Joe Capano: I Said Buy Cooler

Posted: December 11, 1998

The Capano brothers are even now.

Yesterday, another brother of murder suspect Thomas Capano testified. But unlike his other two siblings this one stood by the defendant's side.

Joseph Capano testified that the youngest brother and star prosecution witness, Gerry, was a goodhearted but spoiled rich kid who drank so much he was often confused and forgetful.

And he told the jury that Thomas bought the cooler he used to dump the body of his ex- lover into the ocean as a gift for Gerry, who is an avid fisherman.

"I suggested that he buy Gerry the cooler," Joseph told the jury.

A wealthy and once prominent Wilmington lawyer, Thomas Capano, 49, is accused of killing his ex-lover, Anne Marie Fahey, 30, Delaware Gov. Tom Carper's scheduling secretary.

His lawyers admit he dumped her body, but they contend her death was an accident, and they suggested it was caused by another former Capano mistress, Deborah MacIntyre.

Both Gerry and Louis Capano testified for the prosecution.

Gerry told the jury about the macabre trip he and Tom took on Gerry's boat on June 28, 1996, the day after Fahey was killed.

He told the jury that a few months earlier Tom told him he might need to use the boat to get rid of a body. Gerry said Tom told him two extortionists were threatening him.

Louis testified that he emptied a dumpster where Tom and Gerry had thrown out a blood-stained sofa and rug.

Joseph said yesterday that of five Capano siblings, which includes their sister, Marian, he was the closest to Gerry.

But his testimony was used to attack Gerry's credibility.

"He tends to twist things frequently," Joseph Capano said.

Joseph, along with the rest of the Capano clan, which includes matriarch Marguerite, is supporting Thomas. Marguerite has shunned her two sons since they turned state witnesses.

Joseph said he still talks with Gerry, but is not close to Louis.

The two used to run the family construction empire, but split over a disagreement in 1994 and formed two separate companies that are direct competitors.

Also yesterday, the defense called another prison inmate, Robert "Squeaky" Saunders, to attack the credibility of another prosecution witness, inmate Nick Perillo.

Saunders was convicted by Capano, a former prosecutor, for murder in 1977. He is serving a life sentence.

Perillo had been housed in the cell next to Capano at Gander Hill Prison earlier this year and testified that the defendant gave him detailed maps and instructions to burglarize and vandalize mistress home.

Saunders said Perillo told him he was working on Capano, but wouldn't elaborate how.

He told the jury Perillo is known as a snitch who would get information out of inmates so he could cut deals for himself with the government.

'They used to call him Slick Nick," Saunders said. "He has no code of ethics."

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