Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention

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And a woman who wielded power at the highest levels of government personified the place. Reno likes to call itself "the biggest little city in the world. Now it is the setting for a bizarre saga that could have been pulled from a Hollywood screenplay. It's a story of power, ambition and enemies. Investigators say it's also a story of murder, what they believe could have been the perfect crime -- if not for one slip of the tongue.

The photos say it all. She was a prominent politician poised for an even brighter future. Nevada state controller Kathy Augustine put herself front and center almost any chance she could get. And that was evident just upon meeting her.

Firm handshakes. Looked Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention straight in the eye. But when it came Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention her personal life, Kathy wasn't nearly as much in control, and the sorrow sometimes showed. Victoria Campbell: When Kathy Augustine spoke, and she smiled, it was a smile that did not quite reach her eyes. She started life as a California girl. Born Kathy Alfano in the Los Angeles area, she grew up in the '60s and '70s. Phil Alfano admired his big sister.

Phil Alfano: She certainly pushed herself. She was salutatorian and participated in associated student bodies. That taste of student government soon developed into a passion for politics. In college, she majored in political science and won a coveted internship on Capitol Hill. But after graduation, she took a more traditional route for a time. She went to work for an airline in crew scheduling and briefly as a flight attendant. One marriage failed and then another. Her brother says Kathy was always a bit naive when it came to relationships.

Phil Alfano: I think she could be too trusting of people. Some of the guys that she went out with were not what I'd describe as the as the best. Hoda Kotb: What do you think drew her to the guys who didn't seem suited for her? Phil Alfano: --would be the best way to describe it. I think she would regret it quickly. And as she approached her thirtieth birthday, she was a single mother raising a daughter on her own. Then, ina new man entered her life. He was a Delta Airlines pilot named Charles Augustine -- 15 years her senior.

When Kathy and Charles said "I do" it was his second marriage and her third. They lived in the Las Vegas area. And for a time, this marriage seemed built to last. Before long, Kathy Augustine was consumed by a newfound passion for the Republican party. Heidi Smith was Kathy's friend for two decades:.

Heidi Smith: Kathy soon became addicted and she loved it. She loved the fight. She loved the pushing to get ahead and she just went for it. In she was elected to her first public office, the Nevada assembly. The state senate followed. Then, inshe got her most powerful job yet: Nevada state controller. Heidi Smith: Kathy was a bill collector for the state. That requires somebody with a steel spine.

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She collected a lot of bad debt. You don't do that by being a sweet little thing. While some state workers say you could hear the sound of her laughter booming through the hallways Victoria Campbell: I think some of her employees and people who also Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention in the state capital building remember too that you could hear her shouting at her employees all around that building.

There was turmoil away from the capital, too. Charles Augustine hardly relished the role of political spouse. Over time, the marriage faltered. Greg Augustine Charles' son : I think at the end when she was the controller, I think that's-- that was it.

Kathy and Charles Augustine eventually decided on a divorce, but he was certainly not pushing for it, and neither was Kathy's family. Phil Alfano: Chuck was a great guy. And our family, we all got along very well with him.

Hoda Kotb: Did you try to convince her not to break it off? Phil Alfano: I did. And then, later infate intervened. Charles Augustine suffered a stroke. Kathy spent long hours by his bedside. For a time he seemed to improve. But after weeks in the hospital, Charles Augustine took a sudden turn for the worse. He suffered massive organ failure and died. Greg Augustine: And this was a total shock. Because just days before we were talking about rehabilitation and we were talking about who's going to take care of this person.

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It turns out that Charles Augustine would not rest in peace. For Kathy Augustine, Charles' death would be just the beginning of a bizarre chain of events. She would marry again, but when settling into her new life storm clouds would gather. Enemies -- and a murder investigation -- loomed on the horizon.

As Nevada's casinos were doing record business in lateState Controller Kathy Augustine was bouncing back from the death of her third husband, Charles, and taking a gamble on a new man named Chaz Higgs. Phil Alfano: She just kept describing him as this -- just this wonderful person … very compassionate and caring. And had swept her off her feet. The way they met was anything but ordinary. It was here at a Las Vegas hospital where Chaz, a registered nurse eight years Kathy's junior, was helping to care for her husband Charles.

Like Kathy, he'd been married before, and had one daughter. Heidi Smith: I mean, Chaz, Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention his spiked hair, wouldn't do well at a political cocktail party to raise money … I don't think in the whole time I knew Chaz I heard him say more than four or five sentences.

Hoda Kotb: Did you guys used to scratch your he, thinking "What are those two Heidi Smith: Never asked Hoda Kotb: … doing together? We used to talk a lot, yes. Especially when Chaz and Kathy said "I do" in a Hawaiian ceremony.

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The date? Just three weeks after Charles died. Phil Alfano: My wife and I were shaking our he, saying "This shouldn't have happened this quickly. But as rolled around, whispers about Kathy Augustine's private life were drowned out by the roar of a public scandal. Kathy Augustine's hard-charging style had transformed some state employees into bitter enemies.

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That spring they lashed out at their boss, accusing Augustine of forcing them to work on her campaign on state time -- a violation of the state's ethics rules. She denied the allegations. She was convicted on one charge, but acquitted of two others. The governor asked her to re from office, but she refused and even insisted she would have no trouble working again with the very employees who wanted to bring her down.

And enemies or not, inKathy Augustine felt confident enough to run for still another important statewide office: Nevada treasurer. On Saturday, July 8, Kathy was scheduled to attend a fundraiser, but she never showed up. Heidi Smith: I went out there.

She wasn't there. I came home to give her a call and chew her out. She wasn't home because in the early morning hours, Kathy had stopped breathing. Her husband Chaz Higgs says he found her on the bed and called Higgs said he thought she may have had a heart attack and that he administered CPR but the efforts may have come too late.

Later, he spoke to reporters.

Reno Nevada lonely house wife looking for attention

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