The Murder of Professor Dan Markel: Confession of Contract Killer Raises Questions Over Role of Wendi Adelson

1405809806000-Dan-MarkelWe have been following the investigation of the murder of Florida State Professor Dan Markel – a case that 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, Charlie Adelson. Charlie Adelson was reportedly romantically involved with Katherine Magbanua, who just happened to be the mother of two children with Sigfredo Garcia, one of the two accused hit men (with Luis Rivera). Magbanua was arrested recently and then Rivera has cut a deal to cooperate in a guilty plea. Now Rivera has reportedly given evidence that further implicates the Adelson family. Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and told police that the motive for the murder for hire was because “the lady wants her kids back.” In a truly chilling added element, Rivera said that he saw Wendi Adelson before killing her husband and that she stared directly at him and Garcia.

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. News accounts say that Markel returned from a business trip to find the kids and his wife gone with divorce papers left on the bed — the start of a highly acrimonious divorce.

Sigfredo-Garcia-Luis-Rivera-300x174Police 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. The police have made little secret of their suspicion of Charles Adelson and his mother Donna Adelson. The family wanted Wendi Adelson to move with the children near them. Police became suspicious after learning that Magbanua is connected to Garcia and that she spoke more than 2,000 times to Garcia in the weeks leading up to the slaying. Prosecutors now 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.

Magbanua’s warrant suggests a broader circle of conspirators. It says that Wendi’s mother was particularly upset after Markel had filed a motion to require that the children’s visitation with Wendi’s mother be supervised. He cited allegations by the children that she had called Markel “stupid” and asserted he was “taking her sunshines away from her.” Moreover, the cellphone records show that after Magbanua spoke with Charlie Adelson, he would often call his mother, Donna. For her part, Magbanua would call Garcia. Indeed, police cite “a flurry of communications between the alleged conspirators.”

Police also suggest that Magbanua was given a “significant increase” in cash bank deposits after the murder and she received paychecks from the family dental business. The thrust of the warrant is clearly more about the Adelson family than Magbanua. Indeed, her arrest may be an effort to flip her against the Adelsons. She has children to care for and a valuable piece of any prosecution to bargain with. At most, she is believed to have been a facilitator in the conspiracy — making her the ultimate cooperating witness to tie in the main players. If that is the tactic, it could well succeed. What is clear is that the case is entering a new and more threatening stage for the Adelsons.

Now we can add the statements of Rivera who said that he and Garcia (who reportedly pulled the trigger) saw Wendi Adelson, eyeing their car. When Garcia asked why the woman with the children was staring at them, he says that Garcia told him “Oh, that’s the lady. That’s Wendi.”

We previously discussed the police station interview of Adelson. 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.”

riverainterrogationRivera has now placed Adelson near the hit men and staring directly at them. He further implicated Magbanua as acting as a go-between in the murder for hire. Rivera also indicates that Magbanua conveyed information about the travel plans of Markel and, in reference to Adelson, said “She’s making sure everything’s fine.”

Despite this very damaging information, Rivera was never actually told who paid for the hit. However, the contract was for $100,000.

screen-shot-2016-06-02-at-8-26-35-pm-300x194The clear effort of the police is now to build a case against the Adelsons. While previously the effort seemed focused on Charlie Adelson, it now appears to be also focusing on Wendi Adelson. Clearly, someone hired these hit men and they did not spontaneously decide to kill a law professor. The obvious suspects are the Adelsons and they remain prominent references in the warrants and this confession. With Rivera’s confession and deal, the pressure will be even greater on Magbanua to cut a deal. Her cooperation may be the ultimate goal of this building investigation and the final straw before the arrest of one of the Adelsons, who are clearly the ultimate targets for the investigators.

151 thoughts on “The Murder of Professor Dan Markel: Confession of Contract Killer Raises Questions Over Role of Wendi Adelson”

  1. This is interesting:

    www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=sHIwrKnO9kY

    www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=rmDuYhXKi1I

    Rivera implicates Wendi via Magbanua, and Rivera’s lawyer defends the Adelsons, saying “they are dentists, not the Sopranos”. When asked, then what the connection is between the hitmen and the Adelsons, Rivera’s lawyer says, “you’ll find out at trial”.

    1. Rivera’s lawyer also said his client wasn’t co-operating with the authorities, right up until the moment a plea was entered. I knew a British economist who described a certain monetary regime as ‘Irish fixed rates”. “They’re fixed. Until they change”.

      1. he’s also talking out of both sides. Rivera already implicated Wendi. Lawyer implies Charlie and Donna are clean. Of course, if Wendi is involved, ipso facto Charles and Donna are involved….

        1. Again, the lawyer implying Donna and Son are clean is Garcia’s lawyer. The road from Wendi to Garcia travels through Charlie and Katie.

    2. No, Garcia’s lawyer, Saam Zageneh said that. He client hasn’t reached a plea agreement.

      1. thinking about it more, I can see a scenario where Donna is less involved than Wendi. and vice versa. Donna did cut some checks though…

        Based on date of that broadcast, I had assumed Zageneh’s comment was more recent, but perhaps it was old footage in a new broadcast.

  2. No wonder Dan refuses to read that garbage.

    OCTOBER 19, 2016
    DAN MARKEL UPDATE: So Dan Markel’s ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, published a novel called This Is Our Story about a year before she walked out on Dan Markel. It’s not very good, reportedly, but there’s this:
    My interpretation of the breakup scene is that author Wendi Adelson was signaling through her fiction that she not only wanted to divorce Markel, but that she also wanted him out of the lives of her kids. The naming question in the novel foreshadows Adelson’s real life behavior, post murder, in changing her children’s surnames from Markel to Adelson and removing the middle name of one son because it referenced Markel’s deceased grandmother.

    I think it is also likely that Adelson wrote the novel in order to promote herself as the public face of the morally unimpeachable cause of female antislavery, notwithstanding her lack of literary talent, her relatively meager academic credentials, and her relative inexperience as a practicing lawyer. This is Our Story was chosen as featured reading for the thousands of incoming freshmen at Florida State, and was also enthusiastically profiled in the Florida Bar News. …

    In the novel, Lily’s heroic work is obstructed by a clueless and condescending husband whom she has outgrown. Hubby Josh whines and snivels, but ultimately accepts his marching orders. However, discarding Josh’s real-life model seems to have been a messier proposition.

  3. Katherine just wrapped up a five hour session giving a statement to fellow investigators. Suffice it to say the bomb will explode soon.

  4. RV:

    Yes, bringing up the hitman joke to the police would be smart if it had come up in conversation the way Wendi described. Might as well own it before she gets called on it after they interview the TV repairman.

    But I also find it extremely coincidental that she made the joke to a stranger, on the very day that her ex-husband was, indeed, killed by a hitman. A far cooler character, or maybe just someone whose feelings of guilt came out in a Freudian way, would make a point of instigating the hitman joke- “I couldn’t decide whether or not to get this repaired, It was a divorce gift from my big brother, cheaper than a hitman!”

    As for telling Lacasse about the hitman idea, she didn’t bring it up as a joke. Lacasse clearly states that she told him about it seriously, in a “chilling” manner. Why, unless she’s stupid or innocent, right?

    But later in the police interview, it’s also curious that Wendi seemed so sure that someone killed Dan for her, and didn’t mind telling them all about it. There are very few of us who have family or friends so devoted to our happiness that they are willing to contract a murder. But Wendi seemed to believe lots of people might reasonably do this for her, including Lacasse. Had that been her point in mentioning the hitman idea to him in the first place? Lacasse says he was riled up enough on Wendi’s behalf that he’d publicly joked about “kicking Dan’s ass”. In this scenario Wendi is less guilty of the actual plotting of the murder than guilty of, a la King Henry II, asking will someone rid me of this meddlesome priest/ex-husband? Then, once the deed is done she quite helpfully offers up a list of possible suspects: Charlie, that joker, Lacasse, the spurned boyfriend, and, thank goodness, probably not Mom, since she did sound relieved. Whew.

    So, while I don’t know where and when Wendi’s actual or moral complicity begins, I do think she is guilty. But proving it may be difficult.

    You make a compelling possible narrative on the whys and hows behind the family’s psychology and motives leading to Dan’s murder. They all seem pretty unpleasant, not just Dan, but in many ways rather ordinary too. Which is why I find this case so interesting.

    1. Responses to Dan Markel would appear to be bimodal. There are people who loved working with him and people who will tell you he was stupefyingly arrogant.

      Wendi Adelson elected to declare war on her husband with a frivolous divorce suit; she also concealed his children from him for weeks after she (with her family’s help, while he was out of town) vacated the house and took the furniture, leaving only a mattress with divorce papers placed on it. It doesn’t surprise any sentient being that their divorce was ‘contentious’. Oh, and having her children’s names changed after his death was a cute little maneuver. She petitioned the court to strip out not only the Markel family name, but a middle name which referred to one of his relatives. Do you think the paternal side grandparents have seen those kids in the last two years? Donna Adelson has two other grandchildren. For Ruth Markel, those boys are all she has.

    2. @AMS well said. I love the King Henry II bit. another thing that struck me re: Wendi’s oddness is she went on about how she wasn’t really attracted to Dan (ostensibly), etc. Lacasse looks a lot like Dan. Not saying he is like Dan personality-wise, but the superficial resemblance is there plus the professional, professorial thing. So what drew her to Lacasse?

      It still seems stupid to tell Lacasse that in deadly serious tones. On the other hand, why would he continue dating her if he really believed she was semi-serious about it at the time?

      A lot of chumps in this story, for sure. And if Charlie was in on it, who is that enmeshed with their sister that they would go to such lengths? Unless Charlie was hell bent on pleasing mom who may or may not have had a say in which luxe vehicles Papa Harvey would lease for everyone. Was it that Wendi was a master manipulatress or someone lacking a backbone to say no to mommy?

      Another mystery- what of this claim that Donna asked Wendi to threaten to convert the boys to Catholicism if they stayed in Tallahassee? I am inclined to file that under, didn’t really happen. No one was Catholic in this scenario and why Tallahassee?

      and the rumor about the $1m payoff? Perhaps Wendi didn’t want Dan near them and she put the kibosh on that suggestion (not that he really would have gone for that).

        1. Not necessarily. What do you make of fact that both Garcia and Magbanua called Harvey 2.5 weeks before murder when there was a flurry of calls amongst Charlie and Magbanua, Donna and Charlie and Magbanua and Garcia?

          www [DOT] tallahassee [DOT] com/story/news/2016/10/02/documents-police-make-case-magbanuas-arrest/91438016/

        2. The old man had the biggest checkbook as well as the titles to a veritable fleet of cars, at least one of which, a Lexus, made its way to Katherine M.
          I think he may not have been the mastermind, for that I suspect Charlie/Mom, but I’m not sure that he’s “innocent”.

          1. also- Harvey had a brain tumor or something. maybe that warped his judgment. what rational parents would leave themselves open to blackmail?

            an observation that sticks out: the older brother has rather bad, unfixed teeth, and he is the only one who lives outside Florida, and pretty far from it. Why would the son of a dentist not fix his teeth? rebellion? disgust with family? desire to separate from them in every way possible?

            another thing about Wendi- she has some insightful things to say in that infamous podcast, but she also says things at various times that are not adhesive to reality an/or her actions belie her claims

            1. says she was frightened for her kids’ lives after the murder. then why have a FB page with their pics?

            2. says she changed kids’ names to protect from publicity. then why change it to ADELSON and ditch Dan’s grandma’s name?

            3. says they were co-parenting and getting along for the sake of the children; court motions suggest otherwise.

            4. puts out a statement after Rivera and Garcia arrested saying she hopes this brings closure. inasmuch as the connection to Magbanua and her brother showed up then too, either she was a) naive about her family or b) totally disconnected from reality. better, perhaps to have said nothing.

            5. says she lacked passion for Dan, picks a man who looks just like him and has a similar profession.

            6. says she is immensely grateful for her mother, while simultaneously describing her “co-parenting” and usurping her parental role in a way.

            1. 7. claimed she missed her life in Tallahassee and as a law professor (elswhere she says Dan had poisoned the well by telling her colleagues she was crazy and making a hostile work environment for her and she didn’t have too many ties holding her to Tallahassee- not in love with Lacasse, etc.)

            2. In regards to you comment about the older brother and your concern with his teeth, which have nothing to do with a man that was murdered, how about you redirect you fixation onto the case and not appearances of family member’s that have not been mentioned in any relevant police documents. Your insensitivity and speculations are NOT appreciated by those who know and respect the ” older brother”

              1. The pictures of Robert Adelson posted by his practice don’t show any bad teeth. They look like perfectly ordinary teeth you’d expect a man born in 1973 to have.

                The older brother gave up an academic job in Gainesville (which presumably included clinical practice) in order to enroll in a second fellowship. That presumably meant uprooting his wife or living apart from her for a period. Then they land in Albany, N.Y. Albany’s a congenial 3d tier city, on the border between New England and the Rustbelt, but likely a difficult adjustment for a man who grew up in the tropics (not to mention for his wife, who may also have grown up in a hot climate – she’s East Indian). I doubt there are many suburban ENT specialists in Albany who’ve eight years worth of residency and fellowship under their belt. AFAIK, he’s not associated with the medical school in Albany. Mrs. Adelson is practicing the same sort of medicine she did in Gainesville. Maybe there’s something I’m missing here, but this whole sequence of moves seems odd to me unless the name of the game was to get out of Florida. I cannot help notice how possessive the Adelsons have been of Wendi’s children. They have two other grandchildren living up in Albany (while the Markels have none but those boys). Hmmm…

                1. It is called greed whether for money, flesh or kids. I have started my manuscript for the soon to be released movie staring:

                  Patrick Wilson as Charlie Adelson

                  Nicole Gale Anderson as Katherine Magbanua

              2. Michelle, don’t turn it around. it’s not about fixation on appearance, it suggests a separation from the family, which itself is fixated on that aspect of appearance. I don’t care one way or the other, it’s unusual when that’s the family business. My point absolutely has bearing on what is going on with the internal A dynamics. Of course, there may be an explanation that has NOTHING to do with my hypothesis.

                1. Perhaps you need to take in consideration the effects of your “hypothesis” have on those who know the “other” family members. With that being said, just know those of us who are reading your comments will categorize you with the online trolls who don’t know enough to keep there opinions to themselves. If you don’t care one way or another why comment on his teeth. As I said before that is troll behavior. Have a nice day

                  1. I find it interesting how those who are personally invested in those who are involved in the case or related to those involved take offense at things that they shouldn’t take offense about. If my observation is so pointless, then ignore it, don’t get personal with me.

                    At least two other people have questioned whether Robert lives away from the family on purpose.

                    If anything, I haven’t been one of the people ready to tar and feather the Adelson’s until proven guilty. Of all the things to fall on your sword for the Adelsons for, this one is rather minor and trivial.

                  2. Perhaps you need to take in consideration the effects of your “hypothesis” have on those who know the “other” family members.

                    I suspect Robert Adelson has a great deal on his mind right now, as does Mrs. Adelson (aka Dr. Challapalli), and doesn’t give a rip what some stranger thinks of his dentition. Indubitably the two lead busy lives as a matter of course and much about which to be anxious.

                    And, no, I’m not your mother so I’m not thinking about the ‘effect’ of that on you.

            3. she was a) naive about her family or b) totally disconnected from reality. better, perhaps to have said nothing.

              You neglected option C: lying through her pearly whites.

              1. Fair enough on option C!

                look at facebook re: teeth. they are quite unfixed and quite bad in their natural state.

                I wonder if Mrs. A isn’t satisfied with what George Bush inartfully termed the “little brown ones”.

      1. The $1 million payoff that Donna Adelson suggested is not a ‘rumor’. It’s referenced in the probable cause affidavit.

        1. the issue with the $1m if it was to “go away” or allow relocation (with which he could have relocated there as well). So when I say “rumor” it was about what this “offer” constituted exactly

  5. The Strangers on the Train theory advance by Ralph has some ring of truth. Magbanua was dating Charlie at the time and may have wanted more of his attention and figured since the Adelsons were so obsessed with Dan and the custody case, this would take their mind off it. She may have promised her ex some cash, that she already had due to largesse of Charlie in their relationship. After her ex was caught, Magbanua could have been shaking down the Adelson’s with the implicit threat that since the Adelson’s looked guilty, they should pay her to keep her from squealing.

    This whole thing was executed so sloppily- lack of disposable cell phones, using real name at the renta car agency, the ez pass, opening the window at a take out place with a camera, etc. it seems like it was planned in an amateur way.

    1. After her ex was caught, Magbanua could have been shaking down the Adelson’s with the implicit threat that since the Adelson’s looked guilty, they should pay her to keep her from squealing.

      The payments from Donna Adelson to Katherine Magbanua predated Garcia’s arrest. They went on over a period of months in 2014 and 2015.

      1. Dance- logic! My theory assumes payments started after the murder. you offer nothing to contradict.

    2. If you think some moll took it upon herself to arrange this hit to blackmail the Adelsons, you are an idiot.

      Your comments on this thread display the arrogance of an idiot.

      1. I lifted the latest from the clerk of courts for KB. Can an Atty explain for this lay person? Did she plea already?


        1. I think the not guilty plea is pro forma, for the time being. Luis Rivera was ‘not cooperating’ until he was co-operating and the guilty plea entered.

      2. chill out! it was a thought exercise, also what charlie’s atty could argue. one of if not my very first comment was, it is hard to see a scenario where Adelson’s aren’t involved. it does, though, defy logic how stupid they were if they did this.

  6. AMS:

    You bring up some interesting points on the Wendy interview. re: narcs and sociopaths, there are all kinds of definitions. The best distinction I have seen drawn is that the narc is not so self aware that his or her selfishness can hurt others. The sociopath can take some sadistic pleasure in screwing with people knowingly, intentionally. Dan was more of a narc- not venal per se, just full of himself. His not reading her novel was a total diss, but in retrospect if he gave 2 figs about the other people in his life, he should have read it to understand what she was thinking. The thoughts and emotions of others are not foremost on the mind of a narc.

    I too thought that Wendi’s interview suggests she was incredibly stupid or calculating- but here is the thing. She obviously told that anecdote about the tv, because she had made the quip to the repairman. If she had not told the police, they would have heard it from the tv guy eventually and then it would have made Wendi look suspicious. If she had any advance knowledge of the day’s events or indeed the day’s events, unless she is totally stupid, no WAY would she have said that morning “my brother got me a tv and said it was because he couldn’t buy me a hit man”.

    Also, again, unless she was stupid, why would she have told Lacasse about inquiring into hiring a hitman? Maybe Charlie told it to her and she thought it was half in gest and reported it to Lacasse.

    I think as soon as she knew about Dan being shot, she had to look over that conversation again. Forest through the trees, I think she may not have known ahead of time, but she may know something after the fact.

    The picture drawn of Wendi- the shrine in the house, her own admission that she smiled awkwardly when her friend’s father died- I think Wendi was forced into a bit of a role in her own family- little miss perfect or some version thereof. I think that when they were dating, Dan’s initial thoughts were he had found a member of the tribe from a professional family and also a law protege and Wendi’s family saw him as a high-status member of the tribe. I think her mother may have been a narc with some other co-morbidities. Over time, it became clear that Dan didn’t respect Wendi or her family as intellectual equals (really I think the only person he respected was himself) and they were narc’s in different ways. Dan with intellectual currency; Donna with money.

    Dan was probably smarting from Wendi moving out and ending things. He probably seriously toyed with living in Miami because Tallahassee is small town in comparison, but then decided he didn’t want to be near Donna and co, didn’t want to accommodate Wendi and figured if he was moving, it would be too a higher status law school (my best guess). Thing degenerated from there. Dan made things hard, Donna got frustrated. Offered him $1m to let kids move (Donna’s currency was money, Dan’s was intellectual and other, so that was never going to happen- but proof positive that narc’s are not going to understand each other.

    Asking for supervised visitation was a slap in the face and from there one can guess what happened. I try to imagine a scenario where this Magbanua character engaged in self-help on behalf of Charlie, but it’s hard to imagine such a scenario. The signs point to Donna/Charlie/Harvey? some combination thereof.

    Back to Wendi, her family dynamics are strange- it seems she was well-treated by her family in the sense of being protected/coddled- not so much by Dan. Her changing of the kids name smacks of trying to wipe every vestige of him out of her life. Was co-parenting with him close to impossible? Maybe. but she doesn’t describe it that way. She may have such conflicting loyalty to her parents and brother that she is firmly under their thumb. Now that she is threatened potentially with jail/the loss of her boys, she may speak more, but who knows. I think she was a troubled person who had problems asserting herself within her family unit and expressing emotions. I don’t see her as a knowing co-conspirator. If she was, maybe she is very shrewd and played the whole day from the beginning- making the comment- immediately throwing trail off of her, etc. She does appear to be the brains in that family- maybe going for some kind of strategy where Rivera accuses her- evidence points to Charlie and Mom and the state can’t say with certainty WHO knew or WHO planned it, thus letting them all off the hook.

    What is dumb, is having Magbanua on the payroll, the boob job, etc.

    1. I gather he gave you a c-minus. Concision’s a virtue. The first excess to go would be psychoanalysis for dummies.

      1. nice try Dance. I was not a student, but rather a peer. I am going to guess that you are a male law professor, though and probably not in a place to see how Dan interacted with women.

        1. I was not a student, but rather a peer.

          Does that make this better or worse?

          No prudent individual bandies about psychiatric terms of art in this way or fancies he understands much about the inner life of people he crosses paths with in work settings. What did your education do, except enhance your tendencies to make a jack wagon of yourself?

          1. StepStep, it’s pretty obvious you are Dance Dance Revolution- same type of username. My comments are my observations. Attacking my character doesn’t change this horrible tragedy or negate my observations of a specific dramatis personae. If you knew Dan, which you haven’t said that you do, you don’t appear to know him very well. People have good and bad traits and even narcissists who have many bad traits, also have good traits.

            One thing I have noticed is certain male narcs have a good reputation among their male colleagues/clients/customers, but universally poor ones among females. Still, for one with a keen eye, it was plain to see that Dan had a penchant to put people down. He did mellow a bit with age, though. That said, I find a lot of what Wendi says about him to ring true.

            Also, I didn’t say WORK SETTING. You assume much (incorrectly), which is part of the problem with your analyses. If you were less defensive and listened a bit more, you might learn something here.

            A lot of abuse goes on with gaslighting, cutting comments, things in private that others that specifically are work colleagues would not be privy to. See Trump, Donald and AIles, Roger for more extreme examples. Cruise, Tom seems to be another one.

            None of this excuses what was done to Dan which is unspeakable. I merely point out that he wasn’t the blameless angel that some portray him to be. Dan left at least one gf abruptly and callously. Wendi merely beat him to the punch. Narcs who are left abruptly tend to play victim, blame it 100% on wife, etc. He lacked a certain self-awareness to see his impact on others and what was going on in his marriage.

            1. In case you hadn’t noticed, you were babbling on and on as if you had examined him in a psychiatrist’s office, with terminology I think many psychiatrists are in this day and age reserved about using. This wasn’t a diversion, it was the whole basis for your assessment of the dramatis personae and their marriage. One type of person talks this way: someone with a wretched excess of self-confidence.

              I gather Markel pwnd you at some time in the last dozen years. Suck it up, buddy.

            2. Dan Markel was assuredly not a misogynist if that’s what you’re hinting at. How low are you going to sink? This continued effort to vilify a good person in unconscionable.

              1. StepStep and Robin,

                I have other things to do than to argue with people who don’t know what they are talking about.
                Ditto to that person on the other page that said I in any way was trying to justify what occurred. I am explaining, not justifying. Murder is not ok, unless it is in self defense.

                What some people are not getting is that narcs, misogynists, etc. have one face for some people, another for others. They can even do a simulacrum of a normal person. this is why some people can credibly state. “Donald Trump was supportive of me and supportive of women”.

                If you aren’t familar with the phenomenon, haven’t read books on the topic, seen Gaslight, etc. etc. (just for starters)- here is a headline from today’s news that elucidates the topic:

                www [dot] dailymail [dot] co [dot] uk/news/article-3849144/That-s-Friends-songwriter-Carole-Bayer-Sager-tells-wore-lifts-shoes-shunned-skirts-enlarged-boobs-watched-porn-mocking-husband-Burt-Bacharach [dot] html

                another day, another story about a respected person who said their spouse was their muse to the outside world, but berated her and attacked her in private.

                I don’t think Dan could fundamentally be in a l-t relationship with a woman. Everything was a competition to him and his relationships spiraled down as he either aggressed on his partner and wore her down to a pulp where he no longer respected her dormat tendencies, or the partner got smart and left him first. he may not have even been self-aware to figure that out- hence his whining to colleagues like his NY law prof friends about how mean Wendi was to him. With due respect to Ms. Adler: not sure of her private thoughts, but she was not with him long enough for the honeymoon period to wear off. (See Dan’s friends talking about the two of them calling ea other by affectionate names in the early days). To Dan’s colleagues: I don’t care how well you thought you knew him, he was textbook narc and had difficult seeing other people in the matrix of his own wants and needs.

                Attacking the messenger does NOT change anything.

                I have little doubt that Dan aggressed on Wendi during the marriage. It’s just what happened after that that took this story out of the realm of your typical narc breakup to something tragic.

                If things had not taken this horrid turn, they would have been in and out of court for years to come with lots of judicial oversight. The day he was killed, he was apparently checking up to see if Wendi switched the school enrollment. That’s the way things are with this type of scenario.

                Another similar scenario is the Rutherford-Giersch divorce. It appears Kelly Rutherford’s ex threatened her with disappearing with the kids in Europe. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence the ex aggressed on her first. She then, overplayed her hand to get him kicked out of the country. Net result- he got custody, and she now has visitation. Courts will assume both parents are fit and assign 50-50 custody unless one party appears to be “alienating” the other. A skilled narc can make it look like the spouse who is trying to protect their position is doing the alienating.

                The way to handle this situation is if one is being aggressed upon, just do EVERYTHING the judge asks, agree to 50-50, bend over backwards, and meticulously document when the narc begins to transgress and then when you have your evidence, go back to the judge for more or full custody.

                however, if neither party is reasonable, the judge forces both parties into something neither can stand or someone resorts to desperate, tragic, illegal measures.

                it’s a good lesson for those in high-conflict divorces. Know thy ex-spouse.

                1. I have other things to do than to argue with people who don’t know what they are talking about.

                  Says the man rattling on about the internal dynamics of the marriage of a bourgeois couple in Tallahassee, Florida.

                2. You are explaining nothing. Dan was violently killed because Wendi wanted sole custody. It boggles why you’re not fixed on her depravity.

                  1. Violently killed because the family-in-general wanted the children with them. Not quite sure yet if the prime mover was mama bear or grandma or Uncle Sleazy.

                  2. Robin, it boggles your mind because you are not hearing what I am saying. StepStep has it right here when he says it remains to be seen where blame is to be apportioned btwn mama bear, grandma, uncle).

                    You also refuse to hear that crime or no, those of use who actually KNEW Dan can see where he could have provoked profoundly deep anger by his modus operandi.

                    You say he wasn’t a misogynist, he was a good person. I told you about people who have two faces- one for some people and one for others. I gave public examples of this. This concept is not penetrating your mind.

                    Furthermore by you and others’ reasoning, any woman who leaves her husband overnight automatically has a few screws loose. See Holmes, Katie and others similarly situated.

                    Someone with a normal family and an emotionally intelligent one would take the advice I gave- which is follow judge’s lead to a T and pipe down and collect evidence before moving for full custody again.

                    Someone with issues and/or someone whose family had issues would take the wrong path.

                    How depraved Wendi is or is not is still being elucidated.

                    You see only- Dan good, Wendi evil.

                    You can’t see, Dan, tricky, abusive personality. Wendi, beleaguered and either unable to stand up to her family or unable to control them or possibly manipulator of them all or possibly none of the above.

                    1. I see a woman who filed a divorce suit against her husband because (her words here) she ‘lacked passionate love for him’, he ‘wouldn’t treat her as an equal’, and he wouldn’t read her book (which he promoted on his blog). Maybe there’s some esoteric reason she wanted away from him that she’s not discussing (e.g. a taste for BDSM). It would be absurdly uncharitable to Prof. Markel to entertain such notions. Her filing a divorce suit without grounds is the outside story and that’s what you start with; it she’d like to explain herself further, she can go ahead and do so. I’m not hearing about liquor, drugs, broads, cruising, police called to the home, or even volcanic displays of temper. I don’t think LaCasse offered any tales along those lines either, 1st hand or 2d hand. Another component of the outside story is that Prof. Markel is dead.

                    2. StepStep,
                      Verbal abuse isn’t about hookers, drinking and flagrant abuse.
                      you need to read some books on NPD.
                      I understand what Wendi SAID, but she is
                      also walking a line. There is no need to say “Dan was a lousy SOB of an ex”
                      she said enough by telling you he didn’t resoect her.
                      if she wanted to justify what you term the unjustifiable,
                      she could have said he did.

                    3. and Step, I suspect you are a lawyer. You are like a law clerk pouring over an affidavit, trying to divine truth from text. The truth is often messy and more complicated than people would like to reduce it to.

                    4. StepStep,Verbal abuse isn’t about hookers, drinking and flagrant need to read some books on NPD.

                      I need no instruction from you, nor, really does anyone. There are grounds for divorce. There are sources of dissatisfaction that are not grounds for divorce. Ordinary middle aged people understand this. You do not. And, it’s a reasonable wager, Wendi Adelson did not either.

                    5. Step, you are like talking to a child. Emotional abuse, cruelty, verbal abuse is definitely grounds for divorce. Your extreme position is in evidence with your claim that Wendi had no grounds to divorce Dan.

                    6. Step, you are like talking to a child.

                      One thing you’ve manifested in this discussion is that you have no conception of what you sound like and little wisdom about how life must be lived to have any dignity or order or about the coping skills people should have.

                    7. Your extreme position

                      My extreme position is how anyone confronting ordinary problems in living responds when they do not wish to generate more problems in living. Among my parents’ contemporaries, expressive divorce was extremely atypical among people who had minor children. From my parents contemporaries to people 50 years younger, you see a significant decay in the capacity of people to live an adult life. You can look at this train-wreck she generated and see a particularly lurid manifestation of that.

                    8. Step, it takes two to tango. She is not 100% to blame for the trainwreck of the marriage (I’m not commenting on the murder b/c I don’t know- just the marriage). She may have been okay with a passionless marriage until she realized how impossible he was. Don’t need lack of passion with lack of respect. No, I didn’t hate him. I had no reason to. I merely observed. I was, however, one of those people who read his marriage announcement and said out loud “I give it 10 years tops”.

                    9. She is not 100% to blame for the trainwreck of the marriage

                      One of them filed, and one did not. She did not have grounds.

                3. I knew Dan, which is why this fiction is so offensive. Not even Wendi made such claims.

                  1. Wow- here we go AGAIN. I said people have DIFFERENT FACES for different people they deal with depending on things. You saw one. I saw another. Also, maybe you need to look at what Wendi said more carefully.

                    Be offended all you like, Robin. The motion papers tell the tale of someone who fought every request, no matter how simple.

                    1. I said people have DIFFERENT FACES for different people they deal with depending on things.

                      This is the second time in this thread you’ve made an utterance completely at war with a previous (quite verbose) utterance. We get it. You hated the guy and any old excuse will do.

                    2. see comment above- I don’t hate anyone. Your eloquent comments, Step, about dignity in divorce, coping mechanisms with conflict, etc. apply to NORMAL marriages between NORMAL people. They do NOT apply when one party has NPD. As a lawyer, I think you would appreciate that this is an emerging area in family law and an obvious problem to those of us familiar with NPD. Tina Swithin has written some useful books about divorcing someone with NPD. Wendi’s abrupt departure was textbook for how to deal with this. It just may be that there were other people in this marriage (Donna, etc.) and other co-morbidities of other parties that led to this unspeakable outcome.

                    3. Step, about dignity in divorce, coping mechanisms with conflict, etc. apply to NORMAL marriages between NORMAL people.

                      I made no comments about dignity “in divorce”, nor does anyone have any reason to believe Dan Markel was out of the ordinary for an haut bourgeois professional type. Your fancies are your fancies. An intelligent man does not entertain such fancies.

                    4. Wendi’s abrupt departure was textbook for how to deal with this.

                      I have no clue why you think anyone would take inane oracular statements like this at all seriously.

                    5. Step,

                      your words are just words. I have not contradicted myself. AMS and people who can look at the whole situation objectively took my words seriously. The blinded Dan apologists obviously cannot and must resort to insults, mimicry and generally poor arguments to try to minimize what I am saying.

                      per Blaine, Order in the court indeed.

                    6. AMS and people who can look at the whole situation objectively took my words seriously. The blinded Dan apologists obviously cannot

                      The ‘blinded Dan apologists’ have pointed out three things which stare everyone right in the face: (1) she sued him, not the other way around; (2) he’s dead, and if it’s not a family hit it’s the most stunning set of coincidences imaginable (and, btw, your supposition that KM organized all this to blackmail the Adelsons is beyond stupid); and (3) we have no reason to believe they had any marital problems more severe than the banal interpersonal friction than normal married couples just deal with, and she, talking about her life, has not made reference to any.

                    7. Step, there is no “conversing” with you. You twist things around. The Katherine M thought experiment was just that, contemplating some other reality where the A’s aren’t involved. I have repeatedly said if you honestly ackn’ everything I have written it is hard to see where the A’s aren’t involved. A nice trick to try to discredit me to the low-information reader that browses, though.

                      It is you who is going logically backasswards from assuming since a murder did take place, ipso facto Wendi’s grounds for divorcing Dan were baseless. When taken into consideration with what likely went down in that marriage (and I say likely based on a lot of observation), the house-of-cards like nature of your construct is further elucidated. That Wendi appears to concede she lacked passion for him would have made it easier to walk away from any mistreatment cold turkey. That she lacked passion for him does not mean that he did not mistreat her and this was a normal “fell out of love” relationship and not one partner fleeing an intractable NPD case.

                      You also keep insinuating that b/c I have said what I have said about Dan, that I conclude that the A’s could not have been involved. Again you twist the truth.

                      You are not going to win arguing with me. You aren’t logical, don’t know what you are talking about and resort to ad-hominem etc. Feel free to stay in your mental construct- it’s not adhesive to reality, but go on thinking it is. The fact that you need to attack me speaks volumes about how you process information, your credibility, etc. (Grading me with a C- was just precious, though).

                    8. Wendi’s grounds for launching a divorce suit are properly deemed unimportant on a provisional basis given her own remarks. If she had a satisfactory reason for launching a divorce suit, she’s keeping mum about it. You’re the one babbling on and on about how pathological the late Prof. Markel was (as if you lived in the house with him). I merely note that the pathological Prof. Markel never hired any hit men.

    2. Dan promoted Wendi’s lousy novel extensively on his law blog. You can’t really fault him for not reading this awful prose:
      “Chico tellz me you are prosteetutes, jes?. . . Well, you still owe Chico a lot of money, Mila. You and your friend here can work off your debt togeder. You weel start tonight. And don’t eben theenk ov trying to get away, seelly Mila. Ju know I weel find you whereber you go.” – This is Our Story (Kindle 2355-2357)

      1. Yep. Prawfsblawg entry on 7 November 2011, 10 months before she put him out on the curb.

        “I’m excited to announce that later tonight, my wife, the incomparable Wendi Adelson”

        Til death do us part.

    3. Everyone is to blame but the person who benefited the most, Wendi.

      Are you high?

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