A celebrated Caddo Parish murder and its subsequent prosecution will be showcased Saturday (October 8, 2016) in the latest episode of a continuing investigative documentary series.
The case is the 2013 prosecution of Linda Kate Passaniti, convicted in the 2010 slaying of her stepfather, 73-year-old Keithville farmer Ernest Luttrell.
“Deadly Women Series 10 Episode 7 — ‘Killer In-Laws’ — will be premiering on Investigation Discovery this Saturday,” Caddo Parish First Assistant District Attorney Laura Wingate Fulco learned in an email sent this week by Jo Telfer of Beyond International. That’s the Australian production company that crafted the episode. It will be shown at 8 p.m. Central Time, 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times, on the Investigation Discovery Channel.
According to Telfer’s email, the episode also will look at the August 2012 disappearance of Canadian banker Rajvinder Kaur Gill and Indiana housewife Opal Collins, who was sentenced to death in 1956 for the murders of her husband, his mother and two of his sisters. Her sentence later was reduced to life in prison by Gov. George Craig.
A film crew — interviewer/producer Catherine Ledingham, videographer Peter Heap and sound engineer Bronson Wilson — visited Shreveport in late February. They spent several hours interviewing Fulco, who at the time was head prosecutor with the DA’s office’s Section II and served as lead prosecutor in the case.
Passaniti, 61, was found guilty May 5, 2013, on all five counts against her in the murder-for-hire of Luttrell. She was sentenced to life in prison as principal to second-degree murder, plus 30 years hard labor for conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, and another 10 years on each of three forgery convictions. Caddo District Judge John Mosely ordered all sentences to be served consecutively.
Passaniti is the daughter of Luttrell’s common law companion, Loretta Luttrell, who also had been charged in the case but was found incompetent to stand trial. Two co-conspirators, Tina Marie Vanmoerkerque, 50, and Erick Crain, 33, pleaded guilty to participation in the murder.
The Investigation Discovery series explores celebrated murder trials in which the perpetrators were female. Killers profiled have ranged from such historic figures as Lizzie Borden and Caril Fugate to modern deadlies Karla Faye Tucker and Aileen Wuornos.