Tuesday, October 18, 2016
More Details Emerge Linking Adelson Family To Dan Markel's Murder
Sun Sentinel, The Story Behind FSU Professor's Slaying Detailed in New Evidence:
Wendi Adelson's boyfriend at the time also told investigators the brother should be considered as a suspect.
"I would be investigating Charlie Adelson," Jeffrey Lacasse, a professor in the College of Social Work at FSU, told an investigator during a recorded interview in July 2014. "If you got in front of this guy, he'd set off your radar. He set off my radar."
Lacasse said Charlie Adelson hung out with unsavory people. "He's a dentist and he's very wealthy, but he kind of hangs out with people from both sides of the tracks," he said during the interview. "You know, he goes boating in South Beach with his rich buddies and he also goes to his gym with some other kinds of characters."
Lacasse also told investigators Wendi Adelson told him her brother had looked into hiring a hit man and was told it would cost $15,000.
"Wendi had reported to me that Charlie had considered all the options possible to take care of this problem," he said. "She said it in a dead serious, chilling, uncomfortable way."
When investigators asked Lacasse how he thought Adelson would have committed the murder, he said: "He'd get his buddy in the special forces to do this, or he'd get some seedy guys down in the Cuban neighborhood or something like that." ...
With Markel gone, Adelson could finally leave Tallahassee and raise her sons in South Florida.
When she filed for divorce in September 2012, Adelson sought primary custody of their two sons and asked a judge to allow her and the children to move to Coral Springs to be near her family. The court denied her petition in 2013.
"That was probably the nastiest divorce I've ever seen," Tamara Demko, a friend of Markel's, told investigators. "I know she felt trapped here."
Investigators say Markel's murder appeared to be tied to his bitter divorce from Adelson, their ongoing legal battle over money and their children, and her parents' "desperate desire" for her and the children to move to South Florida.
"After exhausting all efforts to force or compel Markel into agreeing to allow his ex-wife and children to relocate to South Florida, the subject family members previously identified realized any hope of a legal remedy in their favor was futile," according to the warrant from Sept. 30.
During her interview with investigators, Adelson worried that her former in-laws would think she had something to do with Markel's death.
"The reason I say his parents are going to say I did it is because when we got divorced, I wanted to move to South Florida and I filed a petition to relocate in the court and the court said no," she said in the recorded interview. "So, we're in Tallahassee because of Danny's job."
After the judge denied Adelson's request to leave with her children, her mother, Donna Adelson, suggested the family offer Markel $1 million to get him to allow the relocation, according to the warrant signed on Sept. 30.
Wendi Adelson refused to go through with that plan, and her mother became "extremely upset," police said in the same report.
"She never wanted to be here ever. She came with Markel. They were supposed to be here a year and then move on," Lacasse, Adelson's former boyfriend, told police. "She never wanted to live here, never thought she would live here."
Lacasse later told investigators that Wendi Adelson said she switched her phone a few days after the shooting because she thought police had bugged it.
Markel's parents later contacted investigators in September 2015 to notify them that Wendi Adelson had changed the children's last names and removed her older son's middle name, which was the Hebrew name of Markel's maternal grandmother, investigators said in the report. ...
Tamara Demko, Markel's long-time friend, told investigators she drove to Adelson's house as soon as she heard the news and felt a strange tension when she saw Adelson's parents, whom she knew.
"There's just things that don't feel right to me," she told an investigator during a recorded interview the day after Markel was shot. "[Wendi Adelson] opened the door and she looked really calm. ...[Her mother] seemed appropriately upset, then her dad, who I've met a couple dozen times in Coral Springs and up here, he gave me this look. ... It was awkward and it never had been before. That really bothered me."
During a memorial service at Shomrei Torah Synagogue in Tallahassee, an investigator met with Wendi Adelson's parents to ask them for an interview before they returned to South Florida.
But the day after the service, the investigator received a call from Adelson's attorney, letting him know Adelson and the children had left for South Florida with her parents.
"No one in the family has contacted Tallahassee police or asked about the status of the investigation," investigators said in a police report.
- Above the Law, The Dan Markel Case: More Evidence In Newly Released Documents
- News4Jax, Trial Pushed Back For Man Accused in FSU Professor's Death
- Tallahassee Democrat, Sigfredo Garcia trial pushed back
- WCTV, Trial Delayed For Accused Triggerman in Markel Murder
- WTXL, Sigfredo Garcia's Trial Delayed Again
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Man Arrested In Murder Of Dan Markel (May 26, 2016)
- Dan Markel Killing Investigated As Murder for Hire, 5-6 More Arrests Expected (May 26, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (May 31, 2016)
- Police: Dan Markel Was Killed In Murder-For-Hire Plot Orchestrated By Ex-Wife's Brother (June 2, 2016)
- Anatomy Of The Hit On Dan Markel (June 4, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 6, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson Discusses Her Ex-Husband Dan Markel's Murder: Transcript And Commentary (June 8, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Law Prof Colleagues Finger Ex-Wife's Family In Murder-For-Hire Killing (June 10, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 13, 2016)
- Grand Jury Indicts Two Hit Men In Dan Markel's Murder, State Attorney Expects More Indictments; Girlfriend Of Ex-Brother-in-Law Denies Ex-Wife's Family's Involvement (June 18, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: In Defense Of Charlie Adelson (June 21, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Hit Men Thwarted In Previous Attempt To Kill FSU Law Prof (June 27, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Charlie Adelson Denies 'Any Involvement' (July 3, 2016)
- Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects (July 18, 2016)
- Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder (July 18, 2016)
- The Adelson Family (Through Their Attorneys) Deny Any Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 3, 2016)
- Prosecutors Seek Records Showing Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Enhancement Surgery For Mother Of Hit Man's Children After Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 20, 2016)
- Judge In Dan Markel Murder Case Approves Subpoena To See If Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Implants For Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 23, 2016)
- Police Video Released Of Wendi Adelson Being Told Of Dan Markel's Murder, Says Her Brother Joked About Hiring A Hit Man (Aug. 27, 2016)
- FBI Interview With Ex-Girlfriend Of Dan Markel's Ex-Brother-in-Law/Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 28, 2016)
- Adelson Family Will Not Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder Despite Circumstantial Evidence Released By Police (Including $1 Million Offer To Allow Children To Move To Miami, Communication And Money Trail To Hit Men) (Sept. 9, 2016)
- Police Reach Out To Feds As Tensions Flare With Prosecutor Over Decision Not To Charge Adelson Family In Markel Murder; Ex-Brother-in-Law Discussed Killing Undercover Agent (Sept. 10, 2016)
- ABC News To Feature Dan Markel Murder Case On Friday's 20/20 Program (Sept. 14, 2016)
- Last Night's ABC News 20/20 Program On The Dan Markel Murder: In-Laws & Outlaws (Sept. 17, 2016)
- Judge Denies Change Of Venue In Trial Of Markel's Alleged Hit Man; Defense Seeks Testimony Of Other Possible Perpetrators (Sept. 29, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua (Mother Of Hit Man's Children, Worker In Adelson Dental Practice, Girlfriend Of Charlie Adelson) Charged With Murder of Dan Markel (Oct. 2, 2016)
- More On Katherine Magbanua's Arrest In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 3, 2016)
- Plea Deal For Hit Man In Dan Markel Murder (Oct. 4, 2016)
- Prosecutors Zero In On Adelson Family After Plea Deal With Hit Man, Arrest Of Accomplice In Markel Murder(Oct. 5, 2016)
- Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 11, 2016)
- Update: Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 12, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Attorney Questions Credibility Of Hit Man's Statement Implicating Ex-Wife In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 13, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Parents Discuss With Prosecutors Emergency Placement Of Their Grandchildren Upon Forthcoming Arrests Of Adelsons (Oct. 14, 2016)
- Update On Dan Markel Murder Investigation (Oct. 15, 2016)
I want to know what Sheldon Adelson has to say about this family drama.
Posted by: Lois Turner | Oct 19, 2016 8:03:09 AM
I'm sorry, but I'm just not seeing any evidence of intent here. No charges should be filed.
Posted by: James Comey (FBI) | Oct 18, 2016 11:40:48 AM
To second Art Deco, I'm curious to hear Robert Adelson's take on all this too. Somewhat interestingly, it seems to me as though Robert probably isn't estranged from the rest of his family or anything along those lines as both his wife & Wendi were contestants on whichever game show they were contestants on. I wonder who they knew to 'coincidentally' get both of them on the show...
Posted by: here here | Oct 18, 2016 11:02:19 AM
What's now evident is that this whole train-wreck is the issue of people who cannot tolerate anything standing between them and what they want at any given time, and a habit of looking at people outside their little organism as somehow unreal and not possessed of actual interests and immunities. You have to wonder if the older brother and his family, who made a series of odd career moves and relocated to a 3d tier city where it snows 5 months of the year, did so to put some distance between themselves and the toxic environment the other Adelsons created.
Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 18, 2016 8:30:05 AM
IIRC, Wendi Adelson was a contestant on The Weakest Link in 2003. Mrs. Robert Adelson, known professionally as Dr. Haritha Challapalli, was a candidate on Who Wants to be a Millionaire ten years later. I think they both took home some cash from these appearances. I'm a bit floored that a physician would have any familiarity with game shows at all. I doubt there was any connection between the two appearances other than one inspiring the other. Perhaps the sisters-in-law are competitive.
I think a certain pattern in 3-child families is quite common: two siblings close and the 3d out in the cold to a degree. I've certainly seen that pattern.
I imagine Dr. Adelson and Dr. Challapalli regard this whole business with dismay, like a crew in the lifeboat watching the Titanic go down, and keep themselves as busy as possible so they don't have to think about it.
Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 19, 2016 8:23:32 AM