Sundays 10:30/9:30c
Episode 15 - Mary Ellen Renard

44-year-old Mary Ellen Renard was determined to make a fresh start. Recently divorced, she'd just moved into an apartment in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. On a warm August night in 1987, she made plans to meet a friend at a singles dance, but her friend had to cancel at the last minute. Mary Ellen decided to go on her own and, toward the end of the night, started up a conversation with a handsome young man almost twenty years her junior. He introduced himself as Ned Snelgrove and told her he was a recent graduate of Rutgers and was now an executive at HP. As flattered as she was by his advances, Mary Ellen decided to call it a night. But when her car wouldn't start, the young man reappeared in the parking lot, got it started, and offered to follow her home to make sure she made it safely. When they arrived, he asked if he could use her bathroom before he left for home. Mary Ellen was apprehensive, but agreed. It was a decision she'd soon come to regret. Once he made it into her apartment, he sexually assaulted her and attacked her with a knife, stabbing her several times. But, Mary Ellen fought back ferociously, and somehow managed to escape into the apartment below hers. Miraculously, she survived the attack and was able to help police identify and apprehend Snelgrove. It wasn't long before the cops got word from a detective in Middlesex County that Snelgrove had been the primary suspect in another murder five years earlier: that of a Rutgers student who'd been attacked in much the same way. But, unlike Mary Ellen, she had not survived. Snelgrove eventually pled guilty to both crimes in exchange for 20 years in prison. But the story was far from over. More than a decade later, Mary Ellen received a visit from two detectives. Snelgrove had been released early for good behavior, and had been arrested for another murder. This time, there would be no deals. Snelgrove was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison - without the possibility of parole.