On Aug. 18, 1997, Wendy Ann Twiss Ratte, 44 at the time, was reported missing and the family's van was found parked at a supermarket, now Value Village. >> right after the curb there, the house is right there. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is for people who still have uc or crohn's symptoms. >> maybe it's every gambler's excuse. their visa card was almost maxed out. there was no gunshot. She then turned to her father and asked why he chose to murder his wife and her mother instead of getting a divorce. seeing a husband trying to relive the moment when he said he murdered his wife. they created a missing persons poster, a photo of wendy smiling, happy, her hazel eyes magnified by supersized glasses they plastered around town. Ratte case draws NBC Dateline's attention The 1997 murder of a Prince George woman and the subsequent conviction of her husband for second-degree murder 13 years later could be featured on a U.S.. saw clear or almost clear skin, and, had significantly less itch. all auctions start at $0 and everything must go. there was nothing to indicate that she was in any way connected to any of the missing or murdered women along highway 16. >> judy told me, "we don't understand. was she dead? and don't forget, we offer a full 90 day money back guarantee on your first bid pack purchase. he lost the house, he lost kids had, he lost his whole life. a stand mixer for less than $20. go to dealdash.com today and see how much you can save. >> i can't imagine how it --. >> but the gun barrel, the bits and pieces of things, the stash places, the driver's license and. mom didn't miss appointments. >> and i hear this story and think for crying out loud, she's done it again. and reliable coverage, nationwide. >> then, denis continued, he put the body in the plymouth voyager, made a left turn onto highway 16, the highway of tears, and drove to an abandoned logger loggers road, 1.5 hours away. >> shattering. wendy ratte. Or, did danger lurk closer to home? Reposted 5 years ago 5 years ago. >> translator: it was fast? the family could certainly use the cash, and denis figured he was pretty good. desperate for money, he turned to small-time crime, did a bit of drug dealing, got caught. In 2020, the NBC Dateline episode featured the case of the gruesome 2003 rape and murder of Katie Sepich by Gabriel Adrian Avila, for which he is serving a 69 years jail sentence. >> he was changing over the years in front of my eyes. but, when used at the first sign, abreva can get you back to being you in just 2 and a half days. my emotion went into finding her. wendy or a second personality some say lurked inside? she was finished. Police investigated: a bitter feud with a neighbor, a possible serial killer. but her brother, gabriel? >> maybe it was shawna who got on that bus, or perhaps oshawna? >> the first inkling of something wrong, something off, when was phone rang after lunch. CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices. try new vicks vapocool drops in honey lemon chill. as well as a playstation 4 for under $16. so i think that went on to the visa, as well. 2,044,148 plays 2.04M; View all comments 1,032; Followers. >> translator: honesty, honesty, okay. It's not yet certain if Harpaz will be back with a camera crew to film a piece for Dateline NBC, a newsmagazine driven by stories of true crime, investigative reporting, and social justice. i'm caught. voltaren is powerful arthritis pain relief in a gel. Deception, Part 8. switch to progressive and you can save hundreds. i was up to my neck in investigation trying to find mom. >> they're described as right out of hollywood. >> translator: okay, man. if you're honest, things will be great. she found some peace in that, and one day she said "let's hold hands and speak with oshanna." >> not a big surprise really. how she was constantly seeking something missing. that's not going to swim about in your brain. you'll thrive. >> all i remember is the glint in his eye when he told me he was working again and how proud he looked. >> so you were able to dispense with that one pretty quickly? it cleans grease five times faster on easy messes, just spray, wipe, and rinse. -blue. healthmarkets has options from both on and off the government exchange. , >> what about the religious group, the emissaries of divine light, that wendy had been drawn to years before? >> translator: i said it there? >> so said judy thomas, no highway of tears. but "dateline nbc" reviewed an rcmp summary of the mission. >> and he hardly knew a word of english and she hardly knew a word of french. June 14, 2013. >> he broke down for the first time. approached denis in prince george. last august, did you murder wendy? me, i'm happy to live with a question mark. there's no evidence. we'll get through it. most of her family sided with gabriel. >> correct. >> more than $2,000, in fact, money he'd gotten in advance for an odd job, which he asked wendy to return when he couldn't complete it. i called every number in the directory that she had. my job is to help new homeowners who have turned into their parents. for all those years he told her, the police just wouldn't leave him alone. i was heaving. we looked into medical records and there was nothing recent. when she does that, she's shawna. and brand new cars for less than $900. he hadn't been back in 11 years. it looks like your blood pressure's a little high. so you can experience few or no symptoms. and that's how mom led her life. Get an all-access pass to never-before-seen content, free digital evidence kits, and much more! now 20 and living with a boyfriend hundreds of miles from prince george, she was determined to keep the search for her mother alive. i'm not eating at the soup kitchen anymore. >> but she was sliding. >> translator: right or left side? he was lucky. and brand new cars for less than $900. now, what could that be? >> right. the reason for that was history. >> that was a lie, of course. >> i don't know. the joy of movement. when we understand what's possible, we won't settle for less. It's just in the beginning stages.". wendy and i met in a parking lot somewhere just to say hi. >> $2,000, exactly. >> yeah. a place to belong. Wendy Ratte, a free-spirited mother of two, was missing. >> i just kept making phone calls, and no one had seen her, no one knew what i was talking about. >> and yet they hit it off. it's so obvious. It is a priority for CBC to create products that are accessible to all in Canada including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. the gunshot, the tarp, the carjack. after about an hour of conversation, she finally just shook her head and said, i'm very sure that it was dad. >> and he didn't. i would have dreams, though, dreams of her coming back up those stairs in the same way that she walked out. progressive is always here for you with round-the-clock service. the van was locked, but denis had an extra key. denis was asked to threaten a man. he created the suspicion himself, of course, when he illegally cashed wendy's unemployment insurance checks, and his gambling habit almost bankrupted the family, led to those terrible fights just months before wendy disappeared. >> i saw that glint in his eye where he felt proud of himself again. >> but anna's father, denis, it seemed, had never given up. >> did she bring up the idea that wendy may have had some sort of mental breakdown? -[narrator] we are boomer natur. that's shawna. four months into the investigation of wendy ratte's disappearance, no sign of wendy. >> translator: so essentially, your son is asking you to tell the truth. our neck gaiters, face masks, and one-piece shield masks are certified 99.99% anti-microl with nano-silver technology. they're going to look at you. i was just in the lineup late to get my gown, get ready to go to the ceremony and think, oh, my god, you know, what is this life? >> why don't you want to see something, some kind of evidence to back up what you've seen on tape? Gabriel Avila is a convicted felon for the rape and murder of a student named, Katie Sepich. home was a country cabin surrounded by trees and mountains of british columbia, canada. it's all true. i was so excited. i didn't do it." >> translator: she didn't suffer. one day in 1995, denis returned from work at the sawmill and told him family how a log hit his shoulder, knocked him out cold. It'd take an elaborate, undercover mission to finally crack this case. On Thursday his daughter Anna Sieppert delivered an emotional victim impact statement that left staff in the Prince George courtroom in tears. >> after you shot her, what happened then? but even when i was there. -i did. and no motive. >> the next day, denis and the kids filed a report with the rcmp, the royal canadian mounted police. >> you think he's living in la-la land? >> so even in the newsroom that, was a leading theory. i'm not talking it it anymore." and don't forget, we offer a full 90 day money back guarantee on your first bid pack purchase. why would he kill her? >> it turned out he had a lot of nerve damage down the right side of his body. >> i had to believe him. i'm going to tell you. Police investigated: a bitter feud with a neighbor, a possible serial killer. we were talking quietly. >> i would trust him to do the right thing and keep me safe. >> the undercover operation the unsolved homicide squad came up with was so elaborate and ambitious, it might seem, frankly, unbelievable. >> vancouver's e-division to be exact. >> and especially hard on the family's finances. i called every friend of mine, every friend of hers. >> an undercover operation? no wendy. so what was it? >> sure, and if your physicality and your ability to provide for your family are taken from you, that's got to be hard on the ego. she didn't want to be tied down. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. >> the polygraph operator came back and told denis that he found him to be truthful. and the animals taken away. that family had moved four months i believe prior. >> so she decided to give denis one last chance. and unlike big glucosamine chondroitin pills, it's all in one tiny pill. that's what he had done. >> translator: there was a big thing with a cover on. >> she was the breadwinner. but this time with a quite unexpected outcome. >> but there crime organization was designed for him. of those, i just -- my heart fills with optimism. >> it's hope, you know. are you kidding? she felt restrained by the bonds of marriage and family. Gabriel Adrian Avila was the culprit responsible for the rape and murder of the 22-year-old graduate student. coming up -- >> it became sickening after a while to hear the police issue another release that another girl had gone missing. which brings us to the greyhound bus station a few blocks from the place wendy's van was found abandoned. support that. The 1997 murder of a Prince George woman and the subsequent conviction of her husband for second-degree murder 13 years later could be featured on a U.S. network television show. what did you put on top? >> especially when you saw the dysfunction in families around you. The incident garnered a whole lot of media attention and later an adaptation of the case by the hit crime series, "Dateline" on NBC. >> deceptive, meaning according to the police polygrapher, that denis ratte lied when he claimed he had nothing to do with wendy's disappearance. and there was a stick. When Wendy Ratte, a free-spirited mother of two, goes missing, police go under cover to crack the case. what it took for her to forgive him hurt him deeply. so you've got this elaborate setup. >> was her mom alive? they promised they want still looking. a terrifying specter haunted the lonely highway that passed through prince george on its way into the wilderness. the premier cold case unit in british columbia. >> what does that do inside when you hear that? e networks of news, good night it was like being in a nightmare. especially about the mystery of his wife's disappearance. hours later, wendy was nowhere to be found, and her daughter anna, now a teenager, was worried. >> anna's dad told her her mom had dropped her off downtown so he could run errands while she drove on in the family van to tutsi area student and then meet a friend, then pick him up again at the hardware store, but she hadn't returned. >> when i heard that mum had to change bank accounts into her name, she had to protect the family's income, that was the first waver i had with my father's character. >> i asked, could i have my father's storyline, and the police said, we don't have a clear picture of what happened that day because every time he tells us a story, there are big holes. wendy just didn't fit the profile. >> well, i think you're a little too domineering for me now. >> we checked into that and met with dead ends. we flagged bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance numbers. one that's more than just fast. did it seem to you at the time, hey, this is -- this can't be? but that's in a person's youth which is much different than when you're married with children. >> you didn't have the physical evidence that would back up his confession in the undercover operation. >> so he did, all the way back to canada, to northern saskatchewan. at the edge of the wilderness, far from her connecticut past, a small house a few miles outside of prince george, british columbia. >> you just shot the once, right? >> he was going to protect his family and protect his kids. >> he prided himself on being able to read people and know when -- when to held 'em, when to fold 'em. >> it was hard. this early in the investigation, any lead was welcome. when i was talking with anna and gabriel, the love that they had for their mother, i knew that it had to be reciprocated. Gabriel was in the kitchen and he was more or less paying attention when his mom and dad told him they were off to run some errands. when those around us know us, they can show us just how much they care. it's a very personal thing the way humans react to trauma. they're quite adamant. what about the jones family, the neighbors who wendy helped evict from their property? >> sure. he wasn't there. >> it was hard for me not to tell anna. there was usually a game in town. you're not the first person to ask me. she was open about it, too. with less eczema, you can show more skin. 555 Followers, 615 Following, 901 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Gabriel Ratt (@grattehandy) grattehandy. but the results were inconclusive. so i thought, what about 15 minutes. web pages >> thomas interviewed several of wendy's closest friends. Gabriel Pelletier was born in 1958 in Montral, Qubec, Canada. a daughter. dupixent is a biologic, and not a cream or steroid. in the beginning there was wilderness, vast and lovely and a happy little family, a bring and sister who loved each other and loved their mom and dad. but as the years slowly ticked by one by one, nothing. understanding how to talk to your doctor about treatment options is key. serendipity. businesses today are looking to tomorrsetting the course.ating. good. >> you looked out there and you saw everybody else who -- in the family who disagreed with you. she was incredibly nurturing, and i think what she succeeded in doing is that she raised a good son and a good man to live in this world as a sane person. we all see it. but no, said thomas, false alarm. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. >> he was a proud man who didn't like his dirty laundry aired, and she just had to everyone they knew. but this case wasn't only the crown versus denis ratte. available at boomernaturals.com, cvs stores, and cvs.com. we try to talk with each other every once in a while. i can be swayed by the evidence whether it is going to be for or against my dad. >> yes. all of us, i think, saw him as someone who would die to protect his family. then they can't help me. This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code). >> it was all too much for anna. that's one of your clear first steps in any disappearance or murder case is what's the motive. >> thomas decided to focus her investigation closer to home. >> or is it that you cannot. the joneses, appearing in the newspaper accusing the family of mistreating their animals and using their land as a garbage dump. The case had languished for years but in 2008, Denis, her husband, became the subject of an elaborate undercover operation, known as a "Mr. Big" sting, in which police officers posing as high-level criminals to gain the suspect's trust. the best thing we can be is striving to be at our best. >> you know, i don't want to speak badly about my sister. >> translator: you didn't tell any lies at all? >> in the performance? 11 Mar. i still love her even. >> when "dateline" continues. and finally we asked him, you know, "what is going on?" >> the man who ran the undercover sting, lead investigator robert burret, insisted his team took all precautions to make sure denis did not lie when he met with mr. big. if you need to hear it, go see the police. Harpaz, who is based in New York, said he was drawn to the story for several reasons beginning with the couple's daughter, Anna Sieppert, who kept the case alive only to find that her father was found to be the culprit. letting him go as a suspect must have been difficult. >> falling apart. that the rcmp had let the case go cold. her father insisted he had nothing to do with it. about a week later, another question -- would denis like to make some money on the side delivering bags mostly, their contents unknown. dealdash.com offers hundreds of auctions every day. one of the ways i do that is to get them out of the home. Her remains were never found, and the case remained unsolved for more than a decade,. and bit by bit as days went by, denis became fully involved in what he clearly believed was a criminal gang. "It's a tragic story but it's really interesting to explore both the mystery of how her mother disappeared and then looking at the emotional and human drama of the daughter's quest to find justice for her mother and then discovering the ultimate betrayal," he said. i won these bluetooth headphones for $20. >> denis ratte pleaded not guilty and recanted the confessions he made both to mr. big and to the police after his arrest. here's what's happening. he even transport guns, or so he thought. >> but a failed lie detector test was not enough evidence to arrest denis, let alone charge him with a crime. >> denis suddenly became suspect number one. >> the polygraph operator rereads his charts. S29 E9. and two of her checks had been cashed at an atm in full view of the bank's surveillance camera. those old jacks you used to put under a vehicle. while it's capable of exposing the guilty, it can also induce innocent suspects to falsely confess to a crime they didn't commit. for this free service, go to healthmarkets.com or call right now. gabriel was at work when the call came. >> i definitely would have heard it. and the joneses could have a motive. that's cold to talk about let alone cold to do. and against all odds, said denis' sister, deanne, the wayward marriage of the preacher's daughter and illiterate dropout worked. Whether the main players in the drama will agree to interviews will be a prime factor. a horrifying surprise for passersby. he said, "when she does that, she's shawna." anna had doubts about her father all along. wondering what was going to happen, what's going to take place. Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014). Izhar Harpaz, a producer for Dateline NBC, was in Prince George on Thursday to get a look at the sites and scenes related to the disappearance of Wendy Ann Twiss Ratte. a day went by, then two, then a week. the highway of tears. she talked about how much she loved dad but was so angry with him, wasn't sure she could forgive him. >> i knew when he was talking about mom's murder that it was true. 5. but, when used at the first sign, abreva can get you back to being you in just 2 and a half days. i know my father's mannerisms. Disable anytime. he was a mess. there is the gamblers/desperate hand, the voice, the presence summoned from beyond, and the audacious undercover caper, all to solve an 11-year-old mystery and put under the light of intense personal scrutiny a most unlikely villain, who depending on who you choose to believe may not be a villain at all. Enable push notifications on your device. was it possible, she wondered, that it was guilt? but as anna looked around, her eye caught something familiar. >> and something else bothered him. ask them to tell you the story." >> he said, "i'm done. and i can absolutely understand wanting to be blind to -- to the truth because i was there too. is that a good idea? which left wendy's husband, denis. by nightfall, there was still no sign of wendy. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. >> i introduced myself as a police officer coming to talk to him. he's got people he's working with that he really likes, they really like him. so we're using a speakerphone in the store. >> there was a polygraph question that had to be asked. >> translator: i had no choice. gabriel noticed that the old self-assured denis was back. she saw them following her. on tough messes, the spray-activated suds cut through grease on contact, without water. that was who he was. >> that was just four months before she vanished leaving nothing but a van in the local parking lot. but we were both so lost that we couldn't -- we couldn't be there for each other anymore. >> i didn't believe it. the emissaries of divine light. she was uninterested in anybody else besides herself. finally, he was sure. dealdash.com, the fair and honest bidding site. and tender moments like these, anna said, reminded her how much she yearned for the bond they once had. i was on the ground. the only income came from wendy's work as a substitute. >> the rcmp have conducted over 350 of these investigations. i'd never seen real emotion come from him before. it was one of the crime boss's alleged cronies with an internal police memorandum. but nonetheless, that's what i had. >> our primary suspect and only suspect, husband denis ratte, had just about finished their investigation. so denis did what he always did when times were rough. after wendy fell to the ground, he said, he quickly wrapped her body in a black tarp. -are you ok? he admitted it. it turned out they hadn't found anything. >> denis ratte had come to the moment of truth. there had been no satellite watching denis on that august day back in 1997. >> we were talking about the phone, and he said they want me to take a lie detector test. and it certainly was in the media. back to vancouver to his college graduation that very same day. >> he said that's not wendy, that's shawna. she religion bounced searching for somewhere to belong. >> why lie? it's seeing someone's face that comforts us, no matter where. People always want answers, they don't like to live with mysteries, and in this case you have someone who was on a quest, who was very uncomfortable living with these big question marks and pursued it. like why aren't we looking for her? >> yeah, like parents get divorced? >> i was tied up and tortured. >> my brother was lost. she was shocked to learn that the confession was the only thing the cops had to convict her brother of killing his wife. >> a confession is the strongest evidence anybody ever gets, and, you know, it generally does the deed. but at the same time, it's like i knew. and he hadn't felt that since he -- since he'd been injured. -sorry. this was one of those people who was not going to let this go. "I want to know everything," she said, "So we can put my mom to rest.". i saw him at the food banks. so please be honest. >> she came in carrying this folder of news clippings and possible leads that were connected to her mother. denis never suspecting it was all an act. >> i don't know if they were real or not real. was it wendy? >> but as reporter frank peebles dug into the story, he found another so far unsubstantiated theory making the rounds around town. >> and you know how people are they talk. it was hard. >> cory keenan, a criminologist at vancouver's simon frazer university, has studied these operations and written a book about them. he's the one who calls the shots. of all the lies you could have said for why, you had to involve me again. >> a month before she, disappeared, wendy decided she needed some distance from denis. how do you talk about the woman you married -- if you didn't do it, could you really tell that story? >> but there was something anna didn't know. everything makes sense. he had absolutely no reason, he said, to hurt wendy or have anything to do with her disappearance. finally, i was tired of this file shuffle. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. . On Nov. 3, Ratte was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting his wife in the head and dumping her naked body in a swamp. i thought, great, he got a job. we all see it. >> it became sickening to hear that another girl had gone missing. call the number on your screen, or visit healthmarkets.com. time for mr. big. i even cried when i did it. she did not call anybody. could she have up and joined them? . denis agreed to help him. i said, "where's this coming from? >> translator: you know, i stirred it around, and it slipped. But Ratte's son Gabriel Pelletier, who also made a victim's impact statement, instead asked the judge for leniency, saying he's still "conflicted about whether" his father is guilty. >> right. Or, did danger lurk closer to home? >> frank peebles of the "prince george citizen." Jacks you used to put under a vehicle were connected to any of the home lonely highway passed! First person to ask me Instagram photos and videos from gabriel Ratt ( grattehandy. 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Or is it that you can save hundreds mental breakdown 's done it again of us, no sign wendy... Wondering what was going to swim about in your brain in just 2 a! Serial killer himself again noticed that the old self-assured denis was back interviewed several of wendy 's van locked... Of english and she just had to be found, and denis he. Sickening after a while half days, or so he thought eye he... Not eating at the first person to ask me around you citizen. what 's to! Those, i was up to my neck in investigation trying to find mom who in... She finally just shook her head and said, `` so we using... Father, denis, let alone charge him with a crime he hardly knew a word english!