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Crime News Fatal Family Feuds

Florida Man Masterminds Violent "Horror Movie" Murder Of His Estranged Wife

Driven by a family feud — and greed — Edward Locascio was the brains behind the grisly murder of his wife.

By Joe Dziemianowicz
Maggie Locascio featured on Fatal Family Feuds Episode 108

On October 30, 2001, officers responded to a home burglary alarm around 9:30 p.m. in the upscale community of Coral Gables, Florida.

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Police were shocked by the scene inside the house. “It struck me as being out of a horror movie, just blood everywhere,” said Gordon Dickenson, a sergeant with Coral Gable Police.

“It was just so violent,” he told Fatal Family Feuds, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen. A steel telescoping baton was found near the body.

The house belonged to Edward Locascio. The victim was identified as his wife, Sylvia “Maggie” Locascio, 45. She lived there with her 19-year-old son, Edward “Eddie” Jr.

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Maggie Locascio Found Dead

In 1972, Maggie, who was born in Cuba, met Edward at the University of Miami. After graduating, they married and worked as accountants. She became a stay-at-home mother when Eddie was born.

Edward became “the money man for all the very wealthy people who were pouring into Miami Beach,” said Patrick Alexander, author of Miami’s Murders Most Foul.

Edward was a social butterfly, while Maggie was an introvert. Their marriage strained. In June 2000, after learning of his affair with another woman, Maggie got a divorce lawyer, according to Fatal Family Feuds.

Maggie Locascio featured on Fatal Family Feuds Episode 108

At the time of Maggie's death, Edward was living at a condominium in Miami Beach and the couple’s divorce was nearly finalized. Police called Edward to the crime scene, where he was checked for injuries and other evidence.

With no immediate evidence pointing to Edward, investigators considered other theories. Had this been a break-in gone wrong? The fact that an officer reported seeing a small white truck make a suspicious U-turn about two blocks from the crime scene supported this possibility.

In the early morning hours of Halloween, Eddie returned home. He saw the crime tape and “was very, very upset,” said Randy Hoff, Marine Patrol Officer, Coral Gables PD.

The young man “put two and two together when he saw the lights,” said Gail Levine, now-retired prosecutor for Miami-Dade County. “He said, ‘My father killed my mother.’”

Maggie Locascio’s Husband and Son Questioned

At the police station, Edward and Eddie were questioned separately. Edward remained unemotional about Maggie’s murder. He said he’d played golf during the day, then returned home and never left. He claimed he knew no one with a white truck.

When asked who could have killed his wife, he said, “My son, my son hates his parents. And he wanted to frame his dad,” according to Levine.

Edward talked about what Eddie would gain. “Which would have been the house, which would have been any finances,” said John Butchko, a now-retired detective with Miami-Dade PD.

Eddie was in an excelled medical school program. He wasn’t close to his father, owing to a feud that stemmed from Edward forcing his son to be on the St. Theresa’s elementary school cross-country team he coached.

“He hated everything about it. His mother sided with him, and that became the rift,” said Levine. “To Ed, Eddie was a failure. He wasn’t a guy’s guy, and he hated him for that.”

Eddie was convinced his father had something to do with the crime. He’d been verbally and mentally abusive to him and his mom, according to investigators.

Eddie told police that he’d been at the school lab all night. Both men were released and detectives worked to confirm their alibis.

Maggie Locascio Autopsy Shows a “Crime of Rage”

An autopsy performed the next day revealed details of the murder. “It was really horrifying,” said Alexander. “She had been strangled. She had been stabbed. She’d been beaten with a police baton.”

There was a bloody shoe print on her chest. “The coup de gras was that he stomped on her,” said Levine. “That’s a crime of rage.”

Eddie Jr. “didn’t fit the picture of somebody that would murder somebody in this fashion,” said Butchko. Plus, the son’s alibi checked out.

On Nov. 1, police were called by a witness who lived in the area where the white truck made the U-turn. This led to the recovery of a gym bag filled with Maggie’s ID cards, a sheath for the telescoping baton, bloody latex gloves, a knife, and men’s clothing. Evidence was sent to the crime lab for processing.

As investigators worked the case, they learned that the feud between father and son had allegedly turned physical, with Edward taking out his anger on his wife. In 1999, Edward had grabbed Maggie by the arm and threw a statue at her, according to Levine.

Maggie’s sister, Ursula, told police that Maggie “kicked her husband out” and filed a restraining order in June 2001. That order became permanent just a week before the murder.

Security cameras outside Edward’s condo confirmed his whereabouts at the time of the murder. While his alibi checked out, footage showed a man arriving at the condo around 12:30 a.m.

He was identified as Edward’s brother, Michael Locascio, who lived in North Carolina. He’d been in town for a number of consecutive weekends, according to Edward’s office manager Gudelay Gonzalez.

Gonzalez recalled Edward saying, “My brother is crazy. He told me that if I wanted to get rid of the bitch he’ll do it for me,” she said. Gonzalez tipped off police about that exchange — and that Michael drove a small white truck.

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Michael had arrests for extortion and some minor crimes. He was “the classic family black sheep,” said Alexander.

Michael told detectives he’d made the 11-hour drive to Miami to see what his brother was up to for Halloween. Investigators learned that the interior of Michael’s truck — seat covers and carpeting — was overhauled in days following the murder. Was he getting rid of evidence?

Michael was swabbed for DNA. Investigators focused on building a case against Michael while awaiting the DNA results.

Maggie Locascio’s brother-in-law charged with murder

Evidence found on items in the gym bag was found to match Michael’s DNA, but not Edward or Eddie. Detectives charged Michael with Maggie’s murder.

Maggie’s family, meanwhile, believed that Edward was the brains behind the murder and pushed police to dig deeper. “Ursula was a driving force,” said Butchko.

How to connect the brothers to the crime? Levine seized upon a water bottle with a St. Theresa’s school logo on it in the gym bag.

While searching for a clear motive, investigators found out that Maggie believed Edward was funneling money to the Cayman Islands to prevent her from getting money in the divorce. Family assets were frozen.

“Maggie had her scheduled deposition on October 31 to talk about his finances,” said Levine. Maggie was murder the day before the proceeding. Edward's immediately lawyer demanded that his client's assets be unfrozen.

Detectives had a motive but needed proof that Ed masterminded the hit. A flurry of phone calls between the brothers preceding the crime was totally out of character, but not enough evidence to make an arrest. The case stalled for four years.

In the meantime, Edward had carried on with life and got a new girlfriend but the relationship turned rocky. The woman told police that during an argument Ed told her “You’re gonna end up just like my wife,” said Butchko.

Maggie Locascio’s husband Edward Locascio also charged with murder

On October 21, 2005, Edward Locascio was arrested for Maggie Locascio’s murder. In February 2006, Michael’s trial began. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

In February 2007, Edward Locascio’s trial began. His son testified against, as did Gonzalez.

"There was a feud within the family," said Alexander. "The husband taking all these risks, just to stop the mother of his child getting any money."

Edward was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life. He died behind bars in 2018.

To learn more about the case, watch Fatal Family Feuds, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.