The evidence continues to surface in the police investigation of a Florida State Law Professor and leading blogger. Over two years ago, the law professor Dan Markel was murdered. There has been no arrests in the case, but considerable circumstantial evidence has cast suspicions on the family of his ex-wife and fellow professor Wendi Adelson. Much of this suspicion has been drawn to Adelson’s brother and that suspicion has been magnified with a new and bizarre disclosure that Charlie Adelson paid for half of a breast enhancement surgery for the girlfriend of one of the accused killers. Now the heart-wrenching videotape of Wendi Adelson being told of Markel’s death has been released with some particularly odd elements like a prior joke by Charlie about hiring an assassin to kill Markel.
Adelson and Markel married in 2006 when she was a third-year law student at the University of Miami and he was a criminal law professor at FSU. They later found themselves in a highly acrimonious divorce.
Police say that Garcia and Rivera were “enlisted” to kill Markel in connection with his divorce from Adelson. Police traced a rental to the scene of the crime.
Adelson has gone public with her own account and said that she is being unfairly targeted by sensational media. However, police have focused on Charles Adelson, his mother Donna Adelson, and a woman named Katherine Magbanua. Magbanua is the mother of two children with Sigfredo Garcia. Police say that she spoke more than 2,000 times to Garcia in the weeks leading up to the slaying. She also was dated Adelson when Markel was killed and worked at the family’s South Florida dental office. Prosecutors say Charlie Adelson paid for half of a $6,000 to $7,000 breast implant surgery done by Dr. Leonard Roudner, also known as “Dr. Boobner.” That surgery occurred notably in October 2014, roughly three months after Markel’s killing. Police sought the medical records despite the insistence of Charlie Adelson’s lawyer that it was “a fishing expedition.” The court did not see it that way and granted the subpoena to confirm the surgery and payments.
The videotape is very emotional and at times bizarre.
In the 2014 interview, the detective tells her “That’s what this is about. There was a shooting at your home, or your ex-husband’s home. [He] has been taken to the hospital. He’s not going to survive.” Adelson bursts into tears and exclaims “Oh, my God,” Adelson says, sobbing throughout. “What happened. …I just don’t understand? How could this happen?”
Wendi tells the detective “I’m scared. I don’t know why this would happen . . . It really scares me because, I mean, if there’s someone out there that’s willing to do this to him. … I’m scared for the kids.”
Given the focus on her brother, a couple of statements stand out. She says that she is “scared someone maybe did this – not because they hate Danny but because they thought this was good somehow.” She then admits that her brother joked with her earlier that day about how a television might be cheaper than a hit man to deal with the problems in her life.
“And I was talking to him about whether it made sense to pay to fix it or I should get a new one,” she said. “And it was always his joke that, like, he knew that Danny treated me badly, and it was always his joke, he said, I looked into hiring a hit man but it was cheaper to get you this TV.”
She then repeated the joke with a repair man.
“[H]e’s my big brother, and he’s been taking care of me since I was little,” she continued. “But he would never – and I told that to the repair guy that this morning. He asked me how much it cost, and I said I didn’t know because it was a gift because my brother said it was cheaper than a hit-man. It was my divorce present. Such a horrible thing to say. I’m so, so sorry.”
She emphasizes that, while she was allegedly abused, no one would kill Markel: “But even my family who felt like I had been mistreated would never do something like this. Never.”
Adelson did not improve things for her family later in openly discussing her fear that a family member killed her estranged husband. According to news reports, she told a victim’s advocate about her mother’s surprise reaction: “My parents sounded really surprised, so that’s at least a relief. I’m just trying to think who would be angry enough to do something to him. My parents would be angry, but they’re not capable of this. Thank God. I really couldn’t handle that right now.”
If Adelson knew, she is the most calculating conspirator I have ever seen. Conversely, if she did not know, these comments only serve to confirm that she also thinks the most likely suspects would be in her own family. They are comments that could pose a serious problem for any family members charged in the case. If Adelson were to take the stand, she repeatedly worried out loud about someone acting to protect her and specifically raised her family as a primary concern.
What do you think?