Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Halloween Murder in the Napa Valley


Copple's attorney's held extensive meetings with family members of the victims and worked out a deal that would allow them to avoid the stress and grief of a lengthy legal proceeding. Some of them felt that justice was not done, but they also did not wish to relive their pain from the past two years.

Accordingly, on December 6, 2006, Eric Copple, dressed for court in a white shirt, black suit and black tie, pleaded guilty to killing Leslie Ann Mazzara and Adriane Insogna. In exchange for the plea, he received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He agreed to waive his rights to appeal at all levels and not to speak to the media. If Copple ever violates the deal, his sentence could be reviewed, and he could instead get the death penalty and also be liable for $10 million in wrongful death benefits to the family members and victim memorial funds.

In court, Copple admitted that he did lie in wait outside the house that night, he entered it by using a knife to pry the window, and he did stab both women to death. Aside from the rumored admission of jealousy in the suicide note, whose precise contents remain undisclosed, his motives for this outrageous crime remain a mystery.

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