A BITTER DIVORCE, TWO ARSONS AND A PENNSYLVANIA FATHER KILLED EXECUTION STYLE – FRIENDS SAY HE PREDICTED HIS OWN MURDER – “48 HOURS” INVESTIGATES IN “MARIA SPENCER’S VOW TO KILL”
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Correspondent Peter Van Sant and 48 HOURS investigate the murder of a Pennsylvania man shot dead after a bitter divorce, arsons at his mother’s home and his girlfriend’s home, and countless threats of harm, in “Maria Spencer’s Vow to Kill” to be broadcast Saturday, Nov. 16 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Frank Spencer, a beloved businessman, was found dead in July 2012. He was shot twice. One, investigators say, was a rifle shot to the torso, the other a handgun shot to the head. Police also spotted a sniper’s nest in in a wooded area across from his Bloomsburg, Pa. home. Spencer’s dog and truck were missing on the day his body was found.
It is a bizarre tale of a bitter divorce, a battling couple and a victim who foretold his own murder in conversations with friends. The case also raises questions about the responsibility of law enforcement when someone repeatedly reports being victimized and threatened.
“How could this all happen?” asks Senior Deputy Attorney General Tony Forray. “If you made this into a movie tomorrow, nobody would believe it actually happened.”
Police and the district attorney say they did all they could before the murder within the limits of the law. Investigators say Spencer’s ex-wife, Maria Spencer, and her father, Anthony “Rocco” Franklin, who according to police had a reputation for having ties to the mob, planned his death. The Spencers’ divorce had been finalized just three weeks earlier.
“Maria Spencer to me is a classic femme fatale,” says Forray. “An attractive woman, a seductress who, when a man becomes involved with her – this is going to end poorly.”
“I got no beef with Frank Spencer,” Franklin tells 48 HOURS in an exclusive on-camera interview. “If I had a beef with Frank Spencer, I’d have broke his face a long time ago.”
Franklin also tells 48 HOURS: “Maria never hurt nobody.”
But who really killed Spencer? Van Sant and 48 HOURS piece together the murder and take viewers inside Spencer’s home, where blood stains are still visible six years later. The hour also features interviews with prosecutors, investigators and Spencer’s friends and family.
“Frank told me where it was going to happen. It was going to be at his house,” says friend Derk Reed.
48 HOURS: “Maria Spencer’s Vow to Kill” is produced by Sarah Prior. Jordan Kinsey and Shaheen Tokhi are the associate producers. Atticus Brady, Michael Vele and George Baluzy are the editors. Lourdes Aguiar is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.