Knoxville woman indicted for hiring online hitman to kill wife of man she met, USDOJ says
In the filing, Melody Sasser is being accused of paying almost $10,000 on Online Killers Market to hire a hitman for a “job.”
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville woman was accused of hiring an online hitman to kill the wife of a man she met on Match.com, according to court documents obtained by WVLT News.
In the filing, Melody Sasser was accused by United States Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Gregory Martin of paying almost $10,000 on Online Killers Market to hire a hitman for a “job.” That website, according to the filing, offers hitman-for-hire services as well as “hacking, kidnapping, extortion, disfigurement by acid attack, and sexual violence.”
Screenshots in the filing show Sasser, under the username “cattree,” messaging a website administrator about hiring someone to do a job, offering $9,750 in payment through Bitcoin.
The screenshots show Sasser telling the administrator “it needs to seem random or accident. or plant drugs, do not want a long investigation. she recently moved in with her new husband. [SIC]”
Sasser also provided work and home addresses, license plate numbers and other details about her target, according to the filing. The subject of the order, only identified as JW, lives in Prattville, Alabama, with her husband, who Sasser reportedly met on Match.com.
Sasser and JW’s husband, DW, hiked together in the Knoxville area, the filing said, before he moved to Alabama and married JW. The filing also said that Sasser had left threatening voicemails on JW’s phone using a device to disguise her voice.
Birmingham, Alabama authorities also spoke with JW and DW when law enforcement discovered what might be happening. In interviews, DW said he met Sasser on Match.com and she helped him with a hike along the Appalachian Trail. He also said Sasser is an employee for Pilot in Knoxville, which law enforcement said they had confirmed. She has since been let go from her position, according to Pilot officials.
Additionally, DW identified Sasser as a possible suspect due to the voicemails that had been left on JW’s phone.
According to the filing, Sasser spoke with the Online Killers Market administrator over two months, complaining about the “job” not being done.
“i have waited for 2 months and 11 days and the job is not completed. 2 weeks ago you said it was been worked on and would be done in a week. the job is still not done. does it need to be assigned to someone else. will it be done. what is the delay. when will it be done, [SIC]” “cattree” said in a message to the administrator.
Sasser was also reportedly able to track JW and DW by using an app called Strava, which connects to Garmin watched to share fitness data. She was even able to tell the Online Killers Market administrator when JW had gone on a two-mile walk.
The filing said the exchange happened between Jan. 1, 2023 and April 27, 2023.
On June 7, a federal grand jury indicted Sasser for use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine, restitution and supervised for release for no more than three years.
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