On a warm day in August of 1996, Janet Levine March disappeared. Vanished. The last person to see her was her husband, Perry March.
According to Perry March, he and his wife had a disagreement. She decided she needed a break, packed some of her things and left, indicating she would return. She didn’t. When Janet failed to return for her son’s birthday, family and friends new something was wrong. It was two weeks from the day she left before she was reported missing.
Ever since Janet’s disappearance, there have been questions surrounding her husband. Nashville police questioned him, though he refused to answer. A week after she was reported missing, police found Janet’s car, abandoned, parked at an apartment complex near her home. Perry March refused to let his house be searched, so police got a warrant. There was no evidence of a crime, and no body.
Perry March, while maintaining his innocence, moved to Mexico near his father, Arthur March, in fear that his in-laws, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, would try to seek custody of his and Janet’s children, Sammy and Tzipi. In Tennessee, a court declared Janet legally dead, and in Mexico, Perry married Carmen Rojas. Two months later, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine filed a wrongful death against Perry March, and won.
What ensued afterward was a bitter custody battle. The Levines came to Mexico, armed with a court order to give them visitation rights with the children. Perry March refused. The Levines did not give up. A month later, they enlisted the Mexican authorities to help them. Perry was detained by immigration, and the Levines executed their visitation order. Once they took the children, though, they left for Nashville. The visitation order gave them 39 days. From there, Mr. March struck back, accusing the Levines of kidnapping the children. The Levines attempted to gain full custody, although they were ordered to send the children back. It would be a while before they saw them again.
Nine years after Janet March’s disappearance, Perry March was arrested in Mexico. He had been under surveillance for some time, as had his father Arthur March, also a suspect in Janet’s disappearance. A short time afterward, Arthur March would be arrested as well.
In jail, Perry March made a deal with Nathan Ferris to kill Lawrence and Carolyn Levine. They had his children since his arrest and according to Ferris, felt that without the Levines around, he had a better chance of winning his court cases. After all, there was still no body. What Perry March didn’t know was that Nathan Ferris was taping the conversations. Perry was indicted on charges of trying to have the Levine’s murdered.
Perry March was first to go on trial for stealing from his father-in-law’s law firm, then the conspiracy charges, and finally Janet’s murder. His father, now in jail himself, told authorities that Perry HAD killed Janet, though accidentally, and he, Arthur, had helped dispose of the body. He stated as they argued, Perry said he had hit Janet with a wrench, much harder than he had intended. He then rolled her up in a rug, and buried her. When he felt her remains were in danger of being discovered, he had his father find another place for the corpse, now “a bag of bones”. Arthur claimed he placed Janet’s remains in a brush pile. In exchange for his testimony, he would receive an 18 month sentence.
Perry March was conviced at all three of his trials. He was sentenced to 25 years for second-degree murder, 26 years for conspiring to kill his in-laws, two years for the abuse of a corpse, and five years for tampering with evidence. He also received five years for his previous conviction of stealing from his former law firm. That sentence will be served concurrently with the rest of the terms being served consecutively.
Arthur March did not receive his 18 month sentence. The judge in the case felt it was not long enough and sentenced the elder March to five years. He died in prison in December, 2006.