Alleged Mastermind Blamed -- Courant.com

When Erik Martinez came back from dinner one night with his mother and Benedetto Cipriani, her new boyfriend, Cipriani asked him whether he would be interested in a job to "take out" someone who he said had ... Full Story
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John B

Turners Falls, MA

#48 Oct 1, 2007
Personal wrote:
<quoted text>
This obviously was not written for you... I am very sorry for your loss. But i have a question for you, Shelly Stears also had a part in this situation, wasn't she the one who started this whole mess? She met Cipriani, had an affair with him... So is it right to call her a monster also? If it wasn't for her, these 3 guys wouldn't have been hired to murder 3 innocent men. She is to blame just as much as them, wouldn't you say?
The fact is that it didn't take a whole lot to convince these creeps to buy a gun, practice shooting it in the park, then go up to Windsor Locks and execute three men.

Yes, the wife has some culpability but I doubt she would have shot her husband or even knew about the plot.

Don't play the race card here: the thug that planned the whole thing is a monster and the 3 thugs that carried it out are monsters too. They deserve to be caged up for life.
Enfield Resident

Hamden, CT

#49 Oct 2, 2007
John B wrote:
You have insulted animals, Enfield.
John....sorry, my bad!:-)
Enfield Resident

Hamden, CT

#50 Oct 2, 2007
It would be one thing if she was in on the crime...she wasn't. I'm sure this thing will haunt her for the rest of her life because the father of her children was taken away because she couldn't keep her clothes on. However, it is another thing altogether to go and kill three innocent men for no reason other than money. I hope they rot in hell.
Personal

Hartford, CT

#51 Oct 2, 2007
John B wrote:
<quoted text>
The fact is that it didn't take a whole lot to convince these creeps to buy a gun, practice shooting it in the park, then go up to Windsor Locks and execute three men.
Yes, the wife has some culpability but I doubt she would have shot her husband or even knew about the plot.
Don't play the race card here: the thug that planned the whole thing is a monster and the 3 thugs that carried it out are monsters too. They deserve to be caged up for life.
First and formost you don't know if she knew anything about the plot... She may have, she wasn't only cheating on her husband but she was also stealing from him to give Cipriani money so how can we be certain that, that money wasn't for the hire? From what i see you aren't from hartford at all. Most of the men/youngsters do have guns or would like to purchase a gun for protection. Alot of people would like to fire a gun, not saying at someone but just to fire it. To see what it is like. It was never Eriks intention to kill the man in the first place. Cipriani wanted him to rob him etc. so he told Erik Martinez. When he finally got to discussing the murder and trying to rush him, Erik bailed out. I know what Jose Guzman did was a monsterous thing to do... and till today i still can't believe that i knew someone that was capable of doing such a thing.
Personal

Hartford, CT

#52 Oct 2, 2007
Enfield Resident wrote:
It would be one thing if she was in on the crime...she wasn't. I'm sure this thing will haunt her for the rest of her life because the father of her children was taken away because she couldn't keep her clothes on. However, it is another thing altogether to go and kill three innocent men for no reason other than money. I hope they rot in hell.
From your stand point i understand exactly what you mean... and i know of someone murdering my own uncle for no apparent reason. I also wish that, the man that did that would rot in hell. So honestly i am not angry at you thinking that way at all. If the tables were turned and i was in your shoes or the shoes of the victims family i know i would feel just the same way. But i am not, so i do not feel as though they should rot in hell. I do feel that they deserve their punishment. But God forgives sinners. I loved the 3 of them very much and i will always hold them dear to my heart no matter what they have done. Just as well as if your family members or someone close to you was imprisoned you would still probably care for them as much as when they were out.
In Memory of My Heros

United States

#53 Oct 2, 2007
In Ref. to Personal Bethany, CT Comment
This case is very emotional and everyone has a right to there opinion. I know very well that Shelley Stears had nothing to do with the murders by any means. Ben wouldnít leave the fact that she didnít want to be with him alone. He is a very troubled sick man. He is an internet predator in my opinion. He knew Shelley was married from the beginning and still pursued her. He sought out specifically Erik's Mom on the internet for a purpose and itís sad that he succeeded. Millions of people have affairs a lot of times multiple affairs and these affairs donít end up in murder. This circumstance did and thatís why everyone has such hard feelings for Shelley. If this did not end up in murder people would not feel the same way about Shelley. But when it all is put in perspective she is not the same as the people who committed these senseless murders. Cheating on your husband has more and more become a way of life in our society, not saying I condone it but it has. Why would she want him murdered all she had to do was leave her husband. Bobby was not a mean man by any means if that is what she wanted he loved her enough to let her go. Money was also not an issue; no money was ever stolen by Shelley people make speculation to make a better story. Why this story was elaborated is beyond me the basics were enough to affect people for a lifetime. If everybody who shows so much hatred to Shelley thinks about reality for a second they will realize that she has to deal with the fact that she brought someone into her life under personal preference that shattered her familyís and other peoples families entire lives. Just imagine looking at your 11 year old son, 2 daughters and grand kids everyday and know they donít have a father or grandfather because of the fact that you decided to have a relationship with a monster. Itís something that is going to haunt here for the rest of her life more than anyone will ever know. I also think it is ignorance when a race card is pulled in this situation because this case is being treated like any other case. All four individuals played a part in this and all should serve the appropriate time. No matter whether there time is in jail or in society god has his plan for everyone. I do have a little respect for Erik for his role in testifying he was not a coward like Jose Guzman. God knows what happened and this trail and the trails to come are in his hands. I have never been more confident that Michael Castillo, Jose Guzman and Ben Cipriani will all get exactly what they deserve. Erik spoke very well and I along with a few others appreciated his testimony. I hope that he can redeem himself and become a better person. He obviously was not dealt the best hand in life and I hope many people that might share his situation will learn from him. That doesnít make what he did right at all. This comment wasnít meant for a response but simply from a direct insider who knows first hand.

Since: May 07

Old Saybrook

#54 Oct 3, 2007
Personal wrote:
Erik Martinez is innocent because he stood home with his baby mother while the inncident happened. He shouldn't be convicted of anything especailly for not going to the police. He was scared for his life.
So if this was a Puerto Rican or African American that this had happened to, I honestly wonder if the cops would go to that extent to figure out this case and find out who did it. There are alot of shootings in Hartford and else where but the only ones that get the major attention are the ones that have white people being the victims. This society really sucks.
If he is so innocent why did he accept the deal and plead guilty? He could have asked for a trial as well. I don't think the police went an extra mile to solve this one, they had information very quickly. I remember seeing the press interview Cipriani on the news from his home in Meriden. They were onto this right away. Maybe the difference is there is less crime in Windsor Locks and the police/detectives have more time to get right on it? I don't really know as I don't know how PD's and detectives work.

Since: May 07

Old Saybrook

#55 Oct 3, 2007
Personal wrote:
<quoted text>
Excuse me but who are you to speak? No one you obviously don't know the three men that died either. They could have been evil human beings. But only because they are white they are painted to be these perfect human beings.
I just wanted to respond to this - you couldn't be more wrong. My husband was employed by B&B for 5 years. All 3 men were wonderful human beings and they didn't seek out any trouble. You can ask anyone who was a customer of B&B.....these guys knew how to treat people right and worked hard for what they had. I know this doesn't diminish the fact that you feel at a loss because your friends are in jail, but please don't call into question the character of the innocent ones here.
Personal

Hartford, CT

#56 Oct 4, 2007
In Memory of My Heros wrote:
In Ref. to Personal Bethany, CT Comment
This case is very emotional and everyone has a right to there opinion. I know very well that Shelley Stears had nothing to do with the murders by any means. Ben wouldnít leave the fact that she didnít want to be with him alone. He is a very troubled sick man. He is an internet predator in my opinion. He knew Shelley was married from the beginning and still pursued her. He sought out specifically Erik's Mom on the internet for a purpose and itís sad that he succeeded. Millions of people have affairs a lot of times multiple affairs and these affairs donít end up in murder. This circumstance did and thatís why everyone has such hard feelings for Shelley. If this did not end up in murder people would not feel the same way about Shelley. But when it all is put in perspective she is not the same as the people who committed these senseless murders. Cheating on your husband has more and more become a way of life in our society, not saying I condone it but it has. Why would she want him murdered all she had to do was leave her husband. Bobby was not a mean man by any means if that is what she wanted he loved her enough to let her go. Money was also not an issue; no money was ever stolen by Shelley people make speculation to make a better story. Why this story was elaborated is beyond me the basics were enough to affect people for a lifetime. If everybody who shows so much hatred to Shelley thinks about reality for a second they will realize that she has to deal with the fact that she brought someone into her life under personal preference that shattered her familyís and other peoples families entire lives. Just imagine looking at your 11 year old son, 2 daughters and grand kids everyday and know they donít have a father or grandfather because of the fact that you decided to have a relationship with a monster. Itís something that is going to haunt here for the rest of her life more than anyone will ever know. I also think it is ignorance when a race card is pulled in this situation because this case is being treated like any other case. All four individuals played a part in this and all should serve the appropriate time. No matter whether there time is in jail or in society god has his plan for everyone. I do have a little respect for Erik for his role in testifying he was not a coward like Jose Guzman. God knows what happened and this trail and the trails to come are in his hands. I have never been more confident that Michael Castillo, Jose Guzman and Ben Cipriani will all get exactly what they deserve. Erik spoke very well

I actually appreciated your comment. I know that it is hard on everyone, you have lost someone very dear to you and so has Shelly. So have i, Erik is in fact my family, my closest family member. That is why i am so argumentative towards what people say about him. I know what he did in the begining was wrong, because he did accept money from him. But i also know that he was going through a big struggle, and needed the money. But still had no right to take it in the first place. Yes, Cipriani is a evil human being. And he sought out Eriks mother because he knew that she was weak after all that had happened to her, She knew the way her son felt about Rape etc. I guess you can say he is a mastermind, he knew exactly what he was doing and what he wanted. I agree that Erik did the right thing by testifying, he is still young, and with the 25-40 years that he will get, he will still get to live some of his life. He will get to experience the last years of his life with his child who will be a grown man by the time he gets out. Which hopefully will not be troubled because of all that he has gone through being such a young boy. Take Care...
Personal

Hartford, CT

#57 Oct 4, 2007
Townie wrote:
<quoted text>
If he is so innocent why did he accept the deal and plead guilty? He could have asked for a trial as well. I don't think the police went an extra mile to solve this one, they had information very quickly. I remember seeing the press interview Cipriani on the news from his home in Meriden. They were onto this right away. Maybe the difference is there is less crime in Windsor Locks and the police/detectives have more time to get right on it? I don't really know as I don't know how PD's and detectives work.
He took the plea bargin because there was a high chance and especailly since he has a public defender that he would do 3 life sentences in jail for the 3 murders and have the death penalty. He has a soon to be 4 year old son. Which is just the same age as how long he has been in jail. He wants to get out and still be able to do things with his son. That is why he took the plea bargin, He knows that he is innocent of not doing the hit, but he was involved because of him taking money from cipriani at the begining, buying the gun for Joey, etc. But he was scared that is why he did everything else. He was threatened with his life. And knew what Cipriani was capable of. He took the plea bargin to spend the last years of his life with his family, not because he is guilty!

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