On May 25th, 26-year-old paralegal Julia Law was found dead inside the tony Rittenhouse Square apartment of her boss and lover, prominent Philadelphia defense attorney Chuck Peruto. Peruto told police he was at the Shore the night of Law’s death, but the circumstances were suspicious enough that District Attorney Seth Williams has convened a grand jury to investigate the case.
The September issue of Philly Mag, which hits newsstands this week, reveals new details about the relationship between Peruto and Law. It also sheds new light on the complicated, emotionally fraught life Law was leading at the time of her death — including the revelation that, in the days before her death, she was actually juggling the attentions of three men: Peruto; her ex-boyfriend Mark Hinrichs, an attorney at Peruto’s firm; and a married man with whom she had been carrying on a secret six-year affair. The married man, who spoke to DePaulo extensively on the condition that his name not be revealed, is referred to as “M.B.” in the story and described as being a “very successful city professional” in his early 40s with “an Ivy League background and friends in high places.” He tells the magazine that he has not yet spoken to police about the case.
DePaulo reveals that on the night leading up to her death, Law was sending texts, some sexually charged, to all three men. Previous reports indicated Law’s blood alcohol level may have been as high as .45 at the time of her death. Her body was found in Peruto’s bathtub on the morning of May 25th.
Peruto, who was also interviewed extensively by DePaulo and whose picture is on the cover of the magazine, says he was at the Princeton in Avalon on Law’s final night, and that he later crashed at the Shore home of a friend. One of his alibi witnesses, he says, is Eagles defensive player Trent Cole, who slept at the same Shore home that night.
Peruto says his romantic relationship with Law began on a trip to Miami five-and-a-half weeks before her death. He tells the magazine he was in love with her, and that he had no idea about her ongoing affair with M.B. When DePaulo reveals that fact to him, he’s deeply upset and tells her, “I need to throw up.” Concerned about Law’s reputation, he subsequently tells DePaulo: “I don’t give a fuck if they indict me, I don’t give a fuck if they arrest me for her murder. I don’t want her to be portrayed as a pig. She was not a pig! She was an angel.”
You can read an excerpt here. The entire 12,000-word story is simultaneously being published by Philly Mag as an e-book — with additional, never-before-seen pictures — in these formats:
- For the Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Kindle reader apps for iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows, Android devices, and BlackBerry at Amazon
- For iBooks on the iPhone/iPad, the Nook and Nook reader apps, Kobo, and Sony Reader at Smashwords
UPDATE, 8/28: Michael Smerconish interviewed Lisa DePaulo on his Sirius Radio show this morning:
UPDATE, 8/29: Chris Stigall interviewed Lisa this morning for Talk Radio 1210.