Murder at the Jersey Shore is always big news.  When it involves multiple accomplices and family twists and turns, it makes nationwide headlines.  This case fit that criteria and a Dateline special aired to millions of viewers Saturday night.  Here's what happened.

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Back in January, I told you about the heinous tale of Sarah Stern's Neptune murder; another viewership winner on Dateline.  That was a sad and shocking story.  Unfortunately, I think it is safe to say this one is just as disturbing.

One of our amazing listeners sent me an e-mail giving me a heads up about an upcoming special with local relevance.  Excited, I watched it Saturday night and my jaw dropped a number of times.  Titled Family Affair, it aired nationwide on NBC and was watched by 2.5 million people making it the number one show in its timeslot and number two for the night.  It all revolved around the surprising murder and burning of Stephen Moore, an employee of DCH Kay Honda in Eatontown, NJ.

Here are the main people involved in the Stephen Moore murder:

  • Stephen Moore (victim and resident of Manchester) had just gone through a difficult divorce and custody battle with Kathleen Dorsett.
  • Kathleen Dorsett (ex-wife and school teacher at the Gables School in Neptune Township).
  • Thomas Dorsett (father of Kathleen and owner of a heating and refrigeration business).
  • Lesley Dorsett (mother of Kathleen and former member of the Ocean Township Board of Education).
  • Anthony Morris (Long Branch resident).

Here are the shocking details I learned about Stephen Moore's murder during the special:

  • Stephen was reported as missing on August 16th, 2010, by coworkers from the Honda dealership, after he didn't make it to work.
  • On August 18th, his body was recovered from a burning vehicle in Long Branch.
  • On August 23rd, Kathleen Moore was charged with first-degree murder.
  • After the arrest, Thomas Moore attempted suicide in the parking lot of his lawyer's office by drinking refrigerant.  He was later charged with multiple counts including first-degree murder.
  • Lesley and Kathleen were charged with conspiracy and attempted murder as they wanted to hire someone to kill Stephen's mother, who now had custody of the daughter.
  • All 3 members of the Dorsett family were charged with money laundering.
  • Anthony Morris was charged with arson and desecration of human remains.
  • Upon investigation officials came to these conclusions:
    • Stephen was struck in the head and suffocated to death by his ex-father-in-law.
    • Kathleen and Thomas wanted Stephen out of their lives so their entire family could move to Florida, which was not possible due to custody arrangements.
    • Kathleen allegedly told someone that plan B was to feed Stephen to crocodiles.
    • After the murder, Stephen's body was put in the back of his mother's Nissan and driven to Long Branch where it was set on fire.
    • Kathleen tried to put a hit on her ex-mother in law but the hitman turned out to be a detective with the Monmouth County's Prosecutors Office.
  • All 4 criminals admitted their guilt, pleaded guilty to charges, and went to prison.

It is shocking and sad to know things like this happen and it's insane to think it has happened in our backyard.  You can watch the whole episode here.

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