Unraveling the Tragic Tale of Ted Shaughnessy: A Murder-for-Hire Plot Unveiled
His untimely demise, marked by a home invasion turned deadly, exposed a chilling murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by individuals shockingly close to the victim.
Ted's legacy is deeply rooted in his ownership of Gallerie Jewelers, a business that represented not just a livelihood but a passion for helping others commemorate significant life moments with beautiful jewelry. Described as a "proud father" and a man who exuded patience, kindness, and love, Ted's life was abruptly cut short at the age of 55.
Gallerie Jewelers, once a thriving establishment under Ted's ownership, has remained permanently closed since his tragic death, leaving behind memories of a beloved community figure.
Survived by his wife of 30 years, Casey, his son Nicolas, and a loving family, Ted's absence is deeply felt. In a tribute, his family expressed their grief, noting, "There was so much more to experience and live through together." Ted's memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew him as a true partner, the best of friends, and a compassionate soul.
The fateful day of Ted's murder marked the beginning of a convoluted investigation that eventually led to shocking revelations about those closest to him. On May 29, 2018, Ted's son Nicolas Shaughnessy and daughter-in-law Jaclyn Edison were arrested in connection to his homicide. The charges were grave – solicitation to commit capital murder.
As investigators delved into the case, a third suspect, Johnny Leon, was arrested on July 11, 2018, also charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. The plot thickened on December 6, 2018, with the indictment of Arieon Smith, the fourth suspect, charged with capital murder.
The motive behind Ted's murder was a twisted tale of financial strife. Nicolas and Edison, burdened by a debt of $30,000 owed to Nicolas's parents, saw an opportunity in a life insurance plan that would grant them $8 million upon Ted's demise. The murder-for-hire plot aimed not only at Ted but also at Casey due to the couple's financial ties.
As the perpetrators faced justice, Nicolas and Smith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to attempt to commit capital murder on April 7, 2021, receiving a 35-year prison sentence. Their incarceration locations are the Clemens Unit in Brazoria, Texas, and the LeBlanc Unit in Beaumont, Texas, respectively.
On April 14, 2021, Leon followed suit, pleading guilty and receiving a 35-year prison sentence. He is currently serving time at the Barry B. Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas.
In a surprising turn, Jaclyn Edison pleaded guilty to the same charges on June 20, 2023, but received a 10-year probation sentence. Ted's widow, Casey, addressed the court during the sentencing, expressing her disbelief at her son and daughter-in-law's involvement in the plot. She shared, "Not me, my husband, anyone in our family, or any of our friends could have ever imagined that Nicolas and Jackie would want to have us murdered."
The tragic events surrounding Ted Shaughnessy's murder are revisited in an episode of Dateline NBC titled "Ghosts Can't Talk," scheduled to premiere on January 12, 2024, at 9 pm EST. Journalist Andrea Canning conducts interviews with Casey and others involved in the investigation, providing a comprehensive look at the harrowing tale.
For those unable to catch the broadcast, the episode will be available for streaming on Hulu or Peacock, offering an opportunity to delve into the chilling details of a murder-for-hire plot that shook a community and shattered the illusion of familial trust.