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Gruesome murders grab attention

It was a brutal year.

In 2010 in Pasco County, a former cartoon writer was dismembered. A 94-year-old woman was mutilated in a murder so horrific authorities haven't disclosed exactly what her killer did to her, just that it was "evil." A 22-year-old woman was slowly strangled during several hours and then, when she died, her executioner had sex with her corpse.

There's more.

On May 16, a relative found Dennis "Scooter" Abrahamsen dead on a massage table in his house in New Port Richey. The 41-year-old biker and tattoo parlor owner had been stabbed and bludgeoned after hosting a sex party at his house the night before, authorities said.

Detectives say his killers were Amanda Logue, a 28-year-old hired as a prostitute for the party, and her boyfriend, Jason Andrews, 27, a DJ and adult film actor. Court records say the two exchanged a flurry of text messages leading up to the attack:

"I'm so glad you're really commited to this take. Keep eyes for a knife, etc for me!" Andrews wrote to Logue, records show.

Both were charged with first-degree murder and are held without bail at the Pasco County jail.

That same month, the disappearance and presumed death of Stephen Perry drew the attention of the close-knit comic book community to Pasco County. Perry, a 56-year-old writer most famous for the 1980s cartoon series Thundercats, went missing in May from his Zephyrhills home, which was ransacked.

His van was found abandoned at a Tampa hotel, with a severed body part nearby. Another body part was found in Wesley Chapel. Authorities arrested Perry's roommate, James Davis, 46, on a charge of first-degree murder. Davis' wife, 49-year-old Roxanne, was arrested on a charge of violating her felony probation; she has not been accused in Perry's death.

No motive has been given for Perry's murder.

In June, a husband killed his wife of 25 years and then taped her body to a dolly and kept her in their Port Richey garage for at least two days, authorities said. Damian Ficarra, 55, had a history of domestic violence toward his wife, Michelle, who was 53 when she died, court records state. Ficarra is charged with second-degree murder and is held without bail.

In September, a friend found 94-year-old Ann Parlato dead inside her Port Richey home. Authorities say her killer was her 47-year-old lawn care man, John Sexton. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has not released a motive for the murder and only said Parlato was "mutilated." Sexton was charged with first-degree murder and remains in the county jail without bail.

In October, Thomas Cacacie punched and slowly strangled Sarah Ann Capps, his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son, the sheriff's office said. Then he had sex with her corpse while watching pornography — an act he'd fantasized about for years, authorities said. Cacacie, 26, admitted to the murder in a jail interview.

"I have never been more at peace with myself, ever," he said. "I feel like now she's in a better place...

"I'm kind of happier now knowing no one else can touch her."

Cacacie, who had a history of domestic abuse against Capps during their on-and-off again six-year relationship, was charged with first-degree murder and sexual battery. He is held without bail in the county jail.

There were other tragedies this year that led to outpourings from the community.

In April, newborn Thomas James Carter Jr. was killed by a family dog while the baby's 16-year-old mother, Nicole Koezeno, slept in a Moon Lake Estates mobile home. The dog, Sidon, had no history of attacking people, and authorities determined it was just a terrible accident. No one was charged.

In October, Susan Lewis, 45, was hit and killed by a car while walking her autistic son across the street in her Land O'Lakes neighborhood. Hayden, 7, was not hurt. Troopers are still investigating to determine whether charges will be brought against the driver, Eugene Williams.

And in November, Betty-Jo Tagerson lost control of her vehicle and ran into a neighbor's yard, plowing through a group of children. Among them were 5-year-old triplets Delaney, Gabrielle and Isabella Rossman. Delaney died the next morning. Gabrielle was severely injured, but has since been released from the hospital.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. Tagerson has not been charged.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Gruesome murders grab attention 12/29/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 7:47pm]
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