Two Lovers Kill Their Family – 5/15/1976

History |


At the age of 16 years, Patricia Columbo met pharmacist Frank DeLuca while she was working in a suburban coffee shop. DeLuca, who was managing the next-door pharmacy, soon hired Columbo to work in his store, and the two commenced their illicit relationship and sexual escapades. It is alleged that the two were engaged in unusual sexual activities, and at one point Columbo showed her classmates photos of her having sex with the pharmacist’s dog. 

Despite the fact that DeLuca was living with his wife and five kids, he convinced Columbo to move in. That was in April 1974. Columbo deceived her parents that she was moving into her apartment. Her parents were impressed with her decision and even offered her financial support. However, they were shocked when they learnt that their daughter had moved in with an older man who had a family. At some point, Columbo’s father gave the pharmacist a severe beating after learning that he was living with his daughter.

Patricia Columbo, then 19 years, and Frank DeLuca, then 39, decided to conspire and kill Columbo's parents. On May 4, 1976, they found their way into the family home and shot Columbo’s parents – Frank and Mary Columbo. They then murdered her brother, Michael, after striking him with a bowling trophy, and stabbing him almost 100 times, using scissors. Columbo had just left her family two years earlier to live with DeLuca, and the pair committed the murders in the hope that she would receive the family inheritance. They were not aware that she had already been removed from the family will.

The police interrogated Columbo, but they had no reason to suspect that she had a hand in the murder. The police offered a reward to anyone with information about the deaths, and a friend led them to the men who had discussed the killings with Patricia Columbo.

On May 15, 1976, both Columbo and DeLuca were arrested for the brutal murder of Colombo’s parents and brother, in Elk Grove, Illinois. DeLuca’s employees also revealed that they had seen their boss washing and burning bloodstained clothes just a day after the killings. DeLuca had ‘kept his employees silent’ by threatening their families. The pair was found guilty and convicted. Columbo was sentenced to 200 years while DeLuca received 300 years

That was not the end of drama from the pharmacist; while he was in jail, he tried to have the witnesses killed by a cellmate, but his plan was thwarted after another inmate informed the police. 

If that is not enough, Columbo initiated another mischievous act while in jail. It is alleged that she had played a prominent role in organizing sex orgies that involved wardens and guards, at her prison in Dwight, Illinois. Following the wake of the scandal, high-ranking prison officials were forced to step down.

Why did the pair commit the killings? DeLuca believed Columbo could inherit her parent’s wealth after their death. Columbo’s parents were not super wealthy, but they had plenty of financial resources. To execute their plan, Columbo and DeLuca hatched a plan to murder Columbo’s parents and make it look like they had been attacked by a mob. They also proceeded to kill Columbo’s brother because they did not want him to interfere with the inheritance.

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