The Trick or Treat Murder

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Los Angeles, California on Halloween night of 1957 –
35 year old Peter Fabiano was married to a woman named Betty; there had been some problems in the relationship and the couple had separated for a bit. Peter owned a few fancy beauty parlors around town; Joan Rabel was a divorcee who briefly worked for Peter. Joan and Betty has become friendly, and the two women decided to move in together; they were much more than just roommates.

When Betty and Peter decided to work things out, as married couples often do, Betty promised never to speak to or even about Joan ever again. The wife moved home with her husband, but Joan was not over it! She grew increasingly angry, and overwhelmingly obsessed with the couple.

So, for many years Joan has been sorta involved with a 40 year old woman named Goldyne Pizer. There’s very little doubt that Goldyne loved Joan just as deeply as Joan had loved Betty. Joan constantly told Goldyne what a horrible person Peter was; the man was very abusive to not only his wife, but also her 2 children from a previous marriage, and the only way to save Betty and the kids from this maniac was to kill him! So Joan concocted a plan to murder the evil Peter, and Goldyne was right there with her – somehow Joan even convinced her friend to pull the trigger!

The two women purchased a firearm, a .38, and waited for the perfect timing, Halloween! The one night in a year that everyone opens the door for a person dressed incognito. What could be better? Their Halloween costume would include gloves, face paint, hat, and even a mask. By 9 pm these two women had borrowed a car from a friend, and they had driven to Betty and Peter’s house. They waited till all of the lights in the house turned off before Goldyne knocked on the door; when Peter answered, he was promptly shot in the chest just as planned. Betty heard the gunshot, and she quickly ran downstairs to find her husband bleeding by the front door. She dialed the ambulance but Peter was dead on arrival.

Betty soon told police about her affair with Joan, and 2 weeks after the murder an investigation into the jaded lover began. Upon questioning Joan said she was home all night long and could prove it as her own car had never left the driveway. While that was true, police found that Joan had borrowed a neighbor’s vehicle and put nearly 40 miles on it that night. Joan said she’d merely gone for groceries, and investigators could not prove otherwise.

The break in this case came when the gun was discovered inside a lockbox rented in the name of Goldyne Pizer, a woman who could easily be traced back to Joan. Once bought in for questioning, Goldyne tearfully confessed to everything; she stated that she’d been used by Joan, she’d been duped. The woman she loved so dearly had completely cut her off the minute after they’d committed the murder. Both women were arrested and plead guilty to 2nd degree murder; the law went easy on them, each were sentenced to only 5 years to life.

Goldyne was released after serving just a few short years in prison, then went on to become an officer of the Professional Women’s Club. There’s very little known about Joan, but it is presumed she was also released after serving minimal time. As far as Betty the widow, she had a pleasant life after the murder of Peter. Some do believe she was involved in the death of her husband, but that has yet to be confirmed.

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