In 2012, Harold and Toni Henthorn celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary with a hiking trip in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Toni plummeted off of a 100-foot cliff and died a horrible death. Harold told police that his wife was busy taking photos and must have slipped. He didn't see exactly what had happened because he was using his cell phone at the time.
It could have been a tragic accident. After all, Harold was a respected member of the community, a loving husband, and a devoted father to their daughter. He worked as a fund raiser for churches, charities and non-profit groups. At least, that's what he told everyone.
But maybe things weren’t what they appeared to be. Friends and family thought they knew him, but facts surfaced that painted a new picture of Harold Henthorn. Harold had no job and no income. He also had a shady history, including a first wife who had also died in a freak accident.
Harold’s history, along with his ever changing narrative of Toni’s death, led to a murder investigation. Life insurance, years of deceit, and inappropriate behavior were gathered to create a strong circumstantial case against him.
In today’s episode, Over the Edge, we look back at the lives of Sandra Lynn Henthorn and Toni Henthorn, two wives whose final moments were likely filled with fear and violence, murdered by the man who claimed to love them.
The case of physician Michael Swango not only exposed the dark side of a man who had taken an oath to do no harm, it also opened our eyes to a professional environment where doctors accepted the word of fellow physicians over that of nurses and patients—even as evidence of gross misbehavior piled up.
Michael grew up in Quincy, Illinois and graduated as valedictorian at the Quincy Catholic Boys High School. He served in the Marine Corps, receiving an honorable discharge in 1980. He then attended Quincy College followed by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
His troubles were first noticed in medical school. Although he was a brilliant student, he preferred to work as an ambulance attendant rather than concentrate on studying. Even at that young age, he had an odd fascination with dying patients. Michael Swango’s patients often ended up "coding," or suffering life-threatening emergencies. Several died unexpectedly.
Join us at the quiet end today for a true story that actually is stranger than fiction: Taking Lives: The Crimes of Dr. Michael Swango.
Baptist minister Matt Baker presented himself to the world as a man of God, a family man who set an example for his faithful parishioners. But when his wife Kari was found dead in their bed of an apparent suicide, questions about who he really was emerged. Kari Baker’s mother and aunts would become the catalysts to investigate Matt Baker’s deceptions and lies, working with police to expose him as a narcissistic bully and a lifelong sexual predator.
What they uncovered would open up suspicions of his involvement in not only one, but two, family deaths. But it took years to get justice for his wife and safety for his daughters. This story is a striking example of the power of love and determination and a victory of the truth over Matt Baker's carefully constructed life of hypocrisy.
Join us at the quiet end today for Ungodly: The Murder of Kari Baker.
Between the ages of 17 and 24, Keli Lane had two abortions and gave birth to three babies, all without the knowledge of her mother Sandra or her police officer father Robert. Not only that, but her five pregnancies occurred while Keli was playing water polo at a national level and spent most of her time in a swim suit.
Keli’s 4th child, Tegan Lane, born in 1996, went home with Keli two days after her birth. Keli was at a friend’s wedding that evening and not a word was spoken about her newborn daughter. Tegan was never seen again.
Investigators believe that Keli killed Tegan, disposing of her body before her family and friends could learn of the infant’s existence. Keli claims that she gave Tegan to her biological father and he disappeared with the baby. Keli’s supporters appear to believe her story, but what is the likelihood that this man and Tegan would not be found? More mysterious, perhaps, are the reasons for Keli’s multiple hidden pregnancies and overall strange behavior.
Today’s story is one of the oddest we have covered. There are gaping holes in Keli Lane’s story, but also, there is no physical evidence that Tegan is dead. Join us today for a true mystery from Australia, Where is Tegan Lane?