Melissa Millan (Oct 13, 1960 – Nov 20, 2014)

Melissa Millan (Oct 13, 1960 - Nov 20, 2014)

Melissa Millan (Oct 13, 1960 – Nov 20, 2014)

Melissa Millan by Elizabeth Bramon

An arrest was finally made in the 2014 murder of Melissa Millan of Simsbury, CT. William Winters Leverett 27, of Windsor Locks, CT was arraigned in Enfield Superior Court on Monday, September 24, 2018 on the charges of murder in the first degree for the November 20, 2014 stabbing death of Melissa Millan.

Millan was out jogging on the evening of November 20, 2014 on a widely used trail in Simsbury when she was attacked and stabbed in the chest. Millan was well liked and was an executive at Mass Mutual Insurance Company, there was nothing in her background to suggest that anyone she knew wanted to harm her.

The case went cold and last year the Cold Case Unit of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office and the FBI revisited the crime scene, no new evidence was found. That all changed when the man now charged with the crime William Winters Leverett walked into Simsbury PD and said that he wanted to confess to the crime.

On Monday, Leverett was arraigned in Enfield Superior Court and charged with murder in the first degree. Leverett, who is 27 has lived in Connecticut since 2011, he moved here from Colorado where in 2010 he plead guilty to fourth degree sexual assault of a child. The specifics of those charges have not been released by the Colorado police; Leverett did not serve any prison time, was placed on probation and fined $438. He was required to provide a DNA sample and register as a sex offender.

The night of the murder Leverett told investigators that he was looking to attain human contact with someone after he had left a therapy meeting for sex offenders. He was upset that a woman he had met months before was going to find out that he was a registered sex offender. He told investigators that he thought if he just “went out and killed somebody, it would make all that go away and I wouldn’t have to explain myself.” When he saw Millan he was “getting mentally aroused.” He then became anxious and angry realizing that Millan was someone who was way out of his league and that he would “never be able to have her.” At that point he approached her and stabbed her in the chest. When she went to push him away, he still had his hand on the knife and she pulled it out of her chest, she then landed on the street after going over the guard rail. He got rid of the knife by throwing it out of his car window, but then went back to retrieve it and dispose of it in a trash compactor at his job. He took police to the barn on a property that he had lived at the time of the murder; there he showed them on of the gloves that he got rid of, the glove had DNA on it matching Melissa Millan’s.

Police believe that there is no other perpetrator of the crime, in particular since Leverett was able to provide information that would only be known to the killer. Melissa’s family and friends released a statement saying that they appreciated all the work that law enforcement had done to find the killer.

This case has held my interest since it happened, there were many theories on what might have happened. Now, having the information that we do regarding the confessed perpetrator I have to wonder as a student of Forensic Psychology was there something that was missed during any possible assessments that were done after his conviction in Colorado? Although we do not know the exact details of his crime in Colorado since it was a sex crime I would hope that an assessment for any future violence was done.

It is very possible that this senseless tragedy could have been avoided. I cannot say if prison time would have made a difference since there are not always solid and successful treatment plans for sex offenders. What the conditions of his probation are/were are not known. I strongly believe in mandatory counseling for all convicted sex offenders, of course this does not mean they will always tell the truth, but it is possible that a sign of potential violence might have been seen.

Resources

The Hartford Courant: Warrant Describes A Brutal, Random Attack in 2014 Stabbing Death of Melissa Millan: Suspect Told Police He Went Into A ‘Frenzy’ from September 24, 2018 written by David Owens and Dave Altimari. For further reading: click here for general search results about Melissa’s case.

About the author:

Elizabeth Bramon (@Hargitay1NY on Twitter) is a future Forensic Psychologist. She helps veterans and police officers cope with PTSD and especially, to prevent suicide. Elizabeth’s father was a WWII Navy Veteran. Her mother was her “shining star.” Thank you for writing this guest blog post, Liz.