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CRIME NEWS     CRIME ANALYSIS     TRUE CRIME STORIES
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CRIME NEWS     CRIME ANALYSIS     TRUE CRIME STORIES
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By Rampart Stonebridge, updated on March 12, 2024

4 People Arrested In Murder Of 96-Year-Old Woman

In a shocking development in Montecito, California, what was once considered a serene and affluent community is now the backdrop for a chilling murder-for-hire plot.

A meticulously planned murder-for-hire plot targeting Violet Evelyn Alberts for her $5 million property unveils the dark side of financial motivation in elder abuse cases, Daily Mail reported.

Four individuals have been arrested in a sinister scheme aimed at the life of 96-year-old Violet Evelyn Alberts, with greed at its core.

Violet Evelyn Alberts lived a long life that culminated in tragedy in her own home—a splendid mansion valued at $5 million. May 27, 2022, was supposed to be a day filled with the joy of birthday celebrations; instead, it became the scene of her brutal demise. Alberts was found asphyxiated, a quiet end to a vibrant life, her hands still dusted with flour from the cookies she never got to bake.

The Sinister Scheme Unraveled

The initial clue to the horrific event was a broken window, suggesting something amiss at the Alberts residence. This led Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies to uncover a web of deceit and greed spanned years.

Pauline Macareno, a 48-year-old who had previously tried to exploit Alberts financially, emerged as a prime suspect, along with her accomplices: Harry Basmadjian, 58; Henry Rostomyan, 33; and Ricardo MartinDelCampo, 41.

Investigations revealed that in 2020, Macareno made a direct attempt at financial elder abuse, targeting Alberts' significant assets. This was but a precursor to the final, fatal act of violence that would shock the community and law enforcement alike.

A Community in Mourning

The investigation linked a white Porsche Cayenne to the crime, having been recorded entering and leaving the victim's property. Arrests followed: Basmadjian on January 2; Rostomyan on February 27; and MartinDelCampo on March 5, 2024, with Macareno already detained for related fraud charges.

Each piece of evidence provided a clearer picture of the plot against Alberts, revealing not only a plan to murder but a history of manipulation and abuse.

"In the eyes of Pauline Macareno, Miss Alberts was living too long," disclosed Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown. This chilling statement underscored the financial motivation behind the murder—a disturbing trend in elder abuse cases.

Timeline of Terror and Capture

As detailed by sheriff's deputies, the scheme began with financial deception and ended in a desperate, savage act. From the scouting of Alberts' home in May 2022 to the series of arrests culminating in 2024, each step was calculated, but ultimately, justice began to prevail. A community seeking closure anxiously awaits the court hearing scheduled for March 14.

Sheriff Bill Brown illuminated the premeditated nature of Alberts' murder, describing how the discovery of the vehicle and the sequence of events showcased the depth of the conspirators' plans.

The victim, despite facing financial and cognitive difficulties in her final years, had been a beloved member of her community, her spirit indefatigable even in the face of mounting challenges.

Lessons to Learn from This Tragedy

Even in the shadow of such tragedy, lessons must be learned. First, the importance of vigilance in protecting our elders cannot be overstated. Elder abuse, particularly financial exploitation, is a growing concern that requires community awareness and intervention.

Second, the value of legal and financial safeguards for vulnerable seniors must be emphasized. Third, fostering strong community connections can offer protection and support for the elderly.

However, it's crucial to remember that while we strive to prevent such crimes, we should never blame the victims. Crime can happen to anyone, and the perpetrator is solely responsible.

Why This Story Matters

This tragic event underscores the need for greater awareness and prevention of elder abuse. Violet Evelyn Alberts' story is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by seniors and the extreme lengths to which individuals might go for financial gain.

In conclusion, the murder of Violet Evelyn Alberts is a complex tale of betrayal, greed, and loss. From the initial elder abuse attempts to the final, fatal act of violence, this case sheds light on the dark potential of financial motivation in crimes against the elderly. As the community of Montecito and the nation watch, the upcoming court proceedings promise to bring some measure of justice for Violet and serve as a cautionary tale for all.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.

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