Thomas J. Capano

Thomas J. Capano (born 11 October, 1949) is an American lawyer from Wilmington, Delaware, who was convicted of the 1996 murder of Anne Marie Fahey. The case is noteworthy because of Capano's close association with Delaware's political establishment and because Fahey's body was never recovered.


Capano is a member of a prominent family of Delaware land developers and building contractors. He became a wealthy, well-connected lawyer, state prosecutor, and political consultant, well known in Delaware's political community. Capano was a partner at the Wilmington office of the law firm Saul Ewing when he became involved with Fahey, the 30-year-old appointments secretary to Governor Thomas R. Carper (Democrat).

The case

At the time of her death, Fahey had been attempting to end her relationship with the married Capano and had begun seeing another man. Likely as a result, Capano murdered her and, with the assistance of his brother, Jerry Capano, dumped her body in the Atlantic Ocean. The brother owned a boat and, when it was sold, the two anchors were missing. Detectives suspected the boat's anchors were used to weight Fahey's body.

On 8 November 1997, Jerry met with detectives and told police that Thomas had asked for the boat and then admitted to Jerry that he had murdered a person who was attempting to extort him (Tom). They went to Stone Harbor with a large cooler that contained the corpse. As this type of cooler is frequently used by fishermen, it was not considered suspicious.

The Capanos sailed 100km out to sea and pushed the cooler overboard. However, it floated. Despite shooting the cooler, it still floated. Thomas retrieved the cooler, took the body out, and wrapped the anchor chains around the corpse. Jerry then was asked to help dispose of a blood-stained sofa and carpet in a dumpster, which was managed by another brother, Louis. Thomas ordered Louis to empty the dumpsters.

The cooler was found on 4 July 1996 by fisherman Jay Chubb.

Investigators did not have a murder weapon and investigations into Capano's records in buying guns was not revealing. However, Capano's mistress, Debbie McIntyre, had bought a gun and, when questioned by investigators, admitted to supplying the weapon to Thomas.

The Trial

U.S. Attorney Colm Connolly was the state's prosecutor, and William Swain Lee was the presiding judge in the highly-publicised Superior Court case. The defense claimed that McIntyre had burst into Capano's room and, as Capano and McIntyre were wrestling for the gun, it fired, killing Fahey. On 17 January 1999, the trial resulted in Capano's conviction and sentencing to death.

In January 2006, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Capano's conviction but remanded the case for sentencing because the death penalty was imposed by a non-unanimous jury verdict. In February of that year, the state abandoned its efforts to seek capital punishment for Capano, opting to leave him imprisoned for life without parole. Capano's attorneys stated they would continue to appeal his conviction in federal courts.

In April 2008, the U.S. District Court reaffirmed Capano's conviction, rejecting an appeal made by Capano's lawyers. [ [ The Wilmington News-Journal newspaper] .]

Notes and references

*Wilmington News-Journal. [ Archived news stories about Capano]
*Crime Library. [ The Rise and Fall of Thomas Capano]
* [ Delaware Supreme Court ruling on his appeal]
* [ Death penalty won't be sought anew for Capano]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • William Swain Lee — Infobox Person name = William Swain Lee caption = birth date = December 18, 1935 birth place = death date = death place = spouse = father = children = parents = known for = Judge in the Thomas Capano trial occupation = Judge nationality =… …   Wikipedia

  • Attirance fatale - Qui a tué Anne-Marie F. ? — Attirance fatale Qui a tué Anne Marie F. ? (And Never Let Her Go) est un téléfilm américain en deux parties sorti en 2001. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Attirance fatale — Qui a tué Anne Marie F. ? (And Never Let Her Go) est un téléfilm américain en deux parties sorti en 2001. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James T. Vaughn Correctional Center — The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC), formerly the Delaware Correctional Center (DCC), is a state prison for men in unincorporated New Castle County, Delaware, USA, near Smyrna.[1] It is the Delaware Department of Corrections s largest …   Wikipedia

  • List of people from Wilmington, Delaware — A list of notable people born in and around Wilmington, Delaware, and including long and short term residents. Israel Acrelius, Lutheran clergyman John Backus, computer scientist, Fortran inventor, and Turing Award laureate Bertice Berry,… …   Wikipedia

  • Ann Rule — Infobox Writer imagesize = 150px name = Ann Rule caption = pseudonym = birthname = birthdate = birth date and age|1935|10|22 birthplace = Lowell, Michigan, United States deathdate = deathplace = occupation = nationality = period = genre = subject …   Wikipedia

  • Archmere Academy — Infobox Secondary school name = Archmere Academy motto = “Pietate et Scientia (Faith and Knowledge) established = 1932 city = Claymont state = Delaware country = USA campus = Suburban Campus type = Private, Co Ed College Prep Day School… …   Wikipedia

  • Colm Connolly — Colm F. Connolly is a former United States Attorney for the district of Delaware. He is best known for his prosecution of Thomas J. Capano for capital murder. Connolly would later make a cameo appearance in the made for television movie based on… …   Wikipedia

  • IMG Soccer Academy — The IMG Soccer Academy is the United States Soccer Federation s (USSF) full time residency program for the US Under 17 Men s National Team. Started in 1999, it has become integral in developing the United State s top youth soccer prospects. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Illegal disposal of bodies in the water — happens for various reasons, including the main difference between a burial at sea and a burial on land: the difficulty in exhuming the body. Sometimes this difference is desired to dispose of bodies outside of the law. Disposal of evidenceThere… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.