More than 60 years after his father was found shot dead in Miami, Richard DiMere helped identify the perpetrator closer to his home than police knew at the time.
On March 24, 1961, Joseph DiMere, 53, and his wife Frances, 33, left their home in Miami for dinner at a seafood restaurant in North Miami around 7:15 p.m. But then Francis told the attackers that her husband had been murdered.
“Science in 1961 wasn’t what it is today, but in those days crimes could never have been solved. It was to find out and put it together so that it can be seen.” [complete] It’s a puzzle,” Paul Novak, a personal injury attorney and Miami cold case aficionado, told Fox News Digital.
Attorney Novak learned of the DiMere case after solving the Danny Goldman kidnapping in Surfside, which gave the attorney a treasure trove of information related to unsolved crimes in Miami, which is now I spend time working with a team of volunteers to find a solution.
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When Richard DiMere, now 81, approached him for help, he began digging further.
The late Francis told police that on the night of 1961, when the two suspects broke into a Cadillac Fleetwood, he and her husband were stopped at a traffic light and driven to a nearby address until they lost consciousness. He said he was whipped with a pistol.
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“They hit me twice. They knocked me out the second time, so they seemed to know where to hit me,” Francis said in an interview with the Miami Herald at the time. “The next thing I remember was lying on the gravel outside my car. They took all my jewelry, worth about $5,000. Joe carried about $400 in cash.” But I knew they received it too.The men were not amateurs.They were calm and methodical.”
Francis said she woke up to find her husband dead in her car and ran to the nearest gas station for help.
That was the story of Joseph’s death that had been told for 62 years until Richard DiMere contacted Novak.
When Joseph DiMere was a widow with four children, three young men and a nine-year-old daughter, he met Frances, a bank teller, and adopted her after her first husband died of breast cancer. made him his second wife. Their relationship was rocky, with Frances frequently traveling to Ohio instead of staying at home with her husband and her stepchildren.
DiMere, who grew up selling tomatoes on the streets of Boston with his brothers and later grew the business into a national success, eventually changed his will so that his wife would live full-time in their home in Miami until she died. said no. To die to receive money from his estate.
A week before DiMere’s murder, Frances returned to Miami from Ohio. DiMere returned home to Boston the same week to meet with her family and discuss her plans to divorce Frances.
DiMere’s family believes she told Frances about her plans for divorce before and after the murder.
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“The clock was ticking. It was certain that the divorce would happen….They decided to go out to dinner and I think they were talking…How could the divorce go as smoothly as possible?” said Novak.
Evidence from Richard DiMere proved crucial in the investigation into his father’s death. Novak explained that Richard shot an Italian automatic pistol his father bought for Francis after killing him, then shot it into a swimming pool and recovered the shell casings, which were found at the scene of the death and in the glove box in Francis’ car. It matched the cartridge that was in the
Richard had long suspected his stepmother was behind his father’s murder.
“The day after the murder, he and his brother and sister came to our house. Francis told them to pack up and leave,” Novak said. “She said, ‘This is my house now, so please leave.’
Other evidence that Novak helped organize and present to the Miami-Dade police included a bloodstain pattern analysis of blood found on Cadillac and Francis’ clothing, despite her claim that she had been flogged with a pistol. It included that Francis had no injuries and contradictory statements. .
In May, Miami police formally linked Frances to her husband’s murder.
“The crime appears to have been taken care of by Francis. We have information that she tried to hire a hitman, but the deal was turned down,” Novak said. ”[S]He would have paid $10,000 for a hit movie. ”
Francis shot Joseph DiMere four times in the head that night in 1961 with a pistol he had purchased for him.
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An organized crime scene in Miami may have aided Francis’ crime cover-up.
At the time, Miami “had a lot of shootings, bombings, and struggles for control of industries such as illegal gambling, prostitution, counterfeiting, and activities of all kinds,” Novak said, adding that there was a large presence of the Northern mob. He added that there had been vacationers in the area.
“Organized crime has had a significant impact on communities, law enforcement agencies, large banks and large corporations,” he explained.
After DiMere’s murder, Novak said Frances hired attorney William Chester, who “has ties to organized crime and was involved in other murders going back to the early 1950s.”
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Chester has become a major developer in Palm Beach County, funded by pension funds, according to Novak.
The former Florida governor also stood by Francis after DiMere’s murder, telling the police and the media, “Francis is a devoted wife and a good wife, there is no reason to doubt her, leave her alone. I would say you should,” he said. lawyer explained.
Over the next 60 years, Joseph DiMere continued to send letters criticizing the police investigation and denouncing his stepmother, but Novak said it only made matters worse for the family’s efforts to seek justice.