Friday, February 12 marks one year since gunshots rang out in an otherwise quiet neighborhood and the lives of the Meyers family changed forever.
An unfortunate set of events led to tragedy. The shooting death of 44-year-old Tammy Meyers, a mother of four.
The story received international attention and generated a lot of wild speculation. Now, a year later, the I-Team's George Knapp sat down with widowed husband Bob Meyers to address the still-unfolding saga.
It's been a very rough year for the Meyers family. Tammy Meyers was the glue that kept the family together.
They not only saw her murdered, but have endured vicious speculation and rampant rumors that have been repeated not only by tabloid media but by news organizations which should have known better.
The I-Team spoke with husband Bob Meyers about the long nightmare that still hasn't ended and with publicist Mark Fierro, who wrote a book with the family to address some of the conspiracy theories.
"I don't have a wife anymore, you know, when you're with somebody for 25 years ... you wake up to that person everyday, you go to sleep with that person everyday and they're not there, it's rough," said Bob Meyers, Tammy Meyers' husband.
He was out of state on a business trip when he received a garbled phone call about his wife being shot and he raced back to Las Vegas, driving 100 miles-per-hour, unable to get solid information for most of the drive.
George Knapp: "That had to be a very bad period, when you are driving and to find out her condition and have no idea what the heck happened?"
Bob Meyers: "Well the nurse told me it was grave so she asked me to pull over and she kept asking me 'are you driving?' I'm like yeah, I'm driving, I'm gettin' there. I said, you know, have her hold on until I get there, you know."
Tammy Meyers did hold on until he got there.
Publicist Mark Fierro, a former KLAS TV reporter, wrote a book about Tammy's death, including the moment Bob arrived at the hospital.
"He sits down, he grabs her hand and immediately she squeezes his hand and he asks the nurse has she done this? She said, 'no, she's been completely unresponsive' and he starts telling her how lucky he was and how much he loved here, how much he's gonna work to help keep the kids together and so the last thing that happens is this communication through her hand, she wants him to know that she's hearing," said Fierro, author of "Road Rage in Las Vegas."
After Tammy's death, things crumbled for the family. The siblings went into deep depression and sought counseling. Their home became a magnet for media and murder buffs.
George Knapp: "Did you have problems at the house, people knocking at the door?
Bob Meyers: "Or lookie loos taking pictures and 3, 4 o'clock in the morning, parking up front of the house and you got to wonder, you think after what happened, is that a shooter? Or you know, it's pretty scary."
And there was the constant drum beat of unfounded rumors about Tammy and the young man who confessed to the shooting, Erich Nowsch.
"It started off she was in a relationship with him and then it went to my daughter was pregnant by him and then it let off to where my wife was buying drugs from him or then it let off to where my wife was selling drugs to him," Bob Meyers said. "This is all local media here in town. They kept throwing one conspiracy after the other. Every time a lawyer would say something, the local media would eat it up and run with it and there would be no investigating and the whole time the confession is out, these people know about this confession, but they don't want to go to the confession because that's not a good story."
In a three-hour interview with police, the suspect said nothing about drugs or a relationship with Tammy. He made it clear the shooting was a mistake.
"I'm sure if she was buying drugs or it was a drug deal gone bad, which there is a lot of people out there saying that on Facebook and other media, wouldn't he'd said that in his confession to try and get a reduced sentence or a drug deal gone bad or there was a relationship or she was buying drugs. He never said that. Out of his own mouth he said he was sorry, he killed the wrong person, he thought he was killing a kid. Nothing more," Bob Meyers said.
George Knapp: "Have you ever seen a story like this?"
Mark Fierro: "I've never seen anything close to this. I think that the dirty lie is so much more interesting than the truth of the mistaken identity that they want to hold on to that dirty little, dirty little lie because somehow it makes it far more interesting. I think part of it is that they want to know something that other people don't know, not realizing that they're, that they're morons for suggesting it after he's admitted it, he's admitted the truth. It was a mistake."
Bob Meyers says he worries about the effects of the upcoming trial for suspect Erich Nowsch. The Meyers siblings have been emotionally devastated and underwent therapy in the last year. They lost their mother, two of them witnessed her murder, and they've all been subjected to the conspiracy theories.
Their lawyer Sam Schwartz told the I-Team, "It is unfathomable why some people have clung to the lies. The truth is, this was a case of mistaken identity."
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