Wendi Adelson seemed to have it all: a successful career as a lawyer and a professor, a loving husband and two adorable sons, and a supportive family. But behind the scenes, her marriage to Dan Markel, a prominent Florida law professor, was falling apart. They divorced in 2013, but their bitter custody battle continued until Markel was shot and killed in his driveway in 2014. The shocking murder made national headlines, and soon, the police uncovered a web of lies, secrets, and motives that pointed to Wendi’s family as the masterminds behind the crime. In this article, we will tell you all about Wendi Adelson and her involvement in this crime story.
The Investigation and The Arrests
Dan Markel, a law professor at Florida State University, was shot at his home in Tallahassee, Florida, shortly before 11 a.m. on July 18, 2014, and died early the next day. The police began their investigation by tracing the movements of the two men who were seen driving a silver Toyota Prius near Markel’s home on the day of the shooting. They identified them as Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, two career criminals from Miami with ties to gangs and drug trafficking. They also discovered that Garcia was dating Katherine Magbanua, a former girlfriend of Charlie Adelson and the mother of his two children.
The police suspected that Magbanua was the link between the Adelson family and the hitmen and that she had received payments from Charlie Adelson for her role in the murder plot. They also believed that Donna Adelson, Wendi Adelson’s mother, was the one who initiated the idea of hiring someone to kill Markel because she hated him and wanted her daughter and grandchildren to move closer to her in South Florida.
In May 2016, the police arrested Garcia and Rivera and charged them with first-degree murder. Rivera, who was already serving a 12-year prison term for an offense, decided to work with the authorities and admitted guilt to the crime of second-degree murder. He testified that he and Garcia were hired by Magbanua to kill Markel for $100,000 and that the money came from the Adelson family. He also said that he and Garcia drove from Miami to Tallahassee in a rented Prius, followed Markel to his home, and shot him in the head.
In October 2016, the police arrested Magbanua and charged her with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation of murder. She denied any involvement in the crime and refused to cooperate with the investigators. She claimed that she did not know anything about the murder plot, and that the money she received from Charlie Adelson was for legitimate reasons, such as child support, gifts, and loans.
The police tried to gather enough evidence to arrest and charge the Adelson family members, but they faced several challenges. The Adelsons hired lawyers and invoked their right to remain silent. They also moved to different locations and changed their phone numbers to avoid being tracked by the authorities. The police did not have any direct evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, or eyewitnesses, that linked the Adelsons to the murder. They relied mostly on circumstantial evidence, such as phone records, bank transactions, and wiretaps, that suggested a connection between the Adelsons and the hitmen.
In November 2023, after seven years of investigation, the police finally arrested Charlie Adelson and Donna Adelson and charged them with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation of murder. They accused them of being the masterminds behind the murder-for-hire scheme, and of paying Magbanua, Garcia, and Rivera to execute their plan. They also alleged that Wendi Adelson knew about the plot and helped cover it up, but they did not charge her due to lack of evidence.
The arrests of the Adelsons marked a breakthrough in the case, and a relief for Markel’s family and friends, who had been waiting for justice for a long time. However, the trial of the Adelsons would prove to be a complex and contentious process, with many twists and turns, and many questions still unanswered.
Wendi Adelson: The Ex-Wife Who Knew Too Much
Wendi Adelson was the ex-wife of Dan Markel, a law professor at Florida State University, who was shot and killed in his driveway in 2014. Wendi and Dan had divorced in 2013, but they were still in a heated custody battle over their two sons. Wendi wanted to move with the children to Miami, where her parents lived, but Dan opposed her request. Wendi also claimed that Dan was abusive and controlling, and that her parents hated him.
Wendi was interviewed by the police shortly after Dan’s murder, and she denied any involvement in the crime. She said that she was at a friend’s house when she heard the news, and that she was shocked and scared. She also told the police that her brother, Charlie Adelson, had joked about hiring a hitman to kill Dan as a divorce gift, but she did not take him seriously. She said that her brother made a lot of jokes, and that he was not capable of such a thing.
However, as the investigation progressed, the police found evidence that suggested that Wendi knew more than she let on. They discovered that Wendi had been in contact with Charlie and his then-girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua, who was allegedly the link between the Adelson family and the hitmen, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera. They also learned that Wendi had received a phone call from Charlie on the day of the murder, and that she had deleted the call log from her phone. They also found out that Wendi had lied about her whereabouts on the day of the murder, and that she had actually met with Charlie and Magbanua at a restaurant.
The police also obtained a recording of a conversation between Wendi and her mother, Donna Adelson, who was also accused of being involved in the murder plot. In the recording, Wendi and Donna discussed the possibility of Wendi wearing a wire to record Charlie and Magbanua, and how that could help them avoid prosecution. Wendi expressed her fear and reluctance and said that she did not want to betray her brother. She also said that she did not know anything about the murder and that she was innocent.
The police tried to persuade Wendi Adelson to cooperate with them and offered her immunity in exchange for her testimony against her family members. However, Wendi refused to cooperate and maintained her innocence. She also hired a lawyer and invoked her right to remain silent. She moved to Miami with her children and changed her name to avoid media attention.
Wendi Adelson was never charged with any crime related to Dan Markel’s murder, due to lack of evidence. However, she remained a person of interest, and a potential witness, in the case. The police believed that she knew about the murder plot and that she helped cover it up. They also suspected that she had a motive to get rid of Dan and that she benefited from his death.
The article sheds light on the complex and contentious murder-for-hire case of Dan Markel, with Wendi Adelson, his ex-wife, at the center. While the police suspected her involvement and believed that she knew more than she revealed, she was never charged due to lack of evidence.