In a bewildering case, environmental compliance specialist Melody Sasser, 47, stands accused of attempting a murder-for-hire plot on her hiking partner’s spouse, whom she initially encountered on the dating site Match.com.
Sasser allegedly used a fake online platform designed for hitman recruitment. She did so to try and orchestrate the murder of Jennifer Wallace, the wife of David Wallace. She had met David online and subsequently hiked with him at a national park.
Documents filed in the federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, allege that Sasser utilized a fitness app to track Jennifer and relay real-time data to the alleged hitman recruitment site. This misuse of technology was what eventually alerted the authorities.
It’s reported that Sasser made the transaction on January 11, transferring around $9,750 in bitcoin to the fraudulent site. She also gave specific details of Jennifer and explicit instructions for the potential hitman to evade detection.
The friendship between Sasser and David Wallace, an employee of the U.S. Department of Energy, developed through a shared passion for hiking, with the pair even taking on the Appalachian Trail together. However, this relationship turned bitter after Wallace moved to Prattville, Alabama, with his then-fiancée, Jennifer.
Court records suggest Sasser tracked the couple down, leading to a confrontation and Wallace informing her of his plans to marry Jennifer. Sasser’s hostile reaction was noted in the documents.
By December, Sasser allegedly started expressing frustration on the fake hitman site due to the lack of progress in her illicit request. Her agitation grew to the point where she lodged complaints with the site administrator, posting continuous updates about Jennifer’s whereabouts and routines taken from the Strava fitness app.
On April 27th, authorities received notification about the murder contract on Jennifer. This resulted in a collaborative effort to safeguard the couple and uncover the culprit.
In the course of their investigation, authorities traced the funds from the pseudonymous account and connected it to Sasser through subpoenaed records from Coinhub, a company operating Bitcoin ATM machines. Further evidence came when Sasser’s vehicle was spotted near Jennifer’s workplace in Birmingham on two occasions in November 2022.
Sasser was arrested on May 18th and is currently awaiting a court hearing. If convicted of the murder-for-hire charge, she may face up to a decade in prison. The accused’s legal representation has opted not to comment on the ongoing case.