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Thu Apr 26, 2018, 04:51 AM

Is anyone else puzzled by the Chapman/Gerardot murder/suicide?

Two things I don't get:

1. Why did she take the trains? To get from Wilmington or Newark to Radnor by train is time consuming, since you have to take either Amtrak or the Septa R2 to 30th street, and then another Septa regional out to Radnor. I guess since Google maps provides transit instructions, then that's simpler for a new resident to figure out, but why not just drive there?

2. Why the disguise? Why would it matter if anyone on the trains or at the stations recognized someone who had moved here a few months ago, and didn't have many acquaintances in the area. And why disguise yourself if you've sent a string of texts or emails describing what it is you are going to do?

3. When did he show up in the driveway? The reports suggest that neighbors heard gunshot(s?) and then called police. Or did he arrive, and then call police? Either way, he is in the driveway when the police arrive. So, did he arrive after the shooting, but before the police?

When the police get there, he says "My wife may be inside." So, he shows up at the house, presumably aware of the threats, etc., goes to the door, has to notice that the door is broken, doesn't go inside, but just stays in the driveway until the police show up?

I realize that crazy people do crazy stuff, so things don't always make a lot of sense, but some of the details of this thing are a real head scratcher.

Like, was she expecting them to show up together, shoot the both of them, and take his car back home? So her plan would be messed up when Chapman shows up alone - unless she shot Chapman and then sent the texts to lure him to the house. But, for whatever reason, she decides to shoot herself instead.

I'm just having trouble making sense of what the plan may have been versus what seems to have happened. Him getting there (a) after the shooting, and (b) before the police, and making a guess about what's inside the house, just hits me as kind of odd.

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Reply Is anyone else puzzled by the Chapman/Gerardot murder/suicide? (Original post)
jberryhill Apr 2018 OP
woodsprite Apr 2018 #1
jberryhill Apr 2018 #2
woodsprite Apr 2018 #3
jberryhill Apr 2018 #4
jberryhill Apr 2018 #5

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 06:26 AM

1. You brought up some good questions.

Here are some possible answers:

1) Maybe she didn't like to drive in large cities. I only drive into Wilmington if I positively have to. I would take public transit before I'd drive into a big city.

2) The disguise doesn't make any sense, but it does lead you to think that maybe she didn't plan on shooting herself in the end.

3) Maybe he was ignoring his wife's texts, but then checked his texts at the restaurant to see if Chapman had sent him any in explanation of her not being there. In the initial articles, I thought he called the police when he got there. If I were him and showed up at a place I thought my wife just killed my girlfriend, I wouldn't go inside either. Self-preservation.

I hadn't thought of the idea that Jen thought they might show up together and she'd off both of them, then take his car back home. If that's the case, then the disguise makes sense as well if someone saw her coming/going. I originally thought there were a string of emails/texts sent over the course of a couple of days. Which lead to the question "Why didn't Mark notify the police at that time?". I was thinking that she didn't kill him because she wanted him to live with the guilt for the rest of his days.

My friend worked closely with Chapman and saw her as a mentor. I only had met her a handful of times, same for Mark. Didn't care for her during the campaign she ran. Didn't vote for her. My immediate take - screwing around with married man - not cool. Screwing around with a direct report at work - even less cool. Considered a rising star in the DE Republican party - not surprised.

I feel sorry for Luke in this whole mess.

Also, all the glowing articles re: Chapman in DelawareOnline, NewarkPost, News Journal, etc. I wonder if there would be so many glowing articles written if the sexes had been reversed. Just a thought, but just one that keeps coming back to me. Was it today or yesterday that her family put out an press release saying that both couples were already in the divorce process. I'm sure that statement of the current situation didn't make any difference to Jen or Luke when this started happening months ago.

Hubby just threw a new angle in. Who said Jen actually sent the texts. Did her husband have her account info?

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 07:11 AM

2. Well

As far as the commentary on the characters of the persons involved, I'm an agnostic. It's a tragic situation. I'm sure they were all nice folks, and nice folks can do nutty things when torn by emotional attachments. They all seemed well-liked by people who knew them. My wife found the hagiography around Chapman kind of off-putting, but it's understandable in the circumstances. Quite obviously, she had taken up with a married man while married herself. That's generally frowned upon, but not extremely unusual behavior. But, hey, mow your lawn, clean up after your dog, pay your taxes, and you are jake with me, whatever your private jollies might be about which don't involve me.

The lot of them were successful in communication and marketing, so no doubt they were all good at being charming.

I've known and voted for Sokola for years, so, yeah, Pike Creek Christian School... Republican politician... umm... no on the politics.

It must have been a real whirlwind thing. Chapman had been married for quite a while to Luke, and the Gerardot's only showed up a few months ago really.

And, yeah, Luke... what a mess. He did release a kind and appropriate statement. The other innocent victims are the two golden retrievers.

But back to "just the facts, ma'am"....

Driving in the big city:

You don't have to go through Philly to get to Radnor. You can do it old school and take 202 to 1, or go up 95 to the Blue Route. I rode Septa to Philly for years, and making a Wilmington - 30th Street - Radnor connection strikes me as a lot more bewildering to someone new to the area than "Siri, get my ass to Radnor". She would also have had to have checked out that Lowry Lane is conveniently walkable from the closest Septa Regional Rail station (or the Norristown high speed line).

I'm thinking that taking the train avoids the problem of leaving a car in Radnor, since she could take his car home.

I doubt she could have known whether they'd be there on her arrival, so maybe the disguise was to delay identification as she was walking down the street to the house on the off chance they'd see her and have time to react.

"Maybe he was ignoring his wife's texts, but then checked his texts at the restaurant to see if Chapman had sent him any in explanation of her not being there. In the initial articles, I thought he called the police when he got there."

I've seen some that are unclear on who called the police, some that say the neighbors did, and some that suggest he did. That fact seems all over the map. One might think the neighbors, if they thought they heard a gunshot (other than the widely quoted one who wasn't sure), would have also been curious about the stranger that showed up and was hanging out in the driveway. I can go on an extended rant about the people who write news copy these days, whom I am hesitant to call "reporters"....

"If I were him and showed up at a place I thought my wife just killed my girlfriend, I wouldn't go inside either."

I suppose so. If I had any concern for the life or safety of someone inside, it would take a certain level of calculation to consider that it might not be in my best interest to be found inside or to have been inside.

Recall one of the attempted framings of the scene by Capano - at one point the notion was floated that the other woman, the one who bought the gun, showed up at the Capano residence with the gun, and that the fatal shot was fired in a struggle to get the gun away from her. I like to irritate my wife by going on about how Tom Capano valiantly tried to save Ms. Fahey from her, and then simply panicked in the aftermath.

Here's one for you - what's with the dresser on the curb and the mattress on the enclosed porch? She had just moved in, so it's not as if these items were on their way out. Had they been dropped off, and he was coming over to help her get them inside, since she was slightly built and might not have had a good way to move them on her own?

He just kind of floats onto the scene from being "in the area" to being "at the house" right between the shooting(s) and the police showing up. On the subject of "I wouldn't go into the house", then if you had been expecting to meet Chapman for dinner, and at that time became aware of Jennair's plan, would you go to the house at all without calling police first, to establish that you certainly weren't there?

Or how about this? When, exactly, did he quit his job, what's he been doing since then, and what was his planned next step? One of the things that Mark didn't have to face is returning to his colleagues at Udel. That would be awkward. I still haven't checked Emily Post on the subject of "when your wife shoots your mistress and kills herself, which funeral, if any, do you attend?"

Was he actively searching for other work? Or did this thing sort of blow up already, and he had quit the Udel job to avoid being "that guy" at the Udel communications office?

Oh well, absent further information on how this went down, I'll go back to my regular Delaware True Crime hobby of pondering whateverthefuck happened to Jack Wheeler in his weird odyssey, and how did his body end up at the Newark Pathmark.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 08:07 AM

3. Believe it or not, I was thinking of Jack Wheeler the other day.

Wondering if they had figured out anything else about the suspicious circumstances around his death and didn't any of Funk's street cameras pick up anything? The Wheelers were our friend's neighbors in Old New Castle.

And on Capano and Fahey, I can't walk past an Igloo cooler display without thinking about that case.

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 09:50 AM

4. Who said Jen actually sent the texts. Did her husband have her account info?


Your husband and I apparently have similar thought processes.

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 11:38 AM

5. Oops, no train

Again, reporters really need to distinguish between what investigators might believe, and what investigators have found evidence to support.

Get this:



http://6abc.com/police-release-new-details-in-rosemont-murder-suicide/3384049/

At first, officials thought Gerardot might have disguised herself and taken a train from Delaware to the home.

On Wednesday, the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office turned over a set of car keys found on Gerardot.

Using the keys, Radnor police detectives said they were able to find a black Cadillac XTS parked on an adjacent side street to where the incident occurred.

Investigators confirmed the car was a rental obtained by Gerardot about two weeks prior in Wilmington, Delaware.


Okay, so she's got earplugs (new gun, went to range?), gloves, a pair of binoculars, a rented car, and a disguise.

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