Turns out that last week a real life Murder Monday went down very close to where I live, and since I don’t watch the news anymore – I had no idea. To top it off, it sounds like a plot straight out of an ID Discover Channel show. So obviously, I’m going to tackle it.
Between 5pm and 6pm last Monday night, 33 year old Meredith Chapman arrived at home. She parked her Audi in the driveway, and entered her home through a back door. She had only recently moved to this home after ending her marriage with former Newark, Delaware city Councilman, Luke Chapman. She had just left her job at the University of Delaware in March, and accepted a job at Villanova University in Radnor. She lived alone.
(Meredith and her ex husband)
Seconds after entering her home, she was dead from a single gun shot wound to the head. She had no idea that 47 year old Jennair Gerardot was awaiting her arrival.
Geradot shot and murdered Chapman in the kitchen of her own home with a seven-shot Taurus Tracker .357 revolver, and then turned the gun on herself. Geradot rented a black Cadillac XTS a week before the murder which was found parked close to Chapman’s house. Inside the Cadillac police found binoculars, ammunition, gloves, and ear plugs.
Of course, there was a motive for this.
(Mark and Jennair Geradot)
Chapman was the other woman in Mark Geradot’s extramarital affair. Mark Geradot is the former University of Delaware Creative director, where he worked under Chapman.
Jennair Gerardot posted on NextDoor (a private social networking app) in search of a “good Divorce attorney”
They had just moved to Delaware in December for his new job. She was desperate.
Jennair Geradot posted on NextDoor again, but this time in search of an “EXCELLENT marriage counselor for couple on brink of divorce”
It was clear to the public on this networking site and to anyone who knew the couple that something was wrong. The seemingly happy couple appeared on social media holding hands and smiling with their pets prior to these posts, but clearly something had changed. It is unclear if the couple ever did get the chance to try marriage counseling – but it seems as though Mark was openly letting her know he wanted a divorce.
She just wasn’t having it.
As soon as soon as she caught wind of the affair, she plotted her revenge. She left a trail of texts and emails to her husband which are still under investigation.
Meredith Chapman was only 33 years old. She ran for state Senate two years ago, and lost by a small percentage. She had just accepted a position as the assistant Vice President at Villanova University, shortly after divorcing her husband and moving into her new home. Meredith Chapman was starting a new life and it was cut short by her lover’s wife.
When police arrived at Chapman’s residence, Mark Geradot informed them that he believed his wife was inside the home. When they entered the home, they found both women dead on the floor. The time between the two gun shots being fired is unclear.
In murder-suicide cases women only hold the weapon about 10 percent of the time. It is very rare that in crimes motivated by spousal jealousy that the woman commits suicide. These cases typically involve the wife or mother murdering their children or husbands, or their husbands lovers, but not typically themselves.
According to statistics compiled by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit focused on gun control and public health. The center is one of few organizations currently tracking murder-suicide statistics. The center logged 296 murder-suicides in the first six months of 2017. 263 of them were committed by men, and only 19 were done by women. In most cases, men are killing their spouses or girlfriends, and there’s usually a history of abuse involved. This is something that makes this case even more unusual, considering she killed the other woman and herself, and not her husband.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or showing signs of distress with their spouse or partner, please handle them with care. There is always another option, there is always hope. My heart goes out to the families involved in this tragic close to home story.
See you next week.