Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deadly Delivery: The Donald and Marsha Levine Murders

A Successful Career

Donald and Marsha were extremely wealthy individuals. At the time of their deaths, their estate was valued at approximately $25 million. Most of this was tied up in a variety of business ventures.

Donald was president of Commercial Retail Specialists, Inc., which had offices in Chicago. The company developed and managed shopping centers. He was also a partner in Chicago Mining Corp., a gold strip-mining company in Montana.

One of three brothers, Donald had at one time gone into business with brother Robert, who lived in Phoenix, Ariz. The pair had owned a real estate development company there. But the old adage that one should avoid going into business with friends or relatives was proved true in the case of the brothers' partnership.

Donald was alleged to have been hot-tempered and quick to make snap decisions that weren't always correct, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. He was egotistical and an alleged cheat, one time leaving his father with a $100,000 debt after a failed business venture, the Times reported.

By contrast, Robert had been softer spoken. He "was the only person big enough to face Don in mid-tirade and calm him down," The Times reported. The brothers had worked closely together and Donald and Marsha had often traveled to Phoenix, where they had planned to eventually live once Mark was settled in his new job.

However, the brothers had parted ways when Donald accused Robert of embezzling from the company. Donald cancelled contracts worth $90,000 a month and demanded repayment on a $73,000 loan. Then Donald left the company and started a rival business.

A probate court would soon be struggling to untangle all of Donald and Marsha's assets. However, one thing stood out Robert had asked for a list of his brother's assets the evening after Donald's death. Robert would later make a claim for $11 million.

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