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After 'Perfect Murder,' Sisters Chose to 'Run Their Mouths'

Both are charged in father's 2015 death, previously listed as natural
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2019 10:50 AM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2019 11:25 AM CST
Linda Roberts, left, and Mary-Beth Tomaselli.   (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

(Newser) – Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Fla., calls it "the perfect murder." Mary-Beth Tomaselli allegedly held the nose and arms of her father, who'd been given a mix of alcohol and sleeping pills, while her sister, Linda Roberts, allegedly stuffed a rag down his throat. As the 85-year-old father had dementia, cancer, and heart problems, his primary care physician listed the March 6, 2015, death as natural—and so it would have stayed if the sisters "didn't run their mouths and confess to this guy they met in a bar," Gualtieri said at a Tuesday press conference, announcing charges of first-degree murder, per the Washington Post and Tampa Bay Times. The man became sexually involved with both sisters in August or September. By February, Roberts had confessed to the murder while the male recorded her, Gualtieri said. He then went to police.

Over the next several weeks, the man worked with authorities to make more recordings, which allegedly revealed an initial plan to kill Anthony Tomaselli with a concoction. "When that didn't work, they tried to suffocate him with a pillow. When that didn't work, they stuck a rag down his throat, pinched his nose, and held his arms until he stopped breathing," Gualtieri said. The sisters then sold their father's home in Palm Harbor, sharing the $120,000 profit with their brother, Gualtieri said. "This is all on tape," he added. Tomaselli, 63, and Roberts, 61, later admitted to the charges in interviews, according to a release from the sheriff's office. It further notes Tomaselli's adult daughter was also drugged so she wouldn't witness the killing. The sisters, who reportedly believed their father would die in a few months anyway, are held in Pinellas County Jail. (Read more murder stories.)

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