What to Know
- Meredith Sullivan Chapman, 33, was killed by the wife of her paramour, police said
- Latex gloves, ear plugs and binoculars were found inside Jennair Gerardot's rental car
- Police say the murder-suicide was the result of an affair between Mark Gerardot and Chapman
The woman identified as the killer in a murder-suicide stemming from a love triangle that occurred in a tony Philadelphia suburb had some unusual items inside her car, police said Wednesday.
Latex gloves, ear plugs and binoculars were found by officers inside Jennair Gerardot's black Cadillac XTS, police in Radnor Township, Delaware County, said. The vehicle was a rental, investigators determined.
Police believe Gerardot, of Delaware, drove to the Main Line town Monday night to shoot Meredith Sullivan Chapman. The victim had recently moved to Lowrys Lane for a new job at nearby Villanova University.
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Chapman, 33, was found shot to death inside the house. Gerardot was found dead nearby after she apparently turned the gun on herself, police said.
The shocking slaying was rooted in an affair between Chapman and Gerardot's husband, Mark Gerardot, investigators have said.
"She broke into the house, she was lying in wait and she shot her as soon as she walked in and then she shot herself," Radnor Township Police Superintendent William Colarulo said Tuesday. "There were emails and text messages indicating what [Gerardot] planned to do."
Also inside the rented Cadillac was ammunition and a receipt from a nearby gas station that showed Gerardot had been in the area since at least 2:40 p.m. Monday, police said. The vehicle was found on an adjacent side street to Lowrys Lane. Gerardot had rented the vehicle April 13 in Wilmington, Delaware.
In a twist, Mark Gerardot had gone to a restaurant nearby the murder scene where he thought he'd be meeting Chapman for dinner. When she didn't show up, he went to her house and found the bodies. He then called police.
Chapman had just moved into a three-story brick home on Lowrys Lane with her dog Indy, friends told NBC10.
When investigators arrived at the scene, Gerardot’s husband, Mark Gerardot, told officials that his wife might be inside.
"You had a man that was married, that was having an affair with this other woman," Colarulo said. "The wife knew about it and this was a calculated, planned attack."
Neighbor Tom Dougherty was stunned by the news, telling NBC10 that "this is not what usually happens on this street.”
"Nothing ever happens on this street,” he said.
Chapman was a former WHYY producer for its Delaware bureau and ran an unsuccessful bid as a Republican for a state senate seat in Delaware. She was also married to Newark City Councilman Luke Chapman, but the couple was reportedly separated.
“Our hearts are broken by the devastating loss of our new colleague,” Villanova University officials said in a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire university community are with her family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time.”
Chapman's family called her a "beacon of light to anyone who was fortunate enough to meet her," in a released statement.
"She loved her family fiercely, was a compassionate friend and among the most talented and innovative professionals in her field," they wrote. "Her death was sudden and tragic, but will not definite who she was to the thousands of people who loved her."
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.