Melissa Garcia, and her husband, Edward Garcia Jr., are the subject of a grisly tale that will be played on Oxygen’s Snapped: Killer Couples this Saturday.
The Killer Couples episode covering the dismemberment death of Herbert Tracy White will follow a psychotic couple from their home in York, Pennsylvania, to the seedy side of Los Angles, California, where they lure a good Samaritan to a hotel to carry out a gruesome sexual fantasy.
According to Snapped: Killer Couples, the maid assigned to clean room 66 at the Continental Hotel in Los Angeles was in for a bloody surprise when she found a backpack filled with body parts and another set of parts under a blood-soaked blanket, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles detectives knew immediately that they had a dangerous killer on their hands. After speaking with the hotel manager, they learned that the victim, a black man named Herbert Tracy White, had rented the room for two people: Edward Garcia and his wife, Melissa Garcia.
Investigators took the story to the media, which created a frenzy as they hurried to find the ruthless killers.
Back at the crime scene, a torso, a head, and arms were found. An autopsy report discovered that the killers had played with the body by making cuts all over it. Some of the cuts occurred while the victim was still alive. Detectives say on another part of the body, the killers skinned a portion of the victim.
Detectives would later learn that the killers had acted out a dark sexual fantasy that included a ritualistic killing. The sex-crazed, drug-induced couple wanted to skin portions of the body like a filet and then drain it completely of blood.
According to the New York Daily News, defense attorney John McKinney made the following statement.
“They bound White before taking a knife to his body. Edward Garcia used precise strokes as he slashed White’s face and chest, even taking a piece of leg muscle off the bone, ‘like a filet.’ Then the couple slashed his jugular vein, the fatal blow and went to work dismembering him. They set up the room like an exhibit: the arms stuffed in a backpack, the torso shoved under the bed and White’s Lakers hat perched atop the bed ‘like a tombstone.'”
The victim’s wife, Annie Coty-White, told police that her 49-year-old husband, Herbert Tracy White, had received a phone call before heading out to help some friends in need.
It wasn’t a strange thing for Herbert Tracy White to do. People who knew him stated that he always helped people and had a big heart. However, that same good-hearted nature got him killed.
The investigation revealed that Herbert Tracy White had recently met Edward Garcia and Melissa Garcia in Hollywood and offered to help them get clean. Family members say that Herbert Tracy White told them that he had met a lovely couple at an ATM machine. He also said that he gave them his phone number to call him when they were ready to make a change.
The call came soon, but authorities say Edward and Melissa Garcia had no intention of getting off drugs. Instead, their goal was to rob and kill the man who had tried to help them. The defense attorney stated that though Herbert Tracy White was being described as a good Samaritan and recovering alcoholic, the truth was that he planned to meet up with them so that he could have sex with Melissa.
According to the New York Daily News, a security guard at the hotel stated that Herbert Tracy White told him that Melissa was his girlfriend. Defense attorneys also alleged that it was the victim who brought drugs to the hotel.
The jury believed the prosecution theory and Melissa Hope Edwards, aka Melissa Turner, was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Edward Garcia received a life sentence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to Snapped: Killer Couples, Melissa was a lonely young woman who felt rejected and unwanted all of her life. When she met Edward Garcia, a handsome former member of the Latin Kings gang, she fell deeply in love with him. Their entire relationship was fueled by sex and drugs.
Note: The feature photo above shows the mother of the victim, Elizabeth Peterson, and Herbert Tracy White’s widow, Annie Coty-White, standing next to her at a press conference.
Watch Melissa and Edward Garcia’s true story this Saturday, September 10 at 9/8 p.m. Central on the Oxygen Network. In a previous episode of Snapped: Killer Couples, the Debra Canady case was recounted.
[Photo by Damian Dovarganes/File/AP Images]