An elderly woman falls down a flight of stairs and dies. It could easily be an accident … but what if it doesn’t? What if it was premeditated murder instead?
On December 19, 2001, shortly before midnight, an emergency call reported that the 84-year-old Marina Calabro had died in her three-story family home in Quincy, Massachusetts.
The police arrived at the scene about 15 minutes later. Marina, a retired hairdresser who has been described as “nimble” and independent despite her age, was lying dead next to a garbage bag at the foot of a staircase. She had multiple bruises and cuts on her head. Blood had collected around her face.
Officials argued that Marina, who never married or had children, may have slipped and fallen while taking out the trash.
Her body was found by Anthony Calabro, the victim’s 19-year-old great-nephew, who lived in the house. He and a friend, Thomas Lally, 21, had returned home after the day and discovered Marina.
When asked separately by authorities, the young men’s stories matched but were not so consistent as to appear “made up,” said Chief Paul Keenan, former Quincy Police Department investigator “Accident, suicide or murder” ventilation Saturdays at the 7 / 6c on oxygen.
An autopsy was performed to rule out any suspicion that Marina’s body had been staged. It turned out that Marina died around 3 p.m. and that the cause of death was blunt trauma.
However, investigators were not convinced that the death was an accident. They looked for people closest to the victim, starting with Anthony Calabro, whom his great-aunt had generously welcomed.
Officials learned that Lally and Jason Weir, another of Anthony’s looser pals, had become integral parts of the Calabro house. The three rudderless friends shared a love of heavy metal. Keenan compared them to “inappropriate toys”.
Even after her death, Marina took care of her great-nephew according to “Accident, Suicide or Murder”. Anthony, along with his father, was the greatest benefactor of their estate. That included her $ 500,000 home.
Authorities have dug deep into Calabro’s family dynamics to see if the cravings for money could have anything to do with Marina’s death. They also examined how Anthony spent his inheritance. They found that he was reckless with alcohol, a sports car, band equipment, and gifts. He essentially turned his part of the family home into a fraternity house. A family friend said that Marina “would have a heart attack” when she saw what had become of her home.
Then, on October 13, 2002, an unexpected groundbreaking lead came from Anthony’s friend: Jim Morelwho had come with his father to discuss Marina’s death.
Morel said Weir mentioned casually that Marina didn’t die alone. He went on to tell investigators that Weir said Lally beat Marina to death. When he spoke to the authorities, he realized he could become a suspect, Morel told the producers, so he “Offered to carry a wire” so the guilty were brought to justice.
A plan has been set in motion to capture Weir on tape. During a drive with Weir, Morel brought up the subject of marina. Weir said Anthony left him and Lally alone to carry out the cold-blooded plan of attack. He claimed Lally hit Marina with a yellow teapot and pan while Anthony waited outside as a lookout.
Then they carefully staged the corpse, using tips they’d gathered from watching TV shows about real crime. The murder weapons were disposed of in a wooded area near Meadowbrook Pond.
Weir told Morel that he and Lally were promised $ 30,000 for their involvement in the crime. He said Anthony, impatient that his great-aunt was going to die sooner or later, however, has only made less than $ 7,000 since then.
With the recorded conversation, the investigators now had three main suspects. Knowing that recovery of the murder weapons would be vital in the case, they conducted a search of Meadowbrook Pond on October 18, 2002. When the search was unsuccessful, the authorities asked if Weir had told the truth about the whereabouts of the weapons.
However, a week after the pond area was searched, prosecutors found the detectives still had enough to charge Anthony Calabro, Weir and Lally with Marina’s murder.
After his arrest, Weir spoke about the crime, investigators said “accident, suicide or murder”. Repeating the story he told Morel, he found that Anthony had the most to gain financially. However, after Lally was arrested, he informed authorities that Weir was the assailant in the murder.
Detectives still had to recover the murder weapons. On November 8, 2002, Meadowbrook Pond was drained and the teapot and pan were finally salvaged. However, the elements had destroyed all forensic evidence.
Authorities considered the murder to be premeditated and planned by Anthony, who had most to gain from the death of his great-aunt. They believed that Lally had committed the murder and Weir was present at the time to stage the corpse. For his cooperation and testimony, Weir worked out a deal: seven years behind bars as an accessory to murder.
In March 2006 the trial of Lally began, who turned the tables against the prosecutors. In court, Lally said that all of the atrocities Weir alleged he committed were actually committed by Weir, according to “Accident, Suicide or Murder”. But after five hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict. Lally was finally Sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
In June 2006, Anthony Calabro pleaded guilty to second degree murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of probation in 15 years.
Jason Weir was released from prison in 2009, according to producers. Anthony Calabro is available for parole in September 2021. Thomas Lally will spend the rest of his life imprisoned.