Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Football Player and the Millionaire: Deadly Love Triangle

Eric Naposki


Eric Naposki
Eric Naposki
At 6-foot-2-inches, 240 pounds, and a rock-hard body, Eric Naposki lived and breathed football. Growing up in New York, he played Pop Warner football as a child and turned into a powerhouse player in high school. Naposki played linebacker and running back, leading his team to nearly-undefeated status.

His senior year, Naposki scored 14 touchdowns and gained over 876 yards on offense and netted over 100 tackles on defense. This landed him a football college scholarship to the University of Connecticut. While in school, he got married and had two children. In 1988 he signed with the New England Patriots, but had a lackluster career, playing only five games in two seasons. Naposki was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he played one season.

Languishing in the NFL, Naposki went to Europe hoping for a second chance and became a star for the Barcelona Dragons, leading his team in tackles. But by 1994, he was finished and made his way to Orange County as a retired athlete building a post-football career in private security.

His world intersected with Nanette Johnston's in the summer of 1994 when the pair met working out at one of the area's poshest gyms. They started to date despite Johnston's relationship with McLaughlin, and they were often seen hugging and kissing at the gym. Naposki eventually got a job as a bouncer at the Thunderbird nightclub, a two minute walk from McLaughlin's home. Three weeks later, McLaughlin would be dead.

"He was always acting the tough guy and had an answer for everything," Byington recalled his conversations with the former athlete. "He was a real type-A profile, a real smart-ass."

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