Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi worked as an Air Traffic Controller at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. Elise was married to Eddie Makdessi for five years and they lived off base in Virginia Beach. Elise unknowingly helped plan, organize, and carry out her own murder and it is unclear if she was a willing participant in the original plot with Eddie to scam the government out of money or if she was controlled by Eddie. Eddie Makdessi murdered Elise Makdessi and Navy Petty Officer Quincy Brown on May 14, 1996 as part of an elaborate scam. The whole thing was a set up. Elise thought she was part of an arrangement where she would invite Quincy Brown to the house, have sex with him, then accuse him of rape. She also manufactured evidence to make it look like she was documenting sexual abuse in an effort to sue the Navy and make millions. She had journals and created what looked like a rehearsed video outlining what four Navy men, including Quincy Brown, did to her on the job.
Five years earlier in 1991 the Navy Tailhook scandal in Nevada made national headlines. Navy Lieutenant Paula Coughlin was one of the alleged victims who went public with her story. Two years before Elise and Quincy were murdered, Paula Coughlin won 1.7 million after suing the Las Vegas Hilton hotel where the Tailhook Association convention was held. Eddie must have convinced Elise that they too could make millions if they alleged that Elise was sexually assaulted on the job. What they didn’t realize is that you can’t sue the Navy; Coughlin won a lawsuit against the Hilton hotel. The Feres Doctrine prevents any soldier or their family from suing the Department of Defense for compensatory damages. Investigators believe that knowledge of this information gave Eddie and Elise Makdessi the motive to come up with the false accusation scheme to sue the Navy. Eddie was a scammer and always looking for new ways to make quick money. Elise didn’t know she was double crossed until Eddie was plunging the knife. A month before the murders, Eddie purchased $700,000 worth of life insurance on Elise.
Eddie and Elise Makdessi invited Petty Officer Quincy Brown over to the house under the guise of having a threesome. DNA evidence revealed that Elise and Quincy Brown had sex. Investigators would learn that Eddie shot Quincy first, then stabbed Elise. He hurt himself to make it appear that Quincy invaded the house, knocked him out, raped and killed Elise, and then he awoke from unconsciousness and shot the intruder. Eddie staged the crime scene and he almost got away with it. But investigators figured out this was a ‘set up’ based on the crime scene evidence, interviews with Elise’s co-workers, the video tape, and the large insurance policy. They were also savvy enough to recognize that this was a copycat case. Elise’s sexual harassment and sexual assault claims were in fact fabricated. All the men she accused of sex crimes in the video passed a polygraph examination and her supervisors testified that Elise never reported sexual harassment or sexual assault like she claimed in her video testimony. Unfortunately Quincy Brown was the pawn they used in their game and he never got the chance to see that the allegations were proven false.
Eddie was indicted in 2001. But by the time investigators were ready to arrest Eddie Makdessi for the murder of Elise Makdessi and Quincy Brown, Eddie had fled the country. They eventually caught up with him in Russia. Unfortunately, Russia did not have an extradition treaty with the United States so police could not force Eddie to come back to the states. Mike Mather, an investigative reporter, went to Russia to interview Makdessi and learned that he was remarried with a child yet things weren’t going so well for Eddie financially in Russia. After that interview, Eddie decided to leave his wife and child in Russia and go back to America to face the charges. He was going to prove his innocence and clear his name. He was sure he would beat the charges. It would be ten years after he committed the first degree murders of Elise and Quincy Brown before he went to trial. On March 16, 2006, Eddie Makdessi was convicted of two counts of murder, sentenced to life in prison, and ordered to pay a $202,500 fine. The motive was the life insurance money. He used the $700,000 payout to travel the world before settling in Russia. Eddie continues to deny committing the crimes.
Elise Makdessi’s sister, Dawn Crosby, asked the jury to “show Eddie Makdessi that my sister’s life was worth more than $700,000.” –The Virginia-Pilot (March 17, 2006)
Full Episode: Virginia Beach police arrive at the Makdessi apartment to find Elise Makdessi and her lover, Quincy Brown, dead. Elise’s husband Eddie had reported that he killed Quincy Brown in self-defense after Brown had murdered Elise. Eddie gave the police a videotape Elise had made a week before, alleging that she had been the victim of sexual harassment. -Double Cross, Forensic Files (S13,E5)
Paramedics respond to a horrific crime scene – a woman is found tied to a bed with slashes across her body. Next to her on the floor, a man with three gunshot wounds. Detectives spend the next several years unraveling this bizarre mystery. -Last Man Standing, Solved (S2,E10)
When a Naval Officer is apparently raped and stabbed by a coworker, a mysterious VHS tape suggests the victim may have been silenced to prevent a scandal. Dogged investigation and cutting edge forensic science reveals a shocking murder plot. -Deadly Accusations, Unusual Suspects (S7,E4)
Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.
Tailhook Plaintiff Wins Suit (1994)
Notes, Videotape Left Left by Woman Say She was Raped, the Oceana Worker was Slain by a Colleague, An Affidavit Says
DSS Returns Double Homicide Suspect to U.S.
Forensic Expert Uses Blood to Re-Create 1996 Slayings
Jury recommends life sentence for Makdessi
The word of a jailhouse snitch: Can it be trusted?
Man accused of killing wife, her lover a decade ago finally to go on trial
Officer, paramedic recall Elise Makdessi’s death
You’ll never believe what a convicted killer is requesting from a judge
State of Virginia: Adib Eddie Makdessi v. Harold Clarke (2016)
Female sailor’s false rape allegation, plot fails
Navy Petty Officer Quincy Brown Murdered by Military Spouse Motivated to Kill by Wife’s $700,000 Life Insurance Policy (May 14, 1996)
Press Release: Department of State Returns Double Homicide Suspect Adib “Eddie” Ramez Makdessi to U.S. (July 22, 2003)
Forensic Files Premiered ‘Double Cross’: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (October 24, 2008)
Solved Premiered ‘Last Man Standing’ on ID: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (October 26, 2009)
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Deadly Accusations’ on ID: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (January 25, 2015)
Double Cross | Forensic Files | IMDb
Double Cross | Forensic Files | FilmRise (S13,E5)
Double Cross | Forensic Files | Full Episode (YouTube)
Double Cross | Forensic Files | Netflix (Collection 9, E35)
Double Cross | Forensic Files | Amazon Prime Video (S21,E1)
Deadly Accusations | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (Amazon Video)
Deadly Accusations | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (S7,E4)
Last Man Standing | Solved | Investigation Discovery (S2,E10)
Last Man Standing | Solved | Investigation Discovery (website)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder