John Ditullio in court in 2009.
A neo-Nazi already locked up for stabbing a teen to death in 2006 appeared in a recent episode of the cable TV show, “I (Almost) Got Away With it,” and made a startling confession: He once murdered a homeless man.
But as incredible as John Ditullio’s account sounded, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida says the claims he made on the Investigation Discovery network were exaggerated — and even fabricated.
“It was a fairy tale story,” Lt. Eric Seltzer told the Tampa Bay Times. “He manipulated (the show) into helping them give him street credit that’s not deserved so he can look like a b--a-- in prison.”
The episode features Ditullio recounting his life through reenactments — escaping from a broken home in New Jersey and eventually landing in New Port Richey, Fla., where he befriended the American Nazis on Teak Street.
During an outdoor party in 2005, Ditullio, who was high on Xanax and alcohol, said his group was approached by a homeless man asking for a drink.
The man’s presence upset Ditullio and he snapped, according to the show’s narrator.
“I remember the (neo-Nazi) brothers pulling me off of him, and I had chunks of blood and hair in my hands,” he added.
When the beating was over, the back of the man’s head was “caved in,” according to Ditullio.
After a passerby found the homeless man’s body, the program goes on to show swastikas painted near the victim and investigators trying to question local American Nazis members.
But Sheriff's Office spokesman Doug Tobin told Bay News 9 in St. Petersburg that Corbin was asked about homeless deaths in general for the show.
“They never asked (whether) John Ditullio is a suspect in a homeless murder,” Tobin said.
The only unsolved murder of a homeless man that the Sheriff’s Office investigated actually occurred while Ditullio was already in jail, Bay News 9 said.
In response, a publicist for Discovery Communications Inc. told the newspaper that producers were “just following what Ditullio was saying because (the episode) is from his perspective.”
The TV show’s account could complicate matters for Ditullio, who is currently appealing the first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder convictions from 2010.
Prosecutors said Ditullio, wearing a gas mask, ambushed the home of Patricia Wells, who lived next to the neo-Nazi compound. He slashed her face with a knife before killing her son’s 17-year-old friend, Kristofer King.
Ditullio and the other white supremacists reportedly didn’t like that Wells’ son was gay and she had a black friend who would visit her.
Ditullio’s attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, said he never wanted his client to appear on the show and that it could impact his appeal.