Baseball Fantasy Game Group Members Plot To Kill Friend For Life Insurance Money
In Claymont, Delaware, 43-year-old single parent Wayne Cappelli was known for his kindness and efforts to make life better for himself and his daughter Tara.
In early 2013 he had a job on a store shelf. He usually walked to and from a friend's store where he and Tara, 10, found an apartment.
He made money and made progress in his life. It looked good for Cappelli and was moving in the right direction, a friend said to "Mastermind of Murder" and aired on Oxygen at 7 / 6c on Sundays.
On February 16, 2013, a passerby walking his dog around 8 a.m. tripped over the body of a man lying on a tree about 15 feet from the street. On his 911 call, he said the victim was in "the fetal position".
Investigators descended on the area. The victim, whose wallet and driver's license were still with him, was identified as Cappelli. There was blood on his head, according to Detective Tom Orzechowski of the New Castle County Police Department who handled the case.
Police considered the possibility that Cappelli had been hit, but that line of investigation was quickly abandoned. Splashes of blood on a power pole and around the scene indicated that Cappelli had indeed been attacked. Meanwhile, the lack of defensive wounds made officials believe he had been hit from behind.
But why? There was cash in his wallet so it wasn't a robbery.
The authorities have searched the area. A short distance away, they found a broken aluminum softball bat with blood on it. Investigators believed it was the murder weapon.
According to 6abc.com, the cause of death at the time of the murder was a blunt violent trauma. For investigators, this helped shed light on the case. Hitting someone with a baseball bat is much more personal than shooting them from a distance, DE deputy attorney general Danielle Brennan told producers.
Investigators also learned that Arlene Hearne, who owned the house where Cappelli lived, called 911 two days before his body was discovered. She had called because he had never come home from work.
Investigators looked at Cappelli for clues, where they found that he had taken out life insurance only months earlier. The value of the policy shocked her: $ 360,000. It was a huge sum for someone just getting on their feet.
Also shocking was the fact that the beneficiary was not his daughter Tara, but Paul Disabatino, a friend he had met through another friend, David Hess, who also lived at Hearne's house. Cappelli and the men shared an interest in Strat-O-Matic sports simulation games, according to Mastermind of Murder.
Disabatino pretended to be stunned to learn that he was the beneficiary of life insurance. He also had an alibi. He was at a Strat-O-Matic tournament in Pittsburgh all weekend with Michael Kman, who was also deeply involved.
Shover Kman Disabatino Mom 105
Ryan Shover, Michael Kman and Paul Disabatino
When authorities checked the surveillance footage of the hotel where the tournament was taking place, Disabatino and Kman showed up regularly. But authorities told producers that they raised red flags because they showed up so often and always made sure to make eye contact with the camera.
Hess had his own alibi. He had been eating at a fast food restaurant during the time window that Cappelli was killed. His story was checked by security video.
The investigation became more successful thanks to the security footage in the store where Cappelli worked. The video showed that he had left the work alone and that no one followed him. But outside the store in the parking lot, a green car was caught in front of the camera, circling slowly and almost like a shark. The suspicious car also appeared in security footage near the crime scene.
Although the license plate wasn't visible, a large sticker in a rear window could help identify the car. The search for the vehicle was on.
Orzechowski then summoned documents and telephone records in connection with Cappelli's life insurance preparation, which could not be paid out during the ongoing investigation. Telephone records revealed that a third party, who identified himself as Cappelli's cousin Tony, was also on the phone. He was heard leading Cappelli and helping him change the beneficiary from Tara to Disabatino.
Who was this co-cousin Tony? Investigators recognized the voice as "Mastermind of Murder" as Kman.
But Kman had an alibi that showed he was nowhere near the crime scene. Detectives considered the possibility of a hit, but without sufficient direct evidence, the case stalled. Weeks and finally months passed.
In 2014, a year after the murder, the case picked up again. Kevin Shannon, a now retired FBI agent, had been contacted by Disabatino, who told him that Kman had devised a plan to kill Cappelli and get his life insurance.
Disabatino, like Hess Kman, owed money and as such was under his thumb. Shannon told producers that Kman had a knack for spying on people's vulnerabilities and used fear tactics to keep them under control.
The assassination attempt involved putting Hess in the same house where Cappelli lived and hiring a killer so Hess could be familiar with the route Cappelli took to get to work and back home.
But who was the real killer? Disabatino and Hess didn't know his name, only that he was called "Nazi". After Shannon teamed up with Orzechowski, phone records led investigators to Ryan Shover, who worked as a landscaper for Kman. The green car shown in the video was registered with Shover's girlfriend, the York Daily Record reported in 2016.
Shover was arrested for murder, while Disabatino and Hess were arrested for rent for their role in the hit. They made a deal and agreed to testify on behalf of the prosecution.
Kman, arrested for a life sentence in the first degree murder, eventually agreed to testify against a lesser charge against Shover.
After a 15-day trial, Shover was found guilty. In April 2018, more than five years after the murder, he was sentenced to two life sentences. Kman was sentenced to 30 years, Disabatino to 10 years, and Hess to five years in prison.
Cappelli's daughter Tara received life insurance for his murder.
To find out more about the case, check out Mastermind of Murder, Sundays at 7 / 6c on Oxygen, or stream episodes here.
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