Harold Henthorn was charged with Toni Henthorn’s murder after he was unable to explain away a suspicious map found in his jeep, which had an “X” marked on it in the same place Toni fell to her death.


Henthorn, 59, was charged with pushing his second wife off a cliff, to her death, CBS Denver reported. The two had been hiking in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park during their 12th anniversary on Sept. 29, 2012. Henthorn had been able to calmly explain what had happened without incriminating himself, until new evidence was brought forth that indicated he may have planned the whole thing.

During Henthorn’s federal trial, which opened Tuesday, park Ranger Mark Faherty testified that Henthorn did not seem suspicious at first when recounting his wife’s demise. However, when investigators found a map in his Jeep Grand Cherokee with an “X” on the same spot his wife died, Henthorn became frazzled.

“He seemed at a loss for words,” Faherty said. “He hemmed and hawed before he finally gave me an explanation.”


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Henthorn denied using the map on their hike, and had no explanation for why there was an “X” marked on it.

After Toni fell, Henthorn claims to have climbed down to her and called 911. He had told the 911 operator his phone was dying and couldn’t receive directions on how to perform CPR. However, a prosecutor said Henthorn’s phone records showed that he made or received over 20 calls, and sent or received over 90 texts after calling 911. Some of the texts were to friends and family, allegedly telling some of them Toni was dead and others that she was alive.

Henthorn’s first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn, also died in a tragic accident in 1995, where she was crushed to death by a car while trying to change a tire. The incident occurred shortly after their 12th anniversary. The similarities in the two cases have led police to reopen the investigation of Sandra Lynn’s death.

“The government thinks lightning never strikes twice,” defense attorney Craig Truman told jurors during his opening arguments. “Wait to see the evidence.” Truman believes both deaths were accidents, and their similarities a mere coincidence.

“These deaths were not accidents,” assistant U.S. Attorney Suneeta Hazra said, arguing that Henthorn, the only witness to both deaths, had staged them to look like accidents. Henthorn, who earns no money himself, stood to gain a good sum of money from his wife’s life insurance policy, which totaled $4.7 million.

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