The Irish Travellers accused of killing a 72-year-old Texas housekeeper after buying her life insurance that put them in line to receive $1 million upon her death.
Anita Fox was found stabbed to death in the Colleyville home which she was hired to clean in September 2014.
Fox’s daughter and son-in-law held a multi-million dollar policy on Fox’s life and sold a portion of the policy to investors they reportedly had never met. These investors were Bernard and Gerard Gorman, a father-son duo, now accused of Fox's murder.
The Gormans (aged 27 and 48) were accused of stabbing the 72-year-old to death after her life insurance policy raised suspicions. They had been paying $700 on Fox’s policy but stood to gain $1 million when she died.
The housekeeper’s daughter Virginia Buckland and her husband Mark Buckland sold part of the life insurance policy in a deal done by insurance agent Charles Mercier. The agent told the Star-Telegram that the deal was “legal and done all the time.”
The couple, who own a construction company, decided they could not afford the policy they held on Fox and converted $1m of the policy to a whole-life policy that they sold on through Mercier.
Mark Humphreys, an attorney for the Bucklands, told the Star-Telegram, “Mercier tells the Bucklands that he will pay not only the premiums on that policy, but he'll pay extra so that these other premiums will be more affordable.”
This deal made the Irish Travellers, the Gormans, beneficiaries on a $1 million policy on Fox. The housekeeper's family held policies worth $5 million in total.
Two days after Fox's death, the Bucklands told the police there were no known active insurance policies on Fox, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The story changed as the investigation continued.
Humphreys said, “There is no record at all of my client ever having any contact or knowing Gorman in any way, shape, form or fashion.
“My client never knew them. All they knew is Mercier's dad had a friend who did these kind of investments.”
The Bucklands have been cleared of all involvement, although Mark Buckland’s involvement in his mother’s finance did initially make the police suspicious.
The insurance companies have also said they believe the policies were obtained fraudulently and it remains unclear whether Fox knew they existed.
One of the insurers suggested that the Bucklands could have been involved in the slaying, therefore forfeiting any payment.
Humphreys insists that Fox knew about the purchase and had suggested to the idea to the family at on Thanksgiving 2007.
According to the family, Fox, who did not have any major health issues, suspected she did not have long to live and wanted to leave something for her family.
“She just had something that was nagging her,” Humphreys said. “Her attitude was, ‘I’m getting older. You guys need to get some money and benefit from my death.’”
The Bucklands have filed several lawsuits against the insurance companies claiming they have had their payouts unfairly withheld.
Their lawyer said the Buckland family have been cleared of any involvement in Anita Fox’s murder and that they are devastated there is a suggestion that they had something to do with it.
Bernard Gorman has been charged with Anita Fox's murder. He remains free on bail. His father died, of apparent natural causes, outside Houston, before authorities could arrest him.