The aunt of a woman who is about to stand trial for the murder of her mother and sister has opened up about how she is still struggling after the deaths, saying feels ‘sick’ about what happened.
Tammy North’s older sister Pamela Hargan, 63, and her niece Helen Hargan, 23, were found shot to death in their $1.3 million home in McLean, Virginia, on July 14, 2017, in what police initially believed was a murder-suicide.
Sixteen months later, North’s niece Megan Hargan, then 35, was accused of killing her mother and younger sister and staging it to look like a murder-suicide. She was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder on November 9, 2018.
‘I am overwhelmed at how hard this is to deal with,’ North told People of her relatives’ murders and Megan’s trial, which started on Monday. ‘This is affecting me horribly. I feel sick every day.’
Megan Hargan (pictured) was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in 2018, after allegedly killing her mother and sister and staging it to look like a murder-suicide
Megan’s mother Pamela Hargan, 63, (left) and her her Helen Hargan, 23, (right) were found shot to death in their home in McLean, Virginia, on July 14, 2017
Prosecutors say it was greed that allegedly drove Megan, an unemployed single mother, to murder her mother and sister and then stage the scene to make it look like Helen had committed the crime.
Megan had allegedly called one of Pamela’s banks impersonating her and requested nearly $420,000 to be transferred from her mother’s account to a title company handling the closing of her new home on July 13, 2017, the day before the murder, The Washington Post reported.
Megan’s aunt Tammy North (pictured) said she feels ‘sick every day’ about the deaths of her older sister and younger niece
Pamela, a successful executive, put a freeze on the transfer after being alerted by the bank, according to a prosecution filing in the case.
The next day, Megan allegedly shot her mother in the head with a rifle.
Prosecutors wrote that Helen called her boyfriend, Carlos, hysterically crying around 11:30 a.m.
Helen told him that Megan had come into her room to say ‘she just shot her mother’ before going ‘downstairs somewhere on the computer transferring funds,’ according to the filing.
Megan allegedly told Helen that she shot their mother because ‘she got caught doing an escort deal,’ and Pamela was going to take away her then eight-year-old daughter who also lived with them.
Shortly after, Megan transferred nearly $420,000 from another bank account of her mother’s to the title company handling the closing for her home, prosecutors said in the filing.
Pamela was shot in the head in the laundry room, while Helen’s body was found in an upstairs bathroom with a rifle
Megan allegedly returned back upstairs minutes later and shot her sister in the head. Video evidence shows Megan’s car leaving the home at 12:58 p.m., according to a defense filing.
Helen’s boyfriend continued to receive text messages from her phone after that. Prosecutors believe that Megan was the one who had sent the messages, but the defense disputes the claim.
Authorities were alerted to the shootings when Carlos called 911. He told police that his girlfriend had called to tell him that her sister had killed their mother, WUSA9 reported in 2018.
When authorities arrived on the scene, Pamela was found shot in the head and lying in a pool of blood in the laundry room with shell casings strewn about her body.
Helen, who was also shot in the head, was found dead in an upstairs bedroom with a rifle placed between her feet, the muzzle resting on her stomach.
Authorities were alerted to the shootings when Helen’s boyfriend, Carlos, called 911. Helen had called him hysterically crying, alleging that Megan had killed their mother
The crime scene was staged to make it look like Helen had killed her mother and then turned the gun on herself
It was determined at the time that Helen had shot and killed her mother before turning the gun on herself, but police indicated that they realized early on that the crime scene was staged.
‘It was made to look one way,’ Major Ed O’Carroll said during a press conference in 2018. ‘Our detectives are smart and we realized that that necessarily wasn’t the case, and we followed up on every lead.’
O’Carroll said it was ‘not very long at all’ before detectives realized there was more to the story, but they kept quiet about their suspicions so as not to alert Megan.
‘We always try to inform our community,’ he said. ‘But investigative strategy is of the utmost importance.’
Detectives reconstructed the crime scene and interviewed Megan twice as they tried to crack the case.
That’s when they discovered that Megan had attempted to make fraudulent money transfers from her mother’s account the day before and the day of the murders, O’Carroll said.
Detectives later discovered that Megan had attempted to make fraudulent money transfers from her mother’s account the day before and the day of the murders
North shared that she wants ‘to know every detail’ about what happened to her sister and niece, saying Helen’s ‘last moments must have been horrific’
North previously told The Washington Post that it was difficult for the family to have Helen, a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University in Texas, falsely accused of killing her mother for over a year.
Megan has maintained her innocence and pled not guilty to all the charges. Her trial could last as long as six weeks, the newspaper reported.
North, who lives in Illinois, told People she won’t be attending the trial in person because she ‘doesn’t have the resources or mental strength’ to stay in Virginia.
She notes that she wishes she ‘could be there’ because she wants ‘to know every detail’ and ‘understand’ what had happened that day.
‘What transpired is killing me,” she said, explaining that she is particularly haunted by her young niece’s final moments.
‘The hardest thing for me is to wrap my head around Helen,’ she shared. ‘Her last moments must have been horrific.’