When Heidle arrived at the Larzelere house that night, he joined Virginia and Jason, who was complaining about money. Virginia, sitting at the kitchen table, told Jason not to worry, Heidle claimed. Jason would get his $200,000 because he had "taken care of business."

Soon after that conversation, Heidle said, he connected with a chubby 22-year-old named Kris Palmieri, who had once worked at Dr. Larzelere's Edgewater office. At Virginia's direction, Heidle alleged, he and Palmieri took the sawed-off shotgun and a blue, .45 caliber Argentine pistol into the second-story bathroom. Crouching next to the tub, they wiped down both guns in muriatic acid to expunge the prints, he told police. They then stacked them in a plastic container and poured in wet concrete.

Next, Virginia told them to "dispose" of the guns. So Heidle and Palmieri left at dawn the following morning, driving north for hours. They finally discovered Pellicer Creek south of St. Augustine. There, they exited the car and tumbled the guns into its murky waters.

The gunman fired a single round through the waiting room door and escaped without anyone seeing his face.
Courtesy of Gary McDaniel
The gunman fired a single round through the waiting room door and escaped without anyone seeing his face.
Years after the trial, Steven Heidle hanged himself with an electrical cord at his mother's house.
Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel
Years after the trial, Steven Heidle hanged himself with an electrical cord at his mother's house.

Heidle told police both weapons belonged to Jason; he'd even found a hacksaw resting next to a recently sawed-off shotgun at their West Orlando apartment.

The afternoon of Heidle's statement, Detective Gamell called Palmieri, who quickly buckled under interrogation. At 3:15 p.m. at the police station, she described how she and Heidle had dumped the guns. He had pulled the car over, she wrote in a sworn statement, telling police she followed Virginia's orders because of the control she had over her. "I took out my jack and spare tire and was making it look like we had a flat. I threw the cement container and guns over the side of the bridge, and it was about this time that I realized that maybe Jason did kill his father. Jason said he had killed his father for Virginia... He did not say why."

Heidle provided police with the motive: insurance money. He alleged he'd heard Jason say his mother had forged her husband's life insurance. "She said she's [forged] all of Norman's legal documents and it was no big deal," Heidle volunteered in his statement. And indeed, less than six months before the murder, Norman Larzelere had suddenly increased his insurance from $1 million to $2.1 million, according to court records. Heidle also accused Virginia of doctoring her husband's will, which, according to a copy obtained by New Times, left everything from Dr. Larzelere's estate to his wife and was signed within weeks of the dentist's new life insurance contract.

On May 3, a team of divers appeared at Pellicer Creek and searched its muddy bottom. Gamell stood above the water on the bridge, cradling a shotgun, watching for alligators. Heidle, his blond hair coifed and piled high on his head, pointed to where he'd deposited the weapons.

And sure enough, under ten feet of water and six feet of muck was a plastic container holding a rust-choked shotgun and a .45 Argentine pistol, which had been stolen from an Orlando gun shop. It was all the proof the cops needed. They granted Heidle and Palmieri immunity — meaning that unless they had pulled the trigger, they'd escape all charges.

The next day, police found Virginia driving out of town, with a purse stuffed with cash and gold. She swore she was innocent, but it was too late. "I've dealt with a lot of murders and a lot of deaths, and you know when someone mourns legitimately and when someone's overacting," Gamell said. "That's how she seemed."


To work the case, the state called in special prosecutor Dorothy Sedgwick, a round-faced woman from Orlando. She's a methodical, calculating lawyer and can be cold and aggressive. Or as one opposing attorney called her, "not a likable person" and "remorseless."

For her defense, Virginia enrolled Jack Wilkins, a prominent Orlando-area lawyer who was a friend of her family. At age 44, he was handsome, scruffy, and looked better-suited for a reshooting of Boogie Nights than a courtroom.

Which, all things considered, often suited his clientele. In 1990, Wilkins became one of the most recognizable and flamboyant attorneys in the state when he argued, unsuccessfully, before the state Supreme Court that a Polk County cinema called Varsity Adult Theatre had a constitutional right to sell porno. Wilkins, who had a reputation for hard partying and recently told New Times he drank nearly every night during that time, also banked more than $250,000 annually representing accused drug dealers. "And they paid me cash," he remembers.

Behind dark sunglasses, he embodied the persona of a rock-star attorney. "But I'd never done a capital murder case before," says Wilkins, who claims he tried to turn down the case three or four times. "My primary work was drug importing and distribution."

If statements entered by Wilkins' office manager and three former clients are to believed, however, his inexperience wouldn't be his most crippling problem. At the time of Virginia's trials, appellate records say, Wilkins was putting back a liter of vodka every day, snorting cocaine — even smoking meth.

Wilkins, who installed a bar in his Bartow office, allegedly told one client, Dennis Harris, that he bought meth by the "quarter pound," was on the prowl for a "cheaper drug supplier," and it would "keep him up wired for 6-7 days," court documents filed in a Larzelere appeal show. Another client, Ronald Bilbrey, testified he dealt Wilkins an ounce of coke per month at the time of Larzelere's trial and saw him snort some. And finally, there's Bernadette D'Alvia Eady. She testified that around the time of the trial, she and Wilkins had gone to the bathroom together at a "South Florida nude bottle club." Inside a stall, they drank vodka, smoked meth, and snorted coke off a toilet seat. Wilkins also allegedly confessed he bought meth at $2,000 an ounce.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
jpmorgan3
jpmorgan3

I believe Terrence McCoy is the fruit cake here.  Terrence,  she really is guilty. Life without parole.

leejean21
leejean21

This woman is not a victim of injustice.  She had an incestuous relationship with her son and used him to kill her husband.  The ONLY reason her son is not in jail is because his face was covered and there was not enough evidence to show that he was the shooter beyond a reasonable doubt.  Eye witnesses at the crime scene all heard the victim call out his step son's name before he died(i.e.Jason is that you? Jason!), and they testified that she began to press her mouth to his, so he could not get any more words out. Not to mention she gave the murder weapon to her house staff and told them to clean it and dispose of it. She is disgusting and belongs where she is.

CheckpointCharlie73
CheckpointCharlie73

Most criminal defense attorneys do tons of drugs, drink like fish, and are involved with court personnel if they can, and are usually robbing some client or another. This guy was a typical lawyer. Additionally, if he was screwing the court reporter, that could only help his client, since she could interpret the transcript in the client's favor. 


jamjamaa
jamjamaa

What the hell is a "nude bottle club"?

Kzm Ufc
Kzm Ufc

That status sounds an awful lot like government and religion.

cooperschuler
cooperschuler

just as Carol implied I am startled that anybody able to make $5040 in 1 month on the computer. find more information == > w­w­w.B­a­y­9­3.ℂ­o­m

Betty Perez
Betty Perez

And yet the smell of a dead body in the trunk of a pathological mother whose missing daughter was later found dead was too circumstantial. Oh yeah Florida...

Chard Beauregarde
Chard Beauregarde

Not an actual like, but an upvote of support for this to be seen.

jenkemjones
jenkemjones

@leejean21 I think she and her son belong in an unmarked grave near their place of execution.  The witnesses saw Jason do it but the jury was told to ignore that because Jason wore a mask.

leejean21
leejean21

@Chard Beauregarde Larzelere is guilty. She confessed to her personal assistant and house staff at the time and they advised police that she made them clean and dump the murder weapon (which was found where they said it would be). Also, she took out 2.1 million in life insurance policies on her husband and called to make sure they were payable days before his murder.

 
Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...