Police were sent to the Schockners’ home after receiving a 911 call about a prowler in a Long Beach area.
Unfortunately, Lynn Schockner was brutally murdered shortly after, and the perpetrator was apprehended minutes later.
‘Fatal Vows: At Death’s Door,’ a show on Investigation Discovery, focuses on what was initially assumed to be a burglary gone awry before authorities recognised there was a murder-for-hire plan at work. So, shall we investigate what transpired?
What Caused Lynn Schockner’s Death?
Lynn Marie Jicha was born in February 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. She met Manfred Schockner in 1978 when she was 24 years old, and they married a year later.
Manfred worked in the aerospace sector at the time and went on to become a millionaire. The couple had a son named Charlie and lived in Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls area.
Lynn, on the other hand, was considering filing for divorce after 25 years of marriage, hoping for a new start.
Lynn was murdered on November 8, 2004, less than two months after the official separation proceedings began. Someone jumped over the fence onto Lynn’s property early in the morning, prompting a neighbour to phone 911.
The cops were at Lynn’s door in minutes, waking her up from her snooze. They wanted to search the backyard, so Lynn returned to the house to fetch the key to the gate.
She did not, however, return. When the cops arrived, they discovered the 50-year-old in a pool of blood on the back patio, her neck slashed and stabbed many times.
Who Was Responsible for the Death of Lynn Schockner?
Because of the call about a prowler, the police had already surrounded the residence. They had arrested someone jumping over the rear fence within minutes of the 911 call.
The suspect was armed with a bloodied blade, a stun pistol, and Lynn’s jewels. Nicholas Harvey was identified, and the police initially suspected it was a bungled heist.
However, as they looked deeper, they discovered a more sinister agenda.
Lynn’s family claims that her relationship with Manfred was frequently abusive. He would approach her and critique everything she did.
The vicious cycle persisted, even as Manfred tried to make amends with presents and apologies. It got to the point where Lynn established a list of rules in 1999, all of which related to her need to be appreciated and accepted.
By 2004, she’d had enough and filed for legal separation from Manfred, who had moved out.
When questioned, Nicholas said that a previous gym manager called Frankie Jaramillo gave him money to kill Lynn and make it look like a burglary.
There was more; Manfred gave Frankie the money, and Frankie gave the orders. Manfred and Frankie had been friends since 2002, and the former had lent Frankie money on several occasions.
Nicholas later claimed that he was given $2500 up front and promised that he would be reimbursed the same amount after Lynn was slain.
He even had a friend drop him off at Lynn’s residence on multiple occasions, including the day of the murder. Nicholas, on the other hand, stated that he had no intention of killing Lynn.
While he was having second thoughts, Lynn shocked him, resulting in the attack. Nicholas also claimed that he had no recollection of stabbing her and that he staged the burglary because he was afraid of Frankie and Manfred.
The authorities investigated Frankie’s relationship with Manfred. In the months preceding up to Lynn’s murder, the former gym manager was handed over $100,000.
Just weeks before the incident, Manfred placed $50,000 in Frankie’s account, which Frankie used to buy a car and then offered Nicholas the $2500.
There were also multiple calls between the two before and on the day of the homicide, according to phone records.
The authorities suspected Manfred didn’t want Lynn to inherit his assets as part of the divorce, which led to the murder-for-hire scheme.
In December 2004, Frankie agreed to collaborate with the authorities and wore a wire while meeting Manfred. Manfred was heard on the audio calling the hitman, Nicholas, lazy and implying that the cops were closing in on him.
Manfred was also the mastermind, according to Frankie, who said he merely communicated the instructions and gave money to Nicholas because Manfred threatened his family.
What Happened to Manfred Schockner?
In August 2007, Manfred was put on trial, and the prosecution claimed that he was the mastermind behind the murder-for-hire scheme to kill Lynn.
Manfred entered the stand and stated that Frankie duped him into giving him money and that the number of phone calls between the two was due to a defective phone.
In addition, Manfred claims that he and Lynn collaborated to divide their assets and that he had already offered a settlement.
Manfred, then 67, was convicted guilty of first-degree murder in September 2007, and the special circumstance claim that Lynn was killed for financial gain was proven true.
Both Nicholas and Frankie were found guilty for their roles in the crime, with Nicholas serving as the hitman and Frankie as the go-between who orchestrated the hit.
The defence claimed unsuccessfully at Manfred’s trial that Frankie planned the murder without their client’s knowledge.
Manfred was condemned to life in jail without the possibility of release, and he is still serving his term at the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California.