Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

"Maternal Instinct"

A New Player

When Dean checked himself out of rehab six months later, he brought home a new friend, Pati Margello, a 45-year-old cocaine and methamphetamine addict who worked part-time as a prostitute.

"She was this little anorexic junkie waif with no teeth, was the way she was described to me," reporter Ralph Cipriano said, "and if Mummy didn't like Linda, I'm sure she was horrified by Pati."

Dean moved his new girlfriend into Louviers and turned the stately mansion into a drug den. In short order, Lisa had had enough. She kicked Pati and Dean out of the house and cut off her son's trust fund.

The couple moved into a rowhouse in south Philadelphia.

Dominick Dunne, who has been to both Louviers and the south Philly rowhouse, called the contrast astonishing. "Louviers was a gem," he said. "The place in Philadelphia was one step up from a flophouse."

The couple was broke most of the time, but what money they did manage to scrape together, they blew on drugs.

"They were sort of a perfect match because Pati was just as wild and crazy as he was," Ralph Cipriano said.

Lisa sent servants in expensive cars to south Philadelphia carrying letters to her son, imploring him to dump Pati, but Dean was intractable. The parade of well-heeled visitors, though, certainly surprised Dean's neighbors.

"They thought he was a street bum," Cipriano said, "and they were stunned to discover that he was some sort of aristocrat worth twenty-five million."

Meanwhile, Dean's estranged wife, Linda, who was living on welfare at the time, sued him for spousal support. If she were going to be kicked out of the family, she would want a chunk of the family fortune to take with her.

Now Lisa had two women to worry aboutbloodsuckers in her view, trying to leech off of her troubled son. There just had to be a way to get rid of them.

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