Transcript for The suitcase murder mystery: What happened to Bill McGuire?: Part 1
some believe she was wrongfully convicted. Melanie Maguire was accused of killing her husband, chopping up his body and putting it in the Chesapeake bay. Melanie Maguire, convicted of murdering her husband, but now, years later, a podcast raising new questions. You believe an innocent woman is behind bars right now? Absolutely. I believe this is a case of a wrongful conviction. This whole saga begins on may 5, 2004, with an odd discovery in Virginia Beach. That morning, a couple fishermen and their kids are out on their boat in the Chesapeake bay when they spot something in the water. 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 there's a pair of male legs, from the knee down. We kind of figured there had to be oer suitcases with other parts in it. Six days later, the student was on fisherman's island in the middle of the Chesapeake bay, which is a nature preserve. And she saw a dark green Kenneth Cole suitcase. Inside the suitcase would be the torso and the head of a male. The torso is still attached, with the arms and the head. The medical examiner is able to determine that the Vick continue's been shot multiple times. There are a couple gunshot wounds in the torso area and one through the head. The third suitcase was found on may 16, 2004 in the water by a fisherman. This suitcase contained the pelvis, so, from the waist down to above the knees. A police sketch artist creates this image of the deceased man. It's released to the press and recognized to be bill Maguire by his friends, John and sue rice. Soucies the picture on TV. And the only ways I thought it could be bill was his missing tooth. Bill Maguire had recently had a fight with his wife Melanie and hadn't been heard from since. He said he was leaving and wasn't coming back. He would say things like that all the time. I didn't actually believe it was the last time I would see my husband. Using fingerprints from an old reckless driving charge, police identify the body as bill Maguire and notify Melanie. And I just, I just burst into tears. The New Jersey couple married in 1999, first child born soon after. What was your relationship with bill like in the beginning? We had a bit of a tempestuous relationship even before we got married. We would break up, get back together. He had a dual personality. He could be very likeable of and then on the other hand he would be very calculating, manipulate him. She truly did love him. He had always had issues with gambling. 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. Melanie telling ABC news in 2007 about an argument they'd had after bill got a traffic ticket. I started to argue with him, and he said when we 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. Why didn't you stay? I wasn't strong enough to leave. Did you love hip? I did, and at this point, I'm having an affair. Just before giving birth to her second child she began an affair with Dr. Bradley Miller, a doctor at the fertility clinic where she was a nurse. I really tried to fight it, but I couldn't. I couldn't fight it. Despite her involvement with another man, Melanie was buying a house with her husband bill. The marriage wasn't going well at all, so why were you buying this $500,000 house together then? In the past, we'd come to points where we had been in similar situations, and he would, ultimately, something would happen and we go and gamble the money away, I figured this was at least an investment. The couple closes on the house on April 28. That night, Melanie says they had a fight that turned physical. There's the laundry basket and a drier sheet hanging out of one of the baby's sleeves. He hated them. This was the type of mother I was, I would leave the sheet in there for my baby to possibly choke on. Before I know it, I'm up against the wall, and the drier sheet is being shoved into my throat. And then he just smacked me. I looked down, and there's my 2-year-old. I grabbed the baby. And went into 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. Melanie says bill took off after the fight. She says she didn't hear from him, and she didn't try calling him. What used to happen when we fought, you know, I'd call, whether it was to tell help off or to try to apologize or what, and we'd just end up getting back into it again. I'm done now. She'd retained a divorce attorney, filed for divorce against him on April 30, the day after their fight. She had to go in front of a judge and give sworn statement about the incident that happened. Did he hit you? Not until, I don't mean to say I had absolutely no part in this. I said some not-nice things, and slapped me. Melanie does not file a missing persons report on bill. What bothered me was that Melanie never reached out and said hey, bill's missing. Once bill's body is identified, Virginia police ask Melanie to come in for she brought her divorce attorney and a criminal lawyer from the same practice. She was nervous. She was visibly shaking. She made expressions like she was crying, but she never had a tear in her eye. She suggests police look for bill's car in Atlantic City. Did he get involved with the wrong people? That's what I would have to believe, that he had gotten himself into something. And bill always thought he could handle everything. Police then search the townhouse the couple had been renting before buying their house. The apartment was empty. She had already moved out. Virginia Beach detectives find out Melanie Maguire had given most of bill's belongings away to a friend's cousin. Eventually, they found out that most of bill's clothing was still in black trash bag, much like the bags that contained bill Maguire's body parts. The garbage bag, by sight, looked identical. The body was released to Melanie on a Tuesday, immediately she had him cremated. And the funeral lasted all of ten, 15 minutes at the most. I just told her, I said Melanie, bill deserves so much more. And Mel just said, I'm a single mom now, and now I've just got to get on with my life. And after I got off the phone, I said, "John, she did it." . Coming up. Everything pointed to Melanie magear. The secret recordings between
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