Watch CBSN Live

Colo. family speaks out in suspected serial wife-killer case

DENVER -- The family of the first wife of Harold Henthorn, a suburban Colorado man accused of killing both his wives and passing their deaths off as accidents, says there are "long-dormant questions" in the woman's mysterious 1995 death.

Prosecutors say Henthorn pushed his second wife, Toni Henthorn, to her death off a cliff in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012 also killed his first wife, 37-year-old Sandra Lynn Henthorn, 17 years earlier.

Harold Henthorn and his first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn CBS Denver

Prosecutors said Henthorn planned the fatal hike with his second wife, and stood to benefit from her three life insurance policies totaling $4.5 million. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the death of Sandra Lynn Henthorn, who was crushed to death in 1995 when a car slipped off a jack while she and Harold Henthorn were changing a flat tire, CBS Denver reported.

Sandra Lynn Henthorn's siblings, Kevin Rishell, Eric Rishell and Lisanne Rishell Bales, spoke out for the first time publicly this week in a statement to the station.

"Our family has known Harold Henthorn for 40 years -- first as a college friend, then as our sister Sandra Lynn's husband. When we learned of Toni's death two years ago, we were shocked and saddened," the family said. "At the same time, however, the baffling circumstances surrounding Toni's death gave us a strong sense of déjà vu. As the investigation into Toni's death progressed, it became clear that Harold Henthorn was not the man we thought we knew, and that he had in fact been lying to us for many years."

The family didn't elaborate on how they felt Henthorn had lied, reports CBS Denver.

"Toni's death and subsequent investigation have renewed long-dormant questions about Lynn's death," the statement continued. "Believing it is more than justified, we are grateful that an investigation into Lynn's case has been re-opened. We continue to hope that the truth will come to light in the deaths of Toni and Lynn, and that justice will be served."

The family is asking anyone with information about the case to come forward.

Sandra Lynn Henthorn's death was ruled an accident. The Douglas County Sheriff's Department reportedly reopened its investigation into her death in October 2012 after an investigation by the station.

Harold Henthorn has only been charged in the death of his second wife, 50-year-old Toni. He pleaded not guilty last month to a charge of first-degree murder.

In both of his wives' deaths, investigators said, Henthorn was the lone witness.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.