Brina Nie

If you recall, Brina Nie is the 21-year-old woman who shot her father in the head and killed him. She also shot her mother in the arm. I wrote about it briefly when it happened, and then gave a quick update later.

I was really amazed by how many people wrote in to tell me what wonderful people they are. I was given the opportunity to interview her neighbors, approximately four of them, as long as I kept their identity a secret. This is a small community. Everyone knows everyone who knows everyone.  Many of the neighbors, as one would imagine, have their own theories about what is going on here. No matter whose opinions I express, someone will write with a complaint about what I didn't mention, or what I got wrong, according to something he/she saw somewhere, at some time. But, if you're here to hear something from the actual people around, this is it. Here are the top theories from the four people I have spoken to who knew some aspect of this family tragedy. We'll see when trial comes in January, I guess.

By all accounts, Jeff and Barbara Nie were the salt of the earth. They lived with his brother and several other family members on somewhere near 500 acres in the hills of Kentucky, as one witness estimates. They were more than well-off. Their home is a huge mansion. Brina has had some rebellious teenage behavior off and on but she seemed to lack for nothing. Nothing noteworthy as far as bad teen behavior. She wasn't especially smart but no developmental problems to speak of.

She has two children, by two different men. One, in particular, who would like visiting rights, at the very least, with his child. Something Brina is reportedly not happy about. Some witnesses have said Brina and her mother Barbra had somewhat of a tumultuous relationship. Again, this isn't anything out of the ordinary for a mom/teen daughter relationship.

This case is missing the hot boyfriend element. By no account had Brina been seen sporting a new stud around town. Nor any old studs for that matter. That's how these episodes of Dateline always end. A Romeo and Juliet type thing. But, naw. All indications point to No.
 But there is that theory.

Others say her mother is in on it. Maybe for insurance. Maybe as a result of some abuse - physical, sexual, emotional - who knows at this point. She was only shot in the arm, and very superficially. While her husband, Jeff, was shot in the head while in bed. Not at all expecting it, nor in the midst of an argument.

According to those in town, the whole family has vanished since this happened. No one has been seen in town, socializing, grocery shopping, or at the big spread where all their houses are huddled in the hills. Not even the elderly and visually disabled grandparents.

One final theory is postpartum depression. Brina's youngest child is just a baby and her other isn't that much older. Local residents have claimed she's had some child custody issues that both she and her mom have been upset over. Brina is a young woman herself and postpartum could be a real defense for her.

No one local, and I mean NO ONE, has any idea why this happened. In most cases where a young woman in her twenties kills someone, the motive comes out relatively quickly. Not so here. As of today, she has only a court appointed attorney. Strange for a family so wealthy. One ex-neighbor who served in the military with Jeff told me repeatedly that the abuse factor just cannot be true. They were just to nice of people.

This family has a lot of money and they may be able to keep most of the story out of the news because of that. So, we may never know what really happened. I have reached out to Brina but it hasn't been long enough to get a response, if she even wants to respond. Lawyers generally tell their clients not to speak to writers of any kind. There are some locals on the Websleuth site with some of these same theories and more.

January is the next appearance in court for Brina. Maybe we will find out something new then.


Morgan Smith Florida Sex Slave Murderer

Morgan Smith Florida Murderer

I am so excited. So. Darn. Excited.

Last night I got a Jpay email from Florida inmate Morgan Smith. I heard about her years ago and the first thing that popped into my mind was that she had most obviously lost her mind. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen a more obvious case in my life.

I think what people are missing about her case is that she was so badly mistreated for so long, her mind was desperately trying to find a way to cope with all that had went down in her life. The human mind can only handle so much before it snaps.

Convicted Female Killer Morgan Smith

I maybe wrong, however. (GASP!) She said there were some discrepancies in what Id previously reported and she was looking forward to giving me the facts. She did say that it wasn't my fault because all I had to go on was what the media and police had distorted. I wish all people were as understanding. Unless I hear right out of the accused mouth, I have no way of knowing what their side of the story is. Simple as that.

She said she was familiar with the blog and a family member had given her a printed copy of my post about her. She is not allowed to work, so if anyone is as interested as I am in what she has to say, you might want to buy her a few stamps. Its only $1.99 on Jpay.

Until that time, we'll have to wait :)


Melanie McGuire New Jersey's Suitcase Killer

Melanie McGuire is a New Jersey woman who killed and dismembered her husband, William McGuire in 2004, put his body parts into suitcases and threw them off a bridge into the Chesapeake Bay. She attempted an appeal in 2017 on the grounds of ineffectual counsel but it was denied.

At the time of the murder, she was a a fertility clinic nurse living in Woodbridge.

Michael A. Priarone, an attorney who has represented McGuire for the last two years, said his legal team plans to file a petition for certification with the Supreme Court in the next few weeks on the post-conviction relief appeal. He said he believes the decisions will be reversed. It very well may be.

The evidence against her included Internet searches about fatal poisons, gun laws and murder seized from her home computers. It also included expert testimony linking the plastic garbage bags used in the disposal of her husband's body to ones found in their own home.

She also bought a gun and filled a forged prescription for chloral hydrate a few days before her husband disappeared, according to court testimony. She was having an affair with a co-worker and planned to leave her husband, state investigators said.

In a 2011 petition, McGuire requested to have the garbage bags retested and asked to conduct a search on the computers.

She has argued her trial attorney, Joseph Tacopina, failed to retain and call witnesses critical to her defense, such as one of her neighbors and a pharmacologist. Tacopina, a well-known New York attorney who has had many famous clients, has denied those allegations.

McGuire had also said her conviction should be reversed, in part, because at least one juror read Internet blog posts about the case during the trial. That, in itself, could lead to a reversal in her case.

Friends who knew the couple describe them as a perfect match, saying Melanie had a quick wit and beguiling sense of humor that matched her husband's. They had tons of money. Melanie made good money at the clinic and William worked three jobs. Despite so much working, he was also an avid gambler, going to Atlantic City and spending $10,000 or more each trip.

With money to burn, the couple purchased a big, beautiful home and began to move in. It was then that Melanie reported to friends that she and her husband had gotten into a terrible fight over the house, he'd beaten her and disappeared into the night.

Weeks later his body began to wash up inside plastic garbage bags in several different suitcases.

Some of their friends do not believe Melanie killed him, or if they do, they think it was because William was abusive. Something they claim to have witnessed themselves.

He was an avid gambler who was shot to death and dismembered. Sounds like a gangland killing to many. Although, the luggage he was found in belonged to her. Her story changed a few times and there were many small coincidences. No direct evidence, no eye witnesses, but police certainly amassed a great deal of circumstances that pointed to Melanie as the murderer.

She still has appeals.

If you're interested in more, you can watch the episode on Melanie on Martinis and Murder on Amazon Prime.

Alyssa Bustamante Update