KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville, Tennessee, woman is accused of hiring a hitman through the dark web to murder the wife of a man she met on the internet dating website Match.com, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.
In the complaint dated May 11, a Homeland Security agent wrote that Melody Sasser allegedly hired the hitman through a site called “Online Killers Market” on Jan. 11. The “order for murder” had a description that said the hitman was to kill a woman in Prattville, Alabama, according to the complaint.
“It needs to seem random or accident. Or plant drugs, do not want a long investigation,” the description read, as described in the documents. The description went on to include even more details about the victim and her husband’s vehicles and jobs.
The Homeland Security agent received information on the alleged plot from a foreign law enforcement agency on April 27. Agents in Birmingham, Alabama, informed local police and the victim of the threat to her life.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Sasser and the victim’s husband met through Match.com, according to the documents.
The victim told authorities her husband and Sasser were hiking friends in Knoxville before he moved to Alabama. After he moved, Sasser allegedly traveled to his Prattville, Alabama, residence unannounced in the fall of 2022 after the man told Sasser he was engaged to the victim.
The complaint said Sasser responded that she hoped he and the victim both “fall off a cliff and die.”
In addition, the complaint also details other alleged harassment the victim was subjected to, including damages to her vehicle and threatening phone calls.
Throughout the investigation, the complaint said agents linked Sasser to the account that made the “order for murder” on “Online Killers Market” through Bitcoin purchases that were used to send money to the account. While the deposits listed in the document only total approximately $3,758.67, the total of the “order” was $9,750.
The complaint said Coinhub ATMs take photos of every user during each transaction, and photos from an ATM linked to specific transactions matched Sasser’s Tennessee driver’s license picture and her Facebook profile picture. Additionally, the phone number used to identify the customer at the ATM also matched the phone number Sasser listed on her driver’s license and in her contact information with the Knoxville Utilities Board. The photos and phone number were provided to Homeland Security Investigations by Coinhub, the complaint said.
Sasser is expected to appear in federal court in Knoxville on Thursday.