On April 28, 2004, after closing on his dream house, William McGuire was brutally murdered. His body was severed into three pieces, placed into three matching Kenneth Cole suitcases and then dumped in the Chesapeake Bay. The investigation of his murder would span three years, involve two different investigative teams and end in the conviction of his wife, Melanie McGuire, based on circumstantial evidence (Glatt, 2008).
The discovery of this crime began as a fishing trip for Chris Henkle, Dee Connors and his two children Sam and Claire on May 5, 2004. While relocating the boat to find better fishing, Connor spotted a suitcase floating in the water. As young Sam opened the suitcase hoping it contained pirate’s treasure, he found its contents to be wrapped in black plastic trash bags. Upon opening the trash bags, Sam exposed two human legs. Shocked at what they had found, Henkle immediately contacted the police. After Master Officer John Runge of Virginia Beach’s Marine Patrol Unit took possession of the suitcase from Henkle and Connors, he looked inside and called his superior asking for a homicide detective. Virginia Beach Homicide Detective Janine Hall joined by senior technician of the Forensics Unit, Steve Stockman, and Dr. Turner Gray, Virginia Beach Medical Examiner, arrived at the scene. The suitcase was photographed, then the body parts were taken back to Dr. Gray’s office for an autopsy. Detective Hall took the Kenneth Cole suitcase to the Virginia Beach police headquarters for forensic examination after the legs were removed for autopsy. Forensic unit supervisor Beth Dunton and Steve Stockman then tested the suitcase for trace evidence. To test for fingerprints, the bags were hung in a cyanoacrylate chamber in which fumes given off by heated superglue make fingerprints visible. Even after spraying the bags with a fluorescent dye called MBD, there were no traces of fingerprints (Glatt, 2008).
A second Kenneth Cole suitcase was found on May 11 by a girl picking up litter on the Fisherman Island Bird sanctuary. Upon opening the suitcase, the girl saw a human shoulder and was overwhelmed by the smell of rotting flesh. Once again, Virginia Beach Homicide Detectives Dr. Gray and Beth Dunton arrived on scene. The suitcase was photographed then the body parts taken for an autopsy. Inside this suitcase Dr. Wendy Gunther found the head, torso and arms of a white male inside black plastic trash bags just like the first suitcase. The man had been shot three times: once in the head, once in the back and once in the abdomen. These gunshot wounds were designated as the cause of death. Gunther also documented that the victim’s head was covered by a bloodstained blanket that read “property of HCSC.” While performing the autopsy, Dr. Gunther found a bullet in the waist area that he saved to be tested for ballistics at a later date (Glatt, 2008).
Due to the missing section of the body, everyone knew there must be a third suitcase waiting to be...