Wrote about this a little bit last week when it happened, and now wanted to briefly return to it because it’s interesting and still unsolved. We know he was killed in his car, presumably after arriving back home, and that he appeared to be the intended target. His wife, Wendi Adelson, and him had gone through a contentious divorce — they have two small children — and logically, she was going to be an initial target. She presumably had an alibi for the time, but … that doesn’t necessarily rule out a hit man being involved. Then the police released a photo of a car of interest in the case, and, well, it’s a Prius:
People jumped on that immediately, because admittedly a Prius isn’t a hit man-type car.
There are new theories out there — one is a little harder to believe, and that involves some comments about Markel on legal blogs:
The prominent Jewish professor even complained that he felt physically threatened by one nasty internet commenter on a now-defunct site called insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com, which prompted even more ominous posts.
“You’re worried about your home and private life being a target?” the correspondent wrote. “What about your graduate’s homes and private lives? (Or lack thereof?) YOU’VE RUINED THEIR LIVES YOU FOOL.”
“So yes, ‘all means necessary’ are important to shutting people like YOU down,” said the writer, who went by the profile athiestATLlawyer, possibly indicating that the person is from Atlanta.
The writer ended by calling Markel “Law school scammer.”
Another letter-writer accused Markel of using the supposed threats to stifle discussion on his own Prawsblawg site.
“Seriously you are coming across even more negatively as this saga unfolds (if that is even possible),” the commenter wrote. “To put it charitably folks who have never even met you are inclined to see you as an obsessive, egomaniacal , control freak.”
This one is a little harder to believe just because people say ridiculous crap on blogs and message boards all the time — taking that to another level of actual murder requires a major synapse jump in your brain. Could you imagine if the police had to investigate everything said on a blog in every single case? It’d be mayhem, especially for the most controversial figures in our society.
There is, however, this rabbi angle — and this could be something:
Tallahassee news station WCTV reports that Markel was hired “as a consultant in a New Jersey case involving four Orthodox rabbis. They’re accused of conspiring to kidnap and force Jewish men to grant their wives religious divorces. According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, two of the rabbis were recorded discussing plans to kidnap and torture victims. For one particular target, those plans included kidnapping the victim in a van and assaulting him with a cattle prod.”
In this context, he was just a consultant, not a lead witness or prosecutor or anything — so a murder isn’t necessarily something you’d expect, but still — if this is true and these guys are discussing kidnapping and assault with a cattle prod, well, they might be capable of something like this if they thought Markel was the final aspect that would sink their situation.
The reward’s been upped to $10,000, so hopefully someone comes forward:
If I had to bet — and again, I don’t know Dan Markel, I don’t know Wendi Adelson, I don’t know Tally, and I’m not in law enforcement — I’d still guess that Adelson had something to do with this. You’ve seen the clips where mothers lift cars off their children. It works the same way on the evil side. If she thought her children were in danger of going away, she could have had the strength to do something beyond human compassion. It happens. You see it all the time on true crime shows.
And then, read this:
In legal pleadings, Markel’s attorneys said the separation surprised him. They said that Adelson hired professional movers while her husband was away for a short business trip, and that she left town with her belongings and the children.
“This abrupt and cruel departure shocked Mr. Markel, who, in a six-year marriage unmarked by any abuse, addiction or infidelity, was devoted to his wife and children,” his attorneys wrote. “For six weeks, Ms. Adelson gave no correct information regarding where she lived with the children.”
Several months later, Adelson asked a judge for permission to relocate with the kids to South Florida, where her family lived and she had been offered a job at a private law firm. Her request was denied.
After the bitter divorce, the couple continued to battle over money and family heirlooms.
Adelson did not return calls from the Herald/Times. Her attorney, Jimmy Judkins, said she was “in shock” after Markel’s death and left Tallahassee.
I know Adelson has a law background and thus would be smart enough not to run right to the media, but a quick statement would be good, no?
Let’s hope this is all resolved soon.