Kelley Clayton, Thomas Clayton: ‘Dateline,’ Hockey Player’s Wife Murdered At Country ‘House In The Woods’


On Dateline NBC’s “The House In The Woods,” the Kelley Clayton and Thomas Clayton murder case is investigated tonight. Kelley Clayton, also known as Kelley Stage Clayton, was murdered by a masked robber in her Caton, New York home two years ago. According to Dateline, investigators say it was a murder-for-hire plot that was masterminded by her husband Thomas Clayton, a former hockey player for the Elmira Jackals team. The case made headlines after it was revealed that Kelley’s children were home at the time. The man Thomas Clayton hired, Michael Beard, was convicted of murder, along with Thomas Clayton.


Dateline NBC episode “The House in the Woods”

As a woman arrives at her sister’s home, she sees the blazing lights of firefighters and police investigators. She learns her sister was murdered by a masked robber. However, the woman is sure this was no ordinary murder and that the man behind the mask had a connection to someone who was very close to Kelley.



Kelley Clayton, Thomas Clayton Hockey Player Murder Case

On Dateline, viewers will learn that for years, Kelley Clayton, 35, loved her husband, Thomas. The couple had a beautiful life together with their two kids. They lived in a house on a hill, a beautiful country home located in the rural part of Caton, New York.




From the looks of it, they had it all. Kelley Clayton worked at the Woodhouse Stadium Grill in Corning, and Thomas Clayton, 37, was a businessman. Kelley’s co-workers and customers enjoyed seeing her at the grill. They were devastated when they heard what happened to her, Dateline will reveal.


September 2015: Ginnan Road

Police investigators were called to Kelley Clayton’s Ginnan Road home, where they found Kelley on the kitchen floor. Thomas told detectives that he was playing games at a friend’s house when he came home and found Kelley dead.


Detectives also learned that the children had been there the whole time, and one of them had even witnessed the murder. According to their statements to police, a masked man wearing a dark shirt and jeans had chased their mother around the house before killing her.



One of the last things Kelley Clayton’s daughter remembers hearing was her mother screaming for her to run. However, the seven-year-old didn’t run away. Sadly, she watched the masked man finish the job he’d been hired to do.


25 TO LIFEFor the price of $10,000, prosecutors said Kelley Clayton's husband, Thomas Clayton, hired Michael Beard to kill his wife at the couple's home in Caton, near New York's border with Pennsylvania.

Posted by WBNG 12 News on Monday, February 27, 2017


Police unraveled the entire case. They deduced that a man named Michael Beard, a friend, had been hired by Thomas Clayton to kill Kelley. At the time, Michael Beard was out of work and desperate for money. Prosecutors say Thomas enticed him with a promise of $10,000, the Star Gazette reported.


After a lengthy investigation, Thomas Clayton and Michael Beard were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.


Dateline NBC will interview the investigators who were first called to the scene. Kelley Clayton’s sister, along with at least one other family member, will discuss who they thought killed Kelley even before police put it all together.


Dateline airs tonight at 10/9 p.m. Central on NBC. There is also a Facebook page in memory of Kelley Stage Clayton.



View Dateline NBC’s Trailer For “The House in the Woods”


[Main Image via Police File Photo/Kindness For Kelley Stage/Facebook]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as and Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.