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Martin MacNeill: Was his wife Michele's death accidental or was it murder?

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  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    Okay DN, so what is your punchline? This article is a good novel but where does it go from here? What I think you have done is help his defense of public persecution with a kangaroo trial.

    As for his being a criminally schizoid that should be the first line in his personal history, public, private and legally.

    If every person in public office and the justice system were to be medically diagnosed, I think being schizophrenic might top their list of traits. They don't care about no one and nobody but themselves. Schizophrenics are very patient, very through, very careful in manner and speech, and very careful of who they associate with and avoid. They can also plan and plot years ahead of their actions. When you see him coming its too late and you can't do anything because victims have incriminated themselves in his plots.

    What is also interesting is why the state legal system failed to put all this together. I really doubt that anything will ever come of this story, too many in the legal system who believe rule of law is greater than truth. A draconian unconstitutional concept of kings and monarchs.

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Dec. 5, 2010 6:28 a.m.

    Wow!

    Here was a bright person with tremendous talent who obviously knew he was less capable than he pretended to be. But he was capable of creating an amazing fiction about his identity -- and apparently tragically destroyed others to serve his self-interests.

    Great reporting!

  • Rosebyanyothername Home Town USA, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 6:55 a.m.

    Excellent journalism here. This sounds like a book in the making. Praises to the writer and the thorough research in compiling this history! The book, "Catch Me If You Can," could have been a model for deceit to Martin MacNeil. Although is is pale compared to all the lengths the good doctor took to deceive from his early life. There are so many pieces to this puzzle. I admire the daughter, Alexis, who completed her medical degree and the care she has taken for her younger siblings.

    Each of the children have been through so much. The thing that could come of this is an indictment for M.M to face the truth and never be allowed out of prison except for the ensuing trial for murder.

    This investigation is very complex and perhaps could give closure to all the unanswered questions. The man appears to be a professional, pathological, psychopath and a liar, a master of deceit.

    I would say that Michele MacNeill was truly the Angel everyone says about her. May she rest in peace with justice brought to bear over her death being staged to look accidental.

    Doesn't sound like he acted alone either.

  • My2Pence Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 10:31 a.m.

    Where has this story been? I am a 15 year resident of Pleasant Grove and this is the first time I've heard any mention of this. One can only hope there will be legal follow-up, before this guy walks out of federal prison in 2012.

  • Flower South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 11:15 a.m.

    @my2pence....there was an article about this a year or so ago. I am sure if you type the name into the search it will bring it up. It gives some other important information.

    I went to college with Alexis and my heart aches for everything she and her family have gone through. I really hope they find the justice they deserve. I am so glad they have re-opened the case into Michelle's death....obviously something was missed the first time around.

  • lex82 South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2010 11:45 a.m.

    @My2pence...Our family has been fighting for almost 4 years for the truth to come out. It took over a year before any of our claims were taken seriously. We are very hopeful that this exposure, as well as the upcoming 20/20 episode will help us get justice.

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    When the story ran before, Alexis was blogging and asking anyone for help in building a case for muder against her father. Obviously, a lot of people came forward.

    If you have ever read "People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck, this is a classic case of human evil. There are many who live among us and live completely fraudulent lives. These people know how to fool others and are very dangerous. This guy is obviously one of them. I would highly recommend this book.

    My best wishes for this family. I hope they can totally nail this guy and his girlfriend for life.

  • Max Syracuse, NY
    Dec. 5, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    At first I thought that 20 pages was a little long and didn't think I wanted to spend the time reading this one but once I did I couldn't stop. How tragic. It seems that everybody he came in to contact with suffered. Also, this story bring to mind the movie Brigham City. Apparently, nobody ever really checked this guy out!

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 5, 2010 7:19 p.m.

    Any charges and criminal prosecution will be seriouls tainted. Getting a conviction out of such a mess will be nearly impossible.

  • Rae M. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    Well, now, after reading this, I know Brian David Mitchell could have been worse. Other than deaths surrounding this guy, however, similarities appear to exist: approximate age, physical female beauty, intimidation, manipulation, charisma, possible brainwasing, threats and hypocrisy are what come to mind immediately.

  • Bill Freeze Lindon, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 7:36 p.m.

    I thought the story was too sensational for the front cover of the Sunday Deseret News. Put all that garbage in the National Inquirer or write a book about it and if people want to read about white trash drugs attics then they can. The police have done about as bad a job on this mess as they did the Elizabth Smart fiasco.

  • ajperky Riverton, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2010 8:04 p.m.

    Alexis, my heart is breaking right now. I still use the plaid dance bag your mom gave me before I moved to Alabama in 1992. I have such fond memories coming to your home and teaching you and Vanessa highland dancing. I am still in shock. We moved back to Utah one month after Michele's death, and I have been wondering about you and your family for 3 yrs. now. I think the last time I talked to Michelle was in '96 or '97 after I got highland dancing going in Arizona, and came up for the Payson Highland games. Your mom loved you so much. My prayers are with you and Vanessa.

  • maureenaus Enoch, Ut
    Dec. 5, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    I think this is the same guy who was a doctor in Blanding, UT for a short while. Anyone have info on that?

  • infoman Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 9:51 p.m.

    This story starts out by comparing MacNeill's life to the movie "Catch Me if You Can." The movie is actually based on a book that is the real-life story of Frank Abagnale and contains a lot more than the movie. The biggest difference is that Abagnale never killed anyone, and is now making quite a living consulting on making things like checks and driver licenses harder to forge. An interesting thing they have in common is that they both worked at BYU on false pretenses (Abagnale spent a summer teaching there, which is fictionalized in the movie as him briefly filling in for a substitute teacher in high school).

  • NT Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    @lex82: this has obviously taken a lot of strength and courage - and a toll on your family nobody will ever come close to understanding. I pray for closure for you and your family on this tragedy, for strength and help from beyond.

  • My2Pence Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 5, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Thank you Flower, and lex82 for the follow up. Best of luck with this case. I'll be watching for, and following this story from here on out :)

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 12:25 a.m.

    Dear Maureenaus: The last time this story ran, Alex was blogging and said that they used to live in Monticello when they were little. Apparently this guy was a lousy doctor and left Monticello to go to law school.

  • katydid Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 12:41 a.m.

    Smart man--he has intelligence to get away with all that he did and what he achieved. Evil man--has no remorse for what he did. Course with all the suicides and things going on with his siblings, his son, etc. maybe he does have a mental illness. But he still should be put away for the rest of his life so he can't hurt anyone else. I wouldn't want to cross his path.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 6, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    Hey Infoman - It took me one click to learn this about Abignales supposedly teaching a semester at BYU:

    So despite claiming to be a sociology professor in at least three books, two solely written by Abignale himself, and an on-camera claim following the movie, it appears Abignale as a BYU professor is mostly or entirely just another real fake. BYU does admit, had Abignale been invited as a guest lecturer or teacher's aide as he claims, they would have no record of it.

    Abignale claimed to have dated a girl whose father taught at BYU, and that he "got to go up and teach during a summer, more like a teacher's aid". Yeah, far from the claim of being a Sociology Professor at BYU.

  • Mr. Ed La Verkin, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 7:31 a.m.

    This guy lived a few doors down from my inlaws when it all went down. nice neighborhood, never would have thought something like this, I remember feeling terrible for the kids when the mother passed because those kids will soon be orphaned because of his cancer (which was a lie). Just crazy. Good for the children to stand up and bring this man to justice, sorry that so much heartache and loss had to be experienced before he was uncovered as a fraud. god bless you as you struggle to keep the pieces together.

  • Dig Provo, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    Wow, incredible reporting! I can't believe this happened right here in Utah. It will be interesting to see how the trial goes.

  • maureenaus Enoch, Ut
    Dec. 6, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    Dear CATS: Thanks for the response.I did find out last night he is the same person.They actually lived in Blanding and may have also lived a while in Monticello as it is only 22 miles north of Blanding and that is where the San Juan County Hospital is where he worked out of when his patients were admitted. My daughter reminded me of her association with one of the girls as they were the same age, and she went to a birthday party at their house.I just could not come to terms that this was the same person. Though I had gut feelings about this guy when he was in Blanding as did some other Blanding folk. There was a big town meeting regarding his medical credentials that supposedly had somehow been lost or some such thing. Not real good on remembering for sure, but what I do remember is the Elementary School cafeteria was packed with people at this meeting. They wanted proof for one that he was indeed a doctor. I cannot recall all that was debated that night, just that some things did not sit well with some folk.

  • WasatchReb Provo, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    You can't believe this happened in Utah? I can! No offense, and I'm a devoted LDS member myself, but our culture here is RIPE for this type of behavoir. We need to ALL start being more honest about our behavoir....responsible for our actions. Its becoming an afterthougt to have those qualities here in Utah.

    The selfish actions of ONE guy has damaged the lives of so many. We have to stop looking at church membersip as a standard of good...it isn't, and never has been.

    BTW, this guy is an embarassment to everybody he's com ein contact with, apparently since his youth. Throw the book at him!

  • JediToby Tooele, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    @My2Cents: Schizophrenics aren't the cold, calculating types. You're thinking of psycho- or socio-paths.

    It's hardly my place to condemn, but I'm shocked at the number of people who say "Not in Utah!" Why not? We rank at the top of the FBI's list for fraudulent schemes regularly. This just shows you that such frauds are not always business-related, or business-limited.

  • TripleCrown Santa Ana, CA
    Dec. 6, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    Not at all complimentary of the PG Police Dept.

  • 2Btru Somewhere in the Lower 48, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    This indeed would make a great thriller. The reporting was thorough and I appreciated the details. McNeill was working at the BYU Health Center when I went there as a student to be treated. Scary. I feel for the children. I applaud Alexis for refusing to give up. She is not safe if her father is allowed out on to the streets. I don't think anyone in that family is. I don't think any of us are. We are all potential victims. I am sad that the facts were not checked out more thoroughly. I feel for the children and their loss. It sounds like their mother was a really wonderful person. This should be a wake up call to all of us. Sometimes things are not as they appear. I think it is also amazing that there were so many people that experienced that gut feeling that something wasn't quite right. Those feelings are not our own and should probably be given more credence than they are.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 3:10 p.m.

    Evil people can exist in any environment and they are very good at picking their victims. In the LDS Church most people are honest folks without guile. Evil people often find this as a really comfortable environment for them to deceive others and thrive in their evil.

    Please read "People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck. It is a real eye opener about people who live among us and live double lives of evil while pretending to be upstanding citizens and people of character and virtue. It happens all the time. This guy is clearly one of these people. What makes them evil? I don't know, but true human evil does exist and we need to be on the watch for it.

  • Raven Sandy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    Welcome to UT where it is all too easy to pull the wool over people's eyes. Finally some are getting smart and are doing their homework. I pray for the kids that they can move on and get the help and love they so deserve. I pray for the good people of UT to not be too trusting of those they come in contact with whether it be in church, business or education.

  • sunny-one West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2010 4:50 p.m.

    Its scary to think Of Martin MacNeill being the medical director at the Utah State Developmental Center in American Fork. Some of the most vulnerable people in this world live there. I have met the man and seen him in action more than once. He was both charming and odd. Made me nervous to be around him. Glad he is where he is and hope that charges will be filed against him for the allegations concerning his wife's death. Sad, sad story. God be with the children in this situation.

  • brisgirl Enoch, Ut
    Dec. 6, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    Indeed we are very trusting in Utah and that is why so many are "duped" because of our belief in people. I also think if we belong to a specific group we are inclined to trust people in that circle. I recall in Australia once I got duped by some "people of my faith" simply because they belonged to the church I attended. So therefore, aren't they honest and have integrity as tight as a ship on a maiden voyage? Not so. I learned my lesson at a very young age and I thank God every day for that experience because it taught me, trust is easily misplaced, and though I didn't know him at the time, there are a lot of Martin Mac Neill's out there in the world. Scary Scary thing for trusting souls. We need to go with the gut as a previous comment said. Isn't it sad not to be able to trust completely? I think so and feel for his family.

  • JanadeleĀ© Sydney, NSW
    Dec. 7, 2010 6:28 a.m.

    How very strange. Incompetence is a word that comes to mind. Where is the expected co-ordination and professional expertise? Sadly lacking it would seem.

  • dancerfriend Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2010 1:10 p.m.

    Alexis/Rachel,

    I am so shocked to hear of both your losses. Your mother was a treasure of a woman, and Damian was a great guy! My mother taught you some highland dancing early on when you and your sister started and we LOVED your mom with all our hearts. I truly hope your father is brought to justice and you can finally find some peace.

  • I LOVE AUNT MICHELE Sandy, utah
    Dec. 8, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    Thank you to everyone who is showing support and concern for our family. Your Well Wishes are greatly appreciated!! There is definitely power in numbers. Please tell everyone you come in contact with to follow your lead!

    Sincerely, I LOVE AUNT MICHELE

  • 4oregonz Sisters, OR
    Dec. 8, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    The first we heard of this was on Nancy Grace last evening. We hope the family gets justice and finds peace. What happened to the daughter's whom identity was stolen after being sent to the Ukraine?
    May God Bless this family always...

  • Nana of 13 Enoch, Ut
    Dec. 11, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    TO: Sisters OR.
    In reply to your question as to what happened to Giselle. A family member of mine knows her quite well as she lived next door to her when Giselle was in foster care following Michelle's death. She did get back here to the USA and is now living in another State. She has been through a lot trying to establish things such as, birth date etc., since now with the stolen identity she has 3 birth dates from what I am told. Anyway, what a mess he and this Gypsy put Giselle through, Michelle I might add was a beautiful woman, with grace,and very well cultured. He was certainly smooth and so many were fooled by him, but many were not as well. Sometimes we look at families and may envy them. Then you hear of something like this and realize, all is not necessarily well behind the walls.

  • Bud47 Hope Mills, NC
    Dec. 11, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    In the true psychiatric cases written of by Dr. M.Scott Peck in his book, "People of the Lie", two common denominators apply to Martin MacNeill:
    1. a favorite "hiding place" of evil people is church
    because it reinforces their "appearance" of propriety by being associated with those who are authentically striving to live righteous lives and who truly are decent people.
    2. Evil people place the highest emphasis on their "appearance" of being perceived by others as decent, honorable, safe, caring and kind all the while planning evil deeds.

  • iheartjs lehi, utah
    Feb. 15, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    I remember seeing this story on Nancy Grace and being completely appalled. Although I think that Martin MacNeill is innately evil, I just recently had an experience with his co-conspirator, Gypsy Willis that opened my eyes to the entire justice system...This last Friday I found myself being arrested for failure to register my car. It was my first brush with the law and I wasn't able to make bail till the following Sunday. As I walked into the dorm room with my fellow inmates, Gypsy Willis was the first face that I saw. She was kind and lovely and made me feel somewhat at ease in an uncomfortable and surreal situation. Many people may disagree with me, but after spending this short time with her, I believe that she was blinded by her love for this man. Although I do not condone what she may have done with Martin MacNeill, I want people to know what I saw,a beautiful woman who has lost everything because of her actions. A woman who is truly sorry for her involvement in this case. I am truly sorry for what has happened to the MacNeill children.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    I'm sitting here shaking my head in disbelief at what this man is getting away with. He's probably making deals at this very time in prison...he is a manipulator, a crazed human being that starves for attention, notoriety and control. My heart absolutely goes out to this family and extended family. Their lives have been altered. I just get chills even thinking about what this guy has done to hundreds of lives through his deceit, fraud and misuse of his authority as a doctor, lawyer, son, husband, father. It's my fervant hope that the remaining members of this family will receive all the help they can and that hopefully some day feel peace and comfort that their Mother is in a better place and that someday they too will be with her again. What a sad story!

  • Oman Cedar Hills, UT
    July 26, 2012 2:28 p.m.

    I can't believe he is not in jail! He killed his wife.

  • Zoey`s owner Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    Alexis Somers, was exactly like her mom elegant, beautiful, smart, caring, loving and wanted justice for her mom. and got it.

  • Zoey`s owner Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    @lex82 You are the exact replica of your mom you are so strong to stay with this and see that your dad stops hurting everyone he is contact with my best wishes for you and your family. just know that there are so many of us that are behind everything you are doing

  • Zoey`s owner Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    iheartjs

    lehi, Utah
    Look her up then..get to know her if you think she is all what you saw..But believe me your in for a rude awakening...

  • Zoey`s owner Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    Everyone should know that Martin Macneill has been found guilty of 1st. degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. This is all due to the children and evidence that was proved of his guilt..thankful that Martin will never be able to hurt one more person.