Happy Scribe Logo

Transcript

Proofread by 0 readers
[00:00:00]

If you were just tuning in, we encourage you to go back and listen from Episode one, this podcast may contain content that is graphic and disturbing in nature. Listener discretion is advised. Previously on this Season of Direct Appeal.

[00:00:12]

On April 23, 2007, I was convicted of the murder and dismemberment of my husband.

[00:00:21]

Melanie thinks she can fix everything and eventually going to extricate myself from this relationship. Her weaknesses are men. I believe in having an extramarital affair. He pushed me up against the bathroom door and stuffed the dryer sheets, my mouth and I got up to get the hell out of there. I was raging. I was pissed. We went through all of this. And you go down to Atlantic City, I'm going to move his car someplace downtown. There's some seedy motel.

[00:00:47]

Good luck finding that. Before she left again, she looked at me. She said he's really not in the trunk of your car. And I cleaned that apartment. That apartment had one little householder. My mother called me and said that police had been I was sorry to inform me, but my husband had passed away in Virginia night. I'm thinking, well, if I didn't do anything like what's the harm in talking? Am I telling them I'm having an affair?

[00:01:09]

Nobody's asking. Let me tell you, the prosecutor wants the prosecutor first degree of the law. They're going to push it because you're guilty until proven innocent. You will be taking the stand. So get your head right. And the prosecutor is fierce, absolutely fierce.

[00:01:25]

They had bags that contained victim's parts, human sawdust in the car.

[00:01:30]

And we've got the DNA now. How about the dog hair that was found in the bags with his body? Where was this body package?

[00:01:39]

He owed money out on the street. And that's how you get shot here and here. It is unlikely that her pistol was used in this crime, but it's not impossible.

[00:01:49]

If it were allowed to get up there and say, yeah, don't talk to me about this, could buy a gun you wanted what you have to be the judge, whether someone else could have access those same bag then committed this crime. Who else could have had that? I was astonished. His old data shows that the bags didn't match the fact.

[00:02:07]

Here's the missing footage. How the hell was this footage? Perhaps what's more important than what you heard is what she didn't hear. Power tools, a gunshot. I see a mountain. A reasonable doubt. How could anyone be convicted with that amount of reasonable doubt? It's sunny. That's dangerous to all of us. Not just absolutely. Nobody's entitled to a perfect trial. You're entitled to a fair trial.

[00:02:30]

Lawyers will tell you over and over the burden of proof is on stake. However, if you don't tell your story, the jury thinks you don't have a story. Patty told a story. They also say that there was huge prosecutorial misconduct, blatant and deliberate. And ultimately, I would find out that one of my attorneys was under federal investigation. That's when our defense went on. Task force experts dried up and all of a sudden I was testifying. I expected the worst.

[00:02:58]

And what I got was just one step shy. They give the verdict parole eligible at the tender age of one hundred and one.

[00:03:06]

I remember saying my kids, my kids and I don't really remember much after that. This changes you in a way I don't know that anybody comes back from. OK, we have a lot to cover on this last episode of Direct Appeal, so we're going to address audience tips, your alternative theories, and Amy and I will give you our final conclusions about the case.

[00:03:33]

But first, I'd like to address an audience issue that's come up in the course of this podcast. We have read reviews that our podcast was biased and that we should have contacted Bill Sisters and or other family and friends and other people to speak to you on Bill Maguires behalf. I personally understand this criticism about contacting your sisters. And I wanted to just explain a little bit more about why I thought it was the wrong move. I initially wasn't sure, based on my conversation with my limited conversation with the prosecutor, that they would be very welcome to us contacting them.

[00:04:08]

So that was the first signal I got that this wouldn't be a great idea. And when I read through all the transcripts and other materials, I realized that I would contact his sisters if there was some information that I thought I really needed to clarify information that kind of went to Melanie's guilt or innocence, you know, information I thought they had about the crime that especially was never made clear. And the truth was that in Nancy did not testify in trial and I think she lived far away and didn't really have any information.

[00:04:36]

And the information that what I saw Cindy had testified to was sort of limited to this letter that was written after the fact. And it didn't seem that she had much information as well about the crime itself and Melanie's guilt. Now, we know that both sisters afterwards think Melanie is guilty and maybe rightly so. But it seemed to me that the invasion into their lives had to be well justified. So I decided not to you know, I thought about it again.

[00:05:05]

I reviewed the materials as these questions came in again. And look, in the end, maybe it was the wrong move. And I certainly can take that criticism. But my gut really told me and still tells me that contacting them wasn't exactly in the best interest for them and for the investigative aspect of this podcast.

[00:05:23]

I also believe that if they wanted to talk, I'm pretty sure they're well aware of this podcast. I think maybe they would have contacted. So maybe their lack of contact shows that maybe they really didn't want to be involved in this. I mean, yeah, I can't speak for them. And again, if they if either either Bill Sisters or anyone else would like to speak with us, we are so open to talking either off the record or on the record.

[00:05:47]

And I don't again, I think it's a legitimate criticism. And, you know, sometimes this is our first endeavor. And I was just going with my kind of gut feeling.

[00:05:54]

So that being said, though, we also wanted to provide the audience with the final list of people we contacted to speak to in terms of the case against Melanie or on behalf of Bill McGuire. So we initially contacted a lot more people and we wanted to speak to more people because we had questions that we really thought were important to Melanie's guilt or innocence. But we couldn't force people to participate. And certainly we respect their decisions not to. So here is a list.

[00:06:22]

I think I promised this in the beginning. And I just want to provide you with the list of people who either declined to participate or who did not respond to us at all. That would be all three prosecutors in the trial against Melanie McGuire, five main police investigators who helped the prosecution, 12 jurors, the medical examiner who provided a brief statement but who declined to be interviewed. The main forensic scientist on this case, Mr. Lesniak, bills good friend John Rice and his good friend and business partner, Jay Tandia.

[00:06:55]

We believe they would have had information that would have been relevant to the crime and could have also spoke about Bill and his character. That is a total of 22 people. And I think that obviously would have balanced the podcast a bit more, but we couldn't, again, force people to participate. We also would note that we did not receive calls back from Melanie's attorneys, Joe Tacopina or Steven Toronto on her side. Sorry, that's twenty four people, Joe and Steve.

[00:07:20]

I wasn't counting towards twenty two people who could have spoken on behalf of the state's case or on behalf of Bill, who declined to participate. So some of the audience members had questions about the material we used in this podcast. So I just wanted to let you know that I use the trial transcripts often. I have them both electronically and boxes and piles of papers at home. Police reports, evidence in the trial media coverage. I looked at all the legal briefs that were submitted and we have the interviews.

[00:07:50]

So we did use a lot of materials to support the podcast. Even when we did, though, there were some instances when the transcripts or these documents or the interviews did not provide the full answers.

[00:08:02]

And so in those cases, I chose not to speculate about things, a correction that is very important and will seemingly be important later on the trip.

[00:08:11]

Melanie says she took to Delaware for furniture shopping was actually on Tuesday, May 4th, and not Sunday, May 2nd. Which we reported in a previous episode, and this is the second would be a time where her whereabouts could be accounted for. So again, trip to Delaware, she says, was on Tuesday, May 4th, and not Sunday, May 2nd. We apologize for the mistake. Last issue, and this is a complicated one for correction and explanation.

[00:08:41]

And this relates to an issue that so many people wrote in about. And this is the cell tower information for the phones. There was a question.

[00:08:50]

Well, I actually had a question about how we were so sure the prosecution had obtained Cell Tower Records for Bill, but not for Melanie.

[00:08:57]

You know, I I couldn't find it per say in the transcripts, and it was described in notes everywhere. But I went back to the transcripts on this one and I went back to, let's see, I think it was Detective or Officer Okocha. And he spoke about these calls. He he did describe the phone calls and what they got, but he never describes any cell phone tower information. So I also went to Tom Terry's information. Tom Terry was Bill's boss and he came in, he testified to read his testimony as well.

[00:09:28]

And Patty asked him about Bill's work. Phone Bill's work phone was a Nextel. And so Patty asked Tom Terry if he had contacted Nextel about the call that was made from Bill's phone at five p.m. on April 30th. And Tom Terry said he had. So Patty asked him if he had gotten the cell site information from the Nextel people, and he said yes. And then what happens is Joe Tacopina steps in and objects and Joe and Patty and the judge go to a sidebar.

[00:09:59]

And I was reading to the transcript. And what happened was that the judge says that Tom Terry cannot testify about what the Nextel people told him about the cell site location, because that would be hearsay. He said for that, you need the documents, bring in the next ones.

[00:10:15]

If you're going to try to show them, bring in the person at Nextel who said it. I think so.

[00:10:19]

The judge wants the documents. He said if you're going to document the actual location, you're going to need more than that.

[00:10:24]

And actually, Patty had said at that sidebar that they were waiting on that information, but it was delayed. But she would get those documents. I couldn't find any later time in the transcripts during the trial that she ever submitted the documentation. So Tom Terry and I'm sorry, and Joe Tacopina never put in for any sort of request for that.

[00:10:43]

Nope, nothing. And that phone call went to the RAICES house, if you remember his friends and Sue, right? I remember. That's the call that it. Did Melanie make it or was Bill alive?

[00:10:52]

Right. So there's some question over it. And certainly the cell site information would have been helpful. But again, Tom Terry was not allowed to testify about that. And whatever happened to that information, we really don't know at all. So that's the first call. OK, but let's separate that, because that was Bill's Nextel and that was not connected to Melanie's phone. So the second issue relates to the cell towers between their shared phone. So there was a second phone call.

[00:11:19]

If you recall, early on May 2nd, a phone call was received from Bill's personal cell phone, the one he shared with Melanie on the second. And the phone call was made to their home apartment, the Woodbridge apartment, and that was made at approximately one 10 a.m..

[00:11:35]

So was there any cell site available, any info available on this? And that's a separate question. I couldn't find anything where anyone spoke to the cell tower information on this.

[00:11:45]

And so I asked Melanie about it. Again, Melanie says, and this is her clear recollection, she says that she is positive that her team told her so. Joe and Steve told her that the prosecution identified that phone call as coming from or originating from Atlantic City, which was where she was at the time. But she's positive that her team said to her, this is her recollection, Patty, or the prosecution has cell type information, cell site information.

[00:12:13]

And they're going to say that you made that phone call or that that phone call came from Atlantic City at the time you were there. However, I could never find any information to substantiate this. So you can look at this one of two ways, actually. So here's what you could look at it as that Melanie mistaken and that Patty never said this. Nobody ever said anything about the second, you know, these shared phone line and that there's nothing ominous going on here.

[00:12:36]

It was just a mistake.

[00:12:38]

Or you could look at it.

[00:12:39]

If you believe that Melanie's recollection is correct, that there was information that was, you know, kind of threatened or not threatened out of evidentiary value or, you know, it was a bluff, kind of like this information.

[00:12:51]

We're going to show this and, you know, it's going to look bad for your client later. So that is the story on it. There is no way to substantiate this unless.

[00:13:01]

Patty, if you want to call us. Yeah, Joe. Steve, if you want to call us, that would be wonderful.

[00:13:06]

We do have Freedom of Information Act to get that information. You know, I thought so. And I think there are a couple of things we could have.

[00:13:12]

Although I submitted a Freedom of Information Act about phone records and some photographs of the prosecution's office to the courts and I.

[00:13:20]

Received back that information is not available as a blanket statement. Granted, I'm sure there's a way that we could probably get this. So just to clarify again on that information, seem that there was going to be cell site information for the next cell phone. The judge wouldn't allow it, never documentation to support that later whether or not there was any cell tower information available for Bill's phone on the shared account with Melanie, we have no idea. Hopefully, that clarifies for some listeners and for you, Amy.

[00:13:48]

Yes, thank you, Megan.

[00:13:49]

Now, I think we want to get to listener comments and tips. First thing. A few listeners commented that many of Melanie's actions were consistent with women in abusive relationships, although some commented that her actions were also consistent with a sociopath. Actions, little clarification here, sociopathy or psychopathy, which are used interchangeably but are actually actually have small differences rated sort of on the same scale. Psychopaths are generally thought to be more organized, intelligent and planned. But some of the traits that both disorders share include a lack of empathy, a lack of sympathy, emotional detachment, impulsivity, general disregard for others, superficial illness.

[00:14:32]

You know, there are many comments about what Melanie said, but they thought that she lacked emotions. You know, they thought it was sociopathic in nature.

[00:14:40]

And I think the only time as far as the recordings we have, the only time she does show emotion is when she says, I couldn't put him back in the water, which I thought was interesting because it really once I thought about it, said, oh, yeah, that is the only time her voice really cracked up. But Megan, you met her on several other occasions. Did you notice any emotion for sure?

[00:14:59]

You sort of, James, to and not over emotion. She wasn't sitting there cheering and crying.

[00:15:03]

But there's definitely like micro expressions that I observed in her that that I could say, you know, she seemed more emotional at certain times. So it's interesting to look at these both way. You know, to look at this both ways. I'm not really sure here. You know, some people felt like, no, this is really consistent with, you know, a relationship, you know, the behavior in an abusive relationship. Some people thought, no, just consistent with one of these personality disorders.

[00:15:31]

And also, I want to point out, everyone shows emotion differently. Right? We know that emotion does not tell us. Some people cry when they're happy, but not one they're said. Right. Like, it's important to understand that abnormal affects sometimes is just that. It doesn't mean that it's related to psychopathy.

[00:16:00]

Hey, director, pilsners, if you'd like to hear more female focused cases with me and Amy, then you'll definitely want to check out our podcast.

[00:16:07]

Women in Crime. I'm Amy Schlosberg. I'm Megan Sax, my co-host and I are both criminologists. We've spent our entire career studying crime and both have firsthand experience working within the criminal justice system. Each episode you'll hear a new female focused case or topic deconstructed by experts. You'll hear the stories of these women, but you'll also learn why these crimes happened and whether or not the criminal justice system got it right or not. Crime is different for women. Come listen and learn why.

[00:16:35]

As each episode we talk women and crime all of the time. So hit pause and subscribe to women in crime today on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. That's women and crime.

[00:16:52]

Agreed. Amy, thank you. So next issue, the Walgreens issue. So we got a lot of feedback on this, a lot of feedback. Some people wrote in one of the comments was that Melanie could have called a prescription into Walgreens. But many pharmacists, including Walgreens, have recording systems for health care providers to leave the information. So she would know that and she wouldn't want to record. Also, if she got if she called and got a live pharmacy employee, they might question an unusual order like chloral hydrate.

[00:17:24]

I don't know about that.

[00:17:25]

I'm not sure about that one either. But I did think that the recording information was interesting. I'm not sure if all pharmacies do that, but it's definitely possible. And I'm sure a lot of them do it now. I guess I'm not sure if they did it, then someone else wrote it. And if Bill was trying to fill a prescription, wouldn't he use a male patient's name? Fertility centers have male patient records to those are the partners of women trying to get pregnant.

[00:17:47]

I think that's a strong point because we said, you know, he did we know he had access to the patients. That I mean, that makes perfect sense to me. If you're going to call it in in New York or if you're going to drop it off your mail, just make your life easier and take a male's identity.

[00:18:00]

Yeah, no, I think that's possible as well. Yeah, maybe. You know, there's an idea that most of the patients are going to be females. Yeah, but yeah, it's possible.

[00:18:08]

It was also noted that I think when we were talking about it, we were saying, oh, you would need to show an insurance card and I.D. and it was brought to our attention that that was actually incorrect because you only need to present an insurance card if you want to go through insurance, you could pay out of pocket, you could pay cash. And there's really no record then. So it is possible that somebody did drop this off and they just didn't present any sort of idea.

[00:18:34]

However, of course, if it was a controlled substance, they would need an I.D. But from what we understand, chloral hydrate is not in that class of drugs. And the other issue that was brought up is we talked a lot about the time it was dropped off. And, you know, whether or not that's enough time to drop off the children and all of that, it was brought to our attention by somebody who worked in a pharmacy that sometimes someone drops off a script and you're busy doing something else and you kind of let it sit a little.

[00:18:59]

So drop of time does not mean the time the individual necessarily was in the pharmacy. Someone even said, hey, it could have been dropped off the day before and it was sitting in a pile. And, you know, so there's really no way to know. I think for me that, you know, that provided me with a different it doesn't change things a lot, but it's just something to consider that it's not necessarily what it seems. Fair point.

[00:19:20]

Let's see. Another listener wrote in someone who went to nursing school with Melanie and she said there is absolutely no way she would need to Google information about whether insulin, digoxin would kill someone. Also, cutting up a body is not taught in nursing school.

[00:19:33]

And I think Dr. Barrone spoke about that a little.

[00:19:36]

Yeah, we've been able to confirm that. That's not something that's commonly taught at all. No one is taught. No nurses are taught how to cut a body. And it's a possibility that Melanie would not need to look this up again. It's a possibility. The insulin, she could have found that in her PDR. So I can understand that comment as well. What do we have next, Amy? Talk a little bit about hearsay. OK, so if you recall, George Lowery was not allowed to testify to the point that he claimed that Bill told him that he wanted a gun.

[00:20:06]

And if you recall, the judge would not allow that in because that was hearsay. And although there are different rules around hearsay, one of the under the federal rules of evidence, which a lot of states typically follow these one of the exceptions is if the person who originally said the statement, if they are not able to defend their position, somebody else cannot speak on their behalf. So the default position of the court is to keep the evidence out.

[00:20:35]

So in other words, if Bill were still alive, then they would say, we don't care what George says. Bill said, just bring Bill in. Since Bill cannot come in and speak for himself, they would rather just because he can't defend himself and say whether or not he did say that. So they their default position is to keep that information out. So I think in this situation, keeping it out was maybe not the right call.

[00:20:56]

Regardless, it wasn't allowed, but it will come up later on in our final conclusions, I can tell you that. So someone else wrote in that, you know, she has a friend who's a defense attorney and her friend said that it's a known legal strategy to not object much, if at all, during openings or closings. The friend thought that the attorneys in this case, so Joe Tacopina and Stephen Toronto should have definitely asked for a mistrial during the closing.

[00:21:19]

Whether or not openings or closings are seen as evidence, the prosecutor, and that's Patti Prezioso, was asking the jury to draw conclusions based on the lack of a gun buying conversation, which goes back to the George Lowery conversation we just had. It does. But it also there were other statements that Patty made during the closing and that was asking the jury to assume facts that were never admitted into evidence, such as it's possible that she was drugging him for days.

[00:21:45]

It's possible that Bill's body was frozen in the refrigerator. It's possible, they said, that she was overreaching and that this is not. Strategy, and it actually is prosecutorial misconduct and it is grounds for a mistrial, but of course, acknowledge that mistrials are not always easy to come by. So the information was that and we've heard this from a couple of attorneys. I spoke with another attorney as well who said that he also thought it was prosecutorial misconduct in her closing, but that it's not common to object.

[00:22:11]

And, you know, Joe's reasoning for not objecting was it'll make us look bad is not the wrong move per say. Another listener who is a forensic scientist wrote in and said, even without the root, mitochondrial DNA analysis can still be run on hairs. Remember, we had all that untested hair. It's less common than nuclear DNA analysis because it cannot uniquely identify individuals, but it can certainly exclude Melanie.

[00:22:38]

But even if it excludes Melanie, that doesn't mean she wasn't there. Right.

[00:22:42]

But they had all of these hairs. And the problem was there was all these untested hairs and all of the hairs that were tested, they said were not of evidentiary value because they couldn't match them to Melanie.

[00:22:52]

Yeah, that's very problematic, because clearly you're saying this doesn't fit your theory. So it's not of evidentiary value.

[00:22:59]

And there was tons of hair, but it wasn't just animal hair and all the animal hair, too. You know, what happened to that hair?

[00:23:04]

And, yes, it's still this hair could still be tested. So that's just something to think about. And I asked Melanie about that. I don't believe it was ever brought up in her appeal.

[00:23:13]

So why would that not be brought? That seems to me that would be paramount.

[00:23:16]

So we thought that was I thought, oh, my God, it's an important issue, too. So it's possible that her attorneys, they don't always present every issue, I guess, during appeals. They want to save one like a golden nugget. Leaders should not in some of these arguments, not prevail in earlier appeal, will get to this later. So she kind of thought it was a nugget they were saving for her. And I'd say, you know, I don't know.

[00:23:36]

But if you're innocent, you don't want to say that you want to do the same thing. Right. I understand that strategy. But at the same time, if I was innocent, I don't want to sit around for a couple of years. It's going to take for the appellate court and then to get the testing.

[00:23:48]

I agree. But but so it is possible to test all these hairs still. So I hope that we see an opportunity for that. I know that. I would love to see that.

[00:23:57]

And I'm sorry. That was one of your former students as well, wasn't it?

[00:24:00]

Yes, I should say not a criminology student. She she took a class with me several years ago, but she was a science major and she went on to become a forensic scientist. So she also said that when she was listening to the prosecution's plastic expert, Frank Ruys, she immediately wondered why he didn't do a nuclear magnetic resonance test and a gas chromatography test. So she said she was really glad. The defense's expert, Sally Ginter, pointed out that that testing was necessary to establish a plastic bag match.

[00:24:30]

So she she went on and I just shorten this. But she went on to say that while Mr. Ruys was correct, that some of these there were some indicators he did not do all of the necessary testing and that Sally Ginter was actually correct in saying you could not establish a match without the tests, that he did not do so. OK.

[00:24:49]

And so what was interesting? What about we heard from a pathologist as well, right? Yes. And the pathologist was really helpful. So the pathologist wrote in regarding Dr. Barones testimony and also the medical examiner. So it was great to hear from her. She had a couple of main points that I thought were really interesting.

[00:25:05]

She said first she'd have to argue that freezing changes the way epidermal cells look. She said, as a surgical pathologist, I performed frozen sections almost every day. We routinely freeze tissue to get an immediate diagnosis while the patient is in surgery and there is no perceptible change in the skin cells seen after freezing. So remember, there was this idea that bill had been frozen, which I still don't think he was. But yes, if he had been Melanie and someone else questioned whether or not there wouldn't be changes to his skin.

[00:25:36]

And so she's saying absolutely not. There would be no way to tell.

[00:25:38]

I love our listeners. They're so smart. I know, right. We have some great listeners and we thank you so much because we are not pathologists and we are not scientists. And it's really useful to have input of people that are experts in these areas.

[00:25:53]

So thank you very much. Yes. Thank you for that. OK, her second point, as far as the human sawdust, this is hard to address without knowing exactly what was seen microscopically. There are elements that are seen in the dermis, such as hair follicles and sweat glands that are only seen in dermal tissue.

[00:26:09]

Other elements like fibers, stroma nerves, blood vessels, smooth muscle, et cetera, can be seen in many different body tissues, including dermis. So I think what she's just saying on this point is there's really no way to tell the human side thus wasn't indicative either way. So the third point, she said the point that Dr. Barrone makes about the sautéing is spot on. Tissue flies everywhere when sawing just a bone, let alone cutting apart whole body parts.

[00:26:36]

Going back to the idea that whether or not Melanie did it, the prosecution clearly got this wrong because where it was, the crime seemed not established.

[00:26:44]

And finally, to Melanie's point of the eye color being incorrect, she said the medical examiner made a mistake about she made mistakes about those. Eye color and something else, and was Melanie saying that to try to say this person isn't credible or unless she meant something, I'm not sure how how much I can value you because you know her. She got his eye color. So this is and this is to Melanie's point of the eye color being correct. Eye color changes postmortem, tending to become cloudy or dark and blue eyes, therefore, may look gray or brown within several days or death.

[00:27:13]

So that's the reason why the eye color may have changed. Also, she says, the legs looking fresh. So she's referring to Bill's legs really probably means that they were submerged in the cold water longer and exposed to ambient temperature less time. She said the true post-mortem interval should probably be estimated based on the body parts that are the most decomposed, as these were likely more exposed to ambient temperatures.

[00:27:39]

Interesting. Yeah, so I guess she's saying that the estimates based on, you know, how long the legs being fresh, you know, the idea was that, well, maybe he was killed just yesterday. Well, maybe. But she's saying it's probably a better estimate if you're looking at the the parts that were the most decomposed and that wasn't the legs.

[00:27:56]

So. All right. Thank you. All right. So let's talk a little bit about the mechanic who wrote in. Oh, this is interesting. So if you guys recall, we talked about the fact that Bill's headlights were getting stolen, I believe four or five times his headlights were stolen and we couldn't quite understand how this could keep happening. We talked about how he wrote off this loss on his taxes.

[00:28:17]

And so I just want to before Amy gets I want to point out also, we recently were guests on a crawlspace and the two hosts, Tim and Lance. Oh, gosh. One of them was like, what time headlights on?

[00:28:29]

And just could not. I mean, I think we had like five minutes in the interview just in this. And it's funny because since we've been looking at this case for so long, it didn't really seem that crazy to me. But hearing it from them, hearing their reaction made me realize like, yeah, even this would be strange. Right. So it turns out that this was quite common for Nissan maximalists to have their headlights stolen because there was actually an igniter that was located behind the lenses and it was actually the igniter that was often stolen out of cars.

[00:28:59]

But in order to get to the igniter, you had to remove the headlights. So why did people want these igniters? Well, gang members use them to make, quote unquote, street smart stun guns. So it is possible that the area where he worked, we know, is a high crime area. So it is very possible that there was heavy gang activity and it's possible that the lights were stolen as a means to get to these igniters. So I just thought that was very interesting.

[00:29:25]

Again, thank you to our listeners for having such interesting insight.

[00:29:28]

Right. I looked into this issue when I saw that it was a thing that the headlights were getting stolen, but I didn't know it was because of the igniter. But, you know, you have a mechanic who comes in, which is great.

[00:29:36]

We have, you know, a forensic pathologist, a forensic scientist, a lawyer. Yes. People who are writing in. Thank you so much for your tips. Also information from you guys. Some of you wrote in with alternate theories of what may have happened to Bill. So we're going to cover your theories and then we'll cover our center for conclusions.

[00:29:54]

I also want to point out that some of these we are lumping together because we had so many people send in so many theories that there were some themes that emerge that we're really talking about themes more so than specific email that contained a theory. So I think the first one this might be the one we heard the most is perhaps it was a hit and a hit man move the car to signal a complete a job, maybe shut off the hotel recorder, or maybe paid the hotel to erase it and maybe Melany order that hit.

[00:30:24]

Of course, someone else could have ordered it as well. But based on the number of people that had this theory, it seems like people seem to think maybe this was a murder for hire and Melanie was behind it.

[00:30:34]

I thought it was an interesting point that we had it here. Someone said maybe the hotel recorder, you know, that one with the missing surveillance, maybe someone shut that off intentionally because it was kind of odd that that seven days was missing. Yeah, yeah. So it's definitely possible that Melanie or someone else ordered the hit and there's all these hotels involved. Right. So speaking of the hotel someone wrote in, isn't it a strong likelihood that he was killed at the hotel?

[00:30:57]

Did they ever check for evidence in any hotel room? Maybe the hairs came from there. Maybe the animal hairs came from there.

[00:31:05]

It's possible. But also which hotel you had brought this up. So there are a couple hotels are involved. There's a hotel luxury in where Melanie says she found his car, but no one could ever prove he's going to say that wasn't substantial. But then there's the flamingo in and that's where his car was actually found. So I think this person is saying, isn't it possible that he was killed in the Flamingo in in this hotel room and maybe the hairs came from there?

[00:31:27]

Now, there was an investigation and they looked into whether or not he was registered there and he wasn't.

[00:31:32]

But that also I don't know if that means he wasn't registered under another name and he was with the guest. Correct.

[00:31:38]

Also, there is the red roof, which is where Melanie checked into and someone else asked, isn't it possible that she did something to him there? I will say I think that's highly unlikely because she really doesn't fit either the timeline.

[00:31:51]

Could fit, but I think would be highly unlikely that she's transporting build to the Retrophin and how is she doing this?

[00:31:56]

And, you know, I don't think it's a little risky because remember, we did visit that ravine and it's in a high populated area. But that's an interesting point. Did they search any of those hotel rooms? So the red roof and yes, they did. But it was later. It was much later. So they didn't find anything. They didn't search any of the flamingo in hotel rooms, to my knowledge, because they couldn't find him registered there.

[00:32:17]

Another theory someone wrote in said if foul play occurred in Atlantic City, as seems feasible, maybe it was an issue with a prostitute, John, known in that area. There's certainly no evidence to support that. Just to be clear, of course. But that is something I did see that a couple people wrote that in and probably because of the area in Atlantic City. OK, so that's another theory. And I think along with that was I read maybe one or two people that said maybe he just slept with the wrong woman.

[00:32:43]

Yes, absolutely right. Whether it was a sex worker or not, it's very possible that he was having an affair and it was with a husband who got very angry.

[00:32:52]

We definitely saw that come up again. So thank you for that one, too, Amy. Another listener wrote in, although it was mentioned that Melanie was slight in the suitcase, test was done with enough adrenaline, anger. People can live much more than you would think. Adrenaline and panic would mean a very quick, messy process to dispose of a body. And her being a nurse would therefore not cut a body like that, as we suggest, seems a moot point.

[00:33:15]

Look at the Robert Durst case, for example. He was old and frail and dismembered a body and threw trash bags into water, which also contained body parts.

[00:33:23]

Very interesting point. I thought that's a great point, to be honest. And I'm sure there's people listening that can think of times where they had what seemed like superhuman strength, whether it be a child in a car. You know, you got freak in a car accident. Your child's in the car. You know, you've heard stories of mothers literally lifting up a car. So I thought that was a really interesting point.

[00:33:43]

I think so, too. And actually, I wouldn't have it was good to frame it in terms of Derse. Is it possible? Sure. Yeah. And I think that was a fair point.

[00:33:50]

So thank you to the listener for writing, although I do want to point out that it's likely if if things happen the way the prosecution contends that his body was cut up somewhere and then brought to the Chesapeake Bay, the adrenaline would be happening during the cutting up of the body. And you would think that would have calmed down by the time you get to the bridge to throw the bodies, you know, to throw out the suitcases over. But all right.

[00:34:11]

Someone else wrote in. This was a couple people that wrote this in that I found it very particular that Bill Maguire's remains were found in Virginia Beach where John and his wife Susan live. This appears to be a lead that may not have been explored given the evidence presented. So this was an interesting point because a couple of people wrote in Bill's remains were found in the Chesapeake Bay and his friends. The races are the ones who identified the sketch and called into the police and they lived right there.

[00:34:44]

And might I point out something at this point also is the composite sketch does not very closely resemble Bill. So it it does seem curious that his friends were so quick to identify him. And along with that very recently, a listener wrote in which I thought was very interesting, was if Melanie and Sue were friends and she saw this composite sketch, would she not first pick up the phone to call Melanie and say, hey, I just saw on the local news this sketch like, could this be or just something?

[00:35:15]

It seems like I don't know. It was very interesting. I thought it was a good question.

[00:35:20]

Why didn't you know they were actually Bill's friends, but they knew Melanie quite well. And I know that Melanie had spoken on the phone with John Rice. And why didn't they immediately call her? Oh, my God. We think we saw this. I saw the sketch in question and I don't know, tough call. I could see maybe how someone who knew him really well might think it was him. But I could also see how it looks.

[00:35:39]

Nothing like it would actually be curious from other people who know, Bill, what their opinion is on that composite sketch.

[00:35:45]

Maybe because, you know, obviously we didn't know him. So it's hard for us.

[00:35:48]

We're comparing it to a picture. But obviously somebody right in front of you is, you know, presents much differently. Yeah, but fair points, right?

[00:35:55]

I mean, when you're conducting an investigation, this is what you're supposed to look into. And we've certainly heard of cases where it seems unlikely that, you know, friends are involved or it seems an unlikely, but yet it seems a lead that probably should have been explored.

[00:36:09]

At the very least, they could have explored alibis and ruled them out fairly quickly.

[00:36:13]

I think so. Yeah. So fair point. Thank you for writing in about that, too. So it's time for us to review our final thoughts and conclusions.

[00:36:22]

Please tell me, Meghan, I'm dying to know. I have an idea. I think I might know where you're going, but I am excited to hear this.

[00:36:30]

Well, we said that we would provide a couple of conclusions, first about whether or not, you know, there was reasonable doubt and a fair trial. And second, I guess innocence or guilt. So I'll start with the trial. I think it's really fair to say at this point, no, no guess here that there was plenty of reasonable doubt.

[00:36:49]

And I really do think that a. Jury should have seen that, however, I would also say that perhaps because the defense didn't do a good enough job, the prosecution stepped over some boundaries and the judge made some decisions that were not beneficial to the defense that they weren't able to. I think at the very least, I'm shocked that they believed the whole crime scene explanation. So in this case is like littered with reasonable doubt.

[00:37:14]

I find it interesting because I think you and I might end up on a different side on some issues. But I think we can both say if we were on that jury, we would have acquitted.

[00:37:24]

The reasonable doubt standard is that you're supposed to be ninety nine point nine percent certain that someone is guilty. So I don't think there was any way that either one of us could have said that. Now, get to the good part, OK, what was it?

[00:37:37]

A fair trial is also a little bit different. I have mixed feelings about the fair trial, so I think there were certain decisions that did not work in Melanie's favor. I you know, I think it was a huge no no mistake. It's discretion. But I think it was a mistake that Bill's ex-wife and George Lowery were not allowed to testify. And I think it could have turned the case different way. So, you know, there were parts of the trial that seemingly were fair.

[00:37:58]

Yes. And parts that were unfair. So but again, was that trial strategy or, you know, it's hard to say.

[00:38:04]

No, no, I think well, I won't say I don't know. I think that the that it was a semi fair trial. Right. In which some actors just made bad moves, let's put it that way. Would you say let's get to the juicy part.

[00:38:18]

I want to know, do you think she is innocent or guilty? OK, so I don't know if anyone's going to be surprised or I don't know if everyone will be surprised. But in the end, I believe that Melanie McGuire was wrongfully convicted.

[00:38:32]

I'm actually a little bit surprised by that. Your tone over the last few episodes maybe had me thinking that. But when we started out, I would not have thought that.

[00:38:42]

That's funny because it was the opposite. So even though I said in the beginning I was unbiased, I wanted to believe that, but it wasn't true. I actually believed Melanie was guilty from the start. And I believe that over quite some time, even as I interviewed her and dug through, it wasn't until I went really like the deepest dive ever into the evidence, into the interviews, into the trial. I mean, it took everything. And I wasn't even sure of my conclusion, to be honest, probably until, I don't know, two days ago.

[00:39:11]

But I mean, I think more interestingly, which I'm on the edge of my seat here is if she didn't do it, then who the hell did?

[00:39:18]

Well, OK, let me start with the reasons why I think she was wrongfully convicted. And then I'm going to get to my alternative theory. Number one is obviously that there is absolutely no crime scene. And I can't find a plausible explanation tying Melanie to the actual crime itself to the actual physical crime. So lack of crime scene is number one and lack of any physical evidence connecting Melanie to the crime is certainly goes along with that. Number three, I guess I would say two or three.

[00:39:50]

There are several untested human hairs that were found in all those bags that Bill's body parts were found in that did not match. Melanie did not match her family. And there was tons of animal hair. And I find this highly suspicious. There were also fingerprints that did not match her family or her. So I would personally think that to come to a conclusion of guilt, there would have to be some matches in this arena for sure.

[00:40:18]

OK, so reasonable for the gun that was purchased by Melanie seemed suspicious on the out front and it's still suspicious, don't get me wrong. But initially I was like, well, she bought a gun. But honestly, George Lowery's testimony, this man who knew Bill but did not know Melanie and has absolutely no reason to get up there and lie, his testimony would have exactly supported Melanie's version of why she got the gun. Bill told him I was you know, I'm a felon and I'm having my wife get a gun.

[00:40:46]

And a couple months later, that's just what happens. So I think for me, this explains the gun, puts it in the proper context. OK, so this one was a mixed I put this down as a point, but it's not my strongest point. The medical examiner said Bill's legs looked fresh if Melanie had killed him six days before. I don't think this would be the case for the prosecution. This was a surprise to the prosecution.

[00:41:08]

If you remember when they when they heard that Patty actually adjusted the theory in the end, well, maybe it's possible that she was either drugging him over days and didn't kill him right away, or maybe it's possible that she froze his body parts. And that was in direct response to the medical examiner saying those legs look fresh. Now, the pathologist said, you know, a different opinion on this, but I still think there's a possibility here that we're, you know, not looking at the fact that maybe he wasn't killed until much later.

[00:41:36]

OK, let's see, point number six, the computer searches, which, you know, we dug into and did our own analysis on. I believe that the I cannot say definitively, but I believe the computer searches were much more likely to have been made by. Bill McGuire, then Melanie, so no, we can't say completely we didn't have our own forensic computer analysts look at this, but when we put it all together in the timelines and search the surrounding websites, I actually think it was Bill McGuire that made these searches and not Melanie McGuire.

[00:42:08]

And I do believe to the point that Melanie has a PDR and had access to a lot more information than Bill would have had access to. I don't think she would have needed to leave such an electronic trail. OK, I'm getting their point seven, while I sense that Bill might have made a divorce difficult and might have been a difficult X, and I think Melanie admitted this much, there was no financial motive or immediate plans to be with Brad.

[00:42:33]

So the motive is there, but it's a little bit weaker for me. Even Brad admits, no, we were we were waiting till our kids got older. I would not have left my small kids. Melanie seem shocked on that recorded conversations when Brad ever even brought it up about, you know, I'm going to get divorced. She was like, what are you talking about? This is not even something we've talked about. So the motives a little bit weak for me, but I can still see where people say there's a motive.

[00:42:55]

And I would also say that to a point that I said earlier, the consistency that Melanie shows, she is one of the most consistent people I have ever seen. The story never changes. And I find her consistency is something that you would have to consider. So all of these things, when I put them together, pretty much lead me to a wrongful conviction. Do I have reservations? Yes. My conclusion is wrongful conviction. I am 100 percent absolutely not.

[00:43:21]

Could I get evidence tomorrow that will change my mind? Absolutely. And if I'm wrong, I'm happy to say I'm wrong here. The reservations that I have or the Atlantic City trips, certainly they are the thing that the strongest piece of evidence, I have always thought, pointing to her guilt or possible involvement and they bother me. So Amy and I actually went to Atlantic City and we went to this motel. We drove and we we took video, I think, which we may put up at a later date to test this idea.

[00:43:48]

Could she see Bill's car? You know, she said she saw his car and license plates.

[00:43:52]

And I think initially we thought that's ridiculous. She would not be able to. In fact, when we went by, I was shocked at how close the lot was to the actual road and much closer than I had imagined.

[00:44:01]

I thought it was much further, even when we tried to like Google, map it and stuff.

[00:44:04]

But when we went by it, it was definitely possible to see a car and a license plate. And I don't even have great eyesight. And I was able to see the car's license plate very clear.

[00:44:12]

So it's possible certainly.

[00:44:15]

Also, someone wrote in about the effects of Xanax. Actually, two people wrote in about this. And I thought this was interesting. Melanie had claimed that she had just started taking Xanax. And from what I've seen, she didn't have a history of taking it. She said that the Xanax really clouded her judgment. And I thought, well, I don't really know about that. And then two people wrote in one very specifically saying when she first started taking Xanax or otherwise rational behavior went very rational.

[00:44:38]

And she did things. She said she lost time and she did things that she couldn't believe afterwards that she did. So she didn't actually find this to be so crazy. That sounds like something I would have done. I'm still not sure that I believe that explanation. But there was some support. So my reservations, definitely the Atlantic City trips, you know, I think they are hard to understand.

[00:44:58]

And you're talking about not only the fact that she went, but the fact that she took a cab. Oh, you went from OK. I just want to point that out. There's two parts to that.

[00:45:05]

Yeah, I know. I actually know. So the interesting thing is, I don't think the Atlantic City trips I should have clarified on there on the surface were that damning. OK, so it's the cab ride. She went back twice.

[00:45:16]

Right. And says I was looking for him. OK, I believe that she went back on the 18th. It would be odd to me if on May 18th, you know, Bill is long gone and she knows it, why the hell is she going back again to Atlantic City? The only plausible explanation I can find on that one is that she's actually looking for him. Yeah, it's the cab rides that bother me. Come on.

[00:45:34]

The easy pass doesn't bother you. The fact that she called thesea. Sorry, did I jump ahead? No, no. The cab rides an easy pass. Those are the parts that I find very difficult to live with. But if I have to pick a side, then I'm going to air on the side of just irrational, erratic behavior. The chloral hydrate prescription is my other reservation. You know, Jackie said that she thought Melanie had written it.

[00:45:55]

There's mixed sort of opinions on this. I don't know. Did Melanie write it and did Melanie pick it up? I really can't say and I can't say that I feel so strongly one way or the other. I think it seems likely that she wrote it. But then I hear that, you know, Bill has a pharmacy background and he has, you know, I'm sorry to say it, but a forgery conviction. And there was a prescription for Dalmeny written a month before.

[00:46:16]

And it makes me think someone was getting these prescriptions and maybe that someone wasn't Melanie. But I also don't even know if the chloral hydrate was involved in this crime.

[00:46:25]

So it could have been Melanie for some other purpose. And then she just lied initially. And yet the stick with it, maybe she was doing it, but she was doing it because she needed help sleeping and she realized it was forgery and she's lied and now she's sick with it. It's it could be innocuous.

[00:46:38]

I agree. I don't know the explanation and I can't speculate on this one enough. So but these are my I think my two main reservations are the chloral hydrate a little bit.

[00:46:46]

But it's really the the cab rides in the easy. Yes. So my alternative theory, after going through everything, I don't have specific people I'm pointing to. But here's what makes the most sense to me. I think that Bill was killed in Virginia, not in Atlantic City. I think that Bill got himself out of the House and got himself to Virginia. I think that he did meet up with someone he knew, whether this is an acquaintance or maybe he met up with someone in Virginia.

[00:47:14]

I just OK, I think he met up with someone in Virginia. And actually, I'm not positive if he met up. People he knew he had ties to Virginia. He lived there for six years, so, you know, he knew other people, not just the Rices or whether he met someone and made an acquaintance in Virginia. OK, this fight was supposed to be about Virginia. So I do think he went back to Virginia. I do think he was killed in Virginia.

[00:47:34]

I think it makes way more sense than someone killing him in New Jersey and driving the body parts seven hours. To me, that is never, ever made sense.

[00:47:43]

Now, can I ask you a question? Yes. If that's your thought. What's the deal with the coroner? Say, yeah, plant the car somewhere else planted and see where Bill says he always goes.

[00:47:50]

Oh, you're saying the person in Virginia planted the car?

[00:47:53]

OK, cars are just so much easier to get a car across seven hours that worried about driving a car, worried about driving a body one more. So I think the car was a plant in Atlantic City, which made perfect sense. So it's either someone Bill knew or someone he met and said, yeah, I gamble in Atlanta. I'm a you know what I mean? Like, if he's a talker and he's gregarious, he could meet someone on the first night and be dead about let's go to A.C. tonight or so.

[00:48:16]

That's very interesting. I think it's definitely possible the car was a plant in Atlantic City.

[00:48:19]

I also think that the way that Bill was, his body was dismembered. I think that he was shot. And I'm not I could not tell you if he was shot inside or outside, but I think that his body was dismembered in a slaughterhouse. Why do you think that? I think that the way his body was cut definitely indicates a saw. Sure. I'm just not sure it's this handheld reciprocating saw. Whether or not it's an industrial saw, you could say, I think that in a slaughterhouse or a type of butchery, you don't need to worry at all about tissue splatter and blood going everywhere because that's what's to be expected.

[00:48:55]

And Lenzen, it blends in. I think there's also a lot of animal hair in slaughterhouses. And I think that the way that it was explained that he was exsanguinated. Well, that's also a typical practice in a slaughterhouse when a body is put in a certain way, the bleeding on the body. So I think for me, it seems a lot more logical that he was that I think he was dismembered. And the final part here, I would say, is yes, I believe his body was placed in his suitcases.

[00:49:24]

But I don't believe necessarily that they were thrown off the bridge. I think it is more likely that someone took a boat out and dropped his body off of the side of a boat and suitcases.

[00:49:35]

Very interesting. So going back to those hairs so your theory could very easily have a little more weight to it. If we knew what kind of animal hairs those were, could you imagine if they checked the animal hairs? And it's not just a domestic pet, right? It would be so interesting, so much more interesting. And then your theory I mean, I think I have to say, Meghan, I'm impressed. Oh, thank you. Yeah.

[00:49:56]

That I mean, the fact that the body being cut up, not having to worry about blood and tissue because it's going to clearly blend in, even tying in the animal hairs and, you know, the blood being drained. And, you know, I it's a solid theory there.

[00:50:11]

I had a little help. But this one, just so you know, you did from the person who did it.

[00:50:16]

Not exactly. But OK, I have some input on this, so I won't take full credit. But I do believe in the end that is the most plausible explanation to me. OK, and I could be totally off. But hey. Hey. Well, you know what? And again, I think that is a well thought out explanation. I choose to disagree respectfully. All right.

[00:50:35]

Here we go, Amy, we'll get to Amy's conclusions now, but I think we've already agreed on the reasonable doubt. The only thing I want to add to that, you know, I just want to talk about, you know, I would definitely have acquitted her on first degree murder and desecrating human remains. She should not have been convicted of first degree murder because I do not believe that she knowingly and purposely killed the bill or cause serious bodily harm that led to Bill's death.

[00:50:59]

So that is going off the legal definition. Acquit, acquit, acquit. OK, ok, OK. Now, I think that she knows more than she is saying. It's hard for me to say guilt or innocence because like I said, I would acquit. However, I cannot say that I believe she's innocent at this point. I also don't feel comfortable saying I believe she is guilty. However, I do believe that maybe a more fair outcome would have been maybe accessory to murder, which carries a max of 10 years in New Jersey.

[00:51:31]

OK, so that's kind of leading you into my theory here. I believe that if I had to say I'm not going through the evidence the way you did, because most of our points are going to be similar as far as, you know, what evidence was the most damning and what leaves questions. I don't want to do that. But what I will say is I think that it is possible that the night of the closing, Melanie and Bill maybe had a drink or two.

[00:51:51]

It's possible that the chloral hydrate was used to sedate Bill just enough so that he could possibly be carried out against his will, meaning maybe he was a little drunk, a little sleepy. There are two perps in my theory, there was nothing that Melanie did by her own hands. So I believe that she has convinced herself that she is in the wrong place because she does not deserve to be in prison for life because she did not. According to the legal definition, she did not commit first degree murder, however, I can imagine a situation where she perhaps set up some sort of payment or incentive to other people, possibly one car, two perps came to Woodbridge.

[00:52:35]

Bill was sedated enough that they carried him down. Melanie gave one of them his car keys. I do want to back up that Melanie perhaps supplied these individuals with the gun in the suitcases and the garbage bags. Bill's car was packed up and ready to go with everything they would need two cars on the way to AC purp, one driving, one car park to driving. Bill's car will probably in his car just because if there's going to be evidence of Bill, let's keep Bill's DNA in Bill's car.

[00:53:01]

Right. So that's how Bill's car got to A.C.. I think he was killed somewhere between AC and Virginia, whether that's closer Daisy or closer to Virginia. And I don't really have a reason to believe one or the other. But I do believe that Melanie's trips to Atlantic City were to either remove plant evidence to get proof that the job was done. And I do believe that that Delaware trip might have been a meeting to give the perp the final incentive.

[00:53:28]

The job has now been done and maybe they gave her proof of it. She gave the final payment, which is why she was in Delaware. And, you know, I do not believe that Melanie is capable of the cold blooded murder that they claim. You know, I do not believe that she would do such a thing. And I do not believe she was capable of doing such a thing. Whether that mean emotionally, physically, mentally, I don't think she could have done it.

[00:53:53]

Some of the shady financial stuff, the money going in, money going out, that could have actually been Melanie moving money around. Although, you know, Melanie claims she did have no control over the finances. That's Melanie's claim. I'm not sure if that has been corroborated by anyone else. So it is possible that she was involved in some sort of illegal activity or side hustle that was giving her some money that she was able to make these big deposits and moving money around and not again, this is all really I'm not even positive as I'm saying it, but these are just things that I've been, you know, popping into my head.

[00:54:27]

So I think if this were the case, then she should still not be in prison, because in New Jersey, again, there is a 10 year max for a murder for hire. So either way, there's a huge injustice. Let's say my theory is true, which again, I don't know at this. I'm just speculating here. There's a grave injustice being done because, you know, perp one and perp two, they could potentially still be out there.

[00:54:50]

I actually believe that perp wanted perp to who were driving the cars down to AC. I do believe that one, if not both of them are deceased at the very least, serving life without parole anyway, because otherwise they would have an incentive to talk, meaning if they want to make a plea deal, they're in prison for something else. I'll give you some information. I know you don't believe that because you think that would probably self implicate. But I do think that if more than one person knows the truth, it eventually comes out somewhere, somehow, whether it be on a death bed or a jailhouse informant, something happens.

[00:55:25]

I feel like the people or person responsible for being the hand of this is deceased or incapacitated in some way, whether they be in a coma, whether they be so old and ill that or something. Or maybe they just started life over and they live in another country and they don't even think about this anymore.

[00:55:44]

Right. Really interesting to me because the Atlantic City trips and explaining those, that's an interesting theory I actually thought about.

[00:55:52]

So I tried to get my head around, like, what would be any explanation that I could tie her to the crime? And my only fault was that she drugged Bill and someone helped carry him. Yeah, I will say I don't think it's likely that two more people are involved only because of three people. No information would have been dead, though, or, you know what I mean? Like, maybe they took it to the grave. But I do have a secondary theory, which is fair enough.

[00:56:16]

And I just want to play.

[00:56:17]

Fair enough. And that was my thought, too, even though I respectfully do not think that that's the way it happened. I certainly can't allow for that possibility.

[00:56:24]

And I do believe if Melanie is fully innocent, which again, I don't know, I you know, I'm I'm still trying to figure this all out. But I do believe if she is innocent, I definitely think that it was someone he knew in Virginia who either met him in Atlantic City. Oh, as like let's meet halfway or you come more my way. But, you know, let's hang out, because we do know that he did gamble with some friends that lived in Virginia.

[00:56:49]

It's possible. And he met them in Atlantic City to gamble. Something went wrong. Foul play. I might as well take him home with me because I have to go that way anyway.

[00:56:57]

Oh, that's interesting that I actually didn't think of. So that's a OK. So for the audience, I hope we've given you our final opinions. You know, interestingly, when I started, I thought at the end I would have 100 percent clarity. I was like going to know exactly right.

[00:57:12]

So, yes, we've given you our conclusions to the best of our ability.

[00:57:16]

But I do not stand behind mine. And like I said, my. Opinion can change tomorrow, like you said about yours, and I do want to point out that when we started this, I was like, yes, this is going to be a wrongful conviction. That's why I find it interesting. We somewhat switched, somewhat switched, because I am very I guess you could say innocence minded, you know, so you could say one would say, well, Megan clearly came to that conclusion because she's so close to and she was the one who researched.

[00:57:40]

She was one who spent time with her. Right. Which could be a negative or like you got too close to it maybe. And I could certainly allow for that criticism. And I understand that happens. But you could also say, well, Megan knows more because she got so exactly right.

[00:57:53]

So you could say Amy came to her conclusion because she's truly unbiased or a McCain's conclusion because she didn't know everything Megan knew. So it didn't work, you know, for and against. And I yeah, I'm sorry. And I do have to say that is an interesting point because I never did any of the face to face with Melanie. I do not know Melanie, just from meeting Melanie's parents. This is hard for me to say because I have such respect for her parents that, you know, so I could imagine that.

[00:58:18]

And when you get closer to something, it becomes very difficult.

[00:58:21]

It becomes very difficult. But I mean, I think you allowed for the possibility and we both do. We can be right or wrong. This is our opinion to the best of our best of our conclusions. So we'd like to end with a couple of future steps. First of all, we would love to get information still from the prosecutor's office or from the courts. It would be lovely to see what phone information was actually obtained and used.

[00:58:43]

And I have questions again about the hairs, the palm prints. I also wonder whether a cadaver dog was used for the cars. And I have questions about the missing surveillance tapes. So I think that it would be lovely to be able to see more get more evidence, if possible, another avenue. Well, this would be for really Melanie, right? Would be to write to. Now, New Jersey has what? The Conviction Integrity Unit. Yeah, that does that, Amy.

[00:59:08]

So that's where prosecutor offices have started going back and reviewing their own cases. So in other words, the prosecutor's office that convicted Melanie would agree to take a look back. And you see this happening a lot in very progressive places like Kings County, Brooklyn. But typically, you know, when they're looking back at cases, a lot of times those prosecutors are no longer, you know, working there, you know, because it's really hard to investigate something that's yours.

[00:59:32]

So really tall. Order it. Yeah.

[00:59:35]

It presents actually an inherent kind of conundrum here, like investigating our own work.

[00:59:40]

Honestly, I give officers such credit because prosecutors offices that are willing to do this are really putting their neck out there. Yeah, I think so too. This is just a future step also for maybe Melanie.

[00:59:49]

And it might it might allow her, no matter if she's innocent or guilty, to at least get some of the evidence that she would like to test. Again, we also would love a forensic linguistics expert to help us out with these letters that we would still love to be able to determine authorship of. So if anyone contact us or if anyone knows anyone, please do contact us.

[01:00:09]

May I give the tip line again while we're talking about we will keep checking the tip line. So go right ahead. So, of course, you could always e-mail us at info at Direct Appeal podcast dotcom.

[01:00:20]

You can always write us on any of our various social media platforms, or you can call us at seven three two five one zero zero nine nine six again, the number seven three two five one zero zero nine nine six.

[01:00:37]

And just to wrap it up, we would like to thank you again for listening to our podcast, discussing the case and forming your own conclusions that we are finished with the season of direct appeal. We are also considering cases for a possible direct appeal season two. So we'll keep you posted on that for sure. In the meantime, Amy and I are moving on to another project that some of you may be interested in. Be sure to subscribe to our new podcast, Women in Crime.

[01:01:02]

Thanks for listening.

[01:01:13]

Direct Appeal is hosted by Megan Sachs and Amy Schlosberg, our producer is James Vaka. The story arc was written by Megan Sachs music and underscored by dessert media reported mixed and edited by Justin Kraul at J.C. Studios. Special thanks to Alan Tacksman, whose work was integral to this production to view photos, evidence and engage with other listeners, visit direct appeal podcast dotcom and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you have a tip, you can submit through our website or by emailing tips at Direct Appeal podcast dotcom.

[01:01:48]

You can also help us out by leaving a five star review on Apple, iTunes or wherever you listen. Hey, direct appeal listeners, if you'd like to hear more female focused cases with me and Amy, then you'll definitely want to check out our podcast.

[01:02:11]

Women in Crime. I'm Amy Schlosberg. I'm Megan Sax, my co-host and I are both criminologists. We've spent our entire career studying crime and both have firsthand experience working within the criminal justice system. Each episode you'll hear a new female focused case or topic deconstructed by experts. You'll hear the stories of these women, but you'll also learn why these crimes happened and whether or not the criminal justice system got it right or not. Crime is different for women. Come listen and learn why.

[01:02:39]

As each episode we talk women and crime all of the time. So hit pause and subscribe to women in crime today on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

[01:02:48]

That's women and crime.