When Theresa Mapes answered the phone, she wasn’t prepared for the devastating news her son-in-law Jonathan Crupi was about to tell her. Sobbing hysterically, he said her daughter Simeonette, 29, was dead and that she had to get to their house right away.
While the loss of her child destroyed Theresa’s life, Jonathan made an unusually quick recovery after his wife’s death, as police investigated his claims that an intruder had murdered Simeonette.
It wasn’t until months later that the truth finally came out.
“As a family, we suspected Jonathan had killed our Simeonette,” Theresa, 59, from Freehold, New Jersey, US, exclusively tells New Idea.
“He moved on so quickly and the manner of her death suggested a crime of passion, and that she knew her killer.”
Shockingly, Simeonette had
been thrown down two flights of stairs and stabbed in the back 15 times. “But the truth, when it all came out, was far beyond anything we could have imagined,” Theresa adds.
Simeonette and Jonathan were married in July 2007 and Theresa says her daughter seemed happy, as the couple eventually settled down and got jobs as high school teachers.
They both studied hard for their different master’s degrees but then, in the summer of 2012, Simeonette uncovered the truth.
“She received a book from their college where they had been studying and in it was the name of everyone who had graduated from their degrees,” says Theresa. “Simeonette’s name was in there but his wasn’t, so it rang alarm bells.
“Jonathan told her that they couldn’t spell his name, so they had just left him out but my daughter wasn’t stupid. She knew something wasn’t right.”
Wanting answers, Simeonette looked through her husband’s phone and spotted one number that he called regularly. Desperate, she dialled it and found out that Jonathan had been spending all their money on prostitutes – he had been skipping classes to see a hooker called Miss Pumpkin.
Even though Simeonette now knew that her husband was leading a double life, Theresa says the couple seemed fine as they attended a family friend’s barbecue on July 4, 2012, and left together at 6pm.
“But when I called my daughter that night she started crying,” Theresa says. “That was the last time I spoke to her.”
At around 1.50pm the next day, Theresa’s phone rang and she noticed she also had several missed calls from her son-in-law.
Jonathan told Theresa that Simeonette was dead and that she had to get to their house. “My knees buckled when he
told me and I vomited,” recalls Theresa. “I couldn’t believe that my beautiful girl was dead. It seemed impossible.
“A neighbour drove me to their house and there were police everywhere – they wouldn’t let me see my daughter, who was still lying in the entrance of the house. It was the worst day of my life. Nothing made sense.”
Jonathan told police he had returned home at lunchtime to find Simeonette murdered and suggested it could be a home invasion. But an investigation revealed she had been murdered between the hours of 2am and 7.30am, which immediately threw suspicion on Jonathan.
In November, Jonathan was arrested and charged with Simeonette’s murder.
“We thought he had done it for some time but the police needed proof,” recalls Theresa. “The day after her murder, a police officer had asked my husband if Crupi had ever exploded in fits of rage, if he had a temper.
“Then we noticed his whole demeanour changed. He wasn’t grieving and we were told he had started dating another woman who looked like Simeonette. We kept away and let the police do their job but inside I wanted to kill him.”
When the case came to trial in July 2015, the court heard Simeonette did confront Jonathan about the prostitutes, on which he’d spent $50,000, and all his lies, and after a heated argument ensued, he pushed his wife down a flight of stairs. She landed limp at the foot of the steps and that’s where he stabbed her 15 times with a knife.
The prosecutors said Jonathan, now 33, tried to cover up the crime by ransacking his own home to make it look as though an intruder had killed his wife. He then left to meet up with his favourite prostitute – Miss Pumpkin – before returning home and calling the police, where he feigned shock.
Jonathan was convicted of second-degree murder following a five-week trial.
“Time hasn’t healed anything,” says Theresa. “I still feel very bitter, betrayed and angry for what he did to my daughter. Simeonette was my best friend and I am lost without her. He didn’t deserve her – he was a liar and a cheat and I will never forgive him.”
“I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT MY BEAUTIFUL GIRL WAS DEAD. IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE”