Jose Rodriguez-Cruz: ‘Dateline NBC’ The Golden Child Investigates Valentine’s Day Killer


Dateline NBC: “The Golden Child” investigates the Jose Rodriguez-Cruz Pamela ‘Pam’ Butler Valentine’s Day killer case in an all-new episode this Friday with Dennis Murphy. Jose Angel Rodriguez-Cruz met Pamela Butler at the online dating site eHarmony. The Environmental Protection Agency computer systems analyst vanished from her home, two days before Valentine’s Day, in February of 2009.

Pamela Butler’s disappearance baffled police because she was last seen on video surveillance tape entering her home. But the footage doesn’t capture her leaving. The alarm system wasn’t set, and other oddities led relatives to believe something dreadful had happened to Pam. Jose Angel Rodriguez-Cruz confessed to police almost ten years later that he murdered his girlfriend after she broke up with him close to Valentine’s Day. And authorities say he most likely killed his first wife, who disappeared 30 years earlier.

Dateline NBC’s coverage shows when Pam Butler (Pamela Butler) met the tall and handsome Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, she could hardly catch her breath. Their meeting quickly progressed to a full time committed relationship. At least, that’s what Pam Butler thought. Investigators say the only one who was committed was Pam because Jose Rodriguez-Cruz was juggling another relationship with an ex-girlfriend.

Pamela Butler seemed to have it all. She was slender, attractive, had a great job, and she owned a two-story house with six rooms. She certainly didn’t need a man, but she wanted one. Little did she know, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz came with a lot of baggage. Behind his big brown eyes was a history of violence, a missing wife, and a trail of secrets and lies.



[via Dateline]

On Dateline, Pam Butler’s story will be told through the eyes of her loyal brother, Derrick Butler. Investigators who worked the case will also participate. Several factual documentaries have profiled the story, including Crime Watch Daily, now True Crime Daily.

Watch how detectives on Dateline NBC‘s “The Golden Child” episode use DNA testing to link Pam Butler’s mysterious disappearance to the body of an unidentified woman. The murder of Pam Butler was almost the perfect murder. But thanks to her elaborate home camera system, her killer, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, was caught as he eerily walked throughout the house, removing his belongings after he killed her. Even before Jose told investigators what really happened to Pam Butler, her brother suspected that Jose dragged his sister’s body to a low-level window, where he tossed the corpse and took it to a remote location.



[via Dateline NBC]

Jose Rodriguez-Cruz received under thirteen years for the crime. For years, Thelma Butler, Pamela Butler’s mother couldn’t sleep due to nightmares. She hoped the police would find Pam’s body and bring her home so they could bury her. The next article spells out a detailed timeline of the story.

Related: Pamela Butler, Marta Haydee Rodriguez: No Body Found Cold Case Murder

Pamela Butler, Marta Haydee Rodriguez: No Body Found Cold Case Murder

Watch Dateline NBC: “The Golden Child” Friday at 10/9c on NBC. Last week, TV Crime Sky covered a similar murder story.



Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as and Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.