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Date & time Sep 14
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Washington end up at the heart of a murder case

Produced by Chris O'Connell and Greg Fisher

This story first aired on April 26, 2014. It was updated on June 27, 2015.

"This is Whidbey Island, where I grew up from birth 'til I was 8 years old," Peggy Sue Thomas said as she looked out toward the island aboard a ferry.

"How does a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case?" "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant asked Thomas.

"I don't even know how to answer I don't know how I ended up here," she replied in her only TV interview.

Before she was a murder suspect, Thomas, 48, had already lived a full life. She's a former beauty queen, but Thomas wasn't born with a pageant sash across her chest.

"And I'm all about proving myself in a man's world," she said.

Thomas was a trailblazer. In the Navy, she served as an aircraft mechanic during Operation Desert Storm.

"Do you see yourself as a patriot?" Van Sant asked Thomas

"I am very patriotic, yes," she replied.

Along the way, she married and divorced three times raising two beautiful daughters, Taylor and Mariah.

"My kids are my proudest accomplishment," said Thomas.

But in the late 90s, with her second marriage on the rocks, Thomas physically transformed herself.

"It was amazing . She started working out and the weight just fell off," said Vicky Boyer, who was once Thomas' good friend. "To me, I was like, replica hermes handbags outlet 'You go girl!' And then, someone had approached her about maybe being Ms. Washington."

"And I was down and a little heartbroken. And she said, 'Do something crazy.' So I did," Thomas told Van Sant. "I ended up winning."

"I'd rather wear jeans and boots and jump on a Harley than be a beauty queen," she said.

Peggy Sue Thomas

In her home, however, Peggy Thomas' pageant memorabilia holds a special place of honor.

"I think it meant everything to her," Boyer said. "Everything she needed came from that pageant."

By 2003, Thomas was fake hermes leather handbags living in Las Vegas, where she worked as a glamorous limousine driver to high rollers.

"I spoiled my clients. And my tips were often in the thousands for one night. It was my all time favorite job ever," she said.

To understand how this beauty queen made yet another transformation to murder suspect you have to go back to a cold, dark night on Whidbey Island in December 2003:

KIRO TV report: Tonight, how much is a hermes handbag Island County detectives have a murder mystery on their hands. They're looking for the person or persons responsible imitiaton hermes bags for the shooting death of 32 year old Russel Douglas.

Russel Douglas' vehicle at the crime scene

Detective Mark Plumberg of the Island County Sheriff's Department was called to the scene that night.

"It's dark, secluded dead end road, not a lot of traffic . It's a good spot for a murder," Det. Plumberg said. "The car was in a dark driveway, door open, Russel was inside the vehicle . it was a massively traumatic wound."

Russel Douglas was the estranged husband of Brenna Douglas, one of Peggy Sue Thomas' good friends.

"After we had confirmed the identity of the man in the vehicle as being Russel Douglas, we . decided to go and speak with the wife Brenna Douglas," said Plumberg.
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