Did this man's hidden camera save him from being murdered by his wife?

The wife, Johnson, allegedly pouring bleach into her husband's coffee
(Image credit: ABC 7 / TPD / Mirror)

Melody Felicano Johnson, 39, is being held in Tuscon, Arizona with bail set at $250,000 after being charged last month with attempted murder. She is accused of attempting to poison her husband, Roby Johnson, a USAF airman, while they were going through a divorce.

• We hope you're not in danger, but check our guide to the best spy cameras

According to the State of Arizona's probable cause description, the murder attempt managed to span two continents, beginning while the airman was posted in Germany in March 2023 with attempts at poisoning his coffee. According to the State of Arizona's the taste having made him suspicious, Roby acquired chemical testing strips (typically used to check swimming pool chlorine levels) and checked his coffee pot and the tap water – noticing that the tap water was normal but the coffee pot showed high levels of chlorine.

In May 2023 he set up a hidden camera. He knew, he said in his statement, that Melody would prep his coffee pot at night so that in the morning he just needed to turn it on to make his coffee. After he set up the cameras, he stopped drinking the coffee but pretended to continue to do so.

Melody Felicano Johnson by the coffee machine as caught by a spy camera – more cameras would be needed. (Image credit: lawAndCrime)

Roby played this out until he was posted back to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in the USA, again setting up a camera in the temporary accommodation they were placed in. He took a video to the police and filed a report, but the police didn't feel you could see enough to follow the matter up.

Undeterred in his quest for justice, Roby acquired additional cameras which looked like the fire alarms attached to the ceiling, perhaps like this SecureGuard 1080P from Amazon). With these he was able to record Melody go to the laundry room, pouring bleach into a container, walk to the coffee maker, and pour it in, he told the police who, on seeing the footage, immediately arrested Melody.

Melody Johnson's mugshot (Image credit: Pima County Sheriff's Office)

Melody has yet to enter a plea, and her attorney has issued no statement, but this very sorry tale does at least show how effective the evidence from hidden cameras can be. Perhaps, too, resorting to chemicals and cameras is not the ideal method of communication in a marriage when there is a child – it is, however, too late for that.

As well as looking for the best spy cameras, in the interest of balance we should point out we have a guide for those worried about them being used wrongly – the best hidden camera detectors.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook