When Anne Marie Fahey was reported missing on June 30, 1996, it was a big deal. People go missing all the time, but Anne Marie wasn’t your average missing person, she was the scheduling secretary for Delaware’s then-governor Tom Carper. She had an active social life, a dedicated boyfriend, and a busy job.
She had been missing for two days.
When police searched her residence at 1718 Washington Street, they found no signs of foul play. The search for Anne Marie became known as one of the largest manhunts in Delaware’s history, with 300 police officers, friends, and volunteers actively searching the area around her apartment.
But there was no sign of her. It wasn’t long before investigators believed that they were now looking for a body.
There was no evidence of a break in or a struggle at Anne Marie’s apartment, but there was evidence that she hadn’t been home and hadn’t been planning a trip. Food was rotten and left out, her answering machine hadn’t been checked, nor had any bags been packed. In fact, her car sat outside, undisturbed.
What investigators did find, however, was her diary.
Inside was a notable entry: “I have fallen in love with a very special person, whose name I choose to leave anonymous. We know who each other are. It happened on the night of my 28th birthday.
“We have built an everlasting friendship.”
That very special person turned out to be Thomas Capano, a wealthy, prominent, and well-connected partner at Saul Ewing LLP, state prosecutor, legal counsel to Governor Castle, the list goes on. In short, Capano was a Wilmington mover-and-shaker.
Anne Marie began her relationship with the married Capano in 1994 and continued that relationship in secret even after she had established a more public relationship in 1995. Their relationship constituted of extravagant trips and fancy dinners.
But not all was glitter and gold.
Anne Marie wrote in her diary: “I have finally brought closure to Tom Capano.”
“What a controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac.”
Anne Marie was last seen on the night of June 27 with Tom Capano. The two had gone to dinner at Ristorante Panorama in Philadelphia and then returned to his home in Wilmington, according to Capano.
As he surrounded himself with attorneys, Capano was soon named a suspect in the murder of Anne Marie. Despite police having not found Anne Marie’s body, Capano was arrested and charged for her murder.
During the 12 week trial, the prosecution alleged that Capano murdered Anne Marie in his house after the two had dinner in Philadelphia and that, with the assistance of his brother, dumped her body in the Atlantic ocean.
Although investigators did not have a body, a murder weapon, and much of the evidence was circumstantial, they did have testimony from both of Capano’s brothers about the body disposal, and Capano’s mistress, Debbie MacIntyre, about purchasing a gun for Capano.
On January 17, 1999, Capano was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection. In 2006, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Capano’s conviction, but his death sentence was overturned.
Capano, one of Wilmington’s most prominent and influential lawyers, was to spend the rest of his life in prison.
And, at 12:34 on September 19, 2011, Thomas Capano was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent cardiac arrest.