A New Jersey woman who's behind bars for the murder and dismemberment of her husband is the focus of a Lifetime Original Movie scheduled to air on June 18.

Melanie McGuire, a mother of two and a former fertility nurse from Woodbridge, drugged and shot her husband, Bill, just hours after they had purchased a home for the family in 2004.

Then, she used a saw to cut his body into multiple pieces and used three matching suitcases to transport her husband's remains across state lines in order to dispose of the evidence from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Virginia.

Parts of Bill's body, in suitcases, were found on three dates from May 5 to May 16, 2004. Bill was drugged in the evening hours of April 28, prosecutors said, and killed on that date or April 29.

Trial and conviction of Melanie McGuire

At age 31, McGuire was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for the murder. The case received national media attention.

Attempts by McGuire to overturn the conviction have been unsuccessful.

Melanie McGuire
Melanie McGuire and defense attorney Stephen Turano, right, react to the verdict during her trial in New Brunswick, N.J., Monday, April 23, 2007. McGuire was convicted Monday of killing her husband, hacking up his body and stuffing the parts into three suitcases she tossed into Chesapeake Bay. (AP Photo/Patti Sapone, Pool)

Melanie McGuire murder trial evidence

Evidence against McGuire included internet searches related to gun laws, poisoning, and how to commit murder; and expert testimony that suggests the bags used to carry her husband's remains were from the same production run as garbage bags found in the McGuire home.

Links were also made between McGuire and a blanket and tape found inside the suitcases.

McGuire was arrested and charged with Bill's murder in June 2005, about 14 months after he suspiciously fell off everyone's radar.

Why did Melanie McGuire kill her husband?

As to motive, prosecutors alleged that McGuire wanted to end her marriage and was not on board with purchasing a home as part of a marriage she regretted.

At the time of Bill's "disappearance," McGuire was involved in an affair with a doctor in the medical practice where she worked. According to testimony from the doctor, who was married, the relationship began in 2002 and the two spoke about starting a life together, although they had no plans to divorce their spouses.

The trial involved 23 days of testimony. The jury deliberated for about three days.

NJ Department of Corrections photo of Melanie McGuire
NJ Department of Corrections photo of Melanie McGuire

When can Melanie McGuire leave prison?

McGuire is serving her sentence in New Jersey's women prison, the Edna Mahon Correctional Facility in Clinton Township.

Must serve at least 66 years in prison before she can be considered for parole in May 2073.

Suitcase Killer (Screenshot from Lifetime promo)
Suitcase Killer (Screenshot from Lifetime promo)

Where can I watch the Melanie McGuire movie?

"Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story" premieres on Lifetime at 8 p.m. on June 18.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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