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"48 Hours" focuses Saturday on murder with Buffalo ties

By Alan Pergament

The popular CBS investigative series "48 Hours" is focusing this Saturday on the murder in Florida of a University at Buffalo Law School graduate that was described by a Buffalo News reporter two years ago as playing out "like a Hollywood script."

The decision to do an hour on the murder pretty much validates that "Hollywood script" suggestion made earlier this year by Buffalo News reporter Matt Gryta.

Reported by Peter Van Sant, the "48 Hours" report on the 2011 murder of 66-year-old Lanny Horwitz in Jupiter, Fla. is titled "Love, Hate & Obsession."

The conviction that resulted was covered in this newspaper, as was the subsequent sentencing earlier this year.

So here is a spoiler alert: If you don't want to know many of the details of the whodunit before tuning in to "48 Hours," stop reading now. The program tries to create a mystery before telling viewers the verdict.

Here is an edited report of the January sentencing by News reporter Matt Gryta: "Donna Carnevale Horwitz, a Buffalo native and the daughter of a local baseball legend, was sentenced Thursday in a Florida courtroom to life in prison for fatally shooting her former husband."

“A jury deliberated two hours before finding Carnevale Horwitz, 66, guilty as charged in the fatal shooting of Lanny Horwitz, a University at Buffalo Law School graduate."

"The murder case played out like a Hollywood movie script."

“Though the couple was twice divorced, they were living together in Jupiter, Fla. when the shooting occurred."

“During the murder trial, defense lawyer Grey Tesh unsuccessfully suggested to the jury that the couple's son had killed his father."

"Radley Horwitz, 39, now stands to collect on his father's $500,000 life insurance policy," said a cousin of the murder victim.

"Police initially classified his death as a suicide, a determination they quickly changed."

“The late father of the convicted murderer is Daniel J. Carnevale, who was well-known in Buffalo baseball circles, having been a player, manager and scout for more than 60 years."

Now back to “48 Hours” about its investigation

A CBS release quotes Lanny’s brother, Barry Horwitz, as saying: "Not only was he murdered, he was murdered with such indifference. He died like Caesar, surrounded by enemies."

In the same release, Radley Horwitz is quoted as saying: "I had no idea what happened until I heard my mother screaming. And then more shots, and they were pretty, pretty rapid."

"What the investigation would uncover,” according to CBS,  "was a deeply troubled family struggling with debt, a father with an unusually close relationship with a female business partner, and a patriarch who allegedly was hard on his son and his ex-wife."

"But who killed him and why?" continued the release. "There were two suspects right in the home and potentially others outside. Radley had a troubled past, including a stint in prison, and police found he once owned a book titled "Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors." Donna, meanwhile, was distraught over Lanny's relationship with a female business partner. Radley, a gun dealer, had an arsenal in the home, and his mother even had her own gun."

The title comes from a quote included in the release from Assistant State Attorney Aleathea McRoberts: "It boils down to a motive as old as time, and that’s love, hate and obsession."

The program is scheduled to air at 10 Saturday on Channel 4.

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