Crime & CourtsVideo

Rose Petal Murder: Unfounded Allegations

An escalating custody battle plants seeds of violence?

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This week, we released the fourth episode of FITSFiles – our new true crime (and corruption) podcast. Our latest episode continued the sage of the ‘Rose Petal Murder’ – the brutal slaying of 41-year-old Christina Parcell in Greer, South Carolina.

FITSFiles tells the stories beyond the headlines – uncovering previously unknown facts, gleaning undeciphered meaning and insisting on unprecedented accountability over the individuals and institutions who are parties to the stories we cover.

Including ourselves ….

Eschewing agendas, egos and self-interest … we let the stories guide us, telling them as best we can based on the best available evidence.

This episode is focused on events leading up to the morning of October 13, 2021 – when Parcell was brutally murdered in a home owned by her sister Tina Parcell located in a suburban neighborhood. The scene of the crime was jarringly personal – as the killer inflicted more than thirty stab wounds about Parcell’s head and neck area. Her body was subsequently dragged into a front room of the home.

Roses were then sprinkled around the body …

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Last week, we explained how the first arrest in the aftermath of this horrific murder … wasn’t for murder. Instead, Parcell’s fiancée, Bradly Post, was charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal sexual conduct, and buggery.

Inexplicably, it was a stranger – someone who had never met Parcell – who was arrested for her murder.  Zachary Hughes, a Juilliard trained concert pianist, now awaiting trial for the vicious attack that killed her, had no connection to Parcell.  He did, however, have a close relationship with her daughter’s father – John Mello.

Parcell and Mello had been embroiled in a contentious custody battle for most of the young girl’s life … details of which are documented in this week’s episode.

(Click to View)

(Jenn Wood/ FITSNews)

In addition to documenting the escalating war between these two over the custody of their young daughter, this episode strove to make sense of their relationship in the context of so many unsubstantiated allegations made by Mello against Parcell.

The custody battle reached a crescendo pitch when Mello fled the country with the child – taking her with him to Italy with the intention of starting a new life there. This prompted international diplomatic incident complete with a hearing at the Hague – and custodial interference charges for Mello when he returned to the United States (charges which have yet to be adjudicated).

Could this troubled relationship somehow explain the violence that followed? Stay tuned to FITSFiles as we continue to unravel the mystery behind this brutal slaying …

FITSFiles is written, produced and hosted by our team of dedicated journalists: Research director Jenn Wood, special projects director Dylan Nolan, researcher Callie Lyons and founding editor Will Folks. New episodes drop every Wednesday morning.

Be sure to like and subscribe to FITSFiles on your podcast platform of choice (including AppleSpotifyGoogle and others) so you won’t miss a single episode.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...

Callie Lyons (Provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

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