A bone-chilling tale of betrayal, cold-blooded murder, and an unresolved mystery surrounding an air conditioning repairman’s death in Minden, Nevada, is set to come alive on the Investigation Discovery show, “Does Murder Sleep?”. The story, taking center stage in an episode titled “Deadly Awakening”, is based on the real-life murder case of Ben Oxley that took place in 2008. It also brings into focus his ex-wife, Dawn Oxley, and her boyfriend, James Maclean. Here, we delve deeper into the gruesome details of this murder, the ensuing investigation, and the eventual yet unsettling resolution.
The Life and Death of Ben Oxley
Benjamin Robert Oxley, born in January 1972 in California, spent his early years basking in the Hawaiian sunshine, engrossed in soccer, football, surfing, and jet skiing. Following his passion for hands-on work, he pursued a career as an air conditioning repairman after high school and eventually married Melissa Oxley. Amidst his journey, he fathered a daughter, Alyssa, from a previous relationship.
The Tragic Event
On February 21, 2008, a shocking call from Melissa at around 3:30 AM sent the authorities rushing to their bedroom in Minden, Nevada. They were greeted with a horrific sight—Ben’s lifeless body, the victim of a brutal shotgun murder.
The Investigation: A Twisted Path
The law enforcement authorities sprung into action to unravel the killer behind Ben’s brutal murder. The initial investigation ruled out Melissa and her teenage brother Craig, thanks to negative gunshot residue tests.
Shift in Focus
However, as the investigation delved deeper, the spotlight fell upon Dawn Oxley, Ben’s ex-wife, and her boyfriend, James Maclean. The couple initially claimed they were home, their alibi backed by a supposed night of movie-watching and drinking.
Unveiling the Suspects
The investigation took a surprising turn when Devin, a friend of Dawn’s son, came forward with critical information in April 2008. He stated that he had overheard an intoxicated James talking about a plan to murder Ben with a shotgun, a plan supposedly concocted by Dawn herself to regain custody of Alyssa.
Trials and Allegations
The startling revelations by Devin led to intense interrogations of Dawn and James. While Dawn admitted to harbouring anger towards Ben, she flatly denied having any murderous intentions. Conversely, James claimed Dawn was the mastermind, providing him with critical details about Ben’s home and allegedly being present during the murder. The accusation led to James pleading guilty to murder in 2012, for which he received a life sentence.
Dawn’s Controversial Immunity
In a dramatic twist, the prosecution offered Dawn immunity in return for her testimony against James. This immunity ensured her freedom from any potential charges or prosecution related to Ben’s murder. Despite James’ claim that he committed murder under Dawn’s influence, her exact role in the brutal crime remains an enigma. The immunity granted to Dawn has left a trail of unanswered questions and ambiguity about her possible complicity in the crime.
Ben Oxley’s Murder: A Dark Tale Revisited
The murder of Ben Oxley continues to cast a shadow over Minden, Nevada. The unsettling end of the investigation saw James Maclean behind bars while Dawn Oxley walked free, her role in the murder still shrouded in mystery. The forthcoming episode of “Does Murder Sleep?” promises to take viewers through this dark tale, further illuminating the intricate details of this chilling crime.