Tonight Friday (December 2 2023) “48 Hours” Years before South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh was convicted for the murders of his wife and son, there was another mystery in Murdaugh country?
The December 2 edition of “48 Hours” starts at 10PM ET/PT on CBS. At 6:30 in the morning of April 25, 2010, Heidi Firkus called 911 after her husband, Nick Firkus, said an intruder was breaking into their home. She was shot and killed and Nick Firkus told investigators that his gun discharged when he struggled with the intruder. Minnesota-born correspondent Jamie Yuccas reports on the investigation in 48 HOURS: “Death at the Front Door: Who Shot Heidi Firkus?”
Something in Nick Firkus’ story struck police as odd.
“Most people are home at 6:30 on a Sunday morning, especially in a family neighborhood like that,” detective Nichole Sipes of the St. Paul Police Department tells Yuccas. “The last thing that most burglars want to encounter are people.”
In his first network TV interview, Branden O’Connor, who was housesitting and taking care of kittens next door to the Firkus residence, recalls hearing something strange.
“I was woken up by the kittens kinda walking around,” O’Connor tells Yuccas. “Some noise got my attention, so I stuck my head out the window.”
Branden recalls hearing a muffled argument coming from the Firkus home.
“That’s when I ended up hearing what sounded like gunshots,” he tells Yuccas.
When first interviewed by police, O’Connor said he also heard a male voice. “Kind of this agonizing yell of, ‘You shot her, you shot me … please, please, no,’ something along those lines and then – then it was done. You know, I’m looking, I didn’t see anybody come out the house,” he says.
Sergeant Jim Gray breaks down the scene for 48 HOURS. He says the evidence at the scene didn’t match Nick Firkus’ accounts.
“They have this life and death struggle right in this area with nothing disturbed,” Gray says.
Gray also tells Yuccas that by the front door where the alleged struggle occurred there was a vase, some receipts, a beer bottle and none of that was knocked over. “So that kind of raised suspicion to us that if there was such a struggle, why wasn’t any of this stuff knocked over?” Gray says. “His story didn’t make a lot of sense to me … His version of the incident couldn’t be plausible.”
Nick Firkus went free for more than a decade until investigator Nicole Sipes took over the case. As part of the new investigation, Sipes reached out to Nick Firkus’ new wife who gave her a recording that ultimately led to Firkus’ arrest.