A major case gets going this week as a man prosecutors accuse of killing not one but two of his wives goes to trial in Colorado. Did Harold Henthorn murder two of his wives for insurance money or is he a victim of horrible luck?
59-year-old Harold Henthorn went to trial this week, accused of pushing his second wife off a cliff in the Rocky mountains. Per the federal prosecutor, the suspect might also have killed his first wife in what appeared to be a freak accident almost 20 years earlier!
In both deaths, Harold was both the only witness and made out with large life insurance policies twice. Harold’s criminal defense lawyer countered the prosecutors arguments, saying these were mere tragic accidents.
Henthorn is charged with first-degree murder for the death of his second wife. The 50-year-old woman was found to have plummeted over 125 feet off a cliff in a remote part of the Rocky mountains back in September, 2012. Ironically, the couple was there to celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary.
How can Henthorn be convicted of murder with no witnesses and no signs of foul play? The prosecutors have some devastating circumstantial evidence. They claim Harold was a skilled planner and scouted the trial nine times before taking the victim with him. They also have his hiking map with the letter “X” drawn at the exact spot she fell. That, along with 4.7 million dollars worth of life insurance that neither his wife nor her family knew he took out on her.
Other prosecution witnesses include emergency dispatchers and park rangers. They are testifying about the suspect’s shifting versions of the events. He first claimed he called 911 45 minutes after his wife fell but phone records say otherwise.
The defense is claiming that the victim died as she was taking photos of the trial. They are using autopsy reports in their defense case. They say this was just a tragic accident but could not explain away the “X”.
Prosecutors have also gotten into the circumstances surrounding the death of Henthorn’s first wife. She was crushed when her car slipped off a jack in 1995- just months after THEIR 12th wedding anniversary!
Before her fatal “fall” off a cliff, the second wife had earlier just missed being killed by a large wooden beam that fell on her the year before. It hit her head, fracturing her vertebra, narrowly avoiding killing her.
Prosecutors wrapped up their side of the case by also going into the defendant’s finances. They showed that before he married his second wife, he spent hours looking at her financial status as well as two other ladies. He asked his friends which one he should marry. He picked his second wife, in part, because of her family money.
He convinced her he was a wealthy businessman and talked her into going to a Denver suburb with him. Once their, he began to be a controlling husband, forbidding her to talk to her own daughter! Prosecutors also found that he had little money of his own.
As of this writing, the case is still ongoing and is expected to last at least into next week.
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