Meghan Landowski, Robert Barnes: Watch ‘Dateline The Call’, Portsmouth Dancer’s Home Alone Murder


Meghan Landowski and Robert Barnes were classmates in 2008. And according to Dateline NBC’s “The Call,” Robert Barnes was also the boy who killed her while she was home alone in Portsmouth, Virginia. According to an online obituary, Meghan was a student at Woodrow Wilson High School and Tiger Martial Arts. It was April 10, 2008, when Meghan Landowski’s stepfather found her body, lying between the dining area and the family room. He looked down at the teenage girl he considered his daughter and saw blood. Multiple stab wounds freckled her body. Her stepfather recalled that she looked peaceful but was as white as a china doll. The odd sensation in the pit of his stomach indicated this was only the beginning to a long, frightening nightmare.


Dateline episode “The Call” on NBC

When a dancer is found dead in her Virginia home, police are sure they can solve her murder. But the investigation turns up a list of suspects that complicate their orginal theory. Could Meghan’s death be connected to a naval criminal case? With the help of a leaf found at the scene, a bloody footprint, and a tipster, detectives can finally crack the case.

A coroner’s report showed that Meghan Landowski, age 16, was (se+ually assaulted) and stabbed 40 times by Robert Barnes, who had crawled through a window inside her home. The assault began in an upstairs bedroom. And it appeared to have happened during lunch. According to a detective, the stove was on, and someone was about to eat macaroni and cheese. The former student, then age 17, played the violin. He later pleaded guilty to killing her.


Meghan Landowski’s murder was a tragedy to all who knew her and was the subject of internet rumors. Neighbors were stricken with terror, wondering who had killed Meghan. Friends and family held a candlelight vigil and walked in memory of Meghan Landowski, whom they describe as a sweet girl. She was also popular and funny. What drew everyone to her was her friendly nature, her acceptance of everyone, and her beautiful dancing. According to her family, who will also appear on Dateline, she had been a dancer since the tender age of 13.

For the murder of Meghan Landowski, Robert Lee Barnes was sentenced to 148 years in prison. Discussing the case on Dateline: “The Call” are her parents, former dance coach, the investigating officer who found her body, and friends. Watch Dateline: “The Call” tonight at 9/8 p.m. Central on NBC.


[Main image via Twitter]


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.