Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Friends to Foes’ follows the brutal murder of 27-year-old Stephanie Campbell in the hands of her former best friend, Molly Martel, in Manchester, New Hampshire, in November 2010. Molly fled the state after committing the crime but was arrested within 48 hours by law enforcement officials. So why did Molly murder her former friend, and where is she today? Let’s find out, shall we?
Who is Molly Martel?
A native of Manchester, New Hampshire, Merrimack High School All-Star Molly Beth Martel had a deadly aim and beauty to match her softball skills. The 18-year-old was a standout athlete in softball. She had a bright future as colleges reportedly lined up to see her game and offer her scholarships for her sporting skills. However, like most teenagers, Molly had other distractions; she was dating a guy named Peto and also worked at a donut joint.
Molly and Peto were close to another couple, Stephanie Campbell and Anthony Santos. She and Anthony were committed to their almost 12-year-old relationship, lived together, and had two children together. Molly and Stephanie were co-workers and very close friends, and the former would often extend a helping hand, even driving Stephanie’s children to school for her.
Molly and Stephanie’s friendship began to deteriorate when she took the side of Anthony, even after his lover complained of him physically abusing her and her children. It turned more unstable and dangerous when Molly started dating Anthony after Stephanie was separated from her ex-boyfriend, leading to a violent confrontation in front of Stephanie’s apartment on 28 Dutton Street in Manchester on November 2, 2010. According to court testimonials by witnesses, Molly threatened Stephanie she would be back and proceeded to stab her hours later.
When officers of the Manchester Police Department arrived at the scene, they were notified by neighbors about the bitter quarrel Stephanie had with Molly hours earlier. They learned the argument stemmed from Molly coming to take one of her and Anthony’s sons and how she was seen at the crime scene minutes after Stephanie was stabbed. After finding that Molly had absconded, the police put an APB on her, and she was arrested a couple of days later at a hotel in upstate New York.
Where is Molly Martel Today?
A senior investigator for the state police in Ellenville hypothesized Molly might have headed there since she had friends in the area. US State troopers and police officers mounted a search group for her and stumbled upon a car bearing her registered license plate in the parking lot of the Colonial Motel along Route 209. They went door to door and arrested the former standout athlete without incident. She had allegedly booked the motel room under a false name.
Molly was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for knowingly and recklessly causing the death of Stephanie, and she went on trial in November 2011 after she pleaded non-guilty to her charges. One of Stephanie’s former neighbors, Patricia Gage, and Anthony testified against Molly, and she was convicted of the murder charge. According to prosecutors, she had brought a small folding knife to fight an unarmed Stephanie.
Her defense counsel contended Stephanie, then 27, had wielded the blade, and Molly stabbed her in self-defense. They also mentioned how Molly had been sexually abused by her father since she was 14. However, the court refused to believe Molly’s version, and she was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison in February 2012. The prosecution batted for a longer jail term, arguing she had fled the state after committing the crime and even cut herself to falsify evidence, claiming she had done it in self-defense.
The Assistant Attorney General stated, “She manufactured injuries, tampered with evidence, and conspired with another person. In the end, she made choices in this case.” Molly’s attorney argued, “She wasn’t born to be defended in a murder case. You’ve got to wonder why what happened in the last 23 years that put Molly Martel in that chair.” However, a sobbing Molly sincerely apologized to Stephanie’s family during her sentencing, stating, “I’d like to say I’m sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen. If I could change it, I would.”
As per official court records, Molly Martel, now 34 years of age, is serving her sentence at the NH Correctional Facility for Women in Concord, New Hampshire. Her inmate records indicate that her earliest release date will be in September 2029, while her maximum serving period will be October 2050.