Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)

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Dana Mackay, Army Spouse, Virginia

Army spouse Dana Mackay, 42, was found murdered in her Williamsburg home in Virginia on July 27, 2013. The intruders entered Dana’s home and snuck into her bedroom in the middle of the night; she was bludgeoned to death by a blunt instrument in the midst of sleeping. She died from multiple blunt force trauma. A concerned neighbor found Dana nude on the floor next to her bed; there was blood everywhere. Initially investigators thought the homicide occurred after a sexual assault. But after further investigation, authorities would learn that Dana’s husband, John Mackay, 45, and his lover, Nicole Houchin, 37, planned the murder because Dana didn’t want a divorce. John admitted to investigators that he wanted a divorce from Dana but she refused and threatened to report his affair to his commanding officer if he didn’t stop. John was a Staff Sergeant (SSG) stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia and adultery was a crime punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). John did not want to risk his long standing career and apparently wanted to be with Nicole Houchin, not Dana.

John and Nicole elicited the help of Nicole’s Army husband, Nace Houchin, 35, who was also stationed at Fort Eustis, and Gregory Crawford who worked with John and Nicole at an Auto-Zone store in Williamsburg, Virginia. John Mackay promised both Nace Houchin and Gregory Crawford twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) if they would kill Dana. Did John expect a hefty pay-out from a life insurance plan on his wife? Did John promise to pay the deadly duo as soon as the money hit his bank account? John wanted the easy way out so he could be with Nicole. Dana Mackay didn’t want a divorce from John; she wanted to save the four year marriage. And although Dana innocently threatened to report John’s adulterous affair to his commander, how was she to know that it would be a motive for murder? John Mackay wanted to save his career and be with his new girlfriend. John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, and Nace Houchin confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to first degree murder. All three were sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Crawford confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with three years suspended (17).

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John Mackay, Nicole Houchin (Top); Nace Houchin, Gregory Crawford (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of WAVY.com

Related Links:
Justice for Dana
Woman, 42, found dead inside Williamsburg home
Va. sergeant confesses to Army wife’s murder plot
Staff sergeant didn’t think military mistress would murder wife
Fort Eustis soldier confesses to plotting with mistress to murder wife
Williamsburg man, girlfriend arrested in wife’s death
New details released in deadly love triangle case
Full jailhouse interview with husband charged in wife’s murder
Third person charged in Williamsburg woman’s death
Fourth suspect arrested in murder-for-hire case
Cheating Wife Hires Own Husband To Kill Her Lover’s Spouse
Dates set for Patterson murder trial in Virginia
Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder
Ex-soldier Nace Houchin pleads guilty to 2013 slaying of Dana Mackay
Three plead guilty in JCC murder-for-hire plot
Third Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-For-Hire Scheme
Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-for-Hire Scheme
Four sentenced in murder for hire plot
4 sentenced in James City County murder-for-hire case
Four sentenced in JCC murder-for-hire of Dana Mackay
Analysis of a murder suspect
Trial Tracker with Pat LaLama: Seven Deadly Sins Edition
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples (Oxygen)
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples, Season 6 (Amazon)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on web)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on YouTube)


Dana MacKay is found viciously beaten to death while her husband is out of town. One suspect comes to mind: a woman who’s been stalking Dana for the last month. But it will take a cellphone with X-rated text messages to unravel this mystery. -Married with Secrets

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