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‘Over My Dead Body’ podcast: Slain Florida law professor’s father, sister say they ‘pray and hope’ for justice



‘Over My Dead Body’ podcast: Slain Florida law professor’s father, sister say they ‘pray and hope’ for justice

Phil Markel is hoping his participation in a podcast covering the shocking death of his son will help bring him closer to his grandchildren.

The heartbroken patriarch recently came forward in Wondery’s “Over My Dead Body,” which chronicles the senseless shooting of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.

People magazine previously reported Dan, 41, died after he was shot point-blank in the head execution-style while parked in his Honda Accord in the garage of his suburban Tallahassee, Fla., home on July 2014.

Police questioned Dan’s ex-wife, attorney Wendi Adelson, as the couple emerged from a tumultuous divorce. But Adelson was soon released.


More than two years after the slaying, police charged Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera with first-degree murder. The mother of Garcia’s two children, Katherine Magbanua, was also eventually charged with first-degree murder, the magazine reported.

Dan Markel

Dan Markel
(Courtesy of Wondery)

For the six-episode series, those who knew Dan and Adelson well came forward to examine the life and sudden death of the father of two.


An attorney for Adelson’s brother, Charlie Adelson, who allegedly was involved in a personal relationship with Magbanua, told Fox News “no comment” about “Over My Dead Body.” An attorney for Adelson did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment concerning the podcast or claims that the Markels have lost contact with Dan’s children. A rep for Wondery also told Fox News Adelson is aware of the podcast and was approached, but declined to be interviewed on tape.

Markel claimed it’s been over two years since he last heard from his grandchildren.

“We are devastated by this,” Markel told Fox News. “To us, to the Markel family, the word family has been a very, very important part of our relationships. And not to have two grandchildren… is very, very hurtful and it’s just unbelievable… Hopefully, they’ll contact us, or we’ll be able to contact them. We want them to know that they’re part of our family… We want them to know that we love them and we miss them.”

“It’s so hard to have them removed from us and to not be allowed to see them,” added Dan’s sister Shelly Markel. “We worry that they also don’t have a great understanding of who their father is and what an amazing person he was and more than anything, how much he loved them and how much they meant to him… Danny’s love for his children was so strong… We want them to know about him and his love for them.”


According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Dan’s parents contacted investigators in September 2015 to notify them that Adelson had changed the children’s last names and removed her older son’s middle name, which was the Hebrew name of Dan’s maternal grandmother. The police report stated the Markel family was “deeply troubled” by this action and believed it was done by Adelson to “sever any connection to the Markel family.”

“For the first couple years after Danny’s murder, we did see [the children] and speak to them,” explained Shelly. “We were in contact…. We all visited them. Once the arrests were made in the case, all contact was ended. We continued to try. We sent cards, emails, gifts. We asked to Skype with them. We asked to see them when we’re down in Florida. Our requests are either ignored… or denied.”

Markel admitted there’s not a day that goes by when he doesn’t think about the beloved son he lost or the two grandchildren that seemingly vanished from his life.

“Dan was a fantastic kid, a great son, a great brother,” said Markel. “He was very energetic. He was an active and inquisitive kid. He was always very, very determined. He set goals for himself… Danny would never greet people with just a handshake or hello. It’s always a big hug…. He was just an outpouring of warmth and love to everybody. And family meant everything to him.”

“He was so loving to his children, they meant the world to him,” shared Shelly. “They were such an important part of his life and he just dedicated himself to them. He was so proud of them.”


A Tallahassee Police Department affidavit said Dan’s death came after a 2013 contentious divorce from Adelson, a lawyer who lives in Miami Beach and works for a federal judge.

According to court records, there was a battle between the former couple over Adelson’s desire to move to South Florida with their children so they could be closer to her family. There were also disagreements over money Dan was supposed to pay Adelson and whether his mother-in-law could have unsupervised visits with the children.

Markel said every marriage has their share of woes, but his son’s brutal killing was a horrific tragedy no one had anticipated.

In August 2016, attorneys for Wendi Adelson (pictured) and several family members said in a statement that speculation they had a role in Dan’s death is “categorically false."

In August 2016, attorneys for Wendi Adelson (pictured) and several family members said in a statement that speculation they had a role in Dan’s death is “categorically false.”
(YouTube/Democracy Lives in Miami)

“It’s totally against Mother Nature,” he said. “Parents are supposed to die before children. I was away for the weekend and then I got the news. I went into shock. I just thought it couldn’t be, that it was a mistake. Mistaken identity. How do you describe that? It’s just awful.”

Police said Garcia and Rivera traveled from South Florida to Tallahassee to kill Dan, who was shot in broad daylight. Since the killing, Rivera was convicted of unrelated federal racketeering charges stemming from his leadership role in the Latin Kings street gang and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.


Luis Rivera (left) and Sigfredo Garcia.

Luis Rivera (left) and Sigfredo Garcia.
(Federal Bureau of Prisons/Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

In August 2016, attorneys for Adelson and several family members said in a statement that speculation they had a role in Dan’s death is “categorically false.” Authorities have previously said there may have been a possible link between Markel’s slaying and the couple’s contentious divorce.

“To be clear, none of the Adelsons — Wendi, her brother Charlie, or their parents Donna and Harvey — had anything to do with Dan’s murder,” said the statement emailed to The Associated Press.

The statement also indicated that the Adelson family fully intended Dan to remain a presence in the children’s lives and that there was no ill will toward them.

“Dan’s death was a tragedy, and the loss is profound,” said the statement, adding the family has been subjected to an intense investigation over the past two years — including FBI involvement — that went over phone and computer records, emails, financial documents and text messages.

Both Markel and Shelly said they felt the telling of Dan’s story in “Over My Dead Body” was fair and took no sides. The pair also shared they had faith in justice finally being served.


WCTV reported in November 2018 Garcia and Magbanua are set to stand trial in June 2019. Rivera is expected to testify against them during the trial.

Katherine Magbanua

Katherine Magbanua
(Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

“I would say that we have faith in the justice system,” said Shelly. “There’s a trial upcoming and we pray and hope every day that the justice system will do its work, the investigators will have done their work and will do their work so that the case will get resolved and all those that have perpetrated the crimes will be brought to justice… We hope [the case] will be resolved the right way with the justice system working its course.”

Markel and Shelly said they do hope “Over My Dead Body” will keep Dan’s memory alive, but also raise awareness in their love and willingness to be reunited with his children.

“We desperately want to see the children,” said Markel. “We desperately want to have contact with them. We want them to know that there is a Markel family that they are a part of… They had a father who loved them dearly, tremendously…. Even as a law professor, he made a special effort every day to spend lots of time with them. I don’t know what they remember. I don’t know what they will remember. We just hope and pray there is another way of communicating with them.”

“We want them to know of his amazing legacy,” added Shelly. “And they were his world… We want to keep him alive in our memories.”

All episodes of “Over My Dead Body” can be heard here. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Lara Logan, formerly of CBS, sounds off on media’s treatment of Trump, other liberal bias




Lara Logan, formerly of CBS, sounds off on media's treatment of Trump, other liberal bias

Former CBS News journalist Lara Logan says the mainstream media is not allowing President Trump to be “normalized” as the nation’s leader and accused CNN, among others, of passing off opinions as fact in a Fox News interview set to air Sunday.

“I’ve never seen the press corps behave the way they do today,” Logan told host Mark Levin on “Life, Liberty & Levin. “So, it stands out to me because it’s a departure from what I’ve seen throughout the last three decades. There is something actually much more significant about what you’re seeing happen with the White House press corps.”


Logan added: “Why is [Trump] not allowed to change how the White House operates in terms of its communications and the rules of the White House press corps and how these things happen? He’s not allowed to be seen as an instrument of change. That’s a propaganda talking point of the progressive political movement. He’s not allowed to be normalized as a president. So whatever changes he makes have to be resisted by the Resistance.”

Last month, while appearing on a podcast hosted by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, Logan said that journalists were “mostly liberal” and pushing narratives. The comments that lead to a backlash against the former correspondent.

Logan said she was “cheering” when former ABC News “Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel told an audience earlier this month that President Trump was not mistaken that the “establishment press” was out to get him.

“I know I’m not the only journalist who’s watching in horror as opinion and pejorative language is passed off as fact,” Logan said.

The former “60 Minutes” reporter also criticized “CNN Tonight” host Don Lemon for not admitting he is an “opinion person” and called CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter “anti-Fox.”

“He’s not allowed to be normalized as a president. So whatever changes he makes have to be resisted by the Resistance.”

— Lara Logan

“I was wondering myself this morning … Is Don Lemon an opinion person? Like, I know Sean Hannity is [on the] right, he makes no secret of it. So does Tucker Carlson. So does Laura Ingram. But what about Don Lemon? Is he an opinion person?  Rachel Maddow, I know where she sits. So what about people like Don Lemon … There’s a lot of opinion in his show,” Logan told Levin.  “In fact it’s almost all opinion from beginning to end and Stelter, who is the media guy… appears to be the anti-Fox guy.”


Logan also told Levin that  America’s academic institutions and newsrooms lacked political diversity.

“It’s no secret that the vast majority of academic institutions in this country are liberal,” Logan said. “So what bothers me is that one political ideology dominates all of your academic, almost all, of your academic institutions. And that same political ideology dominates all of your newsrooms, almost all, of your newsrooms. I mean, let’s face it, until Fox News in television. Where did you go if you weren’t a liberally minded moderate, if you, like, if you wanted to hear an alternative point of view or a conservative point of view?”

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‘Knightfall’ star Tom Cullen recalls working alongside ‘Star Wars’ icon Mark Hamill, befriending Kit Harington




‘Knightfall’ star Tom Cullen recalls working alongside ‘Star Wars’ icon Mark Hamill, befriending Kit Harington

Tom Cullen admitted he was starstruck when his childhood idol, Mark Hamill, appeared on set for the first time.

The “Star Wars” icon and BAFTA-winning voice of The Joker, 67, is going from lightsaber to sword in Season 2 of History Channel’s drama series “Knightfall.” The actor plays Talus, a battle-hardened Knight Templar veteran of the Crusades, who survived captivity for 10 years and is tasked with training and new initiates to the Order.


Cullen of “Downton Abbey” and “Gunpowder” fame stars as headstrong Templar Knight Landry who will embark on a journey that explores the dark, brutal side of the 14th century.

Tom Cullen in History Channel's "Knightfall."

Tom Cullen in History Channel’s “Knightfall.”
(History Channel)

“My younger brother is on ‘Knightfall’ as well this season, and we grew up obsessed with ‘Star Wars,’” Cullen told Fox News. “So it was a real treat for us and everyone who got to work with him because I think that Mark is so interwoven into lots of childhoods. But the thing about Mark is as soon as he arrives on set, he is just the most humble and hardworking guy. He’s so much his character in the show that you kind of just forget who Mark is and you just see his amazing character. And it was a pleasure to work with him. He’s great in the show.”

The 33-year-old revealed that the Hollywood star was incredibly humble and easily approachable while filming the gritty show.

“It was so surprising,” gushed Cullen. “You always have so much fear when someone is that famous, that they might turn up and not be the nicest people, but he couldn’t be a lovelier man and he’s become a really good friend…. And there’s a lot of young actors on the show. Some of them, it’s their first… job. And he kind of just came in and took everyone under [his] wing and would tell stories. It was a really special experience.”


Mark Hamill in "Knightfall." — History Channel

Mark Hamill in “Knightfall.” — History Channel

Cullen has plenty of reasons to celebrate, other than the opportunity to work alongside Hamill on a show he stars in. “Knightfall” first premiered in December 2017, just a few months after Season 7 of HBO’s wildly popular fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” concluded on August 27 of that year. Several TV critics pointed out “Knightfall” was the ideal choice to fill the void.

But Cullen warns both shows are completely different and it wouldn’t be fair to compare one with the other.

“I mean, ‘Game of Thrones’ is amazing,” said Cullen. “I have many friends in it and I love watching it. So, it’s not a bad thing to be compared to ‘Game of Thrones,’ but we’re a different show, and there are lots of similarities, I guess. But we’re trying to do our own thing. I would say if you like ‘Game of Thrones,’ you should definitely tune in. And if you like ‘Vikings,’ which is also on History — it’s an amazing show as well. We’re kind of all sitting in that ballpark, but trying to cut out our own little corner in it.”

Cullen has a close connection to “Game of Thrones.” His good pal is Kit Harington, who famously plays Jon Snow. The two actors have known each other since drama school and, in 2017, co-starred in the historical miniseries “Gunpowder.” Cullen shared there’s one memory of his time attending the Central School of Speech and Drama in London alongside Harington, 32, that still sticks out to him.

Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow on the HBO hit series "Game of Thrones."

Kit Harington stars as Jon Snow on the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones.”

“I came from Wales, which is a really small country next to England,” he explained. “I grew up in rural Wales and so I was suddenly in London and it was very exciting. And I had a girlfriend, but we kind of broke up as soon as we got to London. I was absolutely heartbroken. Kit came over to my house and took me out. And I didn’t know him at all. We got very drunk and he looked after me. So that’s my first memory of Kit.”


But these days the pair have been keeping busy with their shows. And Cullen, in particular, had to embark on a no-nonsense training regimen that involved wearing a 50-pound costume for hours to get in shape and fight like a knight.

“It’s super intense,” said Cullen. “… The Knights Templar themselves, they used to train about six, seven hours a day. And then the rest of the time they’d pray. That was their life. It was kind of a mix of warrior and monk. … But for us, the training was very much about being able to carry the heavy weight of the costume and to physically get through the difficult schedule. It’s every day for seven months in freezing cold weather and boiling hot weather. I broke my toes on the first two days.”

“I tend to work every day, nearly in every scene,” continued Cullen. “So the times that I have to learn the fight scenes are often on my lunch breaks or on weekends. Just snap times. And then you’re suddenly in battle with 100 people around you swinging swords. You just have to really dive in and go for it. It can be pretty scary. You do get some wacks because you don’t always remember the choreography. Sometimes it’s real. And that’s probably the hardest part, but it’s also the most fun as well.”

While “Knightfall” takes place hundreds of years ago, Cullen insisted the medieval period has plenty of lessons for audiences in 2019. And as the story unfolds, things will only become more shocking.


“I think the medieval period, in general, is a really fascinating period of time because I think that in many ways, that was the birth of our modern society,” said Cullen. “For example, the Knights Templar, who are the centerpiece of ‘Knightfall,’ they set up the first banking system and they became kind of the world’s first conglomerate, which is a bit of history that I didn’t know before the starting this show. And I think that we feel the history of that period still vibrating in the world that we live in today.”

“Knightfall” premieres March 25 at 10 p.m. on the History Channel.

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The five biggest ‘View’ bombshells we learned from ex-host Jenny McCarthy




The five biggest 'View' bombshells we learned from ex-host Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy‘s time on “The View” appeared to be anything but a walk in the park.

The former co-host, who appeared on the ABC daytime talk show from 2013 to 2014, opened up about her time to Ramin Setoodeh in his upcoming book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.”

McCarthy, who is currently one of the judges on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” and has her own SiriusXM radio show, apparently was “miserable” every single day she went to work.


“It really was the most miserable I’ve been on a job in my 25 years of show business,” she admitted in an excerpt of the book published on Vulture.

Here are five bombshells we’ve learned:

1. McCarthy claims Walters once ‘blew up’ at her

McCarthy appeared on the show in 2007 to promote her own book, “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.” She says that the show’s co-creator, host, and executive producer Barbara Walters wanted to speak with her beforehand.

“I walked into her dressing room and she blew up at me,” McCarthy said. “She was screaming, ‘How dare you say this! That autism can be cured?’ My knees were shaking. I remember my whole body was shaking.”

“This lasted for about seven minutes,” she added. “Finally, someone pulled me out of the room. I went back to my dressing room, not knowing what the f— to do. One of my heroes just chewed me a new a—hole, and I’m going on live TV. I’m freaking the f— out.”


2. Walters allegedly told her she ‘had to change’ outfits 

Walters supposedly controlled what McCarthy wore on-air.

“We would all show up in the makeup room. Barbara would check out what I was wearing. If she didn’t agree with it, or it didn’t complement her outfit, I had to change. Mind you, she doesn’t look at anyone’s clothes but mine,” McCarthy claimed.

“She wanted to start dressing like me. There were times when she’d say ‘change’ and she’d make people run out and get that dress in her size. I was a human Barbie doll.”


3. There were apparently on-set feuds

Walters and “The View” co-host and moderator, Whoopi Goldberg, feuded all the time.

McCarthy claims the former “Today” anchor would ask Goldberg if she could moderate and the EGOT winner would shut her down.

“There was a war between Barbara and Whoopi about Barbara wanting to moderate. This is one of the reasons I decided not to ally with Whoopi. It broke my heart when Barbara would shuffle to Whoopi and say, ‘Can I moderate, please?’ And Whoopi would say no,” she recalled. “How can you do this to a woman who paved the way for so many female journalists?”

4. She was supposedly told to fix a bathroom problem 

There was once a problem happening in the backstage bathroom and Walters told the radio host to “do something” about “a tampon floating in the toilet.”

“I don’t know what to do. She’s standing in the hallway where the guests are, yelling at me about a tampon. I don’t know,” McCarthy said. “Maybe in her brain, she went, ‘I’m the youngest, newest person here, because obviously she has her period and left a tampon floating.’ This is Barbara Walters. I’m not going to yell at her. So finally, I said, ‘I’ll take care of it. I’ll take one for the team and I’ll flush it.’”


5. McCarthy was in tears at works 

They hired McCarthy to replace conservative TV personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“They did try to change me. They wanted Elisabeth back and I wasn’t Elisabeth,” the “Two and a Half Men” actress insisted. “I would literally have meetings before the show of them trying to input opinions in me to go against Whoopi. I was going to work crying. I couldn’t be myself. My fans were telling me, ‘Where’s Jenny? They aren’t letting you be you.’”

Walters’ rep declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.

“Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View” will be released on April 2.

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