This week Diabolical spotlights the murderous path trodden by gold digger Michelle Donohue, whose lust for cash led to murder.
Fall, 2004, and 53-year-old Byron Wright seemingly left his wife, his job and most of his possessions to run off with a younger woman. At least that is the story that his wife Michelle Donohue told anyone who would listen.
Donohue soon filed for divorce and began liquidating all her former husband’s assets, as well as claiming half his pension. She later remarried and it was then that she let her secret out of the bag.
Donohue had stabbed her husband to death and then cut up his body with an axe and knife in her kitchen. She buried him in some dirt but told her new husband, Joel Donohue, so that he could have the body reburied in concrete, something he arranged some of his friends to do. She told him that Wright had been abusive and that she’d killed him by accident.
However, the course of love seldom runs smooth and sure enough their marriage was soon in trouble. She even began putting out feelers to have her current husband killed but she was undone when one of the men who reburied the body talked whilst he’s in prison.
Police excavated the spot where the man said the body parts were buried and discovered Wright’s dismembered remains. Donohue was arrested and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, with the prosecutor being unable to charge her with first-degree murder due to lack of evidence. Her story was that she stabbed Wright during an argument and when he asked her to call 911, she told him only if he apologised. He refused, so Donohue let him bleed to death and then cut up his body.
Wright’s sister said that she had tried to report him missing years before but the police had no record of him as a missing person and had never investigated his disappearance.
In 2014 48-year-old Donohue was sentenced to 16 year in prison.
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