By Walton Golightly
Glen Wolsieffer married his high-school sweetheart Betty Tasker while still in college. While he studied to earn a degree in dentistry, Betty was the breadwinner. Her support, both financially and emotionally, allowed him to finish varsity and establish a strong practice in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, say her friends. When their daughter Dannielle was born, Betty gave up her career and became a full-time mom. Glen’s first affair was with Deborah Shipp, 22, a dental hygienist at one of his offices. He saw her every opportunity he could – and Debbie naively believed him when he told her he loved her and intended to divorce Betty. She continued to believe him even after Betty discovered the affair and had Glen fire her.
Not only did they continue seeing each other, but Glen took a second lover – Carol Kopicki, a married woman from his aerobics class, and also one of Betty’s friends. Then there was a third woman – but she ditched Glen when she learnt of the other two.
Then, on an August morning in 1986, Glen’s brother, Neil, contacted the police. He’d received a call for help from Glen; he and his wife lived across the road, and he’d immediately rushed over to the house, where he found Glen on the floor, rambling about an intruder. When they arrived at the scene, the first responders found Betty beaten to death in the master bedroom. Danielle was asleep in the next room, unharmed.
Glen’s wounds were only superficial. And his claims of having slept on the couch after coming in late, and chasing a mystery man through the house – whom he insisted must have entered via a ladder leaning against the rear of the home leading to a second storey window – before being knocked unconscious by the intruder didn’t sit well with detectives.
In due course, they learnt about Glen’s extramarital activities. Investigators began hounding Glen, his mistresses and his brother Neil and sister-in-law Nancy. Police insisted Neil was covering for his brother. Eventually he demanded they stop hassling him and refused to give any more statements.
Then he changed his mind and asked to meet with the detectives handling the case. Had he realised his brother was a liar who could very well be a murderer? We’ll never know. Neil was killed in a car crash on the way to the police station. Had Glen killed again? After a thorough investigation, the police (somewhat reluctantly) declared the crash an accident.
Three years later, Nancy finally came forward. She’d had enough, it seemed – and going against the wishes of her mother-in-law, she told police what they needed to know. Glen, she said, was a lying philanderer who treated his wife and daughter badly and would use anyone, even his own brother and mother, to get away with the horrible things he did – including murder.
On June 6, 1992, Glen Wolsieffer was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison. In 2005 he came up for parole. He had been denied on another occasion, so this time he tried something different: he confessed to the murder of his wife. The ploy worked. Glen was released to a halfway house in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before returning to the Wilkes-Barre area.