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Frank Spencer was murdered by his ex-wife Maria and her mobster father Anthony ‘Rocco’ Franklin

Rocco Franklin and his daughter Maria Spencer
Wiseguy Anthony Rocco Franklin and his daughter Maria Spencer were convicted of murdering Frank Spencer. Pic credit: CBS News/ YouTube

Businessman Frank Spencer was found shot dead at his home in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, in July 2012. Suspicion immediately fell on his ex-wife Maria Spencer who had constantly threatened him.

The pair had endured a bitterly contentious divorce that lasted 6-years, which had included break-ins and mysterious fires set at the home of Frank’s mother and girlfriend. Frank was murdered less than a month after his request for a divorce was finalized.

A friend of Frank’s Deanna Reed stated, “We knew it was Maria. We didn’t know who else might have been involved. But we knew it was her.” Frank had told his friend that Maria had said to him, “you’re gonna get shot in the head.”

Police knew that Maria’s father, Anthony “Rocco” Franklin, had connections to the mob, so they began investigating the possibility that Maria had recruited her father to murder her husband.

Compelling evidence against Spencer and Franklin

Investigators concluded that Maria’s father shot Frank sniper-style with a rifle, before finishing him off with a pistol. Police say that Maria and her father then pulled the corpse back into the house. Cleaning gloves found at the crime scene contained Maria’s DNA.

The police also found a shoe print that matched Rocco Franklin’s footwear. Further evidence included the discovery of Frank’s dog at Franklin’s house.

In 2015, Spencer was convicted of murder, conspiracy, burglary, arson, and other charges. She was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 250 – 696 months.

The law finally caught up to Anthony Rocco Franklin in December 2018; he was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years for his role in the murder. At his sentencing, he blew a kiss to the prosecutor and the lead detective and then swore at the judge. He was 77 years old.

More from 48 Hours on ID

Follow the links to read about more crimes profiled on 48 Hours on ID.

Michael Gargiulo was a serial killer who had lots of nicknames; he was The Hollywood Ripper, The Chiller Killer, and because he liked to rape and murder women who lived nearby, The Boy Next Door Killer.

Patrick Frazee attempted to persuade his mistress to murder his wife Kelsey Berreth when that failed he beat his wife to death with a baseball bat while their infant daughter sat nearby. Frazee tricked his wife into putting on a blindfold before he bludgeoned her to death.

48 Hours on ID airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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