Friday, September 9, 2011

Big Dig Contractor Murdered By David Caruso Lookalike

When concrete company president and Big Dig contractor Michael Zammitti was murdered in Wakefield, Mass. in March 2006, many assumed it was a mob hit. The Big Dig, once the largest construction project on planet Earth, was notoriously corrupt. Plus there was that Italian connection. Plus yet again, there was the sheer cold-bloodedness of the murder, which also took the life of a witness, Zammitti's part-time employee, Chester Roberts, who was shot in the back while apparently attempting to escape.

Further investigation revealed that the Mafia was not involved at all. The murder instead demonstrated one of the unexpected hazards of owning a vacation home. Michael Zammitti and his family had a sumptuous getaway in Freedom, New Hampshire, near the shores of Ossipee Lake. One of his neighbors was the affable handyman, Sean Fitzpatrick. The whole family got to know him during those leisurely summer days, the Zammitti kids even calling him "Uncle Sean". Zammitti's wife liked him, too. Fitzpatrick, who by all accounts considered himself quite the swordsman, befriended Mrs. Zammitti and eventually romanced the lady. If Fitzpatrick had remained the detached Don Juan, the romance would have run its course and nobody would have been the wiser. But the fool fell in love. When Mrs. Zammitti refused to leave her husband, Fitzpatrick behaved almost exactly like a woman scorned. Or at least like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. He drove 100 miles down to Wakefield with a 16-gauge shotgun, entered Zammitti's place of business and shot him in the head while he sat at his desk. Poor Chester Roberts was mere collateral damage.

Fitzpatrick's trial made national news, as love-triangle-related murders occasionally do (re: the Oxygen channel's Snapped). Fitzpatrick got life, twice over. Here's an object lesson for all you would-be alpha males out there. If you can't keep it in your pants, at least keep your heart buttoned up.

(Odd factoid: One of the witnesses for the prosecution was a retired political cartoonist.)

N.H. man convicted of murder in Wakefield love triangle case (Boston Globe)
Guilty Verdict in Massachusetts Double Homicide Trial (Boston Criminal Attorney Blog)
Trial To Begin in Love Triangle Double Murder (ABC News)
Family Business (MSNBC)
Neighbor recalls conversation with murder suspect (The Conway Daily Sun)

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