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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dan Markel's Father Speaks To The Media For The First Time About His Son's Murder

MarkelDaily Mail, EXCLUSIVE: 'I Have My Own Theory About Who Killed My Son.' Father of Harvard-Educated Professor Shot in the Head in His Own Garage by Mystery Gunman Finally Speaks Out:

The father of a top law professor who was shot dead at his home has spoken for the first time at his family's 'frustration' that his son's killer has yet to be caught.

It is almost eight months since Dan Markel was gunned down in an execution style killing as he sat in his car in the garage of his home in Florida.

The 41-year-old father of two young sons, who worked at Florida State University, was shot in the head.

There was no sign of a struggle and nothing was taken from his home with police quickly saying he was the 'intended target'.

But despite an extensive police investigation into the murder last July by a team of detectives in Tallahassee, Florida, no suspect has been arrested. There has been no hint of a breakthrough in the murder that shocked his many colleagues at Florida State University and in the wider legal world.

Detectives appear to have few leads to follow up on leading family members of Markel fearing his unexplained death will become a cold case. In his first public comments on the murder Markel's father Phillip expressed fears the case will never be solved.

'I know nothing will bring our son back but we would like some closure,' said Phillip Markel in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online.

'The investigation seems to have stalled and it is just so frustrating for the family. We want to see the killer caught and brought to justice.'

Mr Markel, who lives in Toronto, Canada, said he has his own theories about who killed his son but said without firm evidence he is not willing to share them.

'It is frustrating as we are at a standstill and that means we cannot have closure and just have to live with it. That is not the best situation.

'I have my own theory who killed Dan, but I do not have the proof and am unwilling to share them.'

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/04/dan-markels-father-speaks-to-the-media-.html

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Comments

This murder is so mysterious. A number of ‘issues’ have been floated as areas for inquiry, but they all seem to have dried up. He was a high profile rising law professor who had some blog critics over a censorship issue at prawfsblawg, but nothing out of the ordinary. He had a good family, but some unpleasant personal family law issues. Again, nothing too out of the ordinary and nothing that you’d expect to result in a homicide. He doesn’t seem to have been involved in any criminal activities, and there are no reports of any stolen property, etc. He taught criminal law, but he didn’t seem to have an active crim law practice or dissatisfied criminal clients. There are no reports of any conflicts with students/other faculty/former students. No gambling/debt/drug issues. The whole thing is just so strange.

Here’s the very odd thing. It appears that Prof. Markel was killed in his garage in Tallahassee, Florida at around 11 o’clock in the morning on a Monday. Assuming the garage isn’t climate controlled, a garage in Tallahassee, Florida in July has to approach 100 degrees. I can’t imagine that the murderer was waiting long in the garage given the time of year/day. Was this is a burglary that Prof. Markel interrupted at the perfectly wrong time? If this was an intentional murder, who would know to expect him home on a Monday at 11 am?

I've got to imagine that the Florida authorities looked into the easy leads. Strange that this could be a cold case. You'd expect this to be the type of homicide that the cops would move heaven and earth to solve.

Posted by: Jojo | Apr 5, 2015 1:28:32 PM

'I have my own theory who killed Dan, but I do not have the proof and am unwilling to share them.' Two possible problems with that statement. First, like Dr. Phil, who claimed (falsely) to have solved the Natalie Holloway disappearance/murder after hiring a detective on his own dime, that is pure baloney. Second, whoever he thinks did it probably did not. But he will cause the police to focus their efforts in the wrong direction, resulting in a lower chance the case can be closed.

Finally, the more people write that he was killed "execution style," the more the conspiracy wacked will hang from the rafters and impede the progress of any investigation.

Posted by: Tom Fituugen | Apr 5, 2015 4:07:58 PM

Quote: 'I have my own theory who killed Dan, but I do not have the proof and am unwilling to share them.'

I can think of no more dangerous words to say. If someone or some group had a reason to kill Dan, he's now given them a reason to kill him. He'd be wiser to not mention having a theory or to go public with all he knows.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Apr 5, 2015 5:38:58 PM

Calculated bluff? See if he can draw someone out? Pressure the police? He had his reasons.

Posted by: dave | Apr 6, 2015 6:10:28 AM

Assuming the published accounts are reasonably accurate, this can only be an intentional, targeted homicide. Unless the shooter went to the wrong house and shot the wrong person, then the motive should be found within the victim's personal or professional activities. Given that, the father's statement is quite possibly valid. Whether the police have a valid theory and/or suspect, or lack anything substantial is unknown, since they are commendably silent. I hope it is not a situation of small town experience not up to the task.

Posted by: JCC | Apr 6, 2015 6:34:28 AM

The grieving father is entitled to his theories. It seems more than a little insensitive to compare him to Dr. Phil, or to suggest he'll turn the investigation in the wrong direction.

Posted by: John Novack | Apr 6, 2015 6:50:26 AM

His father should come out and say the theory. Clearly he cares deeply about his son and wants justice. Too many other people are walking on eggshells about this, and while they profess to want justice, they are more concerned about not saying anything that will get themselves in trouble. Everytime there are uncensored comments associated with this story, the readers nail the most likely scenario. The same one Markel's father is likely referring to. I really feel bad for Markel's father, and wish him well in his quest for justice.

Posted by: JM | Apr 6, 2015 6:57:32 AM

From the headline: "'I Have My Own Theory About Who Killed My Son.' Father of Harvard-Educated Professor Shot in the Head in His Own Garage by Mystery Gunman Finally Speaks Out:"

I've noticed this tendency to include where someone went to college - particularly when it's an Ivy League institution - in headlines for news articles over the past few years. What is the significance of including this information in the headline? Does the fact that he graduated from Harvard make his death any more tragic or senseless?

Posted by: Larry J | Apr 6, 2015 7:26:16 AM

@LarryJ - more tragic? More Senseless? Yes. It does.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge | Apr 6, 2015 7:37:57 AM

The description make it sound like a mob hit.

My wager would be that the police have their lines of inquiry mapped out, and are not disclosing salient aspects of his 'personal and professional activities. I'd also wager they cannot get the pieces of the puzzle to fit together but they do have pieces.

Posted by: Art Deco | Apr 6, 2015 9:18:57 AM

@Paul A'Barge, how does it make the murder more tragic, more senseless?

Posted by: Sam L. | Apr 6, 2015 9:22:15 AM

I can’t imagine that the murderer was waiting long in the garage given the time of year/day.

The killer was not hiding in the garage. The killer walked into the garage after Dan drove in to park.

Posted by: Marshal | Apr 6, 2015 9:33:17 AM

@Sam L., Some people are credential bigots.

Posted by: TBlakely | Apr 6, 2015 9:46:21 AM