When American Connie Dubeit was murdered in December 2015, her husband, Richard, testified to police in Ellington, Connecticut, that a masked burglar had broken into the couple’s home.
According to Richard Dubeit, the man shot Connie and then tied himself to a chair.
However, it turns out that this is not exactly what happened, and the fitness bracelet that the victim was wearing played a major role in solving the case.
After her details were revealed, Richard was charged with murder in 2017. It wasn’t until May 2022 that a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife.
Now the verdict is coming – for what he did, Dubeit will lie behind bars for 65 years. Of these, 60 are punishments for murder, and the remaining 5 – for tampering with evidence.
Homicide investigators uncover the widower’s lie thanks to several factors, including a FitBit wristband that tracks its wearer’s activity, counting steps and calories burned. Connie had one and was wearing it on the day of her murder.
Her data shows the holes in Richard’s version of the case, which has become known in the media across the Ocean as the “FitBit murder”.
Connie’s husband claimed that he had taken his two sons to school on the fateful day and then returned home as he had forgotten to take his work laptop with him. When he entered, he heard a noise on the second floor. He thought it was a cat, but it turned out to be a masked man rummaging through a closet in the family bedroom.
This, according to Richard, happened around 9 am.
The man had a voice that sounded like the actor Vin Diesel, Dubeit later explained to the police.
Richard claims the burglar threatened him with a knife, took his wallet and bank card PINs. Then Connie also came home, whom Dubeit – in his words – tried to warn that there was a stranger in the house.
Connie’s family is later told by her widower that he believes she went into the basement to get one of his guns and save him.
In the end, Connie was shot with one of her husband’s guns.
Richard himself was discovered by the police, tied to a metal chair in the basement.
Security camera footage, however, shows a discrepancy between the time of death and Dubeit’s claims. They show that Connie, 39, was at a local gym around 9am.
Fitness tracker data on her physical activity, which investigators are checking, shows that Connie was actually killed at 10:05 a.m. – that’s when the victim was last seen moving.
So prosecutors prove that Richard lied about when the murder took place, which they say was part of the man’s attempt to shift the blame for the crime to a fictional burglar.
What’s more, Dubeyt’s wallet was found in the yard of the home without anything being taken from it. No items were stolen from the home either.
Richard’s motive, prosecutors found, was that his marriage to Connie was in trouble and his mistress, Sarah Ganzer, was pregnant by him.
Before the court, Sarah herself claimed that she and Richard never discussed plans to abuse Connie, and that the man never admitted to killing his wife.
Richard and Sarah even raised their child together for several years after Dubeit was released on $1 million bail. With the entry into force of the sentence, however, he goes behind bars.
Richard is now 46, and the 65-year sentence likely means he won’t be out for the rest of his life.
This isn’t the first time a fitness bracelet has helped solve a murder. In 2018, police determined from data from such a device that 67-year-old Karen Navara’s heart had stopped five days before her body was discovered.
After several days of Karen not answering her colleagues’ calls, one of them goes to the woman’s home, where she discovers the lifeless body. Karen was found in a chair in her home with a kitchen knife in her hand and a gash on her throat.
At first it was thought to be a suicide, but it was later determined that Karen could not have inflicted such a wound on herself.
Based on the data from the fitness bracelet, the exact time of death was determined. Thus, with the help of a neighbor’s security camera, a car was spotted leaving Karen’s home at the same time. Her 90-year-old stepfather, Anthony Aiello, who died in hospital in 2019, was eventually arrested for the murder.