Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Rise and Fall of Thomas Capano

Missing Person

Anne Marie Fahey
Anne Marie Fahey

Kathleen Fahey-Hosey went looking for her younger sister, Anne Marie Fahey, who was also known as Annie.  She was troubled that for the past three days Annie had not returned anyone's calls.  No one had heard from her since June 27.  She'd even missed a dinner date with Michael Scanlan, the man she planned to marry.  Calling Robert, the eldest of the six Fahey siblings, Kathleen got the ball rolling to try to find out what was going on.

In the company of Scanlan, she went to Annie's Wilmington apartment on the third floor of a large house at 1718 Washington Street.  The landlord said he hadn't seen the young woman in several days, but then, she was always quiet.  Annie, 30, had problems as the child of an alcoholic, but being forgetful or disorganized was not one of them.  She was the Governor of Delaware's appointments secretary, after all.  There was no good reason why she'd simply disappeared.

The fact that Annie's green Jetta was parked outside was even more worrisome.  Where could she be?

Kathleen went up the steps to the third-floor walk-up and knocked, but there was no answer, so she let herself in.  Scanlan followed her.

It was ten o'clock at night, and the apartment was dark.  Instantly, they smelled a foul odor, so Kathleen ran to the bathroom to see if Annie might have fallen.

Nothing there, nor in the bedroom, which was in strange disarray.  Annie would not have left it this way.  Shoeboxes were tossed about and dry cleaning bags ripped open.  More notably, Annie's suitcase was still in the closet and a flowered dress lay on a settee as if she had planned to wear it.  In a Talbot's box, still unwrapped, was an expensive pantsuit.  Kathleen recognized it as the same outfit that she and Annie had argued about that week when Annie, who could not possibly afford it, had insisted on buying it.  Yet she hadn't.  Had she gone back?  Or was this a gift from someone?

Locating Scanlan in the kitchen, Kathleen found the source of the powerful odor: rotting fruit and vegetables.

"Something's not right," Scanlan said.  He voiced the fear they both felt.  Annie would never have left her apartment in this condition.  Then Kathleen spotted Annie's purse and knew that her sister had not gone away without it.

She called the police.

Then she found an unsigned letter, apparently from an intimate male acquaintance.  It wasn't someone she knew, so she wondered if Annie had a secret.  Finding three more such letters, she felt sure that there was some connection.  They were from the offices of Thomas Capano, a wealthy lawyer with impressive political connections who was well known around town...and not only was he married but he was seventeen years older than Anne Marie.  One of the letters was dated June 25, just one day before the last time that anyone had heard from Annie.  It looked as if he'd sent her some money.

Kathleen called Robert, who had called Anne Marie's therapist, Michelle Sullivan.  Annie had been seeing her for her problems with anxiety and anorexia nervosa.  She'd dropped twenty-five pounds recently and appeared to be skin and bones.  Oddly, the therapist asked, "Can you think of anyone who would abduct your sister?"  That meant she knew something but because of confidentiality could not say.

But who would abduct Annie?  Everyone loved her.

Robert also called another friend, Kim, who knew that Capano and Annie were having an affair, that Annie had broken it off, and that Capano had been depressed over that.  Kim called Capano and he said he didn't know where she was.  He had thought she was with Kim and felt confident that Annie would be at work on Monday morning.  Capano had taken her to dinner three days ago, stopped at his place to give her some groceries and a gift, and then taken her home.  When Kim informed him that Anne Marie's family had filed a missing-person report, he responded, "I wonder if they'll be looking for me."

Back at the apartment, several detectives converged at the same time to investigate.  Eventually, a diary was discovered, and from it the secret that had spanned the past two years poured out.  Since 1994, she'd been seeing a married man whom she declined to fully name, calling him only Tomas.  She was in love with him.

Then it appeared that things had ended, and she had brought some closure to the relationship.  In that entry, on April 7, 1996, she named this "controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac": Tom Capano.

 

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