Shell Executive's Murderer Confesses in Rio

A man was arrested on Thursday by the Brazilian police for the murder of a Shell oil executive and his wife in their home four months ago. The man confessed to the crime after he was arrested for burglarizing a house in the same condominium community where Todd and Michelle Staheli lived.

Jossiel Conceicao dos Santos, a caretaker at the building where the couple lived, told reporters he killed Todd Staheli and his wife Michelle with a crow bar because they had mocked him and used racist slurs.

"Every time I was working in the neighbor's house they laughed and made fun of me. I became hateful," the 20-year-old said when authorities presented him to the media.

Santos said he jumped over the walls of the Staheli's home the night of Nov. 30 and waited for the family to go to sleep before entering the house through an open door to the kitchen.

He then proceeded to beat the couple to death in their bedroom while they slept, saying he had intended to kill only Todd Staheli but murdered his wife because she awoke and saw him committing the crime.

"She saw me so I beat her and then I beat him. I was only going to kill him," Santos said.

Staheli was Shell's vice president for joint ventures in natural gas and power in southern South America, and police initially suspected the murder might have been tied to his work.

Santos denied anyone had instructed him to kill the couple, but police said it was still too early to rule out a professional motive behind the murder.

"The crime has been partially solved. The accused has confessed, the weapon was identified, but we still have to investigate the motive," Garotinho said.
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