Occurred to me I hadn't followed any news on this case for quite a while. I was hoping there'd be a trial so we might get some insight into the workings of the mind that decides killing a person is better than divorcing her, but I see that's unlikely now.
Not that much more likely with a trial, sure, but the chance is a bit greater I think.
I hope if Mark Hacking pleads out that it provides the Soares family with some comfort.
Entire Tribune story below the cut.
Salt Lake Tribune: Name ‘Hacking’ struck from headstone
Her mother: Donates decorative angels sent to her to a shelter for abused and neglected children
by Jason Bergreen
image not available
The Soares family has replaced the name ‘Hacking’ on their slain daughter’s gravestone with ‘Filhinha,’ which is Portuguese for ‘little daughter’
Rick Egan, The Salt Lake TribuneLori Hacking’s family has changed her headstone at the Orem City Cemetery to remove “Hacking” from her name. It now reads “Lori Kay Soares.”
Police found Lori Hacking’s body on Oct. 1 at a landfill they had been searching since mid-July, shortly after Mark Hacking reported his 27-year-old wife failed to return from an early morning jog in City Creek Canyon. He later allegedly admitted he shot her in the head as she slept and disposed of her body in a trash bin.
“We just felt that Mark obviously didn’t want her anymore,” Lori’s mother, Thelma Soares, said during a phone interview. Where Lori’s married name once was on the headstone is now engraved the Portuguese word “Filhinha,” which translates to “little daughter.”
Mark Hacking’s parents were notified of the change, made more than a month ago, and understood, Soares said. Saturday, Soares donated decorative angels sent to her from all over the United States to be used as Christmas ornaments at the Christmas Box House, a temporary shelter for abused and neglected children.
“I tried to think of an appropriate way to share them and the love they represent,” she said.
Children at the Christmas Box House decorated a 12-foot tree, Soares said. A picture of Lori was also placed in the branches. Creating the angel tree memorial for Lori seemed appropriate because Soares’ nickname for her daughter was “Angel Baby,” she said.
“It’s gorgeous,” she said of the tree.
Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Mark Hacking didn't have the balls to plead guilty and be done with it.
I'm sorry for Lori Hacking's family. If there can be any good from this, perhaps it'll be that Mark Hacking eventually feels impelled to disclose the full story of Lori's death, which might help put the Soares' minds at ease.
Entire story below, exactly as it appeared on the Trib's site.
Entire story below the cut.
Entire story and photos below the cut.
The state Office of the Medical Examiner has released the body of Lori Hacking to her family, which is planning a private burial.
Family members took custody of the body on Tuesday, police said.
"They're very pleased and relieved to have received Lori's body back," said family spokesman David Gehris.
Gehris said the the woman's mother, Thelma Soares, of Orem, and her father, Eraldo Soares, of Fullerton, Calif., are planning a private burial ceremony at Orem City Cemetery, where a headstone has already been erected.
Lori Hacking's body was found Friday at the Salt Lake County landfill following a 10-week search.
Although the office of the medical examiner has completed its autopsy, it has not delivered its written report to police and prosecutors, who this week refused to disclose the manner and cause of Lori Hacking's death.
Authorities believe she was shot to death July 19 by her husband, Mark Hacking, and her body was placed in a Dumpster near the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Unit, where he worked.
Prosecutors say Mark Hacking killed his wife to prevent disclosure of his deceptions about his college career and medical school.
After Lori was reported missing, family members learned Hacking had not been accepted to medical school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as he had claimed, and had not graduated from the University of Utah. The couple were planning to move to North Carolina within days of Lori's disappearance.
Mark Hacking is charged with murder and obstruction of justice in Lori's death. He is scheduled for an arraignment Oct. 29 before 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg.
Full content of both stories below.
Full content of both stories below.
Links only for now; I'll include story quotations later.
Deseret Morning News:
Salt Lake Tribune:
(CNN)—Dental records confirmed that human remains found in a Salt Lake County landfill Friday are those of Lori Hacking, a Salt Lake Police spokesman told CNN.
Lori HackingThe "heavily decomposed" remains were found Friday morning by people searching for the body of the 27-year-old Utah woman missing since July 19, Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said.
Officers from several police agencies and cadaver dogs have searched the landfill about four days a week since August.
It took just a few hours Friday before investigators were certain the remains were those of Hacking, whose husband has admitted to fatally shooting her, said Salt Lake Police spokesman Phil Eslinger.
Mark Hacking, Lori's husband, said he shot his wife in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept and wrapped her body in garbage bags before disposing of it in a garbage bin, Salt Lake District Attorney David Yocom said in August.
Hacking was charged in August with his wife's murder, along with three counts of obstruction of justice. An arraignment is scheduled for October 29.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Stott said finding Lori Hacking will strengthen the prosecution's case.
Yocom said Hacking confessed to his two brothers while he was being treated at a mental ward of a hospital in the days after the killing. Hacking also said he disposed of the body, the murder weapon and the mattress in separate garbage bins.
The district attorney said Hacking decided to kill his wife after she discovered he was not enrolled in medical school in North Carolina, where the couple had planned to move.
"The defendant stated that in the early morning hours of July 19th, he walked into the bedroom where his wife slept and shot her in the head with a .22-caliber rifle," Yocom said.
"He further stated that he wrapped Lori's body in garbage bags, placed the body in the Dumpster at approximately 2 a.m. And then, he further stated that he disposed of the gun in another Dumpster."
According to Yocom, Hacking also said he used a knife to slice up the mattress and discarded it in another garbage bin. The mattress and knife have been recovered.
If convicted, Hacking could be sentenced a minimum of five years to life in prison on the murder charge and one to 15 years in prison for each of the three obstruction charges.
The banner that began appearing on the CNN.com home page a moment ago (click to view full-size in a new window):
The Salt Lake Tribune has a "breaking news" story on this too, but the Deseret News' is better written and thus makes my cut for quoting.
Entire story below.
I just heard a brief news tease on the radio, the discovery of what may be human remains at the Salt Lake County Landfill. As soon as I see something on one of the local newspapers' web sites, I'll post more detail.
It's been just shy of one month since I made any new entries about the Lori Hacking case. Included below are two stories from today's Salt Lake Tribune with the latest developments: Thelma Soares' appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show; and changes to methods used for searching the Salt Lake County landfill for Lori's remains.
The couple of local news stories I found post-worthy today came from the Deseret Morning News.
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.
Entire article and photos below the cut.
This situation began Friday morning, but this is the first time the Trib's online edition has deigned to include a photograph of the boy in one of its articles. A story in yesterday's online edition included a view of a photo that was part of a MISSING poster taped to a hiking-trail sign or something similar.
Lori Hacking's "missing" stories included direct photographs of her (several different shots, in fact) from the first day. I wonder why the differences in coverage?
I've included the entire text of the story, along with the photos in their approximate locations from the Trib's story page.
Wearing a bulletproof vest and flanked by seven bailiffs, Mark Douglas Hacking came to court for the first time Monday but did not speak as his preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 23.
Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, appears before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning alongside his lawyer D. Gilbert Athay for a brief scheduling hearing.
Francisco Kjolseth, The Salt Lake TribuneHacking, 28, is charged with first-degree felony murder for allegedly killing his wife, 27-year-old Lori Hacking.
In an interview after court, defense attorney D. Gilbert Athay said there will be no quick resolution of Hacking's murder case.
"In all cases, plea bargains are something that are talked about, but we're certainly not in that position right now," Athay said.
"That decision will be made after a complete and full review of the discovery" evidence assembled by prosecutors, he said. "I don't even have it all, and probably won't for another three weeks.
"Until all the discovery has been examined, it's totally improper to be talking about plea negotiations."
Athay said he is also trying to find out as much about Hacking as possible.
"We need to know—from the time he was a little boy until today—everything about him," Athay said. "Who is this guy? What is he all about?"
Of particular interest to Athay is a head injury Hacking suffered earlier in his 20s, during a fall while working on a roof, because evidence of brain damage could support an argument for reduced charges.
After the hearing before 3rd District Judge William Barrett, prosecutor Robert Stott told news reporters he and Athay were not discussing a plea. "The only thing we've negotiated about was the preliminary hearing date," he said.
Mark Hacking, charged in the murder of his wife Lori Hacking, leaves court in shackles following his brief scheduling hearing before judge William W. Barrett in Salt Lake City court on Monday morning.
Francisco Kjolseth, The Salt Lake TribuneThe purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime occurred and that the defendant committed it.
According to charging documents—which rely heavily upon Hacking's confession to his brothers—Hacking shot his wife in the head as she slept in their Salt Lake City apartment on July 19. Hacking allegedly disposed of her body in a Dumpster, which was picked up that morning by a trash hauler and dumped at the Salt Lake County Landfill.
Police planned to continue to search the landfill for Lori Hacking's body Monday night, the 15th day that cadaver dogs and police officers have scoured the 2-plus acres of garbage that were cordoned off July 20. The search will be discontinued until Friday, primarily to allow the dogs to rest.
Prosecutors believe Hacking killed his wife because she had discovered his numerous lies, including false claims that he had graduated from the University of Utah and been accepted to a North Carolina medical school.
Hacking's use of a bulletproof vest during his court appearance Monday was unusual, said defense attorney Stephen McCaughey, who has represented several people charged with capital murder. "I've never had a defendant brought to court in a bulletproof vest," he said.
But Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Rosie Rivera called it "standard procedure" in a high-profile case where the defendant is also in protective custody at the maximum-security area of the jail.
Inmates are placed in protective custody when they are perceived to be a danger to themselves or could be targeted by other inmates because of intense media coverage.
"They are in their own cell and are let out one hour per day to take care of their business—shower or make phone calls. And when they go to court appearances, medical appointments or anything else, they wear bulletproof vests," Rivera said.
She acknowledged there have been few cases requiring such extreme precautions. "But this [Hacking] was a murder case that went nationwide," she said.
Athay said he knew of no specific threats against Hacking's life, but said the vest was "probably a smart thing."
Hacking showed no expression Monday. But while coming and going from the courtroom, he scanned the gallery, apparently looking for a familiar face. No members of his family attended the hearing.
Athay said he met with Hacking late last week, as well as before court Monday "to prepare him. He's never been in a courtroom before in his life, except on video" for an arraignment last week.
Athay added: "Under the circumstances, he's doing very well." He said they had not discussed the Saturday memorial service for Lori Hacking, but said Hacking has some television access and may have seen news coverage.
Athay said he will not be asking for a reduction in Hacking's $1 million, cash-only bail. "In a case like this, you're wasting your time," he said.
Reduced charges a possibility because of this head injury, when it seems plainly evident Hacking was in full possession of his faculties when he shot his wife and then disposed of her body, the mattress on which he'd killed her, and the murder weapon? To say nothing of then trying to replace the mattress and reporting his dead wife missing, then maintaining the fiction for a period of days?
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.
Copyright 2004 Deseret Morning News
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.
Family visits Hacking in jail; more court documents released
SOUTH SALT LAKE—It's been nearly two weeks since Lance Hacking last saw his brother Mark. It was Aug. 2, the day Mark Hacking was arrested for allegedly killing his wife—a crime his family says Mark confessed to his brothers, who then took that information to police.
Lance Hacking leaves the Salt Lake County Jail with his wife, Stephanie, and Wyatt, their baby
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning NewsFriday night, Lance Hacking went to the Salt Lake County Jail for a visit with Mark, one day after their parents, Janet and Douglas Hacking, had visited.
He wanted, Lance Hacking said, to let Mark know that he is still loved and that the shared decision he and brother Scott Hacking had made to reveal Mark's confession was intended as an act of love.
"He understood that we acted out of choosing what we felt was the right thing to do and he understands that we felt that our actions were also guided toward helping him heal," Lance Hacking said after a 30-minute visit with Mark. "Scott and I still believe that and our family still believes that, and I think that Mark also believes that we acted out of love."
Meanwhile, court documents released Friday offer a glimpse into how prosecutors are building their case against Mark Hacking. The documents show that through subpoenas police obtained computer, cell phone, bank and credit card records for the couple, in particular for activity during the time period after July 19, when Lori was reported missing.
Mark Hacking is charged with first-degree criminal homicide and three counts of obstruction of justice in 3rd District Court. Bail is set at $1 million. Under jail guidelines, he is allowed two 30-minute visits each week, the first of which was Thursday with his parents.
Mark Hacking is accused of shooting his wife, Lori, in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept during the early morning hours of July 19. He then allegedly put her body in a Dumpster near the University of Utah.
Salt Lake City police were back at the Salt Lake landfill for the 11th time Friday night looking for Lori's body. So far, nothing of consequence has been found, police detective Kevin Joiner said Friday.
A memorial service for Lori Soares Hacking is planned for 11 a.m. today in Orem.
"I think it will help with a little bit of closure to help us feel we can really honor Lori," said Stephanie Hacking, Lance's wife, who came to the jail with her husband and 9-month-old son Wyatt.
Visiting the jail was a somber experience, Stephanie Hacking said, but the couple tried to keep the conversation focused on family and not on the criminal charges or court actions ahead.
"Our main goal is to let him know that our family is still here and that we absolutely love him and we are doing every thing we can to support him," Lance Hacking said. "As far as the case and everything go, we are content and happy to leave that with the judicial system and let that run its course. In the meantime, we will stand by him as a brother, and we will love him no matter what."
Lance Hacking said that the days since July 19 have been some of the most difficult his family has experienced, and those feelings are complicated by what the family feels is the double loss of Mark and Lori.
What Mark Hacking is now going through, "weighs heavy on our hearts as well," Lance Hacking said.
"There are certainly things that he has lied about which we didn't know about, but in terms of who Mark actually is on the inside, I still feel like we know him and love him," Lance Hacking said.
The family didn't pray together during their short visit, but Mark did express to his brother and sister-in-law that he had been engaged in prayer.
"I imagine he has a lot to pray about," Lance Hacking said.
Court records released Friday offered new insights into the investigation:
- They indicate that police are investigating a Dallas-based phone number, which is somehow linked to the arrests of three Dallas residents who allegedly called that number and then used a stolen credit card to purchase airline tickets. Mark Hacking apparently called that same telephone number, but court documents do not establish any link between Hacking and the three people.
The number, which the Deseret Morning News dialed Friday, is now disconnected, but was last registered to a Dallas woman.
- Court records also confirm for the first time that police found a blood-stained mattress in the Dumpster at a church meetinghouse about one block from the Hacking's apartment, 127 S. Lincoln St. (945 East). Credit card records have already indicated that Mark Hacking purchased a new mattress from a South Salt Lake store 30 minutes after he first reported his wife missing to police.
- Also confirmed by the affidavits is seizure of digitally recorded surveillance tapes from the University Neuropsychiatric Unit that apparently show Mark Hacking dumping an object into a trash bin behind the facility. Police are looking specifically at recordings made between midnight and noon on July 19.
- Similarly, video images have also been obtained from a local convenience store, where both Mark and Lori were seen the Sunday night prior to her death, and where Mark returned about 1 a.m. for a pack of cigarettes. Additional surveillance tape was sought from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where cameras near Temple Square point toward roads that access Memory Grove, the location Mark had originally told police Lori had gone for a morning run.
Hundreds and hundreds of people from around the world have posted messages to the electronic guest book for Lori Hacking on the Deseret Morning News Web site. By Thursday, the postings already had filled 75 pages.
Below are some of the messages. To view all of them, or to post your own message, view the guest book for Lori Kay Soares Hacking.
- My heart goes out to the Soares family. I am deeply moved by your tragic circumstances. I understand the loss and wish you Godspeed. I know that Lori will watch over you and keep you moving forward. I remember the saying "There, but for the grace of God, go I."—Patricia Middleton (Marysville, Wash.)
- I just want to say that your story has touched me. I am so sorry to hear of your loss of a daughter and I want you to know that you are all in our prayers and thoughts. My 7-year-old has seen what has happened and drew a picture for her and said a prayer for her as well.—Cher Atkinson (Forest Grove, Ore.)
- Lor, I miss you so much. I'm so glad we got to see each other one last time. As always, you're on to bigger and better things.—Holly (Orem)
- Tennessee is praying for your entire family. God bless each of you.—Ginger Wyatt (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- I lost my daughter 11 months ago. I really know what you are going through. The days will be hard, but the memories do help. Just remember the good times and fun times.—Marcia (Antioch, Calif.)
- I am so sorry for the loss of Lori Hacking. Though my husband and I never knew her, we have been following this case since it began and we feel like she was family as we mourn her loss as well. Our heartfelt sympathies to all and may God bless your family.—Carrie Steadman (Taylorsville)
- To the Lori Hacking Family: I know that no words can comfort you at this extremely difficult time. However, please know that you have been in the thoughts and prayers of people throughout the world. Without even knowing Lori, you can tell by her beauty and her smile what a special person she is. God bless you and your family.—Tiffanie Northrup (Henefer, Morgan County)
- Please know that this lovely young woman has touched people all over the country. I hope that the gift of Lori will sustain you with strength and courage. We all mourn with you.—Lisa M. (Minnesota)
- Dear Soareses and Hackings, if any good can come from this tragedy, maybe it's that so many people have been impressed with the support and unity you two families have displayed. Others facing difficult situations will remember your example. Your message is one of peace and grace. Thank you. Our hearts are with you.—Jennie Hurlbut (Orem)
- Lori has become every mother's child. Your nightmare has become our nightmare. We honor your strength and dedication. May God bless your family and hold Lori close until you are able to do so once again.—Cindy (Mississippi)
- Although I understand the loss of someone too soon, I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose that person in such a tragic way. Both families are in my prayers daily. I appreciate the depths of the faith shown by the entire Soares and Hacking families.—Robin Burns (Fayetteville, Tenn.)
- May God bless you all. I am so sorry about the loss of Lori. I pray that you can be comforted by the spirit at this time.—Donna Watson (Hobart, Australia)
- When my only daughter was 16 years old, she was so very sick we were afraid we would lose her. It was Dr. Hacking who saved her life through his diagnosis and medical care. Thelma, I can't imagine your pain at the loss of your beautiful Lori. I only wish I could take away your pain if for only a day. You all have been an inspiration to millions of people you have touched through your courage and strength.—Anonymous (Utah)
Their daughter was slain by man hired by spouse
ABERDEEN, Idaho—Andrea and Gary Myler know the searing pain of betrayal upon having a son-in-law accused of murdering his wife. They have been there.
As they watch the unfolding story of Mark Hacking and the alleged murder of his wife, Lori, the Mylers find themselves taken back eight years to another Utah case of a husband who wanted his wife dead.
On Aug. 28, 1996, 24-year-old Jill Allen was murdered in her North Salt Lake apartment by one of two construction workers who later testified that they were offered up to $40,000 by her husband, Paul Allen, to have her killed. More than three years after her death, a jury found Paul Allen guilty of murder and sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole, sparing him punishment for capital murder.
Sitting under an apple tree outside their rural Idaho home, a tree that provided shade to Jill and others during family get-togethers, Gary and Andrea Myler offer some advice to the parents of Lori Hacking: Turn to your faith to pull you through, find support in your family and never let the "What-ifs?" take over.
Stepfather Gary Myler, who raised Jill, said Lori Hacking's parents should be prepared to make this murder case a constant part of their lives for at least the next decade. After eight years the Mylers still are involved in Paul Allen's appeal for a new trial.
Paul Allen has maintained his innocence, and his family has stood by him. Attorneys for Paul Allen recently filed briefs with the Utah Supreme Court asking for a new trial.
"It's definitely going to be a roller coaster for them as they go through the trial. I see them watching this boy try to prove that he's insane some way with the defense," Gary Myler said.
"One thing they need to realize is that it's going to take a long time. Our justice system is very slow, and they seem to give the accused every opportunity to get away with it. Our justice system bends over backwards to see that their rights are not infringed upon, and that's going to irritate them," Andrea Myler said.
Construction worker Joseph Wright testified that Paul Allen approached him to find someone to kill his wife. Wright then recruited his friend George Anthony Taylor to do the job. The two testified that Paul Allen had supplied them a key to his North Salt Lake apartment with instructions that the murder was to look like a robbery.
Davis County prosecutors claimed Paul Allen hoped to collect on a $250,000 life insurance policy he had on his wife.
In tearful testimony, Taylor described how he waited inside the dark apartment for his victim to come home from work. After breaking his gun while pistol-whipping her, Taylor said he resorted to beating her in the head with a baseball bat. But Jill kept fighting, he said. Finally he strangled her with a belt.
Returning from a boat trip, Paul Allen found his wife beaten beyond recognition.
Andrea Myler said she still remembers offering her shoulder to her son-in-law to cry on at her daughter's funeral.
She also felt that something was not right. Andrea Myler said she spent a lot of time time comforting Paul Allen but got no sympathy or support in return.
"I'd call and talk to him and I said, 'How are you doing?' and he said, 'You know, every day gets a little better,' and I said, 'You're kidding, for me every day is worse.' "
By the time police arrested Allen for his wife's murder a year later, Andrea Myler said her family wasn't surprised but remained in a state of disbelief.
"To our family, Paul appeared to be such a good guy, and people would say, 'Didn't you see any of this coming?' . . . No, they are so deceitful and are so good at covering it up; so good at making themselves appear good that you don't see it coming," she said. "It's the last thing in the world that you think that they would murder. You think that the marriage is just going to break up."
Gary Myler said he has been haunted by "What-ifs?": What if they had called earlier; what if they missed early signs. "It goes on in your mind, over and over again. You need to think about something else, you need to talk to people about it. Because if you don't, it'll cave the sides of your head in," he said.
Ultimately, it was their faith that saw them through all the threats of a mistrial to delays in the case.
"Through all these little mazes traveled by attorneys, it finally gets down to your own heart and mind. The Lord is still over this," Gary Myler said.
Andrea said Lori Hacking's mother should never let up in pushing detectives and prosecutors about advances in the case. And she warned that the press and the public are going to judge Lori's character by the actions of her family members.
Forgiveness will also come into play in the Hacking case.
"In a way you have to come to a certain level of forgiveness, or understanding," Gary Myler said. "If you let it destroy you from the inside out, your hatred and everything you build up toward them, it will destroy you."
Updated: 08/10/04 15:03:46
Wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit and staring straight ahead without expression, Mark Douglas Hacking was arraigned this morning on charges he killed his wife and disposed of her body in a Dumpster.
Hacking—who is being held on $1 million cash bail—appeared before 3rd District Judge L.A. Dever via a closed-circuit television link with the Salt Lake County Jail.
Dever asked Hacking to verify his name, then read the charges and set a scheduling hearing for Aug. 16 before another judge.
Following the two-minute hearing, defense attorney D. Gilbert Athay declined to answer any questions.
"Nothing today," Athay said, flashing a tight smile as he strode briskly past a horde of news reporters.
Hacking, 28, is charged with first-degree felony murder for the June 19 slaying of his sleeping wife, 27-year-old Lori Hacking, at their Salt Lake City apartment.
Hacking is also charged with three second-degree felony counts of obstructing justice for allegedly using three different Dumpsters to dispose of the woman's body, a .22-caliber rifle and the mattress on which she was sleeping when killed.
Updated 08/09/04 16:07:50
Mark Hacking shot his wife in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she lay sleeping, rolled her body up in garbage bags then disposed of her in a Dumpster at the University of Utah, according to a criminal complaint filed this afternoon in Salt Lake City.
Hacking, 28, was charged with one count of first-degree felony murder and three counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in a complaint filed in 3rd District Court.
The charges based on a confession Hacking made to his brothers and corroborated with physical evidence at the crime scene allege that Mark Hacking killed Lori Hacking, 27, after they argued over his lie about being accepted at medical school in North Carolina.
"Lori's dead and I killed her," Mark Hacking told his brothers.
Now in the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, Mark Hacking, is scheduled to make a brief court appearance Tuesday to hear the charges formally read to him.
In a news conference Monday, Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom discussed new details about the case, which has attracted national attention.
Yocom said blood found in the Hackings' apartment and her car was matched through DNA testing to Lori Hacking.
The couple argued Sunday night about Mark Hacking's lies regarding his medical-school plans at the University of North Carolina, according to the story Mark Hacking told his brothers.
Lori later went to bed and Mark stayed up, playing Nintendo for about an hour. He then "came across" his .22-caliber rifle and shot her in the head, according to the charges.
Mark Hacking used a knife to cut the pillowtop of their mattress off, then wrapped the body up in garbage bags, put her body into her car and transported to the University of Utah about 2 a.m., Yocom said.
He told his brothers he disposed of the gun and mattress piece in two other Dumpsters. Police recovered the mattress from a Dumpster in a nearby church parking lot. They have not recovered the murder weapon.
Although Lori Hacking was reportedly pregnant, police do not have her body and were unable to confirm it. As a result, prosecutors do not have evidence to charge Mark Hacking with capital murder, which carries a possible death penalty.
Yocom said it is unlikely that finding the body after three weeks time will yield sufficient evidence to prove whether Lori was pregnant.
Although police say they will search for Lori's body indefinitely at the Salt Lake County Landfill, Yocom said it is not absolutely necessary.
"We have an excellent case," he said.
If convicted, Mark Hacking faces five years to life in prison on the murder charge, and one to 15 years on each of the obstruction charges.
Hacking to be charged today
Crews aided by cadaver dogs continue searching landfill for Lori
Three weeks to the day since Mark Hacking called police to report his wife's disappearance, the 28-year-old Salt Lake City man awaits a murder charge—expected to be filed by 5 p.m. today—from his cell at the Salt Lake County Jail.
Hacking was arrested and booked into the jail's mental health unit on Aug. 2 based on evidence gathered in the disappearance and presumed death of his wife, Lori Hacking. On Sunday, he was moved from the unit, where he had been placed on suicide watch, to a maximum security pod.
He also was given visiting privileges, which officials said are scheduled to begin Thursday. Hacking remains held on $500,000 cash bail.
Third District Judge Anthony Quinn last Thursday granted prosecutors an extension of the deadline to file formal charges, after they said they needed more time to review evidence.
A murder charge could earn Mark Hacking a sentence of up to life in prison.
Capital murder charges could be filed if prosecutors can prove Lori Hacking was pregnant—or can prove other factors that would aggravate a murder charge—but that prospect is clouded by the failure so far to find a body.
Search crews aided by cadaver dogs finished a grueling five-day stint at the Salt Lake County landfill Sunday night after sifting through more than 3,000 tons of garbage where Lori Hacking is thought to be buried. The dogs will be allowed a few days rest before returning to the site, according to Salt Lake City police Detective Dwayne Baird.
Sunday marked the ninth day police have searched the landfill since shortly after learning of Lori Hacking's disappearance. She was last seen late Sunday night, July 18, with her husband at a Maverick gas station near the couple's Salt Lake City apartment.
Mark Hacking reported his wife missing around 10 a.m. the next morning, saying he had already begun searching for her. Witnesses and a credit card purchase receipt later placed him shopping for a new mattress at that time at a South Salt Lake furniture store.
Police and thousands of volunteers canvassed areas of the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding foothills in hope of finding Lori Hacking alive.
A probable cause statement filed by Salt Lake City police in connection with Mark Hacking's detention alleged that blood and a knife were found in the Hackings' apartment and that other blood evidence was found in the woman's car. The same document also alleged Hacking had confessed to a "citizen witness," to whom he admitted killing his wife in her sleep and disposing of her body in a Dumpster.
Mark Hacking's brother Scott told The Salt Lake Tribune that Mark admitted to the crime in statements to him and brother Lance on July 24.
A memorial service for Lori Hacking is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Windsor LDS Stake Center, 60 E. 1600 North in Orem. Lori Hacking's family asks that in lieu of flowers, mourners contribute to the Lori Hacking Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank or by mail to Thelma Soares, 1501 N. Canyon Road, Provo, UT, 84602.
Only the Deseret Morning News has had any worthwhile content related to the Lori Hacking case this weekend. I've included four stories, listed by the dates they appeared in the online edition.
This is a pretty lengthy post. Usually I excerpt longer stories, but in this case I've included the entire content (with many photos) from two stories. Please be patient while the page loads if you decide to continue reading.
Updated 08/06/2004 15:40:53
With the gruesome facts surrounding Lori Hacking's death finally revealed, her father on Friday lashed out against prime suspect Mark Hacking, calling his son-in-law's alleged actions "disrespectful," "gutless" and "monstrous."
Eraldo Soares, of Fullerton, Calif., called on the criminal justice system to afford "appropriate justice" for Mark Hacking, who confessed to his brothers that he killed Lori in her sleep and disposed of her body in a Dumpster.
"As the facts about my little girl's death emerge, I am outraged," he said. "The innumerable lies she was told by her husband for years on end were selfish and shameful. The cowardly way in which she and her baby were brutally murdered in cold-blood while she slept is despicable. The gutless attempt at covering up this monstrous act is appalling. It is difficult to imagine a more disrespectful way of disposing of her remains."
Even as evidence became public indicating that Mark Hacking had lied about his whereabouts on July 19, the day his pregnant wife died, the Soares and Hacking families continued to publicly stand together.
In a statement made on July 24, Soares said he loved his son-in-law but questioned his honesty. That same evening, Hacking's brothers say, Mark Hacking confessed to them.
It is unclear when the Soares family learned of the confession, but the Hacking family said communication was made "quickly" and Soares had not spoken publicly since.
In other news Friday, a memorial service for Lori Hacking has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Windsor Stake Center, 60 E 1600 North, Orem.
A display honoring Lori's life will be in the Relief Society room of the church from 9:30 am until 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Lori Hacking Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank or by mail to Thelma Soares, 1501 N Canyon Road, Provo, UT 84602.
I figured it'd be Lori Hacking's father who would switch sides, as it were, and denounce Mark Hacking at some point. I'm surprised it took this long, in fact.