Crazy: Woman found guilty of long-unsolved murder

DECATUR, Ga. — In a shocking turn of events, a Georgia woman serving a life sentence for stabbing her wife to death in 2018 has now been convicted of killing her ex-girlfriend in 2011. Seven years had passed before authorities brought forward enough evidence for a guilty verdict.

Joyce Marie Pelzer, 47, was found guilty on Friday of the kidnapping and murder of Shawndell McLeod, 35, who went missing on September 25, 2011. McLeod had recently left an alleged abusive relationship with Pelzer prior to her disappearance. Pelzer has now been sentenced to life without parole.

Pelzer was already serving a life sentence after confessing to stabbing her wife, Rosalyn Lewis, in a motel room. Lewis, who the authorities believe was involved in McLeod’s killing, had filed for divorce from Pelzer and was found with multiple stab wounds shortly after Pelzer’s “newest girlfriend” reported Pelzer’s intention to kill Lewis. Despite being found by the police and identifying Pelzer as her assailant, Lewis eventually succumbed to her injuries.

In September 2011, McLeod’s mother reported her missing after she failed to show up for work, the statement said, and family members couldn’t find her in her Lithonia, Ga. home. It was not until Pelzer’s girlfriend at the time came forward and disclosed the details of the crimes that the case surrounding McLeod’s disappearance was cracked.

According to the unnamed girlfriend, Pelzer had admitted to killing McLeod with Lewis’ alleged help. The trio had reportedly kidnapped McLeod, held her captive for several days, and eventually buried her body. Despite an extensive search, authorities have yet to locate McLeod’s remains.

After years of uncertainty, the families of the victims have some closure with Pelzer’s conviction. The Dekalb County District Attorney’s office, which handled the case, said it hoped the successful prosecution would serve as a reminder that justice can prevail even in long-standing unsolved cases.

Law enforcement officials continue to investigate other aspects of the case, hoping to shed further light on the circumstances surrounding the two murders. In the aftermath of these disturbing crimes, they remain determined to uncover the truth and bring justice to all those affected.