Tonight’s instalment of Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris probes the tragic case of a beloved 16-year-old varsity cheerleader, Demi Cuccia, who was stabbed to death in her own home by her ex-boyfriend in August 2007.
The episode, titled Deadly Breakup, tries to get to the bottom of why 18-year-old John Mullarkey killed Cuccia, and why their teen romance took such a horrific turn.
The incident took place in Monroeville, a quintessential American suburb located east of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. The murder of Cuccia left the community in tatters.
Mullarkey was charged with first-degree murder following a police investigation. Prosecutors reportedly argued that the suspect went to Cuccia’s home to reconcile with her but brought a hunting knife along with him.
Mullarkey’s defense attorney reportedly replied that it was typical for him to carry one because he was a Boy Scout.
Police say that, after he stabbed Cuccia 16 times, Mullarkey then slit his own throat — but survived.
Mullarkey reportedly claimed that acne medication he was taking caused him to go through mood swings.
A Pennsylvania jury in June 2009 rejected the so-called “acne drug defense”, convicting him of first-degree murder after deliberating for 45 minutes.
During the trial, jurors reportedly saw disturbing photographs of text messages from Mullarkey’s phone.
In one, he wrote to an unknown recipient: “I stabbed my self at Demi’s I love you.”
That message was reportedly shown in a police photo on the blood-stained screen of Mullarkey’s cell phone.
Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris airs Sundays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.