Being an avid hiker and outdoors person, any crime involving trails or hiking always intrigues me. This is a case where nature was used not only as the setting but as a catalyst for murder. As human beings, this case proves that we really want to believe the best in people, in the end all we're looking for is to be loved. Toni Henthorn thought she found a good man, trusted her own judgment and intuition, even when her gut told her something was slightly "off" about her perfect husband.
Transcribed EP04: Harold Henthorn: Mystery on Deer Mountain
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I'm sure you've heard the old saying. Lightning never strikes in the same place twice. It's basically that reassurance that if something bad has happened in your life, not to worry, because odds are it won't happen again. Well, if you've heard that saying, you also know that it's completely untrue. Lightning often strikes the same place twice, sometimes during the same storm, sometimes years later. It's a proven scientific fact, but what about the odds of having not only your first wife but your second wife is well, both die in freak accidents 17 years apart in Episode four of the Crime Shack will be discussing those odds and discover if someone really can be that unlucky, or if multiple deaths could possibly amount to murder, be sure to head over to the crime shack dot com to get the show nuts for this episode and also like and subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app. Toni Bertolet was an attractive 37 year old divorced blonde Southern belle from Jackson, Mississippi. Tony was a successful in prominent eye doctor who came from a wealthy family involved in the oil business and who was the middle child with two brothers. Tony was also known for her love of people and for her warm and caring nature. Harold Henthorn was a charming 44 year old put together, nice looking, accomplished entrepreneur who told family and friends that he was in the business of raising funds for charities and on profits. Harold was a widower whose wife had died a few years prior. In 1999 Harold decided to join an online dating website called Christian Matchmakers, in search of a possible future partner. After going on a few dates that didn't pan out, Harold ultimately met Tony. Berta lay on the site as Harold and Tony got to know each other. Tony expressed her her family, that Harold was smart, kind and romantic, and that she was elated that she thought she had found her true love after a world wind romance and only nine months after they met, Tony and Harold were married in a lavish Southern wedding, having previously lived in Colorado and expressing that he didn't think there was a future for them. in Mississippi, Harold convinced Tony to move from her hometown and away from her family to a town called Highlands Ranch in Colorado. Highlands Ranch is a community which has a population of about 96,000 people and is located about 12 miles south of Denver. Harold and Tony were intent on having a child as soon as possible, and in 2005 they eventually had a daughter named Haley. Tony continued to work as an eye doctor in Denver, having a practice in Cherry Creek, an affluent district of Denver, and Harold continued his fundraising business from his home in Highlands Ranch. Tony's brother, Barry Bertel. Aye aye. Cardiologists was glad to hear that his sister found a good man and was happy, and Tony's parents seem Thio. At first approve of Harold, they described him as being charming, always talking, but almost too much, often bragging about himself and always having to be the center of attention. As time went on, though, Tony's family started to notice some red flags. They thought Harold was a fast talker, was a bit too slick, and they noticed that he was very controlling when it came to Tony. If Tony's family would call her house. The House phone would be routed to Harold Cell Phone, where he would answer it, not allow them to speak directly to Tony, but put it on speakerphone, instead doing the majority of talking, while Tony would chime in occasionally in the background. If Tony's parents wanted to see her, they would have to fly to Colorado. As Harold refused to fly back to the South, Tony had on Lee gone back to Mississippi once without Harold during the years that she was married after the birth of their daughter. Heralds controlling behavior eventually was extended to Haley as well. Harold would plan out every one of their daughters days and nights. He would organize playdates with other parents, would tell Hayley when and what to eat and would make it clear to everyone that he, not Tony, was in charge. He wouldn't allow Tony to put Haley to bed at night, insisting that the hour or so before Haley fell asleep was his daddy daughter time. Even as she grew older, he found a way to keep a close eye on his daughter and would keep a video monitor running in her room Tony's coworkers even began unnoticed, heralds odd and controlling behavior. Harold would show up to Tony's office and insist to be involved in present during their staff meetings. Have you ever had one of your coworkers spouses sit in on your company's staff meetings? Yeah, me neither. The staff members thought he was creepy, but because he was Toni's husband, they figured there must be something good about him if she really loved him. One of Tony's co workers, who didn't particularly like Harold, began to have a more positive opinion of him when he called her, asking for her help in planning a surprise gift for Tony for their upcoming 12 the wedding anniversary. The co worker thought that he couldn't be that bad if he was planning a weekend getaway for Tony and was happy to help. The secret gift was to be a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park, where they would stay at a historic hotel and go on romantic hikes. Once planned, Harold showed up Tony's work and surprised her with the gift, much to her delight. It couldn't have been a more beautiful autumn weekend to celebrate Harold and Tony's 12th anniversary. Harold book there stay for the weekend at the Stanley Hotel, a charming historic hotel located in Estes Park, a town in northern Colorado. Estes Park is known as a base for the Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the four national parks in the state of Colorado. It's located in the northern portion of the state, approximately 76 miles northwest of the city of Denver. The park features mountains, Alpine lakes in a variety of wildlife within different climates and environments, which range from wooded forced to mountain tundra. Because of this, the park is one of the most visited parks in the national park system, with approximately four and 1/2 1,000,000 visitors per year. On Saturday, September 29th 2012 Harold plan to take Tony on a hike in the National Park. They departed early in the afternoon and originally intended on hiking the Bear Lake Trail, which is 1/2 mile paved trail with no elevation gain. In other words, a very easy, flat, mild hike. This would have been ideal for Tony, since Tony had previously had several knee surgeries and did not fare well with anything that involves strenuous activity or climbing. When they arrived, they noticed that Bear Lake Trail was pretty crowded, so they abandoned that idea and headed about 12 miles north to hike Deer Mountain Trail. Now Dear Mountain Trail was quite a step up in terms of difficulty from the initial trail they were going to attempt. This trail is a 5.6 mile moderate, not easy trail due to its length technicality in the overall elevation gain of the trail. The trail begins at an elevation of about 8900 feet and increases about 1400 feet at the highest point over the course of the trail. The hike up to the summit of the trail begins in a valley and soon enters into a steep, rocky, forested area saturated with Ponderosa pine trees. The area where the trail is located is a remote area with poor cell phone service and no aid stations nearby. Sometime around 3:30 p.m. That afternoon, they decided to leave the marked trail to possibly find some wild turkeys to photograph and maybe later enjoy a romantic spot to have lunch. Now, being a hiker myself, this is something that I find unusual, biggest upon the fact that Tony was not and never had been an avid hiker. For one thing, I'm always cautious of leaving a trail. This is something that I almost never d'oh unless I want to take a quick picture at a summit where I plan to set up camp. And even then, I don't venture far off trail. If you're an inexperienced hiker or not, an avid hiker, or even if you are experienced, going off trail can oftentimes lied to you getting lost easily or having difficulty locating the trail again. There are many instances where we hear about lost hikers, and if they are found the state that they had gotten lost by going off trail or lost the trail. It's an easy mistake to make, and it also makes it much more difficult for rangers and search parties to locate you. The fact that Harold and Tony ventured off trail, particularly as it was heading towards evening, was, in my opinion in itself, a very risky thing to D'oh. Harold and Tony stopped to commemorate the celebratory time by taking a few photos of their hike and photos of Tony standing in front of a beautiful mountain backdrop, Harold, standing on a ridge, precariously holding onto a tree, the two of them standing endearingly side by side. They decided to take a break and climb down to find a romantic spot and enjoy some lunch on top of a scenic cliff Overlook. Once they were done with their lunch, they continue to walk off trail and found a cliff directly below the spot where they had lunch. The time was approximately 4:45 p.m. About 30 minutes later, Tony had walked to allege to show him where she wanted him to stand to take a picture. When Harold said that he received a text message from their baby sitter that his daughter Haley, soccer team had just won a game 5 to 1. When he looked down at his phone to read the text, he stated that he saw a blur, and when he looked up, Tony was gone. She had fallen off of the cliff. Harold immediately scrambled down the mountain to reach Tony, which took about 15 minutes, and upon reaching her at the base of the cliff, it took him another 30 minutes or so to move her to flatter terrain so that he could assist her, try to locate cell service and make a call to 911. It was 5 54 PM when Harold made an extremely detailed an instructional call to 911 explaining that his wife had fallen from a rock on the Deer Mountain Trail. spk_3: 11:38 I'm a mom. Attention, Emergency! Hello? Carol. I'm in the market. Vendors work. Okay? I didn't help. Bring Mountain Rescue Team immediately. Okay. What is your location? My exact location in here. Mountain. Okay. From it. One mile. Okay, I'm going to transfer you to the park, so hang on the line. You're here. Um, you're gonna hear some clucking, and right now I'm calling up your Latin your long on my own. Here. Let's try it one more time before I transfer you. They don't have this happen. Alan. I want you to worry, and I have one. Okay? Hang on. Right. William E. I'll introduce who we are when they spk_4: 12:25 wake up blue block on the north from it. You're melting on your grill grill. What really critical condition? You got that? Pull her, Uh oh. For a birdie. Hate. I think e I am sure you My location first have really bad health coverage. Okay. Okay. I got your milk. We have fun. It not the normal regular Norman of it on the other than alcohol. And, um, help me think about the patient. He is a white female with your old great help. She had respiration approximately 5 to 8 minute her. Pull it about 15 80 feet. Admit it. Okay. What's your main injury? I'll head injury. Okay. Any other injuries incurred while conscious, breathing, conscious, breathing thing between five. And they admit it now. Well, then just click it. Okay? I think I will pay anything for a helicopter. I don't think a private affair commercial every minute back. I will. I'll play any. You know that right now. Okay. You come prepared with a pail. Here I am. And it's really on the safety of everybody involved. That would be a ranger. Okay. What if there's no wind whatsoever right now? Would you explain this? Believe is at least a mile. They're definitely I'm not a minute, but I'm going on to you. You can safely proper permit from a potential growth in Italy. You that I understand that but they definitely need to probably get someone on the maid. You have your location. They're asking you to put it any bright out. Papa, can't you Glad you e Are you back with your wife now? I'm not your younger. We're OK. How is she doing her reparation? Weaker E You do more about that ball for with, like, a I didn't have a camera. I didn't actually looking. Okay. Okay. So, um, going to hang up with you. If you want to leave your phone out, that makes you feel better. That you that you can call it anything painting with her. I will call you. Call you that 30 at exactly 6 30 Don't you think? Okay, Like I said, you know, we call 911 and transferred over. Okay. Thank you. Thank you. spk_0: 15:39 At 6 16 PM, Tony's brother Barry Berlin received a text message from Harold that red. Very urgent Tony injured in Estes Park. Fall from rock. He went on to tell Barry that MTs were on their way and told Barry to catch the next flight and that his cell phone battery was low. Harold made additional calls to the 9 11 dispatchers between the time of the first call at 5 54 PM and the time of their arrival at 6 32 PM Herald calls 911 again and tells the dispatcher that Tony's breathing was shallow and that he had built a fire in a rocky enclosure. An expert forensic pathologists estimated that Tony would have died between 20 to 60 minutes after her fall and so she would have almost certainly been dead by 6:15 p.m. At 6 54 PM, Harold spoke with dispatchers again, telling them that Tony's breathing had gone to zero. So they tried to coach Harold on how to do CPR and Tony. The dispatcher's later stated to authorities that they didn't believe that he was actually doing CPR. They had provided CPR instruction over 200 times in other instances, and they stated that even though he said he was doing chest compressions, that he was not out of breath at all during the call is a matter of fact. Most people are so out of breath doing CPR that they usually have a hard time talking with the dispatcher because of the amount of exertion it takes Harold didn't even let her know. Once he completed a portion of a task during the CPR that he was allegedly administering to Tony. Most people will ask immediately, What do I do next? Just four minutes into this call, he asked if Rangers air close and tells her that if he loses his cell phone connection with her, he will blow a whistle every 30 minutes to help rescuers find him. The operator tells him that the Rangers air out there and calling to him. And if he can hear them, To which he responds, No, I do not. He goes on to tell her this location again and gives her the GPS coordinates. The dispatcher told him that she would inform the Rangers of the coordinates and asked him to stay on the phone. But he told her that his batteries too low and says, Text me with further information and hangs up, making no more calls to 911. If you think that 2% left on your phone's battery's plenty of juice to make some additional Texan calls, well, you might be right, because after hanging up with 911 Harold made another 22 calls and sent and received 98 text messages, including calls and text to a friend asking if he could drive to pick him up from Estes Park and telling his friend what route was the best to take to get there because of how remote the location was, where Tony fell, paramedics didn't arrive until around eight PM to the scene, and by that time Tony was dead. A helicopter rescue wasn't considered because it was night time in the area was too rugged. When the M. T s arrived, they noticed that Harold did not seem out of breath. And this was strange, since they knew that he had told the 911 operator that he was performing CPR on his wife. Upon being questioned by the Park Rangers on what occurred on the trail, Harold couldn't quite get his story straight, he said. They had gone off trail, ate some lunch and took Selfies before deciding climbed to a rocky cliff in a remote location far from any cell phone reception he would go on to provide multiple variations of her fall, he would say he looked down at his phone and didn't see what happened or that Tony was taking a picture when she slipped and fell, or that she was checking a text message on her phone when she fell. Harold also gave conflicting stories to family and friends of what happened on the trail. Harold would claim that Tony had gotten behind him and that when he went back on the trail to look for her, he saw she'd fallen down a cliff. Another time, he would tell them that he was looking at her cellphone, concerned that she would be called into work when he saw a blur. Another time, he would tell them that she was taking pictures of him when he got a text message from Haley saying she'd want a soccer match. And when he looked up, Tony had fallen. An autopsy was conducted on Toni Henthorn, and her injuries were extensive because the terrain where Tony fell was very Stephen Rocky. As her body fell down the cliff, it banged off Clumps of large pine trees, tour off chunks of bark and sheared off three inch thick branches off of trees. The branches tour hair and tissue from her skull. Her brain had hemorrhaged. Her neck was fractured. She sustained blunt force trauma to her chest, abdomen, pelvis, and several of her ribs were broken. Her chest was deformed with a two inch gash to her liver. Both her liver and lungs were lacerated and bleeding, and her skin was pale, fromthe loss of blood. The medical examiner also found no signs of CPR being performed. No abrasions, no contusions, no rib fractures that would coincide with chest compressions. Nothing. Tony's lipstick wasn't even smeared or removed. Two did the supposed mouth to mouth resuscitation that Harold gave her. It was also noted that Tony's main solitaire diamond from her wedding ring, which was still intact and on her finger after she fell, was also curiously missing from the setting. Harold had mentioned to investigators that the diamond, which was supposedly valued at $30,000 was missing. Investigators continue to press herald about the diamond, and it was eventually found at the accident site. Months later, the medical examiner finding stated that her manner of death was undetermined, that her fall may have been a premeditated, intentional push and that they could not rule out the death as a homicide. An extensive investigation began that involved the FBI, the United States Park Service and the Douglas County Sheriff's Department. At the trailhead, investigators would search heralds car, and they came across a map. The map was of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and it had Deer Mountain Trail highlighted in pink highlighter, with the word hike written next to it and had a specific spot marked with a pink X, marking a location near where Tony fell. When they asked Harold about this map and the curious X marking the spot, Harold hemmed and hot but did not have an explanation for it. He said that the map hadn't been prepared for that particular hike. The marking on the map also seemed to contradict heralds account of why they went off trail, which heralded said was because they wanted a photograph, wild turkeys or have a romantic moment all at the spur of the moment. This detour now seemed to have been planned after the autopsy had been conducted. Harold, against the wishes of his wife's family, immediately had Tony cremated and Hatter ashes distributed in the same location where his first wife's ashes were spread on Red Mountain near you, Wray, Colorado, You raise about 290 miles southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. As the investigation progressed after Tony's death, several family members and friends would call the investigators to express their concern about the validity of Harold sequence of events and asking for law enforcement to investigate. Harold Further, The news and media were conducting several stories of the strange accident as well. When an anonymous email was sent to a CBS investigative reporter named Brian Moss. The email stated that Harold Henthorn, first wife, died in a freak accident as well. Her name is Lynn Henthorn. This email took the investigation in entirely different direction. The investigators began to look further into Harold and Toni Henthorn is Life is Well is into heralds first wife Lynne Henthorn and what they found astonished them. Let's begin with Heralds career. Or should I say, Let's begin with heralds. Lack of career heralds wife, family and friends all believe that Harold was a fundraiser for charity and on profits. In fact, he would describe to them in detail what specific projects he was working on. He would even hand up business cards and what hiring nanny to watch his daughter, Haley on Thursdays and Fridays because he had to travel for work. Well, in fact, Harold hadn't officially worked since his previous wife, Lynn, died in 1995. There were minimal records of him providing some amount of earnings in the years 1993 90 99 2000 but absolutely nothing after that. No tax returns, no paychecks. And about those business meetings or business trips, he would have to go on Thursdays and Fridays. Well, Harold was making trips all right, trips to Panera Bread, where he would eat and use their Internet to surf the Web. When a friend asked Harold why he lied about his career, he told him that it was Tony's idea to lie, explaining that it was necessary in order to make their move from Mississippi to Colorado acceptable for Tony's family. Another interesting item that investigators found out about the trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Harold had said that neither he nor Tony were familiar with the park that he had on. Lee made one prior scouting trip to the park. Yet when investigators pulled his cell phone location tracker, it indicated that he had visited the park at least eight or nine times in the six weeks prior to Tony's death. Technology today is an amazing thing, and in many of the crimes I read, it always baffles me how the criminals don't realize this. Mr. Henthorn assumed that no one knew where he was going on a day to day basis. But lo and behold, his movements were tracked. There are a couple different ways a cell phone location can be tracked. This is through process is called triangulation, which is an Anna long process in pinging, which is a digital process. Both processes can determine the location of a cell phone by either utilizing the phone's GPS location Aware capabilities, which is similar to a GPS vehicle tracking system, or by determining location of a point by forming triangles to it from known points and know the owner of the cell phone that is Tract is not made aware of this as it happens. Before Harold had married Tony, he had apparently studied her finances, and he created a financial profile of her along with two other women. He was dating a totally normal thing to do when dating someone right. He asked some of his friends to review them and tell them which one he should marry. And he ultimately decided on Tony. Harold was obviously very interested in finances. Which brings us to the P s Day resistance of this case, the life insurance policies. At the time of Tony's death, investigators discovered that Heralds did to collect 4.7 million in life insurance payouts from policies that he had taken out on Tony. There were three life insurance policies on Tony totaling $4.5 million all taken out between 2001 and 2005 plus a $205,000 annuity. Oh, yes, And about those policies, Tony didn't know about them. The insurance agent who set up the policies stated that a trial he never met with Toni Henthorn to set up any of the insurance applications for the life insurance policies and that he never even talked to her. He dealt exclusively with Harold. Curiously, when the Park Ranger investigators had asked Harold about any life insurance policies he had in place, Harold lied about the amount he had on his wife or on. Lee mentioned that Tony had one, a $1 million policy where half of it would go to the couple's daughter, and the other half would go to nonprofits and family in a potential 50,000 policy from a recent car purchase, regardless of the policies being in place. The fact that the medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was undetermined put a freeze on the life insurance policy payouts in on November 6 2014 Harold was arrested and charged with the murder of Toni Henthorn. During heralds trial, prosecutors were allowed to bring in an event from heralds past. It was the event that the anonymous E Mailer had divulged to the CBS reporter for investigators to look further into the accidental death of Heralds First wife Sandra Lynn Henthorn, Sandra or Linda she was known by was heralds first wife, and she died in 1995 9 months after their 12th wedding anniversary, Harold and Lin had what appeared to friends and family, a good loving marriage with no signs of outward trouble. In May of 1995 Harold and Lynn, who was 37 years old at the time, left their home in the foothills of Sedalia, Colorado. Sedalia is a remote town located approximately 30 miles southwest of Denver. They were returning from dinner at around 9 p.m. It was dark. They were in a fairly remote part of town with no cell service. When Harold felt that their 1991 Jeep Cherokee may have a flat tire, Harold pulled the car over on a gravel outlet next to the main road in a heavily forested area. There were no visible houses nearby, and they were at least a 40 minute drive from the nearest hospital. He put the car up on one or two jacks. He had to use boat Jax because the jack that came with the Jeep was broken and had asked his wife, Linda, help him outside the car. She got out of the car and assisted him while holding a flashlight and helping him hold the lug nuts while they were attempting to change the tire. A vehicle driven by Dwight to freeze a local mechanic stopped by the side of the road around 9:30 p.m. And asked Harold in Lynn if they needed any help. Harold didn't know how to change a tire, and on Lee had use of a small flashlight, but he refused the driver's assistance or the driver's offer to shine his headlights on the scene. Dwight thought that was strange that he didn't eat his assistance, being that it was so dark out, but soon drove off following this encounter, according to Heralds account. After he removed the tire, he walked to the back of the Jeep and threw the tire in the rear portion of the vehicle. While he was doing this, Lynn apparently dropped one of the lug nuts and crawled underneath the jeep to retrieve it while she was crawling under the vehicle. One of the jack slipped off due to the weight of Harold throwing the tire in the back of the Jeep, pinning Lynn underneath the vehicle. About 30 minutes after the initial encounter with the first vehicle, who asked them if they needed help, Harold flagged another vehicle and asked them for help that the car had fallen on his wife. The people drove back up the road to locate a house and to call 911 since they could not get cell reception at the scene. But when they couldn't locate a phone, they returned to the scene of the accident. Patricia Montoya and her family had been driving home that night from a day of fishing and picnicking when they spotted Harold on the side of the road waving them down. They were the first people on scene that night toe witness Harold Strange behavior. When they first pulled up next to Harold, they noticed that Lynn was still pinned underneath the vehicle. Two men from the car hopped out and helped tow lift up the car and pulling out who was unconscious at the time. spk_2: 32:50 She wasn't breathing at all. She was already turning colors when we got her out from underneath the car and we gently flipped her over and the guys started getting ready to do CPR on her on. The husband started screaming out his Thomas toe, get away from her and not to touch her. And we all thought that was kind of weird. spk_0: 33:10 Ignoring Harold, they began to do CPR on Lynn, which got her breathing again. spk_2: 33:17 Even though it was made, it was it was still cold, and so we all took our quotes off to cover her, and, um, her husband wouldn't take his coat off. That's your wife. He should have been the 1st 1 to cover her to make sure she was warm. And when we heard the AMA, the sirens coming, we knew that she would get help and we looked at it. I looked at him and for being a husband. And you would be grateful, you know, you'd have this look of thankfulness on your face in A ll Help is coming. But he looked like he was scared. He had, ah, look of fear in his face. He just acted weird. The scene was weird and an r in my gut. It was weird. Something was wrong. That night, spk_0: 34:00 while the men were doing CPR on Lynn, another passenger left the scene to try to find someone to call 911 which they eventually did. When the ambulance arrived, Lynn was airlifted to the hospital where she died of her internal injuries the following Sunday at 1:24 a.m. During surgery. During the investigation of the accident, Harold again told conflicting accounts of the events of that evening. Harold couldn't account for how the SUV fell off the jack to some people. He said that the jeep fell when he threw the flat tire into the back of the car to others. He said that the flat tire actually bounced out. Or it was the spare tire, which he said he loosened that fell and provided the impact necessary to jolt the Jeep off its moorings and crush his wife to one investigator. He said that he was changing the tire to another. He said that Lynn was changing it. At another point, he said they were going to dinner before they had a soft tire. And yet to another investigator, he said that they already had dinner, and we're going on a drive to one investigator, he told that he helped pull his wife from out from under the car to another. He said he didn't know how she got out from under the car. Heralds hold police that his wife dropped the lug nut under the car. But when recounting the events to a friend, he told him that he dropped the lug nut under the car and told his wife to get it. He also told officials that he had only one life insurance policy on Lynn when in fact he had three confused yet during the investigation, the police never tested the Jacks to see if they were properly working. The tire was not actually flat, but measured to be at 15 out of £44 of pressure, about 34%. And the spare tire was only £4 more, 19 out of £44 or 43%. And even though they found a footprint on the fender above the wheel well of the tire being changed, they never asked him if he kicked the vehicle. However, when attempting to recreate the accident, as it was told by Harold, officials were unsuccessful. Patricia Montoya, the woman whose family stopped to help Harold that night, was so bothered by Heralds behavior that evening that she went to the police station a couple of days after the incident and voiced her suspicions about the accident, saying, And I quote, there was no way the woman got under the car like that and ask them if they had arrested Harold. Law enforcement briefly investigated the incident and ruled that it was an accident. In spite of the suspicions of the Good Samaritans and the strange circumstances surrounding the event upon Lin's death, Harold would go on to receive the 600,000 of life insurance money from the policies that he had taken out on Lynn, where he was the sole beneficiary. One of the policies had an accidental death writer that doubled the benefit from 150,000 to 300,000 in the event land died in an accident. Not only did the judge allow the evidence and circumstances of heralds First wife's death to be presented during the trial to help the state indicate a pattern of behavior, but the other evidence allowed during the trial was an accident that occurred in May 2011. It Harold in Tony's vacation cabin in Grand Lake, Colorado. Grand Lake is a town about 100 miles northwest of Denver and borders both the Shadow Mountain Lake and Grand Lakes and is also part of the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was around 10 o'clock PM on that particular evening, and Harold apparently decided to make some repairs on the outside deck of their cabin. Why he was making repairs so late at night seems strange. Harold call for Tony and asked her to come outside to help. Tony walked outside and was standing on the ground about 10 feet below the deck and reach down to pick up some broken glass off of the ground. When Harold accidentally tossed or dropped a 20 foot heavy wooden beam over the side of the deck, striking Tony on the back of her neck and upper back, the beam fractured her vertebrae, and she had to be taken to the hospital. After the accident, Harold told conflicting stories about the events of that evening when Tony went to visit her family in Mississippi, she told her mother the details of the accident toe, which her mother responded by telling her that she should not be alone with Harold in a secluded place, that she didn't have a good feeling about it. She told her daughter that she believed Harold was living off of its first wife's life insurance and that she thought Harold may even have been having an affair. How else to explain all the strangeness, the lies to travel for work that didn't seem to Tony's mother at least to be riel, Harold told emergency staff, doctors, nurses and friends all differing accounts of how the beam hit. Tony, doesn't this all seem like a bad case? of deja vu. He threw the beam that hit Tony. Then the beam had merely fallen off the deck and hit her. Then he dropped the beam on Tony. When he slipped from a ladder, Tony was holding, or Tony was under the deck, holding a flashlight for Harold When the beam fell. He even told friends that had come over to baby sit his daughter. Even yet another story that Tony was cleaning up around the deck, and it just spent down when a piece of lumber fell off the deck and hitter. Prior to this deck incident, Harold had taken out $41.5 million life insurance policies on Tony. But it cancelled one of those policies three months before the accident. One month before the deck accident in April 2011 he had made himself the beneficiary of a $205,000 life insurance annuity bought by Tony's parents for their daughter, Haley. And just like Lynn in all the accidents the car accident, the Grand Lake accident and the accident at Deer Mountain, it was dark out. There were no other witnesses, and the accident with Lynn and Tony were both in remote locations, which delayed or interrupted cell phone service and the time emergency responders could arrive at the incident. And if you look at this case is a hole, you can certainly make the argument that this guy just had a string of bad luck. His history was not crime free is a matter of fact. In 1994 just a year before his first wife, Lynn, died, Harold was arrested at A. J. C. Penney for shoplifting $47 worth of men's underwear and arrest that he was able to keep secret from everyone he knew. However, he had no past history of domestic abuse, no history of violence or anger. Both of his wives died under strange circumstances in the dark in remote areas. But hey, it could just be that he was one of those people in this world that can't catch a break. It could just be that him and his wives were victims of multiple strange, tragic accidents. I mean, accidents do happen. People do get crushed by cars, albeit not that often, and people do fall off of cliffs hiking. It does happen. But if you break this case down into the specific actions surrounding Tony's fall, as well as include the prior incident with his wife, Lynn, and the wood beam accident a grand lake. The puzzle pieces slowly start to paint a very incriminating pattern for Harold Henthorn. During his trial, Harold chose not to take the stand in his own defense. Unfortunately for Harold, the odds were not in his favor. And on September 21st 2015 after 10 and 1/2 hours of deliberations, the jury found 59 year old Harold Henthorn guilty of the first degree murder of Toni Henthorn, and he was sentenced to life in federal prison without the possibility of parole. Harold spoke in court during his sentencing, maintaining his innocence in stating that he did not kill Tony or anybody. He has exhausted all appeals. Harold and Tony's daughter, Haley, was seven years old at the time of her mother's death. She is now 15 years old and was given court appointed permanent guardianship to Tony's brother, Barry Bird, L. A. And his wife, Paula. My hope is that she has been able to move on from this tragedy and obtained some amount of closure and has been able to have a thriving new life with her new family. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to subscribe and rate the podcast on Apple podcast or on your favorite podcast application so you can be sure to catch the next episode. Be sure to check out our website at www.thecrimeshack,com for the latest episodes and show notes. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thecrimeshackpodcast and on Twitter @thecrimeshack.
Case 1:14-cr-00448-RBJ Document 139 Filed 02/16/16 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 234
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO Criminal Action No. 14-cr-00448-RBJ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, vs. HAROLD HENTHORN, Defendant.
United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit - Appellate Case: 15-1490 Document 01019846137. Date Filed 7/26/2017 / Elizabeth A. Shumaker, Clerk of Court