Friday, June 10, 2011

Death by totem pole turns into murder case

A totem builder allegedly crushed his wife with a pole as he plotted a new life with his mistress. Carl Muggli, 49, of Minnesota, is charged with toppling a pole weighing about 2,900lb (1,315kg) onto his wife Linda as they carved it together in their country home last November. Police have arrested Muggli for the murder of his 61-year-old wife, and said the motive was so he could leave her for his mistress.

On November 26 last year, police arrived on the couple's property just outside Voyageurs National Park and found Mrs Muggli pinned to the floor with a 5.2m tall giant wooden carving across her chest. She had blood coming from underneath her and later died in hospital. Muggli told police he had his back to his wife when it fell out of its cradle and fatally crushed her. Police received a complaint in May this year from a woman who said she heard Muggli arguing with his wife about getting a divorce on the day of his wife's death.

Police investigating the incident had the pole arranged in the way Muggli described, but could not get it to fall as he had claimed. They also found it had been coated with polyurethane, suggesting he tried to cover up the evidence. In the period leading up to her death, Muggli had apparently sent a series of messages on Facebook to his mistress from Alabama, telling her he loved her and wanted to be with her.

On the day before the alleged murder, he apparently sent her a message which said: "I want us together to live our lives as we seek. With all the Love, Passion, Affection, Emotion that we have. These feeling are directly from my soul. For I am with you. I am yours. We are one!" Muggli had been married to his wife for 25 years and they have worked together in a carving business since 1990. Muggli was commissioned to carve three totem poles which are now on display in Princess Diana's memorial garden in London. He will be extradited from Stockdale, Texas to the state of Minnesota charged with his wife's murder.

There's a news video here.

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