GLOBAL MANHUNT FOR A DASHING DOCTOR AFTER HIS WIFE'S UNTIMELY DEATH ON "48 HOURS MYSTERY," SATURDAY, OCT. 9 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
In January 2009, a three-year international manhunt for Dr. Yazeed "Yaz" Essa finally came to a close, as the FBI captured the playboy doctor in the Middle East and returned him to the U.S. to stand trial for his wife's murder. It is a story that Essa's friends say is too bizarre to believe - a young mother poisoned, an upstanding doctor accused, the pursuit of a fugitive across four countries, and an investigation that drew on the resources of law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Only four years earlier, Essa's life had seemed close to perfect. He was a successful doctor and businessman, and had been married for nearly six years to Rosemarie DiPuccio, a nurse. The couple lived in a beautiful home in a Cleveland suburb with their two young children. Then, on Feb. 24, 2005, their happy life came to a crashing halt when Rosemarie, on her way to see her sister, was in a minor car accident. While the 38-year-old did not suffer any physical injuries, she passed out and was brought to a Cleveland hospital. Shortly after, she was pronounced dead.
Yaz claimed he had no idea how Rosie could've died and while the family and friends gathered didn't know either, one thing was obvious to everybody - Rosie did not die from the car accident. Yaz quickly became distant and his odd behavior, which at first seemed to be that of a man in shock and mourning, began to seem suspicious. Then, Rosie's best friend voiced her feelings that Yaz had tampered with the calcium supplements that Rosie had taken the morning of her death. Soon, a more sinister portrait of the dashing doctor emerged - one of a deceptive man, with numerous girlfriends, who may have poisoned his wife.
The proof came weeks later when tests of the calcium capsules revealed Rosie had died of cyanide poisoning. But when police went to charge Yazeed Essa, it was too late. He had vanished, kicking off a cat and mouse chase that would take authorities from the United States, to Canada, and eventually the Middle East.
With a network of family and business contacts, Yazeed made it all the way to Beirut, Lebanon, where he hid, knowing he could not be extradited back to the U.S.. But Yaz did not remain underground for very long. Soon he was living large, dating women, spending money and partying in the city's hottest clubs. But his recklessness was about to catch up with him. And ultimately it was Yaz's protector in Lebanon, and even his own brother, who helped bring him to justice.
Correspondent Troy Roberts reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY "firstname.lastname@example.org," to be broadcast on Saturday, Oct. 9 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Click here for a sneak peek of this broadcast.
This broadcast is produced by Joshua Yager and Jonathan Leach and edited by Ken Blum, Jud Johnston and George Baluzy. Paul Ryan is the senior broadcast producer. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.