Tonight on Investigation Discovery, the team looks at a real-life case of fatal attraction in Houston, Texas, involving journalist Gary Taylor and his would-be murderous lover attorney Catherine Mehaffey.
Taylor was working for The Houston Post covering stories in the law courts when he met Catherine Mehaffey (who now goes by Catherine Mehaffey-Shelton) and struck up an affair with the lawyer.
It would later transpire that Mehaffey-Shelton had a somewhat dubious past where the men in her life often seemed to come to a grisly end.
In 1979, Mehaffey-Shelton had been dating Houston doctor George Tedesco for approximately 3 to 4 months. When they broke up, she sued him for divorce, claiming to be his common-law wife.
On the very day, the case was to be heard in court, Tedesco was found beaten to death in his garage. With Mehaffey-Shelton now claiming to be a widow, she went after his estate.
The plot thickened when a client of Mehaffey-Shelton’s, who had been found in possession of some of Tedesco’s property, was discovered shot in the head by a 357 magnum. The police ruled it suicide by Russian Roulette.
Mehaffey-Shelton failed in her bid to acquire Tedesco’s estate, and no one has ever been charged with his murder.
It was when she was a suspect in the Tedesco case that she started her affair with Gary Taylor. Taylor has said that the relationship began as “fun” but soon deteriorated when learned Mehaffey-Shelton had a vicious controlling streak.
Taylor claimed she regularly said: “You better do what I say. You know what happened to George.” When Taylor tried to end the relationship, he found Mehaffey-Shelton wouldn’t leave him alone.
Catherine Mehaffey-Shelton lured Gary Taylor to her home
When his home was burglarized, she telephoned him to say she could get him his stuff back. When Taylor went round to her house, he saw his belongings were in her bedroom closet. At this point, Mehaffey-Shelton pulled out a gun and told him this was how it was “gonna end.”
Taylor flung a nearby chair at his attacker and ran for his life, but not before he was shot in the back. Even though he’d been injured, he managed to stumble three blocks and find help.
Mehaffey-Shelton was promptly arrested. At the trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison. However, her conviction was overturned on appeal.
Rather than go through another trial, Mehaffey-Shelton pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and got probation and was temporarily barred from practicing law.
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A Bloody Break-Up airs at 8/9c on Investigation Discovery.
Lawyer Catherine Mehaffey-Shelton attempted to kill her journalist lover Gary Taylor, while she was under suspicion of murdering a previous boyfriend.