Security tapes may show disposal of missing wife’s body

SALT LAKE CITY – Police are reviewing security-camera images from the psychiatric hospital where they believe Mark Hacking dumped his wife’s body, a technology executive said Wednesday.

Hacking was charged Monday with shooting his wife after an argument provoked by her discovery that he had been lying about his college education and plans to enroll at a medical school.

With help from a security-camera company, investigators are starting to review images taken by 16 motion-sensitive closed-circuit cameras at and around University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, where Mark Hacking worked as an orderly. Police seized a digital recorder as evidence.

Justin Harryman, a vice president for FutureTech Inc., said it took police three hours to review images from just one of the cameras.

“It’s hard to say if it’s him,” said Harryman, who refused to elaborate.

The body of the 27-year-old stockbroker’s assistant is believed buried under tons of trash at a county landfill, and the family Wednesday placed an obituary in both Salt Lake City daily newspapers saying she “slipped into eternity” July 19.

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The obituary mentions Mark Hacking as Lori’s “high school sweetheart.” The couple were married Aug. 7, 1999, in a Mormon temple. A memorial service is scheduled Saturday.

Hacking, 28, told his brothers he shot Lori in the head as she lay sleeping, then put the body and a missing .22-caliber firearm in separate trash bins about 2 a.m. July 19.

He disposed of a mattress in another trash bin at a neighborhood church, according to charging documents. Police recovered the mattress, but they lack a body, a murder weapon, bed sheets and the mattress pillow top, which was cut off and may have been used to wrap Lori’s body.

“Early on, we made the statement there were suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance and it appeared foul play was involved,” said Detective Phil Eslinger.

Detectives discovered Lori’s car keys and wallet in a purse at her apartment, even though her husband said she had driven her car to a city park for an early-morning jog. At the park, police found the driver’s seat and mirrors of her Chrysler sedan adjusted for a large man.

Lori Hacking, barely 115 pounds on a 5-foot-3-inch frame, couldn’t have reached the pedals or steering wheel in that seating position, charging documents state.

Another of Mark Hacking’s actions that morning raised suspicion: he was across town at a store buying a new mattress before looking for his wife.

“The police from Day One suspected Mark and have conducted their investigation as though he was the prime suspect,” said Greg Skordas, a Salt Lake defense lawyer and former chief deputy district attorney.

Authorities believe Lori Hacking was killed after confronting her husband’s serial deceptions about his college education and plans to become a doctor. The couple were packing for medical school where, she had apparently just discovered, Mark Hacking wasn’t enrolled.

Hacking made his first court appearance by video feed from a county jail Tuesday, listening as a judge recited charges of murder and obstructing justice against him.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Associated Press, USA
Aug. 11, 2004

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