Jan 21 2016 2:00pm

True Crime Thursday: Revisiting The Stranger She Loved

They say, “There's no such thing as the perfect murder.”

Well, in the case of the murder of Michele MacNeill, her husband Martin would have pulled it off—if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

On April 11, 2007, Michele’s daughter Ada found her mother unresponsive in the bathtub. Michele was declared dead later that day, and an autopsy report concluded that the death was accidental and of natural causes.

A sad day, indeed. But there appeared to be no evidence of foul-play.

However, despite the medical examiner’s reports, Michele’s children knew something was amiss. Their father and Michele's husband, Martin MacNeill, was the medical director of the Utah State Development Center and a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had expressed unhappiness in his marriage for years (participating in at least two, known extramarital affairs), had threatened violence before, and had a history of mental illnesses (being discharged from the army for those reasons in 1975). After pushing Michele to receive cosmetic surgery, he requested the surgeon prescribe four drugs—two of which (Diazepam and Oxycodone) were not normally prescribed for such a procedure.

After the original autopsy, the family pushed for a toxicology report. When it was performed, the medical examiner found non-toxic levels of the four medicines prescribed, but added that the combination of drugs “could have led to sedation and heart arrhythmia, resulting in cardiac death.” This resulted in the cause of death to be changed to “undetermined.”

Since Martin MacNeill was a physician and had asked for that particular combination of drugs to be prescribed, this appeared to implicate him in Michele’s death. It seemed he knew exactly what drugs to give his wife to trigger her death—a fatal cocktail that would make her passing seem like an accident without raising any red flags in an autopsy.

It would be another 5 years before Martin was finally charged with murder in the first degree, and this true crime tale reveals all of the menacing details of the Mormon murderer.

SEE ALSO: Read an excerpt of Shanna Hogan's The Stranger She Loved

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Stranger She Loved by Shanna Hogan!

To enter, make sure you're a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

The Stranger She Loved Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) January 21, 2016. Sweepstakes ends 1:59 p.m. ET January 28, 2016. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
2. maryc
Interested in what Martin MacNeill's colleagues thought about him and if any of his actions were questioned.
7. BSternik
...because some people are just dispicable, and none of them ever think they'll get caught.
Anita Yancey
8. rosewood780
I enjoy reading about true crime, and this book sounds amazing. I would love to read it.
Crystal Blackburn
10. lovesmysteries
I would like to read more about this crime. And this guy getting what he deserves.
11. vl4095
Looks like a good read!
16. therese m murphy
Very sad story of life gone wrong .
Deanna Stillings
19. reader123
The mills of the Gods grind slowly...... Sounds like a good read!
Janet Robinson
21. Robinsoncat
Would love to have a copy for our library as true crime is one of our most popular sections!
Janice Santillo
22. themommazie
Sounds like an intriging story. Would love to win the book.
Diane Berlin
23. HowDeDu
It sounds like a gripping, suspenseful thriller. The kind of story that is a "page turner" and can't put down. Would really like to have a copy.
Diane Berlin
24. HowDeDu
It sounds like a gripping, suspenseful thriller. The kind of story that is a "page turner" and can't put down. Would really like to have a copy.
Benita Glickman
25. Benita
Compelling story. It makes you wonder about people.
Marisa Young
26. Risa
wow - a real life page turner - would love to read the full story
Marjorie Manharth
27. mmanharth
Would really like to read this - was born and raised LDS - makes it even more intriguing.
28. DianeP
Sounds fascinating.
Michael Carter
29. rubydog
Yes, please enter me in this sweepstakes.
Amy Curtiss
30. Amy
I read a lot of true crime, also quite enjoy watching documentaries about crime, Forensic Files, listen to "Criminal" podcast, and "Serial," of course, my husband says quite often that he had better not meet with an untimely death, because, hey, I'm leaving a pretty obvious trail...this is all to say that, yeah, I want to read this.
Also read the fascinating book by Jon Krakauer about another "mormon murder," Under the Banner of Heaven, an amazing exposure of hypocrisy in the church and murder in "God's" name.
Clydia DeFreese
31. clydia
I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks.
Deborah Dumm
33. deb730
I would love to read this book. Thank you.
34. Helen johnson
No matter how many of these stories I've read or seen on Dateline I can't understand why people consider murder over divorce. They almost always get caught, with family persistance, and the outcome ruins so many people's lives. These are cautionary tales.
36. njgrl
The story sounds quite interesting. I would enjoy reading the book.
Joyce Redman
38. jmredman
Unbelievable! Poor woman and children. Hope the ending shows justice he deserved.
Darlene Slocum
39. darandsam
I would love to read about how this man got cut down to size by his kids.
Beth Talmage
41. wordygirl
This guy sounds like a creep, but I'm wondering whether you would have mentioned his religion so often if he were a practicing Methodist or Lutheran. Is Mormonism still so sensational? It's kind of disappointing to see that continue.
Janet Gould
45. jgould
this book looks great, I can't wait to read it.
46. D. M. Mason
I saw this guy in a news story....seemed incredibly arrogant. Wouldn't you love to know how he felt and what he was thinking at the moment when he knew he'd been figured out?
Deb Mosora
47. debmsra
Would love to win a copy of this book!
49. Victoria Bachert
And he arranged it so that his nine year old daughter found her mothers body first!
Susan Gainen
51. susangainen
No matter how many of these stories I read (and I read a lot of them), I am always shocked at the depth of wacko-ness and wickedness that there is in the world.
Janis Milford
53. calgaryjan
True crime is best, nothing beats how twisted real life can be.. I wonder if they looked at the good Doctor's past to see if any of his former patients were helped along too.
Sharon Shumway
54. Shellen
This guy is too creepy, can't wait to read this one.
susan beamon
55. susanbeamon
I used to read lots of True Crime, but over the years the different ways and reasons one person uses to do away with another have become mind numbing. Still, I'm game for another well written murder story.
Sheila Cohen
57. sheilaco
Sounds like an interesting book. I would like to read it.
Donna Bruno
58. dlbawiles
Sounds like my kind of book, I would love to win a copy! Thanks for offering it.
Post a comment