‘Dateline’ presents the murder case of Shele Danishefsky, which came not only as a shock to her family but also to everyone who knew her. To add to this, the case serves as an example of how things can turn bad within the supposed sanctuary of marriage. As the details of the case unraveled, several disturbing details came to light, making it a sad and bitter ending for Shele Danishefsky.
Shele Danishefsky’s Murder
Shele Danishefsky was 36 years old when she met Rod Covlin, who was 25 at the time. The two connected instantly in a Jewish single’s party in New York. Although they made plans to elope to Las Vegas, Shele’s sister talked her out of it. Regardless, they got married after a few months. They also had two children together, Anna and Myles.
However, as the years went by, the couples began to notice a dramatic change in their relationship. Shele worked as an executive at an investment bank and was quite successful in her career. However, this wasn’t the situation with Rod. He didn’t find much success as a stockbroker and spent his days on the lookout for a job, and playing backgammon, as per reports.
Shele’s sister Eve Karstaedt, on ‘Dateline’, talks about the growing frustrations of Shele in her marriage due to the lack of initiative from Rod to get a job and be productive. Reportedly, there was a larger issue lurking behind all of this, and that was an alleged temper issue Rod had that bordered on abusive behavior. A message she wrote to her sister, read, “very scared that at some point in the future all his anger and rage may result in something bad happening — he really can’t control his temper.” Based on another report, on the couple’s tenth wedding anniversary, Rod talked to Shele about the prospect of an open marriage, which she outrightly refused. It is after this that she filed for a divorce, and Rod moved into a nearby apartment so that he could still be close to his children.
Rod allegedly also posited some accusations against Shele of sexually abusing their son and doing drugs. In any case, following the turmoil of their split, she removed him as the beneficiary of her retirement fund and also had plans to remove him from her will. However, before she could sign the papers, she was found dead on New Year’s Eve of 2009. It was her daughter who discovered her body in the bathtub. Seeing this, Anna allegedly ran to get Rod, and he supposedly tried to administer CPR before calling 911. He later told the police that she might have slipped and banged her dead. In such cases, an autopsy is necessarily due, but Shele’s family objected to it due to concerns nested in faith. So, the authorities did not perform an autopsy on her, and she was laid to rest just two days later.
Arrest and Conviction
The police had their suspicions when it came to Rod and his involvement. The first thing that stood out was his story about how he had dragged Shele from the bathtub because his clothes were dry. Secondly, it was odd that Shele would even get into a bath considering she had received a hair straightening treatment done, which demanded that she not wet her hair for 72 hours. In the wake of such substantial doubts, her family agreed for her body to be exhumed and the report found out that she had been strangled. Thus, Shele’s family filed for a wrongful death suit, freezing her assets.
In 2015, Rod Covlin was arrested after his girlfriend at the time stated that he had confided in her about having committed the crime. It was thus that Rod was charged with the crime and taken to trial. He was then found guilty and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. (Feature Image Credit: Dateline)
Read More: Where is Rod Covlin Today?