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Carl Anthony Coppolino Trials: 1966 & 1967

Round One

After considerable interstate wrangling, Coppolino stood trial in New Jersey for the murder of William Farber. Prosecutor Vincent Keuper declared that Coppolino had not only broken the commandment "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife," but also "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's life."

Defense attorney F. Lee Bailey knew his only hope lay in totally discrediting Marjorie Farber. Break her testimony and Helpern's words would fall on deaf ears. His opening address contained a ringing indictment:

This woman drips with venom on the inside, and I hope before we are through you will see it drip on the outside. She wants this man so badly that she would sit on his lap in the electric chair while somebody pulled the switch, just to make sure that he dies. This is not a murder case at all. This is monumental and shameful proof that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

When Bailey sat down, the battle lines had been drawn. Now it was time for the first prosecution witness: Marjorie Farber.

She told of being under Coppolino's spell ever since he had first hypnotized her to get rid of a smoking habit. She was powerless to deny him anything, especially when he told her repeatedly, "… that bastard [Farber] has got to go." Coppolino had given her a syringe filled with some deadly solution and instructions to inject Farber when he was asleep. At the last moment her nerve failed, but not until she had injected a minute amount of the fluid into Farber's leg. When he became ill she summoned Coppolino to the house. He first administered a sedative, then attempted to suffocate Farber by wrapping a plastic bag around his head. As the two men struggled, Marjorie begged Coppolino to stop. Instead, he smothered Farber with a pillow.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Carl Anthony Coppolino Trials: 1966 1967 - Round One, Devastating Cross-examination, Florida Fights Back, Suggestions For Further Reading