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Woman Wakes Up To Gunfire in Her Bedroom and Dead Husband in Kitchen in New Dateline

Dateline correspondent Andrea Canning described the chilling tale to NBC Insider as "truly one of the most outrageous cases" she's ever encountered.

By Jill Sederstrom
Corey Shaughnessy during interviews on Dateline "Ghosts Cant Talk"

Shots in the night unraveled a Texas murder-for-hire plot reminiscent of a Hollywood movie script. 

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The shocking story of survival — and death — will play out in an all-new Dateline NBC Friday, January 12 at 9/8c, chillingly titled “Ghosts Can’t Talk.” 

As the official synopsis explains: “When Corey Shaughnessy wakes up to gunfire in the middle of the night, she shoots at the intruder and miraculously survives, only to discover that her husband Ted has been killed. Detectives wonder if the couple’s job as local jewelry shop owners could be a possible motive until the investigation takes a turn that no one saw coming.”

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After years chasing down the story, correspondent Andrea Canning sat down with Corey as she shared her harrowing ordeal.

“It was like a movie script, only it was real life,” Canning told NBC Insider. “My heart broke for her. It’s truly one of the most outrageous cases I’ve covered.” 

What happened to Corey and Ted Shaughnessy?

As Corey explains in a terrifying preview clip for the new Dateline episode, she had been asleep in her bed when she woke up to gunfire and grabbed the .357 she always kept above her bed and opened fire on her unknown assailant. “I do not remember the sound of my gun,” she said. “I remember seeing the muzzle from the opposite gun. He’s shooting at me and I’m shooting at him.” 

After running out of ammo and believing she was moments away from death, Corey somehow made her way to the kitchen where she found Ted, her husband of 30 years, dead on the floor.  “Oh God,” an agonized Corey screamed to a 911 dispatcher. 

The dispatcher assured her police were on the way and instructed her to open the front door after confirming there were “units on the scene.” 

“There’s no one here,” a stunned Corey said in the final moments of the preview video.

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Canning adds in the clip: “No police. Just silence and the beginning of a mystery where nothing would be where it seemed."

The Dateline correspondent told NBC Insider that Corey has a powerful message everyone should hear. 

“The woman, the widow at the center of this, Corey Shaughnessy, said one thing that everyone needs to realize is that your whole life can change in a second. Don’t take anything for granted.”

After spending years working to track down interviews in the case, even Canning found herself surprised by the twists and turns the case would take.

Nicolas Shaughnessy during interviews on Dateline "Ghosts Cant Talk"

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“The most surprising thing in all this is that you can give someone everything; your love, your time, your money... and the ultimate betrayal can still happen,” Canning told NBC Insider

The upcoming episode will also include interviews with Nicolas Shaughnessy, the son of Corey and Ted, along with Travis County Sheriff’s investigators James Moore and Paul Salo, Defense Attorney Rick Flores, family friends Tad Cole and Vicki Frenk, and more. 

“It was not an easy story to put together and there were times I thought it would never air, but very satisfying when so many of those involved trusted us with their story in the end,” Canning said.

To see the dramatic story unfold, tune in to “Ghosts Can’t Talk” on Dateline NBC Friday, January 12 at 9/8c on NBC, or stream it the following day on Peacock.

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