Recorded Secrets; No one was ever supposed to read the diary, or hear the words of love that later rang so false. But once Anne Marie Fahey was murdered, technology gave voice to clues and evidence that convicted lover Thomas Capano.


When T. asked me how I would like to spend my last day on earth, I told him by playing Hookie from work making marinara sauce together making love while it was cooking, drinking red wine, eating bread and watching all the movies we have talked about watching together. -- from Anne Marie Fahey's diary, Feb. 22, 1995

Anne Marie Fahey's last day turned out much differently from the dreamy scenario she anticipated in her diary.

In fact, the only part that came to pass was that she and "T" indeed were together when her last day ended.

"T" was also "Tomas," "Tommy," "Tom" and "Hey, Capano!" -- Fahey's nicknames for her lover in diary entries and the e-mails they exchanged over the course of their nearly three-year relationship.

These writings were never meant for public consumption, of course; they never are. But then Anne Marie Fahey was killed, and Thomas Capano was charged with her murder.

The 12-week trial in Wilmington, Del., which ended Sunday with Capano's conviction, had all the elements of the modern-day media spectacle that Americans have come to expect: the beautiful, young victim, the powerful defendant caught in a compromising position and, most of all, the sex, lies and audio tapes.

Trials are usually a bore made up of subpoenas, affidavits, bank records and other dry, papery details that build and bolster a case. But in State vs. Thomas Capano, the physical evidence was filled with human voices, speaking not in the awkward syntax of police reports or the legalese of attorneys, but as people do when they're not being recorded.

Except in today's world, they often are.

Besides Fahey's diary and e-mails, Capano's jailhouse letters and phone calls to another lover, Debby MacIntyre, found their way into the case. Taken together, they constitute a remarkable story, a tale told in the classic tradition of the epistolary novel, a Les Liaisons Dangereuses of the electronic age.

But if new technology allows for the unearthing of many more secrets than could be imagined in the pre-wired era, what emerges is in some ways the same old story: Love. Death. Betrayal. Retribution.

I have fallen in love w/ a very special person whose name I choose to leave anonymous. We know who each other are. It happened the night of my 28th Birthday. We have built an everlasting friendship. I feel free around him, and like he says "He makes my heart smile!" -- Fahey's diary, March 2, 1994

Fahey met Capano through the political circles they both traveled, she as the governor's scheduling secretary and he as a bond lawyer and former chief counsel to a previous governor. They flirted, they lunched and, soon, became romantically involved.

The wealthy, take-charge Capano took her to expensive restaurants, in Philadelphia mostly since both were so well-known in their hometown. He bought her the expensive labels -- a Coach bag, Laura Ashley dresses -- that meant so much to the deprived child who still lived inside her.

The youngest of six siblings, her middle-class family fell apart when her mother died of cancer and her father's alcoholism began consuming him. He stopped working, and young Anne Marie would come home from school to find the electricity, hot water and telephone had been cut off. The older kids eventually went off to college or their own homes, but she often was passed around to various friends and relatives. Later, she would tell one of her brothers that her eating disorders probably stemmed from that time, when she was so ashamed to be living off others that she willed herself to eat very little.

I also feel that my world is so out of control, and the only thing I can control is my food intake. -- Fahey's diary, April 26, 1994

My weight is 129. I have a serious problem right now I am not able to confront it. -- June 19, 1994

Tom Anne Marie:

Coke Pepsi

like food anorexic

Italian Mick

not a car fan pistonhead

conservative liberal

academic non-academic

observant spacey

night owl morning person

homebody loves to travel

serious goofy

married with kids single

In common:





Wine -- from Exhibit 91, the so-called Coke/Pepsi list that they compiled about their differences and similarities as they drove back from a vacation at The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va., August 1995

Their relationship ebbed and flowed. They even spoke of marriage at one point. But a friend said Fahey felt guilty about having an affair with a married man, even when he separated from his wife in September 1995. Capano, though, testified that at one point it was he who felt bad about the relationship, encouraging her to find someone her own age, and single. He, after all, was still involved with his longtime lover MacIntyre and dating other women as well. Fahey, he said, needed her own Patrick Hosey, the husband of her sister Kathleen.

Eventually, she found him. In late 1995, her boss, Gov. Tom Carper, fixed her up with Michael Scanlan, an executive with MBNA who, perhaps coincidentally, looks very much like Hosey. They began dating, and soon, each was meeting the other's families and wedding bells were ringing in her ears.

She and Capano had a number of fights around that time -- he threatened to take back all his gifts, he called her repeatedly as she got ready for a date with Scanlan, she told friends he was stalking her.

Tommy, you scared me this weekend. It really freaks me out when you call every half hour. When you keep calling that way, it makes me turn the other way, and quite frankly turn away. -- e-mail from Fahey to Capano, Feb. 12, 1996

I have finally brought closure to Tom Capano. What a controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac. Now that I look back on that aspect of my life -- I realize just how vulnerable I had become. It hurts me when I think about that year. For one whole year I allowed someone to take control of every decision in my life ...

My weight is currently 125 pounds. Pretty skinny, but I want more. -- from Fahey's diary, April 7, 1996

There are no more diary entries, nor was there closure. The e-mails continued, and whatever prompted that last entry, Fahey and Capano remained in virtual and actual contact. The missives, sent over their office computers, were largely friendly and chatty, of the are-you-free-for-lunch, did-you-see-"NYPD Blue"-last-night sort.

But they did discuss their relationship. She said she could offer him only friendship. Capano wrote that he loved her enough to accept her conditions.

Tommy, I wanted to drop you a wee note to let you know how much I appreciate all you've done and continue to do for me. You're a very genuine person. We've been through a lot the past couple of years. ... You'll always own a special piece of my heart. Love You -- Annie (Me) -- e-mail from Fahey to Capano, May 1996

Much of the e-mail traffic during the last month of Fahey's life has a sad, resigned tone: She sounds weary of her on-going struggles with anorexia and bulimia. She is seeing a psychologist -- Capano helps pay for it -- and the intensity of the sessions exhausts her. "Lo Siento Mucho," she wrote him on June 26, 1996, going on to apologize for being such a "doggy downer."

Capano didn't get back to her until she had left for the day, but he left a message for her to read the next morning:

I promise to make you laugh tonight at Panorama, to order calamari and to surprise you with something that will make you smile.

Their waitress at Ristorante Panorama in Philadelphia on that night remembered them: the thin, drawn woman with a disheveled mop of curly hair and a flower-print dress, the man with out-of-date glasses. They stood out in the stylish restaurant where most patrons were, as she said, more jet-setty. Plus, they barely talked and seemed very unhappy in a restaurant that is often the site of expense-account meals, romantic dates or celebratory dinners.

Capano would later testify that Fahey was pouting because the waitress brought the wrong kind of calamari.

The story diverges here: Prosecutors say Fahey was trying to break off their relationship, which enraged Capano. He took her back to his house, killed her and dumped her body in the ocean the next day. Capano, though, initially said he took Fahey home after a nice dinner and had no idea what happened next. Police didn't buy it.

I don't know what to say, um, ah, I really, ah, I really do want to talk to you, I, I, I. If you would consider that, please call me. ... I have some things I want to tell you. Um, I care for Anne Marie a great deal, Robert. ... Um. And I know I'm babbling because I'm out of my freaking mind with uh, everything... I have told the police I will talk to them as many times as they want. But I am not gonna talk about ancient history. Anne Marie has a right to privacy and I have a right to privacy and I am not going to tell them details of things we did a year ago or eight months ago or all this incredible personal stuff they want to know from me, OK? ... I mean, do you and Kathleen [Anne Marie's sister] want to read stuff in the newspaper? ... I wanted to come see you all at that apartment but I know that Kathleen would just frankly gouge my eyes out. Ah ... I'll stop. Please call me, Robert. -- message Capano left on the answering machine of Robert Fahey, Anne Marie's brother, July 9, 1996

The disappearance of Anne Marie Fahey remains as much a mystery to me as it does to her family and friends. I can only say I share the gut-wrenching emotions of Anne Marie's family and pray for her safe return. -- from a public statement Capano issued on July 9, 1996

As police continued to lean on him, Capano turned to Debby MacIntyre, who he had been involved with for the past 15 years. Her husband was a law partner of his; she was a friend of his wife.

When Capano finally left his wife in September 1995, MacIntyre believed they would at long last marry. Then Fahey was killed, and on Nov. 12, 1997, Capano was arrested and jailed. Police discover MacIntyre had purchased a gun one month before Fahey's death. She initially claimed that she had bought it for self-protection but eventually threw it away. Investigators, though, continued to pressure her.

On Feb. 27, 1998, she relented and signed an immunity agreement that, in exchange for testimony, would free her from prosecution for lying about the gun. She said she agreed to Capano's request that she buy a gun for him, and never saw it again.

When Capano learned she was cooperating with the prosecutors, he was livid.

MacIntyre: I told them the truth.

Capano: What did you say?

MacIntyre: I was truthful about it.

Capano: Don't say that, just tell me what you said.

MacIntyre: I told them that, uh, I bought [the gun] and I gave it to you. You wanted it and I gave it to you.

Capano: Why did you say such a thing?

MacIntyre: Because you did. -- taped phone call from Capano in prison to MacIntyre, Feb. 28, 1998

That and several other phone calls would come to haunt Capano. At his trial, he would drop a bombshell: Yes, he admitted, I stuffed Anne Marie Fahey's dead body in a cooler and dumped it in the ocean to cover up her death.

But it was Debby MacIntyre who killed her, he said: She found us together that night and got hysterical, waving the gun around and threatening to kill herself. I grabbed her arm, the gun went off and Anne Marie was dead.

Ludicrous, prosecutor Colm Connolly responded, playing the tape. If the truth is that MacIntyre did it, why was Capano not thrilled when she said she was finally coming clean? "The truth," after all, would have set him free.

Capano: Are you recording this?

MacIntyre: Oh, right! No, I am not.

-- later in taped phone call of Feb. 28, 1998

Capano: I love you.

MacIntyre: I love you, too.

Capano: I miss you.

MacIntyre: I miss you, too.

Capano: Do you love me?

MacIntyre: Yes, I do. -- taped phone call, March 1, 1998

Capano continues to write and communicate with MacIntyre even after he learns she is cooperating with prosecutors. "God forgive me," he said melodramatically one day during the trial, "I'm still in love with her."

But he was enraged enough to ask a fellow prisoner to arrange a break-in of her house while she was on vacation. He wrote out specific instructions: Where to park, how to disarm the alarm system, which pieces of art to slash. And, most importantly of all, he underlined twice, shatter the big mirror by her bed, the one we used to watch ourselves in.

[A cousin] also told me she saw Debby MacIntyre's picture in the paper and that she looks like a shrew and a backstabber. Pretty perceptive. -- letter from Tom Capano to Susan Louth, another girlfriend, March 17, 1998

Capano went on in that letter to make a particularly crude remark about MacIntyre's willingness to perform oral sex. "This is not how you talk about someone you love," Colm Connolly would say in his closing statement before the jury, "especially to another woman."

Pub Date: 1/20/99

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