Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco authorities say they have man who killed Port Richey woman, 94

PORT RICHEY — For the last few weeks of her life, 94-year-old Ann Parlato raved about the new man cutting her grass.

"She would go on glowingly about this guy," said her friend Dori Cifelli, 52, of Trinity.

John Sexton Jr., 47, lived less than a mile from Parlato's home on Colrain Drive in New Lakes of Regency Park. He knocked on her door, asking whether she needed a lawn guy, Cifelli said. His rate was $15 — cheaper than the service she was using, which thrilled Parlato. A retired factory worker and widow, she scrimped by on Social Security.

Sexton — who had a record of arrests on charges of burglary, theft and reckless driving that ranged from Oregon to Key West — was going to fix Parlato's doorbell, Cifelli said. He was going to make her grass grow better. He, too, said he loved gardening. Parlato had found a new friend.

"Every time I was there," Cifelli said, "there would be some mention of John."

Cifelli found Parlato's body Thursday. The door was open. Parlato was covered in blood, her petite body mutilated, authorities said.

Parlato's next-door neighbor told detectives he heard his dogs barking Wednesday night and saw a truck at Parlato's home. The lights were on. The neighbor said he saw Sexton at the kitchen sink and thought he was doing dishes. Parlato was a night owl and loved having visitors, so the neighbor didn't think much was amiss. But he took down the truck's license plate.

That helped break the case, said Pasco County Sheriff Bob White at a news conference Tuesday.

Less than four hours after Parlato's body was discovered, Sexton was in custody. Someone at Sexton's house informed authorities that he was at an unoccupied home on Fox Hollow Drive. Sexton, according to the Sheriff's Office, had broken into the Fox Hollow home after killing Parlato.

Sexton was arrested and charged with burglary. The murder charge did not come until Tuesday, as investigators waited for test results of the blood found on Sexton's clothes. White said the blood was Parlato's.

The sheriff said his team can't remember a more disturbing homicide in more than a decade. Her murder was brutal and horrific, he said.

"You've not been to the movies to see anything worse than this," White said.

White would not say much about the details of the crime because he doesn't want to hurt the case. When asked about a possible motive, White simply said:


Parlato's funeral was Tuesday at North Meadowlawn cemetery. Cifelli said the funeral home gave Parlato a casket she would have loved — roses on the outside, pink interior.

She was buried next to her husband, John, who died in 1984.

Parlato didn't have life insurance, and she canceled her homeowners insurance when the rates increased.

Cifelli and Parlato's two daughters, who don't have much themselves, are trying to find enough money to pay for someone to clean the blood out of her home.

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

Pasco authorities say they have man who killed Port Richey woman, 94 09/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  2. Plan a fall vacation at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens when crowds are light


    Now that the busy summer vacation season is ending, Floridians can come out to play.

    Maria Reyna, 8, of Corpus Cristi, TX. eats chicken at the Lotus Blossom Cafe at the Chinese pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Epcot is celebrating it's 35th year as the upcoming Food and Wine Festival kicks off once again.
  3. USF spends $1.5 million to address growing demand for student counseling


    TAMPA — As Florida's universities stare down a mental health epidemic, the University of South Florida has crafted a plan it hopes will reach all students, from the one in crisis to the one who doesn't know he could use some help.

    A student crosses the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, where visits to the school's crisis center more than doubled last year, part of a spike in demand that has affected colleges across the country. The university is addressing the issue this year with $1.5 million for more "wellness coaches," counselors, online programs and staff training. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. PTA treasurer at Pinellas school accused of stealing $5,000


    The treasurer of the Parent-Teacher Association at a Pinellas County elementary school faces a felony fraud charge after she was accused of stealing from the organization to pay her credit card and phone bills.

    Lisa McMenamin, 50, of Tarpon Springs, is facing felony charges of scheming to defraud the Brooker Creek Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, where she served as treasurer. She is accused of stealing $5,000 to pay credit card and phone bills. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. What you might have missed from the third episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'


    We're back for a third edition of the Annotated Hard Knocks, trying each week to freeze frames and find the tiny nuances of Bucs training camp you might have missed out on. If you see something we missed, hit …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans wears one of teammate Kwon Alexander's red "LI-TI-RILLA" T-shirts, which refer to Alexander being part lion, part tiger and part gorilla, of course. [HBO/NFL FILMS]