After hearing that Candace Bednarz had expressed concerns about her deceased mother’s money and jewelry, East Hartford police officers executing a search warrant found $27,500 in cash, jewelry, and documents in a safe deposit box in Bednarz’s name, a police inventory says.
The warrant, which was released Wednesday, also details a September 2010 incident when Bednarz’s brother, Brett Bednarz, said in front of a bank employee that he “wished his mother would just die” when the two learned they were not beneficiaries on one of their father’s accounts.
The comments made at a Manchester bank came roughly two months before their mother, Beverly Therrien, and her two live-in caretakers were found dead in Therien’s home at 154 Naomi Drive, East Hartford.
Brett Bednarz, 48, has been charged with capital felony murder, three counts of murder, first-degree burglary, home invasion, and criminal violation of a protective order.
He has been held at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield in lieu of $3 million bond since his October arrest.
Candace Bednarz, 54, of 114 Rachel Road, Manchester, was charged April 19 with tampering with physical evidence and second-degree hindering prosecution.
She posted a $150,000 bond and is due in Manchester Superior Court for arraignment May 8.
East Hartford police found Therrien, 74, along with Pamela Johns, 60, and Johns’ fiancée, Michael Ramsey, beaten to death when they responded to a call asking them to check on Therien’s welfare on Nov. 25, 2010.
Police said they noticed fresh cuts on Brett Bednarz’s hands when speaking with him following the discovery of the bodies; he was held on a search-and-seizure warrant so his injuries could be documented.
Police said Bednarz also provided foot impressions for comparison with the footprints found at the crime scene, and podiatric forensic experts determined that the prints appeared to be consistent in size and distinguishing characteristics, according to the affidavit.
Two inmates at the MacDougall Correctional Institute in Somers, where Brett Bednarz was incarcerated for six months for a marijuana conviction, reported April 25, 2011, that Bednarz had told them separately that he was responsible for the murders, according to the affidavit supporting his arrest.
In the affidavit supporting Candace Bednarz’s arrest, police said she had two cellphones that belonged to Johns and Ramsey but gave them to police only when they informed her they were going to get a search warrant for the vehicle she and her brother drive.
Police said in the document that she claimed she took the phones from their bedroom when visiting the home with police, but police said they did not see the two phones during a “thorough” search of the room. They also said they did find other cellphones in the home.
In a search warrant for a safe deposit box in Candace Bednarz’s name, released Wednesday at Manchester Superior Court, police said they were contacted in December 2010 by an employee at a Manchester First Niagara Bank.
The warrant also gives the following description of events:
The employee said the Bednarzes were at the bank Sept. 16, 2010, to close their father’s safe deposit box one day after his death, and they stated they wanted to transfer belongings to a new box.
The employee said they also asked about other accounts in their father’s name, and he advised them that Brett Bednarz was beneficiary on two of three accounts, but Candace Bednarz was not listed on any of them.
He said he would not tell them who the beneficiary was, but did confirm it was Therrien when Brett Bednarz asked if it was “that (expletive), Beverly.”
Bednarz then made death threats against her and said “he wished his mother would just die,” the employee told police.
Police learned the Therrien had made a Dec. 1, 2010, appointment with a lawyer to have Brett Bednarz removed from her will.
Police also learned Nov. 30 that Therrien had a safe in her home that contained roughly $30,000 worth of jewelry, and that the items had people’s names on them.
But police said that officers did not find any cash or jewelry in the safe, and that Therrien’s bedroom was in “a state of disarray,” with financial documents “scattered on the floor.”
About a month later, one of Therrien’s nieces told police she recently spoke with Candace Bednarz, who had an inventory of the items that were supposed to be in the safe.
Bednarz was upset and expressed concern about the items, and she wanted to know if Therrien had recently given away any of the jewelry, the niece said.
Police said they were contacted again by First Niagara Bank this past January about suspicious activity involving Candace Bednarz beginning in October.
Police said Bednarz cashed a check written to her brother in the amount of $30,000 in his bank account, and also deposited a total of $91,650 in her account and withdrew $69,600 in the span of just over a month.
The $30,000 check came from the Beverly Therrien estate, but police said East Hartford Probate Court records showed there did not appear to be $30,000 in cash available in the estate.
Bank employees, meanwhile, said Bednarz was regularly seen accessing her safe deposit box after making cash withdrawals and leaving the bank empty handed.
A search warrant for the deposit box shows police found 36 items inside, including six envelopes containing a total of $27,500 in cash.
Police said they found numerous items of jewelry, mostly gold, a Joe DiMaggio baseball card, and various documents.
The documents included appraisal letters and other paperwork, as well as hand-written notes. Police did not describe the nature of the documents.
East Hartford police found money, jewelry in bank box of murder victim’s daughter
May 2, 2013