The murder of Frank Black Jr. by Alan Mackerley is featured in the latest episode of The Lies That Bind on Investigation Discovery.
Black, 58, was the owner of a school bus company, the Frank L. Black Bus Service, and he was interested in selling some of his buses to a client named Mia Giordano. She called him and offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse.
Therefore, on February 24, 1996, he flew from Newark, New Jersey, to West Palm Beach, Florida, to meet with her.
He boarded the Kiwi Airlines plane and has never been seen or heard from since.
An investigation revealed that Mia Giordano was a fictitious name used by Mackerley’s girlfriend, Lisa Costello, who offered Black a phony business deal to lure him to Florida.
Prosecutors believe that once Black arrived, he was kidnapped and shot to death before Mackerley—his business rival and former friend, as they were in the middle of a bitter feud.
Mackerley then wrapped Black’s body in a bag and threw him into the ocean.
Without a body, murder weapon, or an eyewitness, the case solely relied on the testimony of Bill Anderson, a former friend of Mackerley, who told authorities that Mackerley told him that he killed Black.
Anderson testified that after Black landed in Florida, he was drugged and taken to Mackerley’s home, where he was placed in a headlock and shot in the head.
He added that Mackerley told him that he was having a hard time getting Black’s body to sink because of the accumulated gases. That’s when he dragged his body back to the boat and stabbed him several times before returning to the ocean and dumping his body.
In March 1998, Mackerley was arrested and charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder.
Following his third trial in 2003, a jury deliberated for two days before returning with a guilty verdict. Mackerley was later sentenced to life in prison.
The Lies That Bind — Wheeling and Dealing, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.