Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Lori Hacking


Mark Hacking and Attorney in Court
Mark Hacking and Attorney in Court

On April 15, 2005, Mark Hacking stood before Third District Judge Denise Lindberg and admitted publicly that he shot his pregnant wife Lori Hacking in the head with a .22 rifle as she lay sleeping on the morning of July 19, 2004, it was reported in The Salt Lake Tribune. As Mark confessed to committing the dreadful crime, sobs from Lori's mother, Thelma Soares, filled the courtroom. Mark was "originally charged with first-degree murder and three second-degree felony counts of obstruction of justice" but later "pleaded guilty to the murder charge in exchange for prosecutors' dismissing the obstruction charge" it was further reported.

During the hearing, which lasted around 10 minutes, Mark showed no visible signs of emotion. According to Stephen Hunt and Matt Canham's Salt Lake Tribune article, Soares exclaimed afterwards that she was chilled by her son-in-law's gruesome confession but was relieved that he finally took responsibility for his actions. Lori's father, Eraldo Soares, was quoted in the article saying that Mark's admission of guilt was "like a knife going right through my heart."

Thelma Soares
Thelma Soares

Mark's sentence will be decided on June 6, 2005. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Thelma Soares said that she hoped Mark would get a "stiff sentence" maybe even life in prison. She was further quoted saying that she knew "that when he meets the real judge he will get what is coming to him." Based on the evidence against Mark, there is a strong chance that Thelma will get her way and justice will finally be served.

A month prior to the hearing, Lori's parents made a decision to remove the name "Hacking" from their daughter's gravestone. It was clear that they wanted to distance Lori in name as much as they could from Mark. Lori's mother said that they did it because "Mark obviously didn't want her (Lori) anymore," The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The gravestone now reads "Lori Kay Soares…"Filhinha," which is Portuguese for "little daughter." It is likely how they will always remember her. 


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