The difference between this and any other Ann Rule book, is that something made me pick this one up at the bookstore, take a quick look through it, buy it and read it. Ann Rule has done important work in writing books about stalkers and murderers who outwardly appeared to be leading ordinary lives among us. I find the books too haunting to read. But something about this story made me want to know what happened.
As I read further into this book, I began wondering why I had never heard of this story on the news. The Delaware Governor’s beautiful secretary goes missing and then the murderer turns out to be a well-connected, married lawyer from a wealthy family, well-known in the region.
The news story may not have reached me in real time in 1997, but in 2000, this book did a thorough, careful job of helping me get to know these people. Anne Marie was tall, slender, kind, fun loving and beautiful. Her doom was being at her desk when this man came to the Governor’s office for a meeting. He pursued her the way an experienced man pursues a trusting young person. He was practiced at cheating on his wife, and cheating on his girlfriends, one of whom was the wife of one of his law partners. Before long Ann Marie was trying to figure out how to leave him. That’s when he turned on the other type of manipulation, in which he made her think she owed him. He stalked her as well. When those tactics stopped working and he sensed she was getting away, he murdered her. With the help of one of his brothers, he dumped her body at sea.
Anne Marie kept a diary, which would seem to make an open-and-shut case. But no; it was anything but that. When he was arrested and prosecuted, he manipulated family and friends from jail; trying to get them to lie for him. He paid a thug to break into another girlfriend’s house to scare her into lying for him. Meanwhile, he was setting her up to take the fall for his crime.
Maybe I was drawn to this book because I was close to Anne Marie’s age, and worked with some suits who thought they had perfected the double life. I don’t know. When I finish a book, I usually pass it on. The ‘keepers’ that remain in my possession, take up less than a single shelf in my bookcase. This is one of the keepers.
Read and watch more:
Book: There was another book written about Anne Marie’s murder, titled ‘Summer Wind‘. It is a shorter book, but also did an excellent job telling the story.
Newspaper articles: The Delaware News Journal recently did a story marking the 20-year anniversary of the murder of Anne Marie. https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/11/15/thomas-capano-convicted-murdering-anne-marie-fahey-and-conviction-how-happened-one-turn-after-anothe/851736001
That newspaper story links to this in-depth report on the case and several key individuals. https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2017/11/15/20-years-after-capano-arrest-juror-breaks-silence/839587001
Movie: Ann Rule’s book was made into a TV movie, also titled ‘And Never Let Her Go‘. It starred Mark Harmon.
The movie is available on DVD https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UAE7J0
I couldn’t find an official movie trailer, but here is a collection of scenes from the movie.
The movie contained a clip of this beautiful song, which made me search for the song and buy the album.
Twenty years before #metoo, and the outing of Matt Lauer and Bill Cosby (two of a growing list), we all knew there were people among us in our daily lives, shrouded in respectable suits and positions, underneath which they honored nothing but their desire at any given moment. They thought they had somehow been endowed with an entitlement to take what they wanted, by criminal means if necessary, and have their colleagues and subordinates help keep it all in the closet. They are still out there among us. Don’t be their next target, and don’t be an enabler. My wish is that Anne Marie never be forgotten.