- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 20, 2005

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey law-enforcement officials are looking into new charges made in an anonymous letter that someone other than Melanie McGuire fatally shot her husband, chopped up the body and stuffed it into suitcases found floating off the coast of Virginia.

The dead man’s car turned up abandoned in Atlantic City, and his dismembered body floated ashore in his own matching luggage in the Chesapeake Bay near Norfolk.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the Trentonian of Trenton newspaper received a rambling, four-page letter late last week saying Mrs. McGuire did not kill her husband, William T. McGuire, a New Jersey Institute of Technology computer worker whose body parts were found stuffed in three suitcases last year.

Mrs. McGuire has been charged with murder and is free on $750,000 bail. The case is before a grand jury.

“This is significant evidence in an ongoing investigation,” said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case. “No theory is being ruled out as to the authorship.”

He refused to comment further.

The letter, addressed to Attorney General Peter Harvey, accused Mr. McGuire of having a big mouth and of bragging incessantly: “He was a victim, all right. Of his greed, his big ego, and his even bigger mouth.”

The writer did not sign the letter, but ended by offering details that only the killer or a witness would know.

“The way the articles read of last year, it made it seem like his arms were cut off. They weren’t,” the letter stated. “He was wearing nothing but purple briefs when you found him. Ever figure out where the weights came from?”

Mrs. McGuire’s attorney, Henry Klingeman of Madison, said he thought the letter writer’s primary purpose was to exonerate his client.

“Beyond that, the letter talks about [Mr.] McGuire’s behaviors, life, character in ways that are extremely critical and unflattering,” Mr. Klingeman said.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the letter. The author’s sex and relationship to Mr. McGuire are not known.

The newspaper had not published the letter as of Friday.

“The Attorney General’s Office needs to determine who wrote the letter and whether it is genuine in terms of whether the author is a knowledgeable participant in the murder,” Mr. Klingeman said.

“If the author is a knowledgeable participant in the murder, then Melanie McGuire is incontestably innocent.”

Mr. Klingeman said Mrs. McGuire also wants the letter investigated “as thoroughly as possible.”

And he denied that his client wrote the letter herself.

“It makes no sense for her to write a letter of this nature,” the attorney said. “It doesn’t conclusively exonerate her. She doesn’t need some anonymous letter that raises more questions than it answers. She needs someone to come forward.”

The victim’s sister, Nancy Taylor, said the letter did nothing to shake her confidence that police had arrested the killer.

“Don’t you think that Melanie wrote that letter herself?” Miss Taylor asked.

Mrs. McGuire, 32, of Brick, was arraigned in Middlesex County Superior Court in June on a first-degree murder charge in the killing.

Mr. McGuire, 39, disappeared in April of last year, the day the McGuires closed on a new home.

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