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tv   2020  ABC  July 30, 2021 9:01pm-11:01pm PDT

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♪ the last thing they would expect is to find a suitcase with a human body in it. >> the big question is, how the hell did he get there? >> they were crazy in love at first, but it quickly became tumu tumultuous. they were infidelities. i think they liked the drama of it. >> the next thing out of his mouth was, when i get home i'm going to kill you. i'm going to smash your face in. he said he was leaving and he wasn't coming back.
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>> were you ever angry enough to want to see him dead? >> there were times i wanted him gone, but gone doesn't mean dead. >> and mel just said, well i'm a single mom now, and now i've just got to get along with my life. i said, well, no, the next thing is we've got figure out who did this to him. after i got off the phone, i said, she did it. >> they couldn't find any forensic evidence whatsoever to establish this was a crime scene. >> do you still insist that you're innocent? >> absolutely. i still think, how could somebody think i did that? >> i think she did not actually commit the crime. >> it turns out, it isn't the end of the story. my name is meghan sacks. i'm a criminologist at fairleigh dickinson university. in simplest terms, criminology
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is the scientific study of what causes crime and how the criminal justice system responds to crime. >> i've written about 25 true-crime books over the years. and i think melanie mcguire's is perhaps one of the most interesting ones and baffling. >> this is melanie mcguire, arrested today minutes after dropping off her children at daycare. >> melanie mcguire, a new jersey nurse, was accused of killing her husband, cutting up his body, and throwing it into the chesapeake bay. >> in 2007, what was being called the suitcase murder trial was generating an enormous amount of media attention. not just in new jersey, but all across the country. >> three bizarre discoveries. three separate suitcases all containing human remains. >> a woman who is on trial for her very life. she says the real truth behind the crime has never been revealed. >> with no history of violence and no apparent motive for murder, could she really have done it?
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>> she was this beautiful young nurse, and they were this seemingly normal middle-class couple, and the murder happened in such a grisly way. >> the idea that this beautiful nurse could have actually killed her husband and then cut him up is just incredible. >> of course there were the salacious aspects. >> mrs. mcguire is a registered nurse, and prosecutors say she had an affair with a doctor. >> she didn't fit the profile, i guess, of a murderer. >> over the years, students and colleagues of ours have come to me and said, melanie mcguire proclaims her innocence and would love to tell her story. i started thinking, oh, maybe there is a little more to this case than what you see on the surface. and then the idea of a podcast came up, and i was all in. >> on "direct appeal" we examine the murder conviction of melanie mcguire following a highly publicized trial. looking at the evidence that was presented and the evidence that may have seemed insignificant at the time, we form our own conclusion about melanie's guilt.
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>> we here at abc have our own history with the melanie mcguire case. back in 2007, abc's cynthia mcfadden had the first on-camera interview with the mother of two on trial for murdering her husband. >> who is the melanie mcguire you hope the jury knows? >> the one who tried to take care of everybody, who didn't make the smartest decisions but admitted to those mistakes to the people she trusted most, but did not admit what she's accused of. i have been incarcerated for 12 1/2, going on 13 years now. >> do you still insist that you're innocent? >> absolutely. >> you're sitting here a wrongfully convicted person. >> correct. absolutely. >> and what have those years been like? >> i tell people it's not as bad as you think in some ways. and it's so much worse than i
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could ever articulate in others. after all these years, i still feel hurt. i still feel bothered. i still feel like, how could somebody think that i did that? >> this whole saga begins on may 5, 2004, with an odd discovery in virginia beach. >> early morning, a couple of fishermen and their kids are out on a boat by the chesapeake bay. >> me and my friend don connors was going to go out fishing. we both had days off, and "d" or don -- we called him "d" -- said he'd keep his kids out of school, we're going to take them fishing. so everybody was excited. we went right out through this bridge here. and if you keep going, you'll
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run right into the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. >> the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel is about 17.5 miles long. it really is quite astonishing. it connects the eastern shore of virginia to virginia beach. >> has two tunnels for two shipping channels. and once you get on the other side, you go north, you're up into maryland, delaware, new jersey. we went out there and anchored off of fisherman's island, and we were just doing some fishing. >> and suddenly, one notices that a suitcase has floated by. >> we wheeled the boat around, pulled up alongside it. i immediately thought it probably blew off of a car, you know, off the luggage rack or something. "d" and his son reached over, and were trying to pull it up in. it had some weight to it, so i stopped the boat, reached in,
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and helped pull the thing in there. and laid it in the floor of the boat. >> they found a dark green kenneth cole suitcase in pretty good condition that was apparently part of a luggage set of three. >> they put it on board, and the little boy with them is very, very excited. he thinks it's buried treasure, so he wants to open it. >> the contents were covered with a thick trash bag, like a hefty bag or something. and i said, uh-oh. i was a little bit nervous then when i saw the black bags in there. so i turned to say something to "d," and while i was talking to "d," the young boy reached down and ripped open the plastic trash bags. there was no doubt of what it was. it was a set of human legs. >> there's a pair of male legs from the knee down. looked very fresh. and they recoil in horror. >> i looked down there and said, oh, my gracious. so i closed the bag back up and
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i dialed 911. >> i was out on patrol in the chesapeake bay when i received a radio call. i made arrangements with him to meet me, and he transferred a suitcase over to my boat. >> i handed him the luggage, and he seemed surprised. he goes, what do you want me to do with that? i said, open it up. >> i was pretty shocked. i'd never seen a suitcase with body parts in it before. there really wasn't any smell. they actually looked kind of fresh. >> the first suitcase being found was big news. it's not, you know, a common find, by any means, especially in this area. >> this is an alarming story. everybody wanted to know who the man in the suitcase was. >> we kind of figured there had to be other suitcases with other parts in it. >> after the initial shock of them finding the suitcase, everyone was just waiting for what was going to wash up next. a lot of people think dealing with copd is a walk in the park. if i have something to help me breathe better, everything will be fun and nice.
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the chesapeake bay area, there's a lot of boaters, there are birdwatchers, there's fisherman's island, a nature sanctuary. this is really kind of a tourist -- a fun area. >> people are going there to relax. they're going with their families. the last thing they would expect is to find a suitcase with a human body in it. >> it was the start of the summer tourist season, which is huge for virginia beach. and getting that kind of negative publicity of bodies washing up in suitcases was something they did not need. six days later, a student was on fishermen's island in the middle of the chesapeake bay, which is a nature preserve. and she saw a dark green kenneth cole suitcase. >> she was curious what could be
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contained inside. and she actually pulled a little bit of the black trash bag out of the suitcase. there was such a strong odor of decomposition that she immediately stopped and notified the refuge workers. >> the police, they'd been expecting this, because after the first kenneth cole bag with the legs, they suspected there was going to be more. >> it was transported to the medical examiner's office in norfolk, and that's where we actually viewed what the contents inside. >> inside the suitcase would be the torso and the head of a male. the torso was still attached with the arms and the head. >> the head was wrapped in what looked like a medical blanket. >> the face was somewhat identifiable, but it had been submerged for a while so extremely bloated. >> the medical examiner is able to determine that the victim's been shot multiple times. there are a couple of gunshot wounds in the torso area and one through the head. >> there were two bullets that were recovered from the body,
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wad cutter bullets. and wad cutter bullets are not typically used by the average person, but they are used for target practice. >> it became a very big local story. >> a student discovered a suitcase near fisherman island. inside, a human head. >> it was getting a lot of coverage. >> it's the second suitcase in a week found near the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. and the second one containing body parts. >> and everybody was waiting for the rest of the body to turn up. >> the third suitcase was found on may 16, 2004, in the water by a fisherman. >> he saw the suitcase floating in the water. the third suitcase that had been in the water the longest did have some growth on it from floating in the water for so long. >> this suitcase contained the pelvis, so from the waist down to above the knees. authorities realize they have to figure out who it is. >> anytime you find an unknown
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body, the first thing you're going to do is look into missing person cases to see if the profile matches anyone who's currently missing. >> because of the naval bases in the area they're checking military records, they're checking everything they can possibly think of to figure out who this person is. >> one of the policeman working on it came up with the idea of getting a sketch artist in. >> i immediately took photographs to our sketch artist, and she was able to do a sketch for us. and we eventually released it to the media. >> we're hoping maybe this will give us an edge and maybe identify him sooner. >> right now, he's just -- >> john doe. >> may the 21st. sue sees the picture on tv of a sketch that they had done to find out who this person was. >> sue had been getting out of the shower one morning. the television was on. and as she was getting out toweling off, she looks at the tv. >> this is a sketch of the body that washed ashore near the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel
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this month. >> he belongs to somebody. i mean, he's got loved ones. >> she thinks, oh my god, that looks like bill. >> sue was pretty sure that it was bill mcguire. this is john and sue rice, bill mcguire's good friends. bill and john had been friends since their early navy days. bill was friends with sue as well. melanie knew sue. the couples had vacationed together. >> sue immediately calls her husband to take a look. and he's not so sure it's bill, but sue's convinced it is in fact, and says, please call crime stoppers. >> he was very good friends with mr. mcguire. he told me that mr. mcguire lived in woodbridge, new jersey. he was married to melanie mcguire, and they had two small children. >> he wanted to know more about the dynamics of bill, why i thought it could be bill. and the only way that i thought it could be bill is that, yeah, he's missing, too. >> jon rice had spoke to cindy ligosh, who is william mcguire's sister. >> i got a call from cindy.
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she said, john, is billy there? >> and i said, no, he's not. what's going on? and she goes, well, bill and melanie got into an argument, and he left and he hasn't been heard from. >> he said he was leaving and he wasn't coming back. my husband was full of bluster when it came to stuff like that. he would say things like that all the time. i didn't actually believe it was the last time i was ever going to see my husband. >> william mcguire had, in fact, vanished. mr. and his wife, mrs. rice, eventually agreed to come down to the police department in virginia beach and view some photos. >> bill had a little red mark right here, and that's what i kept zoning in on when i saw the picture. that's exactly what i zoned in on. i mean, i've known bill for 22 years. i kept seeing that, and i was pretty certain that it was bill. >> once we had a name and an approximate age, we ran him through our computer system. >> he ran a check on bill
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mcguire, and found that mcguire had been arrested in virginia for a reckless driving charge in the 1980s. >> his fingerprints were on file already, which made it a lot easier, and they're very quickly able to confirm that the fingerprints matched. >> the man in the suitcases was identified as 39-year-old william mcguire of woodbridge, new jersey. >> so according to melanie, she just thinks her husband is missing. but she is about to get the news that will change her life forever. >> and he said, i'm sorry to tell you, ma'am, that william is deceased. and i just -- i just burst into tears. >> now they've solved the mystery of who the man in the suitcase is, the big question is, how the hell did he get there? state. ♪ [band plays] ♪ a place where everyone lives life well-protected.
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the melanie mcguire story is centered around new jersey. they lived in the working-class part of new jersey where "the sopranos" took place, which was perhaps the hottest show at the time. ♪ ♪ ♪ woke up this morning ♪ ♪ got yourself a gun ♪ >> melanie is a jersey girl, born and raised there. her parents are linda and michael cappararo. >> she's a great, great daughter, mother. friend. full of life, fun-loving, a good girl. never in trouble, never in trouble. >> always trying to help people. >> she's working in the restaurants in jersey. she's a waitress, and she met bill mcguire. he was also a server.
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>> bill was known as the rude waiter, because he would speed people up in a jocular way. but they loved it, and they would ask for the rude waiter. >> what was he like? >> funny, clever. he had a big heart when he wanted to. he wanted all the right things. >> he was very, very loyal. he was a tremendous friend. when i first met bill i didn't know what to make of him because he was really a practical joker and what not. and i thought, well, this guy could probably get on somebody's nerves with all this. but he was so funny. he just kind of overcame whatever resistance you might have to him. >> melanie was a fertility nurse when i met her. just so caring, so nurturing. >> she was working with women who were going through really tough times trying to get pregnant. she was very compassionate, and her patients really loved her. >> what made you a good nurse? >> type "a" personality.
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the way i looked at it, i was not going to be happy with anything less than the total comfort level of my patients. >> in 1998, bill called jon and i and told us that he wanted to bring melanie down to meet us. melanie, she -- she's a really nice person to be around. physically, she's beautiful. she's very smart. >> she had a lot of the same sense of humor that bill had. when bill was making jokes, melanie would be right in there. >> he liked to razz people. she would razz him right back. he really was crazy about her. >> what was your relationship with bill like in the beginning? >> in the beginning it was -- it was the challenge. it was the chase. it was -- we had a bit of a tempestuous relationship even before we got married. we would break up, get back together. >> bill and melanie dated for quite a while. they were crazy in love at first, but it quickly became tumultuous.
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there were infidelities. they'd go back and forth. they'd fight. i think they liked the drama of it. >> i think she thought she could make a difference in his life. i think she thought that she could maybe change him, make him happy. she truly did love him. >> you guys want some more champagne? let me go get a bottle. because there's nothing in there, is there? >> they got married in 1999. it was probably one of the most extravagant weddings we've ever been to. >> mr. and mrs. william mcguire. >> melanie on her wedding day looked absolutely gorgeous, angelic, just perfect. >> both bill and melanie seemed like they couldn't have been happier. >> she was a little naughty. >> he was marrying a girl that he absolutely loved in a way that maybe he hadn't loved anybody before. >> bell, can you put your hand on her? that's the last time bill's going to have the upper hand. >> bill mcguire got a $65,000 a
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year job with the new jersey institute of technology. >> bill and melanie settle into a rented townhouse in woodbridge, new jersey. >> woodbridge is a sprawling, the suburban end of new jersey's industrial flatlands. if you're going down i-95, you're taking exit 11 to get off to woodbridge. >> we were both happy new parents, and then things changed drastically. >> he had a dual personality. he could be very likable, and then on the other hand he'd be very calculating, manipulate you. >> he had always had issues with gambling, and he would go through periods where he would go down to atlantic city a lot. >> there were times that he would just take off to a.c. and gamble and, she just wouldn't hear from him, wouldn't know what was going on. >> he found he could make some money gambling. there were good times with that,
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and there were bad times. and there were a couple times i had to put my foot down and say, that's it. no more. so then he'd get involved with the stock market. he wanted what he wanted and he couldn't get it fast enough. and with that came frustration and eventually that frustration became directed at me. there was one particular argument over the phone where he had gotten stopped for a traffic ticket. he had an absolutely atrocious driving record. and i start to argue back and the next thing coming out of his mouth is, when i get home i'm going to kill you. i'm going to smash your face in. it's very difficult for me to think back on it, because i actually drove off in the middle of the night, and i had left and i should have stayed gone. >> why did you stay? >> i wasn't strong enough to leave. >> did you love him? >> i did. i did, and even though -- now at this point, bear in mind, i'm having an affair.
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>> what appealed to you about brad miller? >> he was just very -- very tender. i really tried to fight it, but i couldn't. i couldn't fight it. >> life for the mcguires is getting a little more complicated and then one night it all erupts. >> bill was probably the most streetwise person i've ever known. and i can tell you he never saw it coming. come in for mambo sauce, leave queen of the cookout.
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♪ ♪ melanie is loving, caring, funny, considerate. we just clicked right away.
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to the point that i asked her to be in my wedding when i got married. >> love is always patient and kind. it is never jealous. love is never boastful or conceited and is not resentful. love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth. >> in june 2001, the mcguires were already married for a few years. and even though there was some friction in the marriage, melanie mcguire decided to have another child. >> little does her husband know just how ill-timed this pregnancy is. not only is melanie about to have their second child, she's also having an affair. >> dr. bradley miller was a partner in rma associates, and melanie was working as one of his nurses. >> he was so kind. i'd come back to my desk after a long meeting with a patient, and there'd be lunch sitting on my desk, waiting for me. you know, there was always a little bit of flirtation banter
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back and forth. >> melanie was about 38 weeks pregnant, and things changed between her and dr. miller. >> i was about to go out on maternity leave, and i was sitting actually in his office, at his desk. i just mentioned that i have a pinched nerve in my neck, and he just -- he put his hands on my shoulders and started to -- to rub my back. i tried to -- i really tried to fight it because i -- this was not going to be good. this was not going to be good for anybody, but i couldn't. i couldn't fight it. >> after melanie came back from maternity leave, she and dr. miller started a full-blown affair, and it seemed like they were falling in love with each other, although they were both married with young children. >> shortly after my second son was born, that's when things began to -- the final descent downhill, if you will. >> melanie and bill moved to the woodbridge apartment. this is a townhome.
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they don't own it, they're renting it. >> he was constantly looking, looking, looking at homes. he wanted to end up buying a house before he turned 40. >> he did want to move down here to virginia beach. we took pictures of houses in our neighborhood, but melanie just would not hear of it. >> they ended up putting a really sizeable deposit down on a very nice home in new jersey. >> it was a very nice house. it had quite a bit of land. it was a $500,000 home. >> it was very contradictory. she's becoming closer to dr. miller, but she's going along with bill's idea of buying a house. >> the marriage wasn't going well at all, so why were you buying this $500,000 house together then? >> the idea for me was we had a chunk of money, cash, that we were putting down on this house.
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in the past, we'd come to points where we had been in similar situations, and he would ultimately something would happen and he would go and gamble the money away. i figured this at least was an investment. >> on april 28th, they're due to close on the house at 2:00 in the afternoon, and she's in constant touch with dr. miller, who's pleading with her not to buy the house, because he wants to be with melanie and sees a future life with her. >> and melanie told him not to worry about it, it's going to be okay. i'll take care of it. >> after they close on the house, they go back to their rented townhouse. bill is so excited, he calls jon rice. jon said that bill had never been happier. >> the last person melanie speaks to that night is dr. miller. she tells him, look, we've closed on the house.
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bill's had some red wine. he's asleep on the couch, but when he wakes up, we're going to sort this out, and i'm going to tell him i want a divorce. >> melanie described the events that would happen later on as a big fight. >> you and bill had a horrible fight, yes? >> correct. we fell asleep on the couch, woke up early morning hours, and -- it was never a bad time for an argument. i'm talking probably 3:00, 4:00 in the morning. and it starts on the house. i settled for that house. what the hell are you talking about? you settled for that house. it's a $500,000 house. that's not what i wanted. >> melanie says that bill turned around and said, what i really wanted was a house in virginia for cheaper. but you refused to let us do that, and so i have to settle. and she says this turns into a very heated argument. >> from there things became even more physical.
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>> how physical, in what way? >> he shoved a dryer sheet in my mouth. he had a thing about dryer sheets. >> the story that melanie tells about a fight that seems to escalate over a dryer sheet is the same story she told us back when we first spoke with her. >> we're still arguing, and there's the laundry basket and there's a dryer sheet just hanging out of one of the baby's sleeves. he hated them. he thought it was lazy that i wouldn't stand there and put in the liquid fabric softener. and, um, yeah. and it went out of control. this is the type of mother that i was, that i would leave this sheet in there for my baby to possibly choke on. before i know it, i'm up against the wall and the dryer sheet is being shoved into my throat. and then he just smacked me. >> in the face. >> yeah, open hand. because he probably would have broken my cheek if it had been a closed fist. and i looked down, and there's my 2-year-old. i grabbed the baby and went to
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the bathroom right behind me and shut the door. i just wanted away from him at that point. he said he was leaving and he wasn't coming back and i could tell my children why they didn't have a father. >> did he say this to you through the bathroom door? >> yeah, through the bathroom door the entire time. i imagined he was packing things and leaving. he was up and down the stairs a lot. but every trip back and forth, berating me. >> what's the last thing you remember saying to him? >> stop. stop. >> melanie said he'd driven off, and she presumed he was in atlantic city. >> he would have been back. he would have been back. i knew it. >> but this isn't just a few days that bill mcguire is gone. we're talking weeks. >> what bothered me is that melanie never reached out and said, hey, bill is missing. >> she never reported her husband missing, and it's almost
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30 days. >> the fact that we never heard anything from her was deeply suspicious to me. >> love is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. love does not come to an end. this is the word of the lord. we're here! they're finally here. this year, "here" means getting back to everything they've missed. here! achoo!! look over here! join lysol here for healthy schools in keeping "here" healthy. when you buy a pack of lysol disinfecting wipes, another pack will be donated to a school in need. so everyone has enough protection to stay here... here! ...and here. lysol here for healthy schools wow... nobody's here.
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in the early morning hours of april 29, 2004, melanie mcguire said that she and her husband bill had a violent fight and that he left and she never saw him again. >> melanie says the next day she got her kids up, she took them to daycare, and she started trying to figure out how she was going to move on with her life without bill. >> and during this, the next day, the day after that, the day after that, you didn't hear anything from him. >> no. >> did you try calling him directly? >> no, because this is what used to happen, when we fought. you know, i'd call, whether it was to tell him off or to try to apologize, and we'd just end up getting back into it again. i'm done now. i'm done. >> she retains a divorce attorney and at this point she
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does tell the divorce attorney she has not seen her husband in a few days. and according to melanie, the attorney advised her not to file a missing person's report. >> my heart broke for her. she didn't deserve -- nobody deserves that. but i told her that she needed to think about herself right now. she needs to protect herself. >> i called a business associate of mine who was an attorney. she said, you need to get a restraining order. >> state your full name. >> melanie lynn mcguire. >> she had to go in front of a judge and give sworn statement about the incident that happened. >> tell me what happened that brought you to court today for a temporary restraining order? >> my husband and i closed on our first house on wednesday. >> that should be a positive thing, shouldn't it? >> yeah, it should. he's been behaving really erratically. >> mrs. mcguire, you're safe here. don't worry. >> melanie explained to the
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judge how bill had been violent with her. >> did he hit you, ma'am? >> no, not until -- well, i don't mean to sound like i had absolutely no part in this. i said some not nice things and he slapped me. >> as part of the questions, melanie was asked by the judge if she owned any firearms. >> do you know if there's any weapons? >> not to my knowledge. >> this is a sketch of the body that washed ashore this month. >> we're hoping this will give us an edge and maybe identify him sooner. >> about a month goes by between the time that bill disappears and when sue rice identifies bill mcguire after seeing the sketch on local tv. the next thing police have to do is notify melanie mcguire of the death of her husband. >> melanie was asked to come down to the police station. >> the officer came out. he says, is your husband william mcguire? and i said yes. and he said, i'm sorry to tell
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you, ma'am, that william is deceased. and i just -- i just burst into tears. >> but there's one thing she never asked. how was bill mcguire murdered? >> they did not tell her how and the condition in which he was found. >> that would be one of the first questions that i would ask. >> the next step was that the virginia police wanted to speak with melanie. melanie agrees, but she brings her divorce attorney with her and another criminal attorney in that practice. >> conducting an interview with the victim's wife with two attorneys present is highly unusual. the first time i have ever had that happen to me. she was nervous. she was visibly shaking. she made expressions like she was crying, but she never had a tear in her eye. i asked her if she had any
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luggage. and she informed us that they didn't have any matching luggage. >> the next day, melanie told detectives she suddenly remembered that the mcguires did own a matching set of designer luggage. >> i showed her a picture of the one of the pieces of luggage that we recovered in the bay, and she identified that as belonging to them. >> they asked what kind of person bill was, and she said he was the kind of person that had a knack for pissing people off. >> she asked us, where did we find her husband's vehicle at? i told her at that point we hadn't found her husband's vehicle. and she said that probably a good place to look would be atlantic city, new jersey. she also informed us that her husband had a gambling problem. >> did he get involved with the wrong people? that's what i would have to believe, that he had gotten himself into something.
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and bill always thought he could handle something. >> he was always into some kind of deal, so i think maybe this deal was his last deal. >> after the interview was done that evening, we also conducted a search at their old apartment building. the apartment was empty. she had already moved out. >> they asked her about bill's possessions and his clothes. >> we discovered that ms. mcguire had already given all of her husband's belongings away. >> virginia beach detectives find out that melanie mcguire had given most of bill's belongings away to a friend's cousin, and they wanted to track that man down. eventually, they did and found out that most of bill's clothing was still in black trash bags, much like the bags that contained bill mcguire's body parts. >> the garbage bags by sight looked identical. >> things are starting to make sense with the detectives.
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there's the black trash bags, and there was also the hospital blanket that the head was wrapped into. and they're thinking, well, melanie mcguire is a nurse. that's kind of an odd coincidence. >> at melanie's suggestion, detectives start to search atlantic city for bill's car, and lo and behold, that's exactly where they find it. >> the atlantic city forensic unit processed mr. mcguire's vehicle. they took photos. they finger printed. they vacuum cleaned the floor boards. >> the body was released to melanie on a tuesday. immediately she had him cremated. and the funeral lasted all of 10, 15 minutes at the most. >> she called the following evening after the funeral, and at that point i just kind of
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blasted her. i just told her, i said, melanie, bill deserved so much more. and mel just said, well, i'm a single mom now, and now i've just got to get on with my life. i said, well, no, the next thing is we've got to figure out who did this to him. after i got off the phone, i remember hanging up and i said, jon, she did it. she did it. >> everything pointed to melanie mcguire. >> through wiretapping her phones, the police discovered the relationship that she was having with dr. miller. >> it's a eureka moment because it provides motive. >> i've told them everything that i know, but they're -- you know, they just don't -- >> they want to you break.
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what's the last thing you remember saying to him? >> stop. stop. >> people like to believe that someone was capable of committing this type of murder. >> accused of cutting up his body and throwing it into the chesapeake bay. >> the person would look like a monster, but sometimes killers look just like melanie mcguire. >> is there anything else you're not telling me? >> like what, like i killed bill? >> did you? no. but thanks for asking. >> investigation was conducted
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and the lack of evidence was resounding. >> the evidence in this case points to a well organized, meticulously planned execution of a murder. >> computer searches that said how to murder someone, how to poison someone. basically multiple searches about how you kill somebody. >> i don't get to be an evil joon u genius and an idiot at the same time. >> i believe that melanie was wrongfully convicted. >> who do you think killed your husband? >> melanie mcguire, once a married mother to two little boys and a fertility nurse, is today a 47-year-old inmate at the edna mahan correctional facility in clinton, new jersey. >> in here, guilt and innocence is irrelevant in day-to-day life. i have six numbers and a letter after my name, the same as the woman on one side of me and the
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same as the woman on the other side of me. >> after virginia beach exhausted their investigation, they realized all signs pointed north to new jersey. >> my name is patti prezioso. i was the lead investigator in the melanie mcguire investigation and prosecution. >> patty prezioso was a very driven and highly successful assistant attorney general in new jersey. >> you let the evidence guide you, and you follow it until it's clear what happened. >> she was extremely competent. and it was obvious. >> the task force had local police, state police, the attorney general's office. they decided to treat this case with top priority. >> it was clear that he had been shot, and trying to find out if any of the people close to bill owned a gun was a top priority. >> the detectives don't find any
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record of melanie buying a gun in new jersey, so they decide to check pennsylvania. >> they knew that pennsylvania was close, and a lot of people will go to pennsylvania for firearms because the gun laws are more lax and there's less of a waiting period, so you can go in and essentially walk out the same day with a firearm. >> it turned out that when the record check was done with pennsylvania, a record came back that melanie mcmcguire had purchased a gun. >> i remember it plain as day when she came in, because not many women come into the shop. she filled the forms out, and then when she wrote down her occupation that she was nurse that stuck in my mind, because like i said, that was the first time i ever sold a gun to a nurse. >> melanie bought a taurus .38 special and she bought wad cutter bullets. >> that gun was purchased just two days before melanie mcguire said her husband went missing.
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>> and remember, early on, virginia detectives talked to melanie, and she never mentioned anything to them about buying a gun. >> i had informed my attorneys of the purchase of the gun, and they said, well, you know, if they ask, don't lie, but don't offer any information. and they never asked about a gun. >> melanie bought the gun because bill wanted her to buy the gun. she could get it, he wanted it. what he wanted, he got. >> because bill mcguire had a felony conviction stemming from his horrendous driving record, he was barred from purchasing firearms. >> you say your husband asked you to purchase the gun, but you purchased a gun just two days before your husband went missing. >> of course, it's a coincidence. however, he was on me for a while about that, about trying to get that. and if something was happening, if he was in some sort of trouble, that may very well have been the reason why he was so
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intent on getting it. >> once the police really honed in on melanie, they began wiretapping her phones. >> hello? >> hey. >> the surveillance was so intense that over a 40-day period, they recorded 500 hours of her phone calls. >> every time you get your head back above water. >> yep. >> that hand reaches out from beyond the grave. >> a lot of those calls were very cryptic. >> hey. >> how you doing? i spoke to what's his name about shipping. >> alex. >> i didn't want the say names. you understand what i'm saying? >> yep. >> she used the phrase a lot, "being cut off at the knees." >> at least meet with the lawyer ahead of time who might cut it off at the knees. >> doesn't that look suspicious? >> it doesn't matter what it looks like. >> she was a little salty. that was her personality though. she was a jersey girl. >> a lot of them were to her boyfriend, dr. bradley miller. >> it was very clear right from
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the beginning that the relationship with dr. miller was different. there was a change in her voice. it was a softer tone. >> it's a eureka moment when they realize that she's having an affair, because it provides motive. dr. miller also becomes a suspect. so one night when dr. miller was leaving work, he was going to his car. the detectives came out to confront him. >> dr. miller was adamant that he had nothing to do with any crime and he didn't know anything about this. and so i think the police said, well, prove it. if you're willing to wear a wire, we'll believe you. >> it is now 2:30 p.m., may 31, 2005. brad miller making an outgoing call to melanie mcguire. >> hello.
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>> hello. >> i've told them everything that i know. but they're -- you know, they just don't -- >> they want you to break. >> if you want us to stick together, i got to know everything now, before this goes any further. >> what do you mean you have to know everything now? >> i mean, there's no other secrets between us, right? >> not that i can think of. >> you swear you had nothing to do with this? >> yes. >> on your children's lives? because i'm standing by you. >> yes. >> in those intercepted phone calls, another friend she was speaking to was jim finn. >> melanie met jim finn in nursing school, and jim admittedly had a crush on melanie. >> but once she left nursing school, she never talked to him again. that was it until february 2004, and she suddenly got in touch
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with him again. >> when she needed something, he was someone that, you know, she could manipulate, and she knew he was a lover of guns. >> the police also approach jim finn because they find that before bill disappeared, she's been talking to him about the firearms. >> she said to him, hey, i need to talk to you. there's some weird stuff going on here and bill is acting weird. >> jim, who really still holds the torch for melanie and melanie knows that says, well, maybe you should get a gun to defend yourself. >> investigators pick up jim finn, who also allows them to record his conversations with melanie, and once they hear what's on those calls, they're satisfied finn knew nothing about the murder. >> the reason i asked you about buying a gun is because my husband wanted one. >> he wanted one? >> yes. nt only did he want one, but i bought one for him. >> why didn't you tell me? >> at the time the detectives spoke to jim finn, he had no idea that melanie mcguire had purchased a gun. he was surprised.
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>> is there anything else you're not telling me? >> like what? like i killed my husband? >> did you? >> no. but thanks for asking. >> melanie never waivers on whether or not she was involved. it is always a hard no. >> i want you to tell me the truth. >> i'm telling you the [ bleep ] truth. i did not do it. >> she was under a microscope. everything she did was being watched. everything she said was being listened to. >> melanie does something that most people would find a little suspicious. >> investigators start looking at her e-zpass records. they notice trips to atlantic city. >> she knew that bill mcguire's car was in atlantic city, because she put it there. that requires two drivers, so that means someone helped her. >> what investigators find in atlantic city has them
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the next set of clues in the mystery of who killed bill mcguire leads investigators to a 170-mile stretch of toll road, the garden state parkway. with melanie now the prime suspect, detectives start pulling her records. they try to track her movements in the days around her husband's
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disappearance and one of those is her ez-pass statement. >> when investigators start looking at her e-zpass records, they notice that there were charges for two trips to atlantic city. >> on april 30, 2004 just two days after the fight, melanie said that she and bill had, melanie does something that is very odd and most people would find a little suspicious. >> i'm starting to become more actively angry at him. and i'm thinking, that son of a bitch. i know where he is. >> according to melanie, she decides that he's probably in atlantic city gambling, so she's going to drive down there and she's going to look for his car. >> absolutely not rational, but get in the car and -- and go down there. and i'm driving down, and i take the first pass on this highway, and i see a dark sedan. there's no way. there's no way.
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and lo and behold, there it is. once melanie spots bill's car from the highway, she decides she's going to move his car. melanie says in the past, when they're angry at each other, it's a way of messing with each other, i guess you could say. >> i pull off on to a little side street and i park my car. it was like, "mission: impossible." scooted up to the car, got in, and drove away. >> and where'd you put it? >> what i believe to be the flamingo hotel. >> what melanie said was, i was going to move his car to the seediest part of town, the most annoying for him to find. >> it just didn't make any sense that he was physically abusive to her, but then she goes to mess with a car with a guy she claims she doesn't want to be around. >> and it sounds beyond ridiculous sitting here saying it, and i acknowledge that. i can't -- you know, it's the
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truth. >> it's an incredible story, meaning it's just not credible. >> we believe she was planting his car in atlantic city. she was trying to create an illusion that bill mcguire was still alive. that requires two drivers, so certainly that means someone helped her. someone had her pathfinder, and she was driving bill mcguire's car. they put the car at the flamingo hotel, and then she went home with the person driving her car. >> and investigators thought they'd struck pay dirt when they discovered that hotel's parking lot had surveillance cameras. >> in truth, of course, the footage did not capture who the driver was. >> the surveillance video from the flamingo hotel actually showed the victim's vehicle being pulled into a parking space.
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because of the darkness and the glare and the background lights, you could not actually see the person that was occupying the vehicle. >> there was another inexplicable road trip, this time to delaware five days after her husband went missing. >> she had shared with dr. miller that in the early morning hours of may 4th, she was actually furniture shopping. >> investigators think that this delaware furniture trip is really just a ruse. >> that same road would have taken her to the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. >> normally someone would take the new jersey turnpike to go over the delaware memorial bridge, picking up route 13, which runs south to the chesapeake bay bridge and tunnel. >> patty prezioso says that melanie actually left the night before from new jersey, drove bill's remains to virginia. >> we believe that that was when she took the suitcases with
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bill's remains and got rid of them in the chesapeake bay. and the first suitcase turned up the very next day. >> but of course melanie thinks this theory is preposterous. >> virginia beach is another 450 miles from delaware. so i mean, you're talking about hours, and there just isn't enough time. >> and why would she drive all the way down to chesapeake with the body parts in the car? thinking, i'm not going to get stopped, i'm not going break down. what a chance that is. you can't stop on a bridge and open a window and throw three suitcases out. >> maybe if it was one of these pieces of circumstantial evidence for which you might have a reasonable explanation for one or two, but we're talking a large amount. you can't have reasonable explanations for all of them. >> it is a mountain, and it's
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a lot of coincidences, and that's -- absolutely. >> but coincidences don't always make for the best evidence, and detectives were still searching for any physical evidence that would link melanie mcguire to her husband bill's murder. >> where is the proof? where is the forensic evidence? >> the task force is convinced that bill was murdered and dismembered at their townhouse in woodbridge, so they concentrate on that. >> they went back four to five times to search for any evidence. >> they did everything that you would typically think of, right? they brought in the luminol, pulled down parts of the walls, they pulled out the piping, pulling floorboards up. they really turn this place upside down a number of times. >> they were trying to find bullets, traces of blood, and nothing ever came up. >> couldn't find any forensic evidence whatsoever to establish that this was a crime scene. i don't know how you would
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dismember a body and effectively clean that up. >> despite that glaring lack of physical evidence, investigators still believe the circumstantial evidence is enough, and they arrest melanie mcguire. >> so surreal. a day like any other, getting the kids off to daycare. >> we surveilled her to the school, waited for her to drop her children off. >> walking out of the building, i'm not even off the curb. melanie mcguire, can you come with us, please? i knew. >> two years and ten months after the first suitcase washed up, the trial against melanie mcguire commences in middlesex county, and it was a sensation. >> the evidence will show that while bill was engrossed in purchasing the house, the defendant was planning his death. >> there's no proof that melanie mcguire murdered her husband. >> the prosecutor said melanie mcguire is guilty or she's the
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>> on monday, march 5, 2007, two years and 10 months after the first suitcase of washed up in the chesapeake bay, melanie mcguire went on trial for her husband's first degree murder. >> this was a case that had garnered a lot of media attention in new jersey.
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>> it had all the elements that it was going to be a salacious trial. >> the judge let us know that the trial was going to be televised. >> let's bring a couple of experts into the conversation to help us sort through yesterday's evidence. >> it made people act differently. >> i think melanie loved the idea that she was the center of attention. >> she seemed very relaxed, much more relaxed than i would have been. >> it was a double-edged sword. because if she sat there more stoic, she looked nasty or she looked mean. and then when she was being more upbeat and talking to people -- oh, well, she's joking around at her own trial. there was nothing she could do that wasn't going to be criticized. >> by the time melanie mcguire gets to trial, she has hired steven turano and joe tacopina to represent her. joe tacopina was a high-profile celebrity attorney. >> joe tacopina. >> joe tacopina. >> joining me now,
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the attorney for alex rodriguez. >> he feels just as comfortable in front of a tv camera as in front of a jury. >> a scorched earth investigation was conducted and, uh, the lack of evidence is resounding. >> the evidence in this case points to a well-organized, meticulously planned execution of a murder. >> is that a fair description of you? were you somebody, if you were going to do something, you were going to do it all the way? >> correct. and i would counter that agument with, if that's the case, then i would have been sure to not include blankets that could be traced to me, my own luggage. i don't get to be an evil genius and an idiot at the same time. >> they're not going to be able to tell you where william mcguire was killed, how he was killed, when he was killed. >> the defense were really trying to play to the jury that bill was a major gambler and he may have owed thousands and
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thousands of dollars. >> he was a big gambler because he gambled beyond his means. when you have money out on the street and you're behind, you're not making payments, you know what happens? you get shot here and you get shot here. >> as prosecutors start laying out what they believe melanie mcguire did to bill, it all starts with something they found in his car after it was processed in atlantic city. >> when investigators first recovered bill's car, they found a bottle of chloral hydrate, a red liquid, and also a syringe in it. >> state's exhibit 983. do you recognize that? >> yes, that's the vile we dispense the liquid in. >> chloral hydrate is -- have you ever heard the term slip somebody a mickey? it's the mickey. it's what it is. it's almost like a knock-out drug. >> they do a lot of investigating on this chloral hydrate, and eventually they find out that it was purchased the morning that bill disappeared.
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>> somebody dropped off this prescription for chloral hydrate at the walgreens pharmacy, which is just down the road from where melanie's children went to preschool. >> but the prescription pad was that of dr. brad miller, who was melanie's boss. so the light bulb goes off, and they're thinking right away, clearly melanie had access to this prescription pad. she used it, she filled it. >> chloral hydrate was necessary for this defendant to have control and even more importantly, it was necessary to her that bill mcguire had no control. dr. miller looked at the prescription and he said, that's not my signature and appears to be melanie mcguire's handwriting. >> prosecutors also focused on what they said melanie was doing in the days before her husband's disappearance. for that they looked at the mcguire's home computer. >> we had it forensically examined, and it really was just astounding seeing what the
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internet searches were for. can you describe the searches that you recovered? >> how to purchase guns illegally. how to commit murder. and undetectable poisons was searched. >> it didn't look good. it looked like someone was searching how to sedate someone or how to kill them. >> i'm a nurse. i was a nurse. and i don't need to look up things like that. if i wanted to look for something like that, i have a pdr, physician's desk reference. i have a book that i can look in that doesn't leave an internet history. >> but both melanie and bill used this computer. so it's really hard to figure out who was searching these things. >> now, you have absolutely no idea of knowing who actually conducted the searches that you talked about, correct? >> no, i don't. >> one of the things we can say
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for certain is that your husband didn't commit suicide. he didn't shoot himself. he wasn't able to -- >> correct. >> carve his own body up. yet there's a suggestion from the defense that some of the online searches for things that he was in fact doing, not that you were doing. p>> it wasn't me. >> although investigators found no physical evidence in the mcguires' home, they did find something significant in bill mcguire's car. >> after bill's car was recovered in atlantic city, our criminalist was able to locate several pieces of small flesh. these pieces of flesh are an artifact of bill mcguire's body being disarticulated. the phrase was used -- human sawdust.
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>> human sawdust is a term that did not exist until this case, as i understand it. >> i found particles that, to me, looked like it could be possibly human tissue. >> dna results indicated that the flesh belonged to bill mcguire. >> what this really was was a few pieces of microscopic skin cells that were a little bit deeper than the skin we passively shed. >> could those tissues, the tissue you looked at be shed from a live human being? >> it cannot be shed from live human being. it's not a typical shedding process at all. >> their theory was that this nurse who was kind of so meticulous had somehow just forgotten to wipe the bottom of her shoes. that she accidentally tracked these human sawdust particles of bill's body from the house to the car. >> thank you, your honor. >> there were 81 witnesses in 7
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weeks. >> good morning, dr. miller. >> good morning. >> dr. miller was the testimony that everyone was most anticipating. he was going to be the big star of the trial. >> i was having an affair. and my whole life turned upside down. >> were you in love with the defendant? with nucala. a once-monthly add-on injection for severe eosinophilic asthma. nucala reduces eosinophils, a key cause of severe asthma. nucala is not for sudden breathing problems. allergic reactions can occur. get help right away for swelling of face, mouth, tongue or trouble breathing. infections that can cause shingles have occurred. don't stop steroids unless told by your doctor. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection. may cause headache, injection site reactions, back pain, and fatigue. ask your doctor about nucala. find your nunormal with nucala.
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♪ ♪ do you want to call your next witness, please? >> yes, your honor, the state calls dr. bradley miller. >> the most anticipated day of this trial is when the man who melanie mcguire had a three-year affair with, dr. bradley miller, took the stand. >> everybody knew that that was the prosecution's star witness, and the court was filled. >> and when you saw him, what was your feeling? >> how could you? how could you?
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>> dr. miller was in a very difficult spot. he and his family had gone through a very difficult time, and it was just made clear to him, just take a deep breath and make sure you tell the absolute truth. >> can you describe to the jury what was your relationship with her? >> uh, we worked together. she was an excellent nurse. she took very good care of the patients. they all loved her. >> sir, did there come a time when your relationship with ms. mcguire got more intimate? >> yes, it -- it did. it was towards the end of her second pregnancy. she was about 38 weeks pregnant, and, um, before she went on maternity leave, we had oral sex in the office. >> so not proud of that. >> it has to be pretty hard to hear it come out in court. >> hard for me to hear it, hard for me to think, oh, my god, my parents are hearing this. my 84-year-old grandmother is
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hearing this. >> were you in love with the defendant? >> yes, i was. >> had the two of you discussed future plans together? >> yes, we were hoping to be together in the future. >> if we ever do make it through this, i'll take whatever money i can get and we can get away. >> with dr. miller on the stand, prosecutors are able to score some points, because there were certain things that melanie never told dr. miller. >> did the defendant ever tell you that she purchased a gun? >> no, ma'am. i had no knowledge of her purchasing a gun, no. >> did the defendant ever tell you that she went to atlantic city and parked her husband bill's car at the flamingo hotel? >> no, she did not. >> did there come a time when the defendant shared with you that she had done that? >> yes, and i asked her, well, why didn't you tell me this sooner? and she told me that she didn't want me to be upset that she was going back to find bill to bring
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him back and rekindle their relationship. >> we looked very closely at dr. miller. there was no evidence connecting him with this crime. >> this is in reference to consensual recordings between brad miller and melanie mcguire. >> you agreed to consensually record a conversation with the defendant. >> yes, i did. >> the prosecutors really wanted the jury to hear those intercepted calls so they could get a sense that maybe her desire to be with him was the motive for the murder. >> during the calls, dr. miller spoke about their future together, probably prompted by detectives. >> after a divorce, she gets half the money, there would still be something to live on. >> the understanding between us had always been that the children came first. and he starts talking about divorce and a future and moving forward, and i even say on the tape, why are you talking like this all of a sudden?
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>> i'm confused because you've been the one to stress to me that we have to wait and see how everything plays out. >> the defense was also able to score some points with those recordings, which called into question dr. miller's character. >> at the time of those secret recordings, he was still having an intimate relationship with her. >> after you tape-recorded her, sir, you then had additional intimate relations with her, correct? >> yes, sir. >> did you tell her that, by the way, that you had tape recorded her? >> no, i did not. >> i think that was damaging to his character. it was a very big turnoff to the jury. >> have you ever had contact again with dr. brad miller? >> no. no, after the day he testified, i haven't laid eyes on him since. >> you have no desire. >> it's -- it's tough. that was a tough betrayal to swallow.
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>> what matters is whether the state, and the burden is on me and i welcome it -- whether the state has proved each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. when you combine the computer searches, the prescription for chloral hydrate on prescription pads that the defendant used, and then you have the victim found inside their matching luggage, the bullets consistent with the gun that she purchased -- >> it was a mountain of evidence. there's no question in my mind that she did it. i also don't believe that she acted alone. >> now, who helped her? >> patty prezioso told the jury that there was a very, very good chance that melanie had an accomplice. >> although he was never charged, investigators took a hard look at melanie's stepfather, michael cappararo. >> the prosecutor needed somebody, so they focused in on me. anything they wanted, we gave them.
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we gave them dna, gave them hair samples. i had nothing to do with anything involving that crime. >> you don't need the precise when. you don't need the precise where. >> you don't have to find that she pulled the trigger, you don't have to find that she had hands on physically in regards to his death. well, boy, that leaves a lot of speculation out there for this jury. you can't guess someone into prison for the rest of their life. >> the jury goes into deliberation, and melanie and her family are waiting on pins and needles. >> i was very concerned. i think we all, as people, like to believe that if someone was capable of committing this type of murder, that the person who did that would look like a monster, but sometimes killers look just like melanie mcguire. >> the day the verdict was read, the atmosphere in the courtroom was just electric.
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>> has the jury reached a verdict in this case? >> yes, your honor. >> how do you find as to the count of the indictment charging melanie mcguire with the murder of william mcguire? >> guilty. >> i just remember seeing her collapse. >> i remember grabbing joe's arm, and i remember feeling my legs just kind of go out from under me. >> she's alternating between, i didn't do it, i didn't do it, and, my babies, my babies, and referring to her two children. >> the court finds that the maximum sentence should be imposed. >> melanie is sentenced to life in prison plus five years. >> we're going to fight on. this is a definite setback. this is round one. this is not the end of the story. >> this is episode 14, direct appeal. >> i see a mountain of reasonable doubt. >> and thanks to these two professors turned podcasters, it turns out, it isn't the end
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of this story. >> how can anyone be convicted with that amount of reasonable doubt? it's stunning. come in for sweats, leave as a squad. what we value most, shouldn't cost more.
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after sentencing, melanie mcguire was taken to the edna mahan correctional facility in clinton, new jersey. her new home would be a six by nine foot cell. >> it's just beginning for us now. we'll never give up. we will never, ever give up for her until the truth comes out. >> on "direct appeal" we examine the murder conviction of melanie mcguire. >> this is a prepaid call from >> melanie mcguire. >> an inmate at edna mahan correctional facility. >> all right, obviously
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melanie's been convicted. she's exhausted all of her appeals at this point. so how did the idea for this podcast come about? >> melanie mcguire was looking to speak with someone about her story, because she had done really poorly in the court system, and i think she was frustrated. and after visiting with her the first time i was like, this a story. this is important. >> i expected the worst, and what i got was just one step shy. they give the verdict, parole eligible at the tender age of 101. it was very difficult. it was reliving it. this was the first time somebody was basically saying, we hear you. >> what do you say? let's get to the juicy part. >> i want to know. do you think she is innocent or guilty? >> in the end, i believe that melanie mcguire was wrongfully convicted. >> so, you believe an innocent woman is behind bars right now? >> absolutely. i believe this is a case of a wrongful conviction.
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>> so, let's talk about some of the questions you raise in your podcast, and let's begin with the gun. >> the gun, to this day, has never been recovered. >> one of the key witnesses for the prosecution was a forensic ballistic expert. >> these are two discharged bullets. they're referred to as a .38 caliber lead wad cutter bullet. >> is it possible that the gun melanie bought is not actually the murder weapon? >> i think it's probable. >> no one plugged the serial number of my gun into a website to find out what the specifications were. apparently each gun makes something called lands and grooves. >> lands and grooves are rifling characteristics that are machine-pressed into the barrel of a gun, and when the bullet passes through the barrel, the same number of lands and grooves are going to be imprinted, essentially, onto that bullet.
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>> there were five lands and grooves that my weapon was said to have made based on the company's website. the bullets that came out of my husband had six lands and grooves. >> it was a mistake on a gun manufacturer's website. we were not gathering evidence from a gun manufacturer's website. the evidence that was at trial was from ballistic experts. >> but the website was updated. >> it was. >> after this trial to incorporate the possibility that it could have five or six. >> five or six, yeah. >> i thought that was questionable. i think it's very questionable that for years, historically it says one thing, and then it's updated right after. >> let's talk about the garbage bags. >> the prosecution had an expert that said that the garbage bag in which bill's body was found in was consistent with the garbage bags that came from melanie's apartment. >> you can see these lines here is a straight line here, this
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sort of smooth line. there's also two other lines close together in basically the exact same position. this indicates that these two bags were made at the same facility on the same line within a very close proximity of time. >> he ran tests, but he didn't do all the tests that you actually need to definitively say whether these bags match. >> even his own data shows that they probably weren't the same bags. >> well, there are always other tests that can be done in any analysis. based on the testing we had conducted and the results that i observed, i felt confident at that time to conclude that the bags were produced during the same run. >> they put on a really good show. and i think when you have props, two garbage bags -- oh, wow, those do look alike. and so what the jurors are listening to sounds like fact, when, in reality, it's just someone's expert opinion. >> there is something else that's significant that you think the jury should have heard
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more about. it was found inside those suitcases. >> if you look through the lab reports, page upon page upon page -- white hair, brown hair, black hair, animal hair. i think that's indicative that there was animal hair where the dismemberment took place of bill's body. >> you mentioned that you found some animal hairs. did you find anything that you considered of evidential value? >> no. >> they looked high and low to connect melanie to some pet, and once they found that there was no way to connect melanie to these pet hairs, it became not of evidentiary value. >> why is that? simply because they don't match your suspect's? >> those hair should have been tested, because that's a huge question mark. >> melanie did not incapacitate, shoot, use a saw to dismember her husband. do you know how hard it is to cut through bone? it is physically exhausting. and also, if the crime scene didn't happen there and she's home with her children all night, where is this happening? there are just too many holes in
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this story. >> in this case with the mountain of evidence against her and a very complex plan, i submit to you it's amazing we know as much as we do. >> this was a murder trial. it wasn't a contest to see who could outsmart the investigators, and if someone is smart enough to successfully hide a crime scene that they win. >> did you find any evidence that exonerates melanie, that proves her innocence? >> i wish we did. i had hoped we would. i still think that we might get a tip in that direction. >> what do you say to the people at home who watch this and say, how dare she talk from prison and bring this all back up again? enough pain has already befallen her husband's family, her own sons. >> there's a murderer walking around. even if we discount what's happened to me, the killer is out there, and it's not me.
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>> she had about as good a counsel as money could buy. she certainly had a fair and impartial jury. the fact of the matter is, sometimes the evidence is such that your attorneys, no matter what you pay them, they simply cannot overcome what you have done. she can say whatever she wants. she's a liar and she's a killer. >> today your boys are young men. >> they are. >> is ther it takes a certain kind of person to change the world. my great-great-grandmother, my great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather was that kind of person. he looked after his community. she built an empire. he protected this nation. they lived their lives in extraordinary ways. with ancestry, i learned the story of
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there will always be questions about this case that we may never have the answers to, like if melanie mcguire did kill her husband, why did she drive more than 300 miles to get rid of his remains in the chesapeake bay? his friend jon rice has a theory. >> bill did want to move down here to virginia beach. after a time, he gave up on that idea. so it almost seemed like a vindictive thing on her part -- oh, you want to go to virginia beach? here. here you go. >> why was it important for you to tell this story on your podcast? >> a lot of people who are conviced will go through the appeals process but they won't prevail. if we can go through this, we
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can -- >> there are times when podcasts and media can shine a light where what the government did was not right. this is not one of those cases. a 39-year-old man lost his life before he got to see his children grow up. >> you have two little kids. >> yep. that is -- that's the hardest part, knowing that when i see my children, when i hug them good-bye, it could be the last time. >> ultimately the courts would award custody to bill's sister. cindy ligosh. melanie has had no contact with them. >> today your boys are young men. >> they are. >> is there anything you'd want to say to them? >> make up your own mind. don't accept what you're just being told on the surface. dig. >> what is your level of hope that one day you might walk out of here? >> i'm terrified to hope,
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because to have it thwarted in here, it just -- it's absolutely soul crushing. >> bill mcguire was the father of two small children. he was a brother. he was a friend. and his life got cut short. >> i think bill deserves to be remembered as a fantastic friend. a dad who loved his boys. he didn't deserve this. nobody deserves that. no one.
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