The firefighter found Richard Dabate on the floor of his kitchen, where he had made a desperate 911 call minutes earlier, court records show. Bleeding and lashed to a chair with zip ties, the man moaned a chilling warning: “They’re still in the house.”
Smoke hung in the air, and a trail of blood led to a darkened basement, as Connecticut State Police swarmed the large home in the Hartford suburbs two days before Christmas in 2015.
Richard, 41, told authorities a masked intruder with a “Vin Diesel” voice killed his wife, Connie, in front of him and tortured him. Police combed the home and town of Ellington but found no suspect.
With no witnesses other than Richard Dabate, detectives turned to the vast array of data and sensors that increasingly surround us. An important bit of evidence came from an unlikely source: the Fitbit tracking Connie’s movements.
Others from the home’s smart alarm systems, Facebook, cellphones, email and a key fob allowed police to re-create a nearly minute-by-minute account of the morning that they said revealed Richard’s story was an elaborately staged fiction. (Read more from “Commit a Crime? Your Fitbit, Key Fob or Pacemaker Could Snitch on You” HERE)