Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deadly Delivery: The Donald and Marsha Levine Murders

Murder Most Foul

Trial began on June 13, 1991, in a federal courthouse in Hammond, Ind. It would prove to be high drama, indeed. The government's star witness was, of course, McKinney. He gave jurors a detailed account of the preparation involved in plotting the murders.

A month before the killings, the pair flew to Chicago where Levine drove to his brother's house so that McKinney would know where it was located. Levine had the details of the attack already worked out: McKinney was to first visit Cincinnati where Mark was living and kill him possibly by breaking his neck in a fall, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Then, the following week, McKinney would return and kill Donald and Marsha in a way that would make it seem they had committed suicide out of grief. Marsha could be given an overdose of the prescription medication she frequently took and Donald would be shot, according to testimony reported by the Tribune.

McKinney did travel to Cincinnati but backed out of killing Mark and returned home.

Levine then went to work on an alternate plan. When he learned that Mark would be coming home for his swearing-in ceremony, the plans were changed to kill all three at one time. All were to be shot, with Donald dying last. McKinney was also told to rob the family safe so the killings didn't look like a hit. McKinney needed to carry out the assassinations because McKinney now knew too much; Levine threatened him with the Chicago mob if he didn't comply, McKinney testified.

McKinney admitted to shooting Donald and Marsha, but told the jury that he just couldn't bring himself to kill Mark. He testified that he could have shot him as he ran across the street, but worried about hitting schoolchildren with stray gunfire, the Tribune reported.

When McKinney called Levine and reported that "two are down, the son got away," Levine exclaimed, "Oh my God," the Tribune reported.

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