Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Football Player and the Millionaire: Deadly Love Triangle

The Most Likely Suspects

    

Detectives knew that their suspect had to be someone close to McLaughlin in order to obtain a set of keys. Johnston was interviewed and her hands tested for gunshot residue. The tests came back negative. She stated that she had been at the soccer game, then had gone shopping that evening and showed several receipts from Nordstrom and Crate and Barrel.

In order to prove her alibi, Johnston said her ex-husband had been at the soccer match and she had left her son with him because the game went into double overtime and she had wanted to leave. What she probably didn't count on is having her ex say that he had seen Johnston there with a young, muscular man who had attended other soccer games as well.

Then the victim's brother, Patrick McLaughlin, told police that Johnston's 9-year-old son had attended the funeral and told a family member that "Mom's boyfriend plays football," the Los Angeles Times reported. That stunning remark led police to start surveillance on Johnston at the McLaughlin home where she still lived.

Eric Naposki
Eric Naposki
Naposki was seen visiting her, and a check of his license plate revealed a warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket. He was pulled over at a traffic stop and arrested. A search of the car revealed brown and red stains on the carpet and on a towel, the Times reported. Naposki claimed the stains were a mixture of his own blood and coffee.

While at the police station, Naposki asked detectives to retrieve a day planner from his car, which was headed for a tow yard. Inside the notebook was a business card for a realtor and listings of numerous names, addresses, and phone numbers, according to court files. It also contained a notation of a California license plate number belonging to McLaughlin and a page titled, "Top 10 Rules." Scribbled underneath was the notation: "Once you get your ass out of this financial disaster, do not overextend yourself anymore. Money is not important if you don't need it to have fun. Enjoy the free things life has to offer. Go back to the basics."

At first Naposki denied any romantic relationship with Johnston, but then admitted that he planned to buy an engagement ring and propose on New Year's Eve.

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