A Utah man who in January murdered his wife, the pair’s five children and his mother-in-law before killing himself left behind a strange suicide note. Followers of such cases will not be surprised to learn that in his note, which was released Saturday, he cast himself as the victim.
“This is nonsense and I can’t handle it for one more day. We will not be a burden on society. I kept asking for help and you wouldn’t listen,” Haight allegedly wrote. “I would rather rot in hell than to put up with another day of this manipulation and control over me.”
It is unclear if Haight regarded his children as victims, too. Or if he regarded them at all.
Tausha Haight filed for divorce December 21, 2022. Police had warned her in 2020 that upon doing so she would be “at a higher risk for abuse or harm” and encouraged her to make a safety plan.
The Deseret News obtained nearly 50 pages of records from the Utah Division of Child and Family Services after a public records request that was originally denied. They “detail several years of investigations and interactions with the Haight family.”
A review of the reports from various media sources creates the impression that the incidents were of the nature that are difficult to objectively establish — no broken bones, no stitches, no witnesses . . . just one frightened family.
Tausha asked caseworkers not to interview her husband until she had filed for divorce.
Because the weapon Michael Haight chose to use to murder his family was a gun, it should come as little surprise that guns became a topic of discussion in this case.
Guns did not enter the conversation in the usual way, however, but rather due to the words of Tausha’s sister-in-law Jennie Earl — and because a gun control activist then came down on the grieving family of the victim for speaking out.
Jennie and “the Earl family” reported that Michael had removed all of the guns from the home days before the murder, leaving the family “vulnerable.”
Then, after the guns were removed from the house, Haight Google-searched, “Can you hear a gunshot in a house?” and “Can neighbors hear gunshots?” Five days later, the entire family was found dead.
If either Tausha Haight or Gail Earl had a chance to defend their family, they would have been able to use the guns, Jennie Earl reportedly said.
“They could have because they had the skills to do it,” she said.
The Earl family revealed some of this information in a statement, also calling on the media and public to refrain from using the shooting for any “advocacy of political agendas.”
This appears to be what incurred the ire of anti-gun activist Shannon Watts, who is the founder of Moms Demand Action: “And if that’s not gross enough, the wife’s family put out a statement supporting… guns.” Watts also had taken aim at a highly bizarre obituary of the killer, which contained no mention of the killings but fawned at length over the killer.
To those familiar with the profile for domestic abuse, this case showed many, if not all, of its hallmarks, right down to the killer threatening suicide and to “make your life a living hell” if Tausha went through with divorce. And while informal claims would not work in a court of law, unverified testaments like this one from a friend of the family can help us understand some of what was occurring here:
“He was a two-faced abusive monster,” the Instagram post reads.
“My brother and sis-in-law were good friends with them for years. My brother said he was controlling, manipulative, and mentally abusive for years but no one knew how bad until recently.
He would demand she have dinner on the table ready when he got home. No one ate until he took the first bite.
If she was preparing dinner and he would call and say he wanted something else, she had to start over.
Once he was late coming home so she let the kids start eating. When he got home and saw them eating without him, he threw all the food on the floor and made her start dinner all over again.”
Tausha reportedly had a meeting with a women’s crisis center the day before she and her children and mother were murdered.
The other actual victims were 78-year-old Gail Earl, 4-year-old Gavin, 7-year-old twins Sienna and Ammon, 12-year-old Brilee and 17-year-old Macie.
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