The wife of a Miami-area businessman was "responsible" for her husband's killing more than six decades ago amid an impending divorce, police said Tuesday.
Miami-Dade County police accused Frances Dimare in a killing that long eluded authorities because of several factors, including motive, inconsistent statements she provided to authorities and an uncorroborated account of events that she said preceded the fatal shooting of Joseph Dimare, 53, on March 24, 1961.
“Investigators met with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office who all agree that there is no credible evidence to support that anyone other than Frances Dimare is the person responsible for the killing of Joseph Dimare,” the police department said in a statement.
Frances Dimare had been considered a suspect and died in 2006, a police spokesperson said. She was never charged.
It isn't clear who fired the gun that killed Joseph Dimare, the spokesperson said. The statement says Frances Dimare may have worked with accomplices.
In 1961, she told authorities that the couple, who lived in North Miami, had been driving to dinner when two armed men barged into their car at an intersection.
They pointed a gun at her head and instructed her to drive to an empty lot, Frances Dimare told authorities at the time, according to the statement. The men pistol-whipped her, causing her to lose consciousness, and when she awoke she discovered her husband in the driver's seat, the statement says.
Joseph Dimare had been shot to death.
Frances Dimare told authorities she fled the car barefoot and called police, but investigators found no evidence of scraping on her feet — even though the road was gravel, according to the statement.
Her shoes were neatly placed against the car, it says.
Authorities concluded that Joseph Dimare was shot with his own pistol in the couple’s garage before they left for dinner, the statement says, adding that a review of physical evidence showed the gunshots came from the driver’s seat.
A trail of blood was found leading from the couple’s home to the empty lot, the police department said.
Investigators also found that the couple had been having marital issues and that Joseph Dimare changed his living will to state that his wife had to be living with him at home at the time of his death to be considered an eligible beneficiary.
The couple had an impending divorce, the statement says.
At the time, Frances Dimare was living in Ohio, but she returned to Florida after she discovered the change, said Paul Novack, a lawyer who helped investigate the cold case, NBC Miami reported.
After a battle in probate court, Frances Dimare inherited roughly one-third of Joseph Dimare's estate, Novack told the station.
Novack described the inheritance as a "substantial amount of money that she would not have had she been in prison," according to NBC Miami.
He added that she later married the lawyer who represented her in the probate case, the station reported.