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.

January 20, 1999|By Jean Marbella | Jean Marbella,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

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:

Bread

Sinatra

NPR

Politics

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.

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