By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer
Although 31-year-old Seth Mazzaglia’s trial for the murder of former University of New Hampshire commuter student, Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, concluded in June, the conversation about the case and its dark nature continued on Saturday’s episode of ‘48 Hours’ on CBS.
“Lizzi Marriott was the girl with the ready smile and the sweet sense of humor,” said host Troy Roberts. “What would unfold that last night of her life — and after her death — was beyond belief.”
‘48 Hours’ is “television’s most popular true-crime series, investigating shocking cases and compelling real-life dramas with journalistic integrity and cutting-edge style,” according to the show’s website. Episodes air on Saturdays at 10:00 p.m.
Entitled “Dangerous Games,” the hour-long show summarized both the crime itself and the trial that ensured a little more than a year later. Marriott, who was 19 years old at the time and a marine biology major at UNH, was murdered in October 2012 by Mazzaglia after his then-girlfriend, Kathryn “Kat” McDonough, brought Marriott to his apartment for group sex.
Mazzaglia strangled Marriott after she denied his advances and then dumped her body, with the help of McDonough, into the waters off of Pierce Island in Portsmouth, according to previous articles published by The New Hampshire.
The episode featured many key figures from Marriott’s family, including her parents, Bob and Melissa Marriott; and Becki and Tony Hanna, her aunt and uncle she was living with at the time she went missing.
“We were shell shocked during the trial,” Melissa Marriott said. “Lizzi died twice a day every day. It was awful.”
Mazzaglia’s ex-girlfriend Catherine (identified as Catherine Fish by Foster’s Daily Democrat), whom he dated while in college, was in high school at the time and said that she had felt trapped in the relationship.
“I wish that she hadn’t been there. But if it wasn’t Lizzi Marriott, it would’ve been somebody else,” Fish said in the episode. “He fantasized about murder a lot when I was with him.”
The episode also brought viewers to the key places in the case, including the Sawyer Mill apartment buildings where Mazzaglia lived and the spot on Pierce Island where Mazzaglia told authorities the body had been dumped.
A handful of jurors were also featured in the video as well, though their full identities were neither given in the show nor the online article that accompanied the show. They also weighed in on the nature of the case and what it was like to come to a decision.
“We’re talking about a man’s life. You know, that’s not an easy task to deliberate over,” said a juror.
By the end of the five-week of trial, Mazzaglia was found guilty of four charges: first- degree murder by strangulation, first-degree rape and murder, and two counts of conspiracy. Mazzaglia was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. According to Foster’s, he is currently serving his time in a men’s prison in Concord and attempting to appeal his conviction.
The episodes ended with the emotional admission of Melissa Marriott that she has been unable to go back to the ocean since her daughter’s death because it was a place that meant so much to her when she was live.
“With Lizzi’s body lost to the sea, there is no grave,” Roberts said at the end of the episode. “Her parents have created a simple memorial for her—a bench in the sun, next to a lake in the Massachusetts woods…where Lizzi’s spirit can be free.”