In the summer of 1984, Dyke Rhoads, 27, met 24-year-old Karen Spesard. The couple fell in love and were married on March 22, 1986.
But less than three months later, on July 6, in their hometown of Paris, Ill., the couple were murdered in their house and stabbed more than 25 times each. After the crime, the killer or killers set a fire to destroy the evidence.
The next year, two men, Randy Steidl and Herb Whitlock, were arrested. Whitlock, then 41, was a part-time construction worker and small-time drug dealer. Stiedl, then 35, also worked construction jobs and had several convictions for assault.
The motive for the murders, according to prosecutors: a drug deal gone bad. After the trial in 1987, Whitlock was sentenced to life in prison; Steidl was sentenced to death. But are they really the murderers? 48 Hours reports on a case that may not yet be closed.
Over the years, Steidl and Whitlock have continued to claim that they were innocent. They weren't the only ones who thought that justice had gone astray. In 1999, David Protess, a Northwestern University journalism professor, and four of his students began to reinvestigate the crime trying to find out who killed the couple.
Aired: 15 May 2000