Made for Evil : Paul Merhige

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, to be with your friends and family, to eat a big dinner, and sing songs. However, for the Sitton family, their Thanksgiving was going to take a much darker turn. This is Made for Evil: Paul Micheal Merhige.


On November 25, 2006, Jim Sitton and his family were getting ready for all the traditional Thanksgiving activities with their family. Sitton’s home was in an upscale, cookie-cutter neighborhood in Miami, Florida, making one house difficult to distinguish from the next. However, when Sitton’s estranged “cousin-in-law” Paul Merhige called needing directions, the family was surprised, to say the least. Merhige was not known to be a family person, and had little communication with any of his family members.  Despite this lack of contact, Merhige jumped into the Thanksgiving festivities without missing a beat.


“There were no arguments, warnings, or red flags before the rampage,” said Sitton.  Merhige sat through almost three hours of Thanksgiving cheer, waiting patiently to unveil the purpose for his unexpected arrival. Sitton’s six-year-old daughter, Makayla, sang and made cards for the family, even Merhige. Later that evening, even after his family’s hospitable welcome, Merhige opened fire on his family, killing his two twin sisters, Carla Merhige, a real estate agent, and Lisa Knight, who was pregnant. He also killed his aunt, Raymonde Joseph. Merhige's brother-in-law Patrick Knight was rushed to the hospital in critical, but stable condition. Merhige’s last victim was Makayla Sitton, who passed away while being rushed to the hospital.


No one knew why Merhige decided to shoot his family. The police believe it was because he had a troubled past with his siblings. Court documents showed that in 1999, Merhige filed for a restraining order against his sister, but later dropped his request. A year after the initial restraining order, his sister Carla filed a restraining order of her own against Paul for a threat he made to kill her then himself.  That request was also dropped.


Trying to avoid prison, Merhige disguised himself by shaving his head and painting his Toyota truck. Merhige was finally arrested in January 2010 after over three years on the lamb at a Florida Keys motel when an “America's Most Wanted” onlooker recognized him and tipped the police. He pled guilty to all charges, four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences and is still in prison today.


For further stories and documents on this case go to channel 25 news on Youtube. Podcasts include Apple Music, Spotify, as well as listen notes just look up Paul Merhige. 

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