Leon Jacob and Valerie McDaniel of Houston, Texas, were dating, and they had at least one thing in common: they both wanted their exes dead. Meghan Verikas, 33, ended her relationship with Jacob and filed a restraining order against him because he had been stalking her. McDaniel and her ex, Mack McDaniel, 51, were divorced, but she still owed him $1.25 million from the settling of their estates. The solution to their problem, or so they thought, rested in the hands of a hitman that they hired for the cost of $20,000 and two Cartier watches. What they did not realize was that the hitman they hired was actually an undercover police officer.
The police then turned to Verikas and McDaniel to play along with a plot in order to catch the criminals. They had Verikas pose with a gag around her mouth, and her legs and hands bound by zip ties. (Jacob had requested that she be brought to him alive so that he could kill her himself.) McDaniel posed for a picture, showing him as the apparent victim of a gunshot to the head as the result of a carjacking. The images were shown to the sinister pair as proof that the jobs had been done.
Shortly after being arrested, according to the Daily Mail, Valerie McDaniel committed suicide. She “leaped to her death from her seventh-floor condo a day before she was due for her first appearance in court. She had left two suicide notes.” Valerie’s ex-husband had pleaded with the court, asking for her not to be let out on bail because he suspected she was suicidal.
Jacob’s attorneys told the court that he didn’t want Verikas dead—that he was trying to get her back and that his pleas for her love went ignored. The trial for him continues.