“Unmasking the Zombie Hunter”: 48 Hours Reports on Angela Brosso & Melanie Bernas Homicides July 13 2024

The highly anticipated encore presentation of “48 HOURS: Unmasking the Zombie Hunter” is set to air on Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 10:00 PM ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+. This episode delves into the harrowing unsolved murders of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas in Phoenix, Arizona, which occurred nearly thirty years ago. Over two decades, these cases remained cold, with identical DNA evidence linking the two victims but no matches in existing databases.

The Chilling Murders of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas

In November 1992, 22-year-old Angela Brosso went missing while on an evening bike ride. Her decapitated body was discovered the next day near the Arizona Canal. The brutality of the crime shocked the community, as her head was found eleven days later in the canal, suggesting the killer kept it before disposing of it.

Ten months later, in September 1993, 17-year-old Melanie Bernas disappeared while riding her bike along the same canal. Her body was found the next day, floating in the canal with similar signs of sexual assault and stabbing. Both cases shared a distinctive DNA profile, indicating a single perpetrator. Despite extensive investigations, no leads emerged, leaving the cases unsolved for decades.

Breakthrough in Forensic Technology

Advancements in forensic technology brought a breakthrough in the early 2010s. The Phoenix Police Department collaborated with forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick, whose company used public genealogy databases to identify potential suspects through familial DNA matches. This innovative approach led investigators to Bryan Patrick Miller, a man with a juvenile record for a violent stabbing.

In 2014, detectives conducted surveillance on Miller, eventually obtaining his DNA through a cleverly orchestrated sting operation involving a meeting at a Chili’s restaurant. The DNA sample matched the evidence from the crime scenes, leading to Miller’s arrest in January 2015.

The Trial and Conviction of Bryan Patrick Miller

Bryan Patrick Miller’s trial began in October 2022, nearly eight years after his arrest. His defense team argued that Miller was not guilty by reason of insanity, citing severe mental health issues stemming from childhood abuse. Psychological experts testified that Miller suffered from dissociative amnesia, preventing him from recalling the murders.

Despite these claims, Judge Suzanne Cohen found Miller guilty of both murders in June 2023. The evidence, including the DNA match and Miller’s history of violent behavior, was overwhelming. Miller was sentenced to death, with his case automatically appealed under Arizona law.

In an exclusive email interview with a “48 Hours” producer, Miller continued to deny involvement in the murders. He expressed frustration over the trial and the challenges of defending himself for crimes that occurred decades ago. Miller described life on death row as isolating and harsh, though he acknowledged it was safer than other prison environments.

The Impact and Legacy of the Case

The conviction of Bryan Patrick Miller brought some closure to the families of Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas, though many questions remain. Miller’s potential involvement in other crimes, including the disappearance of 13-year-old Brandy Myers, is still under investigation. Retired detectives and prosecutors continue to explore leads, hoping to uncover the full extent of Miller’s crimes.

“48 HOURS: Unmasking the Zombie Hunter” provides a comprehensive look at the complex investigation, highlighting the persistence and dedication of law enforcement in solving these cold cases. The episode underscores the importance of advancements in forensic science and the relentless pursuit of justice for victims and their families. Tune in on July 13, 2024, for a gripping hour of investigative journalism that sheds light on one of Phoenix’s most notorious serial killers.

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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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