Paul L. Caron
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wendi Adelson: 'Ill-Fated Romance Took Me To Tallahassee, Love For My Children Kept Me There Despite More Lucrative Job Offers Elsewhere'

AdelsonAs prosecutors in the Dan Markel murder "zero in" on the Adelson family and Hurricane Matthew targets Florida, a reader sent me an item that I have not seen reported elsewhere:  Wendi Adelson's Truman Scholar profile, published three months before Dan was killed.  This excerpt is especially chilling:

A Clinical Professor and the Director of the Medical Legal Partnership at FSU’s College of Law, Wendi, who is a native Floridian, had this to say about what informed her decision to become a lawyer and how she arrived at Florida State University:

I screwed up fantastically and ended up with a dream job as a clinical law professor. I fell in love with the wrong man, and he got a job in Tallahassee. I had wanted to be in DC or become a foreign service officer, or in the previous few years, live closely to my family in South Florida. So, ill-fated romance took me to Tallahassee, and love for my children keeps me here.

My children are 3 and 4, fourteen months apart. Much of the last 4 years has been a giant blur. They are my heart walking around outside of my body, and every decision related to my career has been made with them in mind. I was offered my dream job of directing an immigration clinic in another city when I was 7 months pregnant with my older son, and I turned it down, because I didn’t know what his needs would be when he was born, or how being a mother would change my perspective on work and family. And now, I’ve received offers for more lucrative employment, but not with the same kind of flexibility, and so I turn them down as well, because what matters most to me, today, is that I can spend the most amount of quality time with my lovies.

Update:  Above the Law, Wendi Adelson On Her ‘Ill-Fated Romance’ With Dan Markel

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/wendi-adelson-ill-fated-romance-took-me-to-tallahassee-love-for-my-children-kept-me-there-despite-mo.html

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Comments

Having children restricts your other life choices. Who knew?

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 6, 2016 10:02:35 AM

The only real mystery left in this case is the extent of Wendi's involvement. I was initially among the people that strongly believed she had to be involved, but as the evidence has come out, I have changed my mind. Wendi had not part in the hundreds of phone calls going back and forth between Magbanua, the hitmen and the Adelsons. The real question now is did Wendi know what was going to happen, did she request it, etc? We might never know.

P.S. I am sure she knew/strongly suspected immediately after the murder that her family was responsible, but that has a far lower level of culpability legally, and, in my opinion, morally.

Posted by: JM | Oct 6, 2016 10:12:03 AM

I think I've seen this before. I don't find it particularly chilling. The woman was immersed in a matrix of intellectually and professionally competitive high achievers and fancies she has to explain herself to them. What's tasteless is that she takes the opportunity to skewer the father of those 'lovies'.

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 6, 2016 10:12:41 AM

Having children restricts your other life choices. Who knew?

So does being married, particularly to an academic. What gets you about Wendi Adelson's commentary about domestic life is how disoriented it seems. She slaps her husband with a divorce suit because she 'lacked passionate love' for him and he didn't 'regard her as an equal' or read the fiction she'd written.

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 6, 2016 10:16:32 AM

She may've fallen in love with the wrong man, but with the cloud of shit surrounding her now, is she going to get a second chance? I wouldn't go near her at this point.

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2016 10:45:57 AM

I've never seen such a collection of narcissists as is this family. Absolutely disgusting.

Posted by: LawProf | Oct 6, 2016 10:51:40 AM

I am sure she knew/strongly suspected immediately after the murder that her family was responsible,

She all but admits she suspects her brother while the police were questioning her, when Prof. Markel was still hooked up to machines in the hospital.

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 6, 2016 11:14:03 AM

From Magbanua's PCA, I think Wendi knew in advance and told Charlie Dan's whereabouts Friday morning. After her ridiculous appointment with the tv repairman, she drove by Trescott en route to her lunch date, which was well out of her way. My guess is to see if the hit happened.

Posted by: Grant | Oct 6, 2016 11:19:31 AM

Wendi's interrogation suggests a little she wasn't involved. When told of the murder, she says something to the effect of (I listened to it a few weeks ago, and no longer remember the exact words), "He was terrible to me..I hope people close to me didn't think this was a good idea." That comment basically implicates her family. That was off the cuff. If she was in on it, that is the last thing she would say.

Posted by: Bob Newhart | Oct 6, 2016 11:33:34 AM

Wendi mentioned in her first police interview that her brother had joked about hiring a hit man. I interpret that as an attempt to get the police to find out whether or not Charlie was involved. It seems implausible that someone who ordered the hit would have put the police on her brother's trail this way. More plausible is that she didn't believe her brother was involved but wanted to make sure.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 6, 2016 11:45:53 AM

My wife has a degree in piano, and that was OK because to my ear everybody at her level sounds amazingly skilled. If your wife starts to write novels, though, it might be smart for her and for you to agree that you won't read them, in case you don't like her writing.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Oct 6, 2016 12:03:56 PM

Adelson must be making only 77% of what a man would. Certainly can't be her choices, so it must be society's fault. To avoid life's responsibilities some people kill their unborn children and other people kill their husbands. Maybe she's like someone else who isn't a "stand by your man" type, staying home and baking cookies. >> Stand by Your Man

Posted by: woody | Oct 6, 2016 2:26:27 PM

This chick is crazy ... crazy like a fox.

Posted by: tuphat | Oct 6, 2016 3:08:49 PM

Good news for her: I don't see many lucrative offers in her future that she will have to turn down.

Posted by: tuphat | Oct 6, 2016 3:10:49 PM

What happens in terms of custody of Dan's kids if Charlie, Donna, and the old man go to the Big House (or get the death penalty)? So far Wendi seems callous and self-absorbed, but not implicated at least prior to the crime. Would after-the-fact knowledge be enough to strip her of custody in favor of Dan's parents?

Posted by: AJ | Oct 6, 2016 7:12:02 PM

@Eric,

But that's to your ears. To the classical aficionado and critics, even such past and present piano luminaries as Vladimir Horowitz and Lang Lang have fierce detractors. Some people prefer Steinways, others Yamahas or Faziolis.

Or to put it another way, the two books with greatest claim to "The Great American Novel," Moby-Dick and The Great Gatsby, were both critical and commercial flops during their authors' lifetimes. Harry Potter and Twilight massively outsell Bleeding Edge and 2666. Taste is in the eye of the beholder, in other words.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Oct 6, 2016 9:09:41 PM

I'm shocked. (I'm not.)

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7, 2016 5:17:51 AM

Does Wendi ever detail how Dan was terrible to her? I keep seeing references to this, but then she says things like he would not read her book. I get how that is viewed as non-supportive, but in my experience in family court that is one of the least terrible things I have heard done by a spouse to another. She is constantly making it seem like she is a victim, but all I gather is they just did not have a very loving marriage.

Posted by: Daniel | Oct 7, 2016 6:25:00 AM

@ Daniel,

When women want out of a relationship they will spin the smallest things into terrible acts of aggression. Of course Markel never did anything truly awful to her, otherwise it would have been featured in those divorce pleadings and leveraged for all it was worth. Markel did not want to leave his job in Tallahassee and he did not want to part with his kids -- far as I can tell, that is the "worst" thing he did to her.

Posted by: JM | Oct 7, 2016 8:07:11 AM

Also, I'd bet that the only reason FSU Law hired Wendi is because they wanted her husband. She wouldn't have been hired otherwise. Truth hurts.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7, 2016 8:08:18 AM

More like a court order kept her there.

Posted by: Robin | Oct 7, 2016 10:57:24 AM

She sounds like someone who didn't understand that being a good mother includes allowing your children to be close to their doting father, even after a divorce.

Posted by: anon | Oct 7, 2016 12:25:28 PM

by itself, the comments on the Truman website are not all that chilling. they become more so when combined with Wendi's comments in some Miami writer's workshop - the audio was posted on Soundcloud (http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/the-murder-of-dan-markel-wendi-adelson-speaks-part-2/)
does saying bad things about an ex-spouse automatically make you a murderer? certainly not but you have to wonder about Wendi's level of knowledge. I tend to think that she was not involved but I have nagging feelings otherwise. for example, both my mother and I have rather negative feelings about my little sister's ex-baby daddy. but we certainly don't want the guy dead - we didn't live with him day-in, day-out, my little sister did. did Charlie and Donna care that much to resort to murder completely on their own? the other troubling aspect is how the hitmen had such a detailed itinerary of Dan's comings and goings. based on what we know, the only person with such intimate knowledge would be Wendi - Charlie and Donna lived six hours away in Miami area. while I'm sure they had previously visited Tallahassee, I can't imagine they knew the "lay of the land" on their own.

Posted by: Tyler | Oct 7, 2016 1:28:25 PM

Does Wendi ever detail how Dan was terrible to her? I keep seeing references to this, but then she says things like he would not read her book.

IIRC, she said, "[Charlie] knew Dan didn't treat me well". That Prof. LaCasse also indicated (in a non-specific way) that Prof. Markel did lousy things. Prof. LaCasse's knowledge dated from the period after Wendi had declared the War of the Roses. People who knew them beforehand were a bit undone by the divorce proceedings because they'd been an affectionate couple before that.

Don't think it has much to do with whether or not you have a 'loving' marriage. It does have to do with the sort of signals you're sent by those in your matrix about how you should cope with problems in living. The smart money says that the Adelsons were stoking their daughter's discontents rather than throwing water on them, and that she did not have girlfriends encouraging her in salutary ways.


Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 7, 2016 5:12:17 PM

When women want out of a relationship they will spin the smallest things into terrible acts of aggression.

That's generational. Among my mother's contemporaries, the men who got hit with divorce suits were generally alcoholics or tomcats. The one's with the volcanic tempers had papers served on them when the last child had taken her own apartment or been dropped off at a college dorm. The few women who got papers served on them were so after they'd abandoned their husbands (often in the company of a boyfriend).

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 7, 2016 5:16:00 PM

The timeline of phone calls shows that Charlie called Wendi at least twice on the morning of the murder. One of those conversations lasted, I think, at least about 20 minutes. I will be very interested to know (a) why Charlie called her; and (b) what they discussed. Was it to delay her? To make sure that she wasn't anywhere near Markel's house?

Posted by: Travis | Oct 8, 2016 8:41:47 AM

The timeline of phone calls shows that Charlie called Wendi at least twice on the morning of the murder. One of those conversations lasted, I think, at least about 20 minutes.

A dentist has 20 minutes to chew the fat with his baby sister at the time of day he's usually amply supplied with patients?

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 9, 2016 6:53:27 AM

She sounds like someone who didn't understand that being a good mother includes allowing your children to be close to their doting father, even after a divorce.

That sort of misunderstanding approaches bog standard among American women. Also, sons are quite naturally drawn to the social world of their father. Some mothers don't take kindly to 'losing' their sons in this way.

Posted by: Art Deco | Oct 9, 2016 6:56:54 AM