Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love is investigating the 1990 murder of Barbara George, who was shot dead by her husband Michael George at their comic book store in Clinton Township, Michigan.
Michael managed to evade justice for a shocking 17 years before a determined group of cold case officers finally put him in handcuffs.
Barbara was only 32-years-old when a couple of impatient teenage customers found her lying unconscious in the back room of the comic book store she ran with Michael.
At first, it was assumed she’d had a heart attack or similar mishap, but the medics soon noticed a small bullet hole in the back of her neck. She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, and the cops began a homicide investigation.
There was very little evidence for the investigators. Witnesses had reported spotting an individual outside the store wearing a fake beard, but nothing else unusual or suspicious was recorded.
The cops, friends, and family were all suspicious of Michael. He didn’t seem particularly upset about his wife’s death, and the cops later learned he’d been having an affair with store employee Renee Kotula.
Folks were also concerned when Michael immediately began the process of claiming $100,000 from life insurance policies that had been in his wife’s name.
Unfortunately, Michael seemed to have an alibi; his mother insisted to the cops that her son was at home asleep on the couch at the time of the murder. The case grew cold and lay stagnant for the next 16 years.
The cops decided to reinvestigate Michael George 16 years later
The county prosecutor reopened the case in 2006 after noticing a key piece of evidence had been overlooked. A member of the public had reported they had telephoned the store around the time of the murder, and Michael had answered. This contradicted the killer’s claim that he was asleep at home.
In the meantime, the cops learned that Michael had married Kotula only two years after Barbara’s death, and the pair had moved to Pennsylvania and reopened the comic book store in a town not far from Pittsburgh. They began to suspect that Barbara and Michael’s marriage had been loveless and that Michael wanted her out of the way.
In 2007, Michael was arrested, and the following year, a jury found him guilty of murder. However, a judge later overturned the verdict due to errors by the prosecution. In 2011, the murderer was put on trial again, and was again, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Michael George has continued to claim he is innocent and has insisted that the real killer must be the individual who was spotted wearing a fake beard.
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Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.