This week The Shocking Truth looks behind the inspiration for the infamous scene in the movie Fargo when a murder victim’s body is fed into a woodchipper.
Back in 1986 in Newtown, Connecticut, Danish flight attendant Helle Crafts was murdered by her pilot husband Richard Craft who had a quick temper and was not happy she was divorcing him over his adultery.
However, it was so much the murder that made the case infamous but rather the grisly way he tried to cover up his crime.
The police investigation came to the conclusion that he’d likely killed her with a blow to the head with a blunt object and then kept her body in a freezer. On the night of a big snow storm he then took her body to the nearby lake where he dismembered it with chainsaw before feeding it through a woodchipper he’d hired.
Friends were suspicious almost immediately when Helle went missing and when the nanny reported a seeing what she thought was a blood stain, they became even more so. A private investigator hired by Helle to find out about Richard’s cheating also became involved and he remember her telling him that if her husband found out then he would kill her.
Police also got a tip off from a local snowplough driver and searched the area, where they found various body parts and a tooth that matched Helle’s. They also found the chainsaw in the lake, with human tissue matching the deceased DNA all over it.
Richard was arrested and later found guilty of murder, he was given a 50 year sentence and remains in prison. He was the first person to be found guilty of murder in Connecticut where there was no victim’s body but the jury did not buy the defense’s story that this devoted mother of three had simply abandoned her children and disappeared.
The special edition of the Fargo DVD mentions that the film was inspired the murder of Helle Craft.
The Shocking Truth airs on Fridays at 9:00 PM on REELZ.