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.
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