Bruce Pardo mugshot (Policed Handout)

Friday Crime Stories: Holidays gone bad: Notorious Christmas crimes

Our last Crime Stories episode before families gather for Christmas celebrations looks at the most notorious cases of holidays gone bad, including the massacre of a family by an ex-husband dressed as Santa Claus. Nancy Grace assembles a panel of experts including Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, forensics expert Joseph Scott Morgan and Crime Stories contributing reporter John Lemley.

Bruce Pardo was wearing a Santa suit when he rang the doorbell at the Corona, California, home where dozens of his former relatives were gathered on Christmas Eve 2008. The 8-year-old girl who answered the door believed she was greeting the real Kris Kringle, but Pardo shot her in her face. He then used a makeshift flame thrower inside the home as he fired his four guns at the partygoers. Nine people died from burns and gunshot wounds. Pardo later took his own life.

Paul Merhige killed four close relatives and wounded two others during Thanksgiving dinner at a Florida home in 2009. He was quoted by survivors saying he had waited 20 years — since he was 15 — to kill his sisters and other family members. Merhige accepted a plea deal to avoid Florida’s death penalty and is serving a life without parole sentence.

Joel Michael Guy Jr., 28, stabbed and dismembered his parents while visiting them in Tennessee for the holidays in 2016. He used acid to avoid their bodies. His motive is believed to have been their decision to stop supporting his decade-long college studies.

Also read: Man murders, dismembers parents before dissolving body parts in acid: Police

“Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” is also a national radio show, heard on SiriusXM’s Triumph Channel 132, five times everyday. You can subscribe and download the daily podcasts at iTunes and Google Play.

[Feature Photo: Bruce Pardo/Police Handout]