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Old 10-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #1
justins5256
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Exclamation Dan Montecalvo

Did anyone else catch this "Final Appeal" story on Spike this evening?

I don't believe I have ever seen it before. Despite Spike's clever subterfuge, I have come to believe that this story was taken from the long lost short lived "Final Appeal" series.

What did you all think?

Was this guy guilty or innocent? I'm assuming he's still in prison. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information about the case online.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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I don't think he killed his wife himself, but I think he had something to do with the attack at their house. The fact that he got shot and was not seriously injured raises a question, i find it hard to believe someone could randomly shoot him and no vital organs be hit. The lady who confessed seemed a little iffy as well.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atm8588
I don't think he killed his wife himself, but I think he had something to do with the attack at their house. The fact that he got shot and was not seriously injured raises a question, i find it hard to believe someone could randomly shoot him and no vital organs be hit. The lady who confessed seemed a little iffy as well.
That's a good point I hadn't considered. I wonder if he was collaborating with the woman and her companion to pull off the murder. Maybe he promised them a cut of the insurance money (assuming that was the motive).

Someone began talking to me during the middle of the segment and I didn't clearly hear about Dan's relationship with the woman and man who were the alleged intruders. I thought it was mentioned that they were neighbors but were they friends? It's pretty common to not really "know" your neighbors, so I was curious how well he knew these people.

The other thing I don't get, or maybe missed - why did this woman confess in the first place?
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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I think thats the most probable scenario, I didn't catch the realonship between them either. THe whole thing is strange, but I just can't buy he didn't have anything to do with it.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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damn. While I can't sit past an episode of the New UM with all of its noise and graphics, I do give them credit for digging up some of these long lost stories.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:39 PM   #6
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On the net , it says the neighbors were into drug dealing or whatever.

The Hawaii trip was described as a "an attempt to save the marriage"
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182
damn. While I can't sit past an episode of the New UM with all of its noise and graphics, I do give them credit for digging up some of these long lost stories.
Yes, as much as I dislike the bootied up, "in your face" format of the Spike incarnation it is nice to see some of these stories that we probably would not have seen otherwise.

I'm sure the NBC versions are superior and I would still like to find them.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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I had never seen this story before, which was cool and I have to say the 360 degree view of the mugshots during the segment was awesome.
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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Just caught this on TiVo and was wondering if others on the board hadn't seen the original broadcast either. It's hard to make a judgment based on just a television segment, but he looked innocent to me.

Something that annoyed me. I just did a google search for Dan Montecalvo and found that there was a book written about his wife's murder. In the book's description, it says that Dan's voice was "oddly uninflected while talking to an emergency operator" about his wife's death. Are you kidding me? They played the actual tape of the 911 call, and he was hysterical, so much so that the operator asked him to repeat himself several times because she couldn't understand him. It bothers me that people can write such blatently false information that is accessible to millions of people. How much of the other information that we read and hear about such cases is an outright lie?
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fuji
Just caught this on TiVo and was wondering if others on the board hadn't seen the original broadcast either. It's hard to make a judgment based on just a television segment, but he looked innocent to me.

Something that annoyed me. I just did a google search for Dan Montecalvo and found that there was a book written about his wife's murder. In the book's description, it says that Dan's voice was "oddly uninflected while talking to an emergency operator" about his wife's death. Are you kidding me? They played the actual tape of the 911 call, and he was hysterical, so much so that the operator asked him to repeat himself several times because she couldn't understand him. It bothers me that people can write such blatently false information that is accessible to millions of people. How much of the other information that we read and hear about such cases is an outright lie?
I saw that too. Along similar lines, it always bugs me when people assume that because someone isn't showing enough emotion when a tragedy like this occurs it means that person must be guilty or involved somehow. In actuality, how each of copes is a very personal and different thing.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:00 AM   #11
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A minor update: I have corresponded with the author of "Fatal Vows" and she confirmed that Montecalvo is still in prison and apparently in very poor health.

Unfortunately, California does not have an online inmate locator.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:33 AM   #12
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This one is on right now. I'd like to have more info on Dan's gunshot wound to the back. Apparently, this was being treated by the authorities as if it was a self inflicted grazing wound to a non-vital area that was done in an effort to make it look like he was also a victim.

But, nobody shoots themselves, or has their hired burgler/hitman shoot them in the back just to stage the scene. The segment says he was hit in the lower back. Was he shot in the butt? Was he shot near the kidney? Or was he grazed by the bullet across the skin on his waist? How serious was the wound?

I find it hard to believe that he chose the lower back as the place for the self inflicted wound. There's just too many organs located there and too many things that can go wrong.

The neighbor's story is two lesbians who lived down the street were partying and ran out of drugs. They knew that Dan and Carol were going to be in Hawaii and thought they were gone already, so she and her partner went to rob the house.

A couple inconsistencies with her story are: Dan remembers one of the assailants had a mustache and was tall and strong, not a woman. The neighbor says she thought they were already in Hawaii, so they went to rob the house, but in the segment, they say all the lights were on in the house and two cars were parked in the driveway. But the robbers still went in anyway, thinking that the homeowners are in Hawaii? The neighbor didn't explain how she thought they were away in Hawaii with all their lights on and not even one car parked in long term parking at the airport.

But, she knew info that only someone who was there that night would know, such as the caliber of the two different guns that were used, the color of the money box, the fact that one of Carol's shoes came off in the struggle.

One thing that makes Dan look guilty: He had $20,000 in gambling debts and his wife was insured for over $250,000. That's a lot of life insurance for back then, and especially for someone with no kids to provide for in the event of their death. Weird.

Also, Dan was in his 40s, was diagnosed with a "bleeding ulcer" and because of that, he could not work. So, he spent all his time at the bar, drinking and gambling. How exactly can you drink alcohol if you have a bleeding ulcer? That sounds weird to me, but I'm always suspicious of people who have these bizarre reasons for having to go onto state funded disability, but can still party hard.

Dan's still in prison, according to the update.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:19 PM   #13
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I saw this for the first time today. It was pretty interesting. I'm not 100% convinced but I'm leaning towards innocence. It seems once police found out he was a bank robber, they didn't bother investigating any other leads that might have come up. I agree with the woman's argument that why would she falsely confess to a murder knowing it might warrant her a life sentence if she wasn't guilty? Maybe her conscious got to her knowing there was someone serving time for the crime. Btw I just ordered a copy of the book about the case. It sounds pretty interesting and will probably give a lot more info than the Spike segment did. If anyone else is interested, here's a link:

http://www.amazon.com/Final-Vows-Kar.../dp/0440211980
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #14
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Okay I recently finished this book and wanted to give my thoughts on it. Its a tough call but I still think, after reading it, that he is innocent of his wife's murder. He is a total slime and is accurately portrayed as one in the book. His wife seemed completely devoted to him and was a good Christian but it seemed at times she thought of him more as her "project" than an equal partner. He would drink excessively, gambling was out of control and huge debts and was on payment plans to various casinos in an effort to pay these down. He would stay out late many nights at the bars and many witnesses say he would proposition and even make out with other women. Carol stood by him through all of this. He was a career criminal and thought he didn't deserve someone as good as Carol and I think really loved her despite everything. Police did seem to believe his story until they found he was in prison in the past and then seemed to try and make a case for his murder. Dan didn't really help himself as he was acting very paranoid in the hospital after finding out police were investigating him. Started carrying guns around even. As far as his version of events, it checked out in that Carol was found with the registration paper in her hand when she was shot (remember Dan said she went inside to get something to help attach it to the license plate). He did say he heard Carol say "what are you doing here?" which sounds like something she would say if it were someone she knew in the house.

Remember the lady interviewed in the UM segment named Suzan Brown? She was quite a character. She was usually high on pills or drunk and in the book she would have flashbacks thinking she was in Carol's house that night and then she would brush it off as a dream. They basically said she had split personalities so you didn't really know what to believe. I do think she was involved in the murder though. Carol sold Avon and soon before the murder Suzan had came to pay Carol for her order. Suzan saw the money box and exactly where it was kept. She knew Dan and Carol were about to leave on their trip and thought they had already gone. She eventually said her and a friend of hers (RS said she didn't name him but he was named in the book) were out of pills and money and decided to rob what they thought was an empty house which seemed to be something they did from time to time to support their drug habit. She knew how much money was taken, the position of Carol's body and what she was wearing even. All details the police hadn't released to anyone. The big problem with Dan's trial is that Dan wanted to be co-counsel. He had what seemed to be a very competent attorney whom he quickly fired because he refused to let Dan try the case with him. He found another attorney who would allow Dan to help and Dan basically being in charge since it was his freedom on the line, against his current attorney's advice, tried most of the case himself. He was repeatedly objected to with the objections being sustained and was really frustrating the judge who is very against defendant's representing themselves. Soon after Dan was found guilty.

Another very interesting footnote to this case was they mentioned that in addition to Carol's murder in Burbank only two other murders had taken place in that town in recent memory. Both were UM cases....Crystal Spencer and Charlie Anderson. In fact the Charlie Anderson murder only took place a few blocks from the Carol Montecalvo murder and was also a home invasion/robbery. When investigator's working for Dan questioned Suzan about the case she initially didn't say anything but after some goading such as "you don't know anything about that case" she proved she did and mentioned a yellow coat that was left at the crime scene, something only police knew. I really think Charlie Anderson's death could have been at Suzan Brown and her friend's hands in a break-in looking for money for drugs.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #15
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Did the Fatal Vows book mention a life insurance policy? Specifically, when he got it in relation to the robbery?

Some Googling turned up a passage from a book entitled "Masters of Deception" that indicated Montecalvo was the beneficiary of a $600,000 life insurance policy, but it doesn't sound like it was paid out.

http://books.google.com/books?id=2hr...um=1&ct=result

Kinda funny how matter-of-factly this source states that he was guilty. There is no mention of other suspects and the possibility that he might be innocent.

I wonder if UM covered these three cases because they were close to home (Burbank).
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