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Man Charged in Wife's Death Planned Fatal Hike

Harold Henthorn, accused of pushing his wife to her death in Rocky Mountain National Park, allegedly had a map with an 'X' marked near the fall.
Image: Harold Henthorn, and his wife Toni
Harold Henthorn, and his wife Toni. Henthorn was indicted on Nov. 6 in the death of his second wife, who fell to her death while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.Courtesy of

A suburban Denver man charged with pushing his wife to her death off a cliff in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park could not explain to investigators why he had a park map with an "X" drawn at the spot where she fell.

Court documents unsealed Wednesday say Harold Henthorn denied using the map during the deadly Sept. 29, 2012, hike. But he told friends that he scouted out the park's steep and craggy terrain at least six times, trying to find the perfect place to take Toni to celebrate their 12th year of marriage.

Henthorn, 58, was indicted earlier this month on a count of murder for allegedly pushing his wife, Toni Henthorn, 50, off a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park that day. Prosecutors say she fell more than 140 feet off a cliff in a remote area far from the trail the couple had been hiking.

Henthorn's attorney, Craig L. Truman, declined to comment. Henthorn told authorities his wife was trying to take a photo of one of the park's majestic views when she slipped, according to the search warrants. The documents describe Henthorn as a controlling and obsessive husband who stood to benefit from his late wife's three life insurance policies totaling $4.5 million.

Prosecutors said last week that they believe Henthorn killed his first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn, who was crushed to death by a car after a jack slipped in 1995. He has not been charged in that case, although authorities are investigating the circumstances of her death. Henthorn received nearly $500,000 from her life insurance policies.


— The Associated Press