Annamarie Cochrane Rintala’s savage murder is the focus of Dateline NBC‘s newest episode. “At the Bottom of the Stairs” will examine the 2010 death of Annamarie Rintala through investigative interviews with Massachusetts law enforcement investigators. Cara Rintala, Annamarie’s lesbian wife, was arrested and ultimately convicted of the murder at her third trial. The first two trials ended in a mistrial. Today, Cara L. Rintala is serving a life sentence at the MCI Framingham medium security correctional facility in Massachusetts. Mass Lives reports that Dateline NBC will take you through the crime scene evidence and long road to a final conviction in October of 2016.
Dateline will begin its probe with the 911 call dispatchers received after a neighbor stated a frantic Cara Rintala had arrived at the home screaming that she had found her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, dead on the basement floor, according to WMCA Action News-5.
Investigators hurried to the scene and descended the stairs, where they found an inconsolable Cara Rintala with the body of her dead wife. The strange scene struck detectives even further when they saw that Annamarie’s body was covered with paint and blood.
Cara Rintala told investigators that she’d been out running errands that day with the lesbian couple’s daughter, Brianna. She discovered Annamarie’s body after arriving home. Granby neighbors were stiff with fear as news of Annamarie Rintala’s death spread. They wondered if the victim died during a robbery attempt or a home invasion.
Police knew full well that it was just plain murder. The coroner’s report confirmed that Annamarie had died of strangulation. The bruises on her body also indicated that she might have been pushed or thrown down the stairs. Cara and Annamarie Rintala were paramedics. They say Annamarie Cochrane Rintala had a compassionate and kind nature with animals and strangers.
However, she also had a dark side. Annamarie was prone to spend money that she didn’t have, which placed the couple in credit card debt, according to Dateline’s coverage.
The broken state of their finances was a major source of contention between them. Police records show there were bitter arguments and fights inside the 18 Barton Street house.
Tensions rose to the point that Annamarie Rintala had moved out of the house. She had also taken on a new lover, a cop named Carla Daniele.
After leaving her lover, she made the mistake of going back to Cara. However, things never worked out, and the fighting commenced. The anger and resentment between them, which had been simmering for a while, finally exploded in an unspeakable act of violence. The Daily Hampshire Gazette noted the following circumstances.
“Prosecutors said Rintala killed her wife sometime before 3 p.m. March 29, 2010, and left with the couple’s then-2-year-old daughter, Brianna, to run a series of errands to be shown on surveillance footage at those businesses. Rintala texted and called her wife all that afternoon — despite knowing she was dead, prosecutors said — in an effort to establish an alibi. And when she arrived home around 7 p.m., Rintala dropped her daughter off at a neighbor’s, asked them to call 911 and returned to her own basement where she poured paint over Cochrane Rintala’s body in an effort to contaminate physical evidence, according to prosecutors.”
The Rintala murder case is one of the first gay spousal murder cases that many Boston residents remember. More inside details into the lives of Cara and Annamarie Rintala will be explored on Dateline NBC this Friday, June 9, at 10/9 p.m. Central.
In the Rintala murder case, Annamarie Rintala knew that she was in a domestic violence situation with Cara. However, the deep love she had for her lesbian wife clouded her judgment, which led to the killing. Most abusers don’t stop the behavior. Over time, the violence escalates. That’s what happened in the case of Chiquita Tate, another domestic violence victim that Investigation Discovery’s documentary Detective will explore this Friday night. Read about Chiquita’s story below.
- CHIQUITA TATE AND GREG HARRIS: DEAD LOUISIANA ATTORNEY’S STABBING DEATH WILL AIR ON TONIGHT’S ‘FATAL ATTRACTION’ ON TV ONE
[Featured Image by Annamarie Cochrane Rintala/Facebook]