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Dateline NBC

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 Podcast: Dateline NBC

Secrets in Pleasant Grove

Generated by reNotes: In this episode of the podcast, we learn about the murder of Michelle McNeil by her husband, Martin MacNeill. Her sisters, Linda and Jannard, discover his secrets after Hackett into his phone and uncovering a mistress named Gypsy. They believe that he killed her in order to be with Gypsy and take her to court.

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Show notes (unedited)

This is a story about a beauty queen named Michelle McNeil who was murdered by her husband, Martin MacNeill. Her sisters, Linda and Jannard, discover his secrets after Hackett into his phone and uncovering a mistress named gypsy. They believe that he killed her in order to be with gypsy and take her to court.

Michelle McNeil had a facelift at the age of 50. Her daughter Alexis was with her for the surgery and stayed for a week to help her recover. On April 11, eight days after the surgery, Michelle died.

Martin MacNeill's wife, Michelle, died unexpectedly after having a facelift. Martin told police that she may have taken too much pain medication and fell asleep in the bathtub, but her daughter Alexis had some doubts about his story. She recalled that her mother's doctor had prescribed a lot of medication after the surgery, and that Martin had asked him to prescribe additional medication to Alexis. After Michelle's death, Alexis asked Martin about the bills for the medication, but he said that the police must have taken them. She later found out that he had actually asked her brother and his girlfriend to flush the medication down the toilet and throw the bottles away.

Alexis and Rachel were struggling with the fact that their father was hiding something very bad.

Martin McNeil's daughters, Rachel and Alexis, discover that their father had been having an affair with a woman named Gillian Willis before their mother's death. They expand their investigation and discover that he had been involved with several other women. They take their information to the authorities, who launch an investigation.

Martin MacNeill's daughters were certain that their father killed their mother, but there was no hard evidence to prove it. Two years after their mother's death, Martin and his mistress were arrested for a secret crime.

Two detectives in Utah investigate the fraud case of Martin MacNeill, who is accused of using his adopted daughter's social security number to wipe away his own debts. They eventually discover that he and his wife also staged a meeting at a temple in order to get rid of his first wife. However, the medical examiner refuses to change the manner of death from natural to undetermined, and MacNeill is released from prison.

Martin MacNeill, a doctor, is charged with murder after his wife dies under mysterious circumstances. His daughter believes he drugged and drowned her mother. In court, his mistress turns witness against him.

Prosecutors in the murder trial of Martin MacNeill allege that he drugged and drowned his wife Michelle in order to pursue a relationship with his mistress, gypsy Willis. They say that Martin was callous even on the day of Michelle's funeral, and that his behavior during and after the 911 call was suspicious. The autopsy said that heart disease was the cause of death, not murder, but prosecutors say that this case is a puzzle with many pieces.

Gypsy Blanchard took the stand in her father's murder trial, testifying as part of a plea deal. She minimised her relationship with her father, but the jury saw through her. The prosecutor then had her read love letters that Martin had written to her from prison. Gypsy said that the prosecutor was Martin's motive for murder. The jury then heard from another woman who said she had an affair with Martin before he took up with gypsy. This woman testified that Martin told her about a way to make someone have a heart attack. The jury then heard from Alexis, who had her own problems with the truth. The defense rested and the jury began deliberating.

Alexis Summers has accused her father of murdering her mother, but the prosecution's case against him is based on circumstantial evidence. The defense has suggested that Michelle McNeil's death was most likely due to heart disease, and not murder.

The documentary "Diamond Hands: The Legend of Wall Street Bats" tells the story of the game stop short squeeze and the people who took on Wall Street. It will air on MSNBC on May 15 at 10pm Eastern and will be available to stream on peacock the next day.

Description (unedited)

In this episode of the podcast, we learn about the murder of Michelle McNeil by her husband, Martin MacNeill. Her sisters, Linda and Jannard, discover his secrets after Hackett into his phone and uncovering a mistress named Gypsy. They believe that he killed her in order to be with Gypsy and take her to court.

Article (unedited)

Martin MacNeill on Trial for Murder

Martin MacNeill, a doctor, is on trial for the murder of his wife, Michelle. His daughters, Alexis and Rachel, believe that he killed her in order to be with his mistress, Gillian Willis. The prosecutor in the case alleges that MacNeill drugged and drowned his wife in order to pursue a relationship with Willis. The jury in the case is currently deliberating.

Social Posts (unedited)

Post 1
Listen to this podcast episode to find out if Martin MacNeill is guilty of murdering his wife Michelle. This close knit family was torn apart by the events of that day.
Post 2
This podcast tells the story of Michelle McNeil, a former beauty queen who was murdered at the age of 50. Her husband, Martin MacNeill, is the prime suspect in her death. However, he has always maintained his innocence. The podcast discusses the evidence against him, as well as the possible motives for his crime.
Post 3
Check out this podcast episode to hear the story of Michelle McNeil, a former beauty queen who was murdered at the age of 50. Her husband, Martin MacNeill, is the prime suspect in her death. However, he has always maintained his innocence. The podcast discusses the evidence against him, as well as the possible motives for his crime.

Original transcript used by reNotes

Podcast: Mommy Doomsday” with Keith Morrison from Dateline NBC

Episode: Secrets in Pleasant Groove

I suppose my mom a vibrant woman just ripped out of the world. Everything that we thought in our life just all shattered. He betrayed us to our very core.

They were a stunning couple, a doctor and a beauty queen. She won homecoming queen. She did modeling, but the day she was found dead in the tub in the bathtub, set a mystery in motion. My father said Rachel, come home, and he just hung up. So many secrets Loctite for so many years, uncovered by daughters turn detectives, you hack into his phone. Yeah, there was a lot of different things that came out things like a mistress named gypsy. Was she a motive for murder in a court of epic showdown, father against daughter and daughter? Why were you seeking information as to your mother's death? Because I believe my father killed her blood was the evidence on his side. The medical examiner's report listed it as a natural cause of death. Who will you believe?

I'm Lester Holt and this is Dateline. Here's Keith Morrison, with secrets in Pleasant Grove.

The story you're about to witness us all to human. Oh, what people would do to each other? And yeah, well, puzzling. There were these three women wouldn't have a story to tell without them. Two sisters and their aunt. And what they discovered of course, was might make you wonder, can you ever really see the truth in the face in the mirror? Or the face beside you in bed at night?

The story begins with a beauty queen. Or at a former beauty queen named Michelle McNeil. And she was looking at this. She was truly lovely. But this is about what happened to Michelle. The year she turned 50 The very last year of her life, though she couldn't possibly have known it.

As she contemplated the question a lot of people do as youth fades. Plastic surgery should she or shouldn't she? She answered for one reason or another? Yes, yes, I will. Before long everything that we thought in our life. This is all shattered. What happened to Michelle McNeil? What was behind them breathless play by play at a Utah courtroom, the royal family drama played out in full public view the hidden sins of

you'll see.

Here, this is a picture of their magical beginning, both beautiful Michelle and Martin MacNeill. Everybody like smart charismatic Michelle, from childhood on, said her sister Linda cloth jannard Different pageants she won homecoming queen, and she did modeling. She was an exchange student over in Switzerland, she excelled it

Martin did to in his own way, took a little while but eventually he became a doctor and then a lawyer and then a leader in his local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. But before he did any of that, back when this picture was taken, it was just unstoppable love to think like elope or something or just run off together. I got married by the justice with a piece.

They had four children eventually set up house in a place called Pleasant Grove in Utah, and loved their family life so much. They adopted for more than two kids, three of them from Ukraine. Alexis from the first set of four followed her father everywhere was his little shadow kind of idolized him. I did I wanted to follow in his footsteps in some way I became a doctor because of him. So for people on the outside looking in,

what would they see? Very happy family, a wonderful mother who doted on her children and a father who was a physician and an attorney and present a lot in their children's lives.

Rachel, the eldest, shared her father's love of books. I remember when I was little, just holding on to my father's hand and just to walk with him and his daddy's little girl and their mother Michelle. She was an amazing, beautiful person inside and out. And so it went for nearly 30 years.

because he built a career and they together raise their big family. And then here's how Martin reacted the middle age.

Around the time he turned 50 If he lost a lot of weight sorted tanning, Hello, yeah.

It was very out of the ordinary, very abnormal for him. And that's when her mother Michelle confronted that question. The one about looking younger, getting something of the past back the facelift question. She's like, ah, you know, I don't, I don't really want it. But if your dad's getting all fixed up and looking good, then maybe maybe I should What did you say to her? I said, Mom, you don't need that. You're beautiful. I mean, she was incredibly beautiful.

That decision made on April 3 2007, Michelle checked into the hospital in Bountiful, Utah. The doctors worked on her for almost nine hours long time for a facelift. Still, they proclaimed it a complete success. And the very next day she went home again, her face covered in bandages, but otherwise, apparently, in perfect health. Alexis had been with her mother for the surgery, stayed for a week to nurse her through her recovery. And now relieved, Alexis returned to her medical studies in Nevada. My mom, and my father dropped me off at the airport and I looked back my mom was doing well I smiled. And I said, I'll call you. I'll call you soon. Which she did. Ask her how she was doing. She was fine. She was getting up. She told me that. Alexis, your dad's been so sweet to me. He's just been so sweet to me. And that was the last time I talked to her.

That was April 11. Eight days after the surgery.

When I came home from work, I I checked my cell phone and saw that I had missed.

I believe it was 20 something calls and I called my father. I said Dad, what's what's happened? And he said, Rachel, come home. And they sit down. Tell me. Tell me what's happened. It's mom is she Oh, is she okay? And my father said Rachel, come home. And then he just hung up.

When we come back, what had happened to Michelle McNeil. The events of that day would launch a long running mystery has in the bathtub.

One that would rip this close knit family apart. It was horrifying.

She was just 50 years old. She lived a clean, healthy Mormon life. All she wanted was to look a little younger, a little prettier for her husband. And now Police Department for medical

medical

Dr. Martin MacNeill panic in his voice. It struggled to make the 911 operator understand

they're on their way. Is your wife breathing?

doing CPR?

How old is your wife

kind of surgery that she had.

She had a facelift. Okay, do you know how to do CPR?

Okay, do not.

Martin perform CPR on his wife until the first responders arrived. But it was too late. I called Alexis. I said, Alexis, what's happened? Something's happening with mom. And I said mom's dad. Isn't she? And Alexa said, Yes, she is.

Martin said he left the house early in the morning for work. Later in the morning he accepted an award at a safety fair. Then about 1130 He left the office to pick up six year old daughter ADA from school when they got home either rushed up the stairs to see her mother and found her in the bathtub. unresponsive. It was horrifying. I mean, this was my mom a vibrant, healthy woman who was just ripped out of the world. What happened? Michelle was a young 50 didn't drink didn't smoke. She was carrying more weight than she wanted to but the only thing really out of the ordinary was the surgery she had just had. I wasn't concerned about the health aspect of her doing the facelift. I just didn't think she needed it. So

Oh, if a complication from the surgery seemed unlikely, perhaps this theory from Martin made more sense, maybe Michelle had taken too much pain medication, and well running a bath fell headfirst into the tub. He said she was slumped over the tub, her head down into the water and her legs out of the water. But something about that didn't sound right to Alexis. For one thing. six year old Ada, who also saw her mother in the tub, had a slightly different memory. She said that she found her laying back her head by the faucet

facing up fully clothed in her jogging suit. Strange discrepancy, though, not hard to explain really given the turmoil of that day. But then Alexis also remembered how after the facelift, Michelle's doctor prescribed hydrocodone promethazine, and Ambien, but that her father asked him to also prescribe Percocet and Valium to Alexis. That seemed like too much medication. He told the plastic surgeon exactly what medication he wanted him to prescribe to her, isn't it the surgeon who usually makes those decisions? That was strange.

Stranger still was what happened after Michelle died when Alexis went looking for those bills, asked her dad about them. Where were they? He told me that oh, the police must have taken them. But I later found out that he had my brother and his girlfriend, flush them down the toilet and throw the bottles away. And his reasoning for that he told them that it made him too sad looking at her having her medication. They're very unpleasant thoughts rattled around and Alexis his head. And then there was the business of the funeral. My father was very adamant to have her funeral right away. And at the funerals that his daughters Martin talk less about his wife of nearly 30 years than he did about himself. Lord, I thought I was your boy. But I thought it was doing a good job or to get there.

as the hours passed last night, the answer came to me.

I've had such a good life.

Alexis and Rachel were appalled by that and angry. But even as they pondered what to do with their blossoming suspicion, the autopsy results were released. And the police chief Michael Smith, the results seem crystal clear. The medical examiner's report indicated that Michelle had died of myocarditis and hypertension, and it listed it as a natural cause of death. In other words, it was classic heart disease, a cause of death all too common among women Michelle's age, especially someone with high blood pressure.

The daughter suspicions it turned out were not based on any palpable facts. The drugs and Michelle system were at therapeutic level said the toxicology report. As far as the state of Utah is concerned, the matter was closed. And medical examiner in the state of Utah is the ultimate say when it comes to the cause in the manner of death. But the tension in the McNeil family worsen. Martin and Alexis disagreed over how to care for the younger children. Now that Michelle was gone, he had started saying I'm gonna get a nanny. We need a nanny. I can't take care of these kids by myself.

Coming up, Martin MacNeill hires help, nanny or not, Oh, I found the perfect nanny. And I said, Dad, what's her name? He said, Oh, it's Chilean. And I said, Dad, I know that woman. Yes, she did. And so will you. When Dateline continues.

On this week's episode of The Making space with Jota coffee podcast, Viola Davis, on overcoming all odds, you were like, in a sense running for your life. What I realized from a very early age was I was born in a world that I just didn't fit into, and finding the strength to move forward. I always define my life as or life in general as a relay race, to hear their conversation, search for making faith wherever you're listening now.

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There are many kinds of green

If Alexis and Rachel were struggling with the angry time, not angry with their mother for dying, no, it was what grew from the suspicion they felt that their father was hiding something very bad.

But still, there were practical matters to deal with such as who should care for the four younger McNeil children. Alexis returned to medical school. So Rachel, volunteer whether Father Martin insisted they find a nanny instead. Right away, he asked me, he demanded that we go to the temple to pray about having a nanny, which was very strange, because my father was not a very spiritual person at all. They're outside the temple, they were approached by a mysterious brunette. She said, Oh, I, I was at the funeral. And I'm so sorry for your loss. And my father said, Oh, I'm sorry. I know. I know. But what's your name? And she said, my name is Gillian. And my father said, Okay.

Then week after that encounter, Martin hired that friendly sympathetic woman and told his daughters, oh, I found the perfect nanny. I found someone that's going to be great. And I said, Dad, what's her name? And he said, Oh, it's Julian. I think it's Julian. The name? Julian didn't mean anything to Rachel. But Alexis, and I said, Dad, I know that woman I know mom was concerned you're having an affair with her.

An affair? Well, yes. Or at least before Michelle die. That is certainly what she suspected. so worried about it. She asked Alexis to help her find out for sure. My mom confided in me about everything, all of her feelings, her concerns. And so I took his cell phone and was able to download his password. And we did see a number that my dad had been calling quite a few times. You hacked into his phone? Yeah, we call the number and a woman answered and then hung up right away. So I paid for an online search and came up with a name. And it was a gypsy Gillian Willis? Gypsy Gillian Willis. Yeah, I mean, at first we had no idea what like, gypsy. What kind of names gypsy? I mean, we thought maybe it's a stripper. I don't know what. But anyway, my my mom with that information with the lady's name, went to my dad and confronted him. Martin denied everything, said Alexis. And then the very next day, he made a curious suggestion. My father came to my mom and told her that she needs a facelift. That is, I mean, lots of women decide they want facelift. But when their husband comes says you need one. Yeah. I mean, it was really out of the blue.

The facelift that preceded Michelle's death.

Now here was gypsy Gillian, Martin's choice for a live in nanny, someone who just happened to find. So she got the job. She moved into the house. And this was just a couple of weeks after my mom's death.

Martin's daughters were furious. They wanted to know what other secrets their father had been keeping. They expanded their investigation. My sister put a blog up and was asking anyone with any information about my father to contact her. I mean, we discovered that he had so many different affairs, there was a lot of different things that came out. With their Aunt Linda, they took all the information they had gathered on Martin, and brought it to the authorities pushing and pushing. Yeah, to get them to investigate. The local police had never investigated Michelle's death as a crime not from the very first day. And remember that coroner's report, Michelle's death was caused by heart disease. For us to be able to overcome something like a medical examiner's office that says she died of natural causes is a huge task. But the women were relentless. They met with Jeff Robinson and Doug Whitney, who worked for the county attorney. You took them seriously right off the top, the daughters Not really. Then they started to look at some of the evidence the amateur sleuths had gathered, not evidence of murder. But still, they started to challenge a lot of things that their father

who he was, what he was what he was doing, and so we thought you know what? I'd like to find out if he really is a doctor. Yes, then Martin did have a medical degree, but he fraudulently got into medical school. Absolutely faking the results of call. He obviously took somebody else's because there was a different date of entrance. There was a different date of graduation, and all of them were straight A's. That's what we need. Then they dug deeper and found that before he faked his college transcripts more

Martin was convicted of forging checks. Now to investigators. The respected doctor was looking anything but respectable. That tells me that this is not the guy that goes to church every Sunday with his family. So there are two Martin MacNeill. There's two Martin McNeil's still didn't mean murdered. His wife didn't know No. But Martin's daughters. They looked at their father's list of offenses, the fraud, the infidelity, how he encouraged their mother to have surgery and take so many drugs afterwards. And they were certain their father killed their mother. He betrayed us to our very core, I mean, everything that we thought in our life is just all shattered. It's all a sham. It really is. It's been it's been a whole Sham.

But not everyone in the family felt that way. Damien Martin's only son stuck by his father. He had a hard time after my mom died. You know, I talked to him about my concerns, and he didn't want to believe that my father was capable of killing my mom. But Alexis, his conviction was absolute. Every time she set foot in her parents home, only one thought went through her mind. Is there any killed her?

And yet, there was still no hard evidence that Martin killed Michelle. Almost two years went by Martin and gypsy still carrying on in plain sight.

But then, in January 2009, suddenly they're both arrested. Yes, yeah. But not for what people might have thought. No, no.

Coming up to lovers cook up a secret crime. He still she sells for gypsy and two sisters suffer another heartbreaking loss. He was such a wonderful guy

missile.

Martin McNeil's daughter sees their father had turned the family home into a tawdry love nest for a so called nanny, the mistress gypsy Willis. For nearly two years they had been laser focused on proving his guilt, trying to persuade the police or anyone that Martin murdered Michelle.

And sure enough, they discovered a crime. Not murder, but shocking nonetheless.

It all started when Martin sent his 16 year old adopted daughter Giselle off to Ukraine to visit her biological sister.

Giselle called my daughter's phone.

And then they started talking and Giselle started crying, told her story that she got left there abandoned basically, right. Why would he do that?

A bit more digging revealed that Martin and gypsy had cooked up a scheme and it involves taking over daughter Giselle social security number. He still she sells that data for gypsy. Yes, Gypsy, who it emerged was caught, shall we say? financially challenged. The new forged identity wiped her debts away. It also gave her a brand new name, Jillian McNeil, but the lies didn't end there. They began posing as husband and wife. Giselle is out of the picture. Martin wants to make gypsy look like his wife. Now that was low. But even worse, they use the date of my mom's funeral as their marriage date. Martin and gypsy were arrested in January 2009. Not for murder for fraud. They both pleaded guilty. Martin got four years gypsy 21 months and to avoid any more charges. Gypsy promise she testify against Martin in any future legal action. It was a victory for Alexis. But her campaign against her father had consequences. Me all by myself. Like the wedge that drove between the sisters and their Brother Damien to put a strain on your relationship. It did. Once my dad was sentenced he kind of didn't want to have anything to do with us.

And then I he killed himself.

Damien McNeil committed suicide in January 2010.

He was such a wonderful guy myself.

But the murder investigation continued picked up steam. In fact, the two investigators debrief gypsy in prison. That was a treasure trove of information that she gave us at that point. She confirmed that chance

A meeting at the temple with Rachel was a setup a ruse to get her into the house after Michelle was gone. How long had she and Martin been planning it? I said, So you staged and scripted that meeting? Yep. And when did you script it? Was it during the funeral? Was it before the death? So, no comment. The investigators went back to the prosecutor over and over urging him charge Martin was murder. But what to the prosecutors say to you, you see this medical examiner's report.

Death of natural causes? That's right. There was a new medical examiner. They showed him their report, the files, the arrest for fraud, and I said, Have you even read our reports have scanned it? I said you cannot scan this report. I said just read this much. While we're here.

And he did he goes,

Okay, I think I want to look at this deeper. After his review, the me did agree to make one small change in the manner of death from natural to undetermined. But that hardly broke the case wide open. He refused to call it a homicide. Sure, absolutely. Like Neil was just released from federal prison. So by the summer of 2012, Martin MacNeill was once again a free man, he'd served his time for fraud. We first spoke to Alexis right after her dad was released from prison. He's a free man, how does that make you feel? Very scared. And you know, you've been his chief accuser all the years. Yeah, I'm concerned. I'm not only concerned for myself and for my family. But for everyone who comes into contact with my father, because I know he's a dangerous man.

The investigators agreed. But the prosecutor wanted more something they could take to court, show me how she died. Show me how she died.

I said, I believe I know how she died, but I just can't prove it yet. And then then one little detail, jumped up and said, Look at me. The time that came to me is when we heard from the officers and the EMT guys when she threw up water. If Michelle threw up water when the EMTs did CPR, that meant Martin, the doctor hadn't done it properly, if at all, how do you know how to do CPR?

And with that all the circumstantial bits seem to line up and support the idea of a planned murder plot that began after Martin took up with gypsy his wife finally finds out concrete evidence that he's doing it.

He's trapped. What do I do? I can't lose my good name. Because I'm going to lose my job. I'm going to lose my reputation. I'm gonna lose everything else. So what? So what So what does he do? Drugs her and drowns her now, I believe.

And finally, the prosecutor agreed. And so in August 2012, Martins daughter's sat in a Utah courtroom, holding up pictures of their dead mother, as their father appeared in court on charges of first degree murder.

If she hadn't pushed if she hadn't started making those calls. This has never gone anywhere. I don't think it would have come to me. I think so would have just probably would have closed it out. As unfounded.

Now, the family drama would play out for a jury. But the outcome

at that point, it was far from certain.

Coming up, a mistress turns witness. My name is gypsy Willis. And one more secret, Mistress number two. Is it fair to say that you and Dr. McNeil begin an affair? Yes. When Dateline continues.

Making space with Hoda Combi, the inspiring podcast returns for a brand new season to stand on the edge of the cliff and jump takes a lot of guts. We are meeting people, one after the next we've made profound changes. Oh my gosh, I never thought of that. Oh, my gosh, I could apply that. In season two. I think you're gonna be blown away by the life lessons. Join Hoda copy for season two of making space. New episodes every Monday. Listen now. Hey guys, Willie Geist here reminding you to check out this Sunday sit down podcast on this week's episode I get together with the talented Sienna Miller to talk about the popular new Netflix series that has her character in the glare of public scandal, a theme with which Miller has some real world experience you can get our conversation now for for free, wherever you download your podcasts

What a strange thing it was that the day Martin MacNeill was charged with murder

Regarding his wife, his daughter's only regret was that it had taken more than five years. I think my dad really got off on seeing what he could get away with.

When the child began October 17 2013, in Provo, Utah, Martin was noticeably pale and prosecutor chat Gruner under was a little worried. It seemed like a case where you kind of got the impression. Maybe the guy was guilty, but

proving it was not going to be an easy matter. It's going to be difficult to wrap it all up early and give the jury this nice little box with a bow on top. gipsy Willis in the different prosecution told the jury that Martin drugged and drowned his wife Michelle, that he made a plan to get rid of her when he had a love affair with that woman named gypsy and that once he dispatched Michelle, he was practically gleeful. Even on the day of her funeral, the defendant was jovial, laughing and smiling, again, remarking that he was going to have to get used to the life of a bachelor. How callous so the prosecutor, but as for evidence he murdered her. Remember the autopsy said heart disease was the cause of death, not murder. This case is a puzzle with many pieces. Your wife is unconscious.

First piece they said was Martin's behavior that morning during his 911 call. Martin seemed angry. He hung up on the operator. Okay, do you know how to do CPR?

Okay, do not.

First responders had trouble finding the house. And when they finally did arrive, the police said Martin was acting so erratically. It made them nervous. I was concerned about my safety, actually. And well, Martin, the doctor was performing CPR. He was kind of yelling at her. Why did you do this? Why did you do this? And then he he struck her in the chest with one of his hands. But when the police took over, remember, she expels three to four cups of water. And what would have happened had he done CPR is that you would have already expelled that as a witness? I believe so. And remember how Martin said he found his wife head down in the tub or lake sticking up over the edge. Prosecutors showed how his account differed from that of every other witness, even his then six year old daughter ADA. This is a police interview with data recorded in 2008 Was she all the way in the bathtub or just partway in the bathtub? Please raise your right hand and take an oath. And then prosecutors called to the stand. The woman at the center of it all the woman who's so captivated Martin, the mistress. And they said the motive. My name is gypsy Willis gypsy told the jury and online relationship with Martin turn sexual. It was a very casual thing. It's just whenever we had time and it could be arranged. Okay. And it was.

Go ahead. I think we probably had sex half the time. I mean, sometimes it was just lunch. The very day after Michelle's death. Gypsy took a sexy selfie, and send it to Martin. There's one picture where it is a little bit suggestive. It's showing your buttocks. Yeah. And as we know, it wasn't long before gypsy moved into the McNeil house supposedly hired as a nanny. If I told you that others have testified that you were not much of a nanny in terms of cooking and cleaning and taking care of the children. And we're just staring goo eyed at the defendant what would be your response?

My response is that

when the adult children were home, I defer to them and went back to studying my nursing. I did actually help with the children. Though gypsy told the jury she never did Mary Martin. They didn't hear about all those fake documents with a marriage date of April 14 2007. The day Michelle was buried. And remember, gypsy had to testify as part of her plea deal. Probably didn't want to. She clearly minimized their relationship. But I think in so doing, the jury saw that. But just to be sure the prosecutor had gypsy read Love Letters Martin wrote to her from federal prison. I love you and miss you every minute. I can think of nothing but how wonderful you are. So gypsy said the prosecutor was Martin's motive for murder. That is if it was a murderer. And if it was, was she involved in light of all this information? Are you are you telling us you don't know anything more about Michelle's death? That is correct. Do you believe she had something to do? Well, as far as the actual death we have no evidence to show that she did. As far as being a

coconspirator talking about it. evidence speaks for itself.

And so gypsy star turn was over. Outside the court she said she was overwhelmed by all the attention threatening experience testifying here today. Being in court at all. I've never had more than a speeding ticket to this point. Of course, as we know, that wasn't even close to be true. And back in the courtroom, the jury was finding out that gypsy wasn't Martin's First Mistress. Is it fair to say that you and Dr. McNeil began an affair? Yes. This woman said she can do with Martin before he took up with gypsy and their pillow talk. She told the jury included what sounded like a prescription for murder. Did Martin ever describe to you a process of making someone have a heart attack? Yes. Specifically, what did he tell you? There's something you can give someone that's natural so that it's not detectable after they have a heart attack this summer is please raise your right hand and then the much anticipated showdown daughter versus father after years of digging, collecting and persuading others that her father was an evil guilty man. Alexis was about to take the stand. Yeah, why don't you just the defense was about DARS or Spencer Alexis had her own problems with the truth.

Coming up the doctor's defense, you still conclude that the manner of Michelle McNeil's death is undetermined? Yes. And the verdict? What would it be when they were coming back after 11 hours I was a little bit nervous.

Summers if you'll come forward here to the clerk's desk for six years, Alexis summers had been the strongest most persistent voice arguing that her father murdered her mother. Prosecutor jag brunette under her her testimony was huge. Under oath, Alexis told the same story. She told us why were you seeking information as to your mother's death? Because I believed my father killed her. But now that offense was going to try to prove Alexis wrong. In fact, they were going to question if there was a murder at all. And they would start by using some of the accusing daughter's own words. Remember, Alexis has claimed that her mother was feeding fine. Just before she died? Well, it turns out that wasn't what she said at her mom's funeral.

She was happy.

She wasn't feeling she was feeling a little sick. But she was feeling a little sick. That's what you said. Right? I just don't remember her saying that she was feeling a little sick. I remember her being up and getting ready for the day or you remembered it on the day of her funeral. Right? Three days later. And then the defense homed in on the state's biggest problem. Here they were prosecuting a man for murder when according to the state's own medical examiner, the cause of death was most likely heart disease. Coroner Dr. Todd gray admitted on the stand. He never classified Michelle's death as a homicide. And that even his decision to call it undetermined was made was not exactly based on science. You're met with the investigators in your office? Correct? That is correct. And they worked hard to try and persuade you to change it. They gave me an extensive and in depth presentation of what they thought proved that this was a homicide. And when prosecutors took the very unusual step of hiring an outside medical expert to try to bolster the case for Homicide, the defense showed on cross examination and preliminary was no more definitive. When you consider all of the circumstances of this case, you you still conclude that the manner of Michele McNeil's death is undetermined. Yes, thank you. And remember that water in Michelle's lungs. Defense co counsel Randy Spencer had an answer for that, too. Michelle was found in the bathtub and and it's it's very difficult to do CPR in a bathtub. So why didn't he pull her out of the tub and he couldn't, barring some god given grant of superhuman strength. Very few people would be able to lift 182 pound person out of the tub in that situation just in that moment in that scene, regardless of what else he may have done. You and his character that morning. What was the strongest evidence that he did not kill his wife? I think that the strongest evidence was likely the time of death and where Martin was not more

already, please raise your right hand and be sort of fence called witnesses who testified they saw Martin right about the time that Michelle collapsed in her bathtub. In other words, he wasn't there couldn't have killed her is strong. This is six year old ADA McNeil's kindergarten teacher, and Mr. McNeil picked her up that day. Yes. So he was there at a prop between 1130 and 1135. To pick up data. Yes. And all those competing facts, closing arguments to put them together to the prosecutors was aggressive, make no doubt. We believe he intentionally and knowingly caused the death of his wife. The evidence supports it, the motive is there stripping the means are there. And the opportunity is there. And the defense had to concede Martin was a cat and a cheat, but insisted that the prosecution hadn't even proved there was a murder, let alone that Martin committed it. I submit to you that none of the circumstances of the prosecution is submitted to you is consistent with homicide. They don't rise to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And then the jury began deliberating they huddled hour after hour late into that Friday night. Midnight came in when they were still talking. The longer the deliberations went, the more worried I got. Then after 11 hours, the signal averted to quick thought the prosecutor when they were coming back after 11 hours i i was a little bit nervous. It was one in the morning on Saturday,

having reviewed the evidence or testimony in the case by the defendant as to count one murder guilty.

At that moment, Michelle's family couldn't pay their relief. Finally, after years of fighting, they had gotten what they wanted, what they demanded. And then according to defender, Randy Spencer, Martin said something quite remarkable. This may seem strange, but he even respects what his daughters did. Not because he killed his wife, but because if they really believe that he killed his wife, he would expect them to, to advocate for her. And so he understand he told you that he did. Yeah.

Martin MacNeill received a sentence of 17 years to life. In April 2017, he committed suicide in prison, a final ending. But for Alexis, this story has always been about one person, her mother, and one thing, justice. Not going to happen unless someone's pushing it. And my mom was murdered. My mom was the center of our family. She was an amazing, beautiful person inside and out, and she deserves to not be forgotten.

That's all for now. I'm Lester Holt. Thanks for joining us.

It was a perfect storm, a global pandemic, a population pumped him stimulus and app aspiring to democratize trading every day investors stuck at home and big bets against a retail Corporation. Go beyond the headlines of the game stop short squeeze and meet the players who took on Wall Street. I'm MSNBC Stephanie rule consulting producer for the feature documentary diamond hands the legend of Wall Street bats watch Sunday May 15 at 10pm Eastern on MSNBC and streaming next day on peacock

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