The residents of Burbank, California, witnessed a horrifying incident in March 1998 when Carol Montecalvo was murdered inside her home by armed intruders. While the murder was initially classified as a robbery gone wrong, the police soon found evidence indicating an inside job. Today, Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Perfect Murder: Murder by the Book’ chronicles the gruesome homicide and follows the investigation that brought the perpetrators to justice.
How Did Carol Montecalvo Die?
People who knew Carol Montecalvo described her as a generous and religious woman who loved helping others and treated everyone with kindness. She resided in Burbank, California, with her husband. Even though the couple appeared to have a rocky relationship, neighbors insisted they never noticed anything unusual. Besides, Carol was the primary breadwinner in her family and was exceptionally well-respected in her community, which naturally made her sudden demise all the more shocking.
On the evening of March 31, 1988, 911 operators received a frantic call about a possible home invasion at a local residence. Once first responders reached the spot, they found Carol lying unconscious on the floor in a pool of blood. Further investigation revealed that she had already died, and an initial medical examination spotted a single bullet wound.
Interestingly, the crime scene initially looked like a robbery gone wrong, yet the police soon found evidence that indicated otherwise. For starters, even though a cash box and a filing cabinet were forced open, the victim’s purse lay untouched beside her. Additionally, the police had no idea why thieves or burglars would break into a house when they knew the family was awake. Still, an autopsy determined that Carol was shot to death, and the authorities started a homicide investigation.
Who Killed Carol Montecalvo?
When first responders arrived at the Montecalvo house after receiving the 911 call, they discovered that Carol’s husband, Dan Montecalvo, was on the scene. Surprisingly, he also suffered a bullet wound in his lower back, yet his injury did not bleed that much. When questioned, the husband mentioned that he and Carol were planning to go to Hawaii as the latter had won an all-expense-paid trip from her work. He further claimed that the two were packing their bags when Carol went to fetch a towel from an adjacent room.
However, shortly after Carol exited the room, Dan heard her scream and rushed to help. That was when one of the assailants grabbed him from behind and shot him in the lower back. Despite Dan insisting he had no idea how the attackers escaped the house, he mentioned that he called 911 after finding his wife lying in a pool of blood on the floor. Furthermore, the show stated that he accused the police of being slow and believed that Carol could have been saved if law enforcement officers had reacted in time.
Although the initial investigation hinted at a robbery gone wrong, the police noticed that Carol’s purse lay untouched beside her. Besides, they had no idea why the intruders could not wait until the couple left for their trip. These circumstances, along with Dan’s record as a bank robber, made authorities consider him a person of interest. Thus, when the police learned that he used to cheat on his wife and would be able to collect a hefty life insurance after her demise, they believed he was somehow involved in the murder. In addition, several witnesses insisted that Dan had talked to them about killing their wives and collecting the insurance policies.
Still, with no evidence to tie the husband to the crime, authorities were forced to let him go for the time being. About a year after Carol’s demise, Dan was arrested on a DUI charge, which gave authorities the leverage they needed to search his new residence. The search soon revealed the location of a rented storage unit from which they recovered rubber gloves and ammunition, as well as two handguns of .25 and .38 caliber, respectively. These handguns were determined to be the same ones used in the “robbery” that claimed Carol’s life. Hence, with ample evidence on their hands, the police eventually arrested Dan for his wife’s murder.
Dan Montecalvo Died at Age 71
Dan pled not guilty when presented in court and insisted on his innocence. Nevertheless, prosecutors alleged that not only did the accused kill Carol, but he also stole the money she was saving in a locked cash box. Consequently, Dan was convicted of murder and sentenced to 27 years to life in prison in 1990. Surprisingly, in 1991, Susan Brown, one of his neighbors, came forward and swore that she and her friend were responsible for the robbery that claimed Carol’s life. She insisted that her accomplice was accountable for killing the victim, and she was the one who wrestled with Dan before shooting him in his lower back.
On top of it, Susan provided intricate details of the crime, which only the perpetrator would know. Despite the shocking confession leading to a brief investigation, the judge refused to reopen the case, and Dan remained convicted of Carol’s murder. Subsequently, in 2013, he was incarcerated at the California Medical Facility in Solano County, California, where the doctors treated him for sepsis. However, Dan’s medical condition proved too severe, and he breathed his last on September 25 at 71.