Women Who Kill: Melanie McGuire and The Suitcase Murder
On May 4, 2004, a suitcase washed up on the shore of Virginia Beach. The suitcase contained a man's legs. On May 11, a second matching suitcase was found, containing a man's head and torso. Five days later, a third matching suitcase washed ashore containing the remaining body parts of the man. After a composite sketch of the victim was released, a friend identified him as Bill McGuire, a computer programmer from New Jersey. Bill's wife Melanie immediately became the primary suspect.
Melanie McGuire was a 32-year-old nurse at a fertility clinic and mother of two sons. Though Bill and Melanie seemed to have the perfect marriage from the outside, authorities quickly became suspicious of Melanie after finding out that the couple had just closed on a new home the day of Bill's murder. Five days after Bill's car was found outside the Flamingo Motel in Atlantic City, the suitcases began washing up and an investigation was launched.
Surveillance footage of Melanie parking Bill's car at the Flamingo was soon discovered, though she claimed it was a prank, despite the fact that she had applied for a restraining order days earlier after he allegedly slapped her. It was then revealed that Melanie purchased a .38 caliber handgun with rare bullets matching those that killed Bill in Pennsylvania, two days before he was murdered. The plastic bags his body was wrapped in and the suitcases matched the set missing from their home. Police also learned that Melanie was having an affair with a co-worker.
More than a year after Bill's dismembered body was found, Melanie was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on June 2, 2005. She was also charged with two counts of hindering apprehension for allegedly writing letters to police in an attempt to throw them off her scent.
On April 23, 2007, a jury found Melanie guilty of first-degree murder, perjury, desecration of human remains, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, though she pleaded not guilty claiming her husband was a gambling addict who could've been killed by the mob. However, on June 19, 2007, Melanie was sentenced to life in prison.