'Disney Dad' Who Lived With Wife & Kids' Dead Bodies Saw His Mom Shot in the Head as a Child

Todt family
WKMG/YouTube

Back in January, federal agents arrived at the home of Anthony "Tony" Todt in Celebration, Florida, to arrest him on charges of insurance fraud. Instead, they discovered the dead and decomposing bodies of his wife and three children inside, as well as the family dog, Breezy. Todt would soon be arrested and charged with their murders in a case that has stunned and horrified all who knew the family. But as the investigation has continued to unfold, more disturbing clues are starting to pour out about the dark past of the so-called "Disney Dad," -- including the traumatic murder attempt he witnessed as a small child.

  • Todt was just 4 years old when his mother, Loretta Todt, was shot inside the family's home in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

    Miraculously, Loretta survived, though court documents later noted that the bullet "destroyed her left eye and remains lodged in her skull." 

    As for the shooter? Well, that's where things get even more twisted.

    Todt's father Robert, a special education teacher, was later arrested for the crime and even served prison time for it -- but not because police believed he pulled the trigger. Robert had been away from the home when the shooting occurred because he was having an affair with a 17-year-old girl. (Other reports also say he was also engaged to a nurse at the time.)

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  • According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert hired a former student, John Chairmonte, to shoot Loretta.

    In 1981, Chairmonte pleaded guilty to his involvement, though Robert maintains his own innocence to this day. 

    Remarkably, Loretta stood by her husband's side throughout the trial, despite learning of his multiple affairs. In court, prosecutors labeled him a "scoundrel, an adulterer, and a liar" who "fooled around" on the many women in his life, the Inquirer reported in December 1980. Still, Loretta was said to have broken down in tears when Robert was sentenced, grabbing her young son in the courtroom and yelling out, "Oh, no!"

    In the end, Robert Todt served 10 years in prison after having his sentence reduced, and Loretta eventually divorced him after coming to believe he'd planned to have her killed. She went on to remarry, and Robert spent minimal time with his children in the years that followed.

    More than 40 years later, family members can't help but wonder whether the trauma from the night of March 19, 1980, led to the tragic events that would play out in January 2020.

  • Todt's sister, Chrissy Capelet, certainly thinks it might.

    In February, Caplet told the Hartford Courant that she was shocked to hear her brother could be behind the murders of his own family. If he is guilty, she believes that the childhood trauma he experienced must have played a role.

    "I absolutely think that this impacted him more than he knew," Caplet said. 

    His sister also wondered whether financial stress, coupled with the fact that federal agents were closing in on an arrest, drove Todt to snap.

    "Being a 4-year-old and seeing his dad being taken away, I don't think he wanted the same childhood for his kids," she said. "It doesn't excuse it. It certainly doesn't excuse it."

  • Even Tony's own father thinks the 1980 shooting may have played a role in what happened to his family this year.

    "Tony, I'm sure, had some problems that he had to address," Robert Todt said. "There's only so much trauma a young kid can take at that point."

    Robert told the Courant that he had minimal contact with his children until 2010, when he connected with Tony over Facebook. Though Chrissy was hesitant, both she and her brother agreed to meet with Robert at Tony's home in Colchester, Connecticut.

  • The meeting, Robert thought, went well.

    He also thought his children seemed to have turned into fine adults, considering their fractured childhood.

    "Meeting people for the first time when they're adults, you can usually tell if they're all together or not," Robert recalled. And to him, both of his kids seemed "all together."

    Robert also shared some of his memories of Tony's wife Megan, who seemed to him to be caring and kind.

    "There's just no way to describe her," he said. "She is -- she was -- the mother of all mothers.”

  • But soon after they met with him, Chrissy and Tony decided to cut ties with their father, and many of his texts and calls went unanswered.

    During that time, Tony moved his family to Celebration, Florida -- an idyllic town originally developed by Disney in the 1990s -- and would travel back to Colchester during the week to run his physical therapy business. Beyond that, Robert seemed to know little about what became of his son, which was why he was so surprised to get a text message from Chrissy in January, asking if he'd heard from him. 

    By then, Tony and his family had not been seen or heard from in weeks, and family members were growing concerned. Chrissy thought the Todts might be on the run after learning that Tony was wanted for health care fraud. Unfortunately, Robert didn't have any answers for her.

    Sadly, the reality was much worse.

  • On January 13, federal agents arrived at the Todts' home in Celebration.

    Inside, they found the bodies of his children -- Alek, 13; Tyler, 11; and Zoe, 4 -- as well as that of his wife, Megan, 42. The body of the family dog, Breezy, was also discovered. 

    In the days that followed, investigators say Tony Todt confessed to drugging his family with Benadryl before stabbing them, mostly in the abdomen, until they died. He gathered their bodies in one bedroom and placed them together in blankets.

  • However, in a letter penned to his father in June, Tony insisted it was Megan who killed the children and then herself.

    "Long story short, she gave them the Benadryl/Tylenol PM pie, separated them, woke up at 11:30 [p.m.], stabbed and then suffocated each one," Tony wrote in a 27-page letter newly released to the public.

    The 44-year-old dad said he was away from home when it happened and arrived in the early morning to find each of his children dead in their beds. Megan, he claimed, confessed to their murders, saying that she "released their souls."

  • According to the letter, Todt says Megan began to stab herself in the bathroom, and begged him not to help her.

    He claims to have performed CPR on her until it was no longer physically possible. However, never at any point in time did he call 911 or try to get help. Instead, Todt wiped each of the children's faces clean with a washcloth and "worked to make them look more comfortable" in one of the bedrooms. 

    He then lived with their bodies for two more weeks, during which he claimed to have attempted suicide several times, before authorities finally caught up with him.

  • Todt's sister said she remains at a loss for how all of this could have happened.

    "I never thought my brother could do this," Caplet told the Courant. "Not in a million years."

    She also feels deeply remorseful that she couldn't in some way predict or prevent what happened.

    “I wish we would've known so we would've been able to help,” Caplet said, adding that she fears "we'll never have the answers."

    Tony Todt is being held at Osceola County Jail, where he faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of animal cruelty in addition to the insurance fraud charges. He was originally set to stand trial this summer, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it remains unclear when court proceedings will begin.