Investigation Discovery’s ‘I Went Undercover: Mercenary Rules’ covers the investigation that ensued after police found 84-year-old Marina Calabro’s body inside her residence in Quincy, Massachusetts, in December 2001. Initially thought to be an accident, the case offered an unexpected twist that helped the officers catch the perpetrators responsible for the crime. If you’re interested in finding out more about the case, including the killers’ identities and current whereabouts, we have your back. Let’s dive in then, shall we?
How Did Marina Calabro Die?
Marina Mary Calabro was born in Quincy in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, on October 15, 1917. She was a retired hairdresser who never married or had children. Marina was described as independent and sprightly, and the octogenarian lived in a lovely home worth around $500,000 in 2001. Considered a valuable community member, she was proud of her independence and the residence she had worked to build over the years with her own money. Marina reportedly saved a considerable fortune of around half a million dollars.
In December 2001, Marina was residing with her 19-year-old great-nephew, Anthony Calabro, whom she loved like her son and had made out her will in his favor. Thus, it came as a shock when he and his friend, Thomas “Tom” Lally, then 21, walked into the home a little before midnight on December 19, 2001, to find the 84-year-old lying at the bottom of a staircase next to a bag of trash.
Anthony and Tom immediately called for help, but the emergency respondents declared Marina dead at the scene. According to police records, the respondents found her lying in a pool of blood around her face. Moreover, the victim had multiple contusions and lacerations to her head. The medical examiner determined she had died at around 3:00 PM, and the autopsy report concluded she had died of blunt trauma to the head.
Who Killed Marina Calabro?
The police found no evidence that suggested foul play. Hence, they hypothesized Marina might have died by slipping down the stairs while taking out the garbage. The autopsy also pointed toward the death likely being an accident, so the investigators did not examine the body further. However, Chief Paul Keenan, a former investigator for the Quincy Police Department, recounted how they had a nagging suspicion that it was deliberately made to look like an accident.
The police interviewed Anthony to learn he was a member of a local band named the Electronic Kill Machine, and there were three other members – Thomas “Tom” Lally, Jim Morel, and Jason Weir. They talked with neighbors and were told how generous Marina was with her great-nephew and even allowed his friends to hang out at her place. Besides, Anthony told the officers he and Tom had gone out on the morning of December 19 and were out all day; they had returned home to find the body.
Tom also offered the same story with some minute inconsistencies, making the police think that was what happened and the testimonies were not contrived. Still, they continued probing and learned how Tom, Jason, and Anthony regularly hung out at Marina’s home. Paul termed the trio “misfit toys” yet found no evidence to link them to the 84-year-old’s death. He recounted how they might have gotten away with the “perfect murder” had they not felt the need to brag and let someone else admire their cleverness.
With Marina’s death, Anthony inherited her estate, which included her $500,000 home and life savings. According to the show, he began recklessly splurging money on alcohol, clothes, parties, and other expensive things. He even bought himself a luxurious sports car and spent a lot of money buying costly equipment for his band. Neighbors and friends recounted how Anthony transformed a part of the home into “a frat house,” with one family friend adding how Marina might have had “a heart attack” if she saw what her great-nephew had done to her home.
Surprisingly, there was an unexpected twist to the case on October 13, 2002, when the fourth band member, Jim Morel, walked into a police station with his father. He told the investigators how Jason had casually mentioned to him the previous day that Marina’s death was not an accident. Jim revealed how the latter had alleged Tom had fatally beaten the octagenarian. Despite his claims, he had very little detail or evidence to support the allegations, and the police began considering him a suspect.
Jim recounted on the show how he offered to wear a wire to bring the perpetrators to justice to avoid suspicion of him being involved. A couple of days later, he and Jason were driving to buy some band equipment when the former broached the subject of Marina’s death. Unbeknownst to Jason, his friend was wearing a wiretap, and he freely discussed the murder with him. He claimed Tom bludgeoned Marina with a yellow teapot and a pan while Anthony served as a lookout.
Jason further alleged the trio had binge-watched true crime shows and documentaries over the years and used what they learned to stage the crime scene. They dragged Marina’s body to the steps and positioned it to make her bruising death appear to be an accident. In addition, the trio added the trash bag for effect. The episode played footage of how Jason beamed as he bragged over the ingenuity of their plan and the flawless execution that even fooled law enforcement officials.
When Jim poked further, Jason told him they had discarded the murder weapons at a wooded area near Meadowbrook Pond and even took him there to look. He claimed Anthony was impatient for the inheritance and had promised him and Tom $30,000 for their part in the crime. With the taped admittance of guilt, the investigators focused on recovering the murder weapon since it would be crucial in getting the killers convicted.
Where Are Anthony Calabro, Thomas Lally, and Jason Weir Now?
The investigators extensively searched the woods on October 18, 2002, yet came up empty. They drained the Meadowbrook Pond on November 8 to retrieve the pan and teapot, though the water had washed off all forensic evidence. Anthony, Tom, and Jason were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Upon arrest, Tom claimed Jason had committed the murder, but the latter turned witness for the state. He took a plea deal and was sentenced to seven years behind bars as an accessory to murder.
Tom had scratches on his face, and the police found scraping under Marina’s fingernails that matched his DNA. It indicated he had struggled with the aged woman, and a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole in March 2006. On the other hand, Anthony pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in June 2006 and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
News reports state that 38-year-old Anthony was granted parole in January 2022 after he was made to wear a court-mandated electronic bracelet and required to submit to alcohol and drug testing, among other conditions. According to the episode, Jason was granted parole in 2009, while Tom, now in his early 40s, remains incarcerated at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.