48 Hours Mystery: Who killed Natalie Antonetti?

Call to police from an angry wife blows a decades-old Texas cold case wide open

Redemption Song 41:47

Produced by Chuck Stevenson and Sarah Prior

[This story originally aired on Oct. 15, 2011. It was updated on June 9, 2012.]

(CBS) AUSTIN, Texas -- "There"s no way to ever forget. It was really, really a horrible scene," Johnny Goudie told CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith.

In 1985, Johnny was just 16. Before dawn that October morning, he heard something, rolled out of bed and stumbled down the stairs. It was his mom, Natalie Antonetti.

"I was incoherent, kind of in shock, and you know, completely, you know, just covered in blood -- her head was bleeding pretty bad and I tried to ask her what happened, you know, if she knew who did this to her... and she couldn't talk...she just had a really frightened look in her eyes," he said with a pause. "You know, it's hard to see your mom in that situation...

"You could see in her eyes that she was scared," he continued. "When the ambulance got there... they kind of took over and put her on the gurney and stuff. And then I rode to the hospital with her. ...before she went in, I asked her to give me a kiss and she was able to do that."

Johnny had no idea that he was kissing his mother goodbye. Natalie's murder would haunt him for over 20 years.

To start unraveling this mystery, "48 Hours" began on 6th Street, the heart of Austin's music scene.

"Well, 6th Street was where all of us musicians would play. There was a band in every club on every corner, still is," according to Mark Hallman, Natalie's dear friend and a former guitarist for Carole King.

Hallman runs a studio now, but misses those days.

"We'd go down here, we'd see our friends, we'd support our friends, I could walk in and the bass player would hold up his bass ... and I'd walk into the bass and I'd start jamming on a song..." he recalled. "Back then, this was the only place to go."

Asked if Natalie was part of that scene, Hallman told Smith, "Absolutely."

"What was Natalie like?"

Hallman smiled as he described Natalie. "Beautiful, incredible, she was a real light. ...brown hair, beautiful eyes. She was almost hippy-ish, really savvy at the same time and very Cuban. ...she had her roots; one of my favorite people," he said.

Natalie's son, Johnny, dreamed of being a rock star and Mark Hallman gave him the push.

"His big dream was to kinda do what you were doing," Smith noted.

"I guess so. In fact, I put him in my band in the '80s," Hallman replied. "I'd put him front and center, you know, and he always looked great."

"He was the front man? He was the cutie?"

"He's the cutie. Still is."

Johnny's music is inspired by memories of his mom: A single mother who worked full time, but loved the music world. She and Johnny's dad split when he was little.

"I think about her every day," Johnny said. "She was an amazing mom. Music was always playing. Growing up I didn't have a TV, but we always had our records with us.

"You know, cleaning the house, you didn't just clean the house. You put on your favorite record as loud as you could and you just danced around, and at the end of it, the house was clean," he recalled fondly.

"So even cleaning the house she would rock out," said Smith.

"Yeah, yeah. Mom was like, 'Hey I just made some cookies, you want to get them?' And you'd be like, 'I'll be there in a minute,' and she'd sing back, 'If you want it, here it is, come and get it," he said, singing. "You know, everything was song ... It was very much like that growing up."

But the song ended suddenly for Johnny and for Natalie. After two weeks in a coma, Natalie died. It was a shock for everyone in the tight-knit Austin music scene and a confusing case for police.

Austin Police Det. Tom Walsh picked up Natalie's homicide on the cold case squad in 2007.

Police think Natalie was bashed in the head with a baseball bat over and over again. It was a crime so violent, Natalie's own bloody handprints were left all over the house.

"I think it was very quick ... It was in and out," Det. Walsh told Smith.

At the time, there was a witness who reported a shadowy figure nearby.

"He saw a man ... he was holding a club or a small baseball bat," said Walsh.

The witness described a man 5'10" or 5'11" with sandy hair. Police focused on a restaurant manager and sometime male stripper named Marty Odem.

With blond hair and a sturdy build, he seemed to match the witness description. Shortly after Natalie's murder, he was arrested for another very serious crime.

"He raped a woman in North Austin," Walsh explained. "And then investigators found out that he lived in the apartment complex that Natalie lived in."

Odem had a track record of violence; he was known to keep a baseball bat around. His ex wife said he was abusive and sexually violent. And his roommate claimed he bragged that he once slept with Natalie.

Police questioned Odem -even gave him a lie detector test, which he reportedly failed. But he always denied killing Natalie. Police didn't have enough evidence, so he was never charged with her murder. But he was convicted for the unrelated rape and sent to prison.

With the arrest and conviction of the rapist Marty Odem, police were convinced they also had the man who killed Natalie. The case was seemingly closed, that is, at least for the next 20 years.

But that is just the beginning of this story.