Jennair Gerardot & Meredith Chapman: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

jennair gerardot

Facebook Jennair Gerardot and Meredith Chapman.

Meredith Chapman, a former television reporter who was a university marketing professional, had a bright future and present. So did Jennair Gerardot, but her life was plunged into turmoil because of job loss and her husband’s affair – with Meredith.

Rather than accept the divorce, Jennair snapped, and what happened next in the suburban neighborhood near Philadelphia ended both women’s futures forever. The murder of Meredith Chapman – at Jennair’s hand – will be featured on the September 6, 2019 edition of ABC’s 20/20.

The man at the center of it all, Mark Gerardot – Jennair’s husband and Meredith’s lover – spoke to 20/20 for the episode. In it, he told the program of his wife, “I broke her heart and more than anything, [out] of all of this, my regret comes back to breaking her heart and making her feel like she had no other choice. I wish I wouldn’t have hurt her because I loved her. I still love her. I wish I could take it back.”

Meredith was only 33-years-old, and she had already run for state senate (albeit unsuccessfully) and carved out a rising career as an university marketing professional after serving as a television reporter in Delaware. She was married to a city councilman.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Jennair Gerardot Found Out Mark Was Having an Affair With Meredith Through Surveillance Devices & Other Stalking Measures

meredith chapman

Meredith Chapman

Police say an affair sparked up between Meredith and Mark when he became the now former creative director at the University of Delaware where she was working.

Gerardot’s wife, Jennair, found out, and lay in wait for Meredith in her Pennsylvania home, shooting her to death. Police say that Jennair Gerardot, 47, then committed suicide.

The murder suicide unfolded on April 23, 2018 in the Radnor Township, Pennsylvania home of Chapman, 33, a vivacious and respected marketing professional who was a former college cheerleader.

“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.”

In the interview with 20/20, Mark Gerardot described in detail how his wife’s suspicions of the affair – which started after he moved from South Carolina for the new job and she briefly stayed behind to lease their house – were confirmed by electronic devices and other stalking. Jennair Gerardot secreted tiny recording devices into Mark’s jackets, created a secret bank account, and hired a company to access his phone and conversations with Meredith. She had possibly worn a wig and trench coat and used binoculars to scope out Meredith’s home.

“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, explaining how the affair ignited behind the back of the wife he’d met in 1986. “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.”

The tributes flowed on social media for Meredith Chapman as news of the tragedy broke. “I’m saddened to hear what happened to Meredith Chapman. She was a bright light, a ray of sunshine, always smiling. Why, of all people? I don’t understand,” wrote one friend on Facebook as effusive tributes were posted for Chapman.


2. Jennair Sent Mark a Series of Texts Before She Shot Meredith to Death in Chapman’s Home, Police Say

mark gerardot

Mark Gerardot

Police say that the jilted wife, Jennair Gerardot, sent her husband a series of texts telegraphing her intentions and then took out her anger on Chapman, breaking into the woman’s home and ambushing her.

After shooting Chapman to death, Jennair killed herself inside Chapman’s home, police said. The murder-suicide occurred in the Rosemont section of Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, although Jennair Gerardot was from Wilmington, Delaware. Authorities revealed 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. Those messages have not yet been revealed by authorities.

To 20/20 Mark Gerardot explained that he was supposed to meet his wife for dinner to talk about their looming divorce. She had met with a counselor and was harboring simmering rage over being left for a younger woman and worry about financial issues. She didn’t show at the restaurant.

Instead, she texted him things like, “You ruined my life,” and “I hope you find never happiness” and “Bye, Mark.”

According to police, Jennair hid inside Chapman’s home and then shot Chapman and herself to death. A short time later, authorities received a 911 call reporting a bloody scene and two women dead. Jennair Gerardot even brought a wig to the scene, according to authorities, adding chilling detail to the tragic circumstances.

mark gerardot, jennair gerardot

Mark and Jennair Gerardot

“There were emails and text messages indicating what she planned to do, and the detectives are still sorting that out,” Colarulo added. “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,” according to the newspaper. His wife was inside and his lover too. Both were dead.


3. Chapman Worked as a University Marketing Director, as a Television Reporter & Was Involved in Local Politics

meredith chapman

Meredith Chapman

Who was Meredith Chapman? Chapman described herself on Facebook as “Creative, loving, fun, energetic. University of Delaware alum, marketer & professor. Love never fails.” She was also herself in a marriage she was trying to get out of.

Those who knew Chapman sang her praises.

“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.

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, her LinkedIn page said that Chapman was working for Villanova University at the time of her death.

She had worked at Villanova for a month as an assistant vice president hired to “lead newly merged marketing and creative services team.”

Chapman wrote that she lived in Newark, Delaware and was from Landenberg, Pennsylvania.

Chapman was involved in politics. She worked as Manager of External Communication in the U.S. House of Representatives for almost two years, writing press releases and tracking media coverage, among other duties. She served as campaign manager for Flowers for Treasurer, leading a campaign team in the statewide election in Delaware.

She staged an unsuccessful bid herself for state Senate, serving as a candidate for 8th District of the Delaware State Senate in 2016 in the Greater Newark area of Delaware. Describing her political work, she 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.”

On LinkedIn, she wrote that she had also worked as a television reporter.

Chapman was a producer and reporter for almost two years for WHYY in Wilmington, Delaware, where she served as associate producer for “Delaware Tonight,” and “produced several special programs including President George W. Bush’s 2007 visit to Delaware, Election Night 2006 and ‘Lessons from Katrina.'”

Chapman also worked on “teams for special political projects, including the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, The State Budget Mess (2009) and Joe Biden’s Journey (2008).”

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.”

Meredith met Mark Gerardot on the job. She was his supervisor at the University of Delaware and hired him as a creative director in its marketing department.


4. Mark & Jennair Gerardot Seemed Like the Perfect Couple for a Time & Both Were Also Marketing Professionals

jennair gerardot

Jennair Gerardot

All three people involved – Chapman, Mark and Jennair Gerardot – worked in the field of marketing.

It appeared from Jennair and Mark Gerardot’s Facebook pages that they were a happy couple; the couple married in 1993. “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. They are wearing similar blue shirts, and seem to have carefree lives.

“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.

And for a long time the marriage was pretty good, Mark told 20/20, although he described their fights as “epic” and said financial issues caused stress. However, when he met Meredith, he felt an instant connection that he decided to explore.

“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. “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.”

jennair gerardot

Jennair Gerardot

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.


5. Chapman’s Husband Was a City Councilman in Delaware

meredith chapman

FacebookA photo on Meredith Chapman’s Facebook page

Meredith Chapman was married to Luke Chapman, who served as a city councilman in Newark, Delaware. He served four terms on the City Council but recently stated he would not run for another term.

However, Philly.com reported that Chapman lived alone in the home where she died. She had posted wedding photos on Facebook as had Luke Chapman, and it was not clear why the couple was not living together.

meredith chapman, luke chapman

Meredith Chapman and her husband.

She was a political advocate, writing, in her most visible public Facebook post, in reference to her husband’s seat: “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.”

meredith chapman, jennair gerardot

FacebookMeredith Chapman (l) and Jennair Gerardot (r)

On his LinkedIn page, Mark Gerardot explained, “As a Creative Director, what I do best is bring clarity and rally people behind ideas.” However, Philly.com says he left his position at the University of Delaware shortly before the murder suicide.

“Sometimes that means writing a creative brief that crystalizes a gut feeling into an actionable creative strategy. Other times it simply means creating a great user experience or better, more authentic content. But in my experience, it almost always means removing unnecessary clutter and cutting through the marketing BS,” he added.

Gerardot wrote that “early in my career, I realized something that changed my outlook on what I did for a living. ‘Every person isn’t your prospective customer.’ It’s a very liberating thought that allows you to focus on the needs of your actual customers and what you do best.”

He then cited his weaknesses and his strengths, writing, “So if I’m being honest, I’m not a great cook. I don’t play a musical instrument. And while I try hard to run or go to the gym 3x a week, it’s not always easy. But taking something complicated and confusing and turning it into something that brings clarity to organizations and a voice that speaks to what customers want… that’s what I do well. To put it succinctly, I’m a hands-on creative leader, director, designer, storyteller, and a thorn in the side of the status quo.”

The page says he had worked as a creative director for the University of Delaware for less than a year (Meredith Chapman worked as senior director of marking for that university during the same time period). Before that, he was a creative director for a firm in South Carolina, primarily working with universities. “Hands-on creative direction, graphic design, user experience design, concept ideation, video storbyboarding and storytelling for 5+ years,” he listed among his duties.

He also worked as an art director in Indianapolis. Mark has a BA in design from the University of Saint Francis. A woman who endorsed him on Linkedin wrote of Mark Gerardot, “Mark is one of the most talent designers I have worked with. He brings fresh ideas to the table and backs them up with original, fresh and expert design. An absolute pleasure to work with.”

A man who endorsed him wrote, “One of the most brand-centric persons I know, Mark is highly skilled in being able to evaluate a brand and quickly key in on what needs to be done to enhance all of the communication of that brand, then direct (and design when necessary) the delivery of the enhancements.”

The couple, formerly from South Carolina, 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.”

Jennair Gerardot was also a marketing professional. “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 gerardot

Jennair Gerardot

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.”

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