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Mark Hacking is Arrested, Charged with Murder of his Wife

Aired August 2, 2004 - 21:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight, two weeks after reporting his wife, Lori, missing, Mark Hacking is under arrest for murder. But Lori's body, even body parts still have not been found.

Tonight on the very latest on this disturbing case, Heidi Hatch, reporter for KTVX-TV on the scene in Salt Lake City.

Covering the story for CNN, Miguel Marquez.

Also in Salt Lake City, Greg Skordas (ph), former deputy district attorney for Salt Lake County and Elizabeth Smart's lawyer.

Plus in Atlanta, defense attorney, Chris Pixley.

With me here in New York, psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.

And from New Haven, world renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


GRACE: Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. I want to thank you for being with us.

Today, an arrest, the charge, aggravated murder. The defendant, Mark Hacking. The alleged victim, his wife, a 27-year-old mother-to- be, Lori Hacking.

Let's go straight out to Miguel Marquez.

Miguel, were you surprised the charges came down today, and if so, why?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was quite surprised, because on Friday, or Saturday the family had issued sort of this ambiguous statement saying that Mark Hacking had provided information which led them to call volunteers to call off -- call off the search for Mark Hacking (sic).

Police then the next day issued a sort of ambiguous statement saying that they -- this information was significant, and that they were going to resume the search in the landfill on Friday. And then today, one day later, they hyped it all up, were out here very strong, and made a huge announcement at high noon.

GRACE: Well, a complete turnaround from what we have seen at the end of last week. To Heidi Hatch.

Heidi, the police arrested him in the psychiatric department, correct?

HEIDI HATCH, KTVX-TV REPORTER: That's right. They arrested him at the university of Utah's psych ward this morning. And I think a lot of what happened is his doctors were ready to release him. And while they've been waiting and somewhat ready to arrest him for days, they hadn't, because they knew he was in the care of doctors, and it is a secure facility. But when they knew he could possibly be released today, they knew they had to arrest him now. Just that they had their eyes on him. They said they have been ready with their evidence for quite some time. They've been quietly and methodically building that up to this point. They say they were ready for that, even though it surprised the media in a lot of ways. What you heard the last couple of days it kind of seemed quiet and we didn't know what would happen next. But he is in jail tonight, in the Salt Lake County jail. And he's also under a suicide watch, they say. So they'll be watching him very carefully, also. As for the search, that will start on Wednesday. And they say that they have at least 45 feet under they have to dig. So there's a lot to work with there, and it's not going to be a day or two process. They say this could take months to find Lori's body.

GRACE: Dr. Robi Ludwig, put him on suicide watch.

Question, he's been in the psychiatric ward for two weeks. No threats of suicide, now that he's in jail, why would that provoke a suicide watch?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, we don't know that there was no threat of suicide. But what we found with intimate partner homicide sometimes when someone kills their wife or spouse, they feel guilty. And as a result of the guilt and the remorse, they are more inclined to be suicidal at times.

GRACE: Why now that he's landed in jail as opposed to last week when he was on the psych ward?

LUDWIG: He's caught now. He's in jail. He obviously has said something to family members. So the lie no longer exists. And he's more vulnerable.

GRACE: You know, Chris Pixley, very interesting that he did not tell police to call off the volunteer search. Chris, we're talking about 4,000 volunteers that had come out to try and find Lori hacking. He told a relative, do you think in some way he thought that would insulate him from that statement being used against him?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, gosh, Nancy, I don't think that any of these witnesses that we're going to see in this case and certainly not Mark Hacking are legal experts. And it's probably the last thing that he's considering right now. Obviously his counsel has to ask himself, are we going to have a competency test, first of all?

Is this man competent to stand trial?

Is he competent to hear the charges against him?

Under the circumstances, when he's been under psychiatric observation for the past week and a half, I think the question of whether or not he had the wherewithal to choose his words that wisely or to choose who he spoke to is probably outside of what he's considering. It certainly is a possibility, though. Obviously you and I know that there are an awful lot of hearsay exceptions that will likely bring in the fact that he did make statements to a family member. And if it's an admission, that certainly will come in.

GRACE: Yes. Especially since it's the defendant making a statement against his penal interests, that would definitely not be hearsay. You're right about that.

And let me go to you, Greg Skordas. According to you on Friday night you thought this was a calculated plan to somehow construct an insanity defense later on down the line. You had a lot of reasons for that. The reality is, if he told a relative something he's even in more danger than telling police. When you tell the police something, suddenly all the constitutional protections attach, not so when you're blabbing to a relative.

GREG SKORDAS, FMR. SALT LAKE COUNTY DEPUTY D.A.: Right. And certainly Miranda Rights doesn't apply. His fifth and sixth amendment rights don't apply. And those relatives have now apparently disclosed that information for police. That's the only reason that explains why the whole search was called off. The family, just said based on statements that he's made we're not looking for her in the mountains anymore. The police then focused solely and exclusively on the landfill. With respect to his mental health defense, you know, I think that's pretty much a wash at this point. I think he's got a really tough row to hoe. He's concocted this outrageous series of lies. He's lied and manipulated his family for years. This is a man who seems to be pretty calculating and pretty shrewd in what he does.

GRACE: Well, also, Greg Skordas, and you mentioned this on Friday night, we know that when he had his graduation from undergraduate, when he had really not graduated at all, malingered, he pretended to be sick at that time. He even had his family take photos of him in his cap and gown at home because he was too sick to go to graduation. So we see a little bit of a track record. But the reality is, Greg Skordas, will that ever come in to evidence?

SKORDAS: Well, what it shows is that when push comes to shove for this guy, he bails out. When it's about -- when everyone is in town about to go to his graduation he suddenly gets sick. When his wife is about to learn and disclose that he's never been admitted into medical school, never graduated from the University of Utah, there's no reason for them to move to North Carolina, he apparently acts out very, very violently toward her. GRACE: Well, you know, Dr. Henry Lee, for those people that are surprised the arrest went down today, you basically pegged it on Friday night. You said, DNA of the R-felt variety would come back in three to four days. And sure enough, given that time period, we had an arrest. What I want to know is about this search, Dr. Lee, in the land field. It's huge. It's a huge area, acres wide, 30, 40 feet deep.

How can a cadaver dog, and it's very hard to think of this beautiful young, so full of life, being searched for with a cadaver dog, but how can a cadaver dog distinguish between Lori's remains and other things that are decomposing in that landfill?

DR. HENRY LEE, PROFESSOR OF FORENSIC SCIENCE: Yes, that's a difficult job. First of all, Nancy, you're right. We talk about it. You predict three or four days. So both of us correct. And they must have some DNA result now. As far as cadaver dog, usually train, like we train the K-9 unit and body searching dog, you have a special scents. They can distinguish between a human body versus other. However, that usually is not limited to human body. Sometimes a dog, just like human, some are better than others. And that's why the search, the landfill is a four-step process. You first have to locate, try to locate a spot, isolate a spot. The next thing is sort it. Try to sort it out. What evidence we have. Those are very labor intense, basically hands-on, use the hand and the knees, and people just look at it. The third one is try to identify. Once we sort it out, those pieces of evidence have some potential value, and have some forensic people examine that. The last step is individualization is basically, if we find a piece of body, how can we prove that it's Lori or upon a piece of mattress. So cadaver dog is just the first step to locating. And just now we talk about -- also I like to make one comment about the relative. He talked to the relative, and a lot of time in law enforcement will use, that's one of the technique. Ask the relative to talk to the suspect, usually can get more information out.

GRACE: Well put, Dr. Lee, because we all know from watching the legal process, that there is no mother/son, brother/brother privilege. If you speak to someone in your family, they could be subpoenaed and forced to testify on the stand, unlike, for instance, husband/wife. So you say four-step process, locate spot, sort, on hands and knees, identify, and then individualization.

LEE: Individualization, yes.

GRACE: This is going to take some time.

LEE: Takes long time. That's why, you know, we dig a lot of landfills before in my career, and it's not a pleasant job. It's, you know, everybody work in that project probably very, very difficult, hard, and such hot weather, and have to sort it out. So over the year, we develop a lot of procedure. Like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is one of the technique we use, put the other rubbish through the belt and hand- sort it out.

GRACE: Dr. Lee, you know, the biggest remains search I've ever conducted was in a dumpster. It's nothing to compare to a landfill. But we saw the same technique you're describing after 9/11 at the World Trade Center.

LEE: Right, right, exactly.

GRACE: Very, very involved. As the detective said, this could take months.

We've got an all-star panel lined up to hash through what we know as of tonight. Today, headline, Mark Hacking arrested. The charge, not murder, but aggravated murder. And we'll explain why when we come back. Stay with us.


RICK DINSE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE CHIEF: Today, as a result of the investigation into the Lori Hacking reported disappearance on July 19 of this year, and with the pending release of Mr. Hacking from the hospital today, detectives of the Salt Lake City Police Department have arrested Mark Hacking for the murder in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Lori.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

Mark Hacking arrested today in Salt Lake City. The charge, aggravated murder. As you know, his wife, Lori Hacking, a 27-year-old mother-to-be, has been missing for nearly two weeks.

Well, 4,000 volunteers were searched to resume working, looking for Lori Hacking. But abruptly over the weekend, Lori's family called off the search. We learned today that apparently Mark Hacking had revealed substantive, they said, the police said, substantive new information that led them to think a search was no longer necessary. He was arrested this morning.

Now, I want to show you something. Just days before Mark Hacking reported to police his wife was missing, Mark Hacking talked to a documentary filmmaker about a nursing degree that he never got. Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this exclusive video obtained by "Inside Edition," you can also hear Hacking speak.

MARK HACKING: I started off in social work. No, I lied. I started in sociology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The interview was shot at a barbecue in Salt Lake City at the home of one of Mark Hacking's co-workers. What you're about to hear for the first time is Mark Hacking, in his own voice, professing his passion for the field of psychology, and apparently lying about a degree he never received.

HACKING: I finished my degree in psychology, and yes, I do love it. Now I'm moving on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators later learned Hacking dropped out of the University of Utah in 2002, before receiving any degree.


GRACE: Of course, a jury, if there is one, will never see that. It would be practically impossible to get in -- in under the rules of evidence. Dr. Robi Ludwig is with us. I am just stunned by the slip where he said, "no, I lied" in that documentary.

LUDWIG: So that means he's not a very good liar. Because very good liars never admit that they're lying. In fact, that's part of what they get off. They love convincing other people. So obviously, something in this story wasn't working for him, or wasn't presenting the image he wanted to present. You have to remember, with people who have his type of lying problem, they're always presenting a heroic image. One that makes them look good. And it also indicates a talent that they may have. So he may, in fact, have a talent in psychology. But just doesn't have the wherewithal to actually go about it through traditional channels.

GRACE: I'm just stunned that in the midst of this big, elaborate web of deception regarding his degree in getting into medical school -- of course that doesn't make him guilty of murder. A lot of people lie about their education. That he would slip up and say, "I lied." I find that very telling.

LUDWIG: Well, it is telling. And it's surprising, again. But he obviously is able to catch himself. And maybe he likes that game of catching himself and convincing other people. I mean, they are -- pathological liars are amazing storytellers. And in some ways they hold the same skills as novelists, who are...

GRACE: I thought you were about to say lawyers. Thank you. Thank you for that.

LUDWIG: But they really do. They have extraordinary verbal skills and written skills. And they, you know, they don't put it, again, into a law-abiding form, which is the problem.

GRACE: Greg Skordas is with us. He is a former deputy district attorney for Salt Lake County. Greg, why the charge of aggravated murder? What does it mean?

SKORDAS: What it means, is first of all, he hasn't been formally charged, as you know. He was arrested. He was booked into jail, and he was cited for probable cause by the police that he may have committed an aggravated murder.

But in Utah, we have a homicide statute, a murder statute that says if you intentionally take the life of another, it's murder. To make it an aggravated murder, you have to have a murder, that is an intentional taking of life, and any of 16 aggravating circumstances. And they include such things as that you're a repeat offender, that the murder was in an specially violent manner, that it was during the course of a rape, robbery or something like that.

In this case, an aggravating circumstance that would fit is if he knew, and he certainly would have, that she was expecting, and he took her life, and therefore took under our law two lives. That is an aggravating circumstance that could be charged and that would make this from a murder to an aggravated murder, and therefore it would carry the death penalty in Utah.

GRACE: And Chris Pixley, that's been quite a bone of contention in a lot of high profile cases just recently, and I'm referring obviously to the Scott Peterson case, where the death of a fetus qualifies for double or mass murder, hence seeking the death penalty. So we're looking right at the same set of facts, again, and the defendant will be looking right down the wrong end of a barrel of a death penalty case. My question to you is, how can a prosecutor, without a body, prove that pregnancy?

PIXLEY: Well, it's going to be very difficult to do that. I think Greg's right on. When I look at the statute, the only special circumstance that I think applies here without a body at this point in time is a double murder.

Obviously, if this was a particularly heinous crime, that would also qualify as an aggravated murder. But in this case, we don't have a body and we don't probably have that kind of evidence at this stage. So I think it's fair to say that the police have clear evidence that she was five weeks pregnant. We've heard that, of course, but it was news to her family.

Without the body, though, Nancy, what the prosecutors have to do is show very solid physical evidence, and they're going to have to show a crime scene.

The good news for the prosecution here at this point is, you know, within two weeks they've made an arrest. That suggests that in the short period of time that they've had to go through the home, in particular, and of course they've made statements about evidence found in the car and elsewhere. They've done testing. They've found DNA or blood. I think that's a relative certainty at that point -- at this point. And that's going to be significant when it comes time to try this case.

GRACE: Right. Miguel Marquez, what can you tell us about the prosecution or the police being able to prove she was, in fact, pregnant? That is what the aggravated circumstance is hinging upon.

MARQUEZ: Talking to police about that today, they believe that if they can get corroborating witnesses to say she told them that she was pregnant, and for all we know Mark Hacking may have told other people, or even police or family that she was pregnant, she apparently also took a home pregnancy test, which showed that she was pregnant. The one thing she didn't do apparently was go to a doctor. There's no actual medical report showing that. So it looks like... GRACE: That was my next question...

MARQUEZ: ... they do have some information.

GRACE: ... had she been to the doctor. And Heidi, very quickly before we go to break, what can you tell us about the physical evidence seized from the apartment?

HATCH: Well, the police have said time and time again they're not going to comment about anything evidentiary. But we have heard that there was a bloody knife that came out of that home. Again, they will not say definitely if that was, but we do believe from the sources that we're talking to there was. Also, we have heard from sources close to this investigation that when they were searching this house, that there were no bed sheets in the house, and the only thing you can surmise from that is that might be what he used to dispose of Lori's body if he did, indeed, kill her. And so that is also something that we're hearing, but again, police will not confirm this at this point. Only sources off the record.

GRACE: Well, you're right, Heidi. So much is not confirmed. The police are really playing this close to their vest. They do not want to affect a venue change or comment on the evidence publicly. We've seen that over and over. But to corroborate what you just said, there are a lot of sources reporting that Hacking told the relatives he had wrapped her body in the bed clothing. In other words, the sheets, and the cover for the bed. So that fits in exactly with what you're reporting tonight.

HATCH: And it's something, hopefully that the police can use also in their search of the landfill, because at this point they don't know exactly what they're searching for. They know they're looking for a body, but they don't know in what form or what she might be hidden inside.

GRACE: We'll be right back with more on the Lori Hacking case. As you know, an arrest went down today of Lori Hacking's husband, Mark Hacking. Stay with us.


HACKING: I called her about 10:00 to say hi, see how she was doing and they told me she...


HACKING: ... she never made it in this morning. And I panicked. I called the police, and I raced over here, found her car, and called the hospitals. I called the jail, on the advice of the police.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HACKING: When I'm searching, I'm not looking for somebody sitting on a rock or walking around. I know that I'm searching for someone who's hurt. And I don't know how she's hurt, in what ways, or how bad. But she's obviously -- something's wrong.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. I want to thank you for being with us. We are bringing you all the latest on the now presumed death and disappearance of 27-year-old mom-to-be Lori Hacking, out of Salt Lake City. This morning, an arrest of her husband, Mark Hacking. He was taken straight out of a psychiatric unit at the university hospital and deposited straight into the jail.

Greg Skordas, what does it mean to you that he was not put in a medical unit at the jail? Having come from the psychiatric unit?

SKORDAS: Well, what it means, first, is that he was about to be released from the psychiatric unit, and the police were not going to let him go home or be out on the street or anything like that. So the psychiatric unit had obviously determined that he was no longer a threat to himself or others. Therefore, when he's transferred to the jail, they can't make that quantum leap and say, well, yeah, we do think he is.

He's under full-time surveillance. He's under watch. That jail's a pretty tight facility. And he's not going anywhere. And I'm sure that he's solitary, that he is under guard 24 hours a day, sort of personally. But the fact that he's not in a medical unit doesn't mean anything at all.

GRACE: Dr. Henry Lee, we were talking earlier about the fact that this has been, at least at this phase, the arrest, the probable cause arrest, was for aggravated murder. Whether those formal charges under indictment follow through or not, we'll see. But for aggravated murder in this circumstance, we believe that it will be founded upon two deaths, the fetus and the mother. Dr. Lee, how much of the mom's body would we have to have in order to make a determination as to whether she was pregnant?

LEE: Well, that's going (ph) to five weeks. Very difficult to even find a body, probably very difficult to determine. So most likely they're going to use indirect evidence, through the witness' statement or his own admission.

Nancy, you just talk about, you know, so far they haven't found Lori's body. To prove a murder, of course we have to prove somebody's been killed. In my past experience with investigating a lot of cases without a body. Today, it's much easier now. If they found a significant amount of blood, in their apartment, so you can calculate a volume of the blood, or so, you know, a bloody knife with some hair on it, so that can be crucial evidence. Or so a couple of days ago, I don't know you remember or not, they said found pieces of mattress.

So, those can be important clues. Whether or not have a knife cutting, or demonstrate any instrumentation being used. Of course that's why they have to look at a body, landfill, if they found a lot of bloody soaked blanket and sheet, even though the body never recovered, that's alone can be used as a conclusive evidence.

GRACE: Right. You know, Heidi Hatch, we heard in the press release, the press conference this morning, from Detective Baird that police believe they know the murder weapon. He referred to the instrument used. That corroborates what you reported about a knife with hair on it and blood on it. They also stated today that they were convinced they knew the motive, the reason it happened, and obviously by the continued search of the landfill they know where the remains are. Now, what leads you to believe that a knife was recovered from the apartment?

HATCH: Well, I believe it's police. I don't know if they've been the ones specifically working on the case, but there are sources from the police department here who have talked to a couple of people at our news station and have told us that, again, publicly they say they won't comment on that, but we were told that was one of the pieces of evidence they picked up. They also have confirmed they believed the murder happened at her apartment building. And so they have released more information today than they have in the past.

And also, with motive, they said they wouldn't say what the motive is, although they do believe they have one. They did admit today that they believe that Lori knew about her husband's deceit, even though the family hadn't. They said that she had figured out about his life, and that could very well be the motive. They said they wouldn't say what the motive is, although they do believe they have one. They did admit today that they believe that Lori knew about her husband's deceit, even though the family hadn't. They said she had figured out about his lies and that could very well be the motive that they're planning on using.

GRACE: Miguel Marquez, we understand that she got this disturbing phone call at work last week. That a co-worker overheard her saying that's impossible. He's been admitted to medical school. We've got this all arranged. To that effect, then left home crying.

What can you tell us about that report?

MARQUEZ: Well, it's a little like Heidi said. He had this five years, police say, of lies that they started digging into in this thing that made it difficult for them to sort of figure out exactly what was truth and what was false when it came to Mark Hacking's life. So, it seemed in the final days, as they were moving forward this supposed move to North Carolina, everything began to unravel. It became -- it got to a point where the lies began to sort of betray themselves, and at some point Mark Hacking could lie no more, and he was in a corner and the truth was out there. And he had to act or react.

GRACE: Dr. Robi Ludwig, I was stunned at this recent JAMA, Journal of American Medical Association article, that said the leading cause of death for pregnant women is homicide, second cardiovascular.


GRACE: Stunned.


GRACE: Now may question is, what about pregnancy triggers this?

LUDWIG: Pregnancy -- first of all we don't know what the pregnancy means to the spouse. It can raise a lot of aggression in men. There's a fear that they will be displaced. That their wife will focus all the attention on the child. Sometimes if they're emotionally immature they don't have the wherewithal to be a father. There's financial concerns. And also, women can get very hormonal around this time. And experience themselves differently and expect different things from their husbands.

So, what many women don't know is when they find out that they're pregnant, they expect to have a very happy, joyous time. And in many cases or in some cases, as we see, it can lead to their death in violence.

GRACE: But Robi, that doesn't make sense that the man would be anxious about having all of the attention, siphoned off to a child, so he kills the woman.

That would certainly end all the attention, right?

LUDWIG: It would. But you know, again, when this happens, when marriage and murder happens, it's something that happens very impulsively and very quickly. In fact, very often the murder is through stabbing or through strangling, and there's an overkill quality about it, again, indicating the passion gone wrong in the relationship.

GRACE: Which it sounds like what we've got right here.

LUDWIG: Exactly.

GRACE: Chris Pixley, the police stated that they focused on Hacking on day one.

Could that public statement come back to haunt them in court?

PIXLEY: Absolutely. And you know, you've talked about the police holding their cards close to their vest. Greg knows very well, and can probably speak to this better than anyone, just how many lessons police in Salt Lake City have learned from the Elizabeth Smart ordeal. But it is interesting that they've come out and made as many public statements, not only to the effect that Mark Hacking was their chief suspect, but also, the evidence itself. Identifying evidence, identifying location of discovery of evidence.

It is, to me, surprising, and as much as the police may be doing a wonderful job in this investigation, certainly they've made a quick arrest and I think that's important, I'm fairly critical of police press conferences, unless they are an appeal to the public for someone to come forward who has specific information about a case, or who is needed for some specific reason. Otherwise, I think you need to let the system work. At this point, they probably are above the pale, and they may be safe. But I think that the police would do well, if their case is strong, to stop making statements now.

GRACE: If they've got a DNA match on blood, why wait?

Why wait to make an arrest if they've got firm DNA match on items taken from the home?

But we'll find out. We're still speculating on what was taken from the home, and whether they've got a DNA match. We know police have seemed very confident from the get-go. Stay with us.


KIMBERLY OSIAS (voice-over): Police quickly mobilized to search in the air and on the ground, but found no sign of Lori.

HACKING: If anybody, if you can possibly -- if you can make it, please come.

MARQUEZ: Police also say they will continue to search a two acre lot in a local landfill hoping to find the clues to solve the history of what happened to Lori Hacking.




HACKING: I finished my degree in psychology. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Now I'm moving on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators later learned, Hacking dropped out of the University of Utah in 2002, before receiving any degree.


GRACE: You are seeing sound obtained by "Inside Edition" of Mark Hacking. He generously agreed to take part in a documentary film talking about a nursing degree that he never got. You heard him detail his love for psychology, well, those words may very well come back to haunt him.

Greg Skordas is with us, a former district attorney in Salt Lake County. We've seen this just play out in the Scott Peterson case. When you yak with a reporter, or family or friends, it can all be replayed in the courtroom.

Did you see these shots of Mark Hacking?

SKORDAS: Oh, yes. They're -- they're almost disgusting in retrospect. What you say to the police officers, as you mentioned earlier, is going to be used against you. What you say to your friends. What you say to your family. I mean all these things, even if he doesn't ever come out and say I actually killed her, all these lies and the series of lies absolutely undermines his credibility and it's going to hurt him horribly if he ever gets in front of a jury.

GRACE: Heidi Hatch, one of the most powerful weapons that he had on his side was the fact that Lori's family stood squarely behind him. From the beginning, they defended him. They loved him. They took up for him. Publicly, we saw a shift. What happened, Heidi, describe.

HATCH: I think he had his family duped. And in fact, I think the media knew before the family about all of these lies. And I think that it took them by surprise and obviously with such shock. I think they were kind of turned in circles, didn't know exactly how to react. And at first there was reports that there was a rift between the family. But they've all come out and said that there's not. But you've got to think that there have got to be some kind of hard feelings, even though they're wanting to support and love each other. But just this afternoon Lori's mother made a statement after the press conference today, talking about Lori and how she wanted to grieve privately. But she also was very quick to say that her doors of her home are still open to the Hacking family, that she thinks about them. She prays for them, and that they're still a very important part of her life. And so, while I'm sure there are those feelings of animosity you can't help but have when a crime like this allegedly happens, they're still trying very hard to keep up those family relations because they know they have a long road ahead and they have a lot of years behind them. Mark and Lori have been together since high school. And so, These Families were kind of like one family. They'd spent a lot of time together. Their kids have spent a lot of time together. For all they knew, there was a great, loving relationship that they didn't know there were problems with.

GRACE: Heidi, this is a very devout community, a very heavily Mormon community. How does that play into this whole scenario? The community?

HATCH: Well, I think that it plays into a part that there's a huge -- not just with the LDS faith here, but Utah as a whole, there is a sense of volunteerism and service that we saw with the Elizabeth Smart case. Thousands and thousands of people are coming out to search. And when Mark came out appealing for that same help looking for his wife, people couldn't help but pour out their love and support and come search with him.

And I think that we'll see this time and time again, and have. I just hope that he has not ruined it for the future of Utah by calling wolf and having people come search when there was no reason to search. So I hope that it does not ruin the hearts of Utahans who have cared so much for this family and also families in the future when they need their help the most.

GRACE: Today it was announced that Mark Hacking was placed under arrest for the murder of his wife, Lori. Four thousand volunteers have been searching around the clock, along with police, to find the missing mother-to-be, a lot of broken hearts in Salt Lake City tonight. Stay with us.


DINSE: The fact that we have to go to a landfill to look for a body is not something that makes all of us comfortable. The thought that her last resting place is a landfill is not a pleasant thought, and the thought that she may have to stay there is something else that we don't like to think about. So we're putting a lot of effort. And these detectives have spent days in the middle of what looks like 3,000 tons of garbage will have to be gone through in order to make sure that we can say that we've exhausted the possibility of finding her.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. And I want to thank you for being with us. Mark Hacking is now in the county jail. He was charged in an arrest warrant, charged aggravated murder. We are taking your calls here on LARRY KING. Let's go to Topeka, Kansas. Topeka, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.

CALLER: Thank you. I was wondering, was Mark Hacking checking himself into the mental hospital, and some of his odd behavior prior to that, how it will play out in his defense?

GRACE: Ooh, that's a good question. What about it, Greg Skordas?

SKORDAS: Well, I think if in fact he did this, and in fact they find the body, and everything else comes together in this case, that's his only defense. His only defense is that he simply snapped, that he simply couldn't take it anymore.

It's not going to be a legal defense that's going to allow him to walk away from this. But it could mitigate his punishment. It could mitigate whether or not he gets the death penalty, and whether or not he spends the rest of his life in prison. So it's a significant defense, but not an absolute defense.

GRACE: And Chris Pixley, the reality is, with an insanity defense you're basically saying, I did it, but excuse me, I was crazy. So the fact of whodunit is not really an issue in an insanity trial.

PIXLEY: Yes. And for the truly mentally ill, and we've seen nothing so far to indicate that Mark Hacking is mentally ill -- for the truly mentally ill, that defense took a serious hit in 1983, when John Hinckley Jr. was acquitted. Because since that time, most states have revised the statute. And, in fact, Utah has revised it as well. Most states use, as you know, the McNaughton test and really ask whether a defendant knows that what they were doing was wrong.

GRACE: That's right, Chris. Hinckley ruined it for everybody, didn't he? PIXLEY: He did. He did it. He really did a disservice for the truly mentally ill. But it's a difficult defense to present under any set of circumstances. It's particularly difficult in Utah. McNaughton test does not apply. The question really is whether you had the requisite intent, and I again agree with Greg. If, in fact, the state puts together the evidence against him, physical evidence against him, the best it can do is ultimately mitigate it at the time of sentencing.

GRACE: Well, Chris Pixley, I think the state's strongest evidence against the insanity defense will be a pair of sandals, that because before he ran naked through that parking lot...

PIXLEY: Kept on the sandals.

GRACE: ... he thought to put on his sandals so he wouldn't scuff his feet. Ouch.

PIXLEY: Yeah, and as you pointed out, he had the wherewithal, really, to not only tell a lot of stories about his life, but also on the day of this crime, you know, to make the purchases he did, to you know -- if, in fact he's responsible, and even if he's not, quite honestly, the state is going to have a lot of evidence against him that has to do with his conduct and his consciousness of guilt.

GRACE: Right. Right. Let's go to Seymour, Connecticut. You're on LARRY KING LIVE.

CALLER: Hi. My question is, if Lori Hacking was pregnant, can Mark Hacking be tried with double murder?

GRACE: Well, as a matter of fact, we believe that that is why he's charged with aggravated murder. In Utah, back me up or correct me if I'm wrong, Greg -- in Utah, the death of a fetus qualifies as a second body. They're one of about 37, 38 states that count the death of a fetus as double murder, along with the mom, right, Greg?

SKORDAS: Yeah. And that's fairly recent law in Utah. It's always been part of the statute, but our Supreme Court ratified it fairly recently. So, yes.

GRACE: Yeah, I saw that. January 24, 2004.

SKORDAS: Right, right, right. And again, like Chris said earlier, it requires the mens rea. It would require that he actually knew or had reason to know that in fact she was pregnant and therefore taking her life would be the taking of two lives.

GRACE: You know, Dr. Robi Ludwig, how can someone so close not see all of these lies? I mean, this was an elaborate scheme of lies. A real house of cards.

LUDWIG: Well, in a way...

GRACE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in an apartment complex, of course. LUDWIG: For all marriages, once you get married, you discover something that you don't know about your spouse. So if she was a very traditional woman and she believed in her husband, in part she would want to believe in his dream and want to believe in what he had to say and want to support him. So I think initially, love is blind. And then what happens, over time, is that people are shocked by the differences they discover once they get married. And in some cases, that could be very deadly.

GRACE: And of course, Miguel Marquez, we've heard all about the falsification of an undergraduate degree, about getting into medical school. But that certainly does not a murder make. A lot of people can lie about going to college, or a degree, or being a doctor or a lawyer. What lies do we actually know of as it stands tonight, Miguel?

MARQUEZ: We certainly know that he claimed to have graduated from the University of Utah, which is not true. And he also claimed to have gotten into medical school at the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. And the university tells us that they can't even find a record of applying by Mark Hacking. So those we know.

And it sounds like in talking to police that there are just -- they say five years was the words they use, five years of lies by Mark Hacking that they had to kind of pile through and figure out exactly what was truth, what was reality, and who exactly is Mark Hacking and what was his relationship he had with his wife, what was the real relationship he had with his wife.

GRACE: And another thing, Dr. Ludwig is, I guess when you accept a lie at the beginning, reality tends to fit what you believe to be as the truth. For instance, if he didn't have school books, she may think that he just hadn't bought them yet. Or if she didn't see him studying, she would think he studied while she was at work. She would make reality fit.

LUDWIG: And you have remember the person -- and you have to remember the person we're dealing with. You know, these kinds of liars are extraordinary storytellers. They are really good, and in the moment they almost believe what they're saying, and that's very powerful, and very convincing. And if she was naive and trusting, why wouldn't she believe her husband?

GRACE: You are tuned in to LARRY KING LIVE. And we are taking your phone calls. Stay with us.


DINSE: Very early in our investigation into this case, detectives developed information that led them to believe that Mark may have more knowledge of her whereabouts than first alleged. Subsequent to that initial information, detectives obtained substantial additional evidence from witnesses, from Lori Hacking's vehicle, from her apartment, and from a trash dumpster nearby the apartment. The evidence gather strongly indicated that Lori was the victim of a homicide, and that her husband Mark Hacking is the individual responsible.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

We are taking your calls.

Let's go to Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Great show, as always. Can the jurors in the Scott Peterson case watch the news and the details regarding this case?

And can the similarities and circumstances in this case, happy couple, pregnant wife murdered, lying husband, psychologically add weight and lessen doubt to the prosecution's theories about Scott Peterson?

GRACE: Mm-hmm, that's been asked a lot today, Chicago. Let's throw that to Chris Pixley. Chris, do you think Delucchi, Judge Dellucchi will advise this jury, not only can you not watch the news about the Scott Peterson case, you can't hear about the Mark Hacking case, either?

PIXLEY: You know, the interesting thing is whether or not the defense would actually want him to make that kind of instruction. I'm talking about the defense in the Scott Peterson case. It almost lends credence to the prosecution's case. That Scott Peterson is guilty of this murder, that somehow he abducted his wife or murdered her before she went running. Certainly there's some factual similarities between the two cases. The two women go missing supposedly when they're going out for exercise. In one case we know there's a dead body and the other women who's presumed dead. There are so many differences -- I just wouldn't expect the judge to do it under any set of circumstances. But not just yet.

GRACE: I agree with you. But also the similarity, it came out today, just recently as a matter of fact, that when Mark Hacking called Lori's office to find out if she was there, he was actually at the mattress store, and said, ah, here are her work clothes. You know what, she's not at work. But he was at the mattress store. That's just another report that came out today. So the cell phone comparison, there's so many comparisons. But you're right, the defense may not want it.

Very quickly, Dr. Henry Lee, how long with a search like this in the landfill take?

LEE: Well, it can take weeks and days. And of course, if they can find any body part the next thing, forensic work is going to start. We have to through the dental work and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) DNA to positively identify that's her. From that, the medical examiner can look at not only the manner of the death, which we know was homicide, but the cause of the death.

GRACE: And very quickly, Greg Skordas, how likely is this to become a death penalty case?

The last execution, I guess, of Gary Gilmore in '77 in Utah?

SKORDAS: Oh, no, no, we've had a couple of executions in Utah since then. That was the first execution in the United States in quite some time. But I will say that it's unlikely, in my opinion, that this would be a death penalty case. And not because the law doesn't fit, it does fit as a death penalty case. But because I think the victim's family is going to be consulted at some point. I think our district attorney and chief of police have no choice, but to do that. And I don't see the victim's family in this case necessarily supporting a death penalty in this case. As you and Chris know, trying cases like this, if you don't have the victim's family behind you, it is very, very difficult to proceed with that kind of a prosecution.

GRACE: I want to thank all of our wonderful guests tonight. Heidi Hatch, Miguel Marquez, Greg Skordas, Chris Pixley, Dr. Henry Lee, and of course Dr. Robi Ludwig, thank you for being with us. But most of all, thank you for being with us, and inviting us into your home. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV signing off for Larry King tonight. Again, thank you for being with us.

Stay tuned, NEWSNIGHT is next.



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