On the upcoming episode of Dateline NBC, Andrea Canning details a twisted murder-for-hire plot. The episode, “Twisted in Texas,” includes interviews with Meghan Verikas and her ex-boyfriend Leon Jacobs.
Verikas’ story has been the subject of multiple TV shows and documentaries including the episode of Dateline NBC as well as Oxygen.com’s hidden-camera Murder for Hire.
In 2018, Leon Jacob was convicted of paying an undercover Houston police officer posing as a hitman to kill Verikas and Marion McDaniel, the ex-husband of his girlfriend, Valerie McDaniel. He is eligible for parole in 2047, according to AP News.
Verikas Shared Details of Her Story at CrimeCon 2019
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) July 27, 2020
Verikas, now 35 years old, most recently spoke in public at CrimeCon in 2019 where she spoke as a panel as well as with Oxygen. She said at the time that she chose to speak out about her story because she wanted people to be able to hear the story from a victim’s perspective.
When asked if she heard the audio of Leon Jacobs talking about having her killed, she said she had.
“I heard them played in court,” she said. “I watched the trial after it occurred, and it’s shocking and disgusting that somebody you loved could get to that level. It really was, there’s no one word for it, but it’s definitely shocking.”
Verikas Read a Victim Impact Statement During the Trial
— Dateline NBC (@DatelineNBC) July 26, 2020
During the 2018 trial of Leon Jacobs, Verikas read a victim impact statement, telling him that she hopes he thinks of her in jail, “the girl that you called poor and uneducated, because it’s because of me you will be in prison for life.”
She said that it was hard to do because she didn’t feel prepared, but she felt like she got the last word in.
Verikas dated Jacob for more than two years, but they broke up after she said he became physically violent. According to ABC 13, she said that Jacob refused to accept the breakup. He continually tried to contact her through calls, texts and emails. He also allegedly showed up at the place she was staying.
At the time, Jacob was eventually charged with assault and stalking. Then, authorities say he hired someone he thought was a hitman to scare her or kill her if necessary. The “hitman” was an undercover officer, though, and the officer recorded audio of their conversations.
When the officer said he may have to kill Verikas, Jacob said he would prefer “not to have to do that but my survival is more important.” He also added, “I worked too hard the last 20 years in education to get where I am to have this bite me in the butt and everything I worked for.”
When she was told what was happening, Verikas agreed to fake her own kidnapping, according to Newsweek.
Verikas spoke to Canning in the Dateline NBC episode, saying that her relationship with Jacob started out great.
“I don’t think I ever had someone tell me I was beautiful that much,” she said.
Jacob has maintained his innocence throughout the years, speaking with 20/20 and Dateline NBC.
There have been no new updates to the case in 2020.