told about about Russel’s death, Brenna Douglas asked few questions. The new widow even
put down Russel, complaining that he sometimes made nasty remarks that upset
her. Detectives found her reaction to the news unusual, but with no evidence to
link Brenna to the crime, they turned their attention to other people in
After running a search of Russel Douglas' phone records, detectives noticed that
several calls were exchanged three days before his death with a woman named
Peggy Sue Thomas. They called her and the former beauty queen answered all of their
questions. She admitted to being friends with Russel's wife, Brenna, but seemed
to know nothing about the crime.
months after Russel’s death, an anonymous caller told investigators that he knew
who the killer was -- a friend of his who admitted to the crime. After some more
digging, investigators discovered that the caller was a Floridian named Bill
Hill (right). He was a bandmate of Jim Huden (left) -- the alleged gunman.
discovered a web that connects Jim Huden to murder victim Russel Douglas: Jim’s girlfriend was Peggy
Sue Thomas. Peggy Sue Thomas was good friends with Brenna Douglas. According to Jim Huden's
friend Bill Hill, Jim said he was the trigger man, but Peggy Sue and Brenna were in
on the plan. The motive: insurance money.
his interrogation, Jim Huden decided to split town. Leaving both his wife and
girlfriend behind in the states, Jim fled to Mexico. To the dismay of
investigators, he remained a fugitive for over six years.
Finally a tip came in that uncovered Jim Huden's whereabouts in Veracruz,
Mexico. Jim was arrested on June 9, 2011, and flown back to Whidbey Island,
Wash. One month later, Peggy Sue Thomas was arrested in New Mexico.
Huden stood trial in July 2012. Key evidence against him was a gun that police recovered.
The gun once belonged to Jim and matched the bullet that killed Russel Douglas.
Jim was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 80 years.
Peggy Sue Thomas told "48 Hours" she accepted the plea deal because she was fearful
she wouldn’t get a fair trial, but still denies involvement in the murder of
Russel Douglas. She said the hardest part of this experience is being separated
from her two daughters.