Brother charged with murders of New Jersey millionaire and his family

Business partner brother is charged with ‘financially motivated’ killing of New Jersey millionaire and his family as it’s claimed the victim was ‘talking openly’ about cutting ties with him after building their tech fortune together

  • Paul Caneiro, 51, was charged with four counts of first degree murder on Thursday in New Jersey 
  • He allegedly shot his younger brother Keith, 50, multiple times at his home on November 20
  • Keith’s wife Jennifer, 45, was found shot and had also been stabbed inside their $1.5million home 
  • Their children Sophia, eight, and Jesse, 11, had been stabbed ‘repeatedly’ and were found dead inside
  • After allegedly murdering them, Paul set a fire in their mansions’ basement then fled the scene 
  • He then returned to his house 12 miles away and set it on fire too with his wife and adult daughters inside 
  • He survived the blaze then gave statements to police afterwards saying it was caused by a gas leak
  • Prosecutors say Paul set the fire to make it look like the entire Caneiro family were targets 
  • They say the killings were ‘financially’ driven and to do with their technology business, Square One 
  • Friends say Keith was eager to sever ties and move on professionally and the business was struggling 
  • The brothers have been working together since Keith founded the business in 1987 
  • Friends and coworkers say Paul is a proud gun owner who had rifles and handguns  

The New Jersey millionaire who was found murdered in his home with his family last week had been talking ‘openly’ about cutting ties with the business partner brother who was arrested for the killings on Thursday, it has been claimed. 

Paul Caneirol, 51, was charged on Thursday with murdering his younger brother Keith, 50, and Keith’s wife and children, Jennifer, 45, Jesse, 11, and Sophia, eight. 

Prosecutors say Paul shot his brother then shot and stabbed Jennifer before ‘repeatedly’ stabbing his niece and nephew in their mansion in Colts Neck, New Jersey, in the early hours of November 20. 

He then allegedly went to the basement of the home and set a fire that would take hours to get going, returned home and set his own house on fire in an effort to make it appear as though he too had been targeted. 

It is unclear what finally led police to file charges against Paul who has been in custody on aggravated arson charge for a week, but they say he the killings were ‘financially motivated’. 

The two brothers were business partners who formed their technology company, Square One, together in 1987.  At the time it was called Jay-Martin and specialized in computer installing but it grew in success and size as the internet boomed.  

Keith started it and brought Paul in as his first hire when he got his first contracts with Citibank and at the Statue of Liberty. 

According to The New York Times, their decades-long business brotherhood had come under recent tension. 

Keith, the younger of the two, had been talking about his desire to try something new and was eager to go to work for a larger company as a CIO (Chief Information Officer). 

Police sources cited by NJ.com also said the business was struggling to stay afloat.  

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Paul Caneiro, 51, was charged on Thursday with the murders of his 50-year-old brother Keith, Keith’s 45-year-old wife Jennifer and their children, Sophia, eight, and Jesse, 11

‘He would just mention it to everyone.  He wanted to try something different,’ Ameet Chaudhury, who attended Columbia University with Keith when he returned to obtain an undergraduate history degree in 2014, said. 

The brothers were raised in Brooklyn with a third brother, Corey. Their father was a Spanish immigrant and they were brought up in a typical ‘working class’ environment, according to friends. 

For years, they were by one another’s side. 

Keith was Paul’s best man when he got married to his wife Susan in 1991 and Paul was in Keith’s wedding party when he married his wife Jennifer. 

The business in Asbury Park grew and changed its name from Jay-Martin, named in honor of the brothers’ middle names, to Square One. 

At some stage, they also acquired EcoStar Pest Management. 

Friends and co-workers told the Times that in recent year, Paul was in charge of the pest management business and Keith was left to run the technology business. 


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Paul underwent multiple surgeries around five years ago after getting into a car accident. 

According to friends, it changed his behavior. ‘I remember the family would complain sometimes about his behavior. 

‘He was frustrated, but not to the point to hurt his family members,’ family friend Demetris Potamianos said, emphasizing his disbelief over what Paul now stands accused of. 

‘It was Paul and Keith all the time. It was the perfect helpful brother relationship. 

‘The last thing I can ever picture is Paul doing something like that. Paul was like a father to all of them. Shocking is not the word.’ 

They said was a proud gun owner who had previously revealed his collection of handguns and rifles. 

Prosecutors say that on November 20, he went to his brother’s house in the early hours of the morning, shot him outside and then entered the home where he allegedly shot and stabbed Jennifer then stabbed Sophia and Jesse ‘repeatedly’. 

Keith’s mansion in Colts Neck is shown above on the day of the fire as firefighters worked frantically to put out the blaze

The burned out mansion is pictured on Thursday 

Heartbreaking tributes to the family were left including some addressed to Sophia and Jesse 

A tribute written by a child and left on the fence outside the Caneiro family home 

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    TIMELINE OF FIRES AND MURDERS

    Early hours of Tuesday November 20: Paul Caneiro allegedly shoots his brother Keith outside his home then stabs and shoots Keith’s wife Jennifer and stabs their two children inside. 

    He allegedly sets a fire in the basement then leaves

    5.01am: A fire is reported at Paul Caneiro’s home in Ocean Township. He escapes it with his wife and two adult daughters 

    12pm: Paul and his family leave the area after staying for hours to talk to police 

    12.38pm: A fire at Keith Caneiro’s home is reported by a landscaper. 

    Once they arrive, police find Keith’s body outside, shot at least twice, and his wife and children inside. 

    It takes several hours for them to extinguish the fire  

    November 21: Prosecutors charge Paul with setting the fire at his own home but will not say if he is a suspect in the murders

    November 24: Paul’s wife and daughters say he is innocent of arson and will testify in his favor 

    November 29: Paul is charged with the murders 

    November 30: Paul’s court appearance 

    December 2: Funeral for Keith, Jennifer, Jesse and Sophia 

    It is unclear if they were asleep when they were attacked.

    After allegedly killing them, Paul went to basement of the house where prosecutors say he set a fire. 

    They say he then left the house, leaving the fire smoldering, and returned to his own home where he set another fire using cans of gasoline.  He survived that fire along with his wife and their two adult daughters.

    Prosecutors say the fire at his home was an attempted ‘ruse’ to make it look like he too had been targeted by a mysterious arsonist but was also a way for him to get rid of evidence he had brought back with him from their home. 

    The blaze at Keith’s house was not reported until 12.38pm. Police say it was fed for several hours by oxygen blowing through the house. 

    ‘It continued to smolder until there was entry made into the home, a great deal of oxygen coming into the home effectively fed that fire.

    ‘(The fire) wasn’t reported until 12:38, what we believed caused the fire to catch on from there is the feeding of oxygen once the house was entered into,’ Montmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said at a press conference on Thursday, adding that it was ‘the most brutal crime’ he had ever seen.

    ‘There were two reasons for the fire at his home,’ he went on, explaining why Paul allegedly set the fire at his own house. 

    ‘One was to destroy evidence that he brought back from the Colts Neck crime scene and the other was to create some sort of ruse that his family was targeted,’ Gramiccioni said.

    ‘The defendant’s motive was financial in nature, stemming from their joint business ventures that they owned and operated out of Asbury Park,’ he went on, adding there was no evidence that either brother had any link to organized crime.  

    It remains unclear if he is being cooperative or if he has confessed to any of the crimes. 

    Neighbors previously described Paul as a ‘big fish in a small pond’ who was enamored’ with money but never quite lived up to his younger brother’s wealth. 

    Caneiro will make his first appearance in court on Friday to face all of the charges.   

    The damage at the back of Paul’s home is shown on Thursday. He set fire to it after allegedly coming back from killing his brother, niece and nephew and sister-in-law 

    Workers were seen at Keith’s home in Ocean Township on Wednesday. It was partially damaged in the fire police say he set himself while he was inside with his wife and adult daughters 

    A porsche was in the driveway of Paul Caneiro’s home on Thursday.It is believed to belong to one of his adult daughters. Neighbors previously told DailyMail.com that he gave both the girls Porsches as their first cars 


    Keith’s wife Susan, left, and one of his adult daughters, right, were seen at the property on Wednesday. Last week, they said they would stand by him and believed he was innocent of arson 

    A worker surveys the damage inside the home which neighbors say was Keith’s pride and joy 

    The two houses are 12 miles apart. There were just over seven hours between the two fires 

    Prosecutors say Paul (right after a car accident which gave him a limp) set fire to his home using gasoline while his wife Susan, (center left) and daughters Marissa, 23, (second from right) and Katelyn, 26, (left) were inside the home 

    KEITH CANEIRO, 50

    Keith’s obituary described him as an ‘altruistic’ person who loved his family and spending time with them. 

    He was ‘three or four books a week’, it said, and was happiest in New Jersey or Greece, where his wife’s family is from.

    ‘He was a passionate sports fan and a loving husband and father,’ it said. 

    On the day before his death, he completed a workout with his trainer as usual and went to work.  

    JENNIFER CANEIRO, 45

    Jennifer was a college graduate and loving mother who was an ‘active member’ of the PTO at her children’s school. 

    ‘She enjoyed being with her husband Keith and their children Jesse and Sophia. 

    ‘Jennifer loved to host family parties for every holiday at her home,’ her obituary said. 

    Her other passions were exercise, travel and going back to Greece to see her family. 

    In addition to the second degree aggravated arson charge he has been facing since last week, he is now facing four first degree murder charges, another count of aggravated arson, one count of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and one count of possession of a knife for an unlawful purpose. 

    Each one of the murder charges carries a sentence of between 30 years and life imprisonment. 

    When police arrived at Keith’s burning home on November 20, they found him shot outside.  

    Jennifer had been shot and stabbed and the children had been stabbed ‘repeatedly’. 

    Their bodies were badly burned and it took investigative teams days to be able to get into the house to survey the damage. At 5am that morning, a fire was reported at Paul’s home in Ocean Township, 12 miles away. 

    He was at the home with his adult daughters and wife at the time but they all made it out alive and stayed at the scene for hours afterwards to talk to police.  

    JESSE CANEIRO, 11

    According to his obituary, Jesse was a model 5th grader who ‘excelled’ in history.   

    Like his father, he ‘enjoyed technology and learning about all the functions of the latest computers, phones and watches.  

    ‘He loved to play the video game fort night and building amazing structures with Legos.

    He also participated in school sports. 

    SOPHIA CANEIRO, 8

    Sophia, who was in third grade, was in the Girl Scouts and loved taking ‘Ninja classes’. 

    She loved her mother ‘and her nanny Claudia’, and her hobbies included ice skating, gymnastics and ‘the New York Yankees.’ 

    ‘Sophia was a vibrant, enthusiastic and precocious girl, who enjoyed the arts. 

    ‘Her positive energy was contagious,’ her heartbreaking obituary said.  

    He left the area at around noon. Forty minutes later, the fire at Keith’s home was reported. 

    On November 21, Paul was charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to his own home but authorities refused to say whether he was a suspect in his brother’s death or the deaths of his family. 

    Neighbors of Paul’s in Ocean Township told DailyMail.com afterwards that they would be surprised if he had had anything to do with his brother’s murder and that they thought it was unlikely he would set fire to his own house because he was so proud of it. 

    They described him as being a ‘big fish in a small pond’ who never quite lived up to the wealth his younger brother had amassed.  

    Keith was found outside the house and he had been shot at least twice. His wife Jennifer, 45, had been shot and stabbed 


    Paul (left) is the older of the two brothers by a year but he worked for Keith (right with his son when he was a baby) 

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      Jennifer and Keith were well regarded in the town of Colts Neck where they were friends with the mayor  

      After the fire at his house, Paul and his wife Susan stood outside for around seven hours, according to his neighbors.   

      ‘He said it must have been a gas leak, he had tears in his eyes. 

      ‘Susan was devastated,’ one neighbor, who did not want to be named, told NJ.com.  

      ‘He said, “I’m in complete shock, I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

      ‘They were here until about noon. ‘ 

      Colts Neck, where Keith lived, is a well-to-do community about 50 miles south of New York City and is home to horse farms. 

      One woman, who owns a horse farm near Keith’s home, told The Asbury Park Press that Jennifer often brought the children by to feed the horses. 

      She said she was ‘so nice’ and ‘beautiful’.   

      Typical homes in Colts Neck are valued at about $750,000.  

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