June 16, 2001
Jeff Zack, a 44-year-old Stow businessman and former paratrooper in the Israeli army, is shot execution-style at a gas pump in the parking lot of BJ's Wholesale Club on Home Avenue. Witnesses say the black-clad shooter was on a Ninja-style motorcycle with lime-green trim.
June 16, 2001
A year has passed and police have made no arrests. They know Zack had enemies; he fought with his neighbors; he was an unfaithful husband and had been involved in some questionable business dealings.
Sept. 25, 2002
John F. Zaffino, 36, of Chippewa Township, is charged with aggravated murder. Police say Zaffino was the black-clad motorcyclist.
Feb. 26, 2003
The Zaffino trial opens. Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Michael Carroll tells jurors that Jeff Zack's love affair with the wife of a prominent Akron restaurant owner ultimately led to the murder. He says Cynthia George, wife of Tangier owner Ed George, had a long affair with Zack that ended in May 2001, nine months after she found another paramour in Zaffino. Carroll alleges Zack's dissatisfaction with the breakup led him to harass Ed and Cynthia George and feud with Zaffino. The dissatisfaction, he said, also led to Zaffino's plan to kill the Stow man.
March 7, 2003
Cynthia George is called to testify. She invokes her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
March 11, 2003
Trial ends with Zaffino's attorney arguing that the evidence against his client is circumstantial. Zaffino maintains his innocence. Jurors take less than four hours to convict Zaffino.
March 17, 2003
Zaffino is sentenced to life in prison. Neither police nor prosecutors will comment on when, why or whether Cynthia George will be charged. Akron police Lt. David Whiddon does say that George remains a suspect in Zack's murder and that the department's investigation is ongoing.
Dec. 31, 2003
9th District Court of Appeals upholds the Zaffino conviction.
Nov. 17, 2004
A&E's American Justice series airs an hour-long show about the Zack murder titled ''Who Whacked Zack?'' The show focuses on Cynthia George and questions whether more arrests will be made. Prosecutors cite a lack of evidence.
Jan. 10, 2005
Cynthia George is arrested and charged with complicity and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.
Nov. 10, 2005
George's five-attorney defense team says after talking with potential jurors for three days that George cannot get a fair trial in Summit County because of pretrial publicity. The lawyers opt instead to try their case before Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove.
Nov. 14, 2005
The trial opens with defense attorneys saying George had no motive to kill Zack after breaking up with him a month before the murder.
Nov. 23, 2005
Testimony ends with Ed George announcing his support for his wife and attorneys giving final arguments. Cosgrove announces she will deliberate over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday and deliver her verdict at 11 a.m. Nov. 28.
Nov. 28, 2005
Cosgrove acquits George of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder for an aborted hit on Zack's life at a local park, but finds George guilty of complicity to aggravated murder. She sentences George to life in prison without parole for at least 23 years. George's attorneys promise an appeal.
Nov. 30, 2005
Cynthia George is transported to the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.
Dec. 15, 2005
Trial lawyers file appeal with the Ninth District Court of Appeals.
March 23-24, 2006
George's trial lawyers Michael Bowler and Robert Meeker are replaced by Columbus attorneys Bradley Davis Barbin, Max Kravitz and Jacob Cairns.
Jan. 3, 2007
Cynthia George's new lawyers argue for a another trial, saying that her trial lawyers had conflicts that warranted removal from the case.
March 21, 2007
Ninth District Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, says that there was insufficient evidence to convict George, effectively allowing her to go free.
Aug. 29, 2007
The Ohio Supreme Court declines to accept an appeal from Summit County prosecutors. Barring the high court's reversal of its own decision, George will remain free and can never be tried again. A wrongful death lawsuit against the Georges and Zaffino by Zack's family is scheduled for trial in November.