A Utah man who killed his entire family before killing himself earlier this year appears to have blamed it all on his wife.
In January, Michael Haight, 42, shot and killed his wife, Tausha Haight, 40, Tausha Height’s mother, Gail Earl, 78, and the couple’s five children: a 4-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old girl. After that, he died by suicide.
The massacre came weeks after Tausha Haight filed for divorce from her husband, a former insurance agent and devoted Mormon.
In a suicide letter recently released by the Enoch Police Department and obtained by multiple media outlets, the killer referenced his faith and work ethic – and the apparent discord those parts of his life have caused his marriage.
“I’ve been complained about every step of the way that I work too much, put my church calling before my wife and on and on and on,” Michael Haight wrote. “She has been so awful to me and my family for years and I have generally been patient trying to work through her issues with my family, our kids, neighbors, ward members and others who don’t make her the center of attention. This is nonsense and I can’t handle it for one more day. We will not be a burden on society. I kept asking for help and you wouldn’t listen.”
The missive goes on to express a preference for death over the continued life he and his family were leading.
“I can not believe that God has allowed the person who should be the closest to me in the world to fault find, gossip and disparage me at every turn,” the letter continues. “I have never seen someone who is so intent on finding faults in others. I have tried helping but it generally backfires and I seem to always get blamed. I would rather rot in hell than to put up with another day of this manipulation and control over me.”
According to the 57-page report, divorce papers were prepared by Tausha Haight’s attorney on Dec. 21, 2022. The killer would be served with the papers six days later, on Dec. 27, 2022.
“He asked her how her day was going,” the police report says, according to Deseret News. “He acted as if nothing had happened.”
After that strange text, Tausha Height asked him whether or not he had received the lawsuit. He replied some time later, telling her to leave the house and to leave their children there. She left and took the kids with her, Salt Lake City-based NBC affiliate KSL reported.
Macie Haight, the oldest daughter, was excited about the divorce.
“My mom finally filed for divorce and I couldn’t be more excited,” she texted a friend. “He needs to go.”
Briley Haight, the middle daughter, shared that feeling.
“Thank you for letting me come over, I needed a break from my house,” she wrote to a friend on the day of the divorce, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Tausha Haight had sent the kids to friends’ homes as their father was initially served with the papers – just in case. “My dad is terrible.”
The separation lasted less than a week. The victims went to go stay at Earl’s home but they all returned to the family residence the next Saturday night. At church the next day, the wife would not allow her husband to sit with their family.
“According to the ladies, the suspect was angry because his public image was going to be questioned because he was not sitting with his family,” the report says, referencing friends of the Haight family.
As it turned out, the divorce coincided with another loss for Michael Haight – he had recently been fired from Allstate. One of his friends believed it had something to do with financial “improprieties.”
“The suspect was very worried about his appearance in every way,” the police report reads. “He would do nothing to portray anything but a perfect life both personally and professionally.”
Tausha Haight thought her husband had sold his insurance practice but had some concerns about why her husband had emptied some $120,000 from the savings accounts for their children. The main motivation for the divorce, however, was years of alleged abuse and mean-spiritedness that had recently started to impact the kids as well.
Macie Haight, as it turned out, had made three separate reports to Utah child protective services about alleged abuse in the home. After an initial visit, a caseworker was scheduled to check in on the family on Jan. 5 – the day after Michael Haight went door-to-door in the house and killed every person in every room.
Briley Haight texted a friend on Dec. 12, 2022, police wrote, “indicating that she just needs to have someone to make sure she is safe.”
She never would be.
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Michael Haight details murder-suicide motivations in letter
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