Double Life: One Cop, Two Families
NEW YORK (AP) _ What he never told his wife and two sons in life, police Officer Francis Crowe confirmed in death: He led a separate, secret existence with another woman and a daughter.
DNA testing, using blood taken from Crowe in a 1992 autopsy, was used this year to establish that he fathered the 13-year-old girl _ news that devastated his wife of 27 years and their two adult children.
Crowe’s family on suburban Long Island was totally unaware of his second family in a Queens apartment. And his widow, Margaret, still doesn’t believe the story told by mistress Anne Regan _ she is appealing the paternity ruling issued in July.
The mistress was permitted a private viewing of Crowe after he was killed with a shotgun during an armored car robbery.
Testimony at the paternity hearing indicated that Crowe was ``a doting father″ who never missed his girl’s birthday.
The mistress knew all along that Crowe was married with children. But the widow was stunned by what she learned about her husband.
``The wife was in the room during the testimony,″ said Philip Milone, Regan’s lawyer. ``I thought they were going to need to revive her.″
Mrs. Crowe’s attorney, Joel Aurnou, confirmed Wednesday that ``the widow and her family knew nothing about this. Nothing. Zero.″
The 52-year-old Crowe lived ``truly a double life,″ said Family Court Judge Ellen Fitzmaurice, who ordered the DNA test. She ruled in July that Crowe was the girl’s father, confirming the story told by Crowe’s mistress of 15 years.
Crowe lived in Massapequa Park with his wife and their sons. He commuted to his job with the New York Police Department. He moonlighted as a milk delivery man, using that as a cover for his meetings with Regan.
In 1982, Regan gave birth to a girl; Crowe was at the hospital for the birth, Milone said. The officer, who retired in 1987, continued his two-family existence and started work as a security guard for an armored car company.
The Crowe family finally learned about Regan and the other child after Crowe’s slaying during a 1992 armored car heist.
``She gets a phone call out of the blue, (six) months after her husband is murdered, and finds out about this claim,″ Aurnou said. The call came from the lawyers for the mistress, informing Mrs. Crowe that her husband had been named in a paternity suit.
Blood drawn from Crowe during an autopsy was frozen by Suffolk County medical examiners; it was later used in the paternity case.
Regan brought the suit after discovering her daughter could receive Social Security benefits if she could establish Crowe was the father.