Produced by Deborah Grau
This episode was originally broadcast Oct. 25, 2008. It was updated on June 13, 2009.
Dr. Linda Goudey was found murdered in her car in October 1993. At the time, she had been dating Dr. Timothy Stryker, who quickly became a suspect in the case.
Depending on whom you believe, Stryker is either a calculating murderer, or an innocent man, desperately trying to clear his name.
To look at him today at age 56, you'd never know Stryker has spent 15 years dogged by such terrible suspicions. "It makes me sad, you know, that people could think this way about me," he tells correspondent Richard Schlesinger.
He built a successful endocrinology practice, and a family, in a quiet Boston suburb.
Stryker's wife of 14 years, Micael, says her husband has never shown signs of violence. "He's not a guy who loses it or somehow has an altered persona that shows up."
And, she'd probably know what to look for - she's a psychotherapist.
"He does present this very cool exterior…very flat, very unemotional, very in control," Schlesinger remarks. "Which makes you wonder what's going on behind the front, behind the façade? Do you think you know?"
"Yes, I absolutely know," Micael says. "I'm sure I know. I think it's very simple with him. I think he's just a very sincere, extremely gentle and even delicate person. He at all times looks to do good to the people around him."
That might be one reason he decided to become a doctor. "I just knew it from a very young age, that's what I wanted to do. It's my nature to want to help people."
It was one thing he had in common with Lin Goudey. By all accounts, she was driven - she earned top honors in high school, and eventually went to medical school while working as a medical technician. She was a successful OB/GYN, specializing in high-risk pregnancies.
Paula Dennett is a nutritionist who worked closely with Goudey. "She was new to the field, but you never thought she was just a rookie. You know, she knew what she was doing and I'd say she was one of the more respected physicians there in terms of if you're having a problem or a complex pregnancy, Dr. Goudey's the one to go to."
Lisa Zolot was one of Goudey's patients who noticed right away that there was something special about her. "Lynn was very good at sixth sense, knowing when things are wrong," she remembers.
On a routine visit, Goudey had a sense that Lisa's unborn baby was in danger. "She decided that I should have the C-section right away because something was wrong. And after she made the incision there was bleeding everywhere. She just had a sixth sense that something was wrong. And she was right. Without her, my daughter wouldn't be here," Lisa says.
From that day forward, Lisa and Lin became good friends. "We just clicked. We just clicked. It was just one-a those things. We just became friends. It was easy, you know."
Goudey made a lot of friends around the hospital, including Dr. Timothy Stryker. "We met over lunches at the hospital, and we started to share patients, because I would refer patients to her as a gynecologist," he says.
Before long, their work relationship did evolve into something more. "We would sit and read together at night, and do movies, and she gotten me into skiing during the winter. And then I got her into scuba diving in the Caribbean trips that we took together," he says.
And they also both practiced transcendental meditation, a method of relaxation that followers say focuses the mind.
"It was just a lovely way to see how they interacted with each other, you know, that they would have fun together," remembers Tim's sister Jean Stryker, who used to work for Lin. "They would often share the cooking responsibilities and the clean up. But I always saw them interacting very positively toward each other."
By 1993, four years after they started dating, things really seemed to be going well for the couple. Goudey and Stryker were both at the peak of their careers, and their relationship seemed steady.
They kept spending time together and had even planned a vacation together to the Caribbean for some scuba diving.
Stryker says she was looking forward to the trip. "She was actually the one that made the reservations for the trip. And it was her idea. She was very happy about it."
But Goudey never took the trip, because just weeks before they were to leave she had a dream. "In this dream she had this vision of being in a car, I think it was on the side of a mountain, and driving around. Then seeing a plane go crash into the side of the mountain, and she took this as some possible bad omen that perhaps, you know, we might have a plane crash," Stryker says.
Lisa says Lin wasn't going to go on the vacation after that dream. "She had thought that it wasn't a good idea, and that she was not gonna go."
But that's not what Stryker says: "She never said that she wasn't going."
Lin's dream, her plans and premonitions were about to become more important than anyone could have imagined.