Damn, this was one of my favorite local businesses in Salt Lake: “Owners of the Avenues Bakery, Kathie Chadbourne and Paul Maurer, are moving their business to Ashland, Ore., where rents are lower and foodstuffs are local, slashing some costs in half”
Damn, one of my favorite neighborhood spots. Though I hadn’t been there in a couple of years, despite being in Salt Lake three or four times each year and driving past the location at E Street and South Temple many times each trip.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP)—A truck carrying 35,500 pounds of explosives crashed and exploded Wednesday, leaving a huge crater in a Utah highway and injuring at least four people.
The driver was able to get out and warn other motorists away before the truck exploded. But a passenger in the truck cab and other motorists were rushed to hospitals with injuries, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said.
Two people were in critical condition, and another was in satisfactory condition at a hospital in Provo, LDS Hospital spokesman Jess Gomez said.
The truck driver, a 30-year-old man, was taken to University of Utah Hospital where he was alert and talking when he arrived, spokesman Chris Nelson said.
It wasn't immediately clear why the truck crashed, Royce said. He said the truck was "pretty much vaporized" in the explosion. And both lanes of Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City, were gutted by the blast.
J.D. Herbert, a nephew of Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, said the explosion blew him off his motorcycle. Afterward, he looked up "at a mushroom cloud of fire, and shrapnel just starts falling down," he told KUTV of Salt Lake City.
Several small fires in the hills above the accident scene were believed to have been triggered by flying debris, and nearby rail lines were damaged.
The rig with a 6-foot trailer from R&R Trucking of Missouri had just left commercial explosives maker Ensign-Bickford at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon when the accident happened. The truck was headed to Oklahoma, company officials said.
Officials wouldn't say what type of explosives the truck was carrying.
Hal Jaussi, an Ensign-Bickford manager, said the trucking company "met federal regulations for transporting explosives."
:: • :: • :: • :: • ::
UPDATE 08/11/05 08:00:Deseret Morning News story offers photographs and diagrams and updates the injury count to 10; notes construction crews are already on the scene with the goal of reopening the road by the weekend.
98011 is the ZIP code for my office. It is also a prime number, I found out just now by way of A9.com.
Utah's official cooking pot is the Dutch oven. I discovered this in The Plates of America, a deseretnews.com article I've quoted below the cut because it includes an amazingly comprehensive listing of the food-related symbols of all the states.
Though in some cases their take on "food-related" is a bit... thick.
There's an Atlas Van Lines tractor-trailer that's now circled the block seven times. I can't imagine anyone would really be moving in at 22:30 and I wonder why the driver and his (at least) two helpers don't stop and knock on a door to ask for directions if they're having trouble finding the address they need, but then again they are men, and we don't ask for help.
Or so I'm repeatedly told by the women in my life.
I spent much of today being annoyed by a dully throbbing and persistent headache which started about half an hour after I woke up as a mild pressure and by 10:30 was pounding away just behind my eyes. By then I'd partaken of a few Advil tablets to no avail; did that a couple more times throughout the day but the damned ache lasted until around 21:00. Now it's been about 90 minutes gone and I'm hoping it doesn't return before I go to bed sometime soon.
Hmm, I thought I had more to say but I've just screeched to a halt, random-thoughts-wise.
Brennan Hawkins, an 11-year-old Boy Scout, went missing over the weekend; still no sign of him.
Salt Lake Tribune article excerpt below the cut. This is another story about which I hadn't planned to post, but the vast numbers of hits I'm getting on searches for "missing boy Utah" or the like lead me to post a link and excerpt so people can find what they want.
I remember the Villa Theatre from my childhood. I saw several movies there over the years I was in Salt Lake City and even though I never really liked its enormous curved screen, the theatre itself was pretty neat. It was huge and high-ceilinged and the annoying curved screen seemed to span the horizon.
Links to the several articles I've seen about the spill which was discovered early Sunday morning. Hazmat crews experienced hours of confusion and frustration as varying sources disagreed over the exact content of the leaking rail car, and at least 6,000 residents of nearby neighborhoods were evacuated when an orange plume of fumes arose from the site. The spill also forced closure of I-15, the main north-south arterial, for most of the day.
Interesting to me that KSL 1160, the Salt Lake City news/talk radio station I keep tuned in the car for the drives to and from work, made no mention of this story during their repeated-every-10-minutes news blips as I was on my way home about 40 minutes ago. When the Marine disappeared and before he turned up safe, it was all the broadcast media around here could talk about most days.
Technology helps stores crack down on fraudulent returns but irks some consumers
By Stephanie Kang The Wall Street Journal
As the holiday shopping season begins, retailers are deploying new technology designed to crack down on one of the industry's biggest frustrations—customers who abuse return and exchange policies.
Retailers such as Guess Inc., Staples Inc., Sports Authority Inc. and Limited Brands Inc. are among those using software called Verify-1, a product of Return Exchange, based in Irvine, Calif. The closely held company helps retailers decide whether to deny returns or exchanges using a program that monitors a shopper's track record of bringing items back.
Such tactics are raising the ire of shoppers and privacy-rights groups who say the new technology is often an unnecessary and intrusive violation of consumer rights.
Retailers say they are on the lookout for various forms of fraud, including "serial wardrobers" who buy an outfit, wear it once or twice and return it; shoplifters who return stolen merchandise; employees who steal items and return them for cash; price switchers, who change price tags on items, then return one item for the higher amount; and shoppers who use fake or old receipts when making a return.
Return Exchange's Verify-1 system works like this: When a customer wants to return an item, the sales clerk asks for his or her driver's license or other form of state-issued identification, and swipes it into a machine much like those used to make credit card or ATM purchases. The shopper's name, address and birthdate is logged into a database. The program records details about the transaction, such as the store number, the amount of the return, the date, time and item description.
All that information is stored on Return Exchange's server in Santa Ana, Calif. Most transactions end there. But if a customer's "return behavior" seems out of the ordinary, the transaction is rejected and the consumer is given a receipt that instructs him or her to call the company's toll-free number for a copy of a report detailing their return activity. Shoppers can also request that Return Exchange investigate the rejected return. The program keeps tallies of the type of transactions, the total amount of the returns and the number of exchanges.
The company says the data are available only to Return Exchange, the customer and executives at the retailer. Other personal information, such as a shopper's physical characteristics, is not recorded.
I remember when I worked at Kmart in the late 1980s to mid-90s and we used driver licenses to try to recognize fraudulent returns. We'd type the license number into the register system and it would track the total number of returns by a customer, eventually denying returns based on some sort of total-transactions criterion about which we never got details.
I only saw two returns get declined. In both cases, the customers were well known to us as serial-return problem children, but in neither case did we have anyone freak out at us about it. Usually the only freak-outs were customers whose credit cards were declined when they tried to make purchases, and they didn't understand how the electronic authorizations worked.
Thank God I'm long since out of retail.
(Except of course for this stint at the hospital gift shop. ::twitch::)
Not 19 by way of a Brady Bunch arrangement or adoption, but 19, as in take a deep breath and push.
That's 19, as in 19 trips to the hospital. As in 171 months of pregnancy. As in three more and she could field her own football team, offense and defense.
MarDee is the Barry Bonds of mothers. Married at 21, she had 19 babies in 21 years. All but one of them weighed at least 8 pounds, and several of them weighed 9 and 10 pounds. They range in age from 29 to 8 years old.
She's 51 now and raising them alone. She and her husband, Floyd, split up.
MarDee and Floyd had always planned to have a large family. They decided they wanted an even dozen kids.
"I've always known since I was a young girl that I wanted lots of children," she says.
When they got to 12, well, "I just knew there was more, so we just kept having them."
She can name every one of them—if you give her a minute.
"Let's see," she begins, "there's Christina, Yvette, Stephen, Conner, Evan, Ethan... um, let's see, I have to say them in order so...." (At this point, she pauses to think a moment and then starts over again with the first child and works her way back to where she left off.)... "Bridget, Brian, Ileana, David, Danielle, Jason, Darlene, Cullen, Deborah (twins), Donovan, Forrest, Amber and Shannon!"
She pauses to catch her breath.
"Yes, I have trouble remembering names," she says, laughing. "Sometimes I have to try four or five times till I get the right one."
There are so many problems with this.
"MarDee"? I've seen some typical Utah names in the past, but I think that may be the most obviously-a-Utah-native name I've ever encountered.
Then there's the 19 children. That's just beyond my comprehension. Before this article, the largest family I knew about was the one that lived next door when we were kids. They had 13, but only six were their own; the others were adopted. It was amusing/horrifying to watch them go to the grocery store—when they returned, they'd set up a human chain to get the couple dozen gallons of milk, the 20 or so loaves of bread, the endless boxes of cereal, the 50-pound bags of flour and sugar and salt from their 15-passenger van (!) to the house.
And finally, this quote from the story:
When they got to 12, well, "I just knew there was more, so we just kept having them."
I can't even put the mixed fascination and horror into words.
Nutshell version: They won't refer to collisions as "accidents" anymore. They'll be called "crashes" under the theory that there are no such things as accidents—there's always some preventable mistake that leads to highway crashes. There's a flaw in this argument, however: They're discounting crashes caused by unforeseen mechanical failures, unless they're also considering the potential loss of control after a tire blowout a "preventable mistake." For that matter, they're also assuming all drivers are expert enough to be able to dodge a deer that leaps into the road 100 feet ahead of the vehicle.
I'm all for consistent terminology, and the word "accident" has always struck me as something of a silly euphemism, but come on: Changing the word you use to describe an event is supposed to be an effective method of reducing the frequency of that event?
When I first moved to Seattle in 2002, the local radio stations were going through this same flap, trying to get their traffic reporters to stop referring to "accidents" and call them "crashes." The Washington State Patrol was encouraging the terminology change as a highway-safety measure along the sames lines of the UHP's effort.
This is the first story I've seen about Garrett Bardsley since a week or so after his disappearance in August, when the search effort switched from "rescue" to "recovery." The story dropped right out of the news at that point, typical for stories of this type.
Some detect a desire to sin in 'I can't... I'm Mormon'
PROVO—Managers of the student newspaper at Brigham Young University pulled an advertisement after numerous complaints that it was too offensive for the conservative campus.
Chad Ramos, who capitalizes on "Mormon speak" in order to sell T-shirts, is surprised—but not particularly disappointed—at the furor at BYU over his "I can't" T-shirts. (Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News)The ad campaign began at the start of the month and sparked a big stir over a T-shirt with a simple phrase—"I Can't... I'm Mormon."
Students, professors and administrators felt the slogan implied wearers wished they could drink, smoke or have casual sex but were prevented only because they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One letter to the editor in the student paper was particularly sarcastic: "I can't, I'm Mormon, but if I wasn't, you know I'd be there 'cause it sounds sweet!"
Many also felt the female modeling the shirt in the ad struck an overly provocative pose.
Both objections surprised the shirt's creator, Utah Valley State College student Chad Ramos. He grew up in Las Vegas and said the phrase served him well when peers asked him to drink or smoke while he went to high school in an area with a large LDS population.
"I found if I told people I didn't drink, they didn't know how to react," he said, "but if I said, I can't, I'm Mormon, they said, 'Oh,' and boom, it was over."
One of the things I truly I adore about living in Utah is the occasional hilariously uptight reactions of LDS Church members to innocuous phenomena.
Best part: They don't even realize they're giving the T-shirt credence by their reactions.
I used to consider the D-News the less worthy of the two Salt Lake City newspapers. This is largely because with a name like “Deseret News,” I figured the paper would always experience improper influence from the LDS Church. However, in the few months I’ve been back in Salt Lake and have been reading both papers fairly regularly, I must say I prefer the Deseret News’ coverage of most events.
For one thing, the D-News’ reporters tend actually to ask pertinent questions of their sources as they’re putting together stories, so the stories have useful information in them. There’s also less of the If I were to subscribe to daily delivery of a Salt Lake paper, it’d be—I never thought I’d say this—the Deseret Morning News.tendency to go for the weepy angle in stories—although the recent Lori Hacking coverage was a bit on the heavy-handed, “we’ll tell you what your emotions are” side in the D-News’ later stories, it was pretty well balanced over its entire course, and by the time the stories got more weepy, that was the story anyway. The same is true of the later coverage in the Garrett Bardsley disappearance, but again that’s the story now, and the coverage has been tasteful without being intrusive or manipulative.
Ultimately, however, the Deseret News is simply a better-edited paper. I’ve spotted a few typos here and there, certainly—try creating a from-scratch publication every single day and see if you manage to avoid all typographical errors; it’s a gargantuan task no matter how many copy editors you sic on it each time—but the writing is better and the editors appear actually to read the stories they’re editing.
Furthermore, the online edition of the D-News isn’t an afterthought, unlike the Salt Lake Tribune’s horrible online edition. The Deseret News’ online edition leaves some things to be desired—every newspaper’s electronic edition is like this—but it’s not put together from the first round of electronic proofs the way the Trib’s online editions seem to be, so fewer errors appear overall anyway.
If I were to subscribe to daily delivery of a Salt Lake paper, it’d be—I never thought I’d say this—the Deseret Morning News.
Spell-check, anyone? We're not in the habit of poking fun at our rival paper, but a recent flub in the Deseret Morning News was too good to ignore. In a story on celebrity-signed guitars donated to a Huntsman Cancer Institute fund-raiser, a list of recording artists was filled with outrageously mangled names: Peter Frampton somehow turned into "Peter Formatting," Styx became "Stags," Sarah McLachlan morphed into "Sarah Michoacan," the Doobie Brothers switched sexes to become the "Debbie Brothers" and Fleetwood Mac became, oops, "Faltered Mac."
In a correction last Wednesday, the newspaper blamed the misspellings on an editing mistake. Yeah, like maybe someone overdid it with the spell-check button???
We here at the Trib aren't the greatest spellers either, but we know Brittknee Speerz and the Grate Full Ded when we see them.
I found this highly amusing, because in my earlier post about Mark Hacking's court appearance, I made several fixes to satisfy my own need for correctness.
Not the same level as spelling errors, perhaps, but I'm reminded of the adage: People who live in glass houses....
OREM—On the day she went home with her adoptive family, Lori Kay Soares wore a little pink dress, a white-lace bonnet and clutched a pink-and-white stuffed rabbit. She was 3 months old and her constant companion was a pacifier.
Thelma Soares, center, walks with nieces Jane, left, and Kathy Black at a service for Lori Hacking at an LDS stake center in Orem Saturday. Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning NewsAt age 4, as a church receipt shows, Lori tithed a penny for each year of her life and gave it faithfully.
As she grew she played on baseball teams, went to school dances and traveled the country, sometimes spontaneously, like the night she took a red-eye flight to New York City just to spend her New Year's Eve birthday in Times Square. In college, she served as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C., before graduating with honors from the University of Utah. Then she married her high school sweetheart, Mark, and became Lori Hacking.
Saturday, those moments from Lori Hacking's life were celebrated and memorialized in pictures, words and music by friends and family at the Windsor LDS Stake Center in Orem.
Lori Hacking was apparently killed sometime the morning of July 19, shot while she slept in her Salt Lake apartment. She was 27.
Her husband, Mark Hacking, 28, is accused of the crime and his been charged with first-degree felony murder for allegedly shooting his wife and then leaving her body in a Dumpster near the U. Her body has not been found.
Mark Hacking is in the Salt Lake County Jail being held on $1 million bail and was not at the service. The rest of his family, however, did attend, with his father, Douglas Hacking, offering the invocation.
"We've all been touched by her in some way, and we appreciate the time she has been here on this earth," Douglas Hacking said during the prayer, momentarily looking down from the podium at Thelma and Eraldo Soares, Lori's parents, who were sitting side by side in the first pew.
Tiffany Carpenter with brother Lance Hacking and his wife, Stephanie. Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News"I knew Lori after she lost the pacifier and put on the spark," said Jack Christianson, whose daughter, Rebecca, was one of Lori's closest high school friends. "She really outgrew the pacifier—she was a little spitfire. She was so funny. She'd let you know how she felt. And as some have said today, I don't think she'd want to be deified.
"She wasn't perfect, but she was working on it, just like the rest of us."
Lori would indeed have been uncomfortable with the fuss made over her life Saturday, her brother Paul Soares said. The thousands who searched for her in the days after she was reported missing and the hundreds who packed the LDS meetinghouse to pay their respects would have puzzled her as well.
"She was very private. She was one who kept everything inside of her, but she was very conscious of others' feelings," Paul Soares said. "She was someone who cared about others."
Recounting a day they spent together in Washington, D.C., Soares relished his sister's zest for life, her love of travel and adventure, her dedication to school, her kindness and compassion.
"I had such pride and joy in knowing she was my little sister," he said.
Saturday's service was incomplete only in that police have yet to recover Lori's remains. Thus a "memorial service," as her family is as yet unable to hold a funeral and burial.
Police searched a Salt Lake landfill a dozen times—including overnight Friday and Saturday—but have yet to locate Lori's body or the .22-caliber rifle they believe was used in the killing.
Searches by police using search dogs will "continue until it's finished," Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird said outside the chapel on Saturday.
"We have lots of material to go through out there at the landfill, and we're just doing it as best as we can, making sure that we don't leave anything unturned."
Baird said he attended the service because he had come to know both the Soares and Hacking families well over the past month. "We don't have any schedule where we say that it's over in any given time frame. It will be a situation where we continue ... until we find her."
Police remain confident they are searching in the right location, Baird added. About 4,200 tons of garbage was dumped at the landfill on July 19 and, as of several days ago, police had sorted through only a fraction of that. He said he was not at liberty to discuss possible contingency plans.
If Mark Hacking indeed killed his wife, as prosecutors say and as Mark himself has allegedly confessed to his brothers Lance and Scott, then it might seem strange that his family has remained so closely tied to Lori's family or that Douglas Hacking would be asked to pray at his daughter-in-law's memorial.
But there is no blaming or bitterness between the Soares and the Hacking families, Christianson said after the service.
"Both families have a deep religious conviction that they share," he said making reference to the fact that both families are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We teach forgiveness and we teach love."
Douglas and Janet Hacking attend services for Lori Hacking Saturday. Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning NewsBoth Christianson and Windsor LDS Stake President Scott Dunaway touched on the idea of forgiveness in their memorial service remarks.
"The world has been in awe of the love and compassion you have shown for one another," said Dunaway, who served as a spokesman for both families during the past few weeks. "What an example of living the gospel of Jesus Christ."
In the days since Lori was reported missing, the nation has watched and wept along with the families, Dunaway noted.
"I think for all of us Lori has become a daughter, a sister, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, a niece," he said. "We feel something of the hurt that these families feel in her loss."
Also during the service, a letter expressing condolences from the LDS Church First Presidency was read to the families. Elder W. Grant Bangerter, an emeritus member of the Quorum of the Seventy, also spoke.
OREM—It was the Thursday after Lori Hacking was reported missing and Thelma Soares, Lori's mother, had gone to the hospital to see her son-in-law, Mark.
At the time it seemed that Mark Hacking had collapsed with grief over the disappearance of his newly pregnant wife. He was undergoing psychological testing at the University of Utah Medical Center and had been incoherent when Soares first visited two days before.
Miles away, volunteers were combing the hillsides above City Creek Canyon and nearby neighborhoods looking for any trace of Lori, the girl with the wide smile and the cascade of curly brown hair.
But a day earlier, police had revealed that Mark Hacking had lied about his plans to attend medical school in North Carolina, and there was growing suspicion about whether his pretty wife would be found.
Mark was standing with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders when Soares entered the room.
"I hugged him and said, 'Marky, didn't you know my love was not conditional on your becoming a doctor? It was because of you, Mark, and how you treated Lori,'" Soares said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News. "And he kind of sobbed ... and he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I promise, I promise I had nothing to do with it.'
"I desperately wanted to believe him," Soares goes on. "But I didn't. I had this uneasy feeling. I did desperately want to, because I love him ... , but I just knew he wasn't telling the truth."
'A sweet baby' Lori became Soares' adoptive daughter on April 21, 1977. The wait for Lori was at least two years. Soares can't remember exactly but said that she and her then-husband, Eraldo Soares, had first inquired about the adoption when their first child, Paul, who is also adopted, was about 4. Paul was 7 when Lori came home.
"I can't remember who picked her up first; it was probably me," Soares said. "She was such a sweet baby. She had this hair from the beginning. It was dark and curly and grew really fast. When we'd walk in the mall with her everyone would say they had to stop and look at the baby with all the hair. Finally I had to cut it because it was too thick and too curly, even to part it, and she cried."
Soares still has remnants of that first haircut, a long brown braid in an envelope that bears Lori's name.
In fact, Soares has safeguarded many keepsakes from her daughter's life. Lori's pictures, awards, dolls and other mementos were on display Saturday at the memorial service for the former stockbroker's assistant, held at the Windsor LDS Stake Center in Orem. In one corner were her tiny brown rocking chair, stuffed animals and childhood books, in the other her beaded wedding dress.
Lori Hacking is believed to have been killed July 19 while asleep in the Salt Lake apartment she shared with her husband.
Prosecutors have charged Mark Hacking with first-degree murder in connection with his wife's death. In an alleged confession to his older brothers, Mark Hacking said he shot his wife with a .22-caliber rifle and then abandoned her body in a Dumpster, the contents of which were taken to the Salt Lake County landfill. Her body has not been found.
"She's on the cover. She's on the latest edition of People magazine, sister," Thelma Soares is saying to the woman on the other end of the telephone as she shakes her head and breaks into tears. "Lori's picture is on the cover."
The words sound like both a statement and a question.
'The Mark I know' At the moment, Soares says, she has many questions.
"The best news I could get is that (Mark) has a brain tumor or brain injury or something that would make him do this. I'm just really speechless; I have no way to explain it," she said: "Unless he's this evil guy. ... He was helpful. A generous spirit. He seemed to care about people. He came and put all of my Christmas lights up every year. This is the Mark that I know, not this Mark who killed her and did this horrible thing."
The Mark Hacking who started buzzing around Lori Soares in high school was always a big teddy bear of a guy. He'd bang on the front door each time he'd call for Lori. On her birthday one year, Mark and another friend filled Lori's bedroom with balloons and silly string.
He was a polite boy from a good family who once wrote Soares a note that read: "If I didn't have my own mother, I'd choose you to be my mother."
"Maybe he was schmoozing because he wanted Lori," Soares ponders. "But maybe not."
The coffee table in the living room of Soares' Orem home is covered with sympathy cards and vases of flowers. Outside, the tan siding is dotted with yellow ribbons tied in bows. On the front door, a polite note reads, "Thelma is resting," and begs the visitor to respect the 66-year-old woman's privacy.
Soares is grieving but somehow seems calm as she pads around house in her bare feet, her toenails painted bright pink.
When she speaks of Lori, she glows.
"We kept an orthodontist in business for several years. She was beautiful," Soares says and then begins to tick off the list of Lori's accomplishments.
An award from a kindergarten teacher for best bookmark. In sixth grade, Lori's first full school year in Utah after her parents divorced and she and Thelma moved here from Fullerton, Calif., she was a finalist for the Hope of America award. She was also elected president of her ninth-grade class.
Lori excelled in other arenas as well. She played piano and took ballet lessons. She loved to swim and Rollerblade. She took up running later after marrying Mark, Soares said.
From an early age, Lori had plenty of determination and specific goals. For a while, she even set her sights on attending Stanford University.
"She couldn't understand why anybody wouldn't want to go to college. That was always part of her plan," Soares said. "She said, 'I want to be independent like you are so that if anything happens I'll be able to take care of myself.'"
Weber State University was Lori's first collegiate destination, but after a year, she transferred to the University of Utah, Soares said.
'Web of lies' There were plenty of young men to choose from, but Lori seemed to have her heart set on Mark, whom she had met on a high school trip to Lake Powell. From the first she said she was comfortable with Mark. They could talk about anything.
Married on Aug. 7, 1999, Lori and Mark seemed like the happiest of couples, Soares said. They supported each other's interests, alternately going to the Broadway-type theater productions Lori enjoyed and taking camping trips in Utah's wilderness, which was Mark's love.
"They did that in their marriage," Soares said, adding that Mark was the more demonstrative of the two, but that the couple was affectionate. "It wasn't perfect, you know, and maybe sometimes she would be the one to raise her voice, but she loved him. If ever there was anything that I would wonder about Mark, she would defend him."
If Lori had ever learned about Mark's now well-known deceptions or failures—like his LDS mission that was cut short, or the lies about his college graduation and medical school acceptance—she never let on, Soares said. She believes her daughter would have been devastated by such lies.
"I don't think Lori ever told a lie in her life," Soares said.
But it seems Mark Hacking told more than a few, the extent of which might not yet be known. Court documents released Friday show police are looking at cell phone, computer and bank records in trying to establish a case, all of which could lead to new information and insights.
"This elaborate web of lies, that takes a lot of thinking to do that. It wasn't that he lacked the intellect, he was always very smart," Soares said, adding that she wonders if Mark's actions might be traced to a fall he took from a roof about eight years ago while working a construction job. Mark, she said, apparently hit his head on a cement floor during the fall.
"As I sit here trying to make some semblance of sense of this, it's the only thing I could come up with," Soares said. "It's hard for me to believe that he's this evil because the Mark I know is just the opposite of that. All of my interaction and experience with him says it's not so. He's this sweet, gentle, quiet, funny guy."
'I do want justice' Still, Thelma Soares is angry.
"I am angry at what he did to her, and that he left her to rot in this terrible place," she said. "And you know, there are moments when I just want to tear his heart out with my bare hands, but what good would it do?"
That prosecutors didn't charge Mark with a capital crime is all right with Soares.
"I don't want to be the person that sends him to the death chamber," she said. "I do want justice. He needs to pay for what he did to Lori. If that means a life sentence, that's fine with me."
No one should ever think that Mark's actions have divided Soares and any other member of the Hacking family, she is quick to add. The families have remained close in the weeks since Lori disappeared, and Mark's father, Douglas Hacking, said the opening prayer at Lori's memorial service Saturday.
With Mark's future in the hands of the judicial system—a court hearing is scheduled for Monday—Soares is filled with compassion for his parents, Douglas and Janet.
"As anguished and heartbroken as I am about Lori, I think they are facing a more difficult future than I am, because he's their son. You can't turn your love off and on like a faucet," Soares said. "I'm sure the Hackings would give their life for Mark. He's their child, and they still love him."
Soares is finding comfort in her religious convictions and says she is certain that Lori is at peace. She also hopes that time in prison might give Mark time to repent his crimes.
"In my way of belief, what he did was about as bad as it gets. He took two lives, and if he doesn't repent of this then his eternal future looks pretty bleak," said Soares. "I hope that isn't the case because there is good in Mark. Somewhere down in there, there's this person that I knew and and have known and loved like a son.
"There's man's law and there's God's law, and those are quite often two different things," she adds. "I have no doubt in my mind and in my heart that he will receive the judgment from God that he deserves."
I'm past the point of offering any commentary on the articles related to this case. My main purpose is to have an archive of the content separate from its original source; many of the newspapers' archives require paid access for anything older than 30 days, so this site will function as a free-access archive for at least excerpts of the stories.