Michael Severance’s murder story is coming to the Investigation Discovery channel tonight on Nightmare Next Door. Michael Severance is the military man who disappeared and was later found dead in a stock pond. His wife Dr. Wendi Mae Davidson, a well-known veterinarian was convicted of his murder. Tonight’s episode of Nightmare Next Door is “The Unwelcome Wagon,” which follows U.S. Air Force investigators and local police who are trying to locate an Airman who may have gone AWOL. The documentary will include commentary from those close to the investigation.
San Angelo, Texas 2005
In January 2005, local veterinarian Wendi Mae Davidson told her husband’s supervisors at the Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, that her husband, 24-year old Sgt. Michael Severance was missing. Believing that he could have possibly gone AWOL, the military sprung into action to find the missing man. Suspicious U.S. Air Force agents began trying to find a ranch that Wendi Davidson had access to, according to CNET. When they were unable to find its exact location, they began tracking Wendi Mae Davidson after installing a tracking device in her car, which eventually led them to a ranch. However, the first search there turned up nothing regarding Michael Severance.
As detectives began taking a closer look at the vet, they learned that Wendi Mae Davidson stood to gain about $500,000 in insurance benefits upon her husband’s death. Even more damaging, a forensic analysis of her computer showed that she had searched for information about decomposition in water, which indicated to them that Wendi Davidson had most likely killed her husband of five months and discarded the body in water.
Wendi Mae Davidson’s brother eventually came forward with information about his missing brother-in-law. He told agents that Wendi told him that she had discovered Staff Sgt. Michael Severance dead, and that she decided to dump the body in water so that no one in the family would be implicated in his death.
An autopsy report determined that Michael Leslie Severance had been given an overdose of drugs used to euthanize animals. He was stabbed over 40 times before he was placed in the pond, which was found on a ranch in Tom Green County. Family members were not surprised that Severance had been found dead. His father, Leslie Severance, knew there was no way that his son, a war hero, was not guilty of desertion.
Authorities believed that Wendi Davidson drugged her husband, stabbed him, and then transported his body to the pond on the ranch, where she weighted the body down with a boat anchor and other heavy items. It is also believed that at least one of Wendi Davidson’s children were with her when she dumped the body in the stock pond.
Dr. Wendi Mae Davidson was sentenced to 25 years, plus 10 years in the drugging and stabbing death of Sgt. Michael Severance. In the months that followed, Michael Severance’s father, Les, tried desperately to gain custody of his 8-month old grandson, who was staying with the killer’s relatives.
The victim’s father was awarded temporary custody, but it appears that at some point, the child, Shane Michael Severance, was returned to Wendi Mae Davidson’s family, according to Bangor Daily News. The Nightmare Next Door documentary tonight might shed more light on the final decision in the custody hearing.
The death of Michael Severance was chronicled in Diane Fanning’s book “A Poisoned Passion: A Young Mother, Her War Hero Husband, and the Marriage that Ended in Murder.” Last week’s Snapped on Oxygen detailed the case of Michelle Theer, another female professional who killed her Air Force husband.
[Photo by Jae C. Hong/AP Image]