Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy

Multiplier Clause

Although the police detectives were by this time focusing on Michael Lissy as the suspect behind Kathy's death, they didn't have enough to convict him for the crime and weren't at a point where they could make an arrest. When they had questioned him about his wife's death, Lissy had told the police that he had gone out after work on the evening of July 5th, the night of the murder, and then had gone home where, he said, he had spent the night. Lissy suggested to investigators that his wife's death might have been the result of a bad drug deal, since he claimed that she used cocainea claim that the detectives were unable to corroborate. Lissy also had said that he was unaware of any life insurance policy on Kathy. Although the face value of Kathy's life insurance police was only $32,000, police learned that it had a multiplier clause which stipulated the policy would pay six times the face value$192,000if she was killed while on business for her employer.

Instead of doing dives for the National Geographic and the Department of Defense and making lots of money in the process, the investigators learned from interviews with relatives that Michael Lissy's business in fact was heavily in debt, and that Lissy had considered filing bankruptcy. He owed upward of $100,000 to manufacturers and had become delinquent in his monthly payments on the business itself, prompting the former owner to take it over in August 1984. Davis and Poppe also learned that, several months earlier, $58,000 worth of scuba equipment had been reported missing or stolen from Lissy's business. Some of the equipment was subsequently found during a search of a self-storage unit located in the 58000 block of Southeast 122nd Avenue in Portland.

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