Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Aesthetics Of Evil.

I have been asked many times during my career as a courtroom artist whether I ever allow my personal feelings to influence how I depict the defendant. The answer is "No."

The only time I entertained doing so was in the murder trial of Thomas Capano, the most evil person I've ever drawn in court. He'd at one time been the City Solicitor for Wilmington, Delaware, and was on trial for murdering one of his many lovers, Anne Marie Fahey.

Capano was smart, politically connected, controlling, narcissistic, and he preyed on women with low self-esteem. To me he was also an arrogant fool. I could not resist doing this series of cartoons, depicting some of the outrageous moments during the trial. This is the first time they have been published.

Capano had blamed the murder on another of his long time lovers, Deborah McIntyre. During her testimony McIntyre told of one night when she and Capano were together at her home when her husband, a friend of Capano's, arrived unexpectedly. She convinced her husband good old Tom was there to repair their VCR.
It's quite possible I exaggerated at bit here...but not too much, considering her testimony and that of others about their sexual escapades.

Eventually Capano took the stand to offer his version of events the night of the murder. I think his tail gave him away.

Here is my take on Capano being questioned by the brilliant U.S. Attorney, Colm Connolly. He and Capano had gone to the same Jesuit school. Capano hated Connolly. To me they were like two sides of the same coin; one evil, the other good.

Capano said he'd bought the gun that killed Fahey to protect his daughters, but eventually gave it to his then lover, Debbie McIntyre. At one point he rambled on about how his interpretation of Jesuit philosophy could justify killing someone. He had chained an anchor to the ankle of his victim, Anne Marie, before casting her body overboard from his brother's boat in a part of the ocean known as "Shark Alley," sixty miles off the New Jersey coast.

A few times Capano's anger while on the witness stand got him kicked out of court. Having been a lawyer in that very courtroom for many years, he no doubt knew most of the Sheriff Deputies.

Murder and Sex were the common threads running through this trial. This woman was a prison psychiatrist testifying for the defense. Although she had lots of credentials as an "Expert Witness," she proved to be inept and an embarrassment to the defense team. After meeting with Capano 15 or 20 times, her demeanor in court implied a bit more than a "professional" interest in the defendant, and the judge basically said her testimony was worthless.

At the end of the lengthy trial the jurors overwhelmingly found Capano GUILTY AS CHARGED!
His death sentence was eventually overturned and he was sentenced to life. He died on September 19th, 2011. One of Anne Marie Fahey's brothers said he surely went straight to Hell.