First off, please let me ask everyone to refrain from posting any replies that will get sent to the Litter Box.
Second, this is a real scenario. This actually happened (or is happening), so please remember that if you choose to reply.
Third, only first names will be used right now since I don't wan't Google to pick this up yet. (That will make sense later)
Fourth, please let me remind you again, NOT to post anything that will be sent to the Litter Box.
Fifth, please re-read the above sentence.
I am personally involved in the scenario that I will describe below. Because I am personally involved, my opinion on what should happen is biased, therefore I would greatly appreciate other opinions to help make sense of this.
I have wanted to post this for two years now, but have been reluctant to share any personal information. I am still weary of doing this, but the desire to get different perspectives has finally outweighed my wishes to keep things private.
I am posting this here not because it is in any way related to Disney. I am posting here because of the traffic this site generates and because of my familiarity with the board and many of its members.
I know MC has a debate lounge. This post is not in that forum because I do not want to turn this into a debate. Once you have read the scenario, please respond with what you would do. Please do not comment on other member's posts telling them why they are right or wrong. Again, please do not turn this into a debate, or something that belongs in the Litter Box.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and participation.
Here is the scenario - (I have tried to keep everything in the same tense, but sometimes I have to switch back and forth. If you're an English teacher, forgive me.)
Rosemary is married to George. They have lived together since about 1975 and they have been married since 1981. On November 17th, 1989, Rosemary is murdered in her home in Bellflower, CA. George is in the house at the time of the murder, but says he was sleeping and did not hear anything. George is cleared as a suspect by the police, and Rosemary's son is considered the main suspect, even though he was going to school in San Diego at the time. George also has a son, Joe, who lived in the house behind Rosemary and George. Joe is never considered a suspect.
For 14 years the case remains unsolved.
In September 2003 George dies and his estate is settled. He has 5 children. Four of them get approximately $150,000 each and his son Joe gets the property he currently lives in, which is the same house in which Rosemary was murdered. The value of that property is about $750,000.
In May of 2007 Rosemary's son Googles his mother's name, but instead of the usual nothing, there are numerous articles about her murder.
Apparently this is what happened.
Joe is with his wife Teresa at the hospital when George dies in 2003, and moments after George's death Joe tells Teresa that he knows who killed Rosemary. He tells her that George asked Joe if he knew anyone who would be willing to kill Rosemary for money. According to Joe, he finds someone at work who "knows somebody" that will do it for $15,000.
They pay half up front and the rest when it is done. George pays an additional $5,000 when Joe claims that the killer will blackmail him if he does not pay more.
Even though Teresa hears this she does nothing.
Joe, allegedly, tells other people including his sisters. They either refuse to listen or do nothing.
In 2006, Teresa and Joe's marriage begins to fall apart. Joe decides to rekindle an old romance with a high school friend named Linda. After awhile Joe tells Linda what happened. Linda decides to go to a friend at church who is in law enforcement. Eventually, a detective contacts her and Linda agrees to record Joe telling her what happened.
In April of 2007 Joe is arrested and charged with Rosemary's murder. In June 2008 he is convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Recently, the California Supreme Court refused to hear his case and so his chances for further appeals are exhausted. He will die in prison.
When Rosemary died her 3 biological children received SOME of her belongings, but not all. George was still alive, and not considered a suspect, so it seemed very inappropriate to take everything that belonged to Rosemary from before they were married. When George died his own children went through his belongings and returned additional things that were Rosemary's, but still there were things missing.
After George's children found out about this when Joe was arrested they made no attempt to contact any of Rosemary's children, even though they knew their brother and dad were responsible for Rosemary's murder. They have also not offered to return anything else.
Now, for a little legal stuff. California is a community property state. Everything obtained while a couple is married belongs to both husband and wife. That makes them "joint tenants" for estate purposes. In California Estate Law it says, basically, that if one tenant murders another, it is as if the person doing the murder dies first. This means that legally, George died first, and Rosemary is legally entitled to George's estate, and not the other way around.
If George was still alive, there is substantial reason to believe that George would also have been convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances. However, since George is now dead, and his estate has already been distributed, it would be a legal nightmare trying to get anything reversed.
So, that leaves it up to the children to handle this. And now, this is where I ask, what would you do?
Assume you are one of George's children. In 1989 your step-mom is murdered and everyone assumes her own son did it, even though he is never prosecuted. In 2003 your dad dies and you get your inheritance. You have no reason to believe anything is wrong. In 2007 your brother is arrested because he admits to conspiring with your dad to hire someone to kill your step mom. You know this is true, because your brother has said the same thing over and over, even though he refused to admit it in court. Now, almost 20 years after the fact, you know your dad and brother are murderers. You also know that if they had been caught earlier, your inheritance would not have been given to you. You also know that everything that you have that you thought belonged to your dad now in fact belongs to Rosemary's estate - if it was obtained after their marriage.
Would you keep everything and ignore any of this happened? Would you try to contact Rosemary's children? Would you return anything? Would you offer to return the money, or some of it?
What would you do if you were one of George's children?
Thanks in advance for your responses.