A Tennessee woman is accused of trying to hire a hitman with bitcoin to kill the wife of a man she met on Match.com, a federal complaint alleges.
Environmental compliance specialist and avid hiker Melody Sasser, 47, was arrested May 18 for the depraved plot to allegedly murder her romantic rival.
The names of the victim and her husband are redacted in court papers, but the Daily Beast, which first reported the story, identified the Alabama couple as Jennifer and David Wallace.
Sasser met the retired Department of Energy emergency manager and Air Force veteran on Match.com, and they became hiking buddies in Knoxville, Tennessee. However, the relationship reportedly soured when he moved to Alabama and told her he was engaged.
It is unclear if Sasser and David Wallace were ever romantically involved, but she did not take the news well and drove nearly five hours to the couple’s Prattville, Alabama, home to confront them.
“I hope you both fall off a cliff and die,” she told them in the fall of 2022, the complaint says. Around the same time, Jennifer found gashes in the side of her car and began receiving a deluge of threatening phone calls.
Sasser, using the name “cattree,” put in a murder-for-hire order on the dark web’s “Online Killers Market” Jan. 11 providing Jennifer Wallace’s name, address and a bitcoin down payment for the $9,750 job.
“It needs to seem random or accident or plant drugs, do not want a long investigation,” cattree allegedly wrote in the message that included a photo of the target.
The bizarre site “purports to offer ‘hitman for hire’ type services as well as associated services at the would-be customer’s request, such as hacking, kidnapping, extortion, disfigurement by acid attack, and sexual violence,” the complaint says.
Sasser, who had worked for the Pilot Flying J truck stop company before her arrest, exchanged several messages with the site’s administrator expressing her frustration over the delay.
“[I] have waited for 2 months and 11 days and the job is not completed. 2 weeks ago you said it was being worked on and would be done in a week. the job is still not done,” Sasser allegedly griped March 22.
Six days later, she sent another message providing detailed information about Jennifer Wallace’s whereabouts. “Yesterday she worked from home and went for a 2 mile walk by herself,” she wrote.
A foreign law-enforcement agency alerted the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to the assassination scheme on April 27.
HSI notified local police who assigned a detail to protect the couple. Jennifer Wallace told law enforcement that she used a fitness tracking app called Strava, which is likely how Sasser was keeping tabs on her whereabouts.
The complaint says that Sasser bought bitcoin on four occasions from a Coinhub ATM that was then sent to an “Online Killers Market” digital wallet. She used her personal cellphone number to complete the transactions, according to the filing.
Sasser has been detained since her arrest. Her attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
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