true crime

Bizarre Houston murder mystery twists revealed in Dateline episode

Bizarre Houston murder mystery twists revealed in Dateline episode

Elizabeth Rose Dateline NBC
Elizabeth Rose, daughter of Jaime and Sandra Melgar, is speaking out for the first time on television.  Courtesy photo of NBC Universal
Dateline NBC Colleen prosecutor
Prosecutor Colleen Barnett pieced apart Sandra Melgar's tale of a fatal home invasion.  Courtesy photo of NBC Universal
Sandra Melgar ABC 13
Sandra Melgar sobbed in court upon learning her fate.  Courtesy photo of ABC 13
Elizabeth Rose Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC Colleen prosecutor
Sandra Melgar ABC 13

The story of Houston couple Jaime and Sandra Melgar reads like a TV movie, and it gets the dramatic, true crime treatment in an NBC Dateline episode, first airing Friday, January 19.

Houstonians may remember the bizarre Melgar case, in which the 57-year-old Sandra Melgar was convicted last year of killing her husband, Jaime Melgar, in 2012. Sandra Melgar was found guilty of stabbing her husband to death and tying herself up — in an attempt to stage a fatal home invasion in the couple’s northwest Harris County home.

In a movie-style plot twist, this incident occurred as the Melgars were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. Family members discovered Jaime Melgar brutally murdered in his closet, and Sandra Melgar apparently bound by an assailant in her bathroom closet. Sandra Melgar claimed no memory of the events and said that she may have suffered a seizure.

But prosecutors argued that the crime scene didn’t match Sandra Melgar’s story of a home invasion, and instead pointed to a $500,000 life insurance policy as her motivation to murder her husband. A jury agreed and sentenced Sandra Melgar to 27 years in prison.

The Dateline episode promises the odd turns from the case, including an exclusive: the couple’s daughter, Elizabeth Rose, who has long defended her mother and is speaking out for the first time on national TV.

In less ominous news, the Dateline crew seemed to enjoy their time in Houston, even offering a video tribute to a beloved local Vietnamese restaurant. 

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Dateline’s “Unspeakable” airs at 9 pm, Friday, January 19, on NBC.