NATIONAL NEWS

Utah man who killed family vented his anger in suicide note

Apr 7, 2023, 5:16 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man who f investigated for child abuse left a suicide note saying he “would rather rot in hell” than continue enduring what he called controlling behavior by his wife, investigators wrote in a report released on Friday.

The claims in the suicide note left by Michael Haight, 42, stand in stark contract to conclusions by investigators in the 57-page report that overwhelmingly portray Haight, and not his wife, as controlling and abusive. The report cites the family’s communications before the killings and interviews from community members conducted after the January tragedy.

“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,” Michael Haight, 42, wrote in the note included in the report released by the city of Enoch.

“I would rather rot in hell than to put up with another day of this manipulation and control over me,” Haight wrote.

Haight’s attorney, Matt Munson, did not immediately respond to request for comment Friday.

The report builds off documents released after the murder-suicide that detailed how Haight searched online for “gunshot in a house” in the lead-up to the shootings.

It paints a picture of Haight as a volatile husband concerned about maintaining a facade of perfection throughout the southern Utah community in which the family lived, where the majority of residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The report also details how bedding was laid over all but one of his children’s bodies in bedrooms throughout the home. Body camera footage released along with the report shows a tidy home.

Investigators also interviewed a neighbor who said she was awakened on the night before the eight bodies were discovered when she heard multiple “bangs” that she assumed were fireworks.

The report describes the circumstances leading up to the killings, which took place two weeks after Haight’s wife, Tausha Haight, filed for divorce.

People close to the Haights interviewed by investigators whose names were redacted in the report said that Michael Haight had lost his job at Allstate Insurance in nearby Cedar City, Utah and was seeking to start an independent agency.

They said, despite his wife’s wishes and pursuit of divorce, that he remained living in the family home up to the tragedy with his wife, five children and mother-in-law, who was there out of safety concerns for her daughter.

The report also details how Haight, his wife, mother-in-law and five children were found in bedrooms throughout the family home on the afternoon of Jan. 4 after a person police described as a “family friend” entered through an open door.

Police had gone to check on the Haights earlier in the afternoon after concerns about their welfare were reported, but left without reporting any signs or observations of violence.

“No one answered the door. It didn’t appear that anyone was in the home since no noise could be heard,” an Enoch Police officer wrote in a report summarizing his visit to the family home before bodies were discovered.

Tausha Haight, her mother Gail Earl and her four-year-old child were found in the couple’s first floor bedroom laying on pillows, partially covered with blankets and surrounded by blood. The other children were found in bedrooms throughout the home, all of them in their beds except for the seven-year-old on the floor and Haight, who was found lying on the floor on a sleeping bag.

The southern Utah murder-suicide is among more than 30 family mass killings that have occurred in the United States over the past two years. They’ve happened nearly every 3-1/2 weeks over the last two decades on average, according to a database compiled by USA Today, The Associated Press and Northeastern University on killings where four or more people were killed, not including the perpetrator.

National News

Associated Press

Millions in the US prepare for more sweltering heat as floodwaters inundate parts of the Midwest

Millions of Americans prepared to sweat through yet another scorching day, with the potential for rolling storms later Sunday to bring relief from the sweltering heat for at least some. Floodwaters inundated parts of the Midwest, including a town in Iowa evacuated after being submerged up to the rooftops. Across the country in California, daily […]

31 minutes ago

Associated Press

Ten people are injured in a shooting in Columbus, Ohio. Police are searching for a suspect

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say 10 people were injured, including one seriously, in a shooting in Columbus. The shooting occurred early Sunday in the Short North Arts District, local media said, quoting law enforcement. The Columbus Police Department said all the injured were males, eight adults and two youths who ranged in […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

13 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

FBI offers reward for information about deadly southern New Mexico wildfires

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities offered a reward for information about those responsible for igniting a pair of New Mexico wildfires that killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the past week. The FBI on Saturday offered up to $10,000 for information in connection with the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire […]

21 hours ago

Utah man who killed family vented his anger in suicide note