davis: She blamed herself, of course -- for leaving her alone. She blamed herself for bringing Cullen into our lives. …And she grieved and grieved and grieved. And she used to say, "It never gets any easier."

She still admires her mother.

Dee Davis: I want my mother to be remembered as a very kind, considerate, good-hearted person … that just happened to be hot.

And she'll always be part of this notorious case that still haunts Fort Worth, Texas. No one has ever paid for the murders of Andrea Wilborn or Stan Farr … or for shooting the two survivors.

Dee Davis: No justice was ever served. …I hope ya'll never stop talking about this because as soon as you stop talking about it, then it means it's over.

Richard "Racehorse" Haynes died in April.

"The mansion" is now an event space often used for weddings.