Netflix’s ‘Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon a Crime’ is a four-part documentary series that delves deep into the notorious murder of Marcos Matsunaga, a wealthy executive in Brazil who was shot and dismembered by his wife on May 19, 2012. Elize Matsunaga has never discussed her sins or their brutal aftermath throughout the years, so this marks the first time she’s breaking her silence. With that said, despite features such as infidelity and financial statuses being involved, she didn’t deny that she was a cold-blooded slayer that day. So, let’s find out more about her, shall we?
Who is Elize Matsunaga?
Hailing from a tiny countryside town named Chopinzinho, in southwestern Paraná, Brazil, Elize Matsunaga discerned that she wanted a different and bigger life for herself at an early age. Her mother told her that she needed education for that, and considering their less than average means, paying for higher education would’ve been difficult. Thus, Elize took to serving as a luxurious escort in São Paulo with the pseudonym Kelly and managed to afford nursing school, law school, and her apartment’s rent. This vocation is also how she met Marcos and formed a bond with him.
Elize’s biological father had abandoned their family when she was merely 3-years-old, and her mother subsequently relocated to the capital to find a stable job. Thus, her grandmother and aunt were the ones who actually raised her, especially after the event when she was 15. Elize’s mother had returned to Chopinzinho by that point with a new husband, and the family reunited, but he allegedly sexually abused her. Elize ran away because of it and wandered the area for roughly 45 days before her mother and aunt found her. All of this, of course, impacted her a great deal.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that she admitted to craving a peaceful and stable family of her own. And when Elize did find roots for the same within her relationship with Marcos, she became determined not to let go. At one point, she did want to divorce him despite their mutual affinity for hunting, traveling the world, and some other eccentric hobbies due to his infidelity, yet she changed her mind once she discovered her pregnancy. Elize never wanted her daughter to wonder who her father was or how life could have been if she always felt safe, but alas, that wasn’t the case.
In 2012, following several arguments about Elize’s suspicions of Marcos’ extra-marital affair and him deeming her “crazy” and targetting her former life by calling her names, she hired a private detective to expose the truth. During the three days Elize was visiting her grandmother in Paraná, the PI got Marcos’ liaison with another escort on video, which turned everything around. After all, it was on the night of her return that the business tycoon lost his life. He was reported missing, but his decapitated head was found on May 28. Elize was charged and arrested on June 4.
Where is Elize Matsunaga Now?
Elize Matsunaga remained in prison until she stood trial in December 2016. There were three aggravated felony counts connected to the murder; the alleged motive of financial stability, cruel means, and the victim’s inability of self-defense. Therefore, the court proceedings comprised of attorneys working to either prove or disprove these crucial factors. The prosecutors even insisted that Elize had help from a third party to verify premeditation but were shut down as detectives revealed that no evidence leads to that. It was only Elize, no matter how petite, who killed Marcos.
In the end, Elize Matsunaga was found guilty of homicide with the special circumstances of the victim’s inability of self-defense and was sentenced to 19 years, 11 months, and one day behind bars. So, today, she continues to serve time in a woman’s prison in Tremembe, a municipality in the state of São Paulo. Due to her work and good behavior, though, she is provided a few temporary releases each year by law, which last for a few days and help her readjust to ordinary life. Elize hopes to gain freedom pretty soon, but she is ready to serve it out since she now wants nothing more than a private life – the quiet kind she once had.
Read More: Where is Elize Matsunaga’s Daughter Now?