Pam Candelario, the wife and antique store owner who was murdered in her Walsenburg, Colorado, home two years ago, is the focus of Dateline NBC’s newest episode. On Friday’s show, viewers will tag along with Dateline correspondents, as they walk us through the Ralph Candelario trial. Ralph Candelario was found guilty of killing his wife and making it look like a home invasion. He was sentenced to life in a Colorado prison. Friends, law enforcement, and family members will tell the story.
Pam Candelario was found dead in her home at 302 West Third Street in Walsenburg. 911 dispatch operators were called by a neighbor who had seen Ralph Candelario run outside of his home, screaming that he’d been attacked and that his wife was inside. When investigators arrived, they found the body of a white female who was later identified as 48-year old Pamela Kay Candelario. An autopsy report for the dead woman indicated that she had died of blunt-force trauma to the head. Her husband, 50-year old, Ralph Candelario, had survived and was taken to the hospital to be treated.
When questioned by police, Ralph Candelario stated that they had been attacked by an intruder. However, the investigation found that the so-called home invasion looked staged. As police dug deeper into the couple’s marriage, they found that Ralph and Pam were having marital trouble and that Pam had even cried to one of her daughters that she regretted leaving their father, Gerry, in order to marry Ralph.
Pam and Ralph Candelario met each other at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the time, Pam Candelario was married to Gerry Palmer and Ralph was also married. The two became close after chaperoning a teen trip. It was not long before Gerry Palmer heard that his wife, Pam, was spending a lot of time with Ralph.
The extramarital affair was exposed to the church, and they were both reprimanded and disciplined. For a time, both Pam and Ralph Candelario lost their good standing in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, since committing adultery is frowned upon and subjects a person to “disfellowshipping,” an expulsion from the church.
Gerry and Pam eventually divorced and she married Ralph, but the marriage soured, leaving her extremely unhappy. There was also a strain between Pam Candelario and her daughters, who described her as a mentally unstable mother who had been married at least three or four times. She was also accused of drinking too much and pretending to be the “perfect Christian,” but in reality, she was living a double life—-a fact that seemed to distress her daughters, according to court records.
Pam Candelario owned and operated a gift shop in Walsenburg, which is a town known for its historic hotel, its museum, and its unique gift and antique shops. Her murder shocked the entire community.
After a lengthy investigation, Ralph Candelario was arrested and later convicted for the murder of his wife. Court records show that Ralph’s first wife, Dena Candelario, vanished in 2004 and has never been found.
There is one more bizarre element to the Candelario story. In 2006, it is believed that Ralph Candelario’s mother was arrested for keeping her grandson locked in a dog kennel, according to the Denver Channel. At the time of her arrest, Ralph found the charge against her shocking.
Watch this week’s #DatelineNBC to get the latest on the Pam and Ralph Candelario story this Friday at 10/9 p.m. central.
[Image via Dateline NBC/Facebook]