Lauren McCluskey’s Boyfriend: Know Why Melvin Shawn Rowland Beat Her to Death; ESPN Documentary Explored!

Shreeyantra Rai

Lauren McCluskey’s Boyfriend: Know Why Melvin Shawn Rowland Beat Her to Death; ESPN Documentary Explored!

Lauren McCluskey’s boyfriend, Melvin Shawn Rowland, shot her to death on October 22, 2018, when she was just 21 years old. According to the ESPN documentary, all of this started when Lauren broke up with Melvin as she found out about his real age and that he was he was a parolee serving a sentence for sex offenses. 

Lauren McCluskey was a 21-year-old student-athlete at the University of Utah who was tragically killed on October 22, 2018. She was a track and field athlete and was pursuing a degree in communications. Her death sparked widespread outrage and a call for change in how universities handle cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The university later acknowledged that they had not taken sufficient action to protect Lauren before her death. Since then, her parents have become advocates for campus safety and have worked to change laws and policies to better protect students. Shockingly, it was Lauren McCluskey’s boyfriend who actually killed her.

It has been over 4 years since the incident occurred. ESPN recently a documentary named, LISTEN, where it has revealed a few new details on the murder. Similarly, we’ve found that many of you have been curious to know what actually happened between Lauren and her boyfriend. Well, we’ve got you covered.

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Lauren McCluskey’s Boyfriend, Melvin Shawn Rowland, Shot & Killed Her as She Broke up With Him After Knowing His Real Age and Criminal Record!

Lauren McCluskey from the University of Utah realized in 2018 that her boyfriend, Melvin Shawn Rowland, might not be who she thought he was, and worse, that he might be dangerous. Although he stalked and tried to extort her, she broke up with him and pleaded for help. However, nobody paid attention and she was killed.

Lauren McCluskey and her boyfriend who killed her, Melvin Shawn Rowland.

Lauren McCluskey and her boyfriend who killed her, Melvin Shawn Rowland.
Source: KSL TV

On September 2, 2018, Melvin Rowland met Lauren McCluskey for the first time at the London Belle, a pub in Salt Lake City where he was a bouncer. When they met, Melvin gave her a false name and age and hid the information that he was a parolee serving a sentence for sex offenses.

After that, the two of them started dating, and Melvin frequently went to see his girlfriend in her dorm room to get to know her and her friends better. Jill and Matt, Lauren’s parents, claim that Melvin had Lauren completely won over with his old-fashioned charm before things went south.

Lauren McCluskey's parents, Jill and Matt.

Lauren McCluskey’s parents, Jill and Matt.
Source: DeseretNews

The controlling behavior came first. Melvin had to be aware of Lauren’s whereabouts, what she was wearing, and who she was with at all times. A quarrel would ensue if he disapproved of any of it. Later, on October 9, Lauren discovered the truth about her boyfriend.

Melvin faked his age, claiming to be 28 when he was actually over 37. Lauren broke their relationship right away because he kept secret from her his long criminal history, which included time spent on sexual assault. The extortion, harassment, and threats then began. Surveillance video from the subsequent two weeks showed that Melvin even stalked Lauren.

Melvin was waiting for Lauren in her resident hall on October 22, 2018, ten days after she initially reported the harassment to campus police, naming her ex-boyfriend Melvin as a potential suspect. He departed after three hours of waiting, only to come back at 8:20 p.m. and approach Lauren as she spoke to her mother who was on call.

After confronting Lauren McCluskey, Melvin pulled his ex to another area of the parking lot and coerced her into the backseat of his car. Melvin shot Lauren many times as she was there fumbling, killing her almost instantly.

Melvin Rowland was taken up from the university by a friend twenty minutes later, specifically at 8:38 p.m. The city police were alerted about Melvin’s threat since the University of Utah Police were already aware of it, and they later discovered him on October 23 at 12:40 a.m. The alleged gunman was trailed by police from Salt Lake City into the Trinity A.M.E. Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on foot. Unfortunately, Melvin also shot himself to death before they could really catch him. The cops had barely entered the church when this event happened.

The University of Utah Campus Police were well aware of Melvin Rowland’s attempts to control Lauren in order to win her back. In fact, the policeman in charge of Lauren McCluskey’s extortion case even spoke to her about gathering facts in order to perhaps obtain an arrest warrant for Melvin and his friends, who they believed to be responsible for the threatening letters.

The campus police did not get in touch with the Adult Probation and Parole Department despite learning that Melvin was on parole after having been found guilty of a sex crime during their investigations. Lauren’s parents eventually filed a lawsuit against the University of Utah for this avoidable tragedy.