John Jay Alumnae Launch Podcast on Suitcase Killer

John Jay Alumnae Launch Podcast on Suitcase Killer

John Jay Alumnae Launch Podcast on Suitcase Killer

They earned their Ph.D.’s at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and now Fairleigh Dickinson professors Meghan Sacks and Amy Shlosberg are putting their criminology experience to work investigating the convicted “Suitcase Murderer” of New Jersey for the new podcast, Direct Appeal.

Watch the Trailer

Listen to Direct Appeal: website / iTunes / Google Play

“What began as a meeting with Melanie in a prison cafeteria turned into a massive investigation that uncovered new evidence and facts never revealed at trial,” said Professor Sacks. “Neither the prosecutor nor the many police officers involved in this case would speak with us, which only made us want to dig deeper into what happened, and that is just what we did.”

Melanie McGuire and her husband Bill
Melanie McGuire and her husband Bill

For the last 13 years, Melanie McGuire has been serving a life sentence for the murder and dismemberment of her husband, whose body was found in three suitcases in the Chesapeake Bay. Covered in dramatic fashion on 48 Hours, 20/20 and CourtTV, the case had all the ingredients for sensational exposes – a beautiful young wife, infidelity, a famous trial lawyer, and a husband’s gruesome end. The State’s case was based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence. No forensic evidence was found at the alleged crime scene.

McGuire has always said she was innocent, but is nearly out of options in the courts. Sacks said, McGuire turned to Direct Appeal to share her version of events and appeal directly to the public for help.

Over the course of 13 episodes, and with McGuire’s full cooperation, criminologists Dr. Meghan Sacks, and Dr. Amy Shlosberg will examine the evidence, consult independent experts and explore more than 50 hours of exclusive interviews with Melanie conducted from prison, as well as with her family, friends, witnesses and experts on both sides of the trial.

John Jay alumnae and hosts of Direct Appeal Meg Sacks and Amy Shlosberg
John Jay alumnae and hosts of Direct Appeal Meg Sacks and Amy Shlosberg

Sacks and Shlosberg want to uncover the whole truth about this murder and have listeners question if it’s possible that Melanie is innocent and serving a life sentence for a horrendous crime she did not commit. The first three episodes are now live online with the rest of the season unfolding each week.

Direct Appeal knows the investigation is not over and asks for help from the audience and anyone else who may know something about this case. Listeners can submit questions to Melanie and her answers will be recorded and shared in a 14th episode, the season finale.

Submit questions and tips to: tips@directappealpodcast.com  

About the Hosts
Meghan Sacks earned her Ph.D at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  She is currently the Criminology Program Director at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she teaches courses on women and crime, criminological theory, crime policy analysis and serial killers. Her research on the criminal justice system and policy has been published in several academic journals, as well as two books. Prior to her academic career, Meghan served as a United States Probation Officer in the Southern District of New York.

Amy Shlosberg earned her Ph.D at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  She is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she teaches a variety of courses including wrongful convictions, offender reentry and reintegration, race and crime, data analysis and research methods. Her primary research focuses on the negative implications of incarceration and issues surrounding reentry, with an emphasis on policy and procedural reform. Her works has been published in several notable academic journals, such as Albany Law Review, Deviant Behavior, and Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.