A Texas woman is murdered and her family suspects her husband.
On the morning of February 14, 1986, Marilu Geri, a young, affluent Houston woman, was found in her home, shot four times. She was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead soon after. Marilu Geri had been murdered and her parents are convinced that her husband, Stephen, was the killer. However, Stephen has repeatedly maintained his innocence.
Marilu’s body was discovered shortly after 10 AM. At 8:15 AM, Stephen Geri called Marilu’s mother, Maria Serrato, and asked her to go over and help Marilu prepare for a lunchtime party:
Maria immediately drove to her daughter’s house. She searched the back of the house, where she found Marilu lying on the floor:
At 10:30 AM, the paramedics tried to revive Marilu. They injected her heart with medication, but she was already dead. This procedure later made it impossible to determine the exact time of death. Marilu had been shot four times with two different guns—a .38 and a .22. But there were no guns found in the house, nor was there any physical evidence of a break-in. In the bedroom, Marilu’s jewelry box was open. Could robbery have been a motive? Marilu’s mother believed it was a well-planned murder:
However, Stephen Geri disagreed:
Marilu and Stephen had been married for three years. Stephen was an insurance agent and Marilu worked for him. The couple enjoyed vacations in Hawaii and Europe and appeared to be happily living the good life. But according to her mother, Marilu’s marriage was anything but happy:
Investigators viewed Stephen Geri as one of the possible suspects. He owned several handguns, which were tested in the police ballistics lab. However, the results proved that Stephen’s guns were not used in the shooting. Stephen also gave the police a detailed account of his movements on the day of the murder. Normally, he worked in his home office during the early morning. But according to Stephen, on that particular day he changed his routine:
From 7:30 when he called Marilu, to 10:06 when Marilu’s body was found, Stephen spent most of his time with witnesses who confirmed his alibi. A private investigator, Bill Elliott, hired by Marilu’s parents, examined Stephen’s alibi in detail:
When Stephen left home, his first stop was the 7-11, only two blocks away, and less than a five-minute drive. But according to Bill Elliot, there is a conflict as to the actual time Stephen arrived:
Bill Elliot also discovered that two years before Marilu’s death, Stephen had purchased insurance policies on both their lives. According to Bill, each policy had a total value of more than $400,000:
Ten months after the murder, Stephen tried to collect on his wife’s policy. Outraged, Marilu’s parents went to court to prevent him from collecting the money. They claimed he had been the cause of Marilu’s death and would attempt to prove it in court. However, Stephen Geri believed there was another reason that the Serratos filed the lawsuit:
Strangely, just as the trial was beginning, Stephen Geri and Marilu’s parents reached an out of court settlement. But which side had requested the settlement? Stephen claimed that the Serratos approached him with the offer:
The court documents can’t reveal who asked for the settlement, since the judge ordered the records sealed.
The police continue to search for information about the two weapons that were used in the murder. They feel these guns will lead them to the killer. Stephen Geri remains a person of interest. But through it all, Geri has consistently maintained his innocence:
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