Blood Feud

Maureen Maher Reports On The Hatchet Murder Of Bob Seaman

Produced By Nancy Kramer, Lourdes Aguiar and Taigi Smith

This story originally aired on April 9, 2005. Just four years ago, a camera captured one of Nancy Seaman's proudest moments, as she accepted an award for doing what she loved: teaching.

But now, many news cameras are fixed on Seaman, an award-winning teacher known for her patience and kindness. She's accused of a horrific crime - the hatchet murder of her husband, Bob Seaman.

"I loved him. If I had to redo May 10, I wish I would have let him just kill me," says Seaman. "I'm not guilty of murder."

What made her do it? "This is a very complex case," says Seaman. "It wasn't as simple as wife kills husband with a hatchet."

The answer, according to Seaman, has been kept well hidden for so long. Seaman says that behind private gates, inside her sprawling home, she lived the life of a battered woman.

Her case will turn on the Seamans' two sons, on their two sons, Jeff and Greg. And, as Correspondent Maureen Maher reports, what they say about their parents' marriage, and the life they all shared, will either condemn or free their mother.

Nancy and Bob Seaman met in 1972. It was love at first sight.

"He was really charming. He was very confident," recalls Seaman. "He was a very strong personality. And I felt very secure. He was my knight in shining armor."

The two made a brilliant couple, literally. Nancy was valedictorian of her high school class. And Bob was an engineer on his way up - first at Ford Motor Company, and later at automotive manufacturer Borg Warner.

But from the beginning, there were cracks in the marriage. Seaman says the first incident of abuse occurred when they were newlyweds.

"We were in the car coming home from his brother's wedding reception and Bob was drunk. He had too much to drink. And he reached over, and he tried to push me out of a moving car. And he's pounding me with his fists," recalls Seaman. "I was in a state of shock. I had never experienced anything like this before, had never witnessed anything like it."

Why did she decide to stay in the relationship? "I was naïve, only 21 years old. And I just loved him," says Seaman. "And I said, 'This has to be a fluke. This is a one-time thing.'"