Crime, Dan Markel, Deaths, Guns / Firearms, Law Schools, Murder, Violence

The Latest Information On The Investigation Into The Murder Of Professor Dan Markel

Dan Markel

More than a week has passed since our last report on the investigation into the killing of Professor Dan Markel, and there has been disturbingly little progress — or at least publicly disclosed progress — in the inquiry. No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been identified.

But we have do have a few small updates, which we will share with you now. One of them is quite disturbing….

Here’s the troubling news, reported by ABC News (via TaxProf Blog, which just posted a comprehensive collection of links about the Markel investigation):

It took paramedics 19 minutes to arrive at the home of a Florida State University professor shot in his garage after a neighbor called 911 – with the dispatcher’s confusion contributing to the delay and one EMS unit replaced by another, authorities said….

A neighbor called 911, noting that he happened upon Markel’s car because he’d been worried about a recent string of break-ins. The neighbor said he found Markel sitting in the driver’s seat of his car, his head covered in blood. Markel was still alive, the man told a dispatcher. But he wasn’t responsive.

“You need to send an ambulance in a hurry, an EMT,” the neighbor said, according to audio of the call released by police Thursday. “I think you need to hurry.”

Because the dispatcher didn’t initially hear the caller mention anything about a gunshot wound, the response was delayed.

“The officer is going to be there first. [The EMT] is not going to come until we figure out what’s going on, but they are on the way as well, OK?” the dispatcher said.

“They better be if this guy’s got a shot … living,” the neighbor responded.

Markel died at the hospital 14 hours later.

It’s not clear if a more timely response could have saved Markel’s life, but the delay is still inexcusable.

The other update concerns Markel’s ex-wife and the mother of his two children, Professor Wendi Adelson. Through her lawyer, Jimmy Judkins, Professor Adelson issued the following statement:

This message is being sent to the media outlets that have asked for a statement or other information from Wendi Adelson. Ms. Adelson requests that the media respect her privacy as she helps her children overcome the unexpected loss of their father. She remains deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of her children. During the ongoing investigation of this tragedy, Ms. Adelson will not be making any further public comments. She, and every person acting for her, will decline any further requests for information, interviews, or appearances. She encourages anyone who may have information that could help identify the person or persons responsible to please contact the Tallahassee Police Department.

Speaking of information leading to an arrest, the reward has been raised to $10,000, thanks to an anonymous donation by a private citizen to the CrimeStoppers fund.

In the absence of hard information, speculation continues. Some wonder whether people who threatened Dan Markel online might have had something to do with his death. Another theory — raised by Michael Abrams, who knew Markel through their synagogue — is that Markel might have been the victim of road rage or a similar heated confrontation.

UPDATE (8/6/2014, 2:05 p.m.): The Village Voice notes that Markel had been hired as an expert witness in a high-profile divorce extortion case involving allegations of violence.

If you have information that might assist law enforcement in the investigation, please call (850) 574-TIPS or (850) 891-4462. If you would like to make a donation to honor Markel’s memory, either to a fund for his two sons or to charities designated by his family, please see this post for details. Thank you.

Fatally Shot FSU Professor Waited 19 Minutes for Ambulance to Arrive [ABC News via TaxProf Blog]
Attorney requests privacy for Markel’s ex-wife [Tallahassee Democrat]
Was Markel a victim of road rage? [Tallahassee News]
Details Emerge in Murder of Dan Markel [TaxProf Blog]
Professor targeted for murder feared for his safety after menacing anonymous threats [Daily Mail]