Darlene Saddler, the mother who was found dead in her home from gunshot wounds eight years ago, will be the next intriguing case to air on ID’s Unusual Suspects. Sunday’s episode, “Murder Down Memory Lane,” will tell the story of a California woman who was killed by someone in her home as her 5-year-old daughter stood on the sidelines. The case yielded several suspects that could have done it. Revisit the case and listen as police detectives retrace their steps to find a killer.
Santa Ana, California, 2008, should have been a good year for Darlene Saddler, who had just settled into her new rental home near Memory Lane. The 49-year-old mother lived in the Morrison Park house with her husband and children, according to the OC Register. But, the serenity that Darlene should have enjoyed that day turned into deadly chaos after someone entered her home and shot her three times in the head, leaving a stab wound to the neck area.
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Tragically, Darlene Saddler’s body was discovered by her son that afternoon. When officers arrived at North Lowell Lane, they could tell by examining the scene that Darlene had been attacked, most likely by someone she knew. It was up to investigators to look at each family member for answers. The only other person at home at the time of the murder was Darlene’s 5-year-old daughter, who told police that the intruder looked like a Mexican man.
Looking around for leads and clues, detectives finally got a break in the case. The DNA evidence found at the scene was eventually connected back to 18-year-old Brian Paul Landry, the boyfriend of Darlene Saddler’s older daughter. At the time the case was in the news, the media did not use the daughter’s name, since she was a 16-year-old girl at the time. Police arrested both Landry and the victim’s daughter, identified in court documents as Paula K.
Brian Landry confessed to police that he did it because the Saddler’s daughter wanted her mother dead. The girl told friends that she had a turbulent relationship with her mother, and their discussions often ended in fights. Sometimes those fights became physical, according to court records.
“FULCHER–she, she flat outright asked you to, to kill her mom by saying I wish she was dead, can you do it? DEFENDANT—Yeah, kind of like around about way. FULCHER—A round about way. How many times do you think she asked you that? DEFENDANT—A couple times.
“When questioning recommenced, defendant quickly and clearly confessed to the murder of Saddler. When asked how he got into the house, defendant responded that he opened the front door from the inside by reaching his arm through the mail slot. Defendant looked around when he entered the house; hid in another room while Saddler was dropping Paula off at school. Defendant approached Saddler from the side a Saddler prepared food in the kitchen.”
At trial, Brian Landry stated that he was lying about what happened when he confessed to police. The OC Register describes it this way.
“‘I made up most of that interview. She had made me feel pretty bad and made me feel less than a man,’ Landry testified about Saddler’s daughter, who he said was his girlfriend, a relationship she never acknowledged in public.”
Brian Landry was later found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life in a California correctional facility. To find out what happened to his girlfriend, the-then 16-year-old girl who allegedly expressed interest in having her mother killed, you’ll have to tune in to Unusual Suspects‘ dramatic recreation of the events, this Sunday, March 6, at 9/8 p.m. central. In a previous article, the Inquisitr covered the murder of Stephanie Bennet.
[Image via Investigation Discovery/Facebook]