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Hey, prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mister Ballin podcast one month early, and all episodes ad free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today on January 17, 2001, a woman was exercising at her local gym in Amityville, New York, when suddenly she looked up and noticed something towards the back of the gym. At first, she couldn't tell what it was, and so she wiped the sweat from her face. Then she looked again. And when she realized what she was looking at, she pointed and screamed. And what she saw would send fear all through the town of Amityville, a town that was already famously linked to mass murder and a possible demon possession. But before we get into that story, if you're a fan of the strange, dark, and mysterious delivered in story format, then you come to the right podcast, because that's all we do. And we upload twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. So if that's of interest to you, the next time the Amazon music follow button asks you if they can have a bite of your sandwich, tell them, yes, of course.


And then, right as you're about to hand it over, immediately retract your hand and shove the entire sandwich into your mouth and turn around and walk away. Okay, let's get into today's story.


Some stories were never meant to be heard. Beneath the visible world of parliaments, politicians, and civil servants lies an invisible state filled with secret operatives playing to very different rules from wondery. I'm Indravama, and this is the spy who. This month, we open the file on Noor Anaya, the spy who wouldn't lie. When Germany invades France, Noor and her family are forced to flee to Britain. But Noor decides she can't just sit out the war. So she accepts one of the most dangerous spy missions of world War two, a job that will put her deep into enemy territory. Follow the spy who now wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can binge the full season of the spy who wouldn't lie early and ad free with wondery.




I'm afoul Hirsch.


I'm Peter Frankopan, and in our podcast.


Legacy, we explore the lives of some of the biggest characters in history. This season, we delve into the life of Alan Turing. Why are we talking about Alan Turing?


Peter Alan Turing is the father of computer science, and some of those questions we're thinking about today around artificial intelligence. Turing was so involved in setting and framing what some of those questions were. But he's also interesting for lots of other reasons.


Afro he had such a fascinating life. He was unapologetically gay at a time when that was completely criminalized and stigmatized. And from his imagination, he created ideas that have formed the very physical, practical foundation of all of the technology on which our lives depend.


And on top of that, he's responsible for being part of a team that saved millions, maybe even tens of millions of lives because of his work during the second world war, using maths and computer science to code break. So join us on legacy wherever you get your podcasts.


In early 2000, 132 year old Alex Algieri stood behind the front desk at the Dolphin Fitness Club in Amityville, New York. Alex loved the sounds of a crowded gym, the music pumping through the speakers, weights sliding onto bars, and people cheering each other on as they hit their fitness goals. And a crowded gym also meant that Alex was making money. He and his best friend, Paul Riedel, had opened up Dolphin fitness two years earlier, and they had turned it into a favorite spot for serious weightlifters and amateur weightlifters alike. There was no question Alex was happy about all the money he was bringing in. He'd always dreamed of being a very successful entrepreneur, but the gym was a lot more to him than just a business. Amityville was a small town on Long island with a strong sense of community, and Alex wanted his and Paul's gym to reflect that. So from the day they had opened Dolphin fitness, Alex said he wanted everybody who stepped through the doors to feel like they were part of a family. It didn't matter if people were old or young or what kind of shape they were in.


Alex went out of his way to help his customers feel good about themselves and to feel like they belonged, and his customers loved him for it. Alex stepped out from behind the front desk and began making his rounds on the gym floor. Alex was a really strong guy. He was just about 6ft, maybe a little bit under, but he looked like a very serious bodybuilder, super jacked. So most people at the gym called him Big Al. Alex had dark hair and a dark goatee, and on this day he was wearing a long sleeve black shirt and tight jeans, his standard outfit. At work, Alex said hello to just about everybody on the gym floor. He knew pretty much everybody by name, and he was excited to see some new members starting off the new year by coming to his gym. Just then, a young man waved at Alex and asked if he wouldnt mind coming over and spotting him on the bench, and Alex said that was fine, and he walked over to the bench press and Alex told the young man hed be ready to grab the bar if the young man struggled to lift it.


So the young man took a deep breath. He grabbed the bar, brought it down to his chest, and then, in one slow but steady movement, he pressed the bar all the way up. And Alex spotted him the whole time, shouting words of encouragement. And then finally, when the young man had fully extended his arms and fully did a rep, he racked the bar. And he and Alex exchanged high fives and cheered like he just won the Super bowl or something. Just then, Alex turned and saw a couple of people standing by the front desk. He figured they were potential new members, so Alex scanned the gym and then just shook his head. His partner, Paul, was supposed to be here right now working, too. And really, it would have been his job to talk to these two new potential members. But Alex hadn't seen Paul on the gym floor in hours. So Alex walked away from the young man he had just spotted and headed over to the front desk and smiled wide and greeted the couple. The rest of that night pretty much went the same way. Alex did everything and ran the gym.


And Paul didn't show his face again. And by the end of the night, after Alex had said goodbye to the last customers and locked up, he was feeling frustrated. Why should he do all the work but still give Paul half the profits? Alex angrily marched his way towards the back of the gym, past some aerobics rooms to a small office. Alex knew this is where he would find Paul. Alex opened the door and there was Paul, hunched over in a chair and tapping his fingers on a table. Paul didn't look up when Alex walked in. It was like he was off in his own world. Alex figured Paul must be high on cocaine or some other drug. It was a sight that Alex saw way too often. It made him mad because Paul was his business partner and he wasn't doing his job. But it also broke Alex's heart, because Paul really was his best friend and to see him struggle like this was hard. The two men had known each other for years, and they'd gotten along from the first time they'd met. They'd both grown up as working class kids who dreamed of having their own business someday.


And they both loved lifting weights and bodybuilding. So after becoming fast friends, they began to come up with a plan to open their own gym. For years, Alex and Paul had worked different jobs to save up money. And they had also found some outside investors who believed in them. And so eventually, when they had scraped all the cash together, they opened up dolphin fitness together. Now, most people who knew them said these two were closer than brothers. Alex had been Paul's best man at his wedding, and he was the godfather to Paul and his wife, Leann's baby boy. Back in the office, Alex shouted Paul's name. And Paul finally realized Alex was in the room with him. When Paul turned around and looked up, Alex could see his eyes were totally bloodshot. Alex really laid into Paul for not helping him run the gym that night. And he said he didn't understand what Paul was even doing with his life. They had achieved their dream of starting their own business. And on top of that, Paul had a beautiful wife and child. So why was he throwing everything away on drugs and partying like he was still a crazy bachelor in his early twenties?


Paul was very defensive and shouted a few obscenities at Alex and then basically just told Alex to leave him alone. But Alex said he'd had enough. He told Paul that he was ready to dissolve their business partnership and go start his own gym if he had to. That got Paul's attention. He stood up and walked right towards Alex. And Alex was a big guy, but Paul was like a giant. Paul was six foot, seven inches tall with a massive chest and huge arms. And Paul just started screaming, and Alex screamed right back. But Alex knew Paul was not someone to mess with when he was high and also angry. So pretty quickly, Alex just said he was done talking for the night, and he walked out of the office. From the hallway, Alex heard Paul scream at the top of his lungs. And then he heard the sound of an office chair go flying into the wall. Alex angrily clenched his jaw, picked up his pace, and grabbed his coat from behind the front desk. Then he headed out the back door of the gym to the parking lot. He climbed into his black Yukon suv and took off.


And as he drove, he figured Paul was still probably screaming and throwing more furniture. The following day at the gym, Paul apologized to Alex. Alex was used to this. His friend would do drugs. He would lash out, say stupid things, and then feel bad about it the next day and say he was sorry. Alex accepted Paul's apology like he always did, but he just felt tired from having to deal with the same thing over and over again. Alex was all about family, and he loved the people close to him almost unconditionally. But even he was reaching a breaking point with Paul, and he knew he was not the only one who felt this way. Pauls wife, Leigh Anne, was also fed up with Pauls drug use and angry outbursts. In fact, she was so upset with her husband that shed gone to stay with her mother in Florida until she could figure out if she even wanted to stay married. Alex knew that Leigh Anne leaving had made it really hard on Paul, but he couldn't blame her. After all, the night before, Alex had threatened to leave Paul and go start his own gym.


And Alex had meant what he said. But he knew scrapping the Dolphin fitness club and trying to start his own gym would not happen overnight. So Alex decided to look at all of his options and start putting together a new business plan. That way he would feel like he was working towards something. And in the meantime, he hoped and prayed that Paul would get his life together and go back to being the great business partner and best friend that he used to be. A couple of weeks later, on the night of January 17, 2001, Alex was back behind the front desk at the gym. Paul had taken a couple of nights off, which left Alex to run the place on his own. But Alex was used to that and he really hoped the time away from the gym would do Paul some good. Alex made his usual rounds on the gym floor, talking to customers and encouraging the weightlifters. And then at some point, he heard a woman who was over on the exercise machines shout big al over the music. Alex turned and smiled at the woman and began walking over to her. When he reached her, she was very sweaty and out of breath and she told him right away how excited she was about all the results she was seeing from all her exercising.


But she told Alex that she just could not get on board with the music that was playing and could he please change it. Alex laughed and said, of course he would change it. But she told him there was actually this one particular album that really motivated her to work even harder at the gym. And she said Alex had played it during a fitness class that she'd taken from him. And immediately Alex knew exactly the song she was talking about. He said he had the CD in his car and he'd just go grab it. Then he turned away from the woman and began walking towards the back door. The cold air hit Alex as soon as he walked out to the parking lot. It was around 35 degrees fahrenheit, so just above freezing, Alex's coat was still hanging up inside the gym. But it wasn't worth going back for. He'd spent enough winters in Amityville to be used to this kind of cold. So Alex hustled across the parking lot to his black Yukon. When he got to it, he opened up the driver's side door, and the dome light came on. Alex leaned into the suv and started digging through the CDs that he kept in a case in the passenger seat.


Then Alex heard someone shouting behind him in the parking lot. So he pulled his head out of the suv, and he turned to see what was going on. And when he did, he saw someone running directly towards him in the darkness. Back inside the gym, the woman who had asked Alex to change the music, she wiped the sweat from her forehead and looked off towards the back exit. Alex had been gone way longer than she thought he would be, but she figured he must be just having a hard time finding the CD. Or maybe hed stopped in his office to make a phone call before coming back to the gym floor. But then the woman saw something, and she screamed. Several people stopped their workouts and ran to her to see if she was okay, but she just pointed towards the back of the gym. And then more screams rang out above the music. Alex staggered onto the gym floor. Blood poured down his neck and soaked through his shirt. People ran up to him, and he looked at them, and in a strangled voice, he said, I've been shot. Alex collapsed to the ground.


A woman who was a nurse rushed to his side and checked his pulse and immediately began administering CPR. At the same time, a man ran to the front desk and grabbed the phone and dialed 911. A few minutes later, police and paramedics arrived at the gym, and right away, Alex was put on a gurney and rushed outside to a waiting ambulance. Someone had turned off the music by this point, so everybody in the gym just stood there in stunned silence. Most of them were in shock, and they couldn't understand what had even just happened. Everybody loved Alex. Why would someone shoot him? The local police stayed to question everybody at the gym about what they had seen, but their main goal was simply just to get names and contact information for everybody who was there. They knew that a violent crime like this one that had seemingly just occurred, would quickly be handed off to a larger police force, and so they just wanted to gather up some names to hand off. A couple of hours later, Detective Robert Anderson of the Suffolk County Police Department stepped out of his car in front of the hospital.


Anderson looked and dressed more like a professor than a cop, and people who had worked with Anderson during his 34 years in law enforcement said he had a mind like a professor, too. He was highly analytical and rarely satisfied with simple answers. Detective Anderson had gotten word that Alex Algieri had been shot outside of the gym that he owned, and Alex had been declared dead. Soon after being rushed to the hospital, from the minute Anderson was told he would be leading a homicide investigation in Amityville, he knew there would be a ton of pressure on him to solve the case fast because Amityville was not your typical town. Amityville for decades had been associated with murder and dark forces. Almost 30 years earlier, in 1974, an Amityville man named Ronald DeFeo junior had killed his mother, father, two brothers, and two sisters in their home. The media attention from the mass murder was bad enough for the small, quiet town, but things had only gotten stranger for Amityville after that. The family that wound up moving into the Defeo house where those murders happened claimed they were terrorized by a demon or some other supernatural entity in the house.


This claim eventually drew the attention of very famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who came out and did their own investigation. And the story of this demon or entity in the home also was eventually turned into a book called the Amityville Horror. And that book has since been spun off into movies and tv shows. I mean, Amityville really became synonymous with evil. And so Detective Anderson knew that Amityville community leaders had worked really hard over the years to kind of correct their image. They didn't want to be known as this violent or cursed town. But this brutal shooting in a gym parking lot threatened to put Amityville right back in the national news for all the wrong reasons. Anderson walked into the hospital and found his way to the private room where Alex's father was waiting for him. Alex's father wiped tears from his face, cleared his throat, and introduced himself to Anderson. But before Alex's father could say much more than his name, he broke down in tears again. Even after 34 years as a cop and dealing with some of the most notorious murders on Long island, nothing could really prepare Anderson for meeting a parent who had just lost their child.


It was the worst kind of loss Anderson could imagine, and seeing Alex's father in so much pain really hit him hard. He told Alex's father how sorry he was for his loss. Then Anderson said he hated to put him on the spot at that moment, but he did need to know if there was anyone who might have wanted to hurt his son. Alexs father wiped away his tears and then told Anderson that Alex was the sweetest, kindest man youd ever meet and that everybody who knew him really loved him. But then he said there definitely was one person who could have done this to his son. Alexs best friend and business partner, Paul Riedel. It turned out Alex had told his father all about Pauls drug use and his partying. And he had also told him that he was thinking about scrapping the business with Paul and going out on his own. Anderson thanked Alex's father for his help and told him how sorry he was again. Then Anderson left the hospital and drove back to the station. He wanted to gather as much information as he could on Paul. It didn't take long for detective Anderson to discover that Paul had had more than his fair share of run ins with the law.


He had served time in prison for drug charges and armed robbery, and he had previously been linked to an illegal sports gambling ring. But Anderson knew that did not mean the man had killed his best friend. So for the time, Anderson put Pauls police record to the side and dug more into his personal life and his relationship with Alex. The local Amityville police had passed along contact information for everybody they found at the gym when they had first arrived there. And when Anderson and his team reached out to those people, they all said pretty much the same. Alex was like family and everybody loved him but Paul, he was a mess and he definitely was capable of shooting Alex. Some of Alex's family and closest friends were even more straightforward. When they spoke to Anderson, they said they were sure Paul had to be the murderer. So Anderson knew he would just have to go talk to Paul. But he didn't want to drag Paul to the station and chuck him inside of an interrogation room just yet because he feared as soon as he did that all of Amityville would decide Paul really was guilty.


And so that could potentially destroy an innocent mans life. And it could put even more pressure on police to arrest someone before they were actually ready. So Anderson actually came up with a fairly outside the box way to question Paul that was not super formal. Now it was not going to be ideal by any means, but it was an opportunity Anderson didnt want to miss. His team would talk to Paul at Alexs funeral. Days after Alex's murder, a line of cars stretched out down the street in front of a local funeral home and they wrapped around the corner. Hundreds of people had come to pay their last respects to Alex. Detective Anderson filed into the funeral home behind a group of mourners. It was common for investigators to attend funerals for homicide victims. It gave them a chance to watch how potential suspects acted. But Anderson was really just there to observe Paul and to see if he could get any information from Paul. After the service was over, Anderson watched as Paul made his way to the front of the chapel inside of the funeral home. And it immediately became clear to Anderson that it didnt matter to other people that Paul had not been brought in for questioning yet.


Clearly they had already decided Paul was guilty. People literally shouted at Paul as he walked down the aisle towards his best friends coffin. They told him to leave and said, how dare he show his face here. Paul didnt engage with any of them. He just stared at the floor and clung to his wife, Leann, as he walked. Detective Anderson couldn't get over how small this enormous guy seemed to look at this very moment. But Anderson didn't know if he should feel sorry for Paul or if he was just being too cautious and too analytical. Maybe everybody else was right. Maybe this case was clear cut and Paul really was the killer. Anderson watched as Alex's friends and family talked about how much Alex had meant to them and how proud they had been of him. Alex's father fought back tears and spoke about all the special times he'd shared with his son. Then he broke down and said Alex would never get to experience those kind of moments with a child of his own because someone had taken that chance away from him. After the funeral was over, Anderson and some other members of his team separated from the throng of mourners and followed Paul and his wife, Leanne, outside.


The investigators approached, and as they did, Paul suddenly stood up to his full height. Suddenly, the small, kind of sad looking man Anderson had seen inside had disappeared. Paul now looked angry and huge. Clearly, he did not like the fact that police were bothering him. At his best friend's funeral, Anderson assured Paul they were only trying to get some basic information. So Paul just said he loved Alex, he would never hurt him. And on the night of the murder, he said he was with friends in another town. For a minute, Anderson figured his big plan to try to question Paul at this funeral was going to turn into a total bust. But right as he was about to give up on this approach, something suddenly stood out to him. Paul's wife Leann, was standing next to her husband, doing her part as a very supportive spouse. But Anderson had briefly spoken to Leanne in the days following the murder, so he knew that she and Paul had serious problems in their marriage and that she had even gone to Florida to get away from Paul. And so now Anderson wanted to know if she had had, like, a big change of heart about her husband, which is why she was now being so supportive, or if she was acting supportive out of fear.


If Paul had really killed Alex and Leanne knew about it, was she just afraid shed be next if she didnt support him.


Hello, Im Emily, one of the hosts of terribly famous, the show that takes you inside the lives of our biggest celebrities. Some of them hit the big time overnight, some had to plug away for years. But in our latest series, we're talking about a man who was world famous before he was even born. A life of extreme privilege that was mapped out from the start but left him struggling to find his true purpose, a man who, compared to his big brother, felt a bit, you know, spare. Yes, it's Prince Harry. You might think you know everything about him, but trust me, there's even more. We follow Harry and the obsessive, all consuming relationship of his life. Not with Meghan, but the british tabloid press. Hounded and harassed, Harry is taking on an institution almost every bit as powerful as his own royal family. Follow terribly famous wherever you listen to podcasts or listen early and ad free on wondery plus on Apple Podcasts or the wondery Apple.


Have you ever felt like escaping to your own desert island? Well, that's exactly what Jane, Phil, and their three kids did when they traded their english home for a tropical island they bought online. But paradise has its secrets, and family life is about to take a terrifying turn.


You don't fire at people in that.


Area without some kind of consequence.


And he says, yes, ma'am, he's dead.


There's pure, cold blooded terror running through me.


From wondery, I'm Alice Levine, and this is the price of paradise, the real life story of an island dream that ends in kidnap, corruption, and murder. Follow the price of paradise wherever you get your podcasts or binge the entire season right now on OneDrive.


On January 23, 2001. So six days after the murder, Detective Anderson met with Leigh Ann at her grandmother's house in a small town that was not too far from Amityville. Leanne was short and thin with long brown hair, and she sounded like a native New Yorker. She led Anderson into a warm, rustic looking kitchen, and they sat down at the table. Anderson didnt want Leann to feel like she was being interrogated, so when he spoke to her, he spoke to her like they were just two friends catching up. Anderson asked Leann about the funeral and how she felt when she was there. And very quickly, she made it clear that she had not gone there out of fear or anything like that. She had been there because she loved her friend Alex and she wanted to support her husband, Paul. She said that despite their marital issues, they really had been working hard on their marriage. But Anderson wasn't convinced. And so he pressed Leigh Anne a bit, and he asked what had happened that made her leave New York and go to Florida in the first place. Leigh Anne said she'd left because Paul was partying and doing drugs, and she felt like that was a terrible environment for her kid.


But Leigh Anne was clear that she did not believe Paul would ever kill his friend Alex. Sure, the two men fought sometimes, but they were like brothers, and brothers fight. She knew Paul loved Alex. Anderson said he understood, and then he asked her if there was anything else she could think of that might help with the investigation. Leanne shifted in her chair and then looked around the room like she was trying to make sure nobody else was listening. Then she leaned closer to Anderson, and in a quiet voice, she told him there was something going on that he needed to know about. Paul had gotten into trouble with the mob, and he had actually received a rat card in the mail. Anderson hid his surprise pretty well, but this was news to him. He knew Paul had a police record and that he'd been linked to some low level criminals who might have loose ties to the mob. But receiving a rat card meant that members of the mob believed Paul had sold them out to the police, an unforgivable offense in the world of organized crime. Then Leigh Ann told Anderson that things had actually gotten even worse after that.


At a big party a year earlier, Paul had gotten into this big public argument with a man who wound up being a captain in the Gambino organized crime family. At the time, the Gambinos were one of the most powerful mafia organizations in New York City. Leigh Anne said Paul never told her what the argument was about, but she was pretty sure he owed a lot of money to some very powerful people. Detective Anderson listened quietly, and he still didn't show anything on his face. But he knew this case might have just taken a major turn. It was one thing for Paul to be connected to some small time criminals in Amityville, New York, but it was a whole different thing for Paul to be in debt to high ranking members of a New York City mafia family. Anderson talked to Leigh Anne a little while longer and then thanked her for her time. He headed out to his car and drove back to Amityville. In the course of only a few hours, Anderson had been forced to take a completely different view on this case. He still considered Paul a suspect. But now Anderson had a totally new theory as to what could have happened.


He thought maybe the mafia had put out a hit on Alex. So Pauls best friend as a way to warn, pay us the money you owe us or youll be next in February of 2001. So about a month after Alexs murder, Detective Anderson got word that Paul and Leigh Anne had reconciled and repaired their marriage. But there was more to the story than that. Paul had moved with Leanne and their kid down to Florida, and members of Alex's family and a lot of other people in Amityville were up in arms about it. Many people in the community had never stopped believing that Paul killed Alex. And now they thought Paul had left the state to run away from the crime he had committed. The pressure on Anderson to arrest Paul continued to grow, and some people questioned whether Anderson was even doing his job. But Anderson understood their frustration. He also wanted to bring Alex's killer to justice. But he wasn't just going to cave in and arrest Paul because he actually didn't have any concrete evidence against Paul. Anderson's team had confirmed Paul's alibi for the night of the murder, and they'd combed over the crime scene at the gym multiple times.


And nothing they found directly linked Paul to Alex's murder. On top of that, Anderson was following up on leads that connected Paul to the mafia. He was supposedly in debt to dangerous men. He had had that public fight with a member of the Gambino family, and Alex's murder did seem to look like it could have been a mob style hit. So Anderson remained focused and calm, and he kept pursuing all of the possible leads in the case. He also told his team not to be swayed by public opinion. Just because others had already made up their minds about what had happened did not mean they needed to do that, too. But over the next month, Anderson hit one dead end after another. He couldn't discover any definitive links between Paul and the Gambino family or any other high ranking members in the mafia. Then in April. So, three months after Alex's murder, Anderson found out that Leigh Ann was pregnant. And this news sparked another round of anger from the Amityville community and threatened to make Anderson's job even harder than it already was. People were outraged that Paul was allowed to carry on with his life and watch his family grow after he had robbed his best friend, Alex, of a chance to start his own family.


Anderson continued to sympathize with the people who were frustrated with him. He knew they just wanted answers. So Anderson kept working every angle of the case he could think of. But he felt like he was running out of time. He needed a break in the case to help appease his loudest critics and to at least give Alex's family some hope that justice would be served on November 11, 2001. So almost ten months after Alex's murder, a detective from the New York City Police Department sat across a table from a guy in custody and listened to him rambling about how he could help the police. The NYPD detective almost found the whole thing kind of amusing. It was pretty common for people in custody to try to cut a deal by giving up information on crimes that were even worse than the ones theyd committed. A lot of times, though, the so called leads these people provided went absolutely nowhere. But occasionally, some leads would pan out. So the detective sat there with a slight smile on his face and just listened. But then the guy in custody said something that really caught the detectives attention, and so his smile disappeared, and he leaned forward and told the guy to slow down and repeat what he just said.


The guy nodded and leaned in closer, almost like he and the detective were on the same team. Then he repeated what he had just said. He said he knew who had killed that gym owner in Amityville, and he knew why they killed him. Now remember, Amityville is a small town about 2 hours away from Manhattan, and so criminals trying to cut a deal with the NYPD did not usually reference small town crimes like this one. So the detective sensed this could actually be legitimate. So he got all the details he could from this guy in custody about Alex Agiri's murder. Then the detective walked out of the room, went to his desk, and made a phone call. A second later, an officer with the Suffolk county police told detective Anderson there was a call for him from an NYPD detective. The officer said that this detective was calling with information about the Alex Aguirre case, and it could potentially break the case wide open. Anderson walked to his desk, and as he did, he felt a rush of adrenaline. This was the first time in months that he actually might have a possible new lead.


On the phone, the NYPD detective told Anderson about the conversation hed just had with the guy in custody. Both detectives were well aware that desperate people under arrest were not usually the most reliable sources because they basically will do anything to get out of custody. But the NYPD detective thought the information hed gotten was actually worth passing on. Anderson listened to the detective and scribbled down the name of a man that he needed to track down. Anderson thanked the NYPD detective for his help, and then he quickly rounded up his team and told them they might finally have a major break in the Alex Agiri case. The information Anderson got from the NYPD detective led him right to a man who was supposedly involved in Alex's murder. The man was clearly struggling with drug addiction. He seemed jittery and all over the place when he spoke, and he spun a wild story about how and why Alex had been murdered. At first, Anderson wasnt sure he could believe anything this man told him. But Anderson and his team dug deeper into the mans story, and several of the details checked out. And after that meeting, it would still take detective Anderson several months to put everything together.


But he finally had evidence connecting someone directly to Alexs murder. Based on interviews conducted throughout the investigation and evidence found at the scene, here is a reconstruction of what police believe happened on the night of January 17, 2001, when somebody murdered Alex outside of his gym. At about 07:00 p.m.. A white minivan drove past the Dolphin fitness club. Inside the van were two people. There was the driver and also the killer. And the killer was scanning the area for the perfect spot to stake the place out. Both people inside the van wore zip up hooded sweatshirts, and the killer rested a. 38 caliber pistol on his knee. The killer pointed to an empty parking space on the street that had a clear view of the employee parking lot. So the driver drove around towards the back of the gym, pulled the van into that parking space, and then turned off the engine. Then the driver and the killer kept their eyes fixed on the employee parking lot and made small talk to pass the time. The killer figured it could be hours before they could make their move, but they were willing to wait as long as it took because this area, this employee parking lot, offered the best place to shoot someone without being seen.


The lot was dark, and only a few people ever parked there. The killer checked their gun to make sure it was loaded. Then they, along with the driver, just kept on talking and watching the parking lot. But then, just 20 minutes later, the killer suddenly sat up in the passenger seat and leaned in closer to the window. The wait had not been long at all. Their target was already in the parking lot, walking towards his black Yukon suv. The killer told the driver to start the van and to be ready to speed out of there. The killer clutched the pistol tight in one hand, then opened the door with the other and walked into the parking lot. The killer saw Alex open up his car door and lean inside. And as he did, the dome light came on. Not wanting to be too close to the light, the killer shouted something at Alex just to get his attention and to kind of pull him away from his vehicle and the light. And it worked because Alex turned to see who was yelling at him, and he took a few steps away from his car towards the killer.


And at that point, the killer just rushed out of the darkness and got within a couple of feet of Alex, who had no idea what was going on. And the killer raised his gun and fired before Alex could do anything. The first bullet hit Alex square in the chest. Then the killer squeezed off three more shots, one right after the other. Bullets struck Alex across his upper body, perforating his heart and both of his lungs. Then the killer fired off one more shot, which hit Alex in the neck. Alex fell to the ground, covered in blood. At this point, the killer turned and ran back to the white van. The killer never saw Alex pulling himself up and staggering back towards the gym. As soon as the killer was back inside the van, they slammed the door shut and yelled for the driver to go. So the driver whipped out of the parking space and sped down the street. A few minutes later, the driver heard ambulance and police sirens on the other side of the road, so they eased off the gas. They didnt want to draw attention to the van. When they were a few miles away from the gym, the killer spotted a creek just off the side of the road.


So they rolled down their window and hurled the gun into the water. Then they told the driver to floor it, and the van sped down the road again. Not long after that, the driver pulled onto the highway and the van headed south, far away from Amityville, New York. The following night, the killer and the driver sat in the killer's living room, reading an online story about the murder. The shooting outside the gym had made the national news, but the killer and driver read the story more than once because they could not believe what they were seeing. Then the front door opened, and before the killer could even say anything, a woman barged in and shouted at him at the top of her lungs, you stupid bastard. You killed the wrong guy. It would turn out. Leanne Riedel, Paul's wife, had set up the hit outside of the gym, but Alex was never the intended target. Leann had wanted her husband Paul dead, and the killer, a man named Rocco Salerno, had been more than happy to oblige because it turned out that Leigh Anne and Rocco had been having an affair. Since Leigh Anne had left New York and went to stay with her mother in Florida, Leigh Anne and Rocco had fallen in love and wanted to start their lives together.


But Paul was in the way. To make things worse, Paul had already filed with a court in New York to begin divorce proceedings. And if Paul and Leigh Anne got divorced? Well, New York law would require Leigh Anne to come back to the state and live within 50 miles of Paul so he. He could see his son. But Leigh Anne didn't want to leave Florida and Rocco, so she and Rocco hatched a plan to murder Paul. Rocco paid a guy he knew $3,000 to drive him to New York, scope out the gym with him, and serve as his getaway driver after the shooting took place. So, on the night of the murder, Rocko and this driver are sitting there, and they see this huge guy walk into the parking lot, and he goes to his black Yukon. And Rocko thought this was his target because Paul was also a big guy who happened to own the same make and model of black Yukon that his best friend, Alex owned. So Rocko rushed out of the van and gunned down Alex in cold blood, not realizing he had shot the wrong person. When Leigh Ann discovered what had happened, she came up with a way to try to fix things.


She reconciled with Paul so he wouldn't divorce her and make her move back to New York. Then she convinced Paul to move to Florida because so many people in Amityville, including his friends, were treating him like a murderer. And then once they were back in Florida, Leigh Ann just continued her affair with Rocco. And her plan was to divorce Paul after both of them had become Florida residents, because that way, she would not be forced to leave the state. And all of this came to light after the guy in custody with the NYPD told police he had information about Alex's murder. It turned out the guy in custody actually happened to know the driver of the white minivan. And so this guy in custody had actually heard all the details of everything that had happened during the murder. So Detective Anderson tracked the driver down, and he discovered that the driver was struggling with a drug problem. And the driver said that's why he had accepted the $3,000 to drive Rocco to and from the gym in Amityville. And the driver quickly cut a plea deal, and he would give authorities everything they needed to bring Rocco in.


But even with Rocco in custody, Leigh Anne denied having anything to do with the murder. She said she had always loved Paul and that they had even had a second child together. Leanne also tried to act like she barely knew Rocco. But soon it became clear that the child that Leann had recently given birth to was not her husband, Pauls. It was Rocco's child. And at that point, all of Leannes denials about her role in this murder quickly fell apart. The actual killer, Rocco Salerno, was convicted of conspiracy and first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. As for Leanne, she was convicted of conspiracy and first degree murder as well, and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. She continued to maintain her innocence and appealed her conviction, but the appeal was denied. Alex's best friend Paul might have had some demons, but he had nothing to do with his friend's murder. Paul was granted custody of his and Leann's child, and with his child he returned to Amityville. He ended up renaming the gym Big Al's family fitness in honor of his fallen friend, and Paul has said that he strives to live his life and run his business with the type of integrity and kindness that would make Alex proud.


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