Police Caught Thomas Mitchell Overton for Murder Three Years After the Fact
For some reason, people are fascinated with unsolved murder cases and the killers who carry out such heinous crimes, especially those that span several years. In many instances, perpetrators are eventually caught by total chance or for being brought in for an unrelated crime, which is exactly what happened to Thomas Mitchell Overton, who brutally murdered Susan and Michael MacIvor in their own home, along with their unborn child in 1991.
So where is Overton now?
Where is Thomas Mitchell Overton now?
Police reports delineating the details surrounding the MacIvors' murders are equal parts chilling, infuriating, and horrifying. The couple were discovered by concerned neighbors and coworkers who inspected them in their Tavernier Key house. Michael's body lay in the living room with evidence of a struggle. His head was covered with masking tape and his nose was exposed. A spot of blood was on his shoulder, there was bruising on his neck, and blood seeped from his nostrils.
His wife Susan, who was eight months pregnant, was found completely naked in the master bedroom. Her wrists and ankles were tied with a belt, which was further bounded together with masking tape and clothesline rope. Another belt connected her ankles and wrist. Overton had made a garrote with a black sash and a necktie taken from the MacIvors' dresser.
A light examination revealed semen stains on the sheets and on Susan's body; medical examinations concluded that their baby boy had survived for approximately 30 minutes after she died, and he had attempted to breathe on his own before death.
A .22 caliber shell casing was found on the floor and there was a bullet hole in the bedroom curtain, outside of the home, signs of careful planning on Overton's part were eminent.
Overton was an experienced cat burglar and used his knowledge of breaking into homes in order to get the drop on the MacIvors. Two witness testimonies had contributed greatly to the conviction of Overton, who was already a person of interest for his criminal past by authorities. The first witness, William Guy Green, said that Overton had admitted to him that he committed a home burglary in a wealthy Florida Keys neighborhood.
Overton worked at an Amoco gas station just a few minutes away from the MacIvors' house, and reports state that he had revealed all of the details behind how he carried out the crime to Monroe County Jail inmate James Zientek. He did so as part of a plan to obfuscate the investigation: Zientek would attribute the story to another inmate to try and create reasonable doubt in Overton's favor.
Overton revealed that he had broken into the MacIvors' home with the intention of raping Susan, whom he had come across at the gas station where he worked. He described her demeanor as "hot and cold," and that some days she would be nice to him while other days she was, as Overton stated, "b---hy."
Overton's defense attorneys had primarily argued that detectives planted Overton's semen sample at the scene of the crime — that they had collected the sperm from Overton's girlfriend in a condom and put it at the scene of the crime. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the death penalty, and Overton was executed on March 18, 1999.
Oxygen's new series 'Florida Man Murders' looks at grisly crimes, like Overton's, that occurred in the Sunshine state.
For years, no one knew Thomas Mitchell Overton was the killer, and the Florida community was shaken. The Sun-Sentinel's 1991 story about the murder goes in-depth about the couple: Michael made quite the living for himself buying old airplanes and renovating them for resale. The paper reported police called it "one of the most confounding murder cases in Florida Keys history."
The biggest question that plagued both Michael and Susan's families after their murder was: Why would anyone want them dead? According to Zietnek's account of Overton's admission, it was all because he wanted to sexually assault Ms. MacIvor and after she verbally identified him; he thought the only way out of the situation was to kill them.