Carol Montecalvo, the Burbank wife whose husband, Daniel Montecalvo, shot her dead in their home and made it look like a burglar had done it almost 30 years ago, is the next story of calculated murder to air on Investigation Discovery’s The Perfect Murder. In the episode titled “Murder By The Book,” investigators are on the trail of a ruthless burglar who gunned down a wife and badly injured her husband after an evening walk. However, the investigation circles back to the husband who police believe is hiding a secret. The Montecalvo murder case will be told through re-enactments and commentary by California officials.
**Note–Daniel Montecalvo has always denied killing his wife. A neighbor, Suzan Brown, ended up confessing to the murder. However, Daniel Montecalvo died of sepsis before a new trial was granted.
A Moonlight Stroll Ends In Murder Of Burbank Wife
When officers arrived to the South Myers Street home in April 1988 in Burbank, California, they found 43-year-old Carol Ann Montecalvo suffering from two gunshot wounds to the body. Her husband, Daniel J. Montecalvo, had also been shot. The Los Angeles Times provides more detail.
“Investigators found Carol Montecalvo’s body slumped in the hallway with a bullet wound in the left side of her neck. Another bullet had been fired from close range, execution-style, into the back of her neck.”
The seemingly grieving husband told Burbank investigators that they had just returned from a stroll when they were attacked.
Dan Montecalvo told the officers that his wife, Carol, had entered the residence when he suddenly heard a scream and gunshots. Then, after running inside to help Carol, he was shot in the back. According to Montecalvo, they were about to finish packing for their vacation in Hawaii, according to the LA Times.
“I’ll never forget what happened that night. I worshiped that woman. She didn’t deserve to die like that, and I want her murderers caught.”
When news of the crime hit the papers, headlines spoke of a burglary gone wrong, and that’s what everyone thought happened until Dan Montecalvo was arrested two years later for his wife’s death. Investigators believed that Dan Montecalvo wanted his wife dead so that he could cash in on a hefty insurance policy — a policy that would no doubt help him satisfy some outstanding debts that he had acquired.
From the first day that one officer stepped foot upon the Montecalvos’ front door, he remembered that Dan Montecalvo was only “acting” as if he was crying. Even more eerie, the officer remembered looking inside the home just before they knocked on the door, where he saw Dan Montecalvo calmly walking through the house. His demeanor changed only when he realized the officers were at the door. Then, there was also the rumor that Dan Montecalvo had actually looked for someone to kill Carol.
A Marriage Made In Prison
On the surface, Dan Montecalvo seemed like a nice church-going family man. But in real life, he was doing a whole lot of drinking and cheating on his wife. He was also gambling and sinking the couple’s finances into debt.
Carol Montecalvo had met the former bank robber in 1978 through the prison ministry. Carol became taken with Dan and fell in love with him through writing letters and later married the convict in a prison ceremony in 1980. But it wasn’t long after that Daniel Montecalvo began showing his true colors as an ex-con with an agenda, authorities believed.
He Said Police Had The Wrong Guy
Dan Montecalvo told police over and over that he wasn’t the killer and believed that they had botched the entire case by wasting time using him as an angle. He ended up trying to sue the Burbank Police Department for not arriving in time to help his wife. Some other interesting details about this case include the following.
- The fingerprint of another man was found in the Montecalvos’ home.
- Dan Montecalvo claims he would never have shot himself, risking his own life to carry out the plot.
- The former Glendale man also believed the gunpowder residue test was faulty.
At trial, the prosecution’s case was more convincing and Daniel Montecalvo was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison. Before he was sentenced, Daniel Montecalvo shocked Californians again by marrying his wife’s good friend.
In 1991, there was another twist in the case. Suzan Brown came forward, stating that she killed Carol Montecalvo, along with some other drug-addicted friends. The D.A. didn’t believe her and refused to proceed further with the case. Dan Montecalvo died in 2013 without receiving a new trial. In addition to Investigation Discovery’s The Perfect Murder, Carol Montecalvo’s murder was featured on an old episode of Unsolved Mysteries. The book Final Vows: Murder, Madness, & Twisted Justice In California also covers the case.
Watch the story as it unfolded in 1988 on The Perfect Murder this Wednesday at 9/8 p.m. Central on ID. In a prior episode, the murder of Larissa Macriello premiered on The Perfect Murder.
[Image via ShutterStock]