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.


  1. MaryC
  2. MaryC

    Interested in what Martin MacNeill’s colleagues thought about him and if any of his actions were questioned.

  3. Sally Schmidt

    Sad story.

  4. Lynn Ristau

    This sounds very interesting.

  5. vicki wurgler

    I’d love to read this book

  6. lasvegasnv


  7. BSternik

    …because some people are just dispicable, and none of them ever think they’ll get caught.

  8. Anita Yancey

    I enjoy reading about true crime, and this book sounds amazing. I would love to read it.

  9. Karl Stenger

    I would love to read the book.

  10. Crystal Blackburn

    I would like to read more about this crime. And this guy getting what he deserves.

  11. vl4095

    Looks like a good read!

  12. Vernon Luckert

    Looks like a good read!

  13. Sara Lontcoski

    Can’t wait to read the rest

  14. Joanne Mielczarski

    Excited to read this book.

  15. Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win.

  16. therese m murphy

    Very sad story of life gone wrong .

  17. David Siegel

    Would like to read.

  18. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  19. Deanna Stillings

    The mills of the Gods grind slowly…… Sounds like a good read!

  20. Michelle Brown

    Books books books! 😀

  21. Janet Robinson

    Would love to have a copy for our library as true crime is one of our most popular sections!

  22. Janice

    Sounds like an intriging story. Would love to win the book.

  23. Diane Berlin

    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.

  24. Diane Berlin

    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.

  25. Benita Glickman

    Compelling story. It makes you wonder about people.

  26. Marisa Young

    wow – a real life page turner – would love to read the full story

  27. Marjorie Manharth

    Would really like to read this – was born and raised LDS – makes it even more intriguing.

  28. DianeP

    Sounds fascinating.

  29. Michael Carter

    Yes, please enter me in this sweepstakes.

  30. Amy Curtiss

    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,” [u]Under the Banner of Heaven[/u], an amazing exposure of hypocrisy in the church and murder in “God’s” name.

  31. Clydia DeFreese

    I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks.

  32. Betty Geyer

    I love murder books!

  33. Deborah Dumm

    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.

  35. Jeanette Barney

    I love murder mysteries and true crime.

  36. njgrl

    The story sounds quite interesting. I would enjoy reading the book.

  37. bill norris

    sounds like a good read

  38. Joyce Redman

    Unbelievable! Poor woman and children. Hope the ending shows justice he deserved.

  39. Darlene Slocum

    I would love to read about how this man got cut down to size by his kids.

  40. Eva McAvoy

    Would love to read !

  41. Beth Talmage

    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.

  42. Diana Meyer

    Look forward to reading.

  43. Robin Weatherington

    [u][b]Can’t wait to check it out.[/b][/u]

  44. Anna Mills

    Sounds perfection for Valentine’s Day!

  45. Janet Gould

    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?

  47. Deb Mosora

    Would love to win a copy of this book!

  48. Phoenix

    Those kids have a lot of courage.

  49. Victoria Bachert

    And he arranged it so that his nine year old daughter found her mothers body first!

  50. Chris Noe

    Sounds like an excellent read.

  51. Susan Gainen

    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.

  52. Patricia Hill

    I love reading True Crime

  53. Janis Milford

    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.

  54. Sharon Shumway

    This guy is too creepy, can’t wait to read this one.

  55. susan beamon

    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.

  56. Jeffrey Raiffe

    This sounds like a great book to read.

  57. Sheila Cohen

    Sounds like an interesting book. I would like to read it.

  58. Donna Bruno

    Sounds like my kind of book, I would love to win a copy! Thanks for offering it.

Comments are closed.