BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania man who prosecutors say searched “how to get away with murder” was sentenced Tuesday after admitting to dismembering and hiding his wife’s body last year.

Stephen Capaldi was sentenced to 22-44 years in state prison after pleading guilty to the murder of his wife Elizabeth in October 2022, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.

Capaldi, of Sellersville, entered guilty pleas to third-degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, and abuse of a corpse.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s office says during an impact victim statement at sentencing, the couple’s daughter said her father “should never be free from prison to finally leave my mother’s memory in peace.”

According to Perkasie Borough Police last year, Stephen admitted to strangling his wife while she was sleeping in their bed, used a pillow to smother her, and dismembered her with a saw.

According to a grand jury report, Capaldi claimed his wife admitted to having an affair before her disappearance. Police later discovered that to be untrue and found Stephen Capaldi was having an affair with another woman.

In a review of Stephen Capaldi’s phone, police found deleted text messages confirming his affair and numerous internet searches for:

  • How to get away with murder
  • How to delete Facebook messages
  • Can you avoid police detection by turning off your phone
  • Can a polygraph be skewed
  • How to control your dark impulses
  • How to disappear and never be found
  • FBI Handbook of Crime Scene Forensics

On the day of Elizabeth Capaldi’s disappearance, the grand jury report states Stephen had searched for Quikrete cement, Reciprocating Saw, and a DIY blacklight.

The grand jury report stated Stephen Capaldi underwent a polygraph test and “unquestionably failed” the test. He also was said to have asked police whether they “found [his] wife’s body.”

Stephen Capaldi, according to the grand jury report, told police he was thousands of dollars in debt from buying comic books and admitted that his wife would not allow him to open a comic book store.

Capaldi admitted to police to killing his wife and moving her body to multiple locations in the house before dismembering her. Beth Capaldi’s partial remains were recovered on December 9 after Stephen left partial remains in a Montgomery County dumpster. Other remains were buried along the Delaware River shoreline in Delaware County.

Capaldi led law enforcement to the area in Delaware County where he believed he buried his wife’s partial remains. A State Police K-9 cadaver dog helped locate those remains.

This case was investigated by Detectives from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Perkasie Borough Police Department, with the assistance of the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury. Other law enforcement agencies that played a key role in this investigation include   The Regional Forensics Computer Laboratory (RFCL); Delaware County Detectives; Tinicum Township Police Department; Pennsylvania State Police and their cadaver dog K-9 Jack; Bensalem Township Police Department; the Bucks County Coroner’s Office; the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office; the Bucks County Correctional Facility; the Delaware County Medical Examiner’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC); Upper Saucon Township Police Department; Quakertown Borough Police Department; Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Association; the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS); Delaware State Police and Keystone K-9s.