The Breakup

The Breakup

Update: 2024-06-1815
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The episode of Dateline focuses on the murder of Lanelle Barsock in Palmdale, California. The initial investigation centered around her boyfriend, Louis Bonner, due to his controlling and jealous behavior. However, as detectives delved deeper, they discovered that Louis had an alibi and was not involved in the murder. The investigation then shifted to Lanelle's friend, Lorraine Austin, who had been initially helpful but later became a suspect. It was revealed that Lorraine had been impersonating Lanelle while dating other women, and had a secret romantic relationship with Lanelle that ended just days before her murder. Lorraine's motive was believed to be revenge for Lanelle ending their relationship. Lorraine was eventually arrested and convicted of Lanelle's murder, serving two terms of 25 years to life. The episode highlights the complexities of murder investigations and the importance of thorough investigation, even when initial suspects appear to be the most likely culprits.

Outlines

00:00:00
The Discovery of a Horrific Scene

This Chapter introduces the case of Lanelle Barsock's murder. Lorraine Austin, a friend of Lanelle, discovers her body in the garage of her home, covered in blood and with a plastic bag over her head. The police are called, and the investigation begins.

00:01:31
The Investigation Begins

This Chapter details the initial investigation into Lanelle's murder. Detectives Joe Espino and Bob Kenney arrive at the crime scene and begin to piece together the events leading up to her death. They discover evidence of a struggle, including bloody towels and trash bags filled with bloody bedding. Lanelle's boyfriend, Louis Bonner, is identified as a suspect due to his controlling and jealous behavior.

00:07:22
Lanelle's Life and Relationship with Louis

This Chapter explores Lanelle's life and her relationship with Louis. Lanelle was a nurse who was devoted to helping others. She met Louis in nursing school, and they eventually moved in together. However, their relationship was strained by Louis's controlling behavior and his jealousy over Lanelle's other relationships.

00:14:30
Lorraine's Testimony and the Love Triangle

This Chapter focuses on Lorraine's testimony and the revelation of a love triangle involving Lanelle, Louis, and another man named Ike. Lorraine reveals that Lanelle had been secretly dating Ike, and that Louis had become enraged when he discovered their relationship. Ike had a solid alibi, clearing him as a suspect, leaving detectives to focus on Louis.

00:21:00
Lewis's Alibi and the Shifting Focus

This Chapter details the investigation into Louis's alibi. He claims to have been in LA buying auto parts at the time of Lanelle's murder. Detectives investigate his alibi and find evidence that supports his claim, clearing him as a suspect. The focus of the investigation shifts back to Lorraine.

00:31:10
Lorraine's Suspicious Behavior and the Truth Unravels

This Chapter highlights Lorraine's suspicious behavior and the unraveling of her story. Detectives begin to question Lorraine's account of her whereabouts on the day of the murder, finding inconsistencies in her story. They also discover that Lorraine had been impersonating Lanelle while dating other women, and that she had a secret romantic relationship with Lanelle that ended just days before her murder.

00:34:08
Lorraine's Motive and the Arrest

This Chapter reveals Lorraine's motive for killing Lanelle and her eventual arrest. Detectives believe that Lorraine killed Lanelle in a fit of rage after Lanelle ended their relationship. Lorraine is eventually arrested in Belize and brought back to the US to stand trial for Lanelle's murder.

Keywords

Lanelle Barsock
Lanelle Barsock was a 29-year-old nurse who was murdered in Palmdale, California. She was described as a kind and caring person who was devoted to helping others. She was ambitious and worked hard to become a registered nurse. She met her boyfriend, Louis Bonner, in nursing school, and they eventually moved in together. However, their relationship was strained by Louis's controlling behavior and his jealousy over Lanelle's other relationships. Lanelle was ultimately murdered by her friend, Lorraine Austin, who was infatuated with her and felt betrayed when Lanelle ended their relationship.

Lorraine Austin
Lorraine Austin was a friend of Lanelle Barsock who was initially helpful to police in the investigation of Lanelle's murder. However, as detectives delved deeper, they discovered that Lorraine had been impersonating Lanelle while dating other men, and had a secret romantic relationship with Lanelle that ended just days before her murder. Lorraine's motive for killing Lanelle was believed to be revenge for Lanelle ending their relationship. Lorraine was eventually arrested and convicted of Lanelle's murder, serving two terms of 25 years to life.

Louis Bonner
Louis Bonner was Lanelle Barsock's boyfriend. He was initially a suspect in her murder due to his controlling and jealous behavior. However, he had a solid alibi and was cleared of any involvement in the crime. Louis was unaware of Lanelle's secret relationship with Lorraine Austin, and was ultimately framed for the murder by Lorraine.

Palmdale, California
Palmdale is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is located in the Antelope Valley, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. The murder of Lanelle Barsock took place in Palmdale, and the investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Dateline
Dateline is a long-running American true crime television series that airs on NBC. The show features in-depth investigations of real-life crimes, often focusing on the victims and their families. The episode of Dateline that featured the murder of Lanelle Barsock was titled "The Breakup."

Murder Investigation
A murder investigation is a process conducted by law enforcement to determine the circumstances surrounding a murder and identify the perpetrator. It typically involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing forensic data. The murder investigation of Lanelle Barsock was complex and involved multiple twists and turns, ultimately leading to the arrest and conviction of Lorraine Austin.

Love Triangle
A love triangle is a romantic relationship involving three people, often leading to conflict and jealousy. In the case of Lanelle Barsock's murder, a love triangle emerged between Lanelle, her boyfriend Louis Bonner, and another man named Ike. This love triangle played a significant role in the investigation, as detectives initially focused on Louis due to his jealousy over Lanelle's relationship with Ike.

Impersonation
Impersonation is the act of assuming the identity of another person, often for fraudulent purposes. In the case of Lanelle Barsock's murder, Lorraine Austin was found to have been impersonating Lanelle while dating other women. This impersonation was a key piece of evidence that led to Lorraine's arrest and conviction.

Forensic Evidence
Forensic evidence is any physical evidence that is collected and analyzed in a criminal investigation. It can include fingerprints, DNA, bloodstains, and other traces of the crime. In the case of Lanelle Barsock's murder, forensic evidence played a crucial role in identifying Lorraine Austin as the perpetrator. Her DNA was found on the black gloves at the crime scene, her bloody fingerprint was on a plastic container, and her footprint was on a folded-up rug.

False Accusation
A false accusation is a claim that someone has committed a crime when they have not. In the case of Lanelle Barsock's murder, Lorraine Austin falsely accused Louis Bonner of the crime in an attempt to frame him. This false accusation led to Louis's wrongful arrest and detention for over a month.

Q&A

  • What was the initial focus of the investigation into Lanelle Barsock's murder?

    The initial focus of the investigation was on Lanelle's boyfriend, Louis Bonner, due to his controlling and jealous behavior. Detectives believed that he might have killed Lanelle out of anger or jealousy.

  • What evidence cleared Louis Bonner as a suspect in Lanelle's murder?

    Louis had a solid alibi. He was able to provide evidence that he was in LA buying auto parts at the time of Lanelle's murder. This evidence cleared him as a suspect, and the investigation shifted to Lanelle's friend, Lorraine Austin.

  • What was Lorraine Austin's motive for killing Lanelle Barsock?

    Detectives believe that Lorraine killed Lanelle in a fit of rage after Lanelle ended their relationship. Lorraine was infatuated with Lanelle and felt betrayed when she ended their relationship. She saw Lanelle as someone who could give her a better life, and when that was taken away from her, she lashed out and killed Lanelle.

  • How did Lorraine Austin try to frame Louis Bonner for Lanelle's murder?

    Lorraine planted a breakup letter at Lanelle's house, making it appear as though Lanelle was leaving Louis for another man. She then rushed to the sheriff's station and told them that she had seen a man in the house, falsely accusing Louis of the murder.

  • What forensic evidence linked Lorraine Austin to Lanelle's murder?

    Lorraine's DNA was found on the black gloves at the crime scene, her bloody fingerprint was on a plastic container, and her footprint was on a folded-up rug. These pieces of evidence, along with the bullets in her purse that matched the murder weapon, conclusively linked Lorraine to the crime.

  • What was the outcome of Lorraine Austin's trial?

    Lorraine was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to two terms of 25 years to life in prison.

  • How did Louis Bonner's life change after being wrongly accused of Lanelle's murder?

    Louis was wrongfully accused of Lanelle's murder and spent over a month in jail. After being cleared, he was able to move on with his life and eventually married and had a son. He named his daughter after Lanelle, as a tribute to his friend.

  • What is the message of this episode of Dateline?

    The episode highlights the complexities of murder investigations and the importance of thorough investigation, even when initial suspects appear to be the most likely culprits. It also shows the devastating impact that false accusations can have on innocent people.

Show Notes

When a nurse is gunned down in her home, detectives initially believe they have a clear suspect, but new information leads them down a completely different path. Josh Mankiewicz reports.

Listen to Keith Morrison and Josh Mankiewicz as they go behind the scenes of the making of this episode in ‘Talking Dateline’: https://link.chtbl.com/tdl_thebreakup

Comments (1)

Jeff B

Why do people like this insist on being together? This woman already had another guy that she noted she had been sleeping with for 4 months and was planning to move with and marry while telling friends and family how terrible her current dude was. Living with him and continuing to interact like that was nothing short of playing with fire. It's just crazy how many people do stuff like this.

Jun 19th
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