Todd explains his whereabouts after he moved out of his house. "I did do a brief stint with a company in Alaska. I worked on a processing boat. It's not glamorous. It's hard. You're talking about 16, 18 hour days," he says. "I was actually on the dock, and one of those big, square pod-things kind of squashed me. I got hurt and was in the hospital three days."
"I have no idea where Todd went after he moved out, but he called and told me that he had gotten a job with a commercial fishing operation in Alaska, working on one of the boats. I really didn't care. I didn't want him to be calling me," Deborah says. "On the 12th or 13th of December, I received a text message that said he had passed away, and it gave the date and the time and that my cell phone number was given to contact to send his belongings to. I replied, and I said that I think that it was very cruel and unusual that a wife would be notified of her husband's death via a text message and not a phone call. Why am I not getting a call from an official somewhere? I became frustrated and thinking it's a never-ending saga with Todd." She says she learned that Todd wasn't dead when she received the phone call from him.
[AD]"I said, 'Deborah, there's been a misunderstanding. Nothing happened to me. I got hurt, but everything's fine,'" Todd recalls.
"I just became completely and totally incensed. It was all planned," Deborah says.
In the studio, Dr. Phil asks Todd why he wanted to work such a difficult job.
Todd explains that he worked on a dock, and he gave a man Deborah's contact information in case anything happened to him.
Dr. Phil asks Todd if the man was J.F., and Todd says his name was Josie.
"He sent this picture, and he says that's you, second from the left," Dr. Phil says to Todd, pointing to a picture.
"No, that's not me," Todd says.
"We actually found this picture. It was posted on a Ukrainian Web site in May '09," Dr. Phil says.
"I have no answer for that," Todd says.
"And you went up there November 26th, right?" Dr. Phil asks. Todd confirms. "That's when you sent the last e-mail to her saying, 'It's either because I'm feeling nostalgic because of the holidays, or that I'm leaving tonight.' That was on the 26th, and then you left, and went to Dutch Harbor and started this job."
"I wasn't there very long," Todd says.
"We've a picture here that was downloaded from the Internet from a Ukrainian Web site posted in May of '09. We've got letters from J.F. to her telling her that you got crushed by a crab pot and knocked overboard and drowned. Then you say, 'Actually, no I wasn't drowned. I was just incapacitated. I spent three days in the hospital.' You didn't spend three days in the hospital, because we've talked to the hospital, and you were never there. You can't work on a processing boat in a fishery without a license. We talked to the Alaskan wildlife people. You never got a license, so you couldn't work there. We talked to your boss who said you worked for him that entire time. We talked to the woman you're renting a room from, who says you never left," Dr. Phil says to Todd.
[AD]Turning to Deborah, Dr. Phil says, "So, all of this time that this was going on, he was around the corner at somebody else's house, sending you Ukrainian boat pictures, reporting his death!"
"I've given you a tenth of what I've got. I knew you were never in Alaska. I knew you were never knocked off by a crab pot. I knew that all of this was a bunch of crap, and I asked you and pleaded with you when you came out here. I said, 'Tell me the truth,'" Dr. Phil says to Todd.
"That part is embarrassing, and that's hard to swallow, and it's totally embarrassing, and it's hard to sit out in front of all these people and say you did something so totally irrational that now I can't even believe that I was a part of," Todd explains.
"We do our homework because I think [Deborah] deserves the truth," Dr. Phil says.
Deborah nods and begins to cry. "I'm emotionally crippled and devastated. I'm just devastated," she says.
"Are you that arrogant?" Dr. Phil asks Todd.
"No, absolutely not, not at all," he replies. "I figured that this was going to happen and come out. It's just embarrassing. I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes or anything. It's just embarrassing, and it's hard to come out and say it in front of all of these people in America that I was a part of something that was that ridiculous and crazy."
"You faked your death," Dr. Phil says.
"To a degree, yes, sir. I was a part of it," Todd admits. "I didn't want her to know where I was, absolutely. Yes, sir."
[AD]"So you faked your death," Dr. Phil repeats.
"Yes, and I lied about the police report, and I have since called the District Attorney's office and asked that the charges be dropped."
"Is there a J.F., or is that just your screen name?" Dr. Phil asks.
"There was a guy who actually sent these things. I didn't want it to be traced to me or anything to do with me," Todd says, admitting he told J.F. what to write. "I wanted to hurt her. Instead of working with her to try to save our marriage and do things that we had agreed that we would do, I turned my back on her and tried to hurt her."Deborah confronts Todd.