On NBC's Dateline episode this Friday, the alleged murder of plastic surgeon Dr. Frank McCutcheon by his wife Brenda McCutcheon is set to be highlighted. What began as a tale of everlasting love between a nurse and a doctor ended in embers when the doctor was reportedly murdered in sleep in the dead of night.
As reported by Keith Morrison, the true-crime episode is bound to be full of surprise reveals, as has already been declared by NBC. The episode will also include testimonies and trial footage from family members to prosecutors and police officials. The official synopsis of the episode, called The Day the Music Died, reads,
"After prominent plastic surgeon and local musician Dr. Frank 'Buddy' McCutcheon (Jr.) is murdered in his Asheville, North Carolina home, investigators uncover a trail of clues pointing to an unlikely killer. New details come to light from never-before-seen police footage and exclusive TV interviews with insiders close to the case."
Brenda Kay Parker McCutcheon was charged with the murder of Dr. Frank McCutcheon in November 2018. Dr. McCutcheon was an Ashville-based cosmetic surgeon. They were married for thirty-two years and had met and fallen in love while they were still residents. Brenda left her career as a nurse to support Frank in his rising career as a plastic surgeon.
On the night of July 16, 2016, just after 3:30 a.m., Frank was found dead with a bullet wound to his head in their Arden home on Tree Top Drive. He was 64 at the time.
According to Brenda's testimony, he was sleeping on the couch in the first-floor room because he liked to watch TV overnight and Brenda McCutcheon did not. She contacted 911 at 3:30 a.m. after hearing what she thought was thunder and smelt gunpowder as she came downstairs.
Brenda McCutcheon reportedly denied shooting her husband or hiding the weapon recovered outside their home in rows of ivy during interviews with detectives in 2016.
The couple was allegedly being investigated for alleged embezzlement and gaining property by pretense in connection with Buddy McCutcheon's operation at Cosmetic Surgery of Asheville. A court order was imposed on them just days before he died. Sensing danger and being the finance head of the company, she decided to relocate and that is when she was held as the primary suspect.
According to investigators, shortly after killing Frank, Brenda McCutcheon began destroying crucial business documents, sold their home, and went to Tennessee. More than a year after her husband's death, Brenda McCutcheon was charged with first-degree murder and turned herself in the same week.
Brenda McCutcheon, who was 69 at the time of her sentencing, recently appealed her sentence, but a three-judge court refused her request in December 2021. In the appeal judgment, the specifics of the murder and the events leading up to it were revisited, where her attorneys claimed that Frank's brother's testimony derailed the court from getting the correct verdict.