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Secret Lives With Jane Velez-Mitchell

Aired October 18, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pleasant Grove Police Department. Do you need medical?

MARTIN MACNEILL, ACCUSED OF MURDERING WIFE (via phone): I need -- I need an ambulance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What`s the problem, sir? Sir, what`s wrong?

M. MACNEILL: My wife`s fallen in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who`s in the bathtub? Who`s in the bathtub?

M. MACNEILL: My wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Is she conscious?

M. MACNEILL: She`s not. I`m a physician. I need help!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, sir, I need you to calm down. Sir, I can`t understand you, OK? Can you calm down just a little bit?

M. MACNEILL: I need help.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: It was the 911 call that shatters one family`s perfect facade and spilled a lifetime of toxic secrets. A doctor, a lawyer, a devoted father of eight children, Martin MacNeill seemed to be all and have it all.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: The MacNeills had a picture-perfect family, at least from the outside. They first met at a Church of Latter Day Saints event, because each of them was pretty religious. And they met, and basically, a love emerged from them meeting.

They had children pretty quickly after they married. In fact, they ended up doubling the size of their family by adopting a number of kids from overseas, as well. So from the outside this family was a loving, picture- perfect, happy family full of life. But behind the scenes this was a family full of secrets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. MacNeill`s secrets were safe until his wife Michele suddenly turned up dead in the bathtub. When his adult daughters started asking questions, they ripped open the lid on a lifetime of lies, exposing their father as a master of deceit.

LEIBERMAN: As this relationship went on, many of the secrets began to be exposed.

For example, this man, this doctor, it would turn out, was a doctor but, in fact, he had cheated his entire life to get to that point. He had faked transcripts to get into medical school. He had faked other transcripts to get into law school. So while he was a practicing doctor and lawyer for many years, he faked it to get there.

And as this marriage went along, Dr. MacNeill ended up being more and more eccentric.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But did MacNeill`s toxic double life turn into a motive for murder? A Utah jury may soon decide exactly that. Here`s the affidavit where prosecutors lay out their case.

LEIBERMAN: This is one of the most bizarre suspicious death cases, because there is so much circumstantial evidence pointing at the doctor as being a murderer. But there`s very little actual first-person physical evidence.

But it appears that this doctor had planned all along that his wife would go in for plastic surgery, that he would talk to the doctor and have the doctor prescribe her a cocktail of medications that even a horse couldn`t survive taking in large doses.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the surface it doesn`t seem likely. Why would Dr. MacNeill, who seemingly had been happily married to his wife, Michele, for nearly three decades, suddenly kill her? After Michele was discovered dead in the tub, Utah cops brushed off any suggestion that Michele had been murdered, convinced she`d simply drowned.

LEIBERMAN: So police ultimately look at this case, the local police, and they sort of shrug their shoulders. They don`t question the neighbors; they don`t question anybody, because here is this prominent lawyer and doctor, so of course, we`re going to take his word for it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Dr. MacNeill`s oldest daughters knew something was off. Their mother was a stunning woman, a former beauty queen. Yet eight days before her death, she had undergone a facelift, a facelift she did not want but cops say her husband hounded her into getting.

LEIBERMAN: The family was devastated, mainly because one of the MacNeill daughters had been having these intimate conversations with her mother, where her mother almost foreshadowed her own death at the hands of her husband.

She knew she was having at least one affair. She knew there were problems in this marriage. And so when Michele ended up dead, the daughters and one of Michele`s sisters, the aunt, they became determined that they would not simply let this case go away and be classified as a natural death.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: The family knew that something was very, very wrong when there was a determination that the manner of death was a natural death. They knew that that wasn`t the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Dr. MacNeill`s wife healed from her plastic surgery, prosecutors say her physician husband administered a powerful drug cocktail that allegedly included Valium, Percocet and Ambien. He allegedly requested these drugs, even though the surgeon didn`t normally prescribe them: powerful painkillers and sedatives that, if served up too strong, can be dangerous.

RANDALL SPENCER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: MacNeill has done a lot of bad things in his life. And just because you`re a bad man, however, does not make you a murderer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he or didn`t he? Those are the questions, the questions we`ll weigh over the next hour in the case of Utah vs. Martin MacNeill.

ALEXIS MACNEILL, DAUGHTER: My mother told me -- I was helping her wash her hair, and she said, "Alexis if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn`t your father."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Your wife is unconscious?

M. MACNEILL (via phone): She`s unconscious. She`s under water!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Did you get her out of the water?

M. MACNEILL: I can`t! I couldn`t lift her out. I let the water out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Martin MacNeill`s frantic calls to Pleasant Grove, Utah`s 911. His wife in distress in a bathtub. It`s April 2007.

CASAREZ: A lot happened before Michele MacNeill was found in a bathtub by her little 6-year-old daughter. But once Martin MacNeill got to that bathroom, and according to legal documents, when Ada came downstairs and said, "Daddy, something is wrong with Mommy" that he just didn`t seem to be in a hurry.

He told Ada to go next door to the neighbors and try to seek help. At the same time, then he called 911. But from documents, it doesn`t seem as though it was that standard 911 call. There was a lot of screaming, which can be normal. He was saying that he was doing resuscitation, but he kept hanging up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three calls to 911 from a doctor to save his wife? A doctor who sent his youngest daughter, just 6 years old, to seek help from neighbors. A doctor who failed repeatedly to give the 911 operator the right address, with each call disconnecting just before that crucial information was relayed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, sir. The ambulance has been paged. They`re on their way. OK. Do not hang up. What? Sir?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome to the "Secrets Lab." I have with me Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist and the author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie" I`m also joined by Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and author of "Till Death Do Us Part."

The question for our experts: Was the doctor`s behavior when he purportedly discovers his wife`s body in the tub suspicious or not? Dr. Gail.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST/AUTHOR: As a longstanding medical professional, I`d say this behavior was highly unusual. I mean, you have years of training. You`re basically dealing with emergencies. And then you`re in the emergency situation, and you`re flailing around and unable to stay on a call, unable to do CPR? That`s weird.


DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST/AUTHOR: It really felt like I was listening to a very bad soap opera. It was over-the-top. So I would say it sounded very dramatic. And given what Dr. Gail said, I would also say it appeared to be a bit manipulative.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s remember, he`s also a lawyer.

LUDWIG: Right. Which could explain the manipulation. I don`t want to over speak, but it could.

SALTZ: Well, I`m going to actually look at the other side, which is when people are in a traumatic situation, in emergency. They see their loved one. Maybe they`re dead. They can actually become hysterical. They can become overwrought, and even their training could be undone in the moment. So in that sense it still is plausible and believable. I could see why the police might believe that this is actually how he reacted, because he saw his wife drown in the bathtub.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he sent his 6-year-old daughter to get help from a neighbor. I find that odd.

Also, he`s a buff guy. He`s been working out. It`s just a tub. It`s not a well.

SALTZ: Yes. Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why so much trouble, Dr. Robi?

LUDWIG: Well, that`s why I wonder if he`s manipulating. He`s actually setting the stage for explaining why he didn`t do more.

And I have a question. Even if it would be plausible, Dr. Gail, don`t you think anyone would try to give CPR? Like, was there any evidence that he tried to save his wife at all?


SALTZ: For a physician it`s weird, but I will say this. No. Lots of people see people flat out who need CPR and don`t do CPR even if they later say, "Well, I kind of knew how to do it, but I felt in the emergency just frozen and I wasn`t able to do it."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, his contention is he did everything in his power to save his wife. His adult daughters do not believe it.

It would turn out the drama had started in the household months earlier. It seemed Dr. MacNeill was in the throes of a mid-life crisis, exercising constantly and gone for long stretches. Were these signs of fatal flaws in the perfect family, the beauty queen and the doctor who`d had four kids of their own and opened their home to orphaned children?

CASAREZ: Michele MacNeill was special. I mean just to look at her, she was not only beautiful, but she had an inner soul, her friends said, that was giving, kind, thoughtful and dedicated.

She originally was from California, and she met a dashing young man, very intelligent, that was on his way to become a doctor. So they married, and they had a total, finally, with adopted children, of eight different kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A perfect match, or so it seemed. But investigators say Dr. MacNeill`s so-called perfect life was masking secrets that went back decades.

LEIBERMAN: Dr. MacNeill, by all accounts, has been a liar and a manipulator nearly his entire life, dating back to when he was 17 and in the military, where he was actually discharged, because he got doctors to believe that he had schizophrenia.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If Martin MacNeill`s life was purely a work of fiction, his wife`s was the exact opposite.

RACHEL MACNEILL, DAUGHTER: Such a beautiful, wonderful, wonderful person, and I`ve written things and explained them. I don`t know one memory that I can explain in just a few seconds. But everything together is just -- my mother is just a wonderful human being. She deserves justice. She should never have trusted my father.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s that love and dedication that would lead Michele MacNeill`s two eldest daughters to fight relentlessly to bring their own dad to justice.

R. MACNEILL: Right away Alexis told me as soon as she could. She pulled me aside after my mother`s death and said, "Rachel, Dad murdered Mom."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir this is 911. Can I help you?

M. MACNEILL (via phone): I need help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Sir, they`re on their way. Is your wife breathing?

M. MACNEILL: She is not. I am a physician. I`ve got CPR in progress!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re doing CPR. Sir, how old is your wife?

M. MACNEILL: My wife is 50 years old. She had surgery a couple of week -- a week ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of surgery did she have?

M. MACNEILL: A facelift.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a facelift?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Do you know how to do CPR?

M. MACNEILL: I`m doing it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A facelift, loads of drugs. The insistence on caring for his wife. And then Michele dies in the bathtub. For Martin MacNeill`s family all too suspicious, but suspicions that fall on deaf ears.

R. MACNEILL: Alexis told me as soon as she could, she pulled me aside after my mother`s death and said, "Rachel, Dad murdered Mom." And as time unfolded, I began to see so many different things unfold.

LEIBERMAN: This family knew from the outset that Michele, something happened here that was much more sinister and cynical than simply a natural death drowning. And they were determined to fight. Now at first, nobody would listen to them. At first, in terms of the authorities, this was an open and shut case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But even as the MacNeill`s family pleas went unanswered, they uncovered a shocking secret that would change everything.

LEIBERMAN: As this marriage went along, Dr. MacNeill ended up being more and more eccentric. For example, he goes on a diet, and he loses 30 pounds. He starts tanning. And all the while his wife is accusing him of cheating, is confronting him, asking him, begging him, "Are you cheating on me?"

And as it would ultimately turn out, Dr. MacNeill had lovers on the side. And these lovers weren`t just any sort of lovers. It would come out later that, according to at least one of the lovers, she thought he was, in fact, a serial killer. She thought, and he confided in her, according to her sworn testimony, that he had killed before.

So underneath the surface, there were all of these secrets that were just waiting to emerge. And really, it all came to a head when Michele died one night.

CASAREZ: Early on in his life he was in the military. He was discharged from the military, and he kept collecting disability checks, $3,000 a month he collected for many, many years.

And he also then went on, when he was 21 years old, to actually be charged with check forgery, because he needed money. He didn`t have it, so he assumed an identity and forged a check.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lies, a secret life, alleged affairs. But was it Martin MacNeill`s last reported affair that dug his wife`s grave?

A. MACNEILL: She had been concerned about an affair.




A. MACNEILL: She had been concerned about an affair. She had confided in me that she thought he was having an affair with this woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before her death Michele MacNeill had suspicions about her husband Martin and fears for her own safety.

A. MACNEILL: A couple of days before my mother`s death, I was helping her wash her hair, and she started to cry and said, "Alexis, if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn`t your father."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Michele foresee her tragic end, or was she just paranoid about her secretive husband?

A. MACNEILL: There were things my father wasn`t acting -- acting normally, and she was just very concerned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michele confided in her daughter and asked her to do some digging on her supposedly adoring husband, specifically his phone records.

A. MACNEILL: My mom and I went through those phone records, and we found a number that he`d been calling, very often late at night. We called that number, and a woman answered. We did an online search and the name Gypsy Jillian Willis popped up.

Her name is Gypsy. At first we were like, is this a stripper? Who`s named Gypsy. But yes, her name is Gypsy. Gypsy Jillian Willis. And my mom confronted my father about this woman, and he denied it. He told my mother that, no, this woman was a nurse that he was renting a home to. There`s nothing going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there was apparently a lot going on between Martin MacNeill and his tenant, Gypsy.

LEIBERMAN: The relationship between Gypsy and Dr. MacNeill was hot and heavy from the outset. It started, for her at least, as a simple affair. But it morphed into this sexual relationship that became extremely serious.

The doctor was paying her bills, was paying for a place for her to live. In fact, two of her roommates would testify later that Gypsy confided in them that she, too, wanted Michele dead, and in fact, she was trying to brainstorm ways to have Michele out of the picture, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she ever tell you about dating a man who was a doctor, a lawyer and a married man?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she say what this person`s name was?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She called him Neil, because she said she couldn`t tell us his real name because he was...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Gypsy ever talk to you about cutting the brakes of Neil`s wife`s car?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During one of her angry rants, she was saying -- she was saying that she was -- she wanted her out of the way. She was interfering with her relationship with him and that, if she cut her brakes, then she would just drive down the hill into a ravine. I said, "Gypsy, she`s got little kids in the car."

And she turned around and she goes, "They`ll be in car seats. They`ll be just fine."

GRUNANDER: Do you ever recall talking to Michele and/or Brandy about cutting the brakes of Michele MacNeill`s car?

WILLIS: Absolutely not.

GRUNANDER: Ok. And you don`t recall Michele responding with concern about children being injured potentially?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Martin MacNeill and Gypsy Willis lovers, but did their affair lead to murder? One thing is certain. Just after his wife`s death Martin introduced his family to a new live-in nanny named, you guessed it, Gypsy.


ALEXIS SOMERS, DAUGHTER: Right after her death he told me that he found the perfect nanny to come move in the home and he said her name is Jillian. I said "Dad, Gypsy Jillian Willis? Mom told me about that woman. She was concerned you were having an affair and you`re not to bring her into this home."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Martin MacNeill did bring Gypsy into the home and according to his two eldest daughters, that`s what got them kicked out.


JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: When Gypsy Willis moved in, she just didn`t do the things that a nanny would do. I mean you think about "The Sound of Music", there`s a nanny right there who took care of the children. Gypsy Willis wasn`t that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gypsy in, family out. But that`s not the least of it if you believe what MacNeill`s own daughters have to say next.


SOMERS: As soon as my mother died my father tried to give my little sisters away to strangers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: April 2007 Pleasant Grove, Utah, prominent doctor and attorney Martin MacNeill`s stunning wife Michele dies mysteriously. Then Martin promptly moves in his mistress, Gypsy Willis, right into the family home as the new nanny and prosecutors say just as promptly he moves his once adoring children out.


SOMERS: As soon as my mother died my father tried to give my little sisters away to strangers. He moved the nanny in and then he moved all of the children out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not long after Michele`s death, Dr. MacNeill sent his 16- year-old adopted daughter, Gisele, back to the Ukraine for the summer to essentially fend for herself.


JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Prosecutors say that Dr. MacNeill sent away one of his adopted daughters to spend time -- ostensibly to spend time -- in the Ukraine with her biological sister when in fact we now know that the real reason was so that Dr. Mac kneel and his lover Gypsy, the new nanny, could actually steal this girl`s identity to get new id cards made up, new social security cards, even new veteran`s benefits cards.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gypsy took on the identity of Jillian Gisele MacNeill, and she and Dr. MacNeill they even used Michele`s funeral date as their supposed marriage date. But the two`s identity theft and fraud wouldn`t go unnoticed by federal and state authorities for long.


CASAREZ: The time game when both Gypsy Willis and Martin MacNeill both were convicted in federal court of charges around identity fraud and there were state charges too. Both served time in prison.

LEIBERMAN: Investigators knew that proving that Michele`s death was a murder was going to be an uphill battle. What they had a much stronger case of was this identity theft and this fraudulent use of documents. So what prosecutors were ultimately able to prove and both Dr. MacNeill and Gypsy would ultimately plead to were felony charges of identity theft based on using Dr. MacNeill`s adopted daughter who is now over in the Ukraine, using her identity to procure all sorts of fraudulent documents.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Robi and Dr. Gail back with me here in the Secrets lab. Now doctors, for some people getting away with things is a point of pride; it`s actually an ego trip. Even Dr. MacNeill`s critics say he`s brilliant. Let`s face it, he functioned as a doctor and a lawyer for decades before his secrets exploded.

Do some people just enjoy living a double live and getting away, pulling something off on the rest of the world?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: Usually when someone is living a double life it`s because they`ve got intense urges to have whatever they want to have, sexually or otherwise, that are not acceptable and they are often unconscious. They`re often out of their awareness and it causes them to behave in ways that starts to create slowly but surely this double life.

For instance, we saw early in his credentials in terms of getting into medical school were completely manufactured. Not on the level of murder but the urge to get to be something prestigious without doing the work and creating that double life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Dr. Robi, one thing I know for sure, water finds its own level --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and then he hooks up with Gypsy and the two of them are a perfect match.

LUDWIG: They really are. And I think for this doctor he really felt like he found somebody he could be evil with. And he really found pleasure in that. He could be himself. He found his other half. He found his partner in crime.

And for a man who pretended to be this religious Mormon, doctor, lawyer -- you know, the --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Taught Sunday school.

LUDWIG: -- right exactly. That probably after a while felt too false for him.

SALTZ: Actually what it probably felt was like a great defense --


SALTZ: -- a defense strategy against these urges that would cause him --

LUDWIG: For a while.

SALTZ: -- to do some bad stuff that meant a faulty moral compass.

LUDWIG: But I`m going to disagree and say, after a while I think it felt like a shoe that was too tight. And I don`t know if he had a -- I think he liked the idea of getting over on people. He was smarter than everybody else. It was fun for him and --


LUDWIG: -- and it got him to feel very powerful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Powerful. We`re getting somewhere -- digging deep. For Martin and Gypsy it was prison for two but not for the death of Michele MacNeill and that left her family pushing, pushing often uphill for justice.


SOMERS: There wasn`t an investigation. They never questioned my little sister who found my mother. They never questioned the neighbors. The whole police report is a paragraph and a half. That`s it. They never questioned my father.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The dead woman`s daughters ran into a whole lot of resistance from authorities at first. They described the reaction from investigators as cold at best. And police refused to open the case.


SOMERS: Well we went to the Pleasant Grove Police Department and they didn`t even take notes. I told them my concerns about my father and his behavior and how it was suspicious. My aunts went in there. They didn`t take notes that time as well. They said, oh, those daughters are just upset that he had an affair. Lots of people have affairs.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Michele`s heartbroken family would not be ignored. They sent letters, e-mails, even contacted a former Utah governor and finally it all paid off. In January of 2008 the Utah County attorney`s office began investigating Michele`s death. And what they found as they dug into Martin MacNeill`s life was almost unbelievable.


SOMERS: There was so much my father had done. His whole life was a web of lies.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Martin MacNeill played the perfect husband, the perfect father, the perfect provider. But when his wife Michele died mysteriously and Martin and his mistress Gypsy were caught up in a federal identity fraud case and sent to prison, Martin`s secret and disturbing history of lies were exposed.


LEIBERMAN: As prosecutors unraveled this forgery scheme, they started to unravel an entire past of lies and secrets from Dr. MacNeill. Not only did they now uncover that he had been discharged from the military at one point because doctors in the military suspected he had schizophrenia, he was given a lump sum of $3,000 a month that he collected over the next 30-some- odd years, taxpayer money that he got to collect because he had hoodwinked the military.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: MacNeill got benefits from the Veterans Administration and Social Security for his alleged disabilities even as he became a doctor and lawyer. In fact, he reportedly was getting VA benefits up until just a few years ago and investigators believe that`s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Martin MacNeill.


LEIBERMAN: Not only did he fake his transcripts back in the day be, but he also had a felony conviction for writing bad checks at one point. And they also started to unearth woman after woman who claimed they too had an affair with Dr. MacNeill.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But cops said MacNeill was also long obsessed with pulling off the perfect murder. And according to the search warrant he claimed he killed his brother years earlier by pushing his head under water after finding him in a tub.


LEIBERMAN: Another one of Dr. MacNeill`s lovers testified in court documents that he confided in her that he wanted to kill his own daughter Vanessa because she had a drug problem and she was quote, "an embarrassment to his family". According to this lover Dr. MacNeill also confided in her that he killed his own brother and made it look like a suicide. In fact, this woman also says in court documents that she truly believes that Dr. MacNeill is a serial killer.

PERKINS: Mrs. Walthall, the question I asked was whether you and Martin discussed killing.

WALTHALL: Yes, we did.

PERKINS: Was it a frequent topic of discussion or was it occasional?

WALTHALL: It was fairly frequent.

PERKINS: Did you ever discuss Martin`s brother with him?


PERKINS: Specifically Martin -- the death of Martin`s brother?


PERKINS: What did he say about his brother`s death at this point?

WALTHALL: He said that his brother was a cutter, that he would cut himself to get attention. That his brother called Martin and told him that he had cut himself and Martin went over to his house and saw blood and his brother was in the bathtub and that Martin held him under the bath, under the water until he drowned.

And I asked like, is that, like nobody thought anything about that? I mean -- and he said it was not unusual for cutters to drown because they lose enough blood that they don`t have the strength to stay above the water.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back to the Secrets Lab. I`m here with Dr. Robi and Dr. Gail. Here`s my question: can criminal behavior be addictive? Like addiction, would somebody need to commit more and more serious crimes to get the same rush -- Dr. Robi?

LUDWIG: Absolutely. The thoughts can go through your head and actually it becomes obsessive so that a criminal can`t get that idea out of their head.


SALTZ: We`re talking psychologically addictive not physiologically addicted but what goes on in the brain can be very similar. It`s the chemical dopamine that makes you feel good about whatever you`re doing, so good that you want more of that neuro-chemical dopamine going on so you keep doing the behavior and more exciting behavior to elicit the same dopamine high.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But listen Dr. Robi, he got caught in the fraud. So you`d think that would be a slap on the wrist. Don`t do anything bad anymore. Instead according to prosecutors he seemed inspired to do something ultimately the worst crime that you can imagine.

LUDWIG: I mean in some cases these criminals can`t help themselves and that`s why we call them very self-destructive. They end up not only harming others but they end up harming themselves.

SALTZ: Or what you could say is, as Dr. Robi pointed out, obsessive behavior is usually followed by exactly the behavior that is compulsive. I just feel in a loop. I have to keep doing it. And I have to keep doing more especially if the unconscious urge that I referred to earlier is underlying and pushing you to do that behavior like "I just want this woman."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One thing I`ll say, once you start keeping secrets you`ve got to keep more and more and more. Secrets cause you to create other secrets. And secret lives.

Convicted felon, fallen father, failed husband -- but does that make Martin MacNeill a killer? His family has certainly long thought so, but would he ever be officially be charged with murdering his wife Michele?


SOMERS: We know what he`s done. We know what his plan was, and so many people have come forward and my father`s been very much actively been a criminal since before I was born. So, I mean -- and we know who he is now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Martin MacNeill was formally charged with his wife`s murder in August 2012 five years after Michele`s suspicious death and prosecutors allege he staged an elaborate cover-up.


LEIBERMAN: MacNeill has also been charged with obstruction of justice for a number of different reasons. Everything ranging from they believe that he lied, and that he did not, in fact, perform CPR on his dying wife, because when the paramedics actually came and began to administer CPR, Michele had water coming up out of her lungs, and out of her mouth. That`s the first thing.

The second thing is Dr. MacNeill admits that he asked a family member to flush the medication down the toilet prior to police arriving at the scene. He actually got rid of what could have been very important evidence, pill bottles and pills. He had it disposed of. That was another obstruction.

Also, police believe he tried to clean up the scene by emptying the tub, by using towels to clean up the blood, and some of the murder using towels and cleaning up the scene, I might add, police believe in lieu of trying to save his wife`s life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Martin MacNeill`s attorney says his client denies any wrongdoing and vows to fight all charges. But his own daughters have made their own conclusions long ago.


SOMERS: We know what he`s done. We know what his plan was, and so many people have come forward and my father`s been very much actively, been a criminal since before I was born. So, I mean -- and we know who he is now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators described Martin MacNeill as a lying adulterer who disguised an affair and fraud with a lucrative medical practice in Pleasant Grove, Utah and a beautiful wife and eight children -- four of whom were adopted, but --


LEIBERMAN: The medical examiners look at this case and at first they rule that Michele died because of a heart problem, that she had a pre-existing heart problem, and she died from that. Then they sort of tweaked their ruling and say, well, she died because of -- a mixture of drugs and this heart problem in her system could have caused this.

But ultimately they changed the ruling from natural death to a suspicious death. Police and prosecutors believe that despite the cause of death, only being suspicious right now, and not formally being declared a homicide, they do believe that Michele was either, A -- murdered or, that Dr. MacNeill`s negligence led to her death, which de facto is murder. So, in other words, prosecutors and police are challenging in some ways the medical examiner`s findings, but in another way, they`re leveraging the suspicious death part to try and show that Dr. MacNeill actually did commit murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many questions. One certain fact -- a beautiful mother is dead, missed. And her family and authorities believe she hasn`t gotten justice.


RACHEL MACNEILL, DAUGHTER: Everything was stolen from us -- everything. Our memories, even. Everything we ever thought we knew, based on the lies my father made. And I am just -- I`m grateful now that we know the truth that we`re able to live in reality.

SOMERS: I know he`s going to be fighting this. He thought he could get away with the perfect crime and I think he`s upset that he`s been caught.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s adamantly professed his innocence from the beginning -- continues to do so. I`m confident when all the evidence in this case is heard that the jury will conclude that he`s not guilty.

MACNEILL: The world now knows that my daughter has committed murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Murder, or just a tragic accident? A mystery, years in the making that may soon be solved one way or the other.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks for joining us for SECRET LIVES.


SOMERS: Kind of horrible to be so excited about, you know, your father being arrested, but this has been such a long, a long battle.

MACNEILL: I know she wanted us to fight. My mother was a person just full of love and compassion. She raised four children and then opened her home and her heart -- wanted to help more kids, adopted our four beautiful sisters. You know, our mother -- she`s with us. She wants us to fight.