On January 25, 2005, electrician Daniel “Danny” Pelosi was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife’s ex-husband, Wall Street investment banker Ted Ammon (above), in a murder that would shock the posh community of East Hampton.
When Ammon, 52, was discovered naked and bludgeoned to death in his mansion on Middle Lane by a former colleague from investment banking firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the gory details immediately made headlines.
The police determined that the killer had used a stun gun, and bashed in Ammon’s head more than 30 times.
The murder was a shocking end to what began as a love story between Ammon and Generosa Rand, a former artist and real estate agent he met in 1983. With great looks, success, and a net worth estimated at around $50 million when he was only 42, Ted was a catch.
The couple married in a fairy tale ceremony in 1986 and moved into a townhouse on the Upper East Side. A few years later, they adopted twins Alexi and Greg from an orphanage in the Ukraine, and their picture-perfect family appeared to be complete.But cracks began to appear, fueled in part by what friends say was Generosa’s explosive temper.
She gave up her job and her art, and devoted her time to renovating the couples’ homes. She blew through thousands of dollars, and acquaintances say, became obsessive.
“There was a situation where a landscaper went with Generosa to a nursery and they picked out tulips,” Michael Shnayerson told ABC News in a 2003 interview. “Over the weekend he came back to find her like a crazy woman ripping out all the tulips because the shade was wrong.”
Divorce proceedings began and quickly got ugly. Generosa refused to live in Ammon’s Manhattan apartment, and, friends say, attempted to alienate the children from their father.
Instead, she bought a $9 million townhouse and hired Danny Pelosi, a Manorville electrician and convicted felon who had been thrown in prison twice for drunk driving, to oversee its renovation.
Pelosi and Generosa’s relationship turned romantic, and soon he was living with his girlfriend and the twins in Manhattan’s Stanhope Hotel.
New York printed excerpts from the court-ordered psychologist’s interviews with Generosa in her divorce case, in which the interviewer wrote that Generosa displayed signs of borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.
“She would not permit her children to express any positive feelings toward their father,” she wrote, and when the kids came home from a vacation with their dad, Generosa “refused to talk with them for several days.”
Both Ted and Generosa set up surveillance cameras to monitor each others’ activities — but Ted did not know that the security systems at the Middle Lane house had been installed and were being monitored from Pelosi’s sister’s home in Center Moriches.
On the night of October 21, 2001, Ted was at the Hamptons house when the prosecution alleged that Danny Pelosi came in during the night, disarmed the alarm system, and killed him in his bed with a blunt object — which has never been found. Pelosi then allegedly went to the attic storeroom where the surveillance system computer was kept in order to remove the hard drive.
Three months later, Pelosi married Generosa and, while the police investigation plodded along, the couple moved to a mansion in the English countryside. The case continued to dominate news coverage and was made into a TV movie called “Murder in the Hamptons.”
Then another bombshell hit: Generosa was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She wrote her new husband out of her will, leaving him with only $2 million for legal expenses. She died in 2003 at age 47.
In March of 2004, police finally arrested Danny Pelosi and charged him with the murder of Ted Ammon. Despite the lack of physical evidence linking him to the crime, police believed that the motive for the murder was clear — money.
At the trial, Pelosi pleaded innocent, but, according to his own lawyer, he was his own worst enemy due to the fact that he “talked too much.”
Pelosi insisted that he take the stand in order to tell his story directly to the jury. He claimed under oath that his late wife Generosa paid to have her husband killed because she felt that her soon-to-be-ex husband was hiding money in the divorce.
They didn’t buy his story, and Pelosi was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. In 2015, his attorney announced that Pelosi would appeal the conviction due to the fact that it was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct and the release of secret grand jury material. The appeal was denied.
Pelosi continues to claim that he is innocent, and insists that Generosa and his friend Christopher Parrino are responsible for Ted Ammon’s murder. He is serving his sentence at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York.
After their mothers’ death, Greg and Alexa went to live with their aunt in Alabama. In recent years, the twins have spoken out about the pain they felt when their mother used them as pawns in the bitter divorce, and their grief when they discovered that the man they loved as a stepfather had murdered their father.
In 2012 they came back to East Hampton and self-financed a documentary about the murder called 59 Middle Lane that was screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Last year, Greg announced that he would be opening a store called Big Flower in East Hampton.
Main photo:Ted Ammon’s former home on Middle Lane, where he was murdered on October 21, 2001 [Catherine Townsend/Investigation Discovery]