KNOX COUNTY, Tennessee (WHAT) – According to a criminal complaint filed in court, a woman from Knoxville, Tenn., is accused of hiring a hitman via the dark web to murder the wife of a man she met on internet dating site Match.com .
In the May 11 complaint, a Department of Homeland Security agent wrote that Melody Sasser allegedly hired the hit man on January 11 through a website called Online Killers Market. The “murder warrant” included a description that said the hitman was to kill a woman in Prattville, Alabama, the complaint says.
“It has to seem random or coincidental. “Or herbal drugs, I don’t want a lengthy investigation,” the description reads, as the filing states. The description included additional details about the victim and her husband’s vehicles and workplaces.
The Department of Homeland Security official received information about the alleged conspiracy from a foreign law enforcement agency on April 27. Officials in Birmingham, Alabama, notified local police and the victim of the threat to her life.
The investigation revealed that Sasser and the victim’s husband had met through Match.com, according to the records.
The victim told authorities her husband and Sasser were hiking friends in Knoxville before he moved to Alabama. After moving, Sasser reportedly traveled unannounced to his home in Prattville, Alabama, in the fall of 2022 after the man informed Sasser that 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.”
The complaint also lists other alleged harassment the victim suffered, including damage to her vehicle and threatening phone calls.
Throughout the investigation, the complaint said agents linked Sasser to the account that issued the “killing order” on Online Killers Market through Bitcoin purchases used to send funds to the account. While the deposits listed in the document only amount to approximately $3,758.67, the total for the “order” was $9,750.
The complaint states that Coinhub ATMs take photos of each user for each transaction, and that photos from an ATM linked to specific transactions matched Sasser’s Tennessee driver’s license picture and her Facebook profile picture. In addition, the phone number used to identify the customer at the ATM also matched the phone number Sasser provided on her driver’s license and in her contact information with the Knoxville Utilities Board. The photos and phone number were provided by Coinhub to Homeland Security Investigations, the complaint said.
Sasser is scheduled to appear in federal court in Knoxville on Thursday.