New court filing broke decades old murder case wide open

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Lower East Side of Manhattan, Dec. 30, 1982:

A screaming 3-year-old girl is pulled out of a locked bathroom in the apartment where she lives. Her mother lies dead, stabbed and strangled, in the next room.

"E.T. did it, E.T. did it," the terrified child told officers, according to reports at the time.

Over 30 years later the murder of Gail Mark, allegedly committed by someone who donned the "E.T." Halloween mask of the little girl, remains unsolved.

But a dispute between Mark's husband at the time and his sisters has led to a shocking new revelation and a re-examination of the case.

Police long suspected that Gail Mark's husband Franklin was involved in the murder, but he was never charged.

A new court filing just weeks ago broke this case wide open.

Franklin Mark and his sisters are fighting over millions in inheritance money, and one of the sisters filed an affidavit in Manhattan court saying it was well known Franklin was involved in the murder of his wife.

Mark’s sister, Ann Boyarsky, filed court papers saying, “It was common knowledge in the family that my brother Franklin Mark was responsible for the death of Gail Mark in 1982.,. It was believed that he hired a hitman to kill his wife.”

That brought the police in to reopen the case.

All of the original E.T. mask and a lot of physical evidence were destroyed so there’s no DNA analysis.

However, Gail Mark's young daughter Gail, who was left unharmed the night of the murder, is now a judge.

She's declined to comment on the new investigation because it centers on a pending legal estate case, but Chasing News talked with retired Detective Joe Giacalone about how cold cases get solved.

And Gail's mother Rita Fitzgerald, who has carried the torch for her daughter's memory for nearly 33 years, mentions a surprising new lead in the form of a one-act play, written by neighbors of Gail and Richard Mark's years ago who could hear arguing through the walls.

Chasing News will be investigating to see if there are any further clues from this unlikely source.