The Russel Douglas, Peggy Sue Thomas case will be explored tonight on CBS 48 Hours. Every week, 48 Hours brings you real crimes, real people, and real-life drama. This week’s story is no exception.
Tonight, the news magazine will chronicle the murder of Russel Douglas and detail how Peggy Sue Thomas, a former beauty queen and her lover rock musician James “Jim” Huden, were connected to the case. Popular crime writer Ann Rule will discuss the case that rocked Whidbey Island. Ann Rule’s book Practice to Deceive is based on that shocking case.
Russel Douglas, was murdered in 2003 on Whidbey Island. Detectives found him in his bright yellow vehicle slumped over. As detectives moved in more closely, a gunshot wound right between the eyes was apparent. Someone had shot and killed the young man. It was an eerie scene on the isolated dead end road, and police scrambled to find out who had killed Douglas.
As police delved deeper into the homicide investigation, they learned that the last person to see Russel Douglas was Jim Huden and his lover Peggy Sue Thomas. Police were shocked to learn that Peggy Sue Thomas was a former beauty queen and aircraft mechanic. The question was how did this loving mother and former beauty queen entangle herself is this high profile crime case.
People who knew Jim Huden and Peggy Sue say they were a handsome whirlwind couple. By then, Peggy had transformed herself from a chubby mom to a sexy vixen through diet and exercise. According to Ann Rule, she also became a seductress who was a professional at luring and attracting men. That’s what hooked James Hudon, aka James Huden. Being a rock musician, Huden had all kinds of women who desired him, but Peggy Sue Thomas was the one who turned his life upside down. In their relationship, there was alcohol, there were drugs, and there was sex — lots of sex.
But what connected Jim Huden and Peggy Sue Thomas to this case was Russel Douglas’ estranged wife Breanna, a well-known beautician. Police learned that Russel and Breanna’s marriage was on the skids. More than that, Breanna’s beauty salon business was having financial problems. But here’s the kicker: The victim’s estranged wife also knew Peggy Sue Thomas.
Did Breanna Douglas set up the murder of her estranged husband with the help of Peggy Sue Thomas and Jim Huden? Watch tonight to see how CBS 48 Hours untangles this very messy case.
The network describes the episode, “A beauty queen, a musician, and a cold-blooded murder: How does a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case [and] a rocker on the run from the law? Could others have been involved with the alleged triggerman’s crime? True-crime legend Ann Rule discusses how the sensational case in this week’s #48Hours inspired one of her books. Hear Peter Van Sant’s question and answer session with the former Ms. Washington, Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.”
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