A Real-Life Film Noir

Police Suspicious Of Break-In

Detectives found other holes in Jean Adair's story. The bed where she was allegedly hog-tied and gagged and held hostage for two hours was barely touched, they say. Police say her wounds could have been self-inflicted.

Police believe she wanted her husband dead for the money. "Robert Adair had two life insurance policies, both $200,000 each," says Detective Ferguson.

Two years after the crime, Jean Adair was arrested on murder charges.

Jean Adair's attorney Richard Plotin says that his client was innocent and that he had evidence that Mindy Shapiro was behind the crime.

Mindy Shapiro did send Jean Adair a threatening note, which called her a "filthy wrench." Mindy Shapiro says that she meant to write "wench."

"You bludgeoned your husband to death, not out of passion but greed, you did it for money. Go back to where you came from. Leave," the note read in part.

Mindy Shapiro says that she did not threaten Jean Adair.

Both Jean Adair and Dr. Shapiro told police that they received other threatening notes, in stenciled type. Mindy Shapiro says that she didn't write the notes and suggests that Jean Adair may have, in order to frame her.

Dr. Shapiro, who has since settled into a new life with a new wife, also says that his ex-wife repeatedly threatened Jean Adair. "I tried to tell the police that she told me she had something all set up," he says. "They didn't want to listen."

During the trial, Plotin told the jury that Mindy Shapiro could have hired thugs to beat up Jean Adair. The police did question two men - both with long criminal records - who were seen in the neighborhood the day of the murder.

Plotin also says that Mindy Shapiro has a close friend in Las Vegas with reputed ties to the Mafia. On the day of the murder, Mindy Shapiro called that man, a reputed loan shark named Puggy Zichek. Plotin says that Zichek could have handled the arrangements. Zichek has refused to comment.

Mindy Shapiro's brother, Mark Chapman, has spent time in prison, after making threats to terrorize a woman. Chapman called his sister on the day of the murder.

She says the two calls are a coincidence.

Plotin, who believes that Mindy Shapiro may have sent people to beat up Jean Adair, says that Robert Adair may have walked in at the wrong time. "I think Robert Adair came home for lunch like he does every day, but the people sent there to injure and harm Jeanie were unaware of that," he says. "And Robert was killed."

During the trial, Plotin repeatedly told the jury that Mindy Shapiro could have orchestrated the murder.

"She was definitely interested in beating up, disfiguring and perhaps crippling Jeanie Adair," says Michael Shapiro.

Mindy Shapiro says the defense theory is "smoke and mirrors." But her actions have made the prosecution's case a lot tougher. "I would have been lots happier and so would the police department if she'd never existd," says prosecutor Marsh Goldstein.

To bolster his case, Goldstein called Michael Shapiro to the stand. The prosecutor wanted him to testify that on 12:30 p.m. on the day of the murder, the doctor had received a phone call from Jean Adair. The timing was crucial, because she told the police that at 12:30 p.m., she was bound, gagged and helpless. If that were really true, police say, she couldn't have made the call.

One of Dr. Michael Shapiro's employees testified that she took a call that day from Jean Adair, and then handed the phone to Dr. Shapiro. Previously, Dr. Shapiro had said that the caller was Jean Adair.

But when Dr. Shapiro took stand, he said that he didn't know who was on the phone. It may have been his wife pretending to be Jean Adair.

Mindy Shapiro says that her ex-husband's claim is ridiculous. She, in turn, accused her husband and Jean Adair of conspiring to make fraudulent insurance claims. Jean Adair has had at least seven operations on her knee.

"It's just not normal for someone to have that many operations on the same injury," Mindy Shapiro says.

Mindy Shapiro forwarded this information to the medical board and the prosecutor's office. Neither had acted. Dr. Shapiro denies any wrongdoing.

How does the trial end? Read The Jury Makes A Decision

Return to Who Killed Robert Adair?

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