William Henderson murdered wife Melissa Henderson when she began an affair: Suspicious Minds investigates

Family pic of Melissa Henderson
Melissa Henderson was murdered by her husband, William Henderson after she told him she wanted a divorce. Pic credit: Family photo

Suspicious Minds is in Dearborn County, Indiana, to investigate the 2005 murder of Melissa Henderson, who was strangled to death by her husband, William Henderson, when he learned she was having an affair.

In April 2005, Melissa began having an affair with James McCracken, and a few months later, she told her husband, William, that she didn’t love him anymore and wanted a divorce.

William reacted angrily to his news; he pushed his wife and hit her on the leg. A few days later, William told her that he knew about McCracken, and in the subsequent argument, Melissa was pushed up against a wall. Two days later, she was dead.

On June 17, William told the authorities that he had found his wife dead in their bedroom. He claimed he had spent the previous night in Kentucky on business, and on his return, he said he found her lying dead.

The police did a DNA analysis of the scene and discovered DNA from William and an unknown source.  The police interviewed McCracken as a suspect but soon ruled him out as a killer.

By then, the police had grown suspicious of William, he denied knowing about the affair with McCracken, but the investigators knew he was lying. They also learned that he lied about being in Kentucky.

William was interviewed about the case by a local news station, and the police noticed the inconsistencies in his story. In the interview, William described his marriage to Melissa as “a Brady bunch picture-perfect life;” another lie. Prosecutors later played footage of the interview at this trial.

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Melissa’s initial autopsy recorded the cause of death as natural causes; however, an additional autopsy in March 2006 determined that she’s been strangled.

Evidence mounts against William Henderson

Investigators also learned that William had been paying his two children $100 each week to bribe them into telling the police that he had not been arguing with their mom.

William was arrested on April 26, 2006, and charged with murder. At his trial, he continued to maintain his innocence. However, a jury found him guilty of killing Melissa.

At his sentencing in September 2017, William suddenly changed his story and admitted to lying at his trial. He said: “I’ve been living with a burden for two years. I lied in court. I’m not lying today.”

He went on to admit that he had been arguing with Melissa on the day she died. He said they got into a physical struggle and that he didn’t know what happened, but when he came to, she was dead. He claimed it was an accident.

The judge gave him 65 years in prison to reflect on this “accident.”

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on ID.

Previously on Suspicious Minds, Qaw’mane Wilson was an aspiring rapper from Chicago who loved to live the rock n roll lifestyle. He liked to flash the cash so much that he arranged to have his mother, Yolanda Holmes, murdered so he could inherit her money.

Raymond Rowe, aka DJ Freez, was a minor celebrity in Lancaster, Pennslyvania, until a 2018 DNA check revealed he’d been responsible for the brutal rape and murder of schoolteacher Christy Mirack in her home 25 years previously.

Suspicious Minds airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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