Michele MacNeill was found dead inside her home in April 2007, lying unresponsive in her bathtub.
Medical investigators originally thought it was a natural death. Michele had just received plastic surgery, and an autopsy determined that she died of cardiovascular disease. At the time there was little reason to suspect her husband, Dr. Martin MacNeill, who was reportedly hysterical after his wife’s death and cursed her for having a face-lift, was in an way connected to the death.
But Michele’s children suspected that something was amiss, and asked for a new toxicology report. Investigators found a combination of drugs in her system, including Diazepam, Oxycodone, Promethazine, and Zolpidem.
Armed with the new knowledge, her cause of death was changed to “combined effects of heart disease and drug toxicity.”
Police re-opened the case in her death, focusing on her husband as the main suspect.
Martin has since been arrested and now sits on trial for his wife’s death. Prosecutors are painting him as a man leading a double life, a devoted husband and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on one hand but a controlling husband on the other. He often threatened to leave his wife, and investigators also found that it was actually Martin who forced Michele MacNeill to have a face-lift, even seeking out a plastic surgeon himself.
Reports say Martin also cheated on his wife and talked openly about killing. One woman with whom he allegedly had an affair, Anna Osborne, said Martin spoke about killing his mother and brother, and even offered to kill her abusive husband.
When this double life came crashing down on him, Martin decided to kill his wife, prosecutors claim. They believe Michele MacNeill learned abut an affair with a woman named Gypsy Willis. Two weeks after his wife’s death, Martin MacNeill hired Willis to serve as a live-in nanny for his eight children.