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Murder In The Family: Robin Casali killed her great-aunt, Winifred Moniz, when she tried to rob her for drug money; Sentenced to LWOP

From Casali’s appeal: Commonwealth presented evidence from lay witnesses, State and Falmouth police officers, crime scene analysts, and forensic experts, from which the jury could have found the following facts. The defendant lived in a home with her grandmother and her twenty-one year old daughter (Nicole) that abutted the victim’s property. The victim’s property, where she lived with her husband, Wayne Moniz (Wayne), consisted of several acres of land, including a large field which was regularly mowed. On June 5, 2006, the defendant left her home at approximately 8:10 a.m., claiming that she had to go to work and would return later in the morning to take her grandmother to a medical clinic. Rather than going to work, the defendant drove her vehicle along a pathway into a cranberry bog, adjacent to the far boundary of the victim’s property. There, parked partially hidden from view, she changed her clothes, put on a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana-type mask, and waited until Wayne began mowing the field, a chore which ordinarily took several hours. She then entered the victim’s home where she remained until shortly after 9 a.m., stabbed the victim more than a dozen times with a buck knife, killing her, and took her wallet.

While the defendant was in the victim’s home, a neighbor telephoned the Falmouth police to report a suspicious vehicle (the defendant’s automobile) that had been parked along the cranberry bog for nearly one hour. The call was recorded at 9:04 a.m. At 9:09 a.m., the neighbor again contacted the police to report having seen a person in a dark shirt run through the wooded area between the victim’s property and the bog and speed away in the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the defendant’s vehicle was observed near a forested nature preserve, where she entered the woods and remained for several minutes.4 Later that day, the police were alerted to this area when the victim’s wallet5 was found there by a local resident. There was no money in the wallet. With the assistance of a trained police dog, the police subsequently located a CVS Pharmacy bag hidden in the underbrush containing clothes (including a bandana, a hooded sweatshirt, and gloves) belonging to the defendant. The clothes were stained with the victim’s blood. A buck knife covered in the victim’s blood also was found “hooked over” a branch of a nearby tree.

The police interviewed the defendant later that afternoon. She denied any involvement in or knowledge about the killing and fabricated a story and a time line about her movements that morning. During two searches of her home, the police seized the beige pants she was seen wearing in the morning,6 as well as substances found in her bedroom, identified as marijuana and heroin.

Winifred Moniz obituary
Relative charged in murder
Casali admits lying to police
Robin Casali gets life for first-degree murder
“Winnie wouldn’t hurt a fly”
Robin Casali v Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2011
Some very Bad Blood as Winnie Moniz is stabbed to death in her own kitchen

Movies/Documentaries
Bad Blood: Bloody Secrets

INMATE INFORMATION

Offender Name: CASALI, ROBIN E
Custody Status: In Custody
Age:
Location: MCI Framingham (Medium Security)
Race:
Contact Facility: Massachusetts Department of Corrections

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