Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Suzanne Basso and the Murder of Louis 'Buddy' Musso

A New Squeeze

In 1993, Sue Peek, who sometimes worked as an apartment complex security guard, became romantic with Carmine Basso, who owned a Houston security firm, Latin Security and Investigators Corp.

Basso soon moved in with Sue, and her husband moved over—but not out of the home.

They were a mismatched pair.

Basso, who came from New Jersey, was thin as a stick figure. He chain-smoked Kool cigarettes and paced nervously. Sue Peek, on the other hand, could hardly lug her heavy load from the easy chair to the sofa without huffing and puffing.

They fought frequently, but Basso eventually replaced James Peek/O'Malley altogether in Sue's bed. Peek lingered around the house for a few months before moving elsewhere in Houston.

Basso's relationship with Sue led to the flounce-and-artifice engagement announcement in the Chronicle. They never bothered to marry—they couldn't, because Sue had never divorced James.

No matter. She introduced Basso as her husband and began using his last name.

In 1997, Sue Basso planned a trip to New Jersey, apparently to visit Carmine's family. During the trip, she met Buddy Musso at the church bazaar.

In another odd turn in Sue Basso's serpentine life, Carmine Basso turned up dead around the time of the New Jersey trip. Sue Basso says she was in New Jersey at the time, although friends said she was in Houston when Carmine died.

Basso was found dead in the office of his security firm. An autopsy indicated a natural death caused by erosive esophagitis—a severe form of acid reflux—that was complicated by malnourishment.

The death had two effects: It removed Sue Basso's primary source of income, and it cleared a place in her life for Buddy Musso.

 

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