An inquest in the UK has ruled that a gay man originally believed to have “accidentally” died was killed unlawfully. His murderer was tracked down after the victim’s nephew stumbled across video of the grisly crime.
Peter Fasoli, 58, died in January 2013. Months later, an inquest into his death concluded that he’d died “accidentally” following a sex game that had gone wrong.
Fasoli had invited James Marshall, of East Ham, to his West London home. They had met online via dating site, Badoo.
Marshall and Fasoli engaged in roleplay, with Marshall, a former escort later described in court as a “fantasist”, wearing handcuffs and other accessories, pretending to be an undercover agent and tieing Fasoli up.
However, after Fasoli died, Marshall set fire to the premises to cover up his crime. He then fled to Italy.
At this point, authorities regarded Fasoli’s death as being due to a sex game gone wrong. They knew he had been tied up but believed it had been consensual. They did not realize that his home had been set on fire on purpose.
Hard drives from Fasoli later passed into the possession of one of his friends. The friend then gave the hard drives to Fasoli’s nephew. He was looking for evidence of his uncle’s research into their family tree.
However, when the nephew viewed the hard drives in late 2014, he stumbled across a seven-hour webcam recording of his uncle being tortured and murdered.
Detective Inspector James Stevenson told yesterday’s inquest at West London Coroner’s Court: “There was a camera in his uncle’s address that captured a man attending his address on the day before his death.
“It starts off as a role play. Marshall is playing a secret agent type character, wearing a police issue holster with what appears to be a firearm and handcuffs.
“He encourages Mr Fasoli to strip naked, and he agrees to be hog-tied by Marshall.
“Mr Fasoli appears to be going along with the role play for some time, and then at some point it’s clear he has withdrawn his consent, and Marshall is trying to smother him with a pillow.”
After threatening him with a knife, Marshall forced Fasoli to give him his PIN number. Marshall then left the home, presumably to find a cash machine. When he returned, the camera captured him applying clingfilm to Fasoli’s face. The men struggle and fall behind a sofa, where it is assumed the older man was killed.
Marshall then ransacked Fasoli’s home for other items to steal. As he does this, he knocked over the webcam, disabling it. However, it continued to record audio. This included the sound of a liquid being sloshed around the room – believed to be a flammable accelerant – and the clicking sound of a lighter.
After fleeing to Italy, less than three weeks later, Marshall killed Vincenzo Iale, 67. He then attempted to kill another man, Umberto Gismondi, who he arranged to meet through a gay dating site.
Gismondi survived and alerted Italian authorities, who arrested Marshall. He was sentenced to 16 years for Iale’s death and the attempted killing of Gismondi.
The discovery of the video led to British authorities contacting Italian police. Marshall was sent back to the UK. In 2017, he faced trial and was found guilty of Fasoli’s murder. The 28-year-old was sentenced to 39 years in prison for the crime.
Following the trial, Fasoli’s family has pushed for a new inquest into his murder, to correct the previous ruling of ‘accidental’ death. They have questioned why authorities did not realize sooner that’d been murdered.
However, defending the police, DI Stevenson, who had not been involved with the original investigation said yesterday: “’There were none of the classic tell-tale signs of a deliberate fire,” reports the Daily Mail.
“When you have an arson, you usually have a number of places where a fire was started.
“In this case, there was no evidence of that, or of an accelerant being used. It must have burned off.”
Coroner, Dr Sean Cummings, concluded, “Mr Peter Fasoli was unlawfully killed, and that completes the inquest.”