"Whatever you need, just let me know and I'll take care of it," Corigliano says he told Pileggi. But after a couple of happy months together, he says, he was bothered by her periodic requests for money. "She became demanding, and she wanted this and that, so much a month, and she said that's what her friends would get from their boyfriends," he recalls. "In this quiet little mouse, there was a sudden change."
He says Pileggi asked him for $4,000 to $5,000 per month and said she was sending money to her sister, who had a problem with cocaine. He says that he gave her money for flying lessons and that she claimed to have lost the check.
Just months after they married, he told her, "Look, we moved too fast, and it's better to end this before it goes any further."
Court filings for the divorce list his net worth, including self-employed income, as $4,565,300 and hers as $8,000. Since they had never shared assets, the divorce was simple. Corigliano says they even laughed together about it. But afterwards, he says, "I remember her sitting there on the sofa in our condominium, saying, 'What's the point of living? Things never work out. There's just no point.' "
They parted ways, with Corigliano keeping his money and Pileggi unmarried once again. But the millionaire consultant doesn't regret his short-lived marriage. "It cost me $200 to get married and $300 to get divorced," he says. "That's not a big mistake."
Some time in the early '00s, one of Vinci's millionaire buddies, Tom Gonzales, who owns various marine- and aircraft-related businesses and flew recreationally with Vinci, urged him to move to Florida for its weather and low taxes. Vinci took that advice and, in 2005, purchased a $1.5 million Fifth Avenue "Tower Suite" on the 41st floor of the chic Las Olas River House condo in downtown Fort Lauderdale. And apparently, he soon reunited with Pileggi.
That same year, Corigliano moved in to the River House as well. He was surprised to discover that Pileggi was living 30 floors above him — with Vinci again.
"For her to go back to this guy who had verbally abused her... My God, that's got to be sad, to go back to the guy you couldn't stand," says Corigliano.
According to cell phone records, around 1 a.m. on June 28, Reynaldo Silva's phone rang. The caller ID showed Vinci's number, so Silva expected his boss, but the voice on the line was Pileggi's. According to a statement Silva gave police, she told him to rent a U-Haul truck later that morning and bring it to Coconut Drive. He agreed and went to bed.
He heard another call at 2:09 but didn't get up. A text from Vinci's number came through, telling him to forget about bringing the truck but to come in the morning. He later said he never read that message because he wasn't comfortable with the text function on his flip phone. But he didn't rent a truck. He arrived at the house around 8:30.
He told police he found Pileggi in the kitchen, crying. "Ron passed," she said. She led him to the back bedroom. She showed him the bag. She said he had fallen down the stairs.
And then, Silva recalled, she told him Ron had always wanted to be buried at sea. She asked Silva to help load Vinci's body onto his 80-foot yacht, Captain Ron, and take it out to open water. Around noon the day before, Pileggi had purchased $200 worth of diving weights at Brownie's YachtDiver in Fort Lauderdale. She told the clerk that Vinci needed new equipment and described how much he weighed, paying from his store account.
Silva told police that he was in shock as Pileggi asked for his help, so he stalled for time. He walked down to the boat and started its engines. Vinci usually piloted the thing from a remote-control unit, but Silva had driven it before. Pileggi followed him helplessly, holding the boat's thick instruction manual.
Silva pumped the throttle back and forth, then stopped. He told Pileggi that they'd need something to move the body, a container. He wanted to get out of there, tell somebody. His sole employer was stuffed in a bag, and his sort-of employer couldn't be trusted. He told Pileggi he needed to get a dolly from the other house. That's when he got the hell out and got Gordon on the phone.
Pileggi, meanwhile, went to the Home Depot on Sunrise Boulevard and bought a 45-gallon plastic bin with a lid. She checked out at 10:31 a.m. and got back to the house before Vinci's friends, whom Silva had summoned, arrived.
After Gordon saw the body and dialed 911, he called a lawyer friend and found an attorney for Pileggi, Sam Fields of Fort Lauderdale. She conferred with Fields briefly on the phone, then, according to Gordon's statement, moved the plastic tub from the bedroom into the garage before police arrived.