An Affair To Kill For

Julie Iannicello courtsey of KOMO News


Julie Iannicello courtsey of KOMO News

A Washington woman stands accused of shooting her sleeping husband in 2016. The case had been cold until King County Detectives found a solid lead that pointed them squarely in her direction.


Julie Iannicello called the police on April 2, 2016, because her husband had been shot in their Auburn home. When officers arrived on the scene, Iannicello took them to the bedroom where her husband Tom had been killed. It was late at night, and the frantic wife swore there had been a white pickup truck at sped away from the scene of the crime.

Investigators believe that Julie had her two children with Tom wait outside in the car and shot him. Then left the scene to pick up the children’s older sister from work and returned home to call the police and report the crime as a burglary gone wrong. This might have worked except there was something about the story that fell apart at first glance.

With nothing of value stolen, police were dubious about the burglary story. There were quite a few electronic devices and other valuable items that the robbers had left behind. In fact, it seemed as though the only thing they left with was Tom’s life. If this had been a robbery, then the thieves were clearly looking for something specific. Sgt. Ryan Abbott of Kings County Sheriff’s Department said: “The problem with the burglary is – nothing of value was taken.” The robbery theory fell by the wayside, which left detectives at a loss for what had happened.

II. Discovering The Affair

So, the case went cold for nearly three years. Clues were hard to come by and when then they did, none of them made sense. Investigators unearthed some emails that changed the way they looked at the case. The missives suggested that Julie was having an affair and not on good terms with Tom. Abbott said, “Detectives learned that the female suspect had been having an affair at the time her husband was murdered…” Some of the emails showed that Julie wanted out of the marriage and didn’t want to pay for a divorce.

“They were emailing weeks leading up to the murder, Reading the emails it appears this had to do with the affair she had going on. She talked a lot of the hatred for her husband and how she had these plans to leave him. Why she did this I don’t think anybody will ever know.”

There were more emails that detailed how Julie had planned to leave Tom the weekend before she shot him. There is no mention of what stopped her from going through with a divorce, but the dissatisfaction in the marriage was growing ever more evident in the emails. Abbott said, “Detectives found dozens of emails between the suspect and her new boyfriend in the weeks leading up to the murder discussing the suspect’s hatred of her husband and her plan to leave him the weekend that he was murdered.” Some legal experts think ‘moment of passion’ defense could be built but most doubt it would be effective.  Especially with the evidence mounting against her.

III: More Evidence Against Julie

Police found a bullet casing near Tom’s corpse, it matched perfectly with bullets found in the possession of Julie and Tom. Coincidence? Maybe but police began to piece together a scenario that made more sense. Julie, fed up with her husband, decided to shoot him and use a burglary to cover up her crime. She didn’t think to use a different gun, which was a fatal mistake. Julie was free of Tom but not free of a murder charge.

Like murderous wives before her, Julie seemed to have been under the impression that killing her husband was the best way to go about getting rid of him. Divorce attorneys would have cost a bundle and she would not have had a chance to try her hand at creating stories. Unlike the other ladies who have killed their husbands, it is not clear if there was a life insurance policy, which would have likely added a motive to the murder.

Police took a closer look at Julie after she set up a GofundMe Page to help assist with the investogation. She also cried on local TV station KOMO for help with the case to no avail.

Despite these attempts at finding who killed her husband, investigators say Julie never followed up with them on how the case was proceeding. She went radio silent with them, instead of focusing her attention solely on the public side of the case. Something seemed off to the police but her family believes that she is innocent and could not have committed these heinous crimes.

IV: The Defenders

Julie’s father for one has a hard time believing his little girl could have done these things. In fact, he told reporters that he knows “everything will prove that” she is innocent. It’s not surprising that her father is defending her, most parents would go to bat for their children. Though the evidence does seem to be a bit overwhelming.

Though Mr. Shuffelen believes that the cops went straight to his daughter as a suspect and didn’t look at anything else. He says they should have checked out the burglary story, especially that truck that allegedly sped away. Mr. Shuffelen said: “There was a white pickup that left their neighborhood in a very fast hurry that night, and I don’t think the police followed up on that to find out who or whatever.”

Julie has entered a not guilty plea.