Suspected Tracy Gilpin Murderer, Michael Hand Pleads Not Guilty and Held without Bail

Michael Hand, the suspect in the 1986 murder of Tracy Gilpin, made his first appearance in court on March 15, 2018. Hand pleaded not guilty to the murder. According to police, he made a statement in regards to the real murderer, as well as explained how his DNA could have been around the crime scene.

Michael Hand pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering Tracy Gilpin. His alleged story to state troopers is one that has to be seen to be believed.

An Update in Evidence

Despite being cold for over 30 years, investigators recently got a small tip that they had yet to explore with Tracy Gilpin’s murder.

Someone came forward and mentioned that Gilpin was at a small gathering at Michael Hand’s home the night she disappeared. When investigators interviewed Hand about that night, his story became very interesting to investigators, especially as it was a story that seemed to shift.

Michael Hand’s Story

Investigators are alleging that Michael Hand’s account of his involvement with Tracy Gilpin changed. It laid blame at the feet of convicted, and now deceased, killer Henry Meinholz and had Hand touching the 73-lb rock that was used to crush Gilpin’s skull.

In the first version of Hand’s story, he told detectives that the information was only partially correct. Yes, Tracy Gilpin was at a gathering where he lived, but it was weeks before she disappeared. When investigators asked for a DNA sample, Hand’s story allegedly morphed into a long and winding one.

After DNA was brought up, Hand reportedly said that he saw Gilpin in a car with Meinholz. He followed them and eventually met Meinholz in the woods. Meinholz had a shovel and tarp. He told Hand to touch a particular rock in the woods. As Hand did so, he accidentally cut himself, and his blood got on the rock. He also noted the cheek of someone buried in the ground.

The next version of the story involved Hand picking up a rock, a 73-lb rock. Shortly after, he saw Meinholz and dropped it. The next time the rock was seen, it was with Gilpin’s body.

Who Is Henry Meinholz?

Four years after Gilpin disappeared, 13-year-old Melissa Benoit was found murdered in the basement of a neighbor in Kingston, Massachusetts. That neighbor’s name was Henry Meinholz Jr. This was not too far from where Gilpin lived. Given the close proximity of where they lived, and the natures of their deaths, there was immediate concern that the two crimes were connected.

Eventually, Henry Meinholz Jr. was caught for Benoit’s murder and police later determined that he had no connection to Gilpin’s murder. Meinholz died in prison in 2000.

Held without Bail

Investigators did not buy Hand’s various stories and charged him with Tray Gilpin’s murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently being held without bail.

Michael Hand’s next court date is scheduled for April 13, 2018. Meanwhile, prosecutors await the results of a number of DNA tests connected with the case.


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