“Secrets from the Grave”: Dateline Reports on Meg Purk Homicide June 1 2024

Dateline NBC’s episode “Secrets from the Grave” takes viewers deep into the chilling story of Margaret ‘Meg’ Purk, whose death was initially reported as a suicide by her husband Scott Purk in 1985. This episode, hosted by Josh Mankiewicz, revisits the events surrounding her mysterious death, exploring new evidence that came to light decades later. The episode promises a detailed investigation into the twists and turns that led to a shocking conclusion.

This particular story unfolds in Akron, Ohio, where a young, pregnant woman’s life came to a tragic end. The initial closure of the case left many unanswered questions, which were only exacerbated by subsequent events involving Scott Purk. The episode sets the stage for a deep dive into the complexities of criminal investigations, the long pursuit of justice, and the implications of reopening a closed case.

The Initial Incident and Investigation

In March 1985, Scott Purk reported the apparent suicide of his wife, Meg, who was found hanging by a rope in their home. Emergency responders rushed to the scene, finding Meg at the base of the stairs with a noose around her neck. Despite efforts to save her and her unborn baby, both died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Scott claimed that Meg had been depressed, which contradicted the views of her friends and family who reported her excitement about her pregnancy.

The investigation at the time was constrained by the limitations of forensic technology and resulted in an initial ruling of suicide based on the autopsy findings. The police were somewhat skeptical but lacked concrete evidence to prove otherwise. This led to the closure of the case, leaving lingering doubts among those who knew Meg well. Her family especially found it hard to believe that she would take her own life, particularly at such a hopeful time.

Rising Suspicions and Subsequent Arrests

Scott Purk’s life took a tumultuous turn after his wife’s death, marked by criminal behavior that cast further doubt on his character. Within months of the tragedy, he was arrested for multiple burglaries in the area, suggesting a possible downward spiral. This behavior raised red flags about his psychological state and possibly his capability of harming his wife.

The case took a dramatic turn in 2009 when a fire at Scott’s residence led to suspicions of arson. The investigation into the fire uncovered deliberate patterns that matched Scott’s previous criminal activities. This incident prompted law enforcement to revisit Meg’s case, considering the possibility that her death was not a suicide but a premeditated act by Scott to rid himself of his wife and unborn child.

Exhumation and Revelation

In a decisive move, authorities exhumed Meg’s body in 2011 to conduct a second autopsy. This was a rare step driven by the advancements in forensic science and the peculiar circumstances surrounding her death. The new examination revealed critical errors in the initial autopsy and found evidence consistent with strangulation, not hanging.

The findings from the exhumation pointed to homicide, drastically altering the course of the investigation. This evidence suggested that Scott had staged the suicide to cover up the murder. The revelation not only reclassified Meg’s death but also helped piece together a pattern of deceptive behavior by Scott, further implicating him in the crime.

Trial and Conviction

Armed with new forensic evidence, the trial of Scott Purk in 2015 was a pivotal moment in this long and complex case. Prosecutors presented a detailed argument, supported by crime scene reenactments and expert testimony, which contradicted Scott’s account of his wife’s death. The defense attempted to uphold the suicide narrative but was overwhelmed by the compelling evidence presented by the prosecution.

After a tense trial, the jury found Scott guilty of murder and arson. He was sentenced to a significant prison term, reflecting both the severity of his crimes and the tragic loss of life. The verdict was a culmination of years of investigation, driven by a commitment to uncover the truth and seek justice for Meg and her unborn child.


“Secrets from the Grave” serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities surrounding cases of sudden death and the importance of thorough investigations. It highlights the relentless pursuit of truth by detectives and the profound impact of forensic advancements. This episode of Dateline NBC not only offers closure to a painful chapter for Meg’s family but also underscores the broader implications of justice in cases that initially seem straightforward.

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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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