Suzanne Schoff, the Baltimore woman who had her ex-husband murdered in his body shop over 10 years ago, is the subject of Sunday’s Snapped. The episode, titled “Suzanne Schoff,” is a repeat episode that will tell the story of a hardworking auto repairman who is shot and killed in his shop by a man wearing a mask. An investigation into his death reveals that a custody battle is at the center of the case.
Man Down, Shots Fired: Maintenance Plus Automotive Repair 1263 Bridgeton Road
In 2003, 911 dispatch operators received a call of shots fired at an auto body shop located in Fawn Township, Pennsylvania. When detectives arrived, they found the body of a white male who had sustained several gunshot wounds to the body. The victim was identified as 27-year-old Frank Schoff III, who died from his injuries. An autopsy report determined that Schoff was shot six times, leaving family members and a girlfriend grief-stricken over his death.
A witness told investigators that they heard the gunshots and saw a masked gunman speeding away in a gold-colored vehicle. Family members were positive that Frank Schoff’s ex-wife, Suzanne, had something to do with it since she was at war with her ex-husband over the custody of their child.
Authorities say that Suzanne and Frank were childhood sweethearts who married just after graduating high school. A child was produced from that union. Suzanne and Frank Schoff were married about four years, until Frank discovered that his wife was having an extramarital affair. After finding Suzanne in bed with his best friend, Terry Wingler, Frank filed for divorce and the marriage was dissolved. A person who knew Frank and Suzanne Schoff stated the following on a forum about the case.
“I have known Suzanne Schoff her entire live and she has never been in any type of trouble, no drugs, alcohol or smoking, had a Federal job with the Veteran’s Administration in Baltimore and was a devoted mother and wife. She met Frank at school, he was living out of his car because according to him his parents threw him out. Suzanne and Frank started dating and later married. Frank’s mother wore black to his wedding.”
After the marriage ended, Suzanne Schoff accused her ex-husband of sexually abusing their child and a complaint was made with the social services agency in Baltimore, Maryland, where they lived at the time. A thorough examination of the case determined that the complaints were not only false, but also outright lies against Frank Schoff. In the end, Frank Schoff was awarded sole custody, which enraged Suzanne even more.
In building their case, investigators were able to connect the rental car used in the killing to Suzanne Schoff and her lover, Terry Wingler, who eventually confessed to the killing, but stated that he had acted alone.
People who knew Terry Wingler couldn’t believe that he was the actual killer. However, they reasoned that he must have done it out of love for Suzanne. Relatives and friends of Frank Schoff believed that the sympathy should be with the victim, stating that Frank Schoff was a good father and a good person who did not deserve to be taken away from his child in such a brutal and permanent way.
At trial, prosecutors alleged the following, according to court records.
“On the eve of the killing, Appellant and Wingler stayed in a Baltimore motel with the children. On August 6, 2002, Wingler left the motel early in the morning with a.32 caliber semiautomatic gun, ski mask, gloves and a sweater, and drove to Pennsylvania in the rental car for the sole purpose of killing Husband. Around 2:00 p.m., he parked in front of Husband’s auto shop. Wingler approached Husband, as he worked on a car, and shot him seven times with the.32 caliber semiautomatic gun. Husband’s girlfriend heard the shots and ran to help him. Husband died at the scene from fatal gunshot wounds to the torso.”
A jury found Suzanne Schoff and Terry Wingler guilty in the death of Frank Schoff. Suzanne was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. Terry Wingler changed his mind about taking full responsibility for the crime and entered a plea, which allowed him to serve 20 to 40 years in prison. Lucy Mariner, Suzanne Schoff’s mother, died of natural causes while awaiting trial.
Set aside time to watch Snapped this Sunday at 9/8 p.m. Central on Oxygen. In previous articles, we brought you two more stories that have aired on Oxygen’s Snapped, such as the cases of Lynette Pontius and Nikki Hillrich.
*Some photos were found via YouTube
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