53 entries categorized "Lori Hacking"

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.

Salt Lake Tribune: Hacking to be charged today

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.

Lori Hacking stories for Sat 08/07/04 and Sun 08/08/04

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.

Continue reading "Lori Hacking stories for Sat 08/07/04 and Sun 08/08/04" »

Salt Lake Tribune: Update: Lori's father lashes out against Mark Hacking

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.

“The right thing to do”

A Salt Lake Tribune article for which I failed to grab the link; it’s since disappeared into their paid-access archive.

“The right thing to do”
Family says Mark Hacking is willing to help investigators even if his life is at stake

He told his family he killed his wife.

Now his family says Mark Hacking is ready to accept the consequences.

In a telephone conversation from jail Wednesday night, Hacking reportedly talked to his father about his willingness to help investigators, despite its possible effect on his upcoming court case.

“He is determined to do what is right,” Douglas Hacking told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday. “He started the process when he let the word out to where Lori was and he is determined to continue to do what is right—even if it costs him his life.”

Prosecutors could file capital-murder charges in the case if they can prove an aggravating circumstance, such as Lori Hacking’s reported pregnancy. They now have more time to make that determination, after 3rd District Judge Anthony Quinn granted an extension Thursday following a request from the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors, who say they have not had enough time to review the evidence, were given until 5 p.m. Monday to file charges against Mark Hacking, or he could be released.

United by grief and a desire to uncover the truth about Lori’s disappearance, the Hacking and Soares families have formed an unusually stable bond. When Mark’s credibility came into question early in the search for Lori, the families were side by side at nearly every public appearance.

As information mounted about Mark Hacking’s actions on July 19, the morning Lori vanished, her father, Hareld Soares, revealed that he doubted his son-in-law’s story. Even then, Soares told him that his love would not diminish.

“I told him, ‘I have compassion and love for you,’“ Soares said at the time.

And Douglas Hacking called Lori’s mother, Thelma Soares, shortly after learning of his son’s confession to family members July 24.

“We have been upfront with them every step of the way. They have known everything we have known,” said Douglas Hacking, a pediatrician from Orem, adding that he spent part of Tuesday night at Thelma Soares’ home. “We are still grieving about Lori together.”

“She was our daughter, too. I have her picture right in front of my desk,” he said. “I just weep for her. I just feel so sorry for what happened.”

Mark Hacking’s brother, Scott, called the tragedy “a double loss.”

Scott and another brother, Lance, heard Mark Hacking’s confession during an 11 p.m. meeting on July 24 at University Hospital’s psychiatric ward.

During that meeting, Mark admitted that he killed Lori while she slept in their apartment and later threw her body into a nearby Dumpster.

The decision to tell police about the confession was excruciating for Scott and for his father, who watched his son wrestle with the choice.

“I don’t know if I have ever seen anybody experience that much anguish before,” Douglas Hacking said. “On the one hand, he felt like he might be betraying his brother and compromising his chances in the court. On the other hand, he felt that he may have some information that the police didn’t have.”

Initially, Scott and Lance Hacking informed their parents only that Mark had told them where Lori’s body had been placed. Douglas Hacking and his wife, Janet, drove Scott to the police station the following night so he could inform police.

“We as a family have decided from the outset that our motto was to do what was right and we have tried to do what was right the whole time,” Douglas said. “When it was all over, [Scott] said ‘I have never felt so bad and so good at the same time.’“

He said his sons’ decision to report on their brother was the right choice. Scott, in turn, credited his parents with providing the moral guidance that made the decision possible. “My parents are amazing parents. They’ve raised us with the foundation of Mormonism and that has gotten us to this point,” he said. “If Mark has done something outside of these principles, it’s certainly not because of any lack of guidance from his parents. He’s turned away from these principles.”

Now, Scott said, he wants to bring his brother back into the fold.

Douglas Hacking said that process started when Mark decided to confess, though he was pressured by Scott and Lance earlier in the day.

“One of the things that I think helped Mark make that decision was when he saw how many volunteers were out searching for her,” he said. “But I think the primary thing was that he came to the conclusion that the right thing to do was pass that information on to authorities.”

The family allowed the search to continue for a few days following the reported confession because they were concerned about the “reliability of Mark’s information,” Douglas Hacking said.

“He had lied before and he lied straight to me,” Douglas said, referring to an earlier conversation when he asked Mark if he had anything to do with Lori’s disappearance.

The family also expected police to call off the search on July 25, but 1,800 volunteers arrived.

The family eventually decided to call off the searches themselves, saying they would limit the search to all-terrain vehicles, horses and airplanes in rugged area. Those searches never materialized.

One question the family can’t answer is why Mark committed the alleged murder.

“We have talked about it and talked about it, and speculated. Five minutes ago we talked about it again,” Douglas Hacking said Thursday morning. “The only thing I can come up with is that he just snapped.”

Scott Hacking said he plans to seek no further information about the alleged murder from his brother, per instructions from Mark’s defense attorney, Gilbert Athay.

While he was writing his jailed son a letter, Douglas Hacking received a phone call from Mark late Wednesday. They had a 15-minute conversation that focused primarily on the conditions in the mental health unit, where Mark Hacking is on suicide watch, but also touched on his decision to assist investigators.

On Monday, Hacking sat in his cell naked with only a blanket. The next day he received a jumpsuit and on Wednesday his jailers gave him a pair of underwear.

Officials at the jail say those are the three stages suicidal inmates are placed in depending on a daily consultation with a psychiatrist. It also shows that Mark Hacking’s emotional state is settling.

Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom declined comment on the news that Mark Hacking may cooperate with prosecutors, other than to say, “That’s interesting.”

Athay on Thursday did not return a phone call requesting comment.

He will have to wait until police finish compiling the case against Hacking to hear what charges prosecutors will levy.

Thursday’s court motion by prosecutors to extend the deadline for filing charges states that Salt Lake City detectives “just returned” from Texas, where they were interviewing a witness—most likely Lance Hacking, who lives in Austin.

Police also are “in the process of compiling transcripts of witness interviews, and are awaiting test results from the crime lab,” states the motion.

Without the extension, prosecutors would have been forced to file charges by the end of business Thursday or release Hacking, who was booked into jail Aug. 2.

Mark Hacking is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bail.

Detectives, meanwhile, searched the Salt Lake County landfill for a sixth night Thursday, looking for Lori Hacking’s body. A backhoe being used in the effort was so deep into the 18-feet-tall pile of trash that it was barely visible from the road that runs alongside the dump.

The search of the 2-acre area may take weeks, but detectives say they are hopeful of finding her remains with the assistance of Duchesne County’s cadaver dogs.

SLTrib articles related to Lori Hacking case

It's strange. I've posted about Lori Hacking about twice a day since her disappearance on July 19, which is odd because the case doesn't captivate me anywhere nearly that much. From the third day when Mark Hacking's education lies came to light, I've posted mainly because it's happening in my hometown—the town where I was born, grew up, and am living again after two years in other cities—and because after I made the first couple of posts, I saw a lot of hits about it from search engines. I felt somewhat responsible for providing an easy reference for folks who may have stumbled over my site while searching for news or information about Lori Hacking.

Anyway, below the fold are clippings of two stories from the Salt Lake Tribune, along with links to the Tribune's reference section on the case.

If you know of any other good resources for Lori Hacking-related material, please post in the comments section so my archive will be as complete as possible.

Continue reading "SLTrib articles related to Lori Hacking case" »

Deseret Morning News: Search now 'unnecessary,' say families of Lori Hacking

Mark Hacking told his family something important Saturday—and whatever it is, it apparently makes any further volunteer searches for his missing 27-year-old wife unnecessary.

That news came late Saturday, not from Salt Lake City police but by way of a statement faxed to the Deseret Morning News and other media by Mark and Lori Hackings' families.

"The families understand that Mark Hacking has provided information that makes it unnecessary for individuals or groups to continue the volunteer search," the statement reads. "At this time, the families ask that all efforts from volunteers cease and that anyone with information that they feel might be helpful contact the Salt Lake City Police Department directly."

Salt Lake City police were to meet with family members late Saturday, and the family was expected to share with investigators details of their conversation with Mark Hacking, detective Phil Eslinger said.

"To my knowledge we are going to work through the night with the family to determine what that information is," Eslinger said. "All I know is that it was a legitimate fax from the family. This is not another one of those cruel jokes or rumors."

Police are expected to hold a news conference sometime today.

No further statements are likely from the Hacking or Soares families in the near future. Their statement included a plea that their privacy be respected in what was described in the families' statement as "this difficult time" and indicated they plan to make no further statements about the case.

Contacted at his home Saturday night, attorney D. Gilbert Athay, who has been hired to represent Mark Hacking, said he had no comment.

Lori Hacking disappeared July 19, allegedly while jogging in Memory Grove just before 6 a.m. Volunteers' search efforts in the park and nearby canyons, which over a week drew more than 4,000 people, were unsuccessful.

Police now say they believe Lori, who had just learned she was five-weeks pregnant, was never in the park.

Mark Hacking has been hospitalized since the day after he reported his wife missing. He has also been named a "person of interest" in the case by police but as of Saturday had never officially been called a suspect.

However, investigators took numerous pieces of evidence from the couple's apartment at 127 S. Lincoln St. (945 East), including box springs and computers. Also among the evidence being evaluated by forensic experts is a knife said to have blood and hair samples.

Before Lori Hacking disappeared, the couple was supposedly moving to Chapel Hill, N.C., where Mark was to attend medical school. But three days into the case, it was learned that Mark Hacking had lied about his acceptance to medical school, as well as his recent graduation from the University of Utah.

Over the past two weeks, more and more information has trickled out indicating that Mark may have been lying to his friends and family for as long as 18 months about his present and future life.

The details and the time line of events Hacking shared with police also quickly crumbled. Mark Hacking said on July 19 that he had learned Lori had failed to arrive at work about 10 a.m., but a mattress store clerk said Mark was shopping for a mattress at the time. A credit card receipt showed he had indeed purchased one, just 26 minutes before he called police at 10:49 a.m.

Until Saturday, it appeared that Mark had also maintained he knew nothing about his wife's disappearance. In a conversation with his father, Douglas Hacking, Mark said he had lied about his life because he felt pressure to be successful like his father and siblings. But he said he didn't know what had happened to his wife.

"He looked me in the eye and said, 'No,' " Douglas Hacking said when recounting his conversation with his son to reporters July 23. No one is certain what Lori Hacking knew of her husband's deception or when she knew it. However, co-workers at Wells Fargo Bank have said that the Friday before she disappeared, Lori received an upsetting phone call and left in tears.

Police have focused most of their search efforts on the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Facility, sifting through piles of refuse on four separate occasions with investigators and four cadaver dogs. That search was temporarily suspended on Friday, with police saying the dogs needed a day or two of rest.

So far, the only comment from police about the landfill searches has been that "nothing of consequence" had yet been found.

Landfill searches are expected to resume, but police have not been specific about when.

The task of finding what is presumably Lori Hacking's body in the landfill could be seen as nearly impossible. More than 2,500 tons of refuse is deposited there daily by more than 600 dump trucks. Police have focused their efforts on a one- to two-acre segment of the facility.

Police apparently believed the landfill held significant clues as to Lori Hacking's whereabouts as early as one day after she went missing. Landfill executive director Romney Stewart told the Deseret Morning News last week that police asked him on July 20 to suspend dumping in a certain area so that it could be searched.

Salt Lake Tribune: Husband's fate after hospital in question

"Person of interest": The police and prosecutors consider their possible actions when Mark Hacking is released

Tucked away on the fifth floor of University Hospital, Mark Hacking has received psychiatric care since the morning after he reported his wife, Lori, missing 12 days ago.

That hospital stay is expected to end soon, according to a hospital official.

The question is: Will police let Hacking, the only "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance, go home?

The University of Utah has an all-hours security force that is keeping tabs on Mark Hacking, but no U. police officers are on the psychiatric floor, said University police Sgt. Earl McKee. "If doctors feel he is able to leave the hospital, he is free to go," said Salt Lake City Police Detective Phil Eslinger, adding that he doubts Mark Hacking would be arrested upon his release.

If Hacking is taken into custody, prosecutors would have 72 hours to file criminal charges. But that seems premature in a case where investigators have not found Lori Hacking and are awaiting forensic testing on evidence seized from the Hackings' apartment, including small amounts of blood and a knife.

Authorities also could assign an officer to trail Mark Hacking.

Or they could do nothing and trust that their "person of interest" does not flee.

As police and prosecutors weigh their options of what to do when Mark Hacking is released, detectives, with the help of cadaver dogs, will continue boring through the Salt Lake County landfill in search of a body.

For the second night in a row on Friday, the landfill search was suspended to give the dogs a rest.

Eslinger said he did not know when the search will resume or how long it might continue.

Using backhoes, landfill employees have dug trenches up to 45 feet deep. The methodical search could take months, say police, who equate it to the proverbial needle in a haystack.

"It is a huge task," Eslinger said. "For us to be spending as much time and effort as we are, I have to say it is a fairly credible tip."

Despite the deliberate nature of the search for Lori Hacking, investigators say the case is moving forward.

"They feel comfortable with what they are doing and the direction [the case] is heading," Eslinger said.

The case is being handled by the homicide squad along with a few detectives from other units. Eslinger said these detectives are focused on building a meticulous case, not a quick outcome.

Maj. Stu Smith from the state crime laboratory lauded police for their thorough work in handling evidence and for involving forensic experts from the beginning. A good portion of that evidence was collected in the search of the apartment, which started July 19.

Mark Hacking called police that morning to say his wife never returned from a run up City Creek Canyon. Police now say they have no evidence that Lori Hacking, 27 years old and five weeks pregnant at the time, was ever at the canyon.

Investigators started to focus on Mark as they uncovered a series of deceptions. That propensity to lie was underscored in a videotape aired Friday by "Inside Edition," in which Hacking spoke to a documentary filmmaker from California two days before Lori disappeared. The footage was intended for use in a film about nurses.

First Hacking plays the "Addams Family" theme by making squeaking noises with his palms, then he talks about his college education.

"I started off in social work. No, I lied. I started in sociology," he says. "I finished my degree in psychology and yes, I do love it. And now I am moving on."

But Mark Hacking never graduated from the University of Utah. He dropped out in 2002.

He also told family and friends that he was accepted to a medical school, also a lie. He lied to his wife about the reason he was sent home early from his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Canada. And he told police he searched City Creek Canyon the morning of July 19, when he actually was at a South Salt Lake furniture store purchasing a mattress.

The families of Mark and Lori have stopped making public comments, but on Friday they observed a day of prayer and fasting.

They say they are planning aerial and all-terrain searches for Lori in areas where a foot search would be dangerous. Those searches, organized with police, have not yet started.

Anyone interested in assisting in the search can find information on the family's Web site, www.findlori.com.

Deseret Morning News: Certain cases grab more attention

Race and class can affect coverage, media experts say

OREM—A day after Lori Hacking was reported missing, another Orem girl disappeared.

While Hacking's story garnered national media attention and an outpouring of community support, the disappearance of Felicia Young, 19, barely registered a blip on the public-awareness radar screen.

On Thursday, Young's absence was reported in a newspaper for the first time. Her family complained that despite their best efforts they could not enlist the help of neighbors or news reporters to help find her.

Wednesday afternoon, perhaps because of the news article, Young called her mother to report she was fine and didn't want to be found.

To be sure, the disappearances of Hacking, who is from Orem, and Young are two very different stories—police suspected from the beginning that Young had vanished of her own accord—but they raise an important question: Why do some missing persons cases draw more attention than others?

"We put the same information out on every missing persons case," said Springville Police Lt. Dave Caron. "Why the press picks up some cases and not others, well, that's something to ask the press."

When Elizabeth Smart disappeared from her Salt Lake City home, some news analysts, such as the Poynter Institute's Bob Steele, wondered if her case was receiving too much attention. After all, there are some 2,000 reported cases of missing children per day, according to the National Crime Information Center. Why was her plight more important than that of Alexis Patterson, a 7-year-old Milwaukee girl who disappeared a month before on her way to school?

"Some suggest that race is a key factor. Smart is white. Patterson is black," wrote Steele, the institute's Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values. "I do believe that race, as well as class differences, can factor into how journalists cover the stories of missing children. But the issue is much more complex than that."

"There are a number of reasons why news organizations choose to cover some missing children and not others, and why they devote more attention to some cases."

Steele said much of the media attention a story generates depends on how it breaks. If there is an emotional plea from the family to help find the missing person, as there was in the Hacking case, it is much more likely the public and the media will pay attention. In the Young case, her family didn't report her missing for days because of her history of vanishing for days at a time.

Some police officers are more forthcoming than others, Steele said, which also affects media coverage. The same goes for the families of missing persons—some are media savvy, while others are not.

And some recognize the importance of media attention but do not know how to go about getting it or lack the connections to do so.

"In the end, journalists make decisions on what stories are more interesting," Steele said. "If the story has an edge to it, if there are unusual or sensational details, it's more likely to be covered. I think the Hacking story would have (been a big story) anywhere."

Karen Mayne, spokeswoman for the Provo Police Department, said in her experience the media are helpful in finding a missing person even when the story isn't gripping. A few years back an elderly man wandered away from a Provo rest home and the media aired his story, Mayne said. As with many missing persons cases, the man eventually turned up dead.

Initially in a missing persons case, media attention is helpful, said Springville's Caron, but over time the scrutiny can become burdensome. Caron said he does sense a bias in the types of stories the media choose to cover.

"It's sad, and I hate to say this, but if you have a really cute kid, it's going to get more attention than a kid who looks like his mother is a troll and his dad is a gargantuan with a third arm," he said. "If a black woman in Chicago turned up missing, it's not going to make the news, unless there is something spectacular about the case."

The story goes on to talk about how such things as the way the story breaks (pleas from the family or information from police?), how forthcoming the police are, and even the missing person's own history (has the person been gone for days at a time before?) can affect the way a disappearance is covered by the press.

Orem is about 43 miles from my house, and this story was the first I'd heard about Felicia Young.

It's sad race and class are ever factors in coverage of any news story. I was distressed when I remembered one of my first reactions to Lori Hacking's disappearance—before I knew anything about her background, I thought:

This is just like the Elizabeth Smart case. It's made the news because the missing person is a white female.

The descriptive information at FindLori.com lists Hacking's complexion as "dark," and she looks Hispanic to me. Or is that Latino? I don't know which word to use anymore, and I certainly don't want to offend anyone. But my point is simply that when I saw the photos on the "missing" posters and on the various news stories, my first thought was that she was white, and that's why the story was being covered.

And I'm ashamed by that.

Salt Lake Tribune: Hopes dim for happy ending

Lori Hacking's family 'strong and united' despite fears of the worst

Article last updated: 07/28/2004 11:01:36 AM
Eight days after Lori Hacking was reported missing, her family is holding out hope.

But they also understand this harsh reality: Long-missing women do not often come back alive.

No one knows that better than police detectives, which explains why their actions have more closely resembled an investigation of a homicide, rather than an abduction, as was the general assumption when Hacking first disappeared.

Among the clues suggesting police are intent on finding a body and solving a murder:
  • Police support the family's decision to limit searches of the area in which Mark Hacking, the primary "person of interest" in the case, claims his wife went missing on July 19.
  • The only place police are searching, with cadaver dogs, is a Salt Lake County landfill.
  • The homicide squad is leading the investigation and has not requested the assistance of the FBI, which usually aids in abduction cases.
  • A judge has signed a secret subpoena and approved a search warrant in the case.
  • A knife gathered during the investigation has been sent to the crime lab for analysis.
"It is Day Eight. We know what that means," family spokesman Scott Dunaway said. "We know what the statistics are about that."

The dogs returned to the landfill late Tuesday in an effort to finish searching a quadrant where police believe they may find evidence.

Detective Dwayne Baird said the search was prompted by a credible tip received last week. He said police were not actively looking in any other area of the valley, but continued to comb through a "couple hundred leads."

Investigators and cadaver dogs already have been over the area once, several days after Lori Hacking's disappearance. By that time, the landfill plot already had been covered by approximately 15 feet of topsoil.

In spotlights set up to aid the effort, a backhoe could be seen moving rubbish and dirt. Though numerous officers were at the scene, Baird downplayed the significance of the lead.

"We have to look at everything we get," he said. "We can't ignore these things." Homicide Detective Kelly Kent, the lead investigator, said her team includes more than 10 other detectives, some outside of the homicide squad. Homicide detectives don't normally handle missing persons cases, but Baird said depending on the evidence, such cases may be assigned to different units.

Among the evidence police are evaluating is Mark Hacking's claims that he was searching City Creek Canyon for his wife, while he was actually buying a mattress at a South Salt Lake furniture store. Police on July 19 asked permission to remove a mattress from a Dumpster behind a church near the Hackings' apartment.

Police are also are investigating Mark Hacking's lies involving his past and future educational pursuits, a series of deceptions his wife may have discovered three days before she disappeared, according to co-workers.

Mark Hacking said his wife, who was five weeks pregnant, went for a jog in the canyon about 5:15 a.m. on July 19. Her car was later discovered at the entrance to the canyon, but police now say they have no evidence she was ever there on that morning.

Salt Lake City investigators have turned down offers of help from the FBI, West Valley City and the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, and have even limited information about the case provided to officers involved in the search.

In other developments Tuesday:
  • The family placed the search on hold, worried that remaining search areas are too rugged and treacherous for people on foot.
  • The family will place a link on their Web site (http://www.findlori.com) where those with all-terrain vehicles, planes and other possible search equipment can volunteer to help in what they are calling "the next phase of the search efforts."
  • Police asked the public to stop reporting found mattresses, saying they already had what they needed.
  • The family will dismantle the search center today and have not scheduled any future news conferences. Dunaway said the family will hold news conferences only when they have new information to impart.
  • Relatives emptied the Hackings' apartment, allowing new residents to move in. The Hackings' possessions will be kept in storage.
Dunaway characterized the family as strong and united, a statement further evidenced by the actions of Hareld Soares and Janet Hacking, who were holding hands during Tuesday's news conference.

"This is an amazingly courageous family," Dunaway said. "I am confident they will be able to endure any trial they have to."

FOXNews.com: Cops: 'Rage Killing' in Hacking Home

Police believe that a "rage killing" took place inside Lori and Mark Hacking's apartment hours before Lori was reported missing, FOX News has confirmed.

Authorities also said they believe Lori Hacking (search) was attacked and killed inside the apartment.

Police confirmed that a bloody knife with strands of brown hair on it was among the numerous pieces of evidence they removed from the couple's apartment.

There were also unconfirmed reports that authorities were testing a clump of brown hair found in a trash bin just a block or two from the store where Mark Hacking purchased a mattress minutes before he called police about his wife's disappearance.

There were additional rumors that authorities, using blood-detection techniques, found a significant amount of blood inside the Hackings' home.

Detective Dwayne Baird wouldn't confirm the reports about the evidence, but didn't deny them either.

This story appeared on FOXNews.com between reloads about 20 minutes apart. Exactly where I figured the case was headed, but still disappointing to see it actually turn out that way.

Salt Lake Tribune: Update: Hacking family calls off search volunteers

Article last updated: 07/27/2004 12:34:57 PM
SALT LAKE CITY—The search by volunteers looking for missing jogger Lori Hacking was temporarily called off today, but will resume later with specialized teams, a family spokesman said.

Scott Dunaway said the decision was not related to any change in the direction of the police investigation into Hacking's disappearance. Hacking, 27, has been missing since July 19, when her husband Mark Hacking reported she had not returned from a morning jog in City Creek Canyon.

Lori Hacking, a Wells Fargo employee who was five weeks pregnant, is now feared dead, and her husband has become the focus of the police investigation. Hundreds of Utahns have volunteers to help search for her in the week since she vanished.

Dunaway said this morning the length of time Lori Hacking has been missing has dampened the family's hopes of finding her alive. "They understand the reality of eight days," he said.

Meanwhile, police returned with night lights and cadaver dogs Monday night to search the Salt Lake County landfill, which already had been searched before.

At the time of Lori's disappearance, the couple were packing to move to North Carolina. But after she vanished, police and family members learned that besides lying about being accepted to medical school, Mark Hacking had not even graduated from college. Mark Hacking, a 28-year-old nightshift hospital orderly, has been at a psychiatric hospital since police found him running around naked in sandals the night after the search for his wife began. Police refused to say whether he was being held involuntarily.

His family has hired defense attorney D. Gilbert Athay, who said Monday he has spoken to Hacking many times since being hired Thursday. He refused to characterize the conversations.

Three days before she disappeared, Lori Hacking may have uncovered her husband's deceptions.

She received a phone call at her work, started crying and went home early, said a colleague at Wells Fargo Institutional Brokerage and Sales.

"I could hear her say things such as, 'But he's already been accepted. He's already applied. This can't be correct,' said Darren Openshaw, a Wells Fargo employee who overheard the phone call about 2:15 p.m. on July 16.

Openshaw said he believes the caller was from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Lori Hacking update: Tue 07/27/04 morning

Three stories—one CNN.com link and one from each of the Salt Lake-area morning newspapers—discuss Lori Hacking's co-workers' recounting details of a phone call Lori received at work Fri 07/16. Co-workers who overheard the call believe it may have been from the University of North Carolina, where Mark Hacking said he'd been accepted to medical but in fact had never applied. Lori Hacking had been trying to arrange for on-campus housing through the school and was upset when they told her Mark Hacking wasn't enrolled there and in fact had never applied. Upset by the call, Lori left work early that day.

Lori Hacking update: Mon 07/26/04 evening

Two items tonight.

First, The Salt Lake Tribune now offers a special section on the case: Missing: The Search for Lori Hacking.

Second, CNN.com's story discussing the hiring of an attorney to represent Mark Hacking: Attorney hired for husband of missing woman

Police call Mark Hacking 'person of interest' in case

Paul and Valeria Soares, Lori Hacking's brother and sister-in-law
Paul and Valeria Soares, Lori Hacking's brother and sister-in-law, comfort one another during a candlelight vigil Sunday
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN)—The family of a man whose wife has been missing since last week said Monday that an attorney has been hired to represent him.

Salt Lake City attorney Gilbert Athay will represent Mark Hacking, who has been hospitalized in a psychiatric ward since shortly after his wife disappeared.

Athay told CNN by phone that he had been retained by the Hackings on Thursday and has been visiting his client daily at the hospital.

Meanwhile, the search continued for Lori Hacking, who last contacted her mother in an e-mail message sent July 14 or 15. Dunaway said at a news conference that Lori asked her mother to take care of the couple's cat as they prepared to move to North Carolina.

Mark Hacking told police his wife never returned from an early morning jog July 20. Her car was found near the park where she often ran, and a witness reported seeing a woman fitting Lori's description stretching that morning in the same area.

Mark Hacking told police the couple recently found out Lori was pregnant, but Thelma Soares, Lori's mother, said her daughter had not told her the news.

Although authorities have not called Mark Hacking a suspect, they have labeled him a "person of interest" in his 27-year-old wife's disappearance.

Monday, two police technicians and a detective searched an empty trash container outside the hospital where Mark Hacking is a patient.

Police said Sunday that an arrest warrant could be issued in the case if forensic test results expected in the next few days confirm investigators' suspicions.

Saturday, police investigated the discovery of a clump of brown hair in a trash container near the store where Hacking, 28, is reported to have bought a mattress before reporting his wife's disappearance. A detective told CNN that someone called police and reported finding the hair at a car wash less than a block from the store.

Lori Hacking has brown hair.

Suspicion mounted against Mark Hacking when his family revealed Wednesday that he had lied about graduating from the University of Utah and being accepted at three medical schools in other states. He was checked into a psychiatric hospital Monday night.

Police last questioned him Wednesday but haven't since because they don't feel they're getting good information from him.

"As far as his telling us the truth, I think everybody has a question about his telling us the truth," said Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird.

"To go back and re-question him about the same issues when we don't feel that he's been truthful the first time, I'm not certain that that would do us any good," he told reporters Monday.

Police said last week they had learned that Mark telephoned friends around 10 a.m. Monday to say his wife was missing and, about 50 minutes later, telephoned police. During the interim, he bought a queen-size mattress, without a box spring.

On Thursday, police confiscated a box spring from the couple's apartment. Authorities also impounded Mark Hacking's car and searched the couple's apartment, and a trash container was removed.

Thousands of volunteers have searched the park where Lori's car was found and the neighborhood in which the couple lived.

Early-morning randomness

Børn Footwear: CLASSIC: Blast
Børn Footwear: CLASSIC: Blast
New shoes today.... Børn rules.

At 09:30 I’ll be meeting with an academic advisor at the University of Utah to hammer out my school life for the foreseeable future.

I set my alarm for 08:30 to be sure I’d have plenty of time to shower, dress, drive to the U (it’s maybe 10 min. away, including finding parking and wandering around campus until I find the right building). So of course I snapped awake promptly at 05:49, for crying out loud.

On the plus side, no bad news about Lori Hacking—but then, no news of any kind yet either, and still no sign of her. No summaries of these stories today, links only:

And finally, a spot of good—nay, INCREDIBLE—news:

Astounding accomplishment after surviving testicular cancer in the 1990s. Bravo!

CNN.com: Family of missing mom-to-be clings to hope

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP)—The family of a missing pregnant woman said Sunday they were clinging to diminishing hopes of finding her alive, and appointed a spokesman after a week of nearly constant media coverage.

"We are all exhausted and we feel we need to concentrate our efforts and our energies on finding Lori," said Thelma Soares, Lori Hacking's mother.

The family had been holding as many as two news conferences a day since the 27-year-old woman was reported missing a week ago. But they have been more reluctant to face reporters since questions arose about the credibility of Hacking's husband, Mark.

Scott Dunaway, a leader in Soares' church and the family's new spokesman, said they had learned little as far as new developments in the investigation.

A clump of brown hair was found Saturday in a trash bin at a gas station less than a block from the store where Mark Hacking bought a mattress before reporting his wife missing last Monday. But police say they don't know whether the hair was Lori's.

Detective Dwayne Baird, a police spokesman, wouldn't confirm or deny a Desert Morning News report, citing unnamed sources, that a bloody knife with strands of hair was among items taken from the Hackings' apartment.

"We took a lot of things out of that apartment," Baird said. He said police were still waiting on test results from a search of the apartment and surrounding area.

Baird said Mark Hacking, 28, was still a "person of interest" in the case, but he would not elaborate.

Mark Hacking reported his wife missing just days before they were to move to North Carolina, where he had said he was going to attend medical school. But he had lied to his wife and family—he had not been accepted to any medical school and never even graduated from college.

He also had initially said his wife did not wake him up after coming home from an early morning jog, as usual, and never showed up to work. But police confirmed Friday that Mark Hacking was at a furniture store buying a new mattress just before reporting to police that Lori was missing.

He has been under psychiatric care since police found him Tuesday running naked around a motel not far from his home.

Lori Hacking's family and her in-laws have said they want to keep the focus on finding Lori, not Mark's inconsistent statements.

"We continue to entertain all possibilities and we are prepared for whatever the outcome may be," Douglas Hacking, Mark's father, said in a written statement given to The Associated Press. "We would like to think Mark had no part in it. Our love for him has not changed and our ultimate goal is still to bring Lori home."

Lori Hacking update: Sat 07/24/04

Only one story worth quoting this morning; it covers the content of most other news sources' stories very well.

Deseret Morning News: 'Never clear' about jogger

S.L. woman not certain she saw Lori on Monday

The woman who said she saw Lori Hacking outside Memory Grove early Monday now says she is not certain that was the case.

Joan Mullaney says she saw a woman running toward the park gate, not one stretching next to a car, as early reports said. The woman was fit and was wearing a red sports bra and a gray T-shirt and had a long brown ponytail. But Mullaney said she never saw the woman's face.

"It was never a sure thing," Mullaney said Friday, explaining that she noticed the woman about 5:45 a.m. when picking up a newspaper from her front porch. "I was never clear that it really was her. I just said it could be. I really wish I could be clearer."

Mullaney's Canyon Road home is three doors south of the entrance to Memory Grove park where Hacking, 27, allegedly went missing during a sunrise jog. Repeated searches of the area by police and volunteers haven't located the young woman, whose husband reported her missing at 10:49 a.m. that day.

Salt Lake City police detective Dwayne Baird said he would not speculate as to whether Mullaney actually saw Lori Hacking, or some other jogger, entering the canyon. Nor would he say that Mullaney was recanting an earlier statement.

"The woman who was the witness in the Memory Grove area indicated she saw a woman that morning who matched the description fairly closely to the woman we were looking for," Baird said. "However, she realized it was early in the morning, not much sunlight, and she wasn't certain that it was (Lori) because she didn't know who she was."

Witnesses statements, Baird added, are "just part of the investigative process, and we have to look at all aspects."

Mullaney's neighbor, Nancy Becker, saw Lori Hacking's gray car parked under a tree in front of her home, but she said she never saw the young woman. She did see Mark Hacking, Lori's husband, run out of the grove and join several friends who were knocking on residents' doors asking if anyone had seen Lori or anything unusual.

"He was very distraught, he was saying, 'I should have been with her,'" Becker said. "He was crying."

Possible evidence
But Becker and others are now wondering about Mark Hacking's tears. In the days since his pregnant wife disappeared without a trace, Hacking has been admitted to a psychiatric unit at the University Hospital, and it was discovered he had lied about plans to begin medical school in North Carolina this fall.

Other questions have focused on Hacking's purchase of a new mattress Monday morning and a late-night "disturbance" during which Hacking was found by police near-naked on the grounds of a local motel.

"It really makes you wonder," Becker said. "Something about the timetable doesn't add up."

On Friday, crime lab technicians added some possible new pieces to the evidence being collected in the case. They took pictures and swabs of liquid from the inside of a trash can at a house across the street from the Hackings' apartment building. Monday night, the plastic green can was found lined with a pungent brown liquid and maggots, resident Devan Hite said.

"It was definitely a protein-rich substance, it was very pungent . . . ," said Hite, adding that stains and residue from the liquid in the can made it appear as if something had been poured from the can. "It's just awfully curious. We eat very little meat, we eat chicken, and what we do eat wouldn't leave that much liquid."

Hite said he put the garbage can out late Sunday night in preparation for Monday morning collection. His family, he said, questioned what might have been in there and how it got there. Then, on Thursday, Hite concluded that the can might contain a clue for police.

After about an hour at the Hite home Friday, technicians removed residue and left, he said.

"They were a little disappointed, I think," he said. "I actually tried to clean it with (bleach), so they didn't have as much to look at."

Mattress purchase
In their attempts to follow leads and collect evidence that might help find Lori Hacking, Salt Lake police have seized numerous items from the couple's home, including a set of box springs, computers and a Dumpster from behind their Lincoln Street (945 East) apartment. Police are also looking at the couple's financial situation in order to determine if there were problems that could have caused any serious marital discord, Baird said.

Of particular interest in the case on Friday was the mattress Mark Hacking bought 26 minutes before calling police to report Lori's disappearance. Hacking's credit card was cleared for the purchase at 10:23 a.m.

Chad Downs, owner of Bradley's Sleep Etc., 2255 S. 300 West, said he didn't notice anything unusual about Hacking's behavior during the purchase. Downs said he helped tie the mattress to the top of Hacking's car before the 28-year-old left the store.

Within 30 minutes of leaving the store, Hacking was reportedly jogging the trails of Memory Grove looking for his wife, who failed to show up for work Monday at 7 a.m. The route was three miles up and three miles back.

Family support
But even as police call Mark Hacking a "person of interest" in the investigation and as questions and contradictions mount, the families of both Mark and Lori Hacking publicly displayed support for him Friday.

Douglas Hacking, Mark's father, said he visited his son at the hospital, looked him directly in the eye, and asked him if he had anything to do with Lori's disappearance.

"He looked me in the eye and said, 'No,'" Douglas Hacking said.

Nevertheless, many unanswered questions about Mark Hacking's behavior and apparent lies to his family over the past two years hung over the family Friday.

Until Tuesday, Hacking's family thought Mark had graduated in May from the University of Utah with a degree in psychology and had been admitted to medical school in North Carolina. In reality, Hacking dropped out of college in 2002 and had never even applied for medical school.

Hacking allegedly sent out invitations for his graduation but then said he was ill on graduation day.

Douglas Hacking said the events of the past week had been tough on the family.

"We didn't see it coming. We got completely blindsided by this," he said.

Hacking also said Friday that were it not for the suspicion surrounding his son, the case might not have received as much media attention as it has. But he said he was leaving questions concerning his son's behavior to police.

"The police are doing a thorough job. We wouldn't want anything less than that," he said. "We want (the investigation) done well, and we want it done right. We think the authorities are attempting to do that."

Hacking said his family has decided not to ask Mark many questions about the case. However, Douglas Hacking said questions about whether he had anything to do with Lori's disappearance and his schooling were something he wanted "straight answers" from his son. Everything else he said he would let police handle.

"We want the truth to come out, no matter what the consequences, and I think it will," he said.

Focusing on Lori
Rumors circulated that signs of dissension were starting to show between the families of Mark and Lori Hacking, but all members of the Hacking and Soares families appeared at a press conference Friday morning arm-in-arm in a show of unity. Their message seemed to be that despite what was happening with Mark Hacking the focus should still be on Lori.

"I'm sorry all of the attention that has been toward our son, Mark, has hindered our efforts to find Lori," Douglas Hacking said. "I hope everyone won't assume Mark had anything to do with her disappearance and it's fruitless to look for her. We are not going to be diverted by all the other allegations and other things of interest."

Thelma Soares, Lori's mother, offered a tearful plea to keep the focus on her daughter.

"We know where Mark is. We don't know where Lori is," she said. "We're aware of all of the rumors and speculation surrounding this case. I'm removing myself from all of that because my baby is still out there somewhere, and we need to find her."

Hacking said his son was on medication at the hospital and undergoing psychological testing.

The search received a much-needed surge Friday with more than 530 volunteers coming to an LDS meetinghouse at 142 W. 200 North to join the effort. On Thursday, the number of volunteers had dipped to less than 300 after about 1,200 earlier in the week.

Search organizers plan to pass out fliers and buttons with Lori's picture on it before this morning's Deseret Morning News Marathon and the Days of '47 Parade in downtown Salt Lake City.

People.com: Pregnant Woman Missing in Salt Lake City

In a case that is being likened to the early days of the Laci Peterson disappearance, searchers in Utah are knocking on doors and scouring canyons around Salt Lake City to find any sign of pregnant housewife Lori Hacking, who has not been seen since Monday.

Hacking, 27, who only recently learned that she was five weeks into her pregnancy, was last seen before she went for a jog. Her husband of five years, Mark Hacking, reportedly phoned police Monday after Lori failed to show up at work, the Associated Press reports.

He said he later found her Chrysler Sebring parked near the entrance to the park at which she ran.

On Wednesday, however, Lori's husband's relatives were stunned to learn the extent to which Mark had lied about his past and future. In particular he appears to have fabricated his educational record, after he had reportedly told the family that he was accepted to medical school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Lori Hacking was said to have been making plans for the move to Chapel Hill next week. But Mark Hacking never applied there, reports now say.

In addition, the University of Utah says it has no record of Hacking having graduated from that school, despite his claims to the contrary.

"I have no explanation for this new development," his father, Douglas Hacking, tells the Salt Lake City Tribune. "I just can't understand that. It still doesn't answer the question of what happened to Lori."

The Tribune says Mark Hacking has been absent from the search all week and, as of Wednesday, was unavailable for comment, though police are aware of his whereabouts. Douglas Hacking said Tuesday that his son was "in a safe place, being given supportive care by family."

Salt Lake City Police were careful to point out to news sources that no links should be drawn between Hacking's purported misrepresentation of his academic status and any suspicions of foul play.

On Thursday morning's Today show, Lori's mother, Thelma Soares, said from Salt Lake City that she would like to know what, if anything, Mark knows about her daughter's disappearance. In the meantime, she said, she thanked Mark for allowing "the beautiful, sweet face of my daughter" to be shown across the country on TV, and asked anyone who might have an idea as to where Lori might be to please alert authorities.

People.com is a subscription-based site—access is limited to magazine subscribers, AOL users, and anyone who's bought this week's issue at the newsstand.

Lori Hacking stories for Thu 07/22/04

Links to today's news on the disappearance of Lori Hacking, the pregnant jogger last seen Monday morning as she left for her daily run.

There's now a web site, Find Lori, with news, details of each day's search, and links to electronic versions of the fliers posted around the city. I've included the JPEG version of the poster below the fold on this entry (click the "Turn the page" link to view it).

See also my previous posts:

  • Tue 07/20/04 18:07: Summary of a CNN.com story and my comments about seeing no unusual activity when I was naer City Creek Canyon that afternoon

  • Wed 07/21/04 21:31: Stories from CNN.com and The Salt Lake Tribune discuss the holes appearing in Mark Hacking's stories (no medical school enrollment, didn't actually graduate from the University of Utah, etc.)

Continue reading "Lori Hacking stories for Thu 07/22/04" »