Bible-Quoting Husband Recruits Lover To Kill His Wife By Calling The Cold-Blooded Shooting ‘God’s Plan’
After a young mother was gunned down, investigators uncovered a hideous and unholy conspiracy that began in the victim's own home.
On September 12, 1990, Dianne Hood, a 32-year-old mother of three, was leaving a lupus support group at a community center in Colorado Springs, Colorado when the unthinkable happened. A masked attacker in military clothing grabbed Hood's purse from behind and shot her.
The bullet pierced Dianne's back and threw her to the ground. As she writhed in pain, the attacker stood over her, cocked the gun and fired a second shot, said a witness to police, who responded to an emergency call. Dianne was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
With the help of a dog unit, the police found Dianne's handbag not far from the crime scene. It did not contain any credit cards or money. In the vicinity, the investigators found an army field jacket, military trousers, a black ski mask and glove inserts. The shooter - described as six feet tall and stocky - could have been with the armed forces.
Investigators initially believed that Dianne might have fallen victim to a robbery that went wrong, they told "Mastermind of Murder," which aired on Sundays at 7/6 on Oxygen. At the same time, according to Brian Ritz, a retired detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department, officials challenged that theory because it was unlikely that anyone would contribute a lot of money to a support group. Had Dianne actually been targeted?
Hours after the murder, detectives at the hospital spoke to Diana's husband, Brian, a successful insurance salesman and devoted churchgoer who had met his wife in college.
It is common to include family members in a murder, but Brian had an alibi. He was at home watching the couple's three children. Brian, a former all-American football player who stood 6-foot-3, didn't fit the description of the 5-foot-6 shooter. "We had no real reason to believe he was involved," said Ritz.
Investigators discovered a bullet that was recovered from Diana's body. Ballistic analysis revealed that it was fired from an ancient weapon, a Colt 45 Peacemaker from the 1870s. Police questioned whether the gun, which must be fully cocked before shooting, had been stolen or whether the shooter was a collector of vintage guns.
They also picked up another clue from the dog-haired clothes they found. The suspect could be a dog owner.
One day after filming, a trail came up thanks to a local business owner. A florist who read about Dianne's murder called the police and said he suspected an employee, Jennifer Reali, a 28-year-old married mother of two, was having an affair with Brian Hood.
Investigators learned that Jennifer's husband, Ben Reali, an Army intelligence officer, was stationed at Fort Carson. Their marriage was tense at times. He was also a collector of antique weapons.
During an interview with investigators, Ben Reali said he owned an antique .45 caliber revolver that was used to kill Dianne. He had recently brought it home from its usual storage location in an armory.
Brian Hood Jennifer Reali Mama 109
Brian Hood and Jennifer Reali
Two days after Dianne's murder, Ben met with investigators to ask more questions. He turned his ancient peacemaker over to authorities, and after examining the military clothing near the community center crime scene, said the clothing might very well be his. Ben also gave a solid alibi for his whereabouts when Dianne was killed.
Ben added that he and Jennifer were separated at the time of the murder. Jennifer had asked him to take the peacemaker home for her personal protection. Days after asking about the gun, Jennifer insisted that Ben get the gun from her house.
Jennifer Reali became an interesting person in the case when detectives grappled with how a mother could kill another mother, they told producers. The police issued a search warrant against Reali's house and vehicles. The realis dog's hair matched the hair found on clothing near the crime scene. A ballistic test showed 90 percent certainty that Ben's gun was the one used to kill Dianne.
Questioned by police, Jennifer denied guilt for the murder, but admitted to meeting Brian in a hot tub at her gym. She insisted it was platonic. Since he was happily married and devoted to his faith, the relationship was secure.
Gym workers told investigators a different story, however. Brian and Jennifer acted like a couple, they said. With the aim of confessing, Ritz confronted Jennifer with this information. With Ben Reali by her side, Jennifer confessed all about her relationship with the murder of Brian and Dianne.
Jennifer stated that her relationship with Brian started innocently, but that it became sexual. She was seduced by Brian Hood's physicality and his beliefs, investigators told the Mastermind of Murder. Jennifer eventually confessed to shooting Dianne and said, "I did it."
Then she dropped another bomb. She said she committed murder at Brian's behest, which backed up his request with scriptures. He told Jennifer that they were one because they had sex and that it was "God's plan" to kill his wife. He added that Dianne was in pain with lupus and killing her would bring her relief. He told her to shoot Dianne twice.
Two days after the shooting, Jennifer Reali was arrested on charges of murder and conspiracy. Brian Hood was also charged with the crime. His lawyers alleged Jennifer killed his wife after Brian ended their affair. Jennifer has been dubbed the "Fatal Attraction Killer" in the media.
Prosecutors needed Jennifer's testimony against Brian to convict him, and she agreed to do so if they didn't petition her for the death penalty. A deal was struck and prosecutors built their case against Brian, who they learned had spoken to friends about his wife's murder. Brian also had $ 100,000 life insurance.
Brian Hood's trial began a year after Dianne's murder. Investigators recalled the aftermath of Jennifer Reali's statement, "Everyone could feel the pain this woman now felt when she realized she had been manipulated."
Brian Hood was convicted of second degree murder and conspiracy. In 1992 he was sentenced to 37 years in prison. He served 27 years and was paroled on March 11, 2019.
Jennifer Reali was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with the option of parole. After 26 years she was released to a halfway house and died three months later of pancreatic cancer.
To find out more about the case, watch Mastermind of Murder which airs Sundays at 7/6 on Oxygen or stream episodes here.
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