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Love can make you stupid. Or too smart for your own damned good. When planning just about anything, it’s usually best to keep things simple. Fortunately, a would-be Rockville, Maryland murderer wasn’t a KISS principle adherent. No, he tried to plan the perfect murder. One Columbo himself wouldn’t be able to unravel. But in a story worthy of a Scott Turow novel, the dark-hearted Census Bureau manager saw his elaborate plot undone by a poorly secured fake beard. It’s always the small things that trip you up…

According to the WaPo, Frank Cipriani (not pictured above) was apparently diddling a fellow Census Bureau employee. One that he supervises. I’ve always wondered what they do there in the years that don’t end in a zero. Your tax dollars at work.

During one of his twelve daily coffee breaks, he must have decided that cheating on his wife with a married subordinate would be much easier if they didn’t have to worry about the woman’s husband finding out. Thus, the murder plan was hatched.

Lack of a book contract prevents me from detailing all of the elaborate steps Cipriani took to obtain the husband’s fingerprints in order to make it look like a suicide. Suffice it to say they involved phony party games, bogus emails, a picture frame and, ultimately, impersonating a building inspector.

Authorities say that Cipriani came up with a ruse based on the fact that his target, and target’s wife, were remodeling a house. In a phone call, Cipriani posed as a building inspector and told the husband that they needed to meet at the house alone. “He lured a man … to his almost-death,” (Assistant State’s Attorney) Chaikin said.

Cipriani arrived, pulled out a gun, handed his target a glass of water and told him to drink it, Chaikin said. The man feared he would be shot under his chin. But then part of Cipriani’s beard fell off, and Cipriani asked his target if he recognized him, authorities said.

“No, no, I don’t. I don’t know who you are,” the man responded, according to Chaikin.

The target was lying and recognized the assailant as his wife’s supervisor, according to charging papers. Moments later, a contractor arrived. The victim fled out for the front door, and Cipriani ran for the back, according to prosecutors.

Detectives found two fake suicide notes, charging papers say. They also found a hair they think came from the fake beard.

D’oh! All that thought and planning only to be foiled because he didn’t know the basic stage makeup artist’s trick of using spirit gum to secure a fake beard. And, apparently, because he was monologuing. He just had to make sure the man he was about to plug knew why he was offing him. Just like in a bad movie.

Cipriani’s been charged with attempted murder, assault and use of a handgun in a violent crime.

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  1. And he would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids!

    Oh, wait, I was confusing this with a Scooby Doo episode.

    Never mind. 😛

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