Atoka murder case profiled on cable television show

Published: Oct. 23, 2019 at 6:12 PM CDT
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A double murder case from the '90s that got an Atoka man the death penalty is the subject of an episode of a true-crime show that airs Thursday night.

Cable Network Oxygen is bringing the case of convicted killer Jesse Cummings back into the spotlight for this week's episode of 'Killer Couples'.

Former Atoka County Sheriff Gary McCool helped investigate the case. He says it wasn't like anything he had ever seen.

"This deal would make an excellent movie," said McCool.

In 1991, deputies took a missing persons report of a mother and her daughter.

Officials found the body of Judy Mayo first in the lake, and a month later the body of her 11-year-old daughter Melissa Moody was tracked down near a bridge in Choctaw County.

McCool says Atoka deputies pegged Cummings, Mayo's brother, as the top suspect from the get-go.

"I've noticed this through the years, however good a killer thinks he is, they just can't cover all the loose ends," said McCool.

McCool says Cummings was a polygamist. He says one of Cummings' two wives admitted she believed he may have been the murderer during the investigation.

Cummings did not like that she went to law enforcement and had it out with McCool in his office.

"We had a little bit of a hassle there in the office, and I chased him out on the porch and told him I'd see him burn in hell for this," said McCool.

Cummings was convicted of stabbing Melissa Moody in 1996, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2008.

McCool was at his execution and had this message for Cummings before he died.

"I wore a white cap with maroon lettering that said 'McCool for Sheriff' and I sat right on the front row where he could see me. And that was it," said McCool.

This episode will air on the Oxygen Network Thursday night at 7.

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