Lifetime's new thriller Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story dramatizes the real-life story of New Jersey nurse Melanie McGuire, who was convicted of killing her husband in 2004. The film stars Candice King in the lead role and will air on Lifetime on June 18, 2022.
Dubbed the ''Suitcase Murder'', the case sent shockwaves across the country and garnered widespread media attention. Read further ahead to find out more details about Melanie McGuire's life ahead of the new true crime Lifetime movie.
Lifetime's Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story: Melanie McGuire's early life, marriage and more
Melanie McGuire is a former nurse who worked at a fertility clinic in New Jersey. She reportedly spent most of her life in New Jersey. Melanie went to Middletown High School South and completed her graduation with a double major in mathematics and psychology from the Rutgers University. Three years later, she finished her nursing diploma before marrying William ''Bill'' McGuire, an Army veteran who worked as a computer programmer. The couple went on to have two kids.
On April 28, 2004, Melanie allegedly drugged her husband and shot him dead. She then butchered his body into pieces and packed them into several 3-piece suitcases. A week later, a couple of fishermen found a suitcase near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which contained human legs.
The shocking discovery led to a murder investigation and over the next 11 days, two more suitcases were found: one on the beach of Fisherman Island and the other one near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnels. One of the suitcases contained the head and torso. The authorities subsequently released a sketch of Bill McGuire, which was later identified by an acquaintance of his.
Police directed their focus towards Melanie and soon came up with several leads. Bill's car was seen parked at a hotel in a security camera footage. Melanie later claimed that she did so as a ''prank''. Another crucial evidence was uncovered by the police as they found that Melanie had purchased a .38 caliber handgun from Pennsylvania. The police also discovered that Melanie was involved in an affair with a doctor from her clinic, named Bradley Miller.
With many more incriminating pieces of evidence, Melanie was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on June 2, 2005. Although she was released on bail, Melanie later faced several charges for the next one year, including two counts of hindering apprehension for allegedly sending letters to the authorities asking them to let her off the trial. However, Melanie pled not guilty to all the charges and was again released on bail.
Melanie McGuire's current whereabouts
The murder trial began on March 5, 2007 wherein the prosecution argued the following motive for the murder: Melanie murdered her husband in order to build a new life with her lover. The defense, however, claimed that Melanie is innocent and argued that William was a compulsive gambler and a volatile man with constant mood swings.
A month later, the jury found Melanie McGuire guilty of murdering her husband, following which she filed for a retrial based on the theory that her husband could have been killed by Atlantic City gangsters since he was in debt. The appeal was withdrawn after prosecutors debunked the theory.
Subsequently, Melanie was sentenced to life in prison. She was found guilty on four counts: first-degree murder; perjury; desecration of human remains; and criminal possession of a weapon. Over the years, Melanie has appealed for sentence relief multiple times, but the court denied them.
Two years back, in an interview with ABC's 20/20, Melanie continued to maintain her innocence and said that the real killer is still out there. She's 49 years old and is reportedly serving her sentence at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in New Jersey. As per the New Jersey Department of Corrections website, she will not be eligible for parole until May 20, 2073.