The Adam Kaufman Case

This was a case that I had not followed.  I subscribe to "In Session" on Facebook but I had not actually watched any of the trial or read anything on the case.  All I knew was that a man by the name of Adam Kaufman was being charged with the murder of his wife.  From what I had seen it seemed like one of the standard spousal murders that you often hear. Watching an episode of Dateline I found that my thoughts were far from the truth. In fact, after watching the show, and doing some research I am left asking myself if this country has not gotten so used to cases of a spouse killing another that things are not made up to make a case.  

On the morning of November 7, 2007 Adam Kaufman called 911 saying that he had found his wife, Eleonora "Lina," in the bathroom slumped over a magazine  rack and not breathing.

The case soon turned in "The Spray Tan" murder.  Just the day before Lina had gotten her first ever spray tan to prepare for a wedding.  There was speculation that she possibly had an allergic reaction to the procedure.  This was never able to be proven.  The defense made no apologies for that as their point was they were the ones who had to investigate that angle because the police had not.  However, the "title" for the case stuck.  As someone who is allergic to many things, some rare, I would not have been surprised if this in fact had been the cause of her death.  Reality of it is, while it could not be proven, from my understanding it was never fully unproven either.

Adam was not charged with 2nd degree murder until over 18 months later in 2009.  Defense attorneys claim that this came after a rookie cop, Anthony Angulo, pressured the medical examiner to claim that strangulation was cause of death.  Prosecutors claimed Lina had petechia in her eyes and bruises on her neck.  At trial they stated that Adam attacked Lina in the bathroom, strangled and killed her.  

There are often cases in which we hear how a witness for one side ends up doing more for the opposite side than the one they testify for.  This case had many of those witnesses.  Many that testified for the prosecution ended up helping the defense more.

In one case the prosecution called a woman to the stand that dated Adam Kaufman a few months after Lina died.  The prosecution were trying to prove that Adam did not grieve over the death of his wife.  They had even called Adam's sister in law to the stand to discuss the double date they had with Adam and this woman.  Defense lawyers objected and when the jury was removed from the courtroom the prosecution made a reference to the Casey Anthony case in which Anthony got a tattoo that said "Beautiful Life" in Spanish.  This theory was thrown out.  The prosecution admitted they had no evidence that Adam had been unfaithful throughout his marriage.  The woman in question testified that when she did meet Adam he still wore his wedding ring and that she was very clear from the beginning that the relationship would not go anywhere as she said he was not "emotionally" ready for any kind of commitment.  

The prosecution also called to the stand, Ana Howell, the lead CSI investigator on the case.  When questioned by the prosecution she denied allegations that she had an affair with lead detective, Anthony Angulo.  The following day she admitted that she had in fact lied and did have an affair with Angulo.  She stated that her husband was aware of her affair, it was no longer an issue and that her work was not affected by the affair but the damage was done. 

As in many cases there were many different people on the scene who claimed to see different things, especially concerning Adam Kaufman.  The twist however in this case is that Adam Kaufman has an IDENTICAL twin, Seth, who lived just down the street and was at the scene soon after.  There were emergency officials who stated that when they got to the scene they saw Adam Kaufman and he was fully dressed, disputing his claim that he had been in bed and woke up to find Lina in the bathroom.  Some investigators claimed that the hood of Kaufman's car was warm as if just driven and also that only one side of the bed looked slept in.  However, the first emergency tech on the scene stated he saw Adam Kaufman leaning over his wife, and was wearing boxers and a T-shirt.  Did the other investigators see his brother Seth???  Defense attorneys claim that they did.  They also claim that the car was likely warm as it was in a garage all night after a very warm night in Miami Florida.  As far as the bed, there was nothing that ever said the side of the bed that was made was not Lina's.

There were also people that testified for the defense, including Lina's own mother, who claimed that Lina suffered from dizzy and fainting spells.  In their closing arguments the prosecution made reference or indicated that Lina's mother only testified for Adam's defense so that she would not be kept away from her grandchildren.  This so outraged Lina's mother that she yelled out asking the prosecutor if he was accusing her of lying.  

One of the biggest problems, although they had many, for the prosecution was a motive.  Those of us who follow true crime cases know that a prosecution does not need to prove a motive but they are always good to have.  There has to be a reason more or less for someone to kill someone else.  In cases such as this (a spouse killing a spouse) often you will find one of several things... adultery, financial needs, fighting within the marriage and many time impending divorce.  In this case none of that could be found.  There were no records of police visiting the home, there were no accounts of neighbors or friends hearing of or about arguments, there appeared to not even be the issue of life insurance.  No one could find a reason why Adam would have wanted his wife dead.

The defense argued that Lina died of an undiagnosed heart condition.  Of course the prosecution argued against this with their own expert that disputed the defense expert of scarring on Lina's heart.  It does not appear that they argued the dizzy and fainting spells and I have heard that Lina maintained a diary in which these conditions were discussed.

In the end, nothing was defined.  Did Adam Kaufman kill his wife?  The jury did not seem to think so, or at least they did not have the evidence to prove one way or another.  Even jurors later said that there was never enough evidence to bring charges against Adam.  I have to agree with them.  


  1. I just saw this on the ID channel. They're doing the next Deadline:Crime on this case. You're absolutely right, the commonality of spousal murder will always put a dark shadow on people who are actually innocent and tragically had a spouse die. Good article. Enjoyed reading it.

  2. I think this is simply a case of incompetence by the investigators and attorney's office. He was clearly innocent. As the juror attested, he wasn't just "not guilty". That's a very significant comment that is not heard commonly.

    1. I have no doubt that Mr. kaufman was guilty of murdering his wife. Extensive evidence came out after trial about his very violent past. Apparantly there was an abundance of incriminating evidence that his high paid lawyers made sure couldnt be allowed in that courtroom. There also was forum blogs that stated he had attemtped to strangle another person several years earlier. Another example of a man who could not control his temper, and Another example of money getting the guilty off.

    2. Where did you locate this? I also had an instinctive feeling of his guilt.

  3. I watched the trial from day 1. Although I do not have much doubt and believe Adam is guilty, his lawyers did an excellent job and I can see why it was difficult for a jury to convict.


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