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Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif .– Nanette Packard, who was convicted of ordering her former NFL lover to kill her millionaire fiancé, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that she still carried “a lot of guilt for it. that happened”.

“If I hadn’t had an affair… Bill would still be alive,” Packard said. “I feel like this.”

Nanette Packard spoke to ABC News in June 2021.

She and former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki have spent nearly a decade behind bars as convicted killers serving life sentences without parole for the murder of Bill McLaughlin. Both deny having been involved in his death.

“I don’t know for sure [who killed McLaughlin]”Packard said.” I never said Eric had done it because I couldn’t say Eric had done it for sure. I do not know. He never told me that. “

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Packard first met Naposki in the early 90s at a gym. Naposki, who had previously played for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, then left professional sports and was living in California, where he worked as a security guard for a nightclub and as a bodyguard next door.

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence
Barcelona Dragons’ 91-year-old Eric Naposki travels during the Transatlantic American Football World League match on March 24, 1991, in Barcelona.

The two eventually began to see each other romantically, although Packard, then a mother of two in her twenties, was already in a relationship with McLaughlin. He was an entrepreneur 30 years his senior who had made millions from an invention of a medical device.

Packard lived with McLaughlin in Newport Beach, California, in a luxurious house in a wealthy gated community. However, she told Naposki that she and McLaughlin were just business partners.

“Eric knew about Bill and Bill knew Eric was my friend. [Bill] I had no idea we were having an affair, ”Packard said.

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocenceBill McLaughlin and Nanette Packard pictured in Hawaii.

She said she met McLaughlin, a father of three, through a personal ad he posted in the Pennysaver.

“It might not have been the most intense [relationship] romantically, but I loved him, “Packard said of McLaughlin.” He was a good man and he was good with my kids, and I would never have killed him and I would probably still be with him today. if he was alive, because I had no reason. “

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence
Bill McLaughlin pictured with Nanette Packard.

McLaughlin was 55 when he was shot six times in the chest by an intruder while sitting at his kitchen table on December 15, 1994.

Authorities made no arrests in connection with his death until 15 years later, when investigators reconsidered the case.

Packard and Naposki were arrested separately during a two-coast undercover operation in May 2009 for murder.

By the time of their arrest, Packard and Naposki had separated. Packard had married twice more and still lived in California. Naposki, meanwhile, had briefly returned to professional American football abroad before returning to the United States, where he had a fiancee and lived in Connecticut.

The prosecutor alleged that Packard was the alleged mastermind behind McLaughlin’s death and that she convinced Naposki to kill him so that they could raise a substantial sum of money.

Prosecutors argued that Packard could benefit from McLaughlin’s $ 1 million life insurance policy, $ 150,000 from his will and access to his beach house.

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence
Bill McLaughlin pictured at a business meeting.

There were reasons to suspect Packard. In 1996, she pleaded guilty to forgery and robbery after being charged with forging McLaughlin’s name on checks and stealing her accounts. She spent 180 days behind bars.

Packard has denied the murder charges against her, saying she needs McLaughlin to continue her way of life.

“I was only making money if Bill was alive,” she said.

According to prosecutors, Naposki’s story evolved during questioning. He initially lied about owning a .9mm handgun, which was the same type of weapon used to kill McLaughlin.

“The most important evidence we have against Eric Naposki was… the way he lied to the police,” said Matt Murphy, ABC News consultant and former Orange County prosecutor, who tried the case. .

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence
Defendant Eric Naposki listens to Assistant District Attorney Matt Murphy make his final statements during Naposki’s murder trial in Santa Ana, Calif., July 12, 2011.

When asked why he lied to the police, Naposki told ABC News: “I just didn’t want to talk about it because, if I wasn’t at the scene and I wasn’t there. Newport, so I couldn’t have killed the guy even if I had a bazooka. “

Naposki first went to trial and was convicted of first degree murder in 2011. Subsequently, he met with prosecutors and told them that Packard had orchestrated a murder plot against McLaughlin and that the killer had used his gun.

“[Naposki said] he was there in the room when they were talking about [the plot], ‘”said author Caitlin Rother, who has written a book on the case titled” I’ll Take Care of You. ” [the killer] went behind my back and made arrangements with Nanette. So the two planned this. It was not me.'”

“The way he describes him, he’s a co-conspirator in a murder case,” added Murphy. “Even if that were true, the way he describes it, he is still 100% guilty of exactly what he was convicted of.”

Packard was convicted in January 2012 of first degree murder and special circumstance guilty of financial murder.

Naposki is serving a sentence at Avenal State Prison in Avenal, California. He said he hadn’t spoken to Packard since it all “happened.”

“I didn’t kill anyone. I’m not a killer,” he said.

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocence
Nanette Johnston awaits the start of opening statements for her trial in Santa Ana, Calif., Jan. 9, 2012.

Packard is serving her sentence at the Central California Women’s Facility, where she trains service dogs in a program called Little Angels.

“These dogs, they bring so much healing,” she said. “It also helps make a difference for me, so that I can live with the fact that I am away from my children.”

Packard is serving her sentence at the Central California Women’s Facility, where she trains service dogs in a program called Little Angels.

“These dogs, they bring so much healing,” she said. “It also helps make a difference for me, so that I can live with the fact that I am away from my children.”

Millionaire’s mistake: Killers convicted in Bill McLaughlin love triangle murder case maintain their innocenceThis image projected on a courtroom screen shows the family of murdered millionaire William McLaughlin during the murder trial of former NFL player Eric Naposki on June 30, 2011, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, California.

“[Packard and Naposki’s lives] were taken from them… and I hope they think about what they did, ”Kim McLaughlin told ABC News. “What I miss most about my dad is having him as a friend… and I know he” s very proud of us and the choices we make. And so, it’s hard not that he can share this here on earth with him … we miss him a lot. ”

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