KUSA - I'm often asked how we, reporters, get stories. 9NEWS gets a lot of news tips, and very often, people share stories with us. Sometimes, the stories are follow- ups to events that already took place. That is part of what happened here.
In 2011, I was covering a double murder that quickly turned into a murder-for-hire case. I went to court for various hearings for a man named Chris Wells and three of his associates.
Wells, at the time, was accused of having a hand in murdering his soon-to-be-ex-wife Amara Wells and his brother-in-law Bob Rafferty.
As part of covering any story, I always reach out to all the people involved. In this case, I wrote a letter to Amara's family. I got a call back, which most often, doesn't happen. They were very nice, but told me the family wasn't interested in talking to us.
I left it alone.
Court hearings came and went, and plea deals were reached with all four defendants. As part of the plea, 20-plus charges against Wells were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to murdering Amara and Bob. Wells was sentenced to two consecutive life terms without parole.
That was about a year-and-a-half ago.
Several months ago, Amara's family called me, saying they may be interested in talking. But it wouldn't be about the murder, it would be about some future concerns they had.
Months of work later, the story came to light.
PART I - Murder-for-hire plot survivor scared for her life: http://on9news.tv/16y1wNh
PART II - Murder-for-hire suspect Chris Wells collects money while in prison: http://on9news.tv/16BpQOu.