The Deck - Joseph Pellicci (Jack of Hearts, Connecticut)

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Our card this week is Joseph Polici, the Jack of Hearts from Connecticut.

Joe was a father of three and a successful restaurateur when he was abducted and shot

to death in 1973.

Everyone in Stanford seems to know who’s responsible.

The real mystery is, why hasn’t anyone ever been charged with Joe’s murder?

I’m Ashley Flowers, and this is The Deck.

It was early afternoon on Sunday, February 4, 1973, and in Stanford, Connecticut, a young

woman named Toni was headed home after church.

She was a couple of blocks away, driving on Windover Lane, when something caught her eye.

Parked by the side of the road at the corner of the intersection was her red Pontiac, which

she had loaned to her big brother, 32-year-old Joseph Polici.

She was surprised to see it, because this isn’t a road that people typically park on,

because there’s really no space to park.

But she also knew the Pontiac was having some transmission problems, so she figured maybe

it just broke down.

In which case, Joe would have made the quick walk back to their parents’ house.

But when she got home, only their father was there.

When she asked about Joe, her dad told her that he left the house about an hour and a

half ago, like around 11 a.m.

She knew he had plans to visit his three children and then go work at Polici’s, which was this

popular Italian restaurant that had been owned by their family for decades, and Joe tended

bar and helped operate the place.

So Toni called him there to find out what had happened with the car.

But it wasn’t Joe who picked up the phone.

It was her other brother.

He told Toni that Joe never showed up.

And that is when Toni started to get really worried.

It wasn’t like Joe to just pull a no-call, no-show.

So next, the family reached out to Joe’s wife, Frances.

Even though they didn’t live together at the moment because of some marital trouble,

Joe and Frances shared kids, and they were trying to see if they wanted to reconcile.

So they were in touch.

And again, he had planned to go see the kids before work.

But just like Joe didn’t show up for his shift, when they got Frances on the phone,

they learned that Joe didn’t show up to see his kids either.

And that is when Toni’s worry turned to fear.

As time went by, the phone calls kept escalating.

Where is he?

He didn’t get here.

We were a close family.

We only went home and to work at the restaurant, which was five minutes away.

We never deviated.

And you just knew in your heart, you knew something bad happened.

By now, the whole family was on high alert.

And not knowing where Joe might be, his brother Anthony turned to the only physical thing

that pointed to Joe’s last whereabouts, the abandoned car.

When he went to check out the Pontiac, the car was locked up tight.

But he noticed something alarming.

The center console was open.

And that, he knew, is where Joe kept a gun.

You see, Joe had actually been on high alert lately.

He was having an affair with a woman named Aida.

And his wife knew about it by that point, which probably wasn’t helping with any potential


In fact, it had caused a lot of drama for him.

With his wife, sure, but also with Aida’s ex-husband, 33-year-old Fernando Merry.

Fernando couldn’t stand Joe.

He had been threatening him for months.

And while the threats didn’t stop the affair, they must have really bothered him.

Because according to Stanford Advocate reporter Angela Carella, Joe had been acting strange

over the past winter.

He was nervous.

He’d like look out his window and check the street before leaving the house.

He had gotten two guns, one for the car and another that he kept on him.

He just wasn’t acting like the upbeat, happy-go-lucky guy that everyone was used to.

Joe’s family was aware of the situation.

And right away, they started wondering if Fernando was behind Joe’s strange disappearance.

Especially because Fernando was acting sketchy that day.

Tony said that he kept calling the restaurant that day, Sunday, and asking for Joe.

And Fernando made it a point to let people there know, or to think anyway, that he himself

was out of the state, which he wasn’t.

Francis and Tony went to the Stanford Police Department and tried to report Joe missing.

But Tony said that they were told to come back in 24 hours.

However, someone might have taken the report because an article in the Stanford Advocate

says that Joe was officially reported missing by his brother that Sunday at 5.30 p.m.

And the Connecticut Sunday Herald reported that an all-points bulletin was issued for

Fernando that very night.

Police were especially interested in finding Fernando after they spoke with Aida.

According to former Stanford Sergeant Butch Lupinacci, Aida told investigators that Fernando

had visitation with his daughter from 1 to 6 p.m. that Sunday.

Instead, he showed up to her house around 11 a.m. and insisted on taking her early.

But within minutes, he brought her back and said that she wanted to play with her friends.

So he left again and then returned at 1, like he was supposed to in the first place.

Then he only kept her until 3 that afternoon.

To Butch, this is weird, and he wonders if all that back and forth was part of some bigger


Is he alibis-ing himself?

Because the wife had him there.

He picked up the daughter for a short time and brought her right back.

And then came back again and picked her up.

Is he just getting an alibi because he helped set up the homicide?

Plus Aida told investigators about a disturbing conversation that they had when he dropped

their daughter off.

By then, she knew Joe was MIA, and she told her ex he better not be involved.

Fernando reportedly told her that if he did something to Joe, no one would ever find him

because he would throw him over a wall.

Not exactly a reassuring denial.

But even with the family and police focused on Fernando, rumors started flying immediately

that Joe’s disappearance had nothing to do with the love triangle, and everything

to do with the mob.

According to Daily Advocate reporter Carrie Tessarero, word on the street was that Joe

had gambling debts and owed money to some dangerous people.

And there were plenty of dangerous people around.

In the 1970s, Stanford was essentially controlled by the mob, specifically the infamous Genovese

and Gambino New York crime families, who ran the local drug, gambling, loan sharking, and

extortion rings.

But police maintained that the rumors about Joe had no merit, and Butch added that money

wasn’t an issue for the Policis.

Their restaurant, located on the city’s predominantly Italian west side, was thriving,

and it was frequented by the rich and famous like Joe DiMaggio, Tony Bennett, Danny Glover,

and Walter Cronkite.

It was the busiest restaurant in Fairfield County at the time, practically.

If you went there on a Saturday night back in that day, there’s a chance you’re standing

But the gossip was persistent.

And it probably didn’t help that Stanford PD put Lieutenant Larry Hogan in charge of

the investigation.

According to Daily Advocate reporter Frank M. Fideli, he led the department’s special

services squad, which handled cases involving drugs and illegal gambling.

He was also the founder and commander of a regional narcotics squad.

Police told the Sunday Herald that Lieutenant Hogan was a member of the group, and that

But it wasn’t knowledge of the west side that yielded a startling find the day after

Joe vanished, Monday, February 5th.

A man walking by a partially frozen reservoir in the nearby town of Greenwich spotted three

guns and some keys laying on the ice.

And I just have to pause here really quick and say, there’s been a ton of conflicting

between the two sides of the story.

And I think it’s important to note that the two sides of the story are very different

from one another.

And I just have to pause here really quick and say, there’s been a ton of conflicting

news coverage about the guns, actually not just the guns, but Joe’s entire case.

Butch told us that several key details that were reported are wrong.

So we’re primarily going with his information, which comes from official records.

And what he told us is when investigators collected everything from the ice, they determined

two of the guns, both loaded, were registered to Joe, and the keys were to the Pontiac.

They couldn’t tell who owned the third gun, a five-shot .38 caliber revolver.

But they knew it had been fired because there were five spent shell casings in the chamber.

Revolvers don’t eject those.

That same day, Lieutenant Hogan got in touch with Fernando’s lawyer, who arranged for

him to come in for questioning.

And he denied any involvement in Joe’s disappearance.

What’s interesting is Fernando actually used to be a family friend of the Pellicci’s,

at least until Joe and Aida got together.

But while Fernando admitted to reporters that he didn’t like Joe, he said he still

respected the Pellicci’s and sympathized with their grief over his disappearance.

I’m not sure if police believed Fernando, but I do know that they had already started

to eye other potential suspects who took the investigation in a whole different direction.

Because witnesses told officers about an unusual car on or near Wendover Lane around the time

Joe vanished on Sunday.

A newspaper delivery man reported seeing a powder blue Cadillac parked on a side street

near Wendover that morning, just before 11.

There was a man sitting inside of it wearing dark sunglasses, and the delivery man said

he seemed out of place.

A woman who lived right next to where the Pontiac was found told police that she also

saw a powder blue Cadillac.

It was parked on the side of Wendover Lane at the corner of the intersection when she

left her house at around 11.

Like I said earlier, cars don’t generally park on this road, so the Cadillac caught

her attention, and she too saw a man inside wearing sunglasses.

She even took note of the personalized license plate.

She couldn’t recall the whole thing, but she was able to give police most of the letters.

Police asked Aida about the Cadillac, wondering if Fernando ever drove one like it.

She told them he didn’t, but she did know someone who did, and that someone just happened

to despise Joe.

That person was Joe’s brother-in-law, Francis’ younger brother, a 28-year-old man that we’re

gonna call Joshua.

He was reportedly furious on his sister’s behalf about the affair and unofficial separation.

Police were able to quickly confirm that Joshua owned the Cadillac.

And Joe’s sister, Toni, grew suspicious when she heard about his Cadillac being in

the area.

So in an effort to do a little of her own investigative work, the next time Francis

came over to the Policis’ house, Toni listened as she called her brother.

Joshua told his sister that he was in New York.

He had gotten hurt somehow and needed to see a doctor, but he admitted that he had been

in the Westover neighborhood that Sunday when Joe went missing.

He said that he and a buddy of his were testing out some walkie-talkies.

Francis asked him if he saw anything unusual while he was out and about, but he said no.

When police interviewed Joshua a couple of days later, he initially denied being anywhere

near Wendover on Sunday.

But when they told him that his car had been spotted by multiple people, he finally conceded

that he had been in the general vicinity, although he claimed that he didn’t recall

going on that specific road.

He gave them the same walkie-talkie story and said he dropped off his friend at a nearby

school and drove around trying to connect with him from various locations.

His friend is this 31-year-old man that we’re going to call Alfred.

Anyway, after that, they went back to Alfred’s place and washed the Cadillac, inside and


I’m not sure if investigators asked him why he decided to wash his car, inside and

out, in February, in Connecticut, in the freezing cold, but apparently the car still wasn’t

clean enough for his taste because he said he also took it to a nearby car wash on Monday

and forgot to close one of the windows when he went through.

You get where this is going, right?

Joshua gave permission for police to search his car, but the right back seat was still

soaking wet from the car wash debacle.

The trunk was, too, although he told police that the car leaked back there, which they

verified with the dealership he bought it from.

Now, it was notable that Joshua mentioned hanging out with another guy, again, this

friend that we’re calling Alfred, because there’s this thing that Butch told us.

There was a man who was new to the neighborhood who reported seeing three guys on the side

of the road, outside of a car, talking.

Now, again, this guy’s new.

He didn’t know any of them.

But if one of those guys was Joe, it means that Joe was last seen with two men.

But why would he be stopped in a weird area talking to two guys outside of his car, especially

if one of those guys was someone who hated him?

Well, Butch has a theory.

Basically, his theory is that Joshua approached him with some kind of excuse about going with

him, and he thinks that Joe would have done this because when he talked to Joe’s family

and friends, everybody that knew Joe said that even though he knew Joshua hated him,

he wouldn’t have had a problem going with him.

He would have just gone.

Despite all the bizarre circumstances of Joe’s disappearance that would have any crime junkie

sounding the alarm, the Stanford PD insisted to reporters at the time that there were no

signs of foul play.

Lieutenant Hogan told the Sunday Herald that Joe might just be on vacation.

But the Pellicci family didn’t buy it.

And it doesn’t seem like many other people did either.

Joe had never done anything like this before, and there was no logical explanation for his

guns and keys turning up a town away, dumped by someone who hadn’t realized the reservoir

was mostly frozen.

And they weren’t comforted when the police searched that same area and didn’t find

a body, because Joe’s family believed that he had been abducted.

Every step of the way, it just got more dismal.

Now, the Pellicci’s relationship with Frances, Joe’s wife, hadn’t been great before all

of this.

And honestly, that’s kind of an understatement.

His marriage was so toxic.

She was not only toxic for him, she was toxic for our entire family.

She made every year they were together completely miserable for all of us.

She would get to the point where she wouldn’t allow Joe to talk to us, to see us, or bring

his children.

He would have to sneak his children to come see my mother and father.

But things got worse once Joe disappeared.

Because while Toni said Frances seemed genuinely upset, she also rallied to her brother’s

side after police quickly started homing in on him.

Frances said she didn’t believe Joshua was involved, and he even moved in with her and

the kids for a while.

For nearly a month, Joe’s loved ones waited and worried.

But they didn’t sit idly by.

They conducted their own searches throughout Stamford and Greenwich, canvassed neighborhoods,

and put up a reward for information.

And on Friday, March 2nd, about 20 miles away in Westchester County, New York, a Town

Highway Department employee driving a road grader in North Salem made a gruesome discovery.

According to the Sunday Herald, behind a crumbling stone wall and wire fence in a desolated wooded

area was the body of a man.

Joe had finally been found.

But it didn’t look like he was supposed to be found.

The employee only saw him because of the high seat on the road grader that he was driving.

Joe was on his back, fully clothed, with a blanket secured around his head using green


He still had his wallet with him, $55 in it and all.

The medical examiner estimated that he had been out there for a few weeks, and the autopsy

determined that he had been shot six times in the head and back.

Since he was found in Westchester County, the homicide investigation fell to New York

State Police.

And even though law enforcement told reporters that there were no quote-unquote gangland

overtones to the murder, back home in Stamford, those old rumors started bubbling up again,

and everyone assumed Joe’s death was a mob hit.

Everyone except his heartbroken family.

The rumors circulating in the community were salt in already terrible wounds as they planned

a funeral.

Now, you might remember that Fernando, who is Aida’s husband, Aida is the woman Joe

was having an affair with, he made a very specific comment about throwing Joe over a


So, you might think Joe being found behind a wall would at least warrant some sort of

follow-up conversation with him.

But no.

They never bothered with him again.

Never questioned him about it.

Investigators at the time only focused on Joshua and his buddy Alfred.

Joshua had gotten himself a lawyer since his initial conversation with police.

He wouldn’t speak with investigators again, and he refused to take a polygraph.

But Alfred was another story.

Police had questioned him while Joe was still a missing person, and he sat down for another

interview, this time with the New York State Police.

He denied having anything to do with the murder and agreed to take a polygraph that same day.

The polygraphist thought Alfred was being deceptive, but the machine malfunctioned at

some point during the exam, so they couldn’t get full results.

Alfred said that he’d take another one, but within days he hired a lawyer, and he

never did actually take another one.

He did, however, discuss a deal with authorities that would grant him immunity in exchange

for his cooperation.

The problem was the wording of the proposal.

It was almost like they were discouraging him from being a state’s witness.

He will not be prosecuted based on any statements which he makes to representatives of the Stanford

Police or New York State Police.

But this will not bar prosecution based on facts which are discovered completely and

far and independent of his testimony.

If we find through an independent investigation you’re involved, any involvement, you’re

going to be charged.

So where is the immunity?

Plus, Alfred could still be charged if he had quote-unquote intentionally helped anyone

kill Joe, which is exactly what they wanted him to admit to.

My opinion, right between the lines, they’re telling him not to cooperate.

Butch said there’s no record of Alfred ever admitting to anything, even during the discussion

about this potential deal.

After he saw the sort of but not really immunity terms they were offering, he and his lawyer

stopped communicating with authorities.

But even without Alfred’s testimony, investigators were at an advantage because they had physical

evidence and lots of it.

The blanket that Joe’s head was wrapped in was especially helpful.

It held a treasure trove of clues.

There was actually a name embroidered on it.

Police found out who that person was, tracked him down, and learned from his mother that

she had given the blanket away a while back.

They followed the trail of the blanket to the superintendent of an apartment building,

who just happened to be, drumroll please, Alfred’s father.

Alfred’s mother told police that they had given the blanket to their son.

Investigators also learned that Alfred’s father had been hospitalized recently and

a friend gave him a get well soon gift, a plant that was held together with green twine.

The circumstantial evidence was piling up, so police were able to get a search warrant

for Joshua’s Cadillac for physical evidence.

They processed it and found fibers that, when tested, matched the blanket and the green

twine, along with hairs that were microscopically similar to Joe’s hair.

And speaking of physical evidence, ballistics testing determined that the .38 caliber five

shot revolver found at the reservoir was the murder weapon used to shoot Joe six times,

which meant that whoever shot Joe had to reload it.

Police managed to trace the gun to a shop in Scranton, Pennsylvania, just a few miles

from Joshua’s family’s hometown.

They couldn’t determine exactly who the gun was sold to, but they were confident all the

evidence was strongly pointing toward Joshua and Alfred.

Meanwhile, the Policis waited, for updates, for information, for someone to be held accountable

for Joe’s murder.

They were well aware of the developments that had been made up to this point, and knowing

that investigators had so much evidence, they couldn’t understand why no arrests were

being made.

And same, no one could understand it, not the community, not Joe’s loved ones, not

even the police.

So you might be wondering, hey Ashley, what the f*** are we doing here?

How did this guy’s face end up on a deck of cold case playing cards?

Well, this is where it gets ugly.

Joe’s story was supposed to be featured on a TV show called Justice Delivered, a docu-series

about an investigative team trying to reopen and solve cold cases.

As far as I can tell, the show never aired, but according to a write-up for it, there

are three main reasons Joe’s murder went unsolved.

For starters, Lieutenant Hogan, who was still supervising Stamford’s end of the investigation,

was a little busy with other things at the time.

If you recall, he was in charge of the regional narcotics squad, and in the years following

Joe’s murder, he told the Stamford advocate that heroin use was on the rise in the city.

Which he would know, because as it turns out, Hogan was also running a drug ring for the


Stamford in the 1970s was notoriously corrupt.

Organized crime infiltrated City Hall, and government departments were rife with bribery,

embezzlement, nepotism, and other wrongdoings.

It was so blatant that, according to Angela Carrello’s reporting, officials would meet

weekly with mobsters to go over city business.

And this corruption was most rampant in the Stamford Police Department.

In his book, Law and Justice in Everyday Life, Andy Tebow detailed how cops robbed

liquor stores, burglarized homes, ran guns to Ireland.

One sergeant was even a suspect in as many as five murders.

I mean, s**t was out of control.

And Hogan allegedly wore a lot of criminal hats for the Gambino crime family.

The guy was involved in homicides, drugs, taking money from illegal car thieves.

You name it, he was involved as long as he could get a dollar from.

This was sort of an open secret.

People in the streets knew, lots of cops knew, but everyone was afraid to tell on Hogan,

and no one knew who to trust.

Officers who tried to quietly complain to higher-ups about what was going on were outed

as snitches by those same higher-ups.

But you know what they say, what’s done in the dark will come to light.

It turned out that federal and state authorities were watching the Stamford PD.

One cop even pretended to quit the force so he could go undercover and investigate his

own department, although a mobster’s sister who worked in city payroll blew his cover

when she revealed that he was still getting paychecks.

But honest police officers and other government employees who were sick of the BS started

to contact Stamford advocate reporter Anthony Dolan.

His articles eventually led to 15 city and state officials resigning, getting fired,

arrested, or indicted, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for his work.

As for Hogan, he retired in 1977 under a cloud of suspicion, and in 1981, he was convicted

on a heroin conspiracy charge and sentenced to five years in prison.

But two years later, a federal appeals court voided the indictment after deciding the prosecutor

prejudiced the grand jury by bringing up unrelated and unproven allegations.

Court records show the prosecutor suggested Hogan was guilty of misconduct when he was

a police officer, and let it be known that authorities were investigating him in connection

with two murders.

Hogan was re-indicted on the heroin charge in 1984, along with one of those murders and

another drug charge.

According to Hartford Courant reporter George Gambasi, he was accused of being part of a

scheme to steal cocaine from a drug dealer, and authorities said he was there when the

guy was shot and killed.

But he never had his day in court.

He died that same year of cancer.

Now Butch was not on the police force when all of this was going down.

He joined the Stamford PD in 79.

And in a first ever twist for the deck, he actually married Joe’s sister, Toni.

So needless to say, he became very familiar with the case.

And when he joined the detective bureau, he was allowed to help New York State Police

work it off and on.

But he also grew frustrated because what he quickly found out was that even though police

were convinced from near day one that they knew what led up to Joe’s murder, who was

behind it, and to some extent how it happened, the aftermath of it was steeped in mystery.

For instance, it was never clear why Hogan was put in charge of the case.

Butch said Hogan later claimed it was because he knew the Policis well.

But if he did, that wouldn’t be a reason to assign him the case.

Not to mention, Butch said that the family couldn’t stand him.

They’re in the midst of this investigation, while the family is heartbroken and everything.

He’s asking Toni Polici to go away with him for the weekend.

Because if that isn’t a creepy enough thing to do to someone while you’re supposedly

trying, but maybe just pretending to investigate their brother’s murder, when Toni turned

him down, he made sure to let her know that some lab results from Joe’s evidence were

due to come in soon.

The implication being, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

What’s interesting is some investigators said they were able to work the case until

it seemed like they were getting close to an arrest.

They’d be taken off with little explanation.

And we know certain leads were never followed up on.

Take the Fernando situation, for example.

Toni doesn’t think that he was directly involved, but she does think that he might

have known about what was happening.

And Butch speculated that Fernando could have shown Joshua and Alfred where to dump Joe’s


But we’ll probably never know since police apparently never revisited him as a suspect.

There are also questions surrounding Joe’s wife, Frances.

She’s always maintained that she had no involvement whatsoever in Joe’s death.

And we know she gave a statement to police.

But Butch said there’s really no documentation laying out how she was questioned or what

she was asked, that sort of thing.

Butch spoke with Frances himself decades after Joe’s murder.

He said that she told him early on she didn’t think her brother Joshua was involved.

But as the years passed, she came to believe that he was, and she cut ties with him.

As for Joe’s sister, Toni, she doesn’t think Frances ever intended for Joe to get


But she does think Frances’s actions led to the outcome.

But Joe’s wake, she just was hysterical.

She was saying, I wanted you back, but not like this.

And I remember her saying to somebody, I just wanted him to get a good beating on the corner.

That’s exactly what she said, a good beating on the corner.

And they got him on the corner, but they did more than just give him a good beating.

Do you believe that she did ask her brother to approach him and like maybe put the scare

in him a little bit?


Yeah, I do.

The point is, these are questions police should have been more concerned with back when everything

was happening.

But assuming the murder had nothing to do with Joe owing money to the mob, why wouldn’t

Hogan want it solved?

Well, there are some theories.

Like there was a rumor that Joshua’s family had some organized crime connections in Pennsylvania

and they had Hogan shut the investigation down.

There’s also talk that Hogan was paid off.

So reason number one, why this case is unsolved, possible police corruption in the case.

And to be clear, there was for sure police corruption happening right and left, but here

it’s just a theory.

But that theory doesn’t explain why authorities in New York didn’t move ahead and press charges.

Stamford had a missing person slash abduction case that stayed open even after Joe’s body

was found, but the homicide was New York’s.

That segues into the second reason.

As per Justice Delivered, that is a lack of cooperation from both law enforcement jurisdictions.

Now Butch said the departments did work together and New York State Police tried to reopen

the case once.

But I think Stamford always had more of a vested interest in solving it.

After all, Joe was abducted in their backyard.

And for all we know, he might have been killed there too.

That could help explain why the murder weapon was dumped in a Connecticut reservoir.

Maybe they were done using it by the time they got to New York.

They should have took the case back here immediately.

Butch isn’t sure if the Westchester County D.A. ever put the case to a grand jury.

But he presented everything he had to the D.A.’s office at some point, and they didn’t

move forward with it.

Which brings us to cold case reason number three.

According to Justice Delivered, evidence went missing over the years.

In the year 2000, DNA testing started getting popular.

Butch and a New York investigator made plans to bring the blanket to a lab to see if the

newer forensic technology could help out.

But when the New York investigator went to retrieve it from storage, it wasn’t there.

Butch was floored.

Departments don’t just toss out key pieces of evidence in homicides.

He doesn’t know how it could have happened or even when.

I don’t think I have ever seen an investigation with so many available answers leave behind

so many questions.

But there is still hope for this case.

Because while Alfred died in 1997, Joshua is still alive.

Which means that if he was involved in what happened to Joe in any way, he can still be

held responsible.

Joshua is still living in Stanford today.

He lives actually just a mile from the restaurant.

And Butch actually ran into him one time at the grocery store.

Joshua initiated a conversation by saying, I know you, you’re that s**t detective.

Butch replied by saying, I’m a s**t cop, you’re an effing murderer.

And his only response was prove it in court.

Not I didn’t do it or this or that.

Prove it in court.

That’s exactly what Butch is trying to do even though he’s retired now.

He lobbied authorities in New York to transfer the homicide over to Stanford PD, which they

did in March of 2018.

And even without the blanket, there’s still physical evidence police can work with.

It has been 50 years since Joe was killed.

But to his sister, Toni, it sometimes feels like it happened just yesterday.

Joe was her best friend.

We were really close.

We did everything together.

When he had his first child, I was only 10.

At that time, the restrictions were pretty harsh in bringing children into hospitals

for visitation.

But he got me a pair of high heels and he snuck me in to see his firstborn.

Very protective, very loving.

I didn’t have him long enough, unfortunately.

Joe’s loved ones have kept his memory alive, from tributes in the restaurant, which is

still open, to an annual memorial golf tournament to raise money for charity.

And after years of estrangement, the family was thrilled to reconnect with Joe’s children.

But they’ve lost a lot over the years.

Toni and her sister are the last Polici siblings left.

Their other brother died in 2014.

And their parents died years before that.

Every time we think we have something, some spark, a hole, it dies out.

Maybe you can help keep the spark lit.

Stamford police say that the case is open but not active since they haven’t gotten

any new leads.

But anyone with information is encouraged to call them.

So if that’s you, if you know anything about the murder of Joe Polici, contact Stamford

Police at 203-977-4444.

The Deck is an AudioChuck production with theme music by Ryan Lewis.

To learn more about The Deck and our advocacy work, visit

So, what do you think, Chuck?

Do you approve?