Jennair Gerardot, a marketing professional from Delaware, lay in wait for the younger woman with whom her husband was having an affair, and then murdered her inside her home, according to police.
After ambushing and then shooting Meredith Chapman, 33, to death in her home, Gerardot, 47, whose husband, Mark, was having an affair with the university marketing director, killed herself inside his lover’s home, police said. Chapman was a former candidate for state Senate, the wife of a former city councilman, a former television reporter, and a respected university marketing professional. The murder-suicide occurred in the Rosemont section of Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, although Jennair Gerardot was from Wilmington, Delaware. Her husband was also a creative director at a university.
“Meredith was a bright, energetic, and talented young woman with a firecracker personality that served her community every day. Meredith was such a wonderful person who continued her destiny to accomplish even bigger and better things as a agent of positivity and change,” wrote Mark Blake, who knew her, on Facebook.
Jennair Gerardot brought a wig to the scene, police said. According to NBC 10, “latex gloves, ear plugs and binoculars were found by officers inside Jennair Gerardot’s black Cadillac XTS,” which she had rented.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jennair Sent Mark a Series of Texts & Then Ambushed & Shot Chapman to Death
Police painted a chilling picture of the murder. They say that Jennair Gerardot texted her husband a series of messages “in which she laid out how she planned to kill the woman with whom he was having an affair,” according to Delaware Online.
According to police, Jennair lay in wait inside Chapman’s home and then shot Chapmen and herself to death. A short time later, a 911 call came in to police reporting a bloody scene and two women dead.
“It’s not a love triangle. You had a man who was married that was having an affair with this other woman,” said Bill Colarulo, superintendent of Radnor Township police, in a news conference. “The wife knew about it. And this was a calculated, planned attack. She broke into the house. She was lying in wait, and she shot her as soon as she walked in, and then she shot herself.”
He added: “There were emails and text messages indicating what she planned to do, and the detectives are still sorting that out. We believe the husband was in the area under the belief that he was meeting the other woman for dinner, and when she didn’t show up, that’s when he got concerned and showed up at the house. But again, that’s unconfirmed and what we’re working on right now.”
According to Philly.com, Jennair Gerardot “disguised herself by donning a wig, and took a train from Delaware to Radnor,” where Chapman lived. She broke into the home, cleaning up the glass to disguise the break-in, and waited, the newspaper reported. Around 7 p.m, Chapman returned home, and Jennair shot and killed her, police said. When police came to the scene they found Mark Gerardot in the driveway and he told them, “my wife might be inside,” the newspaper reported.
Mark Gerardot spoke in great detail about the tragedy to 20/20 for its September 6, 2019 episode. He told the program that he’s writing and book and still trying to come to terms with the losses. He had married Jennair in 1993. “We were happy,” Gerardot said to ABC. “I couldn’t imagine not being with her for the rest of my life.”
Mark moved on from the University of Delaware. According to his LinkedIn page, he lives in the San Diego area and works as creative director for AMResorts. “Motivate and nurture a team of art directors, designers, web developers for results-driven, integrated marketing campaigns to promote 50+ luxury resorts in The Caribbean, Mexico and Europe,” he wrote/
“Developed and launched new brands for six luxury resorts, growing demand and revenue for new markets throughout Mexico, The Caribbean and Europe. Proactively execute critical management and budgetary decisions to make team more effective, more involved and more accountable for measurable results.” He has held the position since 2018.
On his Facebook page, he wrote that he is “widowed” and posted photos in wine country and with his dog. “Spent the day smoking tires at the BMW Performance school. These cars are a blast,” he wrote with one recent picture. Mark Gerardot has a website, which you can see here. “For more than 15 years, Mark Gerardot has helped create and support brands from the agency side to the inside. He has built creative teams from the ground up and challenged others to grow and break new ground. And now it’s time for his next creative challenge,” it says.
He also has a website for his book. He wrote this with the introduction for it:
I have spent many sleepless nights and months, desperately trying to piece it all together. How did I and so many others miss the signs?
For years, my wife had suffered from depression and more recently diagnosed with PTSD due to the trauma of our marriage ending. But there was something else. Something gone undiagnosed by her psychologist, our marriage therapist and her clinical psychiatrist. We all missed the red flags.
There will undoubtedly be critics, angry that I decided to speak out, that I’m stirring up a story that the media and everyone had finally forgotten. But I don’t want to forget. I can’t, and I couldn’t if I tried. I too was mortally wounded, not by a bullet but by a ruthless plot for revenge that still leaves a giant hole in my heart. A hole that can’t begin to heal until I can get it all out in the open.
What started as a journaling exercise evolved into a year-long investigation and cathartic search for answers. How did it happen? What could I have done differently? And where do I go from here? Join me as I continue my search for which I have more questions than I currently have answers.
The book is called Irreparable.
Mark also has a blog. On it, he described how he dealt with the trauma by starting over completely. “It was all gone. Everything. Every piece of furniture. Every book. Every Pot. Pan. Fork. Kitchen knife. Sold or given away,” he wrote. “All that remained, my clothes and a few personal items, were packed into my car which sat running outside the front door. I looked back at my empty apartment one last time, locked the door one last time, and got on the elevator one last time. Then I got into my car and pulled away. For the first time in my entire life I was homeless, but not without hope.”
He described how, after the murder/suicide, he was in great emotional turmoil. He also started traveling. “I had an emotional meltdown in Barcelona, drank myself into oblivion and woke up on the beach in Costa Rica,” he wrote.
He wrote that writing has helped him and he rejects claims he’s doing it for fame or fortune. “‘He’s just doing this for fame and fortune,’ someone recently said about me after learning I’d been writing a book for the past year. But that just isn’t true,” he wrote on his blog. “I’m speaking and writing now because I have something important to share. The truth. And what I’ve come to learn about my late wife, about depression, PTSD and mental health — including my own.” He said that any royalties from the book “will be donated to a charitable organization that supports suicide prevention.”
Things unraveled due to financial stress and arguments and, especially, when he took a job with Meredith Chapman as his supervisor and they started an affair while his wife was still temporarily living in South Carolina. “When I sat across the desk from her, within five minutes, I didn’t say it out loud, but I said, ‘I’ve got to work for this person,'” he said to ABC of Meredith. “She was so articulate and so energetic and passionate about the job and accomplished at her age to be in the position that she was in. I was dumbfounded.”
He tried to explain to ABC why he had the affair. “Here comes Meredith. She’s just telling me such a different story, that I’m good at what I do. That she said…I’d never heard this from Jennair’s lips ever…that I’m such a wonderful man,” Mark Gerardot said. “That just made an impression on me. Here’s this woman who I think is amazing saying that she thinks I’m a wonderful man.”
2. Mark & Jennair Gerardot Seemed Like the Perfect Couple on Social Media But She Indicated the Couple Was Having Problems
“One of my favorite photos of my lovely wife,” Mark Gerardot wrote with the above photo of Jennair on her Facebook page. Professional photos show the couple holding hands and walking on a beach with their dog. Other photos are of the couple’s dog and cat. In 2015, Mark posted a photo of his wife on Instagram and wrote, “My birthday present 24/7. I’m a lucky guy.”
“Seemed so Perfect…” one person commented on the thread under a photo of the couple on Jennair’s page. Jennair said on Facebook that she was from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She sometimes shared political events on Facebook, most recently an event called March Forward Virginia – March to the Polls.
The couple, formerly from South Carolina and Indiana and married since 1993, was featured in a photo share on Facebook to an animal rescue organization that read, “Big paws up! Today, the Gerardot family is celebrating 1 year with Huck (formerly Rusty). Thank you GRRA for all the great work you do. We hope to find Huck a brother or sister golden rescue to join our little family later this fall.”
Despite the seemingly happy demeanor, Jennair vented about troubles in the marriage on the site Nextdoor. “I just transferred to Delaware in December for my Husband’s new job, and he’s telling me he wants a divorce,” she wrote, according to Delaware Online, adding in another post she wanted “an EXCELLENT marriage counselor for couple on brink of divorce. We will need someone who is very educated and experienced dealing with couples issues including infidelity, depression, traumatic experiences, child/parent dynamics, being accountable for actions, etc.”
In September 2017, Jennair wrote, “This is a great Campaign! Please share,” linking to a Huffington Post article titled “This Is How Victim-Blaming Logic Would Play Out In Everyday Scenarios.”
She also shared a post that read, “Thinking NFL players are protesting ‘the flag,’ is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation.” Jennair posted an article critical of Japanese whaling, writing, “This makes me very depressed. No amount of resources can really help against what they are up against.” She also posted graphics about keeping family pets safe from fireworks on the 4th of July.
3. Chapman, a University Marketing Director, Wrote That ‘Love Never Fails’
Chapman described herself on Facebook as “Creative, loving, fun, energetic. University of Delaware alum, marketer & professor. Love never fails.”
She described herself as a “senior Executive Marketing Director at University of Delaware” and “Associate Business Consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz,” as well as “Adjunct Faculty at University of Delaware” and “Former Director of Digital Communication at University of Delaware.” However, she wrote on LinkedIn that she was working for Villanova University at the time of her death.
A friend wrote under one photo of Chapman on Facebook, “Meredith my Undergrad TA two academic years ago is a UD cheerleader extraordinaire and so was her mama! She’s on the side of the YouDee Van…Meredith was also a UD cheerer.”
Chapman wrote that she lived in Newark, Delaware and was from Landenberg, Pennsylvania. Photos indicated that she was recently married to Luke Chapman, who served as a city councilman in Newark, Delaware until recently. However, Philly.com reported that, according to police, Chapman was living alone at the time of her death.
Chapman was also a former television reporter in Delaware and was on the cheerleading team for the University of Delaware before she embarked on a lengthy career in digital marketing and university PR.
She was a political advocate, writing, in her most visible public Facebook post, “For the last six years, Luke’s served on Newark City Council and has been a strong advocate for our neighbors and City. I’ve always had such pride casting my vote for him. As Luke is not running for re-election, I’ve been keenly interested in the candidates vying to fill his seat. On April 10, I’ll be voting Jason Lawhorn For Newark, and I hope my neighbors will be doing the same. As a candidate, Jason has been to every neighborhood in our district. Prior to running, Jason has not only attended Council meetings but spoken on the record to ensure residents’ voices were heard. Jason has solutions to address the current issues facing us and ideas for improving our City for the future. Hear from Jason in this Facebook Live to understand why I’m eager to vote #LawhornForNewark.”
4. Jennair Gerardot Described Herself as a ‘Confident’ & ‘Resourceful’ Marking Management Professional
Jennair Gerardot was also a marketing professional. On the surface, at least professionally, she and Meredith shared things in common. “Confident and resourceful Marketing Management professional with a unique blend of communications, creative and technical expertise at agency and corporate environments with over 16 years of marketing results at the entrepreneurial and national level for both BTB & BTC targets,” she wrote on her LinkedIn page.
Jennair listed a series of marketing jobs on her LinkedIn page, including working as a marketing manager for a company in South Carolina, working as a marketing manager and operations manager for Gerardot & Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana, and working as a project manager and marketing services manager in other positions. She also worked as a lease analyst for a realtor.
Jennair Gerardot had a B.A. in Communications/Liberal Arts from Indiana University-Purdue, listing her GPA as 3.53, and also attended Butler University, according to her LinkedIn page. One professional who recommended Jennair on LinkedIn described her as having “a great personality” and said she was “a valuable asset.”
Mark Gerardot, according to his LinkedIn page, was working as a creative director for the University of Delaware, a position that Philly.com reported he left recently. He was previously an art director and ran a marketing firm in Indiana.
5. Chapman Ran Unsuccessfully for State Senate & Was Remembered as Someone ‘You Thought Was Going to Help Shape the World’
Meredith Chapman tried her hand at politics. According to ABC 6, “She ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in Delaware in 2016.” She was a candidate for 8th District of the Delaware State Senate in 2016 in the Greater Newark area of Delaware.
“Most people who met Meredith were instantly dazzled by her. She was full of energy, motivation and passion and drive,” former co-worker Katy O’Connell told the television station.
Describing her political work, Chapman wrote on LinkedIn, “Assist and lead various election bids in Delaware. Recent campaign work include the 2013 Newark Special Mayoral Election and the 2012, 2014 and 2016 Newark City Council Elections.”
Andrew Mitchell, who worked on Chapman’s campaign, wrote in a Facebook post that she was “the type of person who you thought was going to help shape the world, it’s why I volunteered for her campaign back in ‘16, it’s why I believed in her. I took this picture at the end of a long (and sweaty) day of campaigning. I know she was disappointed when she lost, but I knew bigger things were in her future.”