The Murder of Hilda Devincenzo

The sound of running, a scream, a loud bang.

In July 2013, a tenant on the first floor of a triple-decker apartment building in Chelsea, MA, a working-class town next to Boston, was concerned. After hearing the unexplained noises above his head, he hadn’t seen his landlady, Hilda Devincenzo, for four days. When firefighters entered her apartment to check, they found the 88-year old woman had been strangled and robbed.

Suspicion quickly fell on her tenant, 38-year-old Feliz Melendez, who had moved into the third-floor apartment in June. A search found a piece of Hilda’s jewelry under his mattress. But was there enough evidence for a conviction on the murder in the first degree?