Murder-Suicide Hoax Trial

Virginia Woman to Stand Trial for Allegedly Killing Mother, Sister and Staging Scene

The day after her arrest in West Virginia, Major Ed O’Carroll of Fairfax County police said that “detectives determined early in the investigation that the scene was staged, made to appear to be a murder-suicide.”

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Almost five years after a McLean, Virginia, mother and daughter were found shot to death in their home, the accused killer — another daughter — is facing trial in Fairfax County. 

On July 14, 2017, crime scene tape wrapped around a home in the 6700 block of Dean Drive, where business executive Pamela Hargan, 63, and her daughter Helen, 23, were found shot to death.

Pamela Hargan was found in the laundry room, and Helen Hargan was discovered upstairs with a gun near her body. 

At first, Fairfax County police described their deaths as a murder-suicide, but the investigation soon uncovered a more chilling family tragedy. 

Attorneys for a woman accused of murdering her mother and sister maintain that their deaths were a murder-suicide. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey was in the courtroom for opening statements..

In November 2018, another of Pamela Hargan’s daughters, Megan, was arrested and charged with both killings. She was accused of trying to make the killings look like a murder-suicide. 

The day after her arrest in West Virginia, Maj. Ed O’Carroll of Fairfax County police said that “detectives determined early in the investigation that the scene was staged, made to appear to be a murder-suicide.”

Northern Virginia

News4's Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey has been covering this side of the state since joining NBC4 in 1992. She's joined by reporter Drew Wilder.

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Authorities said money was the alleged motive. Investigators discovered that Megan Hargan was in the process of closing on a new home and had access to her mother’s bank account passwords.

Prosecutors will present evidence to show that Megan Hargan allegedly withdrew more than $400,000 from her mother’s account. 

“Megan Hargan attempted fraudulent money transfers from her mother’s account on the day of the murders as well as the day before,” O’Carroll said in 2018. 

The suspect has pleaded not guilty. 

The year-and-a-half -ong investigation and COVID-19 restrictions led to a delay in bringing the case to trial. 

Hargan’s third daughter, who prosecutors are expected to call as a witness, will wait and watch from the courtroom.

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