A sailor's sins exposed: Navy man caught on camera soliciting wife's death
03/10/2017 12:49 pm PST
They took a vow to love, honor and protect each other, but police say one Virginia husband not only broke that vow -- if things went his way -- someone would be dead.
Chadwick Ghesquiere was working as a DJ at a Toledo, Ohio bar when he seemed to set his sights on a girl named Kathryn.
She said "no" a lot -- then eventually she said "yes"
"Chad was funny, he was always goofing around, he could always make you laugh if you were sad," said Kathryn Ghesquiere.
Chadwick and Kathryn quickly went from a new couple to a new family.
"We started dating and within three months I got pregnant with my son," Kathryn tells Crime Watch Daily.
Kathryn, who already had a son from a previous relationship, laid down the law.
"I gave him the ultimatum, I said we're having this baby," said Kathryn. "You join the military or go back to college. Join the military he did."
Chadwick Ghesquiere enlisted in the Navy and was sent off to boot camp in Florida. Three months later Kathryn and Chad married, but continued to live apart.
"We Skyped and talked but we never lived together married until my son was about 3 months old," Kathryn said.
And once they moved in together in Virginia, the joy of being newlyweds and new parents quickly faded.
"I don't know if the military changed him or that's just how he was, he was very into 'Man does this, woman does this.' We had different roles," said Kathryn.
And those different roles meant Kathryn alone cared for their son. Over time the relationship became a sinking ship. Kathryn says she realized the marriage was going sour was when she found about the alleged abuse of her older son.
"While I was at work he was making him stand in the corner for hours on end, making him dig holes, so when I found out he was abusing my son and Childrens Services was involved, that was a turning point," said Kathryn.
Kathryn says they tried counseling, But behaviors didn't change.
"I found out he started back at my son again, making him scrub toilets with toothbrushes just for not doing his homework on time," said Kathryn. "I got scared, and I said 'That's enough.'"
After three years of marriage, Kathryn walked out.
"I took the boys to a hotel, and he locked me out of the house and wouldn't let me back in, wouldn't let me in to get my children's medications, clothing, nothing," said Kathryn. "That's when I went and filed for divorce."
Kathryn says in an attempt to gain custody of their son, Chadwick was focused on making her look like an unfit mother.
After many months and many rounds in court, custody of their son was finally decided: Kathryn and Chadwick would share their boy 50-50.
"We either didn't speak, or he was very, very nasty," said Kathryn. "I always took someone with me to drop and pick up the kids."
As Kathryn was trying to move on and live her life, Chadwick was doing the opposite. He was hatching a plan to end it.
To say it was a messy split between Naval officer Chadwick Ghesquiere and his wife Kathryn is a major understatement. Their young son is in the middle with accusations of abuse launched by Chadwick, alleging that Kathryn was getting drunk and not feeding her son, that her son had burn marks on him from cigarettes.
"No case was ever opened, it was completely unfounded," said Kathryn.
Still separated, not yet divorced, Kathryn was forging a new path as a working single mother of two.
And Chadwick was spending his time differently, plotting to have his estranged wife assassinated.
In the summer of 2012 Chadwick first shares his cold-blooded thoughts.
"He approached a friend and asked if he could assist him in hiring someone to kill his wife," said Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia.
Chadwick Ghesquiere's motive?
"It was in part financial, in part the desire to obtain custody of his child, the desire to not have to deal with his spouse," said Boente.
So Chadwick goes to his friend, and his friend goes to the feds at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Crime Watch Daily has concealed the ATF agent's identity and all others involved so their safety and other investigations won't be compromised.
"The initial information was that an active duty man in the Navy was wanting to have his wife killed for half the insurance policy he had on her," the ATF agent tells Crime Watch Daily. "The statements were pretty serious. He wanted to, so to speak, 'Off that bitch.'"
Chadwick's friend says Chad told him he wanted the hit to happen soon.
"Mr. Ghesquiere continued to press for someone to kill his wife and one time stated if he didn't help that Mr. Ghesquiere would find someone to go do the job himself," said U.S. Attorney Boente.
Chadwick's friend meets again with ATF agents, who are now partnered with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
Chadwick's friend, who's renamed the "confidential source" or "informant," shares a recording he has of Chad.
"During that recording we had learned that Chad just purchased a firearm. We also learned he saved up for a deposit for the hitman," said the ATF agent. "After listening to the recording I knew that Chad was serious about having his wife killed."
Two days later, and with the car equipped with recording devices, the confidential source and Chadwick meet again, first discussing the potential hitman. The conversation is recorded.
Less than a week later Chadwick meets the hitman, who's really an undercover agent, and discuss the details of the hired hit.
Days later, they meet again. Chadwick brings photos of Kathryn, her address, description of her car, $1,000 and 80 Adderall pills as a down payment, and even offers to supply a gun. But the hitman shows Chad the pistol he'll use to murder Kathryn, and gives him once last chance to back out. Chadwick declines and says there's no changing his mind.
And with that, the plan is set to be executed.
For their safety, Crime Watch Daily has concealed the identities of all federal agents involved.
"He was given an out on several different occasions but he never did blink an eye," said the ATF agent.
Chadwick's got it worked out. The plan's in motion. Now he's just waiting for the word the deed's been done.
Two days later, Kathryn, who's had no idea about Chadwick's plan to have her killed, is about to learn, for the very first time, what exactly her husband's been up to.
"Someone came into my job and asked if someone had the model car I do and they said 'I think I hit your vehicle,'" said Kathryn.
Once outside, ATF agents identify themselves and tell her they're taking her into protective custody.
"I thought I was being pranked. I thought it was a joke," said Kathryn. "They told me there was no easy way to tell me, but my husband tried to have me killed. They showed me pictures of me walking with my children, my house, my vehicles, stalking pictures. I threw up. I was shaking."
Kathryn is finally safe, but Chadwick doesn't know that. ATF agents go to his work to inform him of her death. The interaction is recorded.
"There's no real easy way of telling a family member this, but this morning your wife Kathryn was found deceased," one man tells Chadwick. "We just wanted to ask you a few preliminary questions. You OK? Sorry to spring this on you, there's no other way to do it."
Chadwick agrees to go to NCIS headquarters. He thinks he's there to help investigators. They tell him they're investigating the homicide and ask him for preliminary information. The conversation is recorded.
"I don't even know who she hangs out with or who her friends are to be honest with you, like I said, we've been separated now for a while, and I try to keep in contact with her only about my son that's it," Chadwick tells investigators.
But that's not it, and everyone in the room knows it.
Time to give Chad the surprise of his life: The guy he thought was a hitman walks through the door.
"Hey Chad, I lied to you about what I do for a living," he tells Chadwick. "I'm really a federal agent. So listen to these guys and talk to them all right."
"You could see Chad's heart beating through his uniform," the ATF agent tells Crime Watch Daily. "He knew obviously what was going on at that point."
"We have a ton of evidence against you, just so you know, so we're not really here to get a confession or anything like that," one investigator tells Chadwick. "We're here really to understand what drove you to do this."
"To put my kid out of harm's way," Chadwick says.
Remember, Chad had accused Kathryn of abusing their son -- claims never substantiated.
Then agents show Chad the incriminating evidence they have against him.
When it is all said and done, Chadwick Ghesquiere is arrested and charged with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire. Ultimately Chad is charged with six counts, but pleads down to two.
At court, Chadwick Ghesquiere's attorney basically asked for leniency. It was a lapse of judgment, his Navy record, he had served his country and he really just wanted to keep his son safe.
"Well, I discount those excuses, there are millions of divorces and separations every year, they frequently involve child custody disputes and they certainly don't involve someone trying to kill their spouse, and this was not impulsive or rash," said U.S. Attorney Dana Boente. "This was a planned operation."
Crime Watch Daily is there the day of Chadwick's sentencing. It would be the first time Kathryn would be seeing her husband, the man who tried to have her murdered.
Our cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom, but inside the judge sentences Chadwick Ghesquiere to 11 years behind bars.
"He didn't care," said Kathryn. "He's not remorseful, just nonchalant."
"There is no justice. That's not enough," said Kathryn. "He only got 11 years, where I would have gotten death."
Is she still afraid of her husband?
"Yes," said Kathryn. "What happens after 11 years, don't you think he'll be more angry that he got caught?"
As Kathryn tries to put this nightmare behind her, she knows who's responsible for her still being here.
She has a message have for the ATF agents?
"Thank you for saving my life," said Kathryn. "Thank you for saving my life and all you've done for me and my children. I have another day with them and they have another day with me."
Adding insult to injury, after attempting to hire someone to kill his wife -- the Ghesquieres are still legally married. Kathryn tells Crime Watch Daily she tried to divorce Chadwick once before, but he wouldn't sign the papers, and the judge ordered them into mediation.
Kathryn Ghesquiere says she doesn't have enough money to pay for a lawyer to help resolve the issue.