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Justice for Lara

Lara Crockett Muscolino and her family finally have justice. Last Friday, her husband, Ricardo Muscolino, age 54, was sentenced to 50 years for murdering Lara. Sadly, domestic violence affects every demographic and income bracket in America—even the paranormal community.

On August 31, 2016, with their three daughters in the house, Ricardo gunned down Lara in a fit of rage. He shot at her five times; four shots struck her with one fatally wounding the 48-year-old nurse and part-time ghost hunter.

In handing down her sentence, Hartford (MD) County Circuit Judge Yolanda Curtin noted how Ricardo, a trained critical care nurse, fled the scene, refusing to lend care and possibly save Lara. She also noted he “showed no mercy.”

Indeed, Ricardo let his attorney speak for him. Attorney William Murphy, Jr. stated, “He’s had a chance to pray and he’s extraordinarily sad about the consequences of that night.”

“Sad” does not capture anything remotely close to what Lara’s family has gone through. Her mother died 6 months and 6 days after Lara’s murder. Her father, Darryl, said, “No man should have to bury his child.” Lara was killed 2 days before his 79th birthday. Darryl kept the birthday card she mailed him as he attempts to come to grips with her murder. Lara’s sister, Tonya Crockett, addressed the Court telling how Ricardo was a coward who destroyed their lives. “We will always be mourning who we were before all this happened. We’ve all been given a life sentence in some way, and I hope you give him the maximum sentence and he never gets out of jail in his lifetime.”

Judge Curtin sentenced Ricardo to 30 years on the 2nd degree murder conviction and 20 years for using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He will serve them consecutively and will not be eligible for parole until he completes 25 years behind bars (under state law, a convicted felon must serve 50% of his sentence before applying for parole). Ricardo will die in jail. He remains behind bars as he appeals the November 2, 2017 conviction.

Lara was well known in the paranormal community. She co-founded Maryland Ghost Trackers with fellow nurse, Matt K, in 2008. The group predominantly handled residential hauntings and shared their experiences with paranormal enthusiasts. The group remains active and promises to “carry Lara’s mission onward!”


Domestic violence is prevalent in America. According to national statistics, 20 people per minute are abused by Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Over 10 million people per year are abused. During their lifetimes, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be abused. One in 3 women and 1 in 20 men are murder victims. Seventy-two percent (72%) of murder-suicides are the result of IPV with 94% of the victims being females.

Statistically speaking, it was only a matter of time before the paranormal community was affected. In 2015, Mark Constantino gunned down his estranged wife Debra (Debby) and her roommate before killing himself. Debby had left Mark after suffering years of physical abuse. The paranormal community reeled with their deaths. Although it is overly simplistic to blame these deaths on paranormal forces, the reality is that anyone can fall victim to domestic violence.

Tonya Crockett is assembling stories to share with Lara’s daughters. If you have a story or a message, please visit the Facebook page “Justice for Lara Crockett Muscolino” at https://www.facebook.com/justiceforlaracrockettmuscolino/.