76 entries categorized "Salt Lake City"

A tale of three men

Gerald Raymond “Jerry” Nunn
1946–2013

My father died last week. Not entirely unexpectedly—he had some recent serious health problems—but it was still a shock to get the call the morning of August 8 that he had died the day before.

This is the story of three different men, all of them my father, each living a distinctly different part of one life.

Continue reading "A tale of three men" »


Squatters Pub Brewery brewmaster Jennifer Talley wins another award

Jennifer Talley, the brewmaster at Squatters Pub Brewery in Salt Lake City, has won the prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing. She is the first woman to receive the honor since it was first presented in 1997 by the national Brewers Association.

She recevied the award last week during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boulder, Colorado.

A native of Chicago, Talley has been the head brewer at Squatters since 1994. Utah beer lovers know she is always experimenting with new beer styles and ingredients creating award winners such as Alt & In The Way, a gold medal winner at the 2008 World Beer Cup.

via www.sltrib.com

Good news! Squatters is my fave brewpub, glad to see the recognition.


You can HEAR the anguished wringing of hands

It’s snowing in the Seattle area, which means two things.

  1. Area school districts started announcing changes to their schedules, or outright closures, more than 24 hours ago, at the first hint of snow in the forecasts.
  2. Drivers are freaked the hell out.

The snow is sticking to lawns, roofs, and trees, but it’s barely making the roads wet yet. However, the forecast calls for up to 3 inches of accumulation from Seattle southward by this afternoon.

I am of course in heaven. I was born and raised (and more importantly learned to drive) in Salt Lake City, where men are men and holy underwear is the norm, and where they get REAL snow. Where by “real” I mean in quantities of inches at a time, sometimes a foot or more, and as the license plates will confirm it’s the greatest snow on Earth.

Which means that anytime the Seattle weather forecasts mention snow or La Niña or “Arctic flow” or the other winter-weather flag phrases, I get a little giddy. I remember the years of walking to school uphill in the snow (but one way only) and the inevitable late-night sledding sessions down the block-long alley across the street, including that time Matt almost got crushed by the bus on 6th Avenue but only his sled bit the dust because of his expertly timed ninja dodge maneuver, and the look of utter horror on the bus driver’s face when he felt the bus’s front right tire go over SOMETHING (and probably felt the crunching of the sled’s wood deck) and he had seen a teenager waving wildly on the sidewalk just before that.

Ahh, the memories.

Anyway, back to now. Yesterday we had several brief periods of “snow”—really, it was the hardened version of Seattle’s famous misty rain. You had squint to see it—it made NOTHING wet, not roads, not cars, certainly not exposed skin. Immortalized in a conversation with Julie Anne as we had a late pre-Thanksgiving-shopping breakfast at Original Pancake House in Crown Hill:

Don: Oh look, it’s snowing again.

Julie Anne [squinting]: It is?

Don: You have to really want to see it.

Julie Anne [pause, still squinting]: Oooohh.

Laffs all ’round!

It certainly doesn’t help that the media here in Seattle buy into the frenzy wholeheartedly. KOMO News radio usually switches to their astoundingly lame “driver to driver coverage”: Joe Sixpack calls in on their news line and reports what he may or may have seen, or sometimes what he expects to see, or what his wife’s coworker’s neighbor said she once saw. And somehow the metro area hangs on his every word. Usually delivered all in a rush, because Joe Sixpack is not a professional radio personality and so has no clue about modulation and pace:

KOMO personality: We have Joe from Medina on the KOMO News Line. Joe, tell us what you see.

Joe: Yeah so I was driving on 520 toward I-5 and as I got to Montlake I saw a snowflake and I slammed on the brakes and a semi and a bus behind me almost crashed as they tried to avoid me and I spilled my Starbucks all over the dashboard and now I have to go to the detailer.

KOMO: O...kay, thanks, Joe. Now to Melinda in Shoreline, you have have something to tell us about the power up there?

Melinda: Well our schools are all closed and our power is on, it hasn’t even flickered. But we have about an inch of snow and my driveway is really icy.

KOMO: ...

And so on. It just never ends. I know (or at least I think) they think they’re providing a necessary civic service, but come on.

Really they’re just enabling the cold-weather-pansy mentality.


Why I will never be on the PGA tour

Matt: youve been working a hell of a lot lately
Don: Yuh.. I don’t have a carpool anymore, so it’s an easy way to avoid traffic, and I also want to bank up hours so I can travel a lot over the next few months w/o using my paid time
Matt: ohhh ok
Matt: where you going?
Don: San Diego in April, Salt Lake in May, Molokai in July, road trip in August/September
Don: Possibly India in there somewhere too
Don: Though the India thing would be for work, so no time off required for it.
Matt: holy crappers
Don: mmhmm
Don: All but the India trip are definite
Don: If the India travel plans had worked out as originally hoped, I’d be there now in fact
Don: Would’ve left on/about the 6th of this month
Matt: wow, why Salt Lake?
Don: See friends who still live there, and participate in a charity golf tournament
Don: Which by itself is amusing because I play golf like drunk people fuck
Matt: ROFL
Don: Hell of a thing, my golf game. I have a strong drive, I can get 150-200 yards sometimes, but I can’t aim to save my life.
Don: It’s worth your scalp to be within 20 feet of me when I swing off the tee ;x
Matt: lol I’ll keep that in mind


2008 in cities

List gets shorter each year, even though I’m spending about the same amount of time traveling. Fewer destinations, more trips to some of them.

Links lead to related posts; boldface indicates cities I visited more than once.

A bit different method this time. The list includes cities where I spent less than 24 hours if the city was the primary destination. Previously, I only included cities I where I had spent at least 24 consecutive hours, but this year I made a few day trips I wanted to include.

If this is at all like last year, family and friends will remind me of a couple of trips I took and didn’t have listed in my calendar, so I may add to this list over the next few days.

Previous “in cities” lists: 2005, 2006, 2007.

Also, Katharine’s list; our friend Julie Anne’s list.


On Vox: QotD: Broken Bones

I’ve only broken one bone in my life, my left pinky during a game of fly’s-up in grade school. 4th or 5th grade, I think, but I don’t remember exactly when.

I had a hell of a time convincing anyone it was actually broken—it was only a hairline fracture and didn’t really hurt, it was just this strange sensation of warmth and a slight numbness for a week or so after it happened.

Some months later my pinky had developed a misshapen lump over the knuckle. Turns out bone had grown over the break while it healed, so my left pinky is lopsided now.

Answering:

Have you ever broken a bone? If so, how?

Originally posted on donnunn.vox.com


Seven years already?

On this date in 2001, I made my first DVD rental from Netflix. Picked three movies, received all three two days later.

In alphabetical order:

Antz. I can’t remember exactly why I rented this. Only thing I can figure is it was a fairly new DVD release at the time, and probably I wanted to be able to compare it to A Bug’s Life, which was due for release in November of that year.

The Big Kahuna. Hated this movie. Hated, hated, HATED it. Rented it because I generally like Kevin Spacey and the trailers somehow made it look good to me.

Enemy of the State. Will Smith’s latest (at the time) blockbuster, and it held my attention from beginning to end despite the occasionally laughably obvious plot.

I was struck, as I looked over the rest of my rental history, by how strongly I remember some of the movies, or at least the circumstances of their rental or viewing, and by how utterly forgettable other movies have proved to be. The Ice Storm, for example, I still clearly remember watching on a November evening in 2001. The film itself didn’t register on me much, neither particularly good nor hideously awful, though I quite like both Kevin Kline and Joan Allen; but the circumstances of when and where I watched it, I remember well. Not so for Spider-Man 3, which my calendar and my Netflix history both tell me I watched less than a year ago on Nov 15, 2007, but which I have no memory of seeing—neither the movie itself nor the when/where of it apart from my calendar record.

The seven years in my Netflix history since, by the numbers:

  • 435: Number of movies I’ve rented.
  • 165: Longest time (in days) I held a movie. I’d lost a Netflix envelope among a stack of papers and needed several months to find it. And then returned it UNWATCHED.
  • 50: Discs returned unwatched due to lost interest. Some of these I knew I wouldn’t watch and forgot to remove them from my queue.
  • 14: Times I changed my membership level, as high as 4-at-at-time/unlimited and as low as 1-out/2-monthly depending on how I was using the service at any given time.
  • 12: Number of movies I’ve rented twice.
  • 9: Discs returned for replacement due to unplayability. Scratches mostly, my DVD player is VERY sensitive to that; but in one case, the DVD arrived snapped into four pieces inside its mailer.
  • 2: Times I put my account on hold while I was moving from one state to another.
  • 1.2: Average number of movies per week over the entire 7-year run.
  • 1: Shortest time (in days) I held a movie (actually 30 different titles) and number of movies I rented 3 times.
  • 0: Discs I’ve lost and Times I’ve entered movie-rental stores.

Hell of a ride. I wonder how much my late fees would have been on those films I kept longer than the brick-and-mortar stores’ policies allowed back in 2001? I should figure that out sometime, but I think this is enough stats geekery for now.


QotD: There’s a Monster in My Closet

The title and default tag of this QotD are appropriate, because when I was a kid I had an almost paralyzing fear of my walk-in closet. It was big and dark and full of clothing on hangers and it had these large drawers full of bedding and linens. The drawers were easily large enough for me to climb inside until I was about 5 or 6 years old, so the idea that I might be playing hide-and-seek and never get found was just horrifying.

But worst of all was the hole in the closet wall at the edge of those drawers. It was a ragged hole, knocked into the wall to allow access to the crawlspace between the eaves and the house’s brick walls. But I had seen the 1980 version of The Fog, and I recalled a scene where an eerie light was emanating from the walls of an old house and a young woman reached through a hole in the wall to grab something she had lost (or possibly left behind, or whatever), and as she reached in, THE MONSTERS GRABBED HER AND PULLED HER THROUGH TO HER DEATH.

I would NOT go near that part of the closet at night, and in daylight only with every nearby light source turned on. Scared the SHIT out of me.

Answering:

What were you afraid of when you were younger that seems silly to you now?
Submitted by wandie


A few things, a few times over

Went to Salt Lake City and Reno for a (combined) week starting Thu 05/01. I remember the Salt Lake portion of the trip very well, the Reno part not so much. This is because I caught what seemed to be a mild cold at the beginning of the trip, but by Sun 05/04, the day we drove from SLC to Reno, the cold had exploded into a lovely sinus pressure / fever / coughing / woe-is-me thing that left me reeling that day and the next, and stumbling in a fog the third day.

Fog. In the desert.

Go figure.

“Cloud ceiling” by Don Nunn on FlickrThe SLC trip was for the hell of it—I loves me a road trip, who needs a reason?—but also to help with, and by extension attend, Julie Anne’s brother Jimmy’s 30th-birthday party. The party was scheduled for Sat 05/03, so we drove down Thu 05/01 and ran errands Fri 05/02 and most of Sat and enjoyed the party by working our asses off in the kitchen all night. Lasagna, Caesar salad, and garlic bread for 60 people, coming right up!

Julie Anne had also prepared a 10-minute slide show of photos scanned from Jimmy’s entire life, childhood all the way to 19:30 three weeks ago Tuesday. Show was a big hit, particularly the lingering shot of Jimmy astride an absurdly large cannon barrel, total “Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Freud, please call the hospital operator” moment—Big Laffs!, and the other photo depicting Jimmy in drag that vaguely resembled the Wendy’s logo if she were a hamburger-slingin’ ballet dancer.

The party ended about 22:00 and we finished cleaning up a week later. Good thing my car knew the way back to the hotel because I sure as hell don’t remember actually making that drive, and even better it knew the way Sunday morning to Squatters where we met my mom for brunch before our drive to Reno.

I should actually say “Julie Anne’s drive and my ride to Reno,” because that’s the segment where my brain started to forget things like how to make me breathe correctly, and how to regulate my body’s temperature. Short version: I coughed our way across Nevada in between spates of almost death-like sleep while my temperature bounced gaily up and down like those little dots that track the song lyrics in karaoke bars.

Julie Anne was ever the trooper, however, and got us to Nevada in record time, despite her deep-seated need to follow rules which manifests itself most regularly by scrupulous observance of speed limits. This day, she threw caution to the wind. Our trip through Wendover, Elko, Winnemucca, and into Reno happened mostly at 85 mph or better, and I may be imagining this but I’m pretty sure she threw the finger to several large truckers (and their big trucks) and possibly a cop or two along the way.

But I was feverish, who knows.

“Casino orb” by Don Nunn on FlickrWe were in Reno because Julie Anne was attending a trade show there, and I had to be deathly ill. She was In Charge of the show, by which I mean she handled the show arrangements for her company’s product display there, and she kicked ass and took names and generally owned the world for the four hours of the show’s existence Tuesday morning. I know this to be true because she told me so; I was lying in bed squirming and moaning and coughing and trying to take a single full breath but my brain was still forgetting how to do that, though by then it had a fine command for inducing cramps in all 10 toes and one side of my jaw, I think from all the writhing I had done Sunday night and all day Monday and into Tuesday morning.

It’s an odd thing when you’ve slept for 43 of the previous 48 hours but you’re utterly EXHAUSTED and all you want to do is sleep more, except you can’t get comfortable because every time you move, every time an air molecule even TOUCHES you, some part of you cramps up. And trust me, you can feel EVERY FUCKING MOLECULE touching you.

Damned physiology.

By Tuesday midday I was (wobblingly) back among the living, and it was time to wrap things up in Reno and drive back to Seattle, which we did over two days. We drove from Reno through Susanville, CA, and around the south face of Mt. Shasta on CA-89 to I-5 northbound, where we had to watch for cops because the damned road is PAVED with CHP cars, Jesus!, and stopped in Medford, OR. We got a blisteringly early start Wednesday, shaking out of our hotel room for breakfast at about ten minutes before 10:00 sharp, and we were home by about 18:30.

The rest of the week involved unpacking my suitcase, which actually took about 20 minutes Wednesday night but somehow feels like it will NEVER be finished, and then going to work for the two remaining days of the week. This morning was laundry, the usual routine of getting up and meeting Julie Anne at 07:15 to be at the laundromat at 07:30 sharp so we can beat the attendant to her job, but today we were half an hour early because it turns out while we were gone, they changed their hours to 08:00 daily. Bastards. I could’ve slept another 30 minutes, got up at 6:45 instead of 06:15, but they didn’t bother to tell US they’d changed their hours.

“Game-time view” by Don Nunn on FlickrSo we got coffee and bagels while we waited, and we still finished our laundry faster than in weeks previous. MOUNTAINS of laundry, I swear we summited Mount Purex a dozen times over, which would be funnier if either of us used that brand but I needed something with two syllables.

And tonight I’m going to the Seattle Mariners game versus the Chicago White Sox (it was important to say “Chicago” there, to differentiate them from the famed Bristol White Sox) at Safeco Field, where I fully expect the Mariners to get trounced in their usual fashion, thereby maintaining their place at or near the bottom of the AL West. Only San Diego is doing worse than the Mariners right now, so let’s go, Seattle! You can do better!

Have a good weekend. :-)


Hurricane Charlie

It didn’t occur to me until about, oh, 30 seconds ago that I could have photographed this for posterity, but the description will have to do because I already cleaned up the debris.

Backing up a bit, though:

This morning I went out to the hospital to upgrade the gift shop’s cash registers to the latest version of their point-of-sale software. I was hoping to solve a problem whereby manually entered credit-card transactions are declined because the register software we had wasn’t sending a “card is present” flag to our credit-card processing software, which then assumed the card was NOT present and in turn passed that on to our card processor. Our card processor does not accept such transactions without an explicit declaration of the card’s physical presence, even if you provide the CVV2, which the register software is not providing and does not have a setting I can change to ensure the declaration is made. So the transactions are denied with the helpful message:

INVALID DATA

We thought an upgrade to the latest version of the register software might resolve this. The upgrade proceeded smoothly and the register program launched just fine, a few visual tweaks to the interface but nothing momentous, and then I tried a manual credit-card transaction and—

(wait for it)

I got:

INVALID DATA

The shop doesn’t open until 12:30 today, which is good, because only the stuffed animals and Easter bunnies and candy bars heard the string of curses I emitted after that response code appeared on the screen.

And apropos of nothing whatever, it’s wildly appropriate that the abbreviation for “point of sale” is POS.

And it’s Sunday, so no sales or technical support available, which means this now will be what I do Monday. Oh joy.

But perspective counts for a lot on a day like today, and when I got back to the house I found out that the register silliness wasn’t actually so bad. Because Charlie, adorable little almost-14-week-old Charlie, had romped about the house in a spectacular imitation of an M1 Abrams tank in a china shop.

Charlie had managed to knock a plant entirely off its stand, somehow not spilling much dirt and not cracking the pot in the process, but the plant knocked over Mom’s CD storage tower, sending CD cases all over the living room. The flying CDs in turn knocked over and broke a glass hurricane lamp that contained a wad of small lights as a decorative accent.

And then Charlie found the potpourri bowl on the coffee table, and the scents of cinnamon and dried oranges and other nice things proved irresistible, and now that potpourri rests mainly in the Shop-Vac.

But Chuckles wasn’t done yet. From the dining room, he grabbed a quilted bag that held several catalogs and stapled sets of papers and managed somehow to scatter the papers about (most of them were in the entry hall) without chewing them up. And the bag shows no damage either; I have a feeling that was because I returned right as he was starting with the bag.

Scarves and coats scattered about too, because they dangle from hooks on the wall by the stairs just inside the front door, and oooh! swinging things!

Needless to say, Charlie’s a bit on my shit list, which is difficult because of the cute. He does seem to get the badness, I suppose, though I think most of the teaching-him-not-to-eat-potpourri is going to be achieved by removing the potpourri from areas he can reach until he’s past the nibbles stage with the new teefs.

Time for a walk, I think. He can chew up the trees as we wander the neighborhood in the wind!


2006 in cities

Rehashing the same idea from last year, the list of cities I spent at least one day (a contiguous 24-hour period) in 2006, in roughly chronological order. Asterisks indicate multiple visits; links lead to Google Maps:

I was going to list the cities where I spent at least a few hours as well, but that would number into the dozens—maybe even a hundred or more with the several road trips I took this year. I might do that later if I decide to scrape the info directly out of my Palm database.


Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife

He was sentenced to 6 years to life in prison for shooting Lori Soares to death while she slept and then dumping her body in a trash bin.

Stories and links below the cut from CNN.com, The Salt Lake Tribune, and Deseret Morning News; also the Soares family statement from the Trib.

Continue reading "Mark Hacking sentenced for murdering his wife" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking deal looks likely

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.

Continue reading "Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking deal looks likely" »


Lori Soares’ family removes married name from headstone

Salt Lake Tribune: Name ‘Hacking’ struck from headstone
Her mother: Donates decorative angels sent to her to a shelter for abused and neglected children



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 Tribune
Lori 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.

Mark Hacking pleads 'not guilty'

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.

Continue reading "Mark Hacking pleads 'not guilty'" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Lori Hacking's body released to her family

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.

Salt Lake papers' stories on discovery of Lori Hacking's remains

Links only for now; I'll include story quotations later.

Deseret Morning News:

Salt Lake Tribune:


CNN.com: Remains of missing Utah woman found in landfill

(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 Hacking
Lori Hacking
The "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.

CNN.com: Breaking banner indicates Lori Hacking's remains confirmed

CNN.com breaking-news header confirms Lori Hacking's remains discoveredThe banner that began appearing on the CNN.com home page a moment ago (click to view full-size in a new window):

Also just saw an update on the KSL-TV main page: Police Confirm Remains Belong to Lori Hacking.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

UPDATE 16:14: The Salt Lake Tribune's just put a link to their own story about the discovery on their main page.


Lori Hacking update: Wed 09/15/04

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.

Continue reading "Lori Hacking update: Wed 09/15/04" »


Revelations among the Sunday news whoring

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.


Salt Lake Tribune: A father weeps as hopes dim for boy

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.

Continue reading "Salt Lake Tribune: A father weeps as hopes dim for boy" »


Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking appears in court; prelim hearing set

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 Tribune)
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 Tribune
Hacking, 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 Tribune)
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 Tribune
The 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?

Come on!


Deseret Morning News: Hundreds celebrate Lori's life

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 News)
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 News
At 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)
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 News)
Douglas and Janet Hacking attend services for Lori Hacking Saturday.
Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
Both 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.

Deseret Morning News: Grief, anger, love fill mother's heart

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.


Deseret Morning News: 'We love him no matter what'

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 News)
Lance Hacking leaves the Salt Lake County Jail with his wife, Stephanie, and Wyatt, their baby
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News
Friday 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.

Deseret Morning News: Hundreds 'sign' Lori's guest book

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)

Deseret Morning News: Hacking saga stirs memories for Idaho pair

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."

Salt Lake Tribune: Breaking: Hacking arraigned on murder, obstruction charges

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.

Salt Lake Tribune: Breaking: Mark Hacking shot his wife, charges say

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.