Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Lori Hacking

Deception

Mark Hacking, mugshot
Mark Hacking, mugshot

From early on in the case, the police discovered that Mark was not the person he claimed to be. Mark told Lori and her family that he graduated with honors in psychology from the University of Utah. He also told them that he had been accepted to the medical school at University of North Carolina, which is why he and Lori were preparing to move there.

However, Mark's father, Dr. Douglas Hacking, knew what Lori and her parents didn't. On July, 22, Dr. Hacking told reporters that his son never received his bachelor's degree and had never been accepted to medical school. Mark's education was just an elaborate lie, which he fabricated because he felt under pressure to excel academically, CNN reported on July 23, 2004.

Lori's family was shocked at Mark's deception but refused to let it deter them from finding their daughter. Many involved in the search believed that if Mark was capable of lying about his education, he could be lying about what happened to Lori. Others believed that just because he lied didn't necessarily mean he was involved in her disappearance. Besides, he told his and her parents that he had nothing to do with it, when they asked him.

However, the police believed otherwise. From the moment the police took on the case, Mark was named a "person of interest." The evidence, which was slowly mounting, pointed to him as their primary suspect.

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