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TV show gives glory to area crime fighters

They're a well known pair around the Sheriff's Office, always together, hunting killers in Pasco County.

Detective Jim Sessa is tall and serious, a snappy dresser known for his skill in extracting confessions. His partner, Jeff Bousquet, is laid back and affable, known for a sharp mind that remembers every detail from a crime scene.

Since the men partnered as homicide detectives six years ago, they have worked some of the most high-profile cases in Pasco County, including the murder of a wealthy 78-year-old woman in her Gulf Harbors home in 1997.

On Thursday, the producer of a national television show arrived at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to interview the men and their supervisor, Sgt. Charles Calhoun, about how they solved the murder of Jean Schwarzkopf.

The program _ I, Detective _ will air in the next few months on Court TV, said producer Robyn Younie. An exact date has not been set. The show, entering its second season, is aimed at armchair detectives and forensic science junkies, and can be seen at 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Younie spent several hours asking the three detectives how they tracked down those responsible for Mrs. Schwarzkopf's death.

She was found in her Holiday home in September of 1997, brutally beaten, her neck broken. Authorities said that Mrs. Schwarzkopf asphyxiated on her own blood after a man bound her with duct tape and jammed a silk flower down her throat.

Among the jewelry missing from her home was an 8-carat diamond ring and diamond tennis bracelet.

The Pasco detectives linked the murder to Ottavio Volpe of New Port Richey and Anthony Carcione of Chicago. The detectives proved that the men conspired to rob Mrs. Schwarzkopf and then Carcione killed her. The men sold her jewelry as part of a money-laundering scheme that took them between Florida and Illinois.

Local prosecutors, in separate trials last year, won first-degree murder convictions against Carcione and Volpe. Both men were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Volpe, a New Port Richey bakery owner, came up with the plan to rob Schwarzkopf. He called several friends in Chicago, who recruited Carcione for the job. Carcione flew to Tampa and entered Mrs. Schwarzkopf's Topsail Trail home by posing as a flower delivery man. To keep her quiet, Carcione killed her.

Carcione and Volpe already were serving life sentences without parole in federal prison on charges related to the theft of Mrs. Schwarzkopf's ring before state prosecutors secured murder indictments against them.

After his interview Thursday, Sessa said he was flattered that Court TV selected their case.

"A woman lost her life in all of this _ uselessly," he said. "We're very happy to receive the recognition, and we were happy to bring a conclusion to this case."

_ Jamie Jones covers police news in west Pasco and can be reached at 727-869-6245 in west Pasco or at toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6245. Her e-mail address is jjonessptimes.com.

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