It’s been nearly two years since Ricardo Muscolino shot his wife, Lara, in the bedroom of their Fallston home, and nearly six months since he was sentenced to 50 years in jail for killing her.
As the anniversary of the murder approaches, the television show “Fatal Vows” on the cable channel Investigation Discovery is sparking renewed interest in the case.
“Nurses Lara Crockett and Ricardo Muscolino meet on the night shift. He’s ambitious and sets about creating a rich life for them and she’s happy to go along. But his scheming eventually drives Lara into the arms of another man with explosive results,” proclaims the cable channel about the episode, which aired Saturday night at 10 p.m.
The episode details the history of the Muscolinos’ relationship, their financial troubles and how one of the couple’s three daughters discovered her mother’s affair and told her father.
It includes video surveillance — from a system Lara Muscolino had installed in her house to detect paranormal activity — of the night she was killed. The video, which was played for the jury that convicted Ricardo Muscolino, shows Muscolino coming into the couple’s home, going upstairs and later coming back down. What it didn’t include was the portion of the video between Muscolino going up and coming down, when there was no visible action, only the sound of five gunshots. That part was played for the jury during the trial. The shooting itself was reenacted for the show.
“It was a little disheartening to see,” Lara’s Muscolino’s sister, Tanya Crockett, said of the show, in a telephone interview Tuesday. “It was not expected. It kind of made me want to puke, it’s just so hard to see again. And to see the pictures of her with him, that was hard.”
The episode, for which Crockett was interviewed, also features interviews with Harford County Sheriff’s Office detectives and Assistant State’s Attorney Emma Goerlich, who prosecuted the case in which a jury, on Nov. 2, 2017, found Ricardo Muscolino found guilty of second-degree murder and use of a handgun in commission of a felony.
Muscolino filed a notice of appeal Feb. 14 with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, according to online court records.
In the “Fatal Vows” episode, Crockett, who lives in Pasadena, recounts the relationship and the day she found out her sister had died.
“I think it was his last way of controlling her,” she says.
Crockett said Tuesday that while Lara may not have suffered from physical abuse during her marriage, she certainly suffered mental abuse.
“There wasn’t any domestic violence that we know of, other than she was killed that way,” she said. “But we know he was controlling in other ways and had made threats to her about her life being miserable if she left him.”
“We never thought he would kill her,” she said.
To spread awareness about domestic violence and its dangers, Crockett has transformed a Facebook page previously dedicated to updates on Lara’s case into a resource for domestic violence victims.
It has been renamed “Domestic Violence Awareness: In Memory of Lara Crockett Muscolino,” and Crockett shares information about upcoming events like a statewide domestic violence conference as well as statistics on domestic violence, tips to recognize an abuser and other awareness information.
“We thought, let’s make some awareness out there to domestic violence and hopefully somebody gets something out of this,” Crockett said. “We wanted to change it, to honor her.”
People don’t realize how prevalent domestic abuse is.
“If somebody hits you once time and apologizes, that doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen again,” Crockett said. “Try to get your self out of the situation early before it turns into the situation my sister was in.”
Lara didn’t share much about her marriage with her sister, Crockett said, “she wanted to keep that part private.”
She still thinks about her sister every day. She keeps a picture of Lara on her desk at work and has other pictures at home.
“Every time you see her face… it’s become more normal to see her face in a picture,” Crockett said.
She’s “doing OK” six months after Ricardo Muscolino’s sentencing, “probably because I know he’s in jail,” she said.
She feels like justice has been served, as long as he stays in jail.
“That’s the worry for anybody in that situation, that he gets out, and I hope that never happens,” Crockett said.