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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hit or Miss: The Unsolved Murder of Melissa Millan

A makeshift memorial marks the site where Millan was found by a driver. 

A big  tree tells the story. Perhaps. This is just one writer's hypothesis.
Nevertheless I will go forward in this blog and state what I think happened on the night of November 20, 2014, when Mass Mutual vice president Mellissa Millan was murdered.

When I went to the murder site, I felt like her voice was crying out from the trees and the rocks: find my killer and name my killer. Bring about justice. My life mattered and the truth should be known.....

Somewhere out there, a man is walking around with the knowledge that he killed Melissa Millan- and got away with it... for now.

On the evening of November 20, 2014, the 54-year old senior vice president for Mass Mutual was stabbed while running on a bike trail that runs alongside Iron Horse Boulevard in Simsbury, Connecticut. The slaying came as a shock to the upscale community. Until then, many people felt safe running on that trail at night. Although the street lighting is dim and shadowy areas course the paved path, a steady stream of traffic moves past. Millan was killed between 7:30- 8:00 PM on a Friday night, when people would be driving to restaurants and stores in the area on the weekend before Thanksgiving.

That the killer remains unknown to this day, despite extensive investigative efforts by the Simsbury police and the FBI, indicates that whoever killed Millan was highly intelligent. I personally believe that the murder was the work of a hired hit man who knew that Millan often ran that same route at that time of night. He was not just looking to ambush any female runner. Millan was his sole target.
A crescent-shaped Old Moon barely lit the sky that night. 

I recently visited the scene of the crime. Based on my observations, which are speculative, at best, the murder took place in the following manner:

Millan was running south from her home and had just passed the playground at Rotary Park. As an accomplished tri-athlete, she was moving at a good clip. She had just passed the green lamppost that emitted a dull, orangey light. A short distance ahead, a tree stood in the shadows, a few feet from the trail. The trunk of that tree is approximately 8-feet in height, and wide enough for someone to completely hide behind while simultaneously viewing his target through the cracks of the bulky branches.

Iron Horse Blvd is quiet for predictable periods of time. 
When I went to the site it was sunny out, and yet my companion had to purposely slip her body out from behind the tree for me to even see her, as the photo shows. Imagine how perfectly hidden the killer (likely dressed in black with a hoodie and gloves) would have been on that brisk night in November when only a waning crescent moon lit the sky.

But what about the cars driving past? As you can see in this photo, taken at 3:30 PM on a Friday afternoon in September, the flow of traffic along Hopmeadow Street comes in predictable waves. A short line of cars usually waits at the two intersections about 100 feet away from the murder site in both directions. When the light changes, the cars drive past Millan's makeshift memorial marking the spot where Millan took her final breaths. Then there is a short gap in time, about 20-30 seconds, when the roadway and two intersections are empty.

It is likely that Millan ran this trail in circuits each night, repeating the route two or three times before finishing her work-out. Thus, if the killer saw or heard oncoming traffic, he could simply wait for the next opportunity when Millan would run past the tree.

Just as Millan passed the tree, the killer jumped out, blade in hand. Millan was a strong woman, but she was also petite, Slowing her pace, she turned to see what was behind her, and the killer gave a strong, clean thrust of the knife into Millan's chest. It must have been a big knife. Perhaps a hunting knife. He got the blade in deep and pulled it out, turned quickly, and headed for the area of grass beside the playground, located just a few feet north of the tree where he had hidden.
A grass path leads directly to the parking lot.

Again, this is all speculation on my part, although I suspect that law enforcement shares my theory. The killer's car was parked in the corner of the dark, empty lot that was rarely patrolled by police and yet open to the public 24/7. He jumped in the car, still clutching the knife, and rushed to the lot's entrance. If he turned right or left, he would go onto Hopmeadow Street. Instead, he went straight ahead, crossing Hopmeadow and getting onto a quiet, unlit roadway that leads directly to Route 10.  As the killer turned on to Route 10, Millan crawled to the guardrail and passing motorists stopped to  help.

Millan was taken to St. Francis Hospital where she died. In the hours that followed, it was thought that Millan had been hit by a car. As for Milan's ex-husband, the couple had separated in 2010 and their divorce was not finalized until 2012. Millan was a woman of means, and the court ordered her to pay her ex-husband $8,000.00 a month in spousal support even though the ex-husband once practiced law in California and owned a microbrewery in Farmington that went bankrupt prior to the divorce. I have not looked at the actual divorce decree, but it is likely that the $8,000.00 monthly in alimony was rehabilitative in nature- ordered for a specific period of time so that the ex-husband could establish another career.

Across from the park, a secluded road leads to Route 10. 
Law enforcement has consistently told the media that Millan's ex-husband is not a person of interest and has been ruled out as a suspect. This comes as a surprise to many, as there is no mention in media reports of a solid alibi or any specific reason as to why Millan's ex has been cleared. On one hand, police have searched his home, and very likely his vehicle, and nothing incriminating has been found- but is that enough to clear someone? I trust that law enforcement, including the FBI, has carried out a detailed search of the ex-husband's finances in the year or so leading up to the murder and found no indication of a pay-off to a third party, whether it be in a lump sum or in increments over time.

Assuming the ex-husband is 100% innocent, who else could have hired the hit on Melissa Millan? Stay-tuned. At a future date, I will post a new article regarding the very real possibility that Millan's murder is related to her job at MassMutal and her knowledge of "Trade Secrets" in relation to the company's Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) accounts, a controversial practice where banks purchase life insurance policies on all of their workers.

Disclaimer: There are currently no suspects in the unsolved murder of Melissa Millan and it appears that law enforcement has reached a dead end in the investigation. The theory posited by the author in this post regarding the performance of the crime is based solely on the author's personal observations of the crime scene and is purely speculative in nature. The facts are as follows: Millan was stabbed in the chest at the location referenced above at about 8:00 PM on Friday, November 20, 2014. She was discovered on the ground by a passing motorist and thereafter pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital. Although this blog post refers to the killer as a man, there is no indication of the killer's gender. 

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