In 2007, Dr. Martin MacNeill - a doctor, lawyer, and Mormon bishop - discovered his wife of 30 years dead in the bathtub of their Pleasant Grove, Utah, home, her face bearing the scars of a facelift he had persuaded her to undergo just a week prior. At first the death of 50-year-old Michele MacNeill, a former beauty queen and mother of eight, appeared natural. But days after the funeral, when Dr. MacNeill moved his much younger mistress into the family home, his children grew suspicious.
Conducting their own investigation into their mother's death, the MacNeill daughters uncovered their father's multiple marital affairs, past criminal record, and falsified college transcripts he used to con his way into medical school. It would take six long years to solve the mystery of Michele's murder and secure a first-degree murder conviction against the once prominent doctor.
New York Times best-selling author Shanna Hogan delves into the high-profile case, unmasking the monster beneath the doctor's carefully concocted facade.
"Hogan weaves a cohesive and engaging account, and her narrative chronology makes this a compelling read." (Library Journal)
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The story of a true psychopath
- Michelle in New York City
True crime addicts - do not miss this one!
I'd strongly recommend this to all true crime lovers. It has all the normal stuff, i.e., nutty husband gets infatuated with nutty girlfriend, then needs to get wife out of his way - on the cheap. A divorce would cost too much by way of money, property, reputation. He decides on a do-it-yourself hit job, and he seemingly has the credentials to pull it off flawlessly.
The part that snagged my undivided attention was the listing of the findings of the extensive investigation that was done, late in the game, on this guy's past. It was nothing short of astonishing that he got away with all kinds of fraud - medical school, medical license, law school, Morman church official, and many, many more shady deals. Most people might get away with one or two of the deals this guy pulled, but not dozens of them, including having a felony record early on, yet that never caused a ripple in all the fraud that followed. I found this litany of con jobs just incredible. All of the information on all of this stuff was readily available in public records and could easily have been uncovered anywhere along the line.
He was the typical psychopath - totally charming some of the time and totally, deadly insane at other times. But to sail through scheme after scheme as he did, starting at a young age and continuing until he was finally caught for killing his wife in his 50's, well, this is the most outlandish tale of this kind that I have ever known about.
I have to ask myself - could ALL of our public (and private) institutions in this country be THAT derelict in their jobs that one person could sail through life taking whatever he wanted, with no repercussions, building one scam on the other for decades, to reach the stature that he did in the community and the country, really. Morman bishop, widely known and respected doctor, all-around good guy. It positively sends chills down my spine to contemplate this.
And to top it all off, he VERY NEARLY got cleanly away with murdering his wife, as well. If it weren't for the dogged determination of the children of this murdered woman, acting and pushing against every authority involved, for years and years, this guy was home free with everything intact - his properties, his money, his dead wife's insurance payout, his reputation, his job as a high ranking doctor. He hadn't lost anything through it all, except for what he considered excess baggage - his faithful wife of 30 years, mother to 8 children,
I have to wonder how many nuts like this one are out there right now gaming the various systems, taking from others, ruining lives, while the legal systems sleep on the job. Not every victim's family has the wherewithal to see something like this through to the end that this family did, in spite of their also having to wrestle with issues caused by this guy's so-called fatherhood. The guy was a pedophile, in addition to his other attributes, and there were younger children left to be raised, and the older kids fought to get control of them, wrest them away from the guy and give them a good and wholesome completion of their childhoods. But a single victim acting alone would hardly ever be able to muster the resources to do what these siblings did.
Alexis - the oldest of the murderer's children. She was blessed with the strength and intuition to recognize the situation early, and to stay focused, and keep the others focused, year after year, on getting justice for their mother. It is a very sad commentary that they had to push against the tidal wave that they did, when the legal system failed miserably to even consider the VICTIM through it all. It was all about "fairness" for the perpetrator, and illustrates well the weakness of the bureaucracy.
It also highlights the general sloppiness and lack of dedication to the job at the very heart of our public life here in America - the fact that no one bothered to so much as Google this sicko before entrusting him with lives and property. So many authorities, public and private, were involved along the way of this man's life, yet no one did basic vetting. VERY basic vetting. This ought to scare every one of us.
Additional comment - This audiobook, like perhaps the last 15 or more I have purchased, was chock full of the defect I have been complaining about, that being that prior to each new chapter, the last several sentences, or paragraph, is repeated before the new chapter begins. I am going to keep track from now on and note this in my reviews until something is done about this. It is most irritating and needs to be fixed. Leaving this to annoy customers is cutting corners too far.