Martin MacNeill, the Utah doctor whom police say drugged and drowned his wife to make a life with his sultry mistress, Gypsy Willis, is the basis for another episode of Dateline NBC. This year, as in years past, Dateline has reported on a slew of murder cases that have gripped headlines. No other story seized headlines more than the Michele MacNeill bathtub death case. Dateline first reported on the tragedy back in 2013. Tonight’s episode entitled, “Secrets In Pleasant Grove,” will allow viewers to trace detectives’ steps as they try to figure out how a former beauty queen wound up dead in her bathtub in the family home in 2007. You’ll hear from police officials who gathered the evidence in the case, as well as family and friends.
Dateline‘s coverage will show that when Michele Somers met Martin MacNeill all those years ago, she thought she was getting herself a good husband, someone with whom she could build a comfortable life. She would have no way to know that over the next 30 years, he would turn out to be a lying cheater who allegedly took on several mistresses throughout their marriage.
That type of treatment likely took a serious toll on the former beauty queen. Michelle reportedly knew something was going on with Martin, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. He was behaving in a different manner; he was working out and becoming obsessed with his looks.
In the Dateline NBC episode, Michele MacNeill’s daughter, will state that her mother had a feeling that her husband was having an affair with a woman named Gypsy — a pretty brunette with striking looks and a voluptuous body. Reportedly, Michele MacNeill realized why her husband was working so hard to make him self look more sexually appealing, especially since she’d discovered that Martin was communicating with Gypsy Willis by text.
As a young woman, Michele MacNeill had been stunning, a gorgeous beauty who won many pageants. But at the age of 50, though still quite beautiful, she worried about the reasons why Martin MacNeill wanted her to have plastic surgery. Feeling that having the facelift would help to get her marriage back on track and recapture the attention of her husband again, she decided to go through with it. But, it didn’t turn out at all as she suspected. Within a matter of days, Michele MacNeill was found dead in the bathtub by her 6-year-old daughter.
After Michele’s death, Martin MacNeill moved Gypsy Jyll Willis, a.k.a. Jillian Giselle, into the residence and hired her as a nanny to the smaller child, causing many people to grow suspicious. Plus, to the adult children, it appeared that the new dark-haired nanny was more into gazing at Martin than taking care of the little one, according to the Daily Mail.
“She didn’t do anything that a nanny would do,” the MacNeill daughter said. “I expected to see what I had seen before (with those who) had been hired as nannies, that their main focus was the children. That they were there to work… not just sitting and staring at my dad.”
News of her murder sent a chill through the community. But no one felt the grief and pain more deeply than her family members. Michele MacNeill’s daughters were beside themselves with anguish over losing her. And they remembered that their mother wanted them to look into her death if anything ever happened. It was a promise they kept, as they stayed on top of detectives to pursue this case and arrest Dr. Martin MacNeill for murder, according to New York Daily News.
Detectives believed that there was more to Michele MacNeill’s death than just natural causes. They firmly believed that the Mormon doctor had drugged his wife and drowned her, so that he could continue his sexual relationship with Gyspy. It took several years, but Dr. MacNeill was finally arrested for the death of his wife.
At trial, the defense told the jury that the prosecution had no real evidence that Michele MacNeill’s death was caused by anything more than natural causes. However, the jury disagreed and returned a verdict of guilty.
To go inside the case, tune in to #DatelineNBC Friday, March 25 for “Secrets In Pleasant Grove.” Check your local television guides for times.
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