Suspected killer plays games with reporters

Alec and Cathy McNaughton
Alec and Cathy McNaughton
Alec and Cathy McNaughton

(CBS) - Alec McNaughton is one of the brightest, most articulate murder suspects you'd ever want to meet. From the beginning of our "association" he had one goal: to prevent "48 Hours" from doing a story about his case.

McNaughton knew the game ... or at least he thought he did. Obviously, we wanted to interview him about the charges that he killed his wife Cathy. It was an especially grisly killing ... up close and personal ... she was stabbed to death in their home. What made the case even more compelling is that Alec McNaughton was a lawyer, highly educated and a very cool customer. Very in control. And we believe he tried to control us.

McNaughton agreed to do an interview only after his trial was concluded. But after the verdict (and no, we won't tell you what happened) he changed his mind. We believe he thought if he didn't do the interview, WE wouldn't do the story and maybe the case would be forgotten. It doesn't work that way.

We interviewed the police, the prosecutors and even McNaughton's defense attorney. And still Alec McNaughton held out. He refused to talk. We had to make sure he knew that we were going to do this story with or without him...and that set up a situation that I think must have been very difficult for him. Should he participate and make sure his side is told in the best way possible ... by him? Or should he keep silent and hope we go away? He chose to remain silent. For months we kept asking him for an interview. For months he said nothing.

We put the story together and were ready for air when, just weeks before airtime, Alec McNaughton said yes. He sat down for an interview and he came to play. It is a fascinating conversation. We sparred a lot during the interview. My colleagues and I believe what you see is the real Alec McNaughton.

So ... did he do it?

You'll see everything.

You decide.

Richard Schlesinger is a correspondent for "48 Hours".

  • Richard Schlesinger

    Correspondent, "48 Hours," "CBS Evening News"