A high-profile case that started in 2012 rocked the community in Linwood, New Jersey. April Kauffman, a popular radio host, was found shot to death at her home, but the investigators had a tough time nailing a suspect. Discovery+’s ‘Doctor’s Orders’ chronicles this complex case that involved conspiracy, an alleged drug ring, and a motorcycle gang. The story behind April’s death only became clear about five years after the incident. So, let’s find out what happened, shall we?
How Did April Kauffman Die?
April Christine Kauffman was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 47-year-old worked in radio, hosting weekly talk shows. She was also a successful businesswoman who owned a catering business and salon called Artistic Salon in Northfield, New Jersey. April was also a big advocate for military veterans and was involved in various projects that supported them. She met James Kauffman, an endocrinologist, and they were married in 2003. But after a decade, it all came crashing down for April.
On May 10, 2012, April’s handyman called 911 after finding her unresponsive in the master bedroom. Authorities rushed to the scene to find her dead from two gunshot wounds. But beyond that, the police weren’t able to glean anything more from the scene. There was a distinct lack of physical evidence with no fingerprints or shell casings. A robbery was also ruled out, with no signs of forced entry and nothing missing from the house.
Who Killed April Kauffman?
With hardly any leads, the investigation into April’s death got stalled. James, her husband, was initially questioned but had an alibi; he was at work. Beyond that, there wasn’t much to go on, and the case went cold. But about five years later, a rather peculiar turn of events led the police right back to James. The authorities were investigating a potential illegal pharmaceutical ring where James’ name popped up. As a result, they attempted to execute a search warrant at his home and work.
In June 2017, James, who had remarried a little over a year after April’s death, was at his office in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. A standoff ensued when James brandished a gun and threatened to kill himself, but he was arrested later on gun charges. The case quickly took off, with the pieces to the puzzle of April’s murder showing up. Investigators learned that James was part of an illegal drug ring along with Ferdinand Augello, the former leader of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
According to the authorities, James would write free prescriptions to people Ferdinand would send to him. It is believed that April found out about this sometime in 2011 and threatened to expose his illegal activities. In addition, their relationship had deteriorated by then and April also wanted a divorce. James then allegedly asked Ferdinand to look for someone to kill his wife. Ferdinand checked with present and former members of the club, and after almost a year, found Francis Mulholland, an associate of one of the former Pagan members, Joseph Mulholland.
Investigators believed that it was Francis who killed April that day. The Mulhollands were reportedly paid at least $20,000 for the murder. Francis Mulholland died sometime in late 2013. The criminal enterprise continued for about five years after April’s death, only ending after James’ arrest. Ferdinand was also arrested, and in 2018, was convicted for his role in the murder and a bevy of other charges.
How Did Dr. James Kauffman Die?
After his arrest, James Kauffman was moved to a different prison because the police uncovered a plot to have him killed. According to them, Ferdinand Augello was responsible for it. While behind bars at the Hudson County Jail in New Jersey, James Kauffman was found dead on the morning of January 26, 2018. His cellmate at the time was at court, which meant James was alone. The authorities stated that James had something around his neck and was found face down on his bunk.
James left a suicide note that said, in part, “I cannot live like this. I, no matter what anybody says, did not do anything to my wife.” He also claimed that April was the one who introduced him to the Pagans. He was 69 years old at the time of his death and was supposed to go to trial on charges of arranging the murder and racketeering.