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S28.E25: The Accidental Husband 2015.04.04

Two wives die in freak accidents 17 years apart. One man was married to both women. Is he just unlucky or does he know more than he’s telling? Peter Van Sant investigates.

That was...underwhelming.

Edited by starri.
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Why did he have a life insurance policy out on his wife's ex sister-in-law? Was there something going on there?

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Why did he have a life insurance policy out on his wife's ex sister-in-law? Was there something going on there?

That made no sense to me.  Maybe I didn't understand the setup correctly, but did he purchase the policy himself, or convince her to purchase one and name him as beneficiary?

 

Because if he bought it himself, I don't think that's possible unless he could prove that he was going to suffer some kind of financial hardship with her death.  And if it was the latter, why agree to it in the first place?

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The FBI told the ex-SIL about the policy. He forged her signature and took out the policy himself. He was the sole beneficiary. He was still in contact with the former SIL because there was a pic of him, her, and the second wife. He was probably going to take her to a remote location and kill her, too. He was scary.

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I had never heard this story before, so I liked that.  I was bothered that the wife, who was a doctor would want him at her work meetings and that the other doctors would allow it.  I could not believe it.  He made people uncomfortable in a place of business and no one spoke to her about her husband.  I am not blaming her at all. 

Well, maybe a little.

 

The question put to her brother was maybe a little unfair. "Do you regret saving his life in 2007?" His answer was the only one he could give as a practicing doctor, but I thought, "yes" I would regret it every day of my life, and who would blame him.  I am so leery of people who have no regrets.  

 

It was a circumstantial case but I think he will be convicted.

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Too bad the FBI didn't set up a trap/sting with the sil. He might have gotten too comfortable & then tried to off the sil. Easy for me to say he wasn't after me. I agree the part about him being apart of the wife's meeting was way creepy. Now, for him not working for 20 years. I guess he was living off the first wife's insurance policy and the second wife's salary to make it look like he (they) had incoming money, right? I did get a weird vibe from the home movies. Everytime they showed the clip of him embracing her she was trying to push him away. Like the old theory goes, it's always the husband.

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I googled and found this regarding the ex sister-in-law's life insurance policy:

Grace Rishell was going through a divorce and ‘concerned for her financial stability,’ when she initially agreed to Henthorn taking out a policy that would pay $50,000 to Grace’s brother and each of her four daughters for a total of $250,000.

 

According to prosecutors in Dr Bertolet’s murder case, ‘the evidence will show that Henthorn had a romantic interest in Rishell’. But Rishell had a change of heart in spring 2010 and told the insurance agent to stop the policy from going through. Instead she took out a policy of her own with another insurer.

 

Unbeknownst to her ‘her signature was forged to procure the original policy as well,’ with Henthorn making payments on the policy until December 2012 and listing himself as sole beneficiary.

 

The policy was cancelled in 2013 when the insurer concluded that Henthorn had no insurable interest in Rishell. But the very fact of its existence raises the specter that Henthorn had Rishell in his sights as a third potential victim.

 

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It amazes me how often a spouse gets away with killing one spouse.  Then continues to do it again in a similar matter.  Obviously the second spouse should be careful to get details of what killed the first spouse before getting married.  He said his first wife was killed in a car crash.  Even if he didn't want to talk about it.  I would want the details.  For instance who was driving, where did it happen and other details. 

 

Toni must have been naïve to not realize her husband was not working.  Her family said he controlled all the finances.  I find it odd that she would let him come to her work place to sit in on meetings that had nothing to do with him.  Even if she wanted him there I can't believe the others allowed it. 

 

I do think he tried to kill Toni the first time when the log hit her in the house.  Did she have any inkling that it was not a real accident?  Why do women go hiking alone in the mountains with husbands that can't be trusted?  Just a sad outcome.  He was going to do it again to the S-I-L if he had not been stopped.

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Oddly enough, the previous nights Hawaii 5-0 was about a husband killing his wife while........hiking. In that story the husband was having an affair. They went hiking and he pushed her off the hiking trail cliff. Synergy programming. I think 48 hours did another story where the wife was supposedly taking a picture of the husband and she "fell" (pushed) off the cliff into the river below. It's crazy how guys think they can get away with this scenerio and that somehow the woman never know. It's so crazy!!!

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Pushing someone off a precipice does seem to be one of the ways to get away with murder, if you can get the victim to stand next to one. No witnesses, no proof, just your story. The killer does need to stick to his/her narrative, however, unlike Henthorn. They do also run the risk of the victim grabbing and pulling them down as well.

 

But no, you can't keep doing it over and over.

 

How does someone not realize their spouse isn't employed? Did he pretend to be working from home? Even so, what was the name of his company? Was there a website, a phone number or a single client or co-worker over the course of a decade? Him being in charge of their finances or not, there were no paychecks.

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How does someone not realize their spouse isn't employed? Did he pretend to be working from home? Even so, what was the name of his company? Was there a website, a phone number or a single client or co-worker over the course of a decade? Him being in charge of their finances or not, there were no paychecks.

Paragraph 72 of this Application for Search Warrant is interesting regarding his employment.

 

Okay, I'm done googling today, sometimes I get so obsessed with the details of these stories.

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Thanks, druzy! The search warrant makes it seem like Toni indeed knew that her husband was a liar but never discussed it with others because she was afraid of him. Sad.

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They stayed at the Stanley prior to their hiking adventure?  Oh, that's not ominous at all.

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I totally believe that he killed both women, and I hope the good people of Colorado who will serve on that jury aren't as dumb as the cops were in Lynn's case.  Sometimes I think the rule should be automatic: the spouse or significant other gets investigated until he or she is ruled out...and I mean really investigated.  Lynn's "accident" never passed the smell test, particularly when her friends were interviewed.  No one bothered to do that?  If someone had and found out that Lynn wasn't a motorhead who liked to work on cars, that should have been a gamechanger.  Some women like to work on cars, but Lynn wasn't that type of person.  That's something that should be investigated for this very reason, and that should have led to testing the jack and so on...

 

I know that Toni's brother has regrets about saving Harold, but if some cops had bothered to do some investigating, Toni might not have ever met Harold in the first place.  Maybe he even would have died in prison of that heart attack, which wouldn't have been such a bad thing.

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Its sad that an intelligent woman with so much of her own financial security (high-paying profession + family money) was able to be so scammed by this guy. He was definitely playing the long game with both of these women.

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Holy Shit.  Toni Henthorn was my eye doctor back in 2010!  I think I only saw her maybe twice so I don't remember much of her.  The name was always familiar (since I'm in Denver) and after finding out she was an eye dr I put two and two together.  Crazy small world.

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