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Jane Dorotik: A Troubled Case in 48 Hours

In 2001, a California mother and wife, Jane Dorotik, was convicted of murdering her husband but always maintained her innocence. From prison, Dorotik spent years filing motions asking for new testing of evidence, which was eventually done. Dorotik and her legal team say they discovered serious problems with some of that evidence.

Jane Dorotik: A Troubled Case in 48 Hours

Correspondent Erin Moriarty followed the case for 24 years and reports on the outcome in 48 HOURS: “The Troubled Case Against Jane Dorotik” to be broadcast Saturday, March. 30 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.

48 HOURS started following Dorotik’s case in 2000, after she was arrested for the murder of her husband, Bob Dorotik, who was found bludgeoned and strangled by the side of a road near their home.

As Jane Dorotik awaited trial and was under a cloud of suspicion, she allowed 48 HOURS into her home.

“He said he was going out for a jog … had his jogging suit on, was tying his shoes,” Jane Dorotik told 48 HOURS of the last time she saw her husband.

At trial, the prosecutor said Bob Dorotik never went for a jog and that Jane Dorotik moved his body to where he was found after killing him in their bedroom. Investigators described finding blood all over the bedroom.

Charles Merritt, a criminalist and bloodstain pattern analyst for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Crime Lab, testified that he saw bloodstains in 20 locations: blood was found on one of the pillows, on a lamp, nightstand, on the potbelly stove, on the ceiling and then on the underside of the mattress.

“Now, the evidence will show that all this blood that has been described to you, the observations made in this bedroom, that it was all sent out for DNA analysis, and it all came back Bob Dorotik’s blood,” prosecutor Bonnie Howard-Regan told the jury.

Jane Dorotik had explanations for some of that blood. She said her husband had a nosebleed and they had dogs who bled, but couldn’t explain it all.

  • “Do you have any other explanation of how that blood spatter could have gotten there?” Moriarty asked Jane Dorotik.
  • “Not really,” Jane Dorotik responded.
  • “On the ceiling, on the window, on the walls?” Moriarty asked Jane Dorotik.
  • “No,” Jane Dorotik responded.

In 2001, a jury found Jane Dorotik guilty of murder. She spent years while in prison trying to overturn her conviction. Working with Loyola Project for the Innocent, new testing of evidence was done, including of blood in the bedroom. They said it revealed some of the spots were never tested and others were not blood at all.

“If you just look at all of the pieces of evidence that Loyola was able to absolutely take apart, and yet we know what was told to the jury in the original conviction,” says Jane Dorotik. “So, how can that happen?”

At 9:00 PM, 48 HOURS reports on a Colorado dentist scheduled to go on trial this summer for murdering his wife, the mother of his six children. Jim Craig is suspected of putting poison in his wife’s protein shake.

The latest on the case in an encore of “Who Poisoned Angela Craig?” (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) Watch a preview.

Judy Tygard is the executive producer of 48 HOURS, which is broadcast Saturdays at 10:00 PM, ET/PT on CBS, and streams anytime on Paramount+. You can also watch 48 HOURS on the CBS News Streaming Network Wednesdays at 8:00 PM, ET.

48 HOURS is also available on CBSNews.com, Fave TV, Pop TV, Pluto US, Pluto UK, Pluto Nordics, Pluto Canada and Pluto South Africa. Download the CBS News app on your phone or connected TV. Follow 48 HOURS on XFacebook and Instagram. Listen to podcasts at CBS Audio.

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