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  • Rod Kackley

Killed For A Comic Book Store: A Shocking True Crime Story

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

If a guy, who’s cheating on his wife, goes online searching for answers to “how to get away with murder,” and “how to vanish and never be found,” and then, the clincher… "can a polygraph be skewed,” what do you think is on his mind?

Then, this guy’s wife disappears. What do you think happened?

Stephen Capaldi, 57, of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, is expected to plead guilty soon to charges of third-degree murder, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and abuse of a corpse.

Stephen’s wife went missing for a couple of months last year, until Stephen led police to parts of her body in a wooded area near Philadelphia International Airport, last week.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Stephen strangled his wife, Elizabeth, while she slept in their bed. He used a pillow to smother her, too. Once she was dead, Stephen took the body down to the basement, where he cut it up, best he could and started dumping her body in several spots, including out by the airport.

Weintraub said other parts of Elizabeth’s body were discovered, with Stephen’s help as part of a plea deal, buried along the Delaware River. More of her remains were found in a dumpster.

Nobody can say yet for sure why he did it, but prosecutors can prove, they say, that Stephen was in the midst of a six-month affair when he decided to eliminate Elizabeth from the equation.

What was it about his mistress that led Stephen to murder his wife?

According to a grand jury report obtained by Law & Crime, Elizabeth didn’t share Stephen’s dream of opening a comic book store. But his mistress did, and to Stephen that made the difference between life and death for Elizabeth.

“If I was a flapper with pretty legs, I never would have been convicted and given the death penalty. Well, I'll die with my boots on, an' in full health. An' that's more'n most of you old coots'll be able to boast on."

--Eva Dugan

You aren't going to believe what happened the day Eva Dugan died.

Murder By Design — A Shocking True Crime Story

Jade Janks, a 39-year-old interior designer in California is on trial for her life, at least the possibility of spending the rest of her days in a prison cell.

Although she’s pleaded “not guilty,” prosecutors say Jade, because she found nude photos of herself on her stepfather’s computer killed the man and then tossed his body out with the trash in front of the Solana Beach, California home Jade shared with the victim,Thomas Merriman.

Jade made no secret of the fact, that she was torn apart by discovering her stepdad had been hoarding nude photos of her and her friends for decades, since she was a teenager.

“When I went to clean in his office area, I'm wiping things down, I bumped the mouse, and it shook the screen awake. There's a picture of female breasts on the screen. I have a beauty mark on my chest, those are my breasts," Jade told the jury.

"It was the most violating, awful gut-wrenching feeling ever. I felt sick, I felt I couldn't even touch my own skin.”

Then the jury was handed a packet of what looked like thumbnail photos, KFMB-TV reported. One juror was seen shaking her head, looking at the pictures.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Jorge DelPortillo told the jury in his opening statement, perhaps playing on Jade’s occupation, the death of Thomas Merriman was not an accident.

“This was murder by design,” said DelPortillo.

During Jade’s trial in Vista Superior Court. DelPortillo said Jade, who was planning to take care of Merriman, after a recent hospital stay, fed him an overdose of sleeping pills with the intent to kill the 64-year-old man.

As proof, DelPortillo offered a stream of text messages he said Jade sent to a friend, Adam Siplyak.

In the first, she wrote, “I just dosed the hell out of him. Stopping for whiskey then at Dixieland to stall. LMK.”

In another text, Jade wrote, “He’s waking. I really don’t want to be the one to do this.”

That was followed by “I am about club him on the head as he is waking up.”

Referring to the soon-to-be-late Mr. Merriman, Jade wrote “He is very aware now and I am on my own.”

And then, “I can’t carry him alone and I can’t keep a kicking body in my trunk.”

DelPortillo said Merriman was drugged with an overdose of Ambien, strangled, and suffocated before Jade decided to leave Merriman’s body outside the house and cover the corpse with boxes, blankets and other trash.

Police discovered Merriman’s body in January 2021 after a second friend Jade asked for help, called 911.

But wait a minute. We need to get Jade’s side of the story; her account of Merriman’s death, don’t you think?

She told the jury deciding her fate, Dec. 17, 2022, that her stepdad died before she had a chance to talk to him about the nude photos.

Jade testified, the San Diego Tribune reported, that Merriman was alive when she picked him up from a care facility where he was being rehabbed after a fall, and drove Thomas to her house, on New Year’s Eve.

On the way to their place, Jade said they stopped at a store to buy a bottle of whiskey for Thomas. He used that to wash down some pain pills, she said, and passed out.

After that, there was no way she could get him out of the SUV, Jade said, and that’s when she started texting a friend for help. But no one responded so she decided to leave Merriman in the vehicle to sleep it off. Jade claimed this wasn’t the first time that had happened.

But when Jade checked on him, still in the SUV the next morning, New Year’s Day, Merriman was stone-cold dead, She says he was killed by a self-administered mix of pills and whiskey.

Jade tried to get Merriman out of her SUV and into the house they shared, but dropped Merriman in the driveway. When she couldn’t move his corpse another inch, Jade decided to leave Merriman where he fell and cover him up with blankets, trash, and empty boxes.

Before getting back in the SUV to drive away, Jade promised a couple of neighbors that she’d be back to clean up the mess. Of course, they had no idea Merriman was lying dead as a doornail, ready to go out with the garbage.

So, here’s what you would have to decide if you were sitting on their jury. Is Jade lying? Could Merriman’s death been the result of his mixing booze and pills? Or did Jade murder her step dad “by design?”

The jury went with "guilty."

It took the jury about a day of deliberations to convict Jada of first-degree murder. As this was written, she was waiting for a sentencing date in April. Chances are, she'll get a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

As always, thanks for reading,



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