Area Murderer Loses Appeal

An Okaloosa County man who slaughtered his family will stay on Florida’s death row.

Edward Zakrzewski used a machete and a crowbar to kill his wife, his five-year-old daughter, and seven-year-old son at the family home in Mary Esther in 1994.

The murders came as the couple was on the verge of a divorce.

The killer escaped to Hawaii, but four months later the Unsolved Mysteries show featured his case, and that led to his surrender.

Zakrzewski claimed ineffective counsel, saying his attorney should have objected to claims the prosecution made in the trials closing arguments, and should have tried to suppress certain crime scene evidence.

Thursday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta joined the Florida Supreme Court in rejecting those claims.