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tv   A Deadly Affair  MSNBC  July 17, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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>> the day the verdict was announced, people outside were actually cheering at the verdict. >> it was the biggest, most notorious murder case in delaware history. one of the state's most prominent attorneys accused of murdering his mistress and dumping her body in the ocean. the victim was a stunning, outgoing aide. >> she was a gregarious person.
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>> then one day she was gone. >> she was a missing person, presumed dead. >> it was a powerful family, a beautiful victim, the seemy side of delaware's upper class. >> it was men with power and celebrity and thought they could do whatever they wanted. >> in this hour, tom capano and the murder of ann marie fahey in "a deadly affair." the story began in 1984 when ann marie fahey went to a political event in delaware. delaware is a small state and delaware politics, a small world, so it was almost inevitable that ann marie fahey would know of tom capano. >> capano was now a senior
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lawyer at a law firm. . >> she was very outgoing and could be a flirt. >> ann marie kept her growing interest in the 47-year-old capano a secret from everyone she knew initially. but she did begin a diary in 1994 and did make entries from time to time. >> i have fallen in love with a very special person from a name i choose to leave anonymous. >> it was kind of a slow dance and they both knew where they were going. >> my boyfriend asked me today if i wanted to be a girlfriend. i need to think. i love him, but he has four children and a wife. >> it took them a while to get there. >> there wasn't a place a than marie could talk to anyone about. the fahey's were catholic and the diaries became something of a congressional.
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>> i realize our relationship has to be a secret. why does he have to be married. >> it seemhood ehad no reason to be miserable. he was a successful lawyer and a player behind the scenes in delaware politics. >> he was a confidant of the may mayor. when you had a job to get done, he got the job done. >> tom was also the golden by boy of the capano family, who are well known in the family. >> louis capano made his money in the construction business. ann marie and her four brothers and elder sister were close perhaps because of difficult
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circumstance circumstances. >> ann's mother died when she was 9 years old. after her mother died her father fell into alcoholism. >> annie often bore the brunt of her father's anger. even though she graduated from college and landed a job with the governor, ann was insecure and suffered from eating disorders. >> this woman appears to be sophisticated, but that's a shell. and underneath the shell is still this little ann marie. >> capano took a protective interest in ann marie, a night in shining armor. he wanted to spoil her and whisk her off to fancy philadelphia restaurant where is they were unlikely to bump into the wilmington crowd. >> i think capano seduced her on a lot of different levels. one, sexually seduced her, but another is financially.
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she realized that he was somebody she could depend on for these things that she liked that she wanted but she couldn't afford. >> over time, capano managed to insinuate himself into every aspect of annie's life. she relied on him and resented him at the same time. >> in i any relationship, there were tradeoffs. you know, you give and you get kind of thing. that was playing out here. >> capano was one of the fahey who did confide in about her eating disorders. he paid for her rehabilitation. >> it was only in counseling that fahey came to realize capano was making her eating disorders worse. two years into the relationship, she wrote about his controlling that i chur. . >> now i look back at that aspect of my life, i realize just how vulnerable i had become. for one whole year, i allowed
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someone else to take control of every decision in my life. >> there was another reason to pull away from capano. six months before this diary entry, he introduced her to michael scanlin. annie was terrified capano would tell scanlin about their affair. >> this is the first normal relationship i've ever had. i can't screw it up. >> fahey also knew she must break away from capano who was now separated from his wife and living alone. ann marie fahey found it impossible to escape his clutches entirely. he would bombard her with phone calls and e-mails. >> he's relentless. he can't tolerate rejection. if he couldn't have ann marie fahey, no one could. >> in 1996, fahey was still seeing capano on a regular basis for thursday night dinners. annie was trying to make a
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graceful exit from the relationship while remaining friends with capano. in any event, they were seen dining together on thursday june 27 by a waitress in philadelphia. >> later, she said she couldn't figure out why they were there. fahey just picked at her food, she had a glass of cold wine and wasn't much of a dinner date at all. >> the waitress remembered a subdued unhappy couple quite out of place in the bustling restaurant. it's fortunate they stood out in her mind as the waitress was the last person to see ann marie fahey alive. coming up, ann marie fahe goes missing. the finger of blame points straight at tom capano. [ male announcer ] introducing the ultimate business phone -- the motorola expert from sprint. its powerful tools help you work faster and smarter so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it lets you access business forms on the go, fire off e-mails with the qwerty keypad, and work securely around the world so you can get back to playing "angry birds." it's the android-powered phone
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neither of them had heard from annie for three days. once inside the apartment, kathleen feared the worst. her compulsively neat and orderly sister had left her apartment in disarray. more ominously, annie's wallet had been left behind, and her car was still parked outside. a further search revealed love letters to annie from someone who clearly wasn't michael scanlon. someone kathleen quickly recognized as lawyer tom capano. the initial report about fahey's disappearance was just a brief column in the local paper on july the 2nd, 1996. >> i think initial fascination was because there was a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a very attractive, young woman who worked in the governor's office.
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>> when anne marie didn't come to work on monday morning, our hopes were seriously deflated. >> within a couple of days, it was leaked to the press that anne marie fahey's dinner companion on the last night she was seen alive was tom capano. >> a person of considerable means, power. a dynamic person in the community. >> capano himself kept away from the public and the police, despite the advice of his close associates, as his brother-in-law ray rymuno remembers. >> the fourth of july weekend after this happened, he came to my house when this just made the papers. i urged him, i said, you know, go talk to police and tell him what you know. you have nothing to hide. >> but capano did not want to take his brother-in-law's advice for reasons that would become clear only months later. >> well, he speaks to them twice on the first night and then he doesn't speak to them anymore. and i think at that point he's trying to figure out where they are going and figure out how to stay two or three steps ahead. >> as the july fourth weekend rolled around, capano enjoyed a barbecue at the jersey shore with members of his extended family. >> we're going to be looking for anne marie. >> meanwhile in wilmington, anne marie fahey's family organized a massive search around annie's neighborhood. >> i would just like to thank everybody for coming out and showing their love and support for anne marie.
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>> i'm hoping we can find anything. >> while hundreds of people searched all over wilmington for anne marie, police investigators were already looking very closely at tom capano. one reason was the last diary entry annie had written on easter sunday. >> i have been through a lot of emotional battles. i finally have brought closure to tom capano. what a controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac. >> moreover, capano was the last person to be seen with her. >> his alibi was, i picked anne marie up. i took anne marie to the restaurant. i dropped her off at 10:00. i went home. and the next thing i know she's missing. >> it has been almost a week since the scheduling secretary for delaware governor tom carper dined at a philadelphia restaurant and then vanished after being dropped off at her wilmington home. >> accounts to the police of what happened that night at the ristorante panorama described a troubling scene. >> the woman seemed distraught, seemed very sad, very quiet. barely touched her food. >> and just a day before the dinner date, anne marie fahey told her therapist she was
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frightened of capano and his threats to make the relationship public. >> the description of the dinner given to us by the people at the restaurant strongly indicated that she had tried to break off the relationship. >> capano, seen here in a police evidence tape, told investigators that he thought annie had gone to the beach that weekend with a girlfriend. the fahey family appealed to capano to tell the authorities all he knew. >> well, our contention has been if there's nothing to hide, then come in and talk and help us find her. >> investigators found out that capano had been at the jersey shore with his brother the day after fahey went missing. capano told them he had been looking at properties. but investigators weren't buying it. very soon they came to believe that capano's brother might know something and that the family was closing ranks around him. but for detectives checking out a well-connected local lawyer,
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presented a difficult challenge. >> and the problem is him not speaking at all. but that's under advice of his attorney. >> he has enough access to know where they are going and to figure it out and to manipulate and play the system. >> as time wore on, the fahey family gave up hope of seeing their sister alive. >> we resigned ourselves to the likelihood that her corpse lies somewhere unattended. >> we need to do the right thing for anne marie. we need to bring her home and bury her. >> colm connolly was u.s. assistant attorney at the time. he thought there could be a federal case against capano. >> we had a legitimate reason to believe there had been a kidnapping. i say that because anne marie was last seen alive in philadelphia. we had evidence that she and tom capano had had a tumultuous relationship that she had been trying to break off. >> for months prosecutors conducted a secret grand jury probe into capano's life and associates. but the very fact that capano knew so many lawyers and policemen created a highly unusual situation.
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>> a special challenge because of his knowledge of the system and because he surrounded himself with attorneys. >> prosecutors needed to find the weak link in capano's story. they suspected capano killed fahey and disposed of her body. >> then you have to say to yourself, well, who would have helped him? by the fall of '96, we believed gerry had played a role in the disposal of the body. >> gerry capano was the youngest of the capano family and he had led a troubled life. by his own admissions, he had been a heavy user of drugs and alcohol since high school. he had been bailed out by his big brother tom on many occasions. >> early on we began to believe the brothers knew something of what had happened. >> in a painstaking undercover operation, the feds sent two agents to infiltrate gerry's social set. >> and started to party with these people. and they would hear things. >> and lead prosecutor connolly knew he was playing a psychological game, putting pressure on gerry and by
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extension on thomas capano. >> we did take advantage of court filings to press capano's buttons. we had been told by the profilers that capano's personality was such that he would be obsessed with the publicity and his persona in the media. >> there was still no clear idea of what had happened on the night of june 27th, 1996. but by sniffing around gerry's circle and bringing them before the grand jury, small pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. investigators started speculating that capano had lured fahey to his house and killed her there. slowly they were building a circumstantial case against him. >> we noticed that on june 29th, a saturday, less than 48 hours after anne marie had disappeared, tom capano had purchased a rug. and we then went out and interviewed his housekeeper, and she told us that the rug had been changed in the great room, and that a couch that had been
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there was gone. >> it was a red flag to investigators. as was the story told to them by employees at the capano construction company run by tom's brother louis. they had been ordered to empty out construction dumpsters on the monday after the weekend fahey went missing. and then investigators searched capano's home, where they found specks of blood on the baseboard in the den. >> we find the blood exactly where we thought we would find blood, right next to the carpet. >> there were just two tiny specks, but they turned out to be anne marie's blood. but still there was no body, no murder weapon, and no witnesses. coming up -- tales of a fishing trip, a cooler. and a brother. >> what do you do when your older brother asks you for help? a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites...
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for months in 1996, a federal grand jury in wilmington, delaware, had been probing the affairs of tom capano, the delaware lawyer under suspicion of murdering his mistress, anne marie fahey. prosecutors suspected that capano had disposed of her body out at sea, using his brother gerry's fishing boat.
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>> by the fall of '96, we believed that gerry had played a role in the disposal of the body. >> gerry capano felt as though he was losing his mind. >> he actually had trouble sleeping. he was upset. he was depressed. this was well before the feds came and knocked on his door. >> the feds were going after tom capano's younger brother gerry with everything they had. a raid on his house had yielded drugs and a cache of rifles and ammunition in an unlocked chest. >> he was facing potential criminal charges. there had been questions about his kids by the child protective services. >> for months, gerry capano had been burdened with a terrible secret and was near his breaking point. >> they put pressure on all my friends. they did anything they could to get to me. >> if he told his story, gerry might provide testimony that could send his brother to his execution. >> i was trying to get my brother to turn himself in, and you know every time i tried to
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talk to him he had a different excuse or, he just would convince me and not do it. >> in early '97, gerry told his brother tom he was finally going to the authorities. >> he was very mad. his basic idea was for me to suck it up and act like a man. >> after holding back his secret for months, gerry capano told investigators what had happened when his elder brother appeared in his driveway the day after annie fahey had gone missing. >> i was going out to work at 6:00 in the morning and he showed up. and what do you do? how do you make a lifelong decision in 30 seconds? what do you do when your older brother asks you for help? >> in an exclusive interview with nbc news, gerry capano talked about his predicament but refused to go into details about the events of that terrible day. >> i looked up to tommy a lot. he always was the rational thinker. and he was a strict family guy. whenever i got in trouble young
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growing up as a kid, he always helped me. >> now it was tom capano who had come to call in the favor. and in doing so, he would put his younger brother into serious legal jeopardy. >> i originally told him no and that i didn't want to be involved. but, you know, he had nowhere else to go and i was the only person he could come to. >> just a few months before, tom had told his younger brother that someone was trying to extort money from him, and he needed to borrow $25,000 or he might have to hurt somebody. >> one of the big mistakes i made was my brother was telling me originally that he had a problem with these people, that i should have went to my other brothers and told them about it. >> so when gerry capano saw his brother tom in the driveway that morning, he assumed tom had done something to one of the alleged extortionists, although tom didn't elaborate. >> he basically said to gerry, "i need to use your boat." and gerry says, "did you do it?" and he nods, "yes, i did." >> gerry then headed to tom's
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house where they loaded a huge igloo cooler wrapped in a carpet into the back of the suburban that tom had borrowed from his wife. they didn't discuss the contents of the cooler in the hour-plus drive to stone harbor, new jersey, where gerry moored his boat. >> gerry kept saying, why did you get me involved in this? and tom capano kept saying, don't worry, i won't let anything happen to you. so already there was kind of a tension building up between the two brothers. >> in stone harbor, the two men dragged the cooler down the private dock at gerry's waterfront house. >> load it onto the boat with a couple of fishing rods as if they're going fishing. they go out on gerry's boat. "the summer wind." >> it's ironic a fishing boat named "the summer wind," wistful romantic love song, would be used for such a macabre purpose. >> and they go out to an area that gerry knows because gerry is an avid fisherman.
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and this is an area called mako alley, where they often fish for shark. >> it was about 2 1/2 hours out to mako alley. when they got into the area, they made sure they were a long way off from other boats. and then dumped the cooler into the ocean. >> it doesn't sink. it just bobs on the ocean. and the anger and frustration come out then. gerry takes out a shotgun that he keeps on his boat and he aims at the cooler and fires a slug. hits the cooler. blood trickles out of the cooler. the cooler still doesn't sink. now there's even more frustration on the boat. >> they pulled up alongside of this cooler, which was still floating. and then gerry turned off the engine and he gave tom two anchors with the chain and he said, you're on your own. and he went to the front of the boat and he faced forward. he did not want to watch what was going on. you could hear the chains grinding against the bottom of the boat. he could hear tom capano throwing up. and then gerry turned around and he saw a human calf/foot sink to the bottom. >> it was a terrible image that
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would haunt gerry capano forever. >> i will never forget what happened, never, ever. >> as the brothers headed back to shore, they washed out the cooler, unscrewed the lid and threw it overboard. >> the assumption is the cooler would sink. it doesn't have a lid now plus it has a bullet hole in it. but for six days this cooler bobs on the ocean. >> back onshore gerry capano soon learned he did not help his brother dispose of the body of an extortionist. >> tom had led gerry to believe the body was of a person extorting tom threatening to hurt tom's children. >> when gerry read in the papers about his brother's affair with anne marie fahey and her disappearance, he realized just whose body he had seen sinking into the ocean. >> remember, when gerry comes in to us and tells us this story, it's so fantastical, that it rings true. within an hour of gerry being debriefed, we verify that in fact tom capano had bought this type of cooler on april 20,
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1996, at the sports authority. >> and the rest of gerry's story checked out also. >> we could corroborate that tom capano was in gerry's driveway at 6:00 in the morning. gerry told us that he went to trolley square at around 8:45 to 9:00 to meet tom at the acme parking lot. we had a picture of tom at the atm machine across the street at 8:45 that morning. >> still, it was a fantastical tale and would surely be challenged in court by tom capano's lawyers. >> why would he volunteer to us that he shot a hole in the cooler other than he's trying to tell the truth. >> but the cooler was about to make a dramatic reappearance. >> his lawyer said, where do you think the cooler is? and gerry said, it probably washed up on a beach in cuba. >> but in fact it was a lot closer to home. coming up, the cooler finds its way right back to delaware. >> there are so many instances in this story where you say there is a god. there was somebody looking over
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this thing and putting things in place. ♪ ♪ you are my sunshine ♪ my only sunshine ♪ you makes me happy ♪ when skies are grey ♪ you'll never know, dear ♪ how much i love you ♪ please don't take my sunshine away ♪ [ male announcer ] as long as there are babies, they'll be chevy's to bring them home.
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casey anthony was released 12 days after her acquittal on murder charge, and the news corp phone hacking scandal continues to spread in the uk. rebekah brooks was arrested by london police today under suspicion for conspiracy and corruption. more news later. now back to "a deadly affair." in october of 1997, 17 months after the disappearance of delaware governor's assistant anne marie fahey, investigators learned that her body had been dumped in the ocean by her lover, tom capano.
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in an extraordinary confession, tom's brother gerry had admitted to investigators he helped his brother ferry the body out into the atlantic ocean on his fishing boat, so poignantly named "summer wind." they'd used a huge cooler as a coffin. >> there are newspaper and television reports about this cooler that gerry dumped over the side that contained fahey's body. that's the first we hear, any of us, of a cooler. >> incredibly the day after details about the cooler were made public, investigators get a call from a fisherman about a cooler that he found floating on the ocean the previous summer. >> the guy is out fishing on the fourth of july weekend. the same weekend that there's a massive search in wilmington in brandywine park for anne marie fahey's body. the same weekend tom capano is in stone harbor with his brothers and his family members having a barbecue. that same weekend this fisherman finds this cooler. >> fbi agents were sent to retrieve it. 17 months after fahey's disappearance, the cooler was now back and at center stage.
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capano's defense team was invited to look at it. >> the bar code said it was purchased in this area. there was nothing, i don't think, realistically, you could do to defuse that. it clearly was a tremendous piece of evidence that strengthened gerry's credibility. >> government prosecutors were closing in on tom capano from all sides. and when colm connolly got a call from agents on his surveillance team, he decided to act. >> we were informed at that point from the surveillance team that tom capano had gotten a lot of luggage out and put it in the car and was driving on i-95, towards the philadelphia airport. so i called the head of the surveillance team and gave them the authority to arrest him. >> after months of painstaking investigation, capano was in custody. and if the cooler was a stroke of luck, other things were falling into place for the prosecutors. revelations about tom capano's private life that had been
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surfacing since fahey went missing. >> there is evidence that tom capano had gotten away with something very egregious before. >> that something was a tawdry tale about another affair capano had back in 1980 with a married woman in his office named linda. capano's wife had been expecting their first child at the time but when linda tried to break off the relationship, capano attempted to intimidate her. joe riley was the fbi informant who'd been hired by capano to make the threats. >> he wanted me to kill this girl or get somebody to kill her. >> riley had even recorded his calls. >> we have a new -- a friend, a mr. thomas capano. he was telling me some things about you that took place in his office. >> i don't know what you're talking about, sir. >> you don't want to talk about it? well, i'll talk to your husband. i know where you live. >> for prosecutors, this was proof of just how capano could intimidate women who rejected him.
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charlie oberly, former attorney general of delaware and now one of the defense team, had known capano for years but even he was surprised at the information surfacing about capano's steamy private life. >> as i got to know this case and got familiarized myself with the facts and learned about his personal life over the years, that was something that i had never seen, or i was not aware of. >> if fahey was capano's thursday night girl, it turned out there was a wednesday night girl, debra macintyre, with whom capano had been having a secret affair for 17 years. divorced and a single mother, she had been waiting in the wings for capano, completely unaware of his involvement with fahey, until it was made public. >> debbie macintyre was another woman with a lot of needs that capano was able to manipulate and play off of. i think he set her up from the beginning. he had her buy the gun in may of 1996.
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>> the gun was a .22-caliber beretta. >> and there's no reason, tom capano was a lawyer with no criminal record. there's no reason he can't go in and buy a gun on his own. >> the gun was never found but investigators believe it was the murder weapon. >> and i think in her mind, she's making a tradeoff. i keep quiet about the gun and i get the ring that i've been waiting 17 years to get. the gun for the ring. >> but once prosecutors questioned her about the gun, macintyre knew she could face a prison sentence as an accessory to the murder. >> ultimately she realized that she's stuck and she gives up both the ring and the gun and finally tells the truth to the prosecutor. >> macintyre even agreed to let prosecutors tape her conversations with capano in jail. when she told him she was going to tell the authorities about the gun. >> how could you love me and then betray me? how could you do something -- >> i didn't betray you. i told the truth. >> yes, but debbie, don't say that one more time. debbie, how could you do something even without talking to me? we have made promises to each other. >> when persuasion didn't work, capano decided to retaliate. he tried to hire a fellow inmate at the gander hill prison to organize a burglary at macintyre's home. >> he had provided instructions
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to an informant and the instructions explained how to break into her home, where the valuables were, what her alarm code was. >> macintyre wasn't the only target. another gander hill inmate claimed that capano promised to pay off his $90,000 mortgage if he could arrange to have debbie macintyre and his brother gerry killed. prosecutors sought to indict capano for both plots. and if capano couldn't intimidate macintyre, he could blame her for everything, which is just what he was planning. coming up -- capano's antics in court leave his defense team aghast. >> most of them believed in his innocence when they got involved, and he continued to treat them like errand boys. of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function.
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it was going to be the trial of the century in delaware. wealthy attorney tom capano stood accused of murdering his mistress, anne marie fahey, and then disposing of her body at sea. his own brothers were to testify against him in a capital murder case that could lead to his execution. >> this trial came at a time after a number of very prominent trials had turned out badly, and it had left the american public with the belief that if you had enough money, if you had enough power, you could get a result favorable to the defendant that was unjust. we're very proud of the fact that our system works very well in this state. and i didn't want to lose control. >> judge lee would need all of his experience to keep control of the capano trial, and in particular, the defendant. >> until the start of the trial, no one knew what his defense was going to be. >> the judge broached the question to capano's attorneys as the trial was about to begin. >> the head defense counsel
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responded by saying, we don't know what the theory of the case is. our client hasn't told us yet. so an hour later when they got up in the courtroom and announced that she had died in an accident and he had disposed of the body, it was a blockbuster. >> my client and his brother took the body out to sea, as gerry had said, in the cooler, and it was dumped. >> the lead defense attorney conceded for the first time, yes, anne marie fahey is dead. yes, she died in my client's home that night. it was the result of a horrible accident. and, yes, they dumped her body in the ocean. >> even more sensationally, the lead defense counsel claimed that someone else was present at capano's house that night. most observers thought that capano would claim the someone was capano's other mistress, debbie macintyre. >> i think tom capano waited until the very last moment until he knew everything the prosecution was going to present and try to spin his defense around the few elements they could not prove. >> it was typical of the way capano wanted to conduct his defense. >> there's an old saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. that was brought to mr. capano's attention several times.
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>> who knows, judge. >> capano had surrounded himself with some very experienced and very expensive criminal lawyers. but he insisted on micromanaging his own defense. >> we can't tell you that, guys. just give us some leeway. >> most of them believed in his innocence when they got involved, and he continued to treat them like errand boys and continued to mislead them, to tell them things that weren't true. >> it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the defense team. there had been so much advance publicity about the capano case that picking a jury was difficult. >> we found out that 82% of the potential jurors in delaware had convicted tom before they were even put in the box. and i think we could have picked a jury that would have been much more sympathetic to us had we not been overruled in certain of our choices by our client. >> incredibly, capano thought if there were young women on the jury, he could win them over with his charm. >> he thinks they're going to fall in love with him.
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>> huge crowds showed up each day to hear about anne marie's life. her doomed affair with capano, and capano's many other girlfriends and mistresses. the prosecution team went to great lengths in order to prove just how much debbie macintyre was controlled by capano. state prosecutors even put on one of their own bosses, assistant attorney general keith rady on the stand. a golfing partner of capano's, he admitted to once having sex with macintyre while capano looked on. >> there's so many people whose lives were touched by this or who got involved with capano, who came away soiled. >> louis capano, tom's middle brother, was called up to testify about the construction dumpsters he'd had removed the weekend after fahey had gone missing. tom capano's younger brother, gerry, was the key prosecution witness. the defense tore into him and claimed gerry's brain was too fried to distinguish between what had really happened and what he was making up. >> i don't think he deliberately
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lied. i think gerry is confused about a lot of stuff. gerry did a lot of drinking, did a lot of dope. >> the defense didn't challenge gerry about the disposal of anne marie's body at sea, but they implied gerry was really confused as to whether tom was in fact being shaken down by extortionists. >> gerry is the guy who told us on the stand how he would talk about leg breakers, and he would talk about this kind. and gerry is the guy with the guns. that's jerry's milieu, not tom's. tom is a very easy going, quiet guy. >> through the course of the trial, capano's attorneys had hinted at an explanation for fahey's death. when debbie macintyre took the stand, they proceeded to question her as if she had been the person who shot and killed anne marie fahey. commentators would call it the "debbie did it" defense. >> i didn't think he would ever do such a thing. >> if you talked to the defense attorneys in this case, they had
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one shot. i think they knew they had one shot, and that was a possible hung jury, and the idea was, you present the state's case and what you have is a murder without a murder weapon, without a body and without a cause of death and you balance that against reasonable doubt. but capano, no, he wants to take the stand and tell his side of the story. and he comes up with this cockamamie explanation as to what happened. >> taking the stand against the advice of his lawyers, capano would be laying himself open to a grilling by the prosecution. capano thought he was more than equal to the challenge. >> his version is he takes her to dinner, they come back, they fall asleep on the couch. they are awakened by a distraught debbie macintyre and then she pulls out the gun, not to shoot it at one of them but to shoot herself. and capano, noble individual that he is, jumps off the couch and grabs for the gun and it goes off and poor anne marie fahey is innocently shot and it's an accident. i don't think anybody believed it, but it was typical of tom capano. >> with the way the events had been going the last six months, it did not surprise me. >> even in that setting, he was going to be the noble individual. he was trying to stop one woman from killing herself over him she was so distraught, and ended up accidentally killing another woman who also loved him.
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it was quintessential capano, and i think it was one of the nails in the coffin. >> the prosecution decided very deliberately that colm connolly would handle capano on the stand. >> he had a great animosity towards connolly and he could not resist attacking connolly gratuitously. >> we certainly were pressing buttons that we knew, sure, would reveal his true character. >> he blamed colm connolly for his prosecution and he said on a number of occasions that if he could have just worked this out with the wilmington police department, he was sure everything would have come out all right. >> tom's presentation and his ability to handle the cross-examination was devastating, and as a result he came across as somebody who had been caged and finally had a chance to speak out and he attacked. and clearly it was the wrong way to do it. >> capano was so belligerent by the third day of cross-examination that he would just refuse to answer the
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questions i put to him. at one point he called me a soulless disgrace of a human being. he slapped the microphone. >> i actually removed him from the stand and he would rant and rave about that. it's a real delicate balance when you have a disruptive defendant. you understand that his behavior is going to prejudice the jury. >> i think it laid to rest any doubts they may have had to what kind of person he was. >> the damage was done. everyone in the courtroom seemed to know it, apart from capano. >> tom capano is an incredibly arrogant person who thinks he's the smartest person in the room no matter who is in the room. >> in that courtroom, colm connolly was the smartest guy in the room and he ate capano alive when he cross-examined him. >> the jury would have a stark reminder of what the case was all about when the prosecution brought the white cooler into the courtroom.
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>> the last thing they see as the prosecution rests is this large, white plastic cooler sitting in front of them. >> i think it was the most moving part of the trial. it brings home the depravity of tom capano, of what he did. >> i know it went through our minds in the press room, how do you get a body into that cooler? what must it have been like? how do you fit her in there? 5'10"? i mean, it was eerie, it grabbed you. and that was the effect the prosecution was going for, very dramatic. and i think it was very effective. >> final arguments were heard on january 7, 1999. the trial had lasted for more than three months and now it was up to the jury. >> the best we could determine, they only took one vote. >> within three days, they came back with a verdict. >> you have any comment? >> they found thomas capano guilty of first degree murder. >> he killed himself, that's why we didn't want him to testify. coming up -- capano's brothers take the stand again.
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fiction would never sell a copy. >> wealthy attorney tom capano had been found guilty of murdering his mistress and disposing of her body at sea. his own account of what happened that night had not impressed the jury. >> i think they saw capano's story as a smokescreen and lacked believability. capano claimed his long time mistress debbie macintyre had killed anne marie fahey in an accidental shooting which capano tried to cover up. >> he truly believed that he was protecting debbie macintyre by
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lying. >> we have no body. we have no crime scene. we have a plausible story that it was an accident. how does the state prove intentional murder? you have to prove his intent at the time of the crime. in the end the only person who could do that was tom capano and he chose to do that only by lying and manipulating. >> once the defendant takes the stand and tells his story, all reasonable doubt questions disappear and it becomes a question of who the jury believes, the government or the defendant. and if they don't like the defendant, the case is over. and in our case, that proved to be exactly what happened. >> huge crowds had gathered outside the courthouse to hear the outcome of the trial and the guilty verdict. >> it's just a shame how it all came about, you know. especially when they had us search for her and the whole
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time mr. capano knew where she was. >> by the end of the case, public sentiment had swung almost entirely against tom. the day the verdict was announced, people outside were actually cheering at the verdict. >> the truth is anne marie is gone. nothing will bring anne marie back. we realize that. but this was about justice. and in our minds, justice has been done. in addition, i think they have shown that no matter where you come from as a defendant, no matter how privileged your background may be, justice applies to everybody. finally, back to what's important to us, anne marie -- anne marie was a lot more than tom capano's mistress. she was loved by her family. she was loved by her friends.
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and if one's value is measured by those who loved you, anne marie was truly a rich individual. >> in another extraordinary twist of the case, gerry capano, who had been the prosecution's key witness, was prepared to testify again. this time on his brother's behalf at the sentencing hearing. >> i really don't have anything to say. >> gerry's torn in two different directions. he's not happy with the position that tom put him in, but on the other hand, tom is gerry's brother and gerry wanted to do what he could to avoid that death sentence. >> despite gerry's efforts on his behalf and appeals from other members of the capano family, the jury voted 11-1 in favor of the death penalty. >> i do believe his cross-examination led to him receiving the death penalty. >> judge lee then wrote a scorching opinion, indicating just how damaging capano's behavior in court had been to his own defense. >> i wanted to reflect on how he abused the courtroom and how he had been controlling and conniving and how this had led to his downfall. >> tom capano, former counsel to the governor of delaware and confidant to the mayor of wilmington was sentenced to be executed on june 28th, 1999, three years to the day since he dumped any marie fahey's body in the ocean.
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the capano family became a house divided with gerry and louis scorned because they testified against their brother. >> my son is innocent. she was drunk. >> marguerite capano, the matriarch of this family, probably to this day does not believe that tom capano, her golden boy son, killed anne marie fahey. >> gerry capano is still haunted by his part in anne marie's fahey's final journey out into the ocean on the summer wind. >> gerry was always portrayed as the least sophisticated, the thug of the family. yet i think when you look at this case, gerry was the one brother who seemed to have a conscience. >> i'm sorry that i had anything to do with it. i will never forget what happened, never, ever. >> the man who led the prosecution says everyone who knew tom capano, including his brother gerry, were manipulated and used by him. >> he had a sense of entitlement that those around him were there to please him.
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and if they didn't do his bidding, then there was no need for them to be around. and that's what happened to anne marie fahey when she finally decided to break off her relationship. >> tom capano's death sentence was never carried out. it was overturned by an appellate court. the court found that a jury must be unanimous in recommending the death penalty. in the capano case, there was just one holdout. meanwhile, capano continues to appeal his conviction from behind bars. but in july 2008 the u.s. third circuit court of appeals upheld a district court ruling denying capano's request for a new trial. and even if the case is closed, it's unlikely to be forgotten in delaware. >> delaware is such a close community that almost everybody in the state felt they knew somebody involved in this. the story was compelling enough
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