Strap in, folks. The love triangle story on the premiere episode of “20/20” is one for the ages. In the same vein as “60 Minutes” from CBS, the long-running ABC news program has been getting to the bottom of everything from corruption to medical negligence for decades. Tonight, the show dove into a true-crime case that saw a millionaire shot to death with his fiance and an ex-NFL star held responsible for the murder.
Ready for the big twist? Nanette Packard, the fiance who has spent the last 10 years as a convicted murderer, maintains her innocence. Okay, a convicted killer claiming innocence isn’t the shock of the century. But still, “20/20” documented an interview ABC News conducted with Packard in June. And you can’t write this kind of drama.
Nanette Packard and her lover, former NFL player Eric Naposki, were carrying on an affair under the nose of Packard’s millionaire fiance Bill McLaughlin. McLaughlin was shot and killed in his home in December of 1994. But what makes this case so interesting is Packard and Naposki weren’t arrested for the killing until 2009.
Thanks to “20/20,” we can hear some of the audio from when detectives first interrogated Packard after the killing. One snippet follows a question asking Packard why she didn’t tell Naposki the true nature of her relationship with McLaughlin.
“Because… I don’t know. Because I didn’t. I never thought about it. I just- because he wouldn’t like that. That’s why. I mean, you know,” Packard told detectives, per ABC.
’20/20′ Had the Opportunity to Interview Nanette Packard After a Decade of Prison
10 years after a conviction that tapped Nanette Packard as the mastermind behind the killing of Bill McLaughlin, ABC News caught up with her in prison. She takes responsibility for McLaughlin’s murder. But not in the way you’d expect.
Far from a confession, Packard blames the affair itself for McLaughlin’s death.
“Had I not been having an affair … Bill would be alive still. I feel that way,” Packard told “20/20.”
And even though she blames the affair, she doesn’t claim to know that Eric Naposki is the one responsible for her fiance’s murder.
“I never said that Eric did it because I couldn’t say that Eric did it for sure. I don’t know that. He never said that to me,” she continued.
All of that said, Packard told “20/20” that she would “never” have killed her fiance. What motivation could she possibly have? They weren’t married yet, after all. Well, Packard was already written into McLaughlin’s will at the time. So she had plenty to gain, including a significant life insurance policy, $150,000 in cash, and a beachfront home. But that’s a conversation for a different time.