UPDATE: NOVEMBER 14, 2023: “Mother of Florida dentist arrested days after son convicted in murder-for-hire of FSU professor” This is one VILE, DISGUSTING family, and I believe Wendy Adelson is as guilty as the rest of her family.
DECEMBER 10, 2016: Three people were arrested in connection with the murder of Dan Markel – Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera in May 2016, two South Florida men with criminal histories, and Katie Magbanua, a former girlfriend of Wendi Adelson’s brother, Charles, in June. Police consider Magbanua to be the link between the hitmen and the Adelson family. The Adelson family paid Magbanua large sums of money through their dental practice before Dan Markel’s murder. Bond was recently denied for Magbanua. The prosecution believes she arranged the hit on Dan by order of the Adelson family.
On the morning of July 18, 2014, 42-year-old Florida State University law professor Dan Markel pulled into his driveway in Tallahassee, Florida, while talking on his cell phone. He told the person he was talking to that someone was in his driveway.
A few seconds later, a lone gunman followed Dan into his garage and shot him in the head through the driver’s side window. A witness saw a Toyota Prius leaving the area shortly after.
A neighbor rushed to the scene and called 911.
“He’s still alive, he’s still moving,” the anonymous caller cried out, according to the 911 call transcript. Help, however, was late to come.
The 911 dispatcher on duty erroneously categorized the case as a low-priority incident, resulting in the emergency crews’ late arrival. Nineteen minutes passed before an ambulance reached Markel, who later died at the hospital. Florida police authorities acknowledged the dispatcher’s mistake, and local newspapers have reported that the belated response could have meant the difference between life and death for Markel (The Forward).
At first, police thought this was a burglary gone wrong, but nothing was taken from Dan’s home. Police believed Dan was the intended victim of a homicide.
Before his murder, Dan had been in a contentious divorce with his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, also an FSU law professor. The couple married in 2006 and had two children together. Their divorce was finalized in 2013. Part of the bitter battle involved Adelson wanting to take the kids to Miami, but Dan was against the move and obtained a court order forbidding Adelson from leaving Tallahassee with the kids.
After Dan’s murder, Adelson’s lawyer spoke on her behalf.
‘Ms. Adelson requests that the media respect her privacy as she helps her children overcome the unexpected loss of their father. She remains deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of her children.
‘During the ongoing investigation of this tragedy, Ms. Adelson will not be making any further public comments.
‘She, and every person acting for her, will decline any further requests for information, interviews, or appearances. She encourages anyone who may have information that could help identify the person or persons responsible to please contact the Tallahassee Police Department.”
Police interviewed Adelson, who fully cooperated, according to her lawyers. In January 2014, she quit her job at FSU and took the kids to Miami.
Dan and his ex-wife were battling in court over the terms of a child custody arrangement. It is unclear why they were having problems agreeing.
Dan was brilliant, having studied at both Harvard and Cambridge Universities. In addition to being a law professor, he was also the owner of a blog called Prawfs Law, a site with various topics on law and life. Before that, there was the blog insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com. Through both, Dan became the victim of social media attacks for his writings on the sites.
Several months before his death, he also received unsolicited Facebook friend requests. Dan wrote: ‘Is anyone else getting pestered just in the last week or so by obviously ridiculous or malevolent friend requests on FB from people with sham profiles worldwide with no possible connection to you? It feels like an onslaught of the Facebook equivalent of Cialis and Nigerian prince scams.
One friend replied, ‘It might just be all your friends creating alter egos on Ambien?’
Other friends said they had also received the requests. One female friend wrote that she had received four friend requests from unknown people.
It is unknown if the police could trace any of these threatening messages or uncover the identities of the persons attempting to add Dan and his friends to their Facebook friend list.
Those who knew Dan were puzzled about who would want to harm him. He was well-liked and loved by those he came in contact with. As all unsolved murder cases go, theories abound.
Some believe Adelson hired someone to kill him. Others think it was because of his blog. The rumor mill says Dan was having an affair, so this could be a love triangle ordeal where the mistress might have taken out the wife. Then there’s this: just days before his murder, Dan was hired as a legal consultant in an explosive New Jersey divorce extortion case involving several Orthodox rabbis.
Dan’s contact was Rabbi Martin Wolmark, one of ten men arrested in October 2013 for conspiring to kidnap and torture Orthodox Jewish husbands who refused to grant their wives “gets” – religious divorces. Those husbands’ targeted cases were believed to have held a grudge against Dan. However, after police interviewed them, it was determined that they had no idea Dan had been hired as the consultant.
So far, there has been no verifiable link between that case and Dan’s murder.
Newsweek.com. 2015. Accessed November 21, 2015. http://www.newsweek.com/2015/04/17/fighting-be-free-lengths-orthodox-jewish-women-will-go-get-320536.html.
The Forward. ‘Dan Markel Killing Leaves Behind Puzzling Questions — And Wrenching Grief – News’. N.p., 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.
The Forward. 2014. ‘Police Probe Dan Markel Link To ‘Get’ Extortion Rabbis – News.’ Accessed November 21, 2015. http://forward.com/news/203807/police-probe-dan-markel-link-to-get-extortion-rabb/.