Shannon Gillespie has acknowledged that she despised her father. Still, for the past two-and-a-half years she has denied having anything to do with his death, once telling a detective: “If it would have been me, it would have been a missing person report, not a homicide. That motherf---er would have swum with the fishes.” On Friday, however, the 46-year-old Florida mother of four was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in connection to the death of Daniel Gillespie, 71, who was found beaten and stabbed to death Nov. 15, 2018, at his Clearwater home, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Authorities say Daniel Gillespie had kicked his daughter out of the home, which they shared, per the AP. She later returned and killed him, an arrest report says.
Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tells the Times that physical evidence, lab tests, witness statements, and statements from Gillespie point to her guilt. “I’m very comfortable with the case,” he tells the paper. “There is abundant evidence, and that’s why she was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.” Authorities say Gillespie told her son that she had killed her father and told him to discover the body and report it. It is not clear if the son will face charges. After the death of Daniel Gillespie, his other three children decided to sell the house, the AP reports. Before that happened, the house caught on fire in the middle of the night. The fire is still under investigation. Beth Gillespie, another daughter, tells the Times that the family is “relieved that dad will have justice finally and we can get the closure we needed.” (Read more Florida stories.)