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I’ll take bizarre murders for $200, please

By September 8, 2006katrina, new orleans

MarinelloVince Marinello, the well-known local TV/radio personality, was arrested yesterday and charged with killing his wife Liz.   Last Thursday, as she left a building that was home to an upscale spa, a gunman approached her and shot her twice in the face.  Witnesses told investigators they saw a scruffy man with a bushy beard pedal away on a bicycle. But, strangely, none of her possessions or jewelry were taken. 

Since there were rumblings about marital discord, the police naturally focused on the whereabouts of her husband.  Apparently, he was in Jackson, Mississippi at the Saints game.  Still, it seemed suspicious.  After all, O.J. Simpson was supposedly in Chicago and it turned out that,…well he was acquited (but we all know he was guilty).  Locals remember that in 1993 Carmella Lamarque hired a hit-man to kill her flamboyant husband, auto-dealer Ronnie Lamarque. Okay, so maybe Vince didn’t do it, but hired someone to do it for him.

Apparently, that’s not what happened.  Vince, if you believe the mounting evidence that authorities are relying on, did the job himself.  There’s video (not conclusive, of course), witnesses and other tell-tales.  If the evidence is to be believed this is one of those really weird murders. The kind that not only make you wonder about how evil people can be, but also about how stupid they can be at the same time.

Supposedly, Vince drove his car to a spot near the spa and then took a bicycle out of the trunk (witness testimony).  He was wearing a fake mustache as he rode over to the building where the spa was.  When his wife exited the building he shot her and then rode his bike back to the car, put it in the trunk and drove away.  He wasn’t in Jackson, Mississippi until much later than initially thought so he had time to kill, and his alibi turns out to be worthless.

The most bizarre thing is the note that the police found in his trailer (yes, he was living in a FEMA trailer).  The note was a to-do list, with checks beside each entry: mustache, beard, bicycle, gun, toss weapon in canal.  Of course, we all know that to-do lists are important and Vince was obviously trying to be organized.  Unfortunately, he forgot to add one thing to the list: "destroy list."

It didn’t help that Vince was well-known around town.  He bought the mustache at a local costume shop and the owner remembered this and notified the police.  Another tip came from a Jefferson Parish gun dealer who said Vince had recently stopped by to have him check out a .38-caliber pistol, the same type of weapon that was used in the shooting.  All of these circumstances somehow lead one to the impression that the killing was not a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion.

Well, however much evidence the police have, let’s not forget that he’s innocent until proven guilty.  Still, it’s not looking good for Vince.  And, I have to say, that the photo (above right, click to enlarge) doesn’t make him look sympathetic.  In fact, if you showed that picture to someone completely unfamiliar with this situation they’d automatically assume he was charged with some kind of murder.  Like I said, this whole situation is a Catgegory 5 on the Safford-Simpson Bizarro scale.

So, as tropical waves start to turn slowly in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa, and as federal bureacratic missionaries armed with reams of forms make their way across the dusty landscape, people sit and watch the time pass and try to detect the subtle spinning of the globe.  Here in New Orleans we’re living a strange soap opera –and I, for one, wouldn’t thinking of leaving.  For what?  For constant water-pressure, well-manicured lawns and tidy pedestrian efficiency?  Sure, that’s nice to have most of the time.  But here we’ve got something better that’s always present: 24/7/365. 


Yep. Relentless, always-on, 36 flavored, mind-twisting wacko insanity.  Sure, a lot of people can’t deal with insanity, especially the kind we have going here now in New Orleans.  Or, some can deal with it, but only for a short while. I like those people a lot.  They are all very nice and many of them are very interesting. 

But I can’t be around them for too long.

I’ve discovered (despite attempting to deny it) that I actually need regular doses of insanity, which is one reason I love New Orleans.  It’s pretty obvious to anyone who is paying the slightest attention that we’ve got the world’s biggest stockpile.  And, as Jay Leno used to say in the potato chip commercial, "crunch all you want, we’ll make more."

P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to check this out.


  • Tom says:

    Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.- Friedrich Nietzsche

    nola is the rarity of individual insanity in abundance agumented by government, which is insane in itself according to nietzsche.

  • amieo says:

    I love this post…

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