SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man who fatally shot his wife, her mother and their five kids left a suicide note saying he “would rather rot in hell” than continue being controlled by his wife, investigators wrote in a report released on Friday.
“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," Michael Haight, 42, wrote in a suicide note included in the report.
“I would rather rot in hell than to put up with another day of this manipulation and control over me,” Haight wrote.
The suicide note marks a contrast from other revelations included in the 57-page page investigative report released by the city of Enoch on Friday, in which Haight, not his wife, is described as controlling and abusive in texts from his kids and by community members interviewed after the tragedy.
The report builds off documents released after the tragedy that described Haight as the subject of a child abuse investigation and detail his violence-related Google searches in the lead-up to the violence. It paints a picture of Haight as a volatile husband concerned about maintaining a facade of perfection throughout the southern Utah community in which they lived, where the majority of residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The suicide note and details about how bedding was laid over the bodies suggest the violence was planned in advance rather than an act of impulse or the heat of passion.
People close to the Haights interviewed by investigators whose names were redacted in the report said that Michael Haight had lost his job at Allstate Insurance in nearby Cedar City, Utah. They said, despite his wife's wishes and pursuit of divorce, he remained living in the family home up to the tragedy with his wife, five children and mother-in-law, who was there out of safety concerns.
The report also details how Haight, his wife, mother-in-law and five children were found in bedrooms throughout the family home on the afternoon of Jan. 4 after a person police described as a “family friend” entered through an open door. Police had gone to check on the Haights earlier in the afternoon after concerns about their welfare were reported, but left without reporting the violence.
“No one answered the door. It didn’t appear that anyone was in the home since no noise could be heard,” an Enoch Police officer wrote in a report summarizing his visit to the family home before bodies were discovered.
Tausha Haight, her mother Gail Earl and her four-year-old child were found in the couple’s first floor bedroom laying on pillows, partially covered with blankets and surrounded by blood. The other children were found in bedrooms throughout the home, all of them in their beds except for the seven-year-old on the floor and Haight, who was found lying on the floor on a sleeping bag.